August 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry
It’s not unusual for brides to expose their shoulders on their wedding day with bridal boutiques boasting numerous stunning strapless dress designs. But while fashion forward brides might like the idea of flashing a little flesh on their big day, they may well want a gown that pushes the design boundaries that bit further.
Luckily for such brides highly stylish off-the-shoulder wedding dresses crept into a number of 2014 collections and it looks like they’re here to stay as the sophisticated silhouette has been making a strong appearance on 2015 bridal catwalks.
The lowered neckline offers a romantic and timeless look, beautifully framing shoulders and collar bones. There is a hint of sexiness about such dresses and yet they are still oh so elegant by revealing just the right amount of skin.
Better yet, fashionistas will be pleased to hear that there aren’t just one or two standard off-the-shoulder dress designs, but instead a wonderful array of varying styles, from floaty bohemian and Grecian inspired gowns to structured asymmetrical creations and dresses with dreamy draped sleeves.
Jenny Packham is particularly fond of the lowered neckline and includes a number of super stunning off-the-shoulder gowns in her collection – each with something different to offer. For brides wanting to expose their full shoulders and chest area the Hepburn dress is the perfect option. It keeps the majority of the focus at the top of the floor-length dress whilst adding just a hint of extra detailing to the waistline with a sparking bow. The Monroe dress in an elegant pink/taupe hue exposes a similar area but dares brides to step outside their ivory comfort zone. Meanwhile Billie and Garbo are perfect options for glam brides-to-be looking to add some sparkle to their attire. Both have plunging necklines and glitzy shoulder straps with added detailing in draped capped sleeves which reveal just the tops of the shoulders (often referred to as ‘cold shoulder’ dress designs).
Maggie Sottero has a number of equally attractive designs in her collection. Anna and Maurine both feature pretty cold shoulder flutter sleeves. While one dress is adorned in glistening Swarovski crystals the other is finished with fabulously feminine lace appliqués. The ultra girly June dress in playful blush pink is fit for a Grecian goddess with its floor-length silhouette and draped cold shoulder sleeves. Sottero’s Calypso dress offers a different look with its soft scalloped-edged lowered neckline framing bare shoulders beautifully.
Varying off-the-shoulder designs can also be found in Cymbeline’s current collections. Agadir is a simple slim-line design which would be well suited to brides looking for a subtle design that they can make their own with the addition of striking accessories. Lovers of lace meanwhile will fall head over heels for Habanita which features super thin shoulder straps and a gorgeous lace overlay with elegant elbow-length sleeves. Hossana’s romantic ruffles and relaxed shoulders makes it the perfect choice for bohemian brides while those wanting to make a stronger style statement on the aisle should consider the voluminous Heliante.
When it comes to bridal style statements Ian Stuart instantly springs to mind and his show-stopping off-the-shoulder designs certainly don’t disappoint. Several of Stuart’s designs, such as Evita and Frederique, are reminiscent with regal dresses featured in period dramas. Both feature portrait necklines which leave the colllar bones, shoulders and top of the chest bare. Further flesh-revealing offerings come in the form of Nightingale, Mandalay and Waikiki, each with varying detail including decorative fairytale flowers and delicate beaded lace. And last but by no means least, there is the super cute three-quarter length Sophia lace gown for fifties- style brides brave enough to bare their shoulders whilst also hitching up their hemline a little.
August 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
The spate of sunshine we’ve been having recently may have been interrupted with a few bleak breaks this week but this bright and beautiful wedding is guaranteed to inject a big boost of colour and happiness into your day.
Creative couple Tony and Katy tied the knot in the super city of Sheffield, starting off with their ceremony in the stunning Town Hall before moving onto the nearby Workstation for a fabulous afternoon tea and evening celebrations.
To really make the day their own they included lots of vibrant decorations, quirky homemade touches and beautiful blooms, all of which was captured perfectly by their talented photographer.
With images by Photography34
Katy says: We got engaged on New Year’s Day 2013. We had been to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party and Tony had taken the ring, but he couldn’t find the right moment when we were both alone. The following morning we both woke up early and Tony asked me what I was doing for the rest of my life as he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then produced my beautiful ring! I cried a little and then called the world.
We set the date for Saturday May 24th 2014. We wanted to get married over a Bank Holiday as we had lots of guests who would be travelling a distance so we were keen to make sure they had plenty of time to party and recover.
I think we must have viewed almost every venue in Yorkshire, but we couldn’t find anything which would allow us to create the different look and feel we were hoping for within our budget. We are both from Sheffield and love to city so when we found the Workstation which is part of the Showroom Cinema and met Mark the sales manager, it ticked all the boxes. He was so accommodating and because the venue is an exhibition centre he allowed us to dress it exactly how we wanted. We originally wanted to get married at the same place as our reception but this was not possible at the Workstation so we started to look for somewhere close by. We had walked past Sheffield Town Hall hundreds of times but had never been inside. Once we did we were blown away by how beautiful the building was, especially the fabulous staircase.
Very early on in our wedding planning I discovered Pinterest, and began pinning ideas to a mood board. We knew the venue was going to need a lot of dressing so we decided to hire someone to help with this. Jennie from Hansley Beard came highly recommended by our venue and she did a fabulous job of keeping me calm, my ideas focused and she planned the design to the finest detail, we could not have done it without her.
We knew we wanted to do things differently and we wanted the whole feel of the day to be bright, colourful, fun and homemade. We both like colour – our house is full of it. We originally found some bright material which we liked at The Range store, we used this as the basis for our colour scheme, they had paper, buttons etc all in the same collection which was great. Bright coloured ribbons and buttons then became the main theme throughout the wedding. We didn’t want a traditional wedding so decided that lots of bright colours would really help create a different atmosphere. We are so happy that we went with these colours in the end as our wedding day turned out to be raining and gloomy but the colours helped keep everyone bright and cheery!
I always knew that I wanted a fitted lace dress and I fell in love with Pippa, a Sassi Holford dress which was well over my budget. I searched the internet and to my complete amazement I found Silk Bridal in Litchfield selling a sample of this dress in my size. I would highly recommend this bridal shop – they made my wedding dress experience so memorable. Helen, the seamstress, could not do enough to help with my alterations and every time we visited the shop I was made to feel just as special as the last. My friend Serena, very kindly lent me her beautiful Jenny Packham headband for my something borrowed. I’m actually selling my dress it is currently listed on eBay and preloved. Although I will be very sad to see this dress go, it would give me great pleasure for another bride to have a chance to wear a fabulous Sassi Holford dress.
I knew that I didn’t want traditional bridesmaid dresses or anything too formal; I wanted something that they would wear again so they wore emerald green maxi dresses from Mango which were accessorised with belts from H&M. The best man wore a bright blue suit from Moss Bros and our page boy, my nephew, wore a little navy suit from Next, a homemade emerald green bow tie and some white Converse boots which he loved!
Tony’s mum’s friend made all the bouquets and button holes. I picked the flowers for these, along with the flowers for the venue, from the Parkway Flower Market in Sheffield. I had a hand-tied bouquet with bright flowers including Gerberas,Ranunculus, Gentian and Craspedia. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar, just a bit smaller. All the bouquets had ribbons hanging from the stems.
We both share a love for VWs, especially retro split screen camper vans and we knew that we couldn’t arrive any other way. We hired the stunning ‘Johnny’ from Something old Something New. As our venues were close together we were able to use the same van for the whole wedding party.
We were let down by a friend who was originally planning on doing our photography, very close to the wedding day. Tony at Photography34 was recommended to us and to our delight he was available on our date. Choosing Tony was the best decision we made, after getting married of course! He had a very relaxed, natural style and went above and beyond. He made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day. Our guests noted how hard he worked on the day. Most importantly he captured all the detail, fun and laughter of the day.
When we started planning we decided that we wanted things to be as personal as possible and make as much ourselves as we could. Having ‘Brown Owl’ as my mother-in-law-to-be made this a lot easier. Jennie from Hansley Beard helped us to create our desired look with lots of help from our bridesmaids, best man and friends. We had homemade bunting, pom poms, table numbers, seating plan, card box, paper covered jars as centre pieces. We also used fairy lights to decorate the mezzanine. We had bright coloured ribbons hanging from the back of all the chairs and a ribbon drop which cascaded from the mezzanine to the dance floor. I went to the Parkway Flower Market with Jennie, other than Gerberas which are my favourite flowers I wasn’t that particular, it was mainly the colours I was looking for. We incorporated all the flowers from the bouquets as well as Golden Glory, lime green and yellow bloom Chrysanthemums. Jennie then arranged all the flowers for the venue and centre pieces, and made these look great, she truly was amazing!
Tony’s mum and I made homemade rhubarb jam for our favours. The rhubarb was home grown in Tony’s dad’s allotment.
I love baking so the wedding cake was very important. We had a four-tiered cake covered with bright coloured hearts. The actual cake was striped coloured Victoria sponge with butter cream and made by Gemma at Iced Gems. We had two wooden birds with matching hearts as cake toppers which we got from Etsy.
We didn’t want to have a formal three-course wedding meal so we decided to have afternoon tea with prosecco for our wedding breakfast. In the evening we had pie and peas with plenty of Henderson’s relish!
The entertainment was really important to us, we wanted a big party with all our friends and family, and I love to dance. For our ceremony we had a friend, Rebecca Guy sing and play her guitar. As a wedding present my parents got Paul Pashley, Sheffield’s answer to Michael Bublé, to sing at our evening reception. Not only does he have an amazing voice, he was a little bit of eye candy for the ladies. We then had a DJ who played us into the early hours.
We did include quite a few special touches in our big day. Tony’s mum made a very cute ring cushion for Reuben, our page boy, in the same material as the bunting and sewed buttons all over it, he was very proud of his special job.
We hired some beautiful vintage crockery from Jameson’s Tearoom for the afternoon tea, and one of the highlights was their teacup glasses which we served the prosecco in.
We chose big illuminated ‘LOVE’ letters from Typical Type as a backdrop to our dance floor, and our homemade photo booth and they were the talk of all our guests. Once we had decided on the letters it helped us decide on our first dance – L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole sang by Paul Pashley.
We both share a love of sweets, so a sweet table was a must. We brought in our theme by laying the table with ribbons, we used the same paper we had used for the centre pieces for the sweet labels and homemade pin wheels, and then had bright coloured paper fans as the backdrop to the table.
I found a finger print poster tree from Etsy which was a wonderful alternative to a guest book. Our guests added their fingerprints as ‘leaves’ to the tree and wrote their names. We now have this framed and it acts as a daily reminder of our special day and the guests we shared it with.
My favourite part of the wedding day came at the end of our first dance. Jennie, who had helped us to design our wedding day, had arranged with our guests to drop all the off cuts from the ribbons from the mezzanine above the dance floor. This was a total surprise and the only thing throughout the day which we had not planned for. This was an amazing moment which Tony, our photographer, captured perfectly and we have used one of these images for our thank you cards.
We went on honeymoon two days after or wedding; we spent two days is Dubai and eight in the Maldives. Dubai was very hot and we packed in a lot within the two days; tours of the city and a dessert safari. Then the Maldives, which was absolute paradise, was the total opposite to Dubai, quiet and relaxing, which was exactly what we needed after the wedding.
My advice to other Brides Up North would be to do what makes you happy and have the day that you want, not what others expect of you. That is so important. You want to look back on your day and know that you had it exactly how you wanted it. It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t follow traditions or you think people won’t like your ideas, as long as you do, that’s all that matters. Tony’s advice would be at some point during the wedding breakfast, to go around each table and speak with your guests and thank them for coming, as it’s a very busy day and you don’t get chance to spend very much time with anyone. Our collective advice is to make sure you both take time together to have a few moments to take everything in as the day will go past so fast.
It rained for the most of our day, but like Louis Armstrong sang, we didn’t care what the weather man said, when the weatherman said it was raining as you didn’t hear us or anyone else complaining!
July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A whole lot of heart and soul went into the planning of Aimee and Graham’s wedding day, with the bride to be firmly at the head of operations. Known for her girly ways and pretty styling efforts, this Brides Up North reader certainly wasn’t going to disappoint on the biggest day of her life.
The result? A personal and pretty celebration with lots of delectable DIY details. If you like really pretty things, you’re going to be very inspired. Pinterest fingers at the ready.
With images by Weddings By Luke
Aimee says: We got engaged in London at Christmas time. We were at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, which I had been so excited to visit as I absolutely love all things Christmassy! We were at the ice rink which looked so pretty all lit up with fairy lights at night when Graham pulled out the most perfect ring and proposed to me! Afterwards we headed straight to Harvey Nichols champagne bar for a glass of celebratory bubbles.
Our wedding was on 26th April 2014. There was no real special reason behind the particular date other than when we visited Beeston Manor for the first time we absolutely fell in love with it and they were fast running out of Saturday availability! We always wanted a spring wedding so the last Saturday they had left until later in the year was perfect for us. We got in pencilled in there and then.
We got married at All Saints Church on Hesketh Bank. It meant such a lot to us both to get married there as we both grew up visiting that church, all our family weddings and christenings happen there so I really couldn’t imagine it being anywhere else. Ever since I was a little girl imagining my wedding, I always dreamt of it being there. It was so lovely that Reverend Bill knew us and our family to make the service personal and really special. To top it off, it’s a gorgeous little church too!
The theme for our wedding was a vintage style English country garden look with a slight rustic twist, but I am a girly girl so it was kept very pretty with lots of lace everywhere. We chose this style as it is very “me” and really reflected my personality and of the style of our home. Graham always says that it is my job to make everything pretty so he was more than happy to go along with it and helped out with picking everything.
Our wedding colours were ivory, blush pink and mint. We chose these as we felt ivory and pink colours always make for a pretty and classic wedding, I am a bit obsessed with mint at the moment so adding that in just added some extra interest.
I wore an A-line tulle skirted dress from Blue by Enzoani which I bought from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne. It featured lace appliqués and beading detail on the skirt and the bodice was a ruche waist with lace overlaid with beaded flowers. I tried on 67 dresses trying to find “the one” but I loved this dress as it was so pretty and romantic, with so much beautiful detail, I felt like a princess when I tried it on.
I knew I wanted a full skirted dress but also wanted a covered top so we had it customised with a tulle top with lace appliqués which matched the skirt to create an illusion neckline and V shape back.
In my hair I wore the Autumn headband from Liberty in Love with tulle and silk flowers and beads. I had a two tier waterfall veil with tiny diamantes to catch the light, again from Emma Hartley Bridal.
Our bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Coast with petal detail on the bust, they were perfect for the romantic and floral look we were going for and looked beautiful on the girls. We were very fortunate about the fit of the dresses as mid way through planning after we had bought the dresses, two of my bridesmaids found out they were pregnant and luckily the dresses were a perfect shape for a growing baby bump, they looked lovely on the day! We had two flower girls who wore dresses very similar to the bridesmaids but in white and had little cardigans featuring the same petal detail to tie everything together.
The groomsmen wore matching suits to Graham and our page boy had a mini version with a tailcoat, waistcoat and bow tie and which we paired with Converse which looked adorable
Michelle Sisson did my makeup and my bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, she did a fantastic job and we all felt amazing after she had worked her magic, she was so lovely to have around on the wedding morning and made sure we look perfect before we left for church. My friend Emma Shaw Hair did my bridal hair and was again fantastic at achieving a gorgeous do which was exactly as I wanted.
Graham wore a grey three piece slim fit suit, with a blush pink tie and hankie. It is not really his style to wear a full tail coat suit so this was perfect, it created a relaxed but smart look which really suited him and I think he looked really handsome. We hired the suits from Winstanleys at Oswaldtwistle.
My mum and I travelled to church in a vintage Bentley in cream and the bridesmaids followed in a matching Daimler then n the way to the reception me and Graham were in the Bentley and the flower girls had a turn in the “posh car” which they loved! We hired the cars from a local company called Classic Wedding Cars and Jimmy the driver had us laughing the whole journey which helped with nerves!
I carried an amazing white and pink bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas which are my absolute favourite flowers. They were so gorgeous and fluffy; I didn’t want to put them down all day! They were hand tied with matching ribbon and lace, I pinned my best friend’s Grandma’s heart shape brooch onto them as my something old and borrowed. Our flowers were all from Libbi at Flowers by Strawberry Fields and she did such an amazing job, they were better than I ever imagined. As soon as I met Libbi it was clear we had very similar taste and we knew we could completely trust her to make everything super beautiful.
July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Let’s keep the Real Wedding pretty coming this morning with this stunning and stylish celebration at Arley Hall & Gardens. Jenna & Martin opted for a modern and muted colour scheme for their beautiful big day, dotted with gorgeous vintage inspired details.
As soon as I saw her choice of heels, I knew that today’s bride and I would be sartorially compatible. Jenna, I like your style.
With images by Lisa Howard Photography.
Jenna says: We got engaged in Stratford Upon Avon on 24th March 2012. Martin had arranged a weekend away for us and luckily it turned out to be one of the hottest weekends of the year! He proposed whilst we were sitting on the banks of the River Avon with a bottle of bubbly! It was perfect!
Our wedding day was 23rd May 2014. We got married at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
We had actually been out looking at another venue which we were really disappointed with, when we drove past a signpost for Arley. We had seen it online but thought it looked way over our budget to even consider it an option. However, we decided to go and have a nosey. We didn’t have an appointment booked at Arley but the staff were so accommodating and the venue was so perfect! It was just what we wanted with the two aspects of the stately home and the rustic barn for the evening reception.
Styling wise, it just seemed to work out in the end that everything was a little bit vintage with a modern edge. We opted for a colour scheme of grey and white – we wanted to keep everything quite neutral as the rooms in the venue already have so many colours in them anyway; we didn’t want it to look too busy. Plus grey is my favourite colour!
I wore a lace mermaid style dress by Mori Lee from Always & Forever Bridal Boutique, St Helens. I had gone into the shop with the mind set that I definitely didn’t want a lace dress! However that soon changed. I also didn’t want a lace up corset style back and seeing as my dress had both I was reluctant to try it on, however after much persuasion I did and I loved it (but I did end up having the seamstress swap the lace ups for a zip)!
I carried a posy of white peonies from the floristry department of St Helens College.
I was really close to my nan who died a few years ago so really wanted to try and incorporate my memories of her into the wedding. I had a locket with a picture of her in it wrapped around my bouquet and a large photograph of her from my mum’s wedding with a candle burning.
Martin wore a dark blue slim fit three piece suit from TM Lewin, Liverpool. His shirt was white with accents of blue from Hugo Boss. His shoes were brown brogues from Bertie in Steve Madden, Manchester.
May 26th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
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 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 by Jenny Packham
Caracas by Ian Stuart
Vivaldi by 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 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 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 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!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited
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May 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Apparently today’s beautiful bride Karen described herself as being “addicted” to Brides Up North in the run up to her wedding, so I do hope that I do her gorgeous big day justice on these pretty pages!
With images by Adam Riley Photography, Karen and Tom’s celebration is relaxed, personal and oh, so very stylish. Karen? This love-in is mutual.
Karen says: We got engaged on 14th April 2012 at Chatsworth House in Derbsyhire. We had visited there on an early date so it always had special memories for us both.
We were married on 14th September 2013 Hoghton Tower near Preston.
We both loved the venue as soon as we saw it. It had everything we wanted for both the service and wedding breakfast and allowed flexibility both in the suppliers we could use and how we organised the day. We loved how it was exclusively ours for not only the entire day but from the Friday afternoon before and it didn’t feel too corporate. It was so different to other places we had seen and the venue and location were just stunning.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were quite a bold colour we thought it would work best for everything else to be quite muted to avoid clashes. We wanted everything to be relaxed rather than stick to a strict scheme – although we did match the Groom’s tie to the bridesmaid’s dresses which was about the only planned scheme.
I wore Dentelle by Jenny Packham which was from The White Room in Sheffield. I knew I wanted something relaxed and comfortable although I was surprised at how much I liked the more "formal" dresses. In the end, I just felt more like "me" in Dentelle and loved the detail at the back and the beautiful skirt. Chloe at the White Room was fantastic and I couldn’t recommend the boutique enough.
I travelled to the venue in a Bentley and Tom to got to travel in a friend’s Peugeot which was perhaps slightly unfair!
Our photographer was Adam Riley Photography – who was amazing. We loved his reportage style of photography which meant we could really enjoy the day.
The ceremony was really special but I loved the drinks reception as well afterwards. Seeing our friends and family who mean so much to us all together having a great time and being so genuinely happy for both of us was really wonderful. It was exactly how I hoped the day would be.
We had a string quartet for the ceremony and drinks reception. A Manchester band, The Fraudsters played in the evening. They are friends of Tom and played an amazing set which packed out the dance floor all night.
We are also big Game of Thrones fans so we asked the quartet to play the theme tune at appropriate points – it was very funny to see the guests’ faces recognise the song.
Flower Design in Blackpool supplied our flowers. We gave Jane a very broad idea of colours and ideas of bouquets I liked from previous weddings and the rest was down to her. She understood both of us and what worked well in the venue. Jane really nailed the flowers on the day and we couldn’t have been happier with them.
A friend of the family who used to own a patisserie in Lytham made our cake. We went for three tiers of lemon, chocolate and a traditional fruit cake.
It was a close family member’s 60th Birthday and Wedding Anniversary on the day itself, so we arranged for a separate birthday cake during the meal. It was such a nice moment and was really well received from both family and friends alike.
We used tried and tested suppliers from the North West who we knew we could trust. Food is a real passion of both of ours so Rowleys did the catering and we devised our own menu with their help – we still have friends talk about how good the food was!
As our wedding favours we made our own sloe gin. It was great fun foraging for the sloes in Chorlton and we enjoyed a few tasting sessions in the run up to the day! We left shot glasses on the table for the guests to enjoy the drink at the start of the wedding breakfast.
For our honeymoon we had two weeks in South Africa in Cape Town, the Winelands and safari in Kruger followed by a week in Mauritius.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy the planning together, relax and have a wonderful time. Trust your suppliers – they have done this far more often than you have (hopefully) and will know how to make the day run as smooth as you’d envisaged.
Congratulations Karen & Tom!
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April 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Maggie Sottero, Anoushka G, Claire Pettibone… I think I’ve died and gone to wedding dress heaven. Brides Up North HQ is currently full of tulle and sequins, glitter and sparkle, as we prepare for a very special Brides Up North shoot – on location – tomorrow.
When we do things at Brides Up North, we don’t like to do them by halves. That’s why I’ve pulled together the most fabulous team of wedding industry professionals to concoct a contemporary and glamorous peep behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, with fantastical frocks, beautiful blooms, sensational styling elements and ideas that you will be able to borrow for your very own wedding day.
With creative assistance and input from the likes of Brides Up North Featured Suppliers and friends Cat Hepple Photography, Leafy Couture, JB Creatives, Silver Sixpence Films, Flutter, Victoria Farr, Pamella Dunn, The White Room Sheffield, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, Dine, Marie Antoinette Cakes and more, I’m raring to get started and SO ready for my close up.
Watch these (soon to be even prettier) pages for the results soon.
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April 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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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February 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’ve been shouting loudly on these pretty pages about our fabulous Luxury Wedding Exhibition coming up at Allerton Castle this weekend (you ARE coming, aren’t you?), and this morning’s Real Wedding is just a little reminder of why I am so passionate about this beautiful venue.
Stylish ballerinas (how cool is that – dream job alert!) Hannah & Kenny chose this elegant setting for their beautiful, fun and touching big day. With lots of luxury additions and a good dose of craft, this stunning couple’s celebration was both grand and personal. Just lovely and – as Hannah is a dedicated Brides Up North reader – watch out for lots of our Featured Suppliers popping up too!
With images by Joe Dodsworth Photography.
Hannah says: We got engaged in July 2011 in Sri Lanka whilst on holiday, Kenny organised a private dinner on the beach. It was really one of the best moments of my life! I am a huge fan of Brides Up North and just lived on it in the prep for our wedding!
We were married on 28th June 2013 at Allerton Castle, Knaresborough. We chose the venue because it has such a sense of occasion and it’s all exclusive to you and your wedding party for the day.
We just wanted to have a fantastic day and an awesome party! We didn’t set on any one colour or theme. We just chose items and colours that we liked and we felt went with the surroundings.
I wanted a dress I felt comfortable in and could move in but I still wanted it to be a wedding gown, something that you would only wear on your wedding day. I also really wanted Kenny to love it, and he has great taste so I did find the whole shopping for the dress surprisingly stressful. I went for a Jenny Packham ‘Lady Astor’ from The White Room in Sheffield. Chloe at The White Room is excellent and made the whole experience simple and yet still special. I treated myself to a pair of Christian Louboutin heels (I saved £1 a day for a year and a bit) and then I had a simple pair of earrings from Carat, a hair band from Jenny Packham (which I got on ebay) and a silver bracelet that Kenny had given me for my 21st birthday.
Kenny found a great outfit from Vivienne Westwood that was just right for him, individual and a nod to his Scottish heritage.
The bridesmaids wore Sapphire blue dresses from Dessy and they each had a pair of silver shoes from various places, wherever we found ones they liked! The best men had suits from Zara and our dad’s had suits from M&S, all the men had waistcoats that my Dad helped us organise from a tailor in Somerset.
I carried a bouquet of roses, lisianthu and gypsophila. My bridesmaids had very similar ones and the men all had roses or acanthium for button holes. My mum did all the flowers herself!
Joe Dodsworth was our photographer and Will at Cine Reportage filmed the day on super 8mm, both of these guys are great and real artists in their field.
I really enjoy a bit of crafting when I get time, so I had a go at adding lots of bits and bobs. I collected items from the time we got engaged, some things made the cut, other items are still in my loft. I made the table plan, place names with mini sweet jars, a letter box for cards and notelets that guest filled in instead of a guest book and the sweet buffet all the decorations for the staircase and the tables. It all took a long time but I enjoyed it and when I looked around on the day and saw all the bits and bobs that we had put all that effort into it felt like our day.
The ceremony itself was very special and like nothing we have experienced before, but every stage of the wedding was just wonderful. Getting ready with my bridesmaids, mum and mother in law in the morning, seeing each other at the altar, chatting with my dear friends after the ceremony, wondering around the grounds having our photos taken when the sun decided to show up (!) and the party and fireworks and the great food.
We are both professional ballet dancers so live music is a huge part of our lives and we really wanted to include that in our day. We were really lucky and had a singer for our ceremony and a band called Func On The Rocks for the evening. Other than that we had a huge box of garden games that went down a treat! Kenny’s parents treated us to a firework display which was so cool, by Ferrensby Fireworks.
After the wedding we honeymooned in Singapore and Koh Samui in Thailand.
I got really lucky and won the money to pay for our wedding, so we didn’t have that worry but before I did that we had financial concerns. Please believe me when I say you really don’t need to spend a lot to have the time of your life. You are so lucky to have met that person you are ready to live your life with and those feelings will be felt 100 times over on the day and that is what is so remarkable about your wedding day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to take a few moments to step back and view what is your day, and don’t rush, relax and be in the moment. Our families really enjoyed being involved and so hand out jobs big or small and give your people little bits of the day that they had a hand in. I dried my bouquet and have it in a vase and think of my mum when ever I see it. Just think about what is important to you as a couple and what you would like to have as your memories after the big day and go from there.
Congratulations Hannah & Kenny!
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January 24th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Todays small but twinkly real wedding is such a splendid affair – a stunning bride (don’t you just love her hair?), an ornate setting, perfect details and only the people there that really count. And that last bit, that is what really counts, isn’t it?
Sarah and Ed’s wedding was shot by Abi at Wooden Hill Images, and I hope you love it as much as we do.
Sarah says: We got engaged in May 2010 in Windsor Great Park in Berkshire, near where we lived at the time. It was overlooking a lake by a small bridge while out with our dog Poppy.
We were married at Bilton House, which is Harrogate Registry Office in North Yorkshire on 19th December 2013, and afterwards at Rudding Park Hotel. We choose Rudding Park Hotel because we had previously stayed there for a weekend break and had a great time, and I am originally from North Yorkshire so it had the close to home feel.
We choose to have a small intimate wedding as we have two young children, Will (3 years) and Tom (1 year) who we wanted to be part of the day, with our immediate family and a few close friends.
Our theme was a 1920’s/30’s Great Gatsby/Downtown Wedding set against the backdrop of Christmas with a gold, ivory and a touch of subtle green colour scheme to blend into the 1920’s and Christmas colours.
I chose the Stephanie Allin Ingrid dress from the Jazz Age Collection from Anne Priscilla Bridal in Glasgow. I was lucky enough that the designer of the dress I choose was in the shop in Glasgow when I was there and I ended up getting a personalised sketch of the dress!
We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen, but our boys wore a mix and match of cord and tweed suits, with little converse shoes to give a ‘cool kiddie’ finish.
I carried a bouquet of calla lilies from Wedding & Events reminiscent of the period.
Guests were collected from Rudding Park on at 1920’s vintage bus from a company called Yesteryear, and taken to and from the registry and Sarah travelled with William who walked her down the registry aisle.
For the pre dinner reception we had a harpist (Anita Aslan from Harping On) playing a mix of Christmas music and other songs appropriate for the occasion and a two piece 1920’s band called The Gershwin Gang for some music into the evening. Both entertainment choices were based on the small nature of the wedding with only 20 guests and 5 children and to keep the theme and fun running throughout the day.
The favours for Ladies were vintage chocolates from Betty’s and for the men, Scottish themed stag bottle openers, which combined Yorkshire and Scotland.
Ed is Scottish and us organising everything from our home in Perthshire meant it was important for us to blend everything across the colours and themes even though we hadn’t seen certain things first hand.
Alex at Simply Bows & Chair Covers dressed the venue to perfection!
We chose a fruit cake centre piece with a monogram with our initials from our invitations, then cupcakes with feathers and a sequin finish matching my dress. The cake was by Homebaked Heaven.
My favourite part of the day was arriving back to Rudding Park at dusk with all the twinkling lights, harp music and a mulled wine reception.
For our honeymoon we stayed an extra couple of nights at Rudding park ourselves and plan to return in 2014.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t be afraid to do a small wedding, and you won’t have to compromise on quality. Trust your suppliers to apply their own interpretation of your theme.
Congratulations Sarah & Ed!
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