Brides Up North

a wedding alphabet. G is for Gown

December 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Amaryllis - Claire Pettibone

Amaryllis by Claire Pettibone

A bride’s wedding attire had to appear somewhere in our wedding alphabet, so here it is under the letter G for gown.

This is the element of a wedding that most girls picture first, and that some dream about from being a little girl. Watching the Disney princesses flaunt their posh frocks when I was a youngster certainly helped me conjure up an image of what my very own ‘princess’ dress might look like for the day I would wed my prince charming.

My first thoughts were very much along the lines of Ariel’s wedding dress with corseted top, Princess Diana-esque puff sleeves and an almighty voluminous skirt. Of course over time our ideas and tastes change (thank God), and we come to realise the vast number of pretty bridal dresses there are to choose from beyond the standard fairytale gown.

But how do you find the one? When collating our fabulous real wedding posts for the blog, it becomes apparent that while some ladies find their dream dress almost instantly, others trawl numerous boutiques, toing and froing for months before making their decision.

Leila - Jenny Packham

Leila by Jenny Packham

While we can’t put a time on how long it, will take we can offer a little guidance. So, here are some top tips to help when wedding dress shopping, along with some of my favourite current designs for some extra inspiration:

money matters

Like a helpless moth to a flame, it’s easy to be drawn to stunning full lace gowns, those with intricate detailing or a dress with a killer train to rival Kim Kardashian’s. But if it carries a price tag that is well out of your league it really is pointless, if not a little heartbreaking. So to save you the pain, set a budget and look for designers/boutiques that fall into your price bracket. Also bear in mind that your attire allowance needs to also cater for the accessories that will complete your look, such as shoes, veil, under garments, jewellery and hair accessories.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier‘s Iscoyd Park Collection

early bird

One panic buy you don’t want to make is your wedding dress so be sure to give yourself a suitable amount of time (usually around eight months) to shop around and have alterations made. At the same time, be careful not to start too early or you run the risk of buying something too far in advance and then see something you prefer closer to the big day.

Alchemy - Claire Pettibone

Alchemy by Claire Pettibone

picture perfect

Build up an image of the types of dresses you like using magazine cuttings and Pintrest to record your findings. As well as basing choices on your personal style preferences, also take into account elements of the wedding, such as the venue and season and how your dress might work with this in terms of its colour, fabric and design.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection

bookable boutiques

When booking appointments at bridal boutiques, make sure they stock designers that you like, that are within your budget and that go up to your size. If you have your heart set on trying on a certain design ring ahead and make sure they stock it. Once you have made your bookings be sure to go along prepared with suitable nude underwear and heels of a height similar to what you plan to wear on your wedding day so you can see how the dress falls.

Simone - Jenny Packham

Simone by Jenny Packham

keep an open mind

During the search if a bridal shop owner or assistant suggests trying on something you wouldn’t pick out yourself, don’t dismiss it straight away. These people are experts in the field, and don’t forget, a dress can look completely different on the hanger to what it does when it’s on. A real bride featured on the blog recently (the lovely Fiona) is a great example of how being open minded can work in a bride’s favour. She took up the suggestion of trying on a pink gown (more out of politeness than anything else) and ended up falling head over heels for it.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection

don’t crowd me

Too many cooks and all that! You need to select your dress shopping companions carefully. It’s advisable to take just two or three people when trying on dresses in the early stages. For most it’s a combination of their mum, sisters, best friend and/or nan. Basically the people whose opinion you value the most. What you need is honest and reliable thoughts, not confusing and conflicting opinions. Once you have made your decision you can always take a few other friends or relatives along to a later fitting for a sneak peek.

Julia - Claire Pettibone

Julia (great name!) by Claire Pettibone

be true to yourself

Ultimately the final decision comes down to you so trust your instinct and don’t be swayed by others. You might not have that teary, speechless, dramatic moment, but the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with your choice. When you do find ‘the one’ be sure to order it in the size you currently are, not what you aim to be. Organising a wedding can be stressful enough without putting yourself under added pressure to drop several dress sizes before the big day. If you do lose weight in the meantime, you can always have the dress taken in.

Above all remember that shopping for your wedding dress should be an exciting and memorable experience so keep calm and enjoy!

Garbo - Jenny Packham

Garbo by Jenny Packham

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

that’s amore! an Italian themed wedding at Kirkstall Abbey – faye & rob

November 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (107)

It’s Frrrrrrrrrrrrrriday! Let’s celebrate with this sweet Yorkshire/ Italian celebration in Leeds, sent to me by newlyweds Faye and Rob and Brides Up North Sponsor Jane of JB Creatives.

Limoncellos on ice for a moment though, as I’ve to tell you about Jane’s shiny new website, which has just landed over at www.jbcreatives.co.uk.  Go see!  To celebrate, she’s offering a free engagement shoot to all those couples who book their full day wedding photography before the end of the year.  Quote love stories to get involved.

Leeds-Wedding-Photographer-JBCreatives-promotion

But for now, it’s all about today’s pretty wedding.

With images by JB Creatives.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (81)

faye says: Rob asked me to marry him on a private boat off the coast of Paxos, Greece in August 2013, and we were married on 5th April 2014 at St Stephen’s Church, Kirkstall. Our reception was at Kirkstall Abbey then The Gatehouse.

We had one of our first dates there and have both always loved it. We never even considered another venue!

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (72)

We opted for a Yorkshire meets Italy theme (having previously lived in Milan together), using lemon and turquoise as base colours for the scheme.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (86)

I wore Maggie Sottero “Cassidy” dress from Angel Brides, Horsforth and my bridesmaids were in turquoise Jenny Packham. I carried a simple lemon rose bouquet with stems from Rose & Bud Flowers, Horsforth.

Rob wore a royal blue morning suit, a white shirt and a Jeff Banks navy and turquoise flowered tie.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (87)

My hair was by Simon Warner Hair, Headingley and I used a make up artist from Harvey Nichols using Laura Mercier products.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (89)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (93)

We put together a sweet table from Haribo (as I am from Pontefract) and our favours were Italian-themed Limoncello and Disaronno mini bottles. Rob also made cartoon place-settings for every guest.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (101)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (102)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (105)

We were entertained by the Otley Ukulele Orchestra, followed by a DJ in the evening.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (108)

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (109)

We chose an iced chocolate cake with caricatures made by a family friend, Lucy.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (110)

My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle to Rob, and Rob’s was performing our personalised first dance, which I choreographed.  The crowd reaction was amazing!

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (111)

For our honeymoon we visited Bangkok and Koh Samui, Thailand and then Singapore.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (54)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to chill out – It’s all very doable and you don’t need years to do it! We organised it in 9 months.

a wedding at Kirkstall Abbey & The Gatehouse (c) JB Creatives (61)

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

lookbook: ’bout that base

November 18th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Jenny Packham -  Isabella

Main feature images courtesy of Jenny Packham

Shopping for a wedding dress should be an exciting experience for a bride-to-be, no matter what her style, age or size.

That said I’ve heard upsetting stories from a number of fuller-figured brides when searching for the dress, which have hindered their enjoyment. From tales of being asked to squeeze into small sample dresses and to ‘imagine’ how it might fit, to being told collections don’t go up to their size, or simply feeling that there is nothing out there for them.

I’ll bet Kim Kardashian had no such problems at Givenchy.

Well, even if you’re not quite ready to ‘break the internet‘ with your own booty, I’m pleased to report there are some truly stunning plus-size wedding dress collections out there, with certain gowns going up to a size 32. And better yet, more designers are beginning to branch out into plus-size creations by extending their size range.

Jenny Packham - Josephine

The queen of bridal prettiness Jenny Packham, included flattering gowns for plus-sized brides in her Spring 2015 collection which were showcased by gorgeous fuller-figured models on the catwalk. Her Josephine dress in steely grey features incredibly elegant lace sleeves, a pretty sash and signature intricate detailing, drawing the eye to all the right places. Likewise Packham’s Isabella dress covers up the tops of the arms with a delicate and stylish cape, while sparkling crystal detailing frames the under-bust area of the dress perfectly.

Veromia is another designer that offers stunning plus-size dresses with support and structure so that brides feel both confident and comfortable during their moment in the limelight. Veromia’s Sonsie collection offers designs to suit a wide range of tastes, from the fluid SON91452 with fluttery capped sleeves, to the 1950s tea-length SON91462 and the fuller SON91465 with illusion neckline detail.  Meanwhile for autumn and winter brides who crave more dramatic dress designs, Veromia’s SON91208 in ravishing gold, and S91051 in deep regal red, are bound to tick boxes.

Jenny Packham SP2015

Bonny Bridal’s Unforgettable collection has further stunning offerings in plus sizes. Standout designs include 1207 and 1304, which boast fairytale style ruffle detailing, as well as 1424 and 1206, which feature feminine lace sleeves.

Style and structure can also be found within Cara Mai’s wonderful collection. Again brides-to-be are given a choice of both fitted and fuller gowns. The simple, strapless 29228 is a firm favourite within the collection, but for those brides in search of a little more support, the 29244 with tulle overlay and pretty lace appliqués frames curvaceous ladies’ figures beautifully.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

outdoor elegance. a romantic real wedding in the north west – kerry & anthony

November 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (38)

This morning we join newlyweds Kerry and Anthony for their oh-so-pretty wedding in the North West.  A gorgeous gown, beautiful blooms and a softly romantic colour palette proved the perfect recipe for a stunning celebration.

Le sigh.

With images by Julie Lomax Photography.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (9)

Kerry says: We got engaged in Barcelona. Anthony took me away for the week after my birthday, he made a scrap book with pictures and quotes in it of our time together over the previous 5 years. It included our first Christmas and our first holiday together along with other special occasions. On the back page it read ‘Will you marry me?’ and he was down on one knee when I looked up.

The women in my family all share our wedding anniversary in August. Keeping up with family tradition we chose 9th August 2014. We were married at St Peters Church RC, Middleton. This is a family church, my dad and my granddad made built the entrance to this church and the original altar.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (10)

The wedding had a rustic country garden feel, with a vintage twist. We are both very down to earth people and wanted people to feel comfortable and enjoy the day. We feel like this came across on the day, a lot of people commented on the feeling of romance in the theme and style.

We chose a colour scheme of vintage mauve, in keeping with the country feel.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (18)

My wedding dress was a Jenny Packham gown, called Ruby (also my birth stone)! I only tried three wedding dresses on and knew straight away that ‘she’ was the one. It was in keeping with the style and feel of the wedding and I felt a million dollars wearing it.

I bought her from the girls at The White Closet in Didsbury.

Anthony wore a morning suit, in deep navy, with an ivory cravat from Groom in Manchester.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (22)

The girls wore twobirds Bridesmaid dresses, They loved them! Everyone commented on how gorgeous they looked. The girls wore their dresses differently, to reflect their different personalities and styles. The colour I wanted had not been released in the UK so had to be shipped to the shop from America.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (26)

We had a VW camper Van, our all-time favourite! We hired her from Nick Connah Camper Hire. The guests travelled in a 1961 AEC Bridge Master vintage bus hired from Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (34)

Our photographer was Julie Lomax, We met her at a wedding fair in Manchester. She was very approachable and very professional, however after spending time with her felt like she was a long-time friend. She knew exactly how we wanted our wedding photographing and it really felt like she was one of our guests on our wedding day. We were totally at ease working with her.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (39)

Rebecca Reville was our videographer.  We cant wait to see her master piece from our wedding day, another amazingly talented person who made our day so special. She worked amazingly well with Julie our photographer!

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (41)

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (48)

We had birdcages with tea lights hanging from the inner side of the cage. This sat on a bed of flowers (in keeping with flowers in my bouquet) and in the centre was a layer of moss, sitting on a tree trunk plinth.

Scattered on the table were numerous tea light holder in different sizes and styles. These really added to the country garden effect and added that extra romance in the evening once it had gone dark.

Our flowers were by the amazing Victoria from Lancashire Floristry. Her hard work and commitment in the run up to our wedding day was outstanding. I loved my flowers!

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (45)

Everyone received a scratch card and a miniature spirit bottle, these were in a personalised favour box with our names and the date of the wedding. These were printed by Cotton Letterpress. We individualised the favour boxes by giving each person their favourite spirit.

Our cake was four tiers made by the wonderful Rachel Hanna, owner of Marie Antoinette Cakes.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (52)

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (47)

Sheila O’Sullivan our wedding singer sang in the Church, adding to the romance with her perfect voice. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church! Our wedding guests still comment on her talent.

We hired a casino and a magician to keep everyone entertained whilst we had our pictures.

Our band for the evening cancelled on us on the week before the wedding, after being booked for 14months. After everyone chipping in to help find a replacement, Champagne Skies came to the rescue. They were amazing and totally pulled it out of the bag for us.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (54)

My favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle. It was day I dreamt about for so long. I couldn’t wait to see Anthony and his reaction when he saw me, but I also knew that once I got to the end of the aisle and met him, I’d soon be his wife. After 9 years together, it was a moment I was so looking forward to.

For our honeymoon we went to Mexico, Rivera Maya. It was total luxury and relaxation. We had both worked so hard in the 12 months before the wedding and it was just what we needed. We spent two weeks bonding and being together. Plus Anthony surprised me to swimming with Dolphins during our second week out there, number one on my bucket list! Daily massages on the beach, tea on the beach in the evenings and plenty of drunken nights on tequila.

vintage mauve countryside wedding (c) Julie Lomax Photography (56)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that although at times the planning can be very stressful, remember the main reason why you are doing it. It really will be the best day of your lives if you relax and take it all in. Make sure you make time for each other on the day too! It goes so quickly and before you know it, it’s the last dance, but make sure to enjoy the day together, we stayed by each other’s side throughout the day.

If I had the chance to do it all again tomorrow… I would!

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

silver screen. jenny packham for a 1920s inspired cinema wedding in Manchester – melanie & chris

September 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (25)

Let’s get the week of to a really fabulous start with this old Hollywood inspired – and super cool – cinema wedding in Manchester, sent to me by Brides Up North Sponsor Andrea of Fabulous Day wedding planning, and real bride Melanie.

Popcorn at the ready.  Roll film.

With images by Miki Photography.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (4)

Melanie says: We got engaged in Wembley Stadium. We had spent the day at Wembley waiting to see my favourite artist Bruce Springsteen. When he played an acoustic version of Thunder Road to finish the set, Chris got down on one knee in the middle of the crowd and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!

We were married on 7th June 2014. With a World Cup year and Glastonbury tickets booked we were limited to which dates we could pick, we would hate to miss an important football match! The 7th June was sports and festival free! Our engagement was just under one year which was the timeframe we wanted.

We chose Cornerhouse Cinema on Oxford Road in Manchester. We wanted somewhere that we had been before and had a connection with. We’re not church people and we felt that the town hall was a right of passage for Mancunians – which neither of us are! So when we realised the Cornerhouse was licensed to do weddings, it was an easy decision to make. We go there regularly and it’s somewhere we enjoy spending time.

The cinema venue seemed to naturally lend itself to influence the theme for the day which was 1920s Hollywood glamour.

Tying in with the theme, we tried to keep the colours classic with deep navy, burgundy and rosewater (bridesmaid dresses) the main colours. The groom and the best men were in navy and our flowers were a mix of nude, rosewater and burgundy.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (6)

My dress was ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham which I bought from The White Closet in Didsbury.

Anyone who knows me will not that I’m not the girliest girl or someone who would be naturally drawn to a floor-length dress. I always thought I was too short to wear one. Originally I was looking for a tea-length dress. So I tried on many beautiful dresses but nothing seemed to click. Then the lady at The White Closet suggested ‘Eden’, immediately I said it wouldn’t suit me but she encouraged me to try it ‘even just to rule it out’, when I put it on I couldn’t believe how it looked and I knew straight away that this was the dress for such a special occasion.

Chris wore a tailor made suit which was made in Italy but measured and designed at Doherty Evans & Stott in Manchester. It wasn’t cheap but their service was perfect, not too stuffy but very informative in terms of etiquettes. Chris learned some valuable life lessons!

The bridesmaids wore floor length twobirds dresses in Rosewater, ordered through The White Closet and the groomsmen wore navy blue suits from Austin Reed.

I carried an orchid bouquet, provided by a great little florist in the Northern Quarter called Frog Flowers.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (7)

I was chauffeured to the venue in a classic Jaguar. It was beautiful, really classy and fitted with our theme really nicely. It was provided by Platinum Wedding Cars who were great, particularly the driver who held the brolly at the photo shoot with aplomb!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (8)

Mick from Miki Photography was our photographer on the day and I would 100% recommend him to anyone. He was upbeat, organised and a total pro on the day, as well as being a great guy and easy to get along with.

Mick made us feel comfortable and relaxed and played a big part in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the wedding.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (12)

We packaged up traditional cinema sweets to give out to the guests: popcorn for some and pick and mix for others.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (15)

We had a beer brewed for the occasion – a light, citrus IPA (my favourite) from local Manchester brewery Blackjack Beers.

We had a four-course menu of asparagus with pancetta, sea bass, steak and then chocolate brownie. The first two courses were paired with a white Gavi and the latter were paired with a red Nero D’avola. During the meal tasting we tried several wines and we felt like these were the best options to suit all tastes.

We wanted a four course menu to extend the length of the meal to really appreciate and enjoy it. We followed the meal with a special selection of Whisky, Port and Sherry chosen by my father.

We had a red velvet two-tiered cake with coconut buttercream icing piped in a floral pattern. The cake was made by Bakeorama (Charlotte) who provides the cakes for Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (17)

My favourite part of the day was the drinks reception we had at the Cornerhouse immediately after the ceremony, and it was just a great chance to go and soak up everyone’s excitement and share that feeling with all our close friends and family.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (21)

We used props and uplighters from i Catching based in Hyde. The props were really cool, and they were really helpful and easy to deal with so would definitely recommend them as well.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (24)

In the evening, we had a photo booth with fancy-dress accessories which provided good fun for everyone.

We also had a local band, The Coolers, play two fantastic sets. Our good friend Roger Hughes works in the music industry organising session bands and wedding bands so we left the music in his more than capable hands, he even played keyboard on the night!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (26)

We were getting a lot of help from my Dad and Step-mum in organising the wedding, and since they were living abroad at the time they decided to get some help with a wedding planner, Andrea from Fabulous Day. At first we weren’t sure we needed it, but by the end of the day we knew the day wouldn’t have been the same without her. Absolutely everything was taken care of and we were all able to relax and totally enjoy the day. 100% recommend her services to anyone.

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (32)

We went to Croatia two days after the wedding. We spent the first four nights in a private villa on Vis Island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It was lovely and peaceful where we could just relax in the aftermath of the wedding. We then had three nights in Split, just as the World Cup started, so we were able to catch some games on the big screens!

a wedding at the Castlefield Rooms (c) Miki2 Photography (36)

Everybody advised us to soak up every moment of the day and try to take it all in because it goes by in a flash. This was brilliant advice and I think we both tried to do it and really enjoy every minute of the day. There were some nerves at times, but we didn’t let it get the better of us and we just had enjoyed the day.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

lookbook: dip it low

September 16th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Nina - Jenny Packham

Wedding dress necklines have officially reached new depths.

While once an innocent sweetheart neckline was as far as designers dared to dip, there are now an increasing number of dresses reveal that much more of the chest area. But this doesn’t mean the dresses look at all cheap, tacky or tarty. Instead the designs scream high-fashion, ooze elegance and have just the right amount of sass and sexiness.

A perfect choice for confident brides who dare to bare, this style of dress can be highly flattering and incredibly striking. So let’s get the lowdown on the designers that are endorsing the new lowered neckline.

Main feature images courtesy of Jenny Packham, images in gallery as tagged.

Noa - Jenny Packham

Monique Lhuillier has several wonderfully dipped dresses in her collections. Clever designs such as Sylvie, Karlotta and Logan feature a lowered neckline but keep a good amount of flesh under wraps through the use of broad shoulder straps, illusion necklines and elegant lace sleeves. Meanwhile, the likes of Valletta and Teagan, which boast deep necklines but with thinner shoulder straps, give brides the opportunity to flash some extra flesh.

Claire Pettibone’s lowered necklines also retain modesty through the use of sleeves and shoulder detail. Lily is a stunning example for brides wanting to keep their arms covered. The elegant slim-line design features a highly detailed lowered neckline, exquisite long lace sleeves and a to-die-for sheer lace back. Minuet meanwhile is a much more revealing design with a dipped sweetheart neckline and pretty keyhole back detail.

Rio - Jenny Packham

Queen of vintage glamour, Jenny Packham has also jumped onboard the lowered necklines bandwagon. For brides wanting to keep their look simple but flash just a little flesh, there is Lavinia and Nina. Other brides will look to Packham for a dose of that intricate detailing that she does oh so well. This can be found in Noa and Marina, both of which feature plunging necklines as well as pretty, sparkling embellishment. Gatsby-style brides meanwhile will find it almost impossible to resist the sophisticated yet sexy charm of Rio – it’s a real head-turner!

Finally Justin Alexander, which produces perfect princess style gown, has a few lowered neckline creations to add to the offering. Interestingly, many of the dresses that feature deep necklines in the front are mirrored in the back of the gown. So for example the 8737 fit and flare gown, with heavily beaded pearl and crystal deep V-neckline also has a plunging back neckline. Similarly the 8652 mermaid style dress features a V-tank neckline in the front and is finished with a deep V-neckline in the back.

Marina - Jenny Packham

So the only question that remains is how low will you go?

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

lookbook: cold shoulder

August 21st, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Hepburn - Jenny Packham

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.

Garbo - Jenny Packham

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).

Billie - Jenny Packham

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.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Super Beautiful. A Pretty DIY Wedding In Preston – Graham & Aimee

July 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) 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.

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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.

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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!

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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.

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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.

I had amazing lace detail peep toe shoes from No.1 Jenny Packham at Debenhams which I absolutely adored!

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.

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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.

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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.

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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!

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

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. 

Pretty vintage style wedding at Beeston Manor, Preston (c) Weddings By Luke

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

A Little Bit Vintage. Mori Lee & Peonies For A Stylish Wedding At Arley Hall & Gardens – Jenna & Martin

July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

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.

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) 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!

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

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.

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

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!

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

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)!

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

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.

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

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. 

Mori Lee for a modern vintage wedding at Arley Hall & Gardens (c) Lisa Howard Photography

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Steel The Limelight! Silver Wedding Dresses For 2014

May 26th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Cocorico, Ian Stuart

Cocorico by Ian Stuart

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

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

Violet, Monique Lhuillier

Violet by Monique Lhuillier

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

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

Alicia, Jenny Packham

Alicia by Jenny Packham

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

Caracas, Ian Stuart

Caracas by Ian Stuart

Vivaldi, Ian Stuart

Vivaldi by Ian Stuart

Boudoir, Ian Stuart

Boudoir by Ian Stuart

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

Grace, Jenny Packham

Grace by Jenny Packham

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

Floressa, Monique Lhuillier

Floressa by Monique Lhuillier

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

Raven, Claire Pettibone

Raven by Claire Pettibone

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

Raven, Claire Pettibone

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

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

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone