September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This evening sees the launch of a project I’ve been working extremely hard on behind the scenes for the majority of this year.
Those of you who have been regular readers and supporters of Brides Up North for the past four years will know that I believe wholeheartedly in the value of carrying on the online conversation in real life. This goes for both brides to be during our busy Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and members of our fantastic regional wedding industry.
Those wedding suppliers who have already used our annual Brides Up North “tweet ups” and networking parties to come together to share a few cocktails, ideas, business cards and recommendations will know just how beneficial events like these can be to business.
Well, we’ve decided to take things a bit further than that.
You know we don’t like to sit still here at Brides Up North HQ, and this year I’ve joined forces with an amazing team of industry leaders to bring industry connectivity and creativity to the next level.
This evening, I’ll be standing (in my sequins!) alongside the fellow directors of this exciting new vehicle – Charlotte Balbier, award winning wedding dress designer; Jonny Draper, award winning photographer and boutique owner and Howard Wing, award winning entertainer – to reveal our pet project to a select group of industry friends, sponsors and press, including the biggest bridal titles on the newsstands.
I’ve never been very good at keeping secrets, and can’t wait to reveal all on these pages.
One thing that’s guaranteed? You’ll ALL be invited.
More very soon.
Images by Hayley Baxter Photography
September 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A relative newcomer to the bridal design scene, Charlotte Mills is a bit of a genius.
Launched to huge acclaim within the industry, the talented designer (and all round lovely North West lass) offers affordable luxury to style conscious brides giving them a more fashion forward option to traditional wedding shoes.
We like her style.
And we want her shoes.
Charlotte says: We create beautiful, elegant, fun, romantic designs we hope brides will fall in love with and want to wear again and again after their wedding day.
What were your inspirations for this collection?
Love hearts provide the inspiration for collection each style incorporating them in a unique and individual way. I love art deco and art nouveau, so studied heart shapes and also the lines used in the architecture of these era’s and gave them a modern twist to create the designs. For as long as I can remember I have always has a passion for shoes. I couldn’t imagine designing anything else.
It amazing to be able to design something which some one will love and want to wear on their wedding day to show a little bit of their personality. I find this really inspiring.
Each shoe is hand finished with a silver sixpence and the leather sole is embossed with the phrase ‘Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’
We have covered all bases. The Sixpence is also the Something Old, the Something New is the shoe, the Something Blue is detailed on the insock and the Something Borrowed will be inside the shoe box. Brides love this old tradition. This detailing is unique to Charlotte Mills Bridal shoes.
What shapes, materials and embellishments were chosen for the collection?
The collection has been created using laser cutting, appliqué and embroidery techniques. Each shoe is handmade in Spain using finest materials such as Italian Kid Suede, silks, tulle or metallic and pearlised leathers and is embellished with large structured bows, embroideries, appliqués or Swarovski crystals.
What is your average retail price?
What does 2015 hold for Charlotte Mills? What are you excited about?
I am busy designing lots of new styles to add to the range and working on a top-secret collection.
Seeing images of all the ‘Charlotte Mills brides’ is so exciting and as we have only just launched there is a time delay because people tend to buy so far in advance for weddings. It will be amazing to see our shoes featured in someone’s special day.
What are your ‘best things’ in life?
Shoes Shoes Shoes!
My husband, family and friends, my dogs Meg and Coco, pink, holidays, cake, weddings and fashion – I could go on and on…
Where can Brides Up North find out more about Charlotte Mills?
August 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
Sometimes a bank holiday weekend comes around exactly when you need it.
Even when you love your job as much as I do, sometimes you can still have one of those weeks. Computer issues (no good for a blogger let me tell you), having to put the heating back on, wifi troubles (kill me now) building work, boring admin, deadlines, husbands (!) and just too much to do, means I’m frazzled and frustrated.
So I decided to shift the schedule round a little and end the week on a high with this fun and fabulous wedding sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.
Pour me a massive glass of wine. It’s the weekend, Brides Up North!
And yes, I will be having Monday off!
(see you on the other side)
Helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012. The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!
We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014. As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!
Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.
My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye. As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come. I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.
Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.
My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme. My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.
Jonny Draper was our photographer. The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job. I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.
Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.
We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste. We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.
As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags. The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.
On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.
We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!
We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day. There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.
We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September. I can’t wait!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key! We were very organised which saved a lot of stress. Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.
April 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This week has been all about catching up, office time, making plans and getting ready – because once I’ve eaten my last Easter egg on Monday it’s a jam packed diary right until the end of April. As well as a double daily features schedule, the usual 200 plus emails a day from readers and suppliers (no lie, but I love hearing from each and every one of you!) there’s a fabulous vintage wedding exhibition for Brides Up North at The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, not one but two very exciting speaking engagements, fittings, styling jobs, freelance writing, social media projects, a blog overhaul (oh yes, oh yes!) and one very special styled shoot. More on that later.
All this is jammed into a three “day” and a lot of midnight oil burning seven “nights” a week, as I try to juggle my business with motherhood! Consequently, May might well involve a lot of lying down.
Anyway, those very exciting speaking engagements I mentioned? They both take place next week, and I can’t wait to get out into the spring sunshine and hang around with some wonderful, creative, inspiring souls.
I’ve already told you about the wonderful workshop that I’m thrilled to join Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple Photography at next Tuesday: The Editorial Wedding (click here for more information). I’ll be joining Cat and a collective of wedding photography professionals as she shows them the tricks and techniques that allow her to do what she does so well. Cat’s craft is very special – her work has that magic touch that makes you look a million dollars, “magazine ready” in your wedding photographs. Put it this way, I’ve never turned down a feature submission from Mrs Hepple yet.
I’ll be there on the day too, to talk to you about the process of getting your work “out there” and seen more effectively. I’ve been in this game for nearly four years, and worked on glossy magazines long before that, so I know my stuff. How to craft a successful submission to a wedding magazine or blog, how to increase your chances of being selected and what those with an editorial eye are looking for.
And it just so happens that the very next day, I’m hopping in the Brides Up North mobile and heading over the Pennines to make a very special appearance on day two of Jonny Draper Photography’s Masterclass too! I can’t wait! Jonny and Cat are two of my very favourite industry friends and to see they do what they do best in their own environment will be fantastic.
So, we’ve heard from Cat, but what’s the plan for Jonny’s class? Please note – Jonny’s Masterclass is now SOLD OUT but watch out for more dates later in the year.
Jonny says: This two day wedding photography experience has been specifically designed for wedding photographers who are ready to take their business to the next level. This is a Masterclass for photographers who are confident with their own digital SLR and are ready to shoot stunning images inside and outside of one of the UK’s most beautiful bespoke wedding venues.
Throughout the shooting day, Jonny will be demonstrating a range of lighting techniques that he uses during a wedding. Attendees are invited to bring along as little or as much equipment as they would like to use throughout the day and there may be opportunity for attendees to use some of Jonny’s own lighting equipment.
From the business point of view, this Masterclass offers an insight that no other wedding photography workshop has done before. On day two of the course, not only will you hear from The 2013 Wedding Industry Awards "North West Wedding Photographer of The Year" (that’s Jonny!) about how he runs his hugely successful business, you will also be given invaluable business information from one of the UK’s busiest and most popular wedding venues about how you can develop relationships with venues just like them.
You will hear from the owner of Cheshire’s most exclusive bridal experience about how to establish and develop relationships with top wedding suppliers that will benefit your wedding photography business as well as an award winning blogger (that’s me!) who will show you just what it takes to get your work featured on the UK’s most popular wedding blogs.
Sounds good to me! I’ll be reporting back on both sessions, and might just have picked up a few photography tips myself. Watch this space.
January 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Jen & Jim
This afternoon I’m letting my great friend, Brides Up North Featured Supplier and absolutely amazing (jah-mazing!) wedding photographer Jonny Draper Photography hijack these pretty pages with his round up of the year that was. What do I mean “letting him”?! This man would find some way to do it anyway!
In any case, it’s a win-win, since for me, Jonny’s favourite selection of images from 2013 brings home what a fantastic year the last one was here on the wedding blog too. I spot more than a few Brides Up North Real Weddings in his selection!
So many love stories, so many gorgeous brides, handsome grooms, happy families, beautiful settings, touching moments, rip roaring celebrations, hi jinks, laughter and excitement. I’m all about a recap, but here’s hoping that 2014 has even more of all that good stuff (And even more of it) to come: behind Jonny’s lens, on Brides Up North and in your very own wedding days and special times too.
Let’s get going.
Abi & Tom
Jonny says: 2013. What a year. I shot some of the most amazing weddings you could ever imagine, LOVE Bridal Boutique had an immense first full year and I launched Jonny Draper Photography Training, which was absolutely brilliant.
Ella & Lee
Ash & Paul
Jenny & Ross
I’m so excited for 2014 – I’ve got a diary packed with incredible weddings, there are some VERY exciting plans where LOVE Bridal is concerned, I’m just about to release dates for spring Masterclasses in wedding photography along with one or two other very exciting things that are in the pipeline – it’s going to be an awesome year!
Ange & Mark
Emma & Chris
Fiona & Giles
Jenny & James
Karin & Joe
So before I get properly stuck into 2014, I wanted to look back on 2013, on the weddings that I’ve shot and the wonderful moments I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in. And who better to share that with than Brides Up North?
December 17th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Today we join Brides Up North reader Emily and her new husband Nick for their traditionally elegant yet fun filled celebration (because isn’t that what matters most?) in Clitheroe, all captured beautifully by Brides Up North Featured Supplier and friend, Jonny Draper Photography.
Emily says: We got engaged on 5th October 2012 at Beetham Tower in Manchester in the same spot that he first told me he was falling in love with me.
We were married on 19th October 2013 at Eaves Hall, Clitheroe. It was one of the only venues we could find that was stunning from the outside but also modern and intimate on the inside. It brings together a stately home and a boutique hotel under one roof – oh and the best bit of it was, it was all ours.
Our theme kind of evolved over time, we took all the things we loved and that defined us as a couple, together with our venue and put them down on a board – when it all came together we recognised we had a kind of fun, romantic, British elegance theme – we ended up summarising it as playfully romantic.
We chose an ivory colour palette with shades of purple – from pinky purples to dark purples – we didn’t want a consistent or regimented block of colour.
I got my amazing, stunning and beautiful wedding dress from Emma Draper at the fabulous Love Bridal Boutique. Emma not only helped me find it, but helped me modify it to fit my individual style.
I also got my veil, jewellery, shoes and garter from Love Bridal Boutique – in fact on the day I was a Love Bridal bride from head to toe.
Eaves Hall has a fantastic little bridal lodge at the end of the drive, where my bridesmaids and I stayed the night before and got ready the morning of the big day.
Although they offered us their very plush cars to take us up to the hall in the morning, I wanted to walk up with my dad and the girls so I could take in the beauty of it all and soak in the moment.
One of the most important things for us was to get a photographer that understood us and what we wanted. That’s why we choose Jonny Draper Photography.
He instantly understood the best way to capture our day so that our photos would show the fun, relaxed essence we were looking.
We didn’t want lots of posed shots, we just wanted everyone to have a good time – we wanted our photographer to blend in with our guests and become part of the wedding- and Jonny is amazing at doing this.
He made our wedding day even more enjoyable than we could have imagined, by not only capturing every single moment and emotion but doing it in such a fluid and relaxed way that it blended into the day rather than felt like a chore for either us or our guests.
We worked with the very talented Flower Design not only for beautiful neutral tone flowers I carried on the day but for all the button holes, bouquets and venue dressing. The flowers were central to bringing our theme and wedding to life; they were stunning and brought the entire day together perfectly.
Our beloved bulldog couldn’t be there – but we didn’t want to leave him out of the day – so we not only incorporated him into our save the date, wedding cake and favours but we also had a cocktail hour in his honour – with a chubby bulldog cocktail served in a mini milk bottles with his face on them – using stickers from moo.com.
It was three tiers – vanilla, chocolate and lemon sponges. With sugar paste flowers to match our wedding flowers by Flower Design– with little dog bones and paw prints leading to the top of the cake.
Specialized Cakes also made our favours which were little chocolate cupcakes with dog bones on top – placed in a purple cake cases and boxed with a purple ribbon.
We had an evening DJ included in the Eaves Hall package, however, as we had an 11am start we had bits of entertainment throughout the day for our guests.
We had Steve Christie as our pianist as he was used his classical training to deliver modern, relevant music – which is more our style such as Rhianna and Kings of Leon. He played as guests arrived and during our drinks reception.
We also had Evan Young – an acoustic guitarist – who played modern ‘band style’ music in the bar during our cocktail hour. Giving it a relaxed pub feel.
If I had to pick my favourite part of the day I think it would be our first dance.
When we got engaged our first dance was the one thing I was dreading – never having danced in a formal way before. Now the song choice was easy to make – because it was ‘our’ song, but we quickly learnt wasn’t that easy to dance to. We choose Celo Green ‘Forget You’.
However, we were very lucky to have the amazing Ailsa Baker Dance, who worked out a simple yet fun routine for us and brought us together as dancing partners. She made us feel so relaxed and confident.
On the day it was so much fun to do and such a surprise for our guests – I think we literally took their breath away with our fancy footwork. It is a memory that will stay with us forever.
For our honeymoon we went to Vegas, baby!
What advice would I give to my fellow Brides Up North? Well, the best thing I did was have an open mind and a relaxed approach to the fact everything didn’t need to match. This meant it took the pressure off everything and everyone, making it all so much more enjoyable and relaxed.
The fact we didn’t have one consistent block colour also meant our wedding appeared to have more layers and textures and had quite a laid back feel to it.
Congratulations Emily & Nick!
November 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime
So, have you got the message yet? We are hosting another fabulous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham THIS Sunday 3rd November – and we’d really, really like you to be there. Click here for all the details and to pre-register as a VIP Bride to Be.
Combining a bit of wedding dress eye candy of a Friday afternoon and showing off just how versatile this unique venue is (watch our for another real wedding from the venue this afternoon showing it looking completely different!) I’m proud to welcome Emma and Jonny of LOVE Bridal Boutique and Jonny Draper Photography, along with the brilliant Terry Fox, as they introduce Terry’s latest collection. Enjoy!
Tell us about the new collection by Terry Fox? What was the inspiration behind the collection? Which fabrics were chosen for the new collection and why?
Terry Fox HQ: The 2014 collection from Terry Fox was a particular treat – sizzling with sex-appeal and inspirational in its sheer creativity. Our couture-trained designer makes it look easy and that, perhaps, is the secret of her success; she layers fabrics and colours, patches together delicate pieces of the finest materials to create something that is always surprising and reliant on finish and texture rather than formal silhouettes.
Who would be a Terry Fox bride?
TFHQ: A Terry Fox bride knows her own mind, is fabulously gorgeous and is looking for a bridal designer as individual as them!! Let’s say ‘classic with a twist’. Terry Fox brides understand the important aspects of a dress from fit to finish.
What sizes are available?
TFHQ: All sizes, all shapes, any fit! Each Terry Fox dress is uniquely created to the brides individual measurements.
What sort of price point?
LOVE Bridal Boutique: Prices start from around £2,100 up to and around £3,000. This cost includes the dress being made to a bride’s measurements and any minor modifications to a gown. Here at LOVE we believe Terry’s dresses to be great value for money, particularly considering the dresses are made from the finest silks and laces and are created in the UK.
What is the process from finding “the one” to final fitting?
LOVE: When a bride finds her dress here at LOVE, it’s a very special experience indeed, celebrated by the bride and her family with a glass of bubbly and lots of jubilation! At this point a bride’s full measurements are taken in order to ensure a perfect dress fit and also any special requests/requirements are agreed with the bride. All Terry Fox gowns are made-to-measure for every bride. The great thing about a Terry Fox gown is that they can also be modified to suit the bride – silks are available in a multitude of colours, and dress detailing/embellishment can be tailored to the bride’s individual requirements.
After this initial order stage a bride will usually revisit the boutique in advance of her first fitting to choose any accessories she might need, and there are a wide range of Terry Fox accessories available to compliment this dress collection perfectly.
When it comes to fittings, the bride will come back into the boutique to try her personalized gown and any minor adjustments required will be made by my in-house seamstress.
Why are you so excited to stock Terry Fox at LOVE?
LOVE: When we first saw Terry’s collection down at Terry’s amazing studio in Suffolk (which is a complete treasure trove by the way and just how every girl’s dream bedroom would look!), we were completely blown away and knew instantly they would be the perfect partnership with LOVE. It is clear to see that Terry lives and breathes dresses and beautiful fabrics and that comes across with every gown she creates. Every single last embellishment, intricate embroidery and drape has been carefully thought through and just takes your breath away.
We also knew that these gowns offered our brides a more unusual dress choice, and this is something which I hear time and time again from my brides. When a ‘Terry Fox bride’ (she might not know it yet!) walks through our door her eyes light up instantly. She couldn’t figure out before what she was looking for and why she couldn’t find it… until the moment she sees this beautiful collection!
The fact that each gown can be tailor-made to a brides requirements too, with a vast colour selection of silks to choose from is something which offers a fabulous point of difference compared to a lot of other designers on offer.
This stunning collection is definitely for the bride who wants something that little bit different and to express her creativity. Her selection of dress shapes and styles is so refreshing too in a completely inimitable Terry way!
What was your inspiration for the shoot, why did you choose the venue/ styling and who was involved?
LOVE: When we saw the new Terry Fox collection at The White Gallery, there was a clear 1920′s, Art Deco feel to it which was one of the reasons we loved it so much. When we realised that the new dresses we had chosen would land at the boutique around the same time as The Great Gatsby was released in the cinema, our overall inspiration for the shoot was born.
We went to see The Great Gatsby & there was such a wonderful nod towards this era in the new Terry Fox collection that we knew we just had to base our shoot on this film.
We got in touch with Neil at the amazing Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire which is an original Art Deco venue and the concept began to come to life!
Cue a call to vintage model, Laura Norrey (we had seen her work on Facebook & knew she would be perfect for this shoot), our amazing friends Paisley Gamble (hairdresser based at Macleod Bradley) and Gemma Hallowell (Make Up Artist), Sian and her gorgeous floral creations at The Didsbury Flower Lounge and award winning photographer (and co-owner of LOVE Bridal Boutique) Jonny Draper and our team was ready! With a simple brief of creating six completely different looks in one single day!
The shoot was amazing. Since we had a small team on the day, communication was easy, everybody relaxed very quickly and we had a lot of fun.
Each look & set up worked perfectly & Neil and his team at The Bowdon Rooms could not have been more helpful. We were able to use literally anywhere we wanted and I think that is what ultimately gave us this great set of photographs.
How can brides find out more about the new Terry Fox collection at LOVE?
To find out more please contact Emma at LOVE either by phone on 0161 941 6446 or email email@example.com
LOVE Bridal Boutique will be exhibiting with Brides Up North at The Bowdon Rooms this very Sunday 3rd November. Do pop in and say hello, open 12pm till 4pm, completely free (because we are nice like that)!
Little Black Book
Photography – Jonny Draper Photography
Venue – The Bowdon Rooms, Cheshire
Model – Laura Norrey
Hair – Paisley Gamble at Macleod Bradley
Make-up – Gemma Hallowell
Flowers – Didsbury Flower Lounge
October 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Finishing up an exciting week here at Brides Up North HQ with another dose of beautiful, as we join Brides Up North reader Angela and her new husband Mark for their stunning Real Wedding in Knutsford. Angela offset her gorgeously girly palette with cool minks and an abundance of blooms for a celebration that looks as a fun as it was elegant.
With images by Jonny Draper Photography (a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, don’tcha know)!
Angela says: Mark surprised me and took me to Paris in February 2012. He didn’t do the traditional Eiffel Tower as he knew I wanted something a bit different so proposed as we were walking along the River Seine.
We were married on 30th August 2013 at All Saints Church, Cheadle Hulme and Mere Golf Club, Knutsford.
Mere Golf Club had just been refurbished when we were looking for venues and it was looked lovely and had the views we wanted. One of the other reasons was the neutral carpet, which a lot of other venues didn’t have!
We chose a colour palette of light pinks, mink and ivory.
My dress was from Sense and Sensibility and was my second dress as I had decided the first was not ‘The One’. I saw the second and knew it was right. It was a fitted dress with one shoulder, with a slightly Grecian feel to it.
My bouquet – by Red Floral Architecture – was a mass of avalanche roses, enhanced with occasional sweet avalanche, metallina, quicksand and amnesia roses. A diamante section was included within the bouquet in a small crescent shape to match the gown and the headpiece.
We choose to have Howard Wing to entertain the guests throughout the day and into the evening; he also performed our first dance. In the evening we had a photo booth, which was a big hit with the guests.
We wanted different table names rather than the usual number and it worked out nicely that we had seven tables for the seven years we have been together. Each table was Year 1, Year 2 etc. with a photo from that year.
My uncle made our cake for our wedding present, we asked for a plain ivory three tier cake and Red Floral decorated it with ivory flowers between each tier and one the top.
I loved the ceremony but my favourite part was during the meal when Howard entertained us all and when the guests really started to relax and enjoy themselves. The photos just show how much fun we were all having.
We knew that our honeymoon was once in a lifetime so we fulfilled our dream of going to Australia. We started with a stop off in Singapore and then travelled down the east coast of Australia and then stopped at Bangkok on our way home. It was the best four weeks we have ever had.
My top tip is that once the day is here there is no point worrying. You have done everything you possibly can, this is your day so relax and enjoy every minute of it – have fun!
Congratulations Angela & Mark!
October 3rd, 2013 | Julia Braime
After he’s up off one knee, you’ve bought your first bridal magazine, subscribed to a half dozen wedding blogs and thought about setting a date, what’s next? The dress? A honeymoon somewhere exotic? Or how about 200 hand knitted heart favours that your guests are sure to treasure forever?
Stop right there.
Every wedding will have a budget and whether large or small, it’s up to you to spend it wisely. After a venue, a pretty frock and something good to eat, I’d say that a quality photographer should be right at the top of your shopping list.
This wording comes from a feature I wrote for the Autumn/ Winter issue of Unveiled Magazine, but I thought that you lovely lot might benefit if I was to share it on these pretty pages too. Please do leave me a comment to let me know if you found it useful, or if you are a professional photographer reader (howdy!) I’d love to know what other advice you might offer our brides.
With images kindly provided by Jonny Draper Photography.
As a professional wedding blogger, I receive a lot of real wedding submissions and believe me, there is a big difference between a just-ok photographer and a really good one. A bad photographer? Let’s not even go there.
But why are good wedding photographs so important anyway? Aren’t your memories of the big day enough?
The reality is, wedding photographs are your memories. Crack open your album and your big day will all come flooding back. For better or for worse. If done right, they’re also memories that you can share – with future children, grandchildren, family and friends. You want your images to be as beautiful as the celebration itself.
So, that friend who’s just keen with a camera? Ask him to take some fun shots of the party instead and book the best professional that your budget will allow. You’ll be so glad that you did.
Now that’s clicked, where to start?
It’s simple: the best get booked, and fast. If there’s a photographer whose work you already know that you love, you want to be securing their services as soon as the date is saved. If you do miss out, then ask them to recommend a trusted industry colleague with a similar style.
Narrow Your Options
If you’ve no idea where to begin, wedding blogs like this one and personal recommendations are your best bet. Decide what look you like, then search out the photographers who deliver consistently within that style. Ask online and across social media platforms for reviews and honest commentary.
Do Your Homework
Once you think you’ve found your man (or woman), request to see a variety of examples of their work. Rather than a load of great photos from lots of different days, you should be looking for a few excellently captured complete weddings. It’s relatively easy to get one lucky shot, but a whole day’s worth takes real skill. While you are there, check out your options for aftercare and albums and that you like your photographer’s editing style and presentation choices.
Budget For The Best
It’s a big ballpark, and very dependant on location, coverage and experience, but a photographer at the top of their game usually costs between £1,000 and £2,500. When discussing prices, check what the total figure covers to avoid any nasty surprises. How long will the photographer be there on the day? Does the price include an album? What about digital images and who will own the copyright to the photographs? What sort of timescales does the photographer work to and how soon after the wedding will you see your proofs?
Practice Makes Perfect
I’d recommend an engagement shoot to everyone. Even if you’re already a pro in front of the camera, you can practice your make up, get to know your photographer better and check that you get on. If you’re a little more hesitant in front of a lens, a warm up shoot can really help to relieve pre wedding nerves and instil confidence.
Smile For The Birdie
Once the big day arrives, remember to relax. You’ve done your research and paid a fair price. Trust that your photographer will do a good job and let them get on with it. Strike a pose!
This is not a sponsored post
September 17th, 2013 | Julia Braime
If you regularly stop by these swirly silver pages, you’ll know that I spend a lot of time championing the brilliant Northern suppliers that I come across as I scour the regions for the very best wedding industry talent out there. Two such gems are the lovely Emma of LOVE Bridal Boutique and her husband Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography.
A nicer, more talented pair – who really do care about their customers – would be hard to find. That’s why, when I got the call to head North West and celebrate their first successful year in business with them I was on the phone to a babysitter faster than you can say “Where’s the bubbly?!”.
A lovely evening, celebrating a fabulous first year. Cheshire brides, I think we all know where you should be starting your dress hunt… Happy Birthday LOVE Bridal Boutique!
Emma and Jonny say: What a first year! We can’t believe how quickly it’s gone and we’re so pleased with the response we’ve had from all the brides who’ve visited LOVE Bridal Boutique, whether they’ve bought a dress or not. We set out to create an unrivalled wedding dress shopping experience and the feedback that we continue to get is that we’re delivering on all levels which makes us so proud.
We want every bride to feel special, to feel that she’s being given her own personal shopping experience and to feel that should she find the dress of her dreams with us, this experience will continue right up until and after her wedding day.
When we realised our first birthday was coming round a little quicker than we expected we only had one thought on our minds – PARTY! We wanted to spend some time with some of the people who have helped make our first year so successful – family, friends, wedding industry friends – everybody who has been there for us every step of the way. Which we realised included our brides too! So our initial idea of having a small gathering at the boutique, quickly developed into something a bit bigger! The new collections from our designers were starting to arrive into the boutique around the time of our birthday, so how about we include a catwalk show as well as drinks and celebrations?! We decided that if we were going to have a party, we might as well make it a proper one!
Our wonderful friends, the Higham family (owners of Cheshire’s most amazing bespoke wedding venue, Styal Lodge) threw open the doors of their beautiful venue which gave us a space appropriate to the number of people that were making it onto our ever growing guest list and also the room to have a catwalk show too. And that’s when the serious planning started.
Meetings with our lovely friends from Styal Lodge, Sian from Didsbury Flower Lounge, Emma & Jill from Special Days Events and Tansy, Scott and Victoria from Hipswing Entertainments ensued and we quickly developed an overall design and layout for the event with their help. Lighting, staging, decoration, flowers – everything we asked about was greeted with the same response – "Yes, of course we can do it"! And for that we are so grateful.
Award winning wedding entertainer (and very good friend) Howard Wing had said "yes" to compering the evening for us before we’d even finished asking him the question and he ensured the smooth running and wonderfully entertaining flow of the evening – thanks Howie!
Every party needs some food and it was an honour to have top London chef, Tomos Parry create some amazing canapés for us – they went down an absolute storm!
Our great friends at And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon produced the most beautiful dessert table that you’ve ever seen – which we didn’t ‘open’ until after the catwalk show. And as soon as we did, it looked like a plague of locusts had flown through the building! Not a crumb left!
Our catwalk show simply would not have happened without our #dreamteam. Ailsa Baker Dance – our choreographer extraordinaire opened the show and choreographed our amazing team of models, Sarah T, Sarah H, Izzy, Lizzie & Akvilé who were amazing as always. Our catwalk show was built on the foundations of an amazing team behind the scenes – Gemma Hallowell MUA and Paisley Gamble from Macleod Bradley hair salon created some amazing looks, perfect for our 20′s inspired show. And we also have to thank the unsung heroes, our friends and family dragged backstage to assist with the quick changes between scenes – my sister Lisa, Jonny’s sister Clare and our bestest friend, Betty.
As we went along with the planning we were starting to get the feeling that this was going to be a pretty special event – which would of course need documenting. Jonny shoots a lot of our events (he’s a wedding photographer!) but we knew he would be required ‘front of house’ so just wouldn’t have the time to shoot anything, so we asked some of his photographer friends if they would come along and shoot it for us – so a huge thank you to Danielle Boxall, Ayesha Rahman and James Jebson for all their hard work and the amazing images you see in this feature.
We also wanted to inject a bit of fun into the evening, so Matt Bowen brought along ‘Florence the Caravan’ – his very cool and very unique photo booth. It was a LOT of fun looking through the images of all our guests having a riotous time in there! Thanks Matt!
Overall, it was the most perfect celebration of a wonderful first year, it was lovely to see so many of our brides who are already married and our future brides there on the night and it was so lovely to be able to raise a glass to all the people who mean so much to us and have helped us out from minute one.
We have to say though, it was a real reminder as to just how much planning goes into a wedding (as the scale of this party and the number of suppliers that we were coordinating really felt like we were organising our own wedding all over again!) so it was great to have that reminder as to how much our brides have to do in the build up to their day.
We joked on the night with all the suppliers and wedding friends that helped us out that they needn’t worry – we won’t be having a party of this scale every single birthday… but the organising was quite addictive and the celebration itself was as much fun as our wedding day! So maybe we will do it all again next year..!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Danielle Boxall, Ayesha Rahman and James Jebson
LOVE Bridal Boutique is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier