Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

new designer alert: savannah miller collection arrives at LOVE bridal boutique

November 22nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

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Forever a fan of a fashion-forward bride, we just love the opportunity to bring our readers exciting news of the hottest bridal collections out there – which is why we’re thrilled to be revealing details of a new designer to land at one of our Sponsor boutiques.

Leave space on your must-visit boutique list ladies, as this one is a biggie that you won’t want to miss out on. The lovely Emma Draper of LOVE Bridal Boutique in Altrincham, Cheshire, is now the proud and exclusive northwest stockist of the latest Savannah Miller collection; Avalon’s Song.

British-American fashion designer, Savannah, well-known for her label Twenty8Twelve, created with sister, actress Sienna Miller, launched her second collection in May this year at The White Gallery, London, where Emma fell whole-heartedly for the stylish bohemian designs which she knew would massively appeal to LOVE’s fashion-conscious brides who crave something a little different from the norm.

Keen to find out more, we invite Emma to the blog to give us an overview of Avalon’s Song as well as details of the stunning dress designs from the collection that she has chosen to stock at her beautiful boutique.

Images Jonny Draper/ Savannah Miller

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emma says: The gowns in the Avalon’s Song collection are timeless, effortless and the ultimate in “boho-luxe” glamour but with a relaxed quality.

Drawing upon Savannah’s love of vintage styling and the wild English countryside, gowns are made in the UK in sumptuously rich and textured fabric, paired with simple, flattering lines. Detail is pulled from the bohemian style of the 1930’s and colours are soft and muted with hints of delicate embroidery, resulting in the perfect balance between romance and glamour.

Her stunning gowns are comfortable to wear, using clever design and split sizing, which is great when somebody has a larger bust and smaller hips or vice versa. Savannah has really thought about the female figure when designing her collection, perfect for brides who have comfort high on their list of priorities but without compromising style.

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The dress that the collection is named after! This stunning gown features a beautiful cowl neckline which continues at the back of the dress too. We love the ingenuity of the removeable piece of lace that demurely covers the lower back during the ceremony but can be removed to reveal an alluring look for evening. It also, very cleverly, has a built-in bra so that it provides support when the back is out.

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forget black friday, its a white sunday: LOVE bridal boutique sample sale!

November 17th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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Is there anything more perfect than bagging your dream dress at a fabulously discounted price? We think not!! And so we’re delighted to be brining you news of an exclusive autumn sample sale set to take place at Brides Up North Sponsor, LOVE Bridal Boutique in Altrincham, Cheshire, later this month.

Owner Emma Draper and her team will be hosting the event on Sunday 26th November 2017, that will see a selection of the gorgeous boutique’s designer gowns available at unbelievable prices – we’re talking dresses from as little as £200 ladies, meaning you’ll be able to afford those dream designer heels after all!

But this is a one-day, appointment-only event, so you’ve got to be quick off the mark to secure yourself an appointment, which could result in you being the proud owner of one of the stunning gowns featured in this post!

So, prepare to take note, as the lovely Emma is here with the all-important deets!

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emma says: The sample sale will take place between 9.30am and 5pm on Sunday 26th November, with 45-minute appointments available.

The event will be an exciting opportunity to get your hands on the last few dresses I have from previous collections (including 2017 styles) to make way in the boutique for brand new arrivals.

There will be gorgeous gowns from Stewart Parvin, Sarah Seven, Raimon Bundo, Alan Hannah, Enzoani, Terry Fox and Heritage Bridal – at prices starting from just £200!

Because we only have one of each of these samples available to buy, we are selling these beautiful gowns at a reduced price and, for those brides who have done their research, we can promise these are deals you won’t want to miss.

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Sample sales are ideal for brides who yearn for a designer dress, but whose budget won’t quite stretch, for brides with less than six-months to go before their big day (so no time to order new) or for brides who know exactly what style and fit of dress suits them.

All the dresses on display are for sale ‘off the peg,’ available to take home with you on the day, and must be paid for in full, so we encourage bringing someone with you who is both honest and decisive!

The gowns included in this event generally range from a bridal size 10 to a size 12, but most can be taken in by up a couple of dress sizes too.

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Don’t miss your chance to snap up your dream gown at a phenomenally lower price – when they’re gone, they’re gone!

To secure an appointment, email hello@lovebridalboutique.co.uk, or call 0161 941 6446, but be quick! First come, first served!

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girls only: the wedding edit.

October 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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As bloggers, we’re the first to rave about how useful the internet is in sourcing wedding suppliers and gaining glorious big day ideas. However, we also value the importance of meeting suppliers face to face, hence our epic season of Brides Up North wedding fairs held at some of the finest venues across the North (if you haven’t already, be sure to check out our upcoming events here.)

While we’ll be taking a one-weekend break from the wedding fair scene on Sunday 29th October, we have details of a massively swoon-worthy event staged by our fabulous Sponsor, LOVE Bridal Boutique, at gorgeous Cheshire wedding venue, Styal Lodge – well we wouldn’t leave your diaries with a gap in now, would we?!

Now in its fourth year, The Wedding Edit is a strictly girls-only event, that unveils LOVE’s latest dress collections providing heaps of heavenly styling inspiration. Furthermore, a hand-picked selection of North West suppliers will be in attendance to showcase their talents, and we hear there are some tasty culinary treats in store too!

Here to give us the full low-down on the event, including details on how to get your hands on tickets (which are free!), is owner of LOVE Bridal Boutique, our mate, Emma Draper…

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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When is the event taking place and what will it include?

emma says: The Wedding Edit will take place from 12 noon until around 3pm on Sunday 29th October. The main event will be the catwalk show where we are proudly showcasing the latest collections from Sarah Seven, Sassi Holford, Enzoani, and our new collection from Savannah Miller will make its debut.

Brides and their guests will be welcomed with drinks and throughout the course of the event will have the opportunity to chat about all things wedding with some of the very best wedding suppliers in the North West, who will be there to offer their advice, guidance and inspiration.

What suppliers will be involved in the day?

We, LOVE Bridal Boutique will be hosting the event at Styal Lodge and will be joined by Jonny Draper Photography; The Flower Lounge and The Soiree Stylists, who will dressing the event; The Switch Entertainment, featuring Ellie Sax, Laserboy Wonder and Sash Sings; Flossy and Leigh, who will be styling our models and will be on hand to talk bridal hair and makeup; Pink Pepper, who will be providing stunning edible treats – and we will have a little surprise for our guests too! Other suppliers include Cakes by Yolk, Whitfield and Ward, Adam Wing Films, Lucy Wright Events, The Word is Love, Hipswing and Eleventh Heaven by Ann McAvney, plus shoes from Harriet Wilde and Charlotte Mills will feature on the catwalk.

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What can brides-to-be planning their wedding get out of the event?

Strictly a girls-only event, brides-to-be and their guest will have the opportunity to see all of the brand-new collections that have only just arrived in store.

They will be able to take inspiration on how dresses can be styled, looking at accessories, hair and makeup as well as get a real sense of how the dresses move and fit, off the hanger.

My team and I will be on hand to chat about the dresses and the process/timescales involved in buying a wedding dress as well as the opportunity to book an exclusive appointment.

Will there be any special treats in store?

Cocktails on tap, goody bags for our brides, treats to sample, heaps of inspiration and plenty of selfie opportunities – a definite Instagrammable event!

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What are you looking forward to most about the event?

Seeing the look on our guests faces when we unveil our new collections! Now in its fourth year, we still can’t get enough of the vibe and eager anticipation as everyone takes their seats for the catwalk show.

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How do brides register for the event?

Email hello@lovebridalboutique.co.uk to reserve a space on our guest list. Limited number of places available so be quick!

For more brides can also visit our website or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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diary date: sarah seven designer event at love bridal boutique

August 17th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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Gals, it’s time to get those diaries out once again, as this afternoon we’re bringing you details of a very exciting and exclusive event set to be hosted by our wonderful Sponsor Emma Draper, owner of LOVE Bridal Boutique.

On Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd September, Emma will welcome top bridal designer Sarah Seven to her Altrincham boutique for a special designer day event. This will be a rare opportunity for brides to meet the creator of the stylish gowns, enjoy a personal styling session with both Emma and Sarah, and pick from an extended selection of Sarah Seven dresses. Oh, and those purchasing will get an incredible 10% discount too.

Sounds amazing, right?! To ensure you’ve got all the lowdown ahead of this fabulous event we’ve invited Emma to fill us in on all the details, including how to bag yourself one of the limited appointment slots…

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Can you tell us what brides-to-be can expect from the Sarah Seven event?

emma says: Sarah Seven will be bringing her full ‘The Romantics Collection Part II’, so you can snag your favourite dress long before it “officially” hits retailers. This will be the epitome of the LOVE experience. Brides will enjoy an hour-long personal appointment with myself, and Sarah Seven herself will be on hand to help style and advise brides on the perfect dress and fit. There will be a fab 10% discount on all purchases on the day too!

And what are the benefits to attending this exclusive event?

This is Sarah Seven’s only stop in England on her Trunk Show tour of America and Europe this year. Most of the gowns from her new The Romantics Part II collection will only be available during Sarah’s two-day visit, so this is a rare opportunity to find the dress. Brides will not only get an exclusive look at this new collection but also meet and be styled by Sarah Seven herself!

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How many appointments will be available over the two days?

Each appointment will last an hour and there is a limited amount of appointments available over the two days, so those wanting to attend should get in touch ASAP.

Tell us a little about Sarah Seven’s designs…

Sarah Seven’s designs are unashamedly feminine and whimsical; awash with masses of soft tulle, sequins, lace and plunging necklines. Her designs have a young aesthetic, but take inspiration from eras gone by, making her collections appeal to a broad range of brides.

Starting at around £1,800, these gowns are beautifully embellished and heavy on detailing and texture, all whilst retaining simple, clean cut lines and elegance.

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Any particular favourites or stand out pieces within her collections for you personally?

The Milo gown has already stolen the hearts of so many brides on Sarah’s Instagram feed with its heavy lace detail, plunging neckline and dramatic cape-like sleeves. It just screams wow! What’s not to love?!

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What sizes are Sarah Seven’s designs available in?

Dresses can be ordered from UK size 4 to 18, with plus sizes available too.

And what is the price range of the dresses?

Prices start from around £1,800 up to around £4,000 with the majority sitting around £2,000 to £2,500.

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the best intentions: amateur vs pro wedding photography

April 20th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Best Intentions (c) Jonny Draper (7)

Here at Brides Up North HQ, we’re huge advocates of choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you and your big day. But in order to get perfect results, it’s not just about picking your favourite style of photography, but also someone who has the professional experience, skills and equipment to capture your day without fault. After all, you only get one shot.

As the cost of a wedding can easily stack up, we appreciate the temptation to take up a ‘mates rate’ offer from your relative or friend that has a flashy camera, but an ‘all the gear and no idea’ approach is a sure recipe for disappointment.

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In a bid to demonstrate the difference between images taken by a professional versus a have-a-go snapper with a DSLR camera, our Sponsor and award-winning photographer Jonny Draper, teamed up with some of the team at Lancashire wedding venue Ashfield House, and a number of other North West suppliers, to showcase how the results of each vary.

Lighting, focus and composition are just a few of the issues to look out for, but it’s certainly easy to spot the difference between the pro and amateur pics.

Here to explain more about the concept and results of the comparison shoot is Ashfield House co-owner and wedding coordinator, Katie Street.

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katie says: With the average UK wedding costing £26,989* it’s no surprise that couples are faced with tough cost-saving decisions when their budgets creep up and up. It’s heartbreaking however, to hear from couples who are disappointed with their photographs after the wedding because they chose the slash their photography budget. That friend with a decent DSLR camera may have the best of intentions but will the results be good enough?

With the help of our friend and award-winning wedding photographer Jonny Draper, we decided to conduct our own side-by-side, like-for-like wedding photography experiment.

Jonny, armed with his high-end equipment and years of experience was pitched against Karen, our assistant general manager, complete with her ‘decent’ DSLR camera, and our makeup artist Kerry Baker was on hand to snap away with her camera phone too.

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Your friends and family, or the hobbyist, will have incredible intentions yet, if they haven’t got the equipment or the technical expertise and continued learning, then there really is no comparison. Most of the work in photographing a wedding is before and after, hours of painstaking editing, which our average enthusiast doesn’t have the ability to get right.

Years ago, taking the actual photographs was the easy part. The processing in the dark room and time spent with chemicals could go on for days. Photography was reserved for those elite professionals who had invested in their cameras, lenses, lights and film, plus the need for a dedicated dark room. It was big business! Every high street had a celebrated photography studio and you needed to book weeks in advance to arrange your sitting for family portraits, and months in advance to secure your wedding day photography.

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This day and age, you can teach yourself the necessary skills from the comfort of your own laptop, and, if you have the money, invest in the world’s best kit. But – as these images show – that doesn’t replace the skill, expertise and experience of a dedicated wedding photographer.

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real wedding recap: stewart parvin for a luxurious winter wedding at colshaw hall – luisa & peter

January 3rd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 9th January 2017 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings from 2016. 

Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.

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Luisa and Peter pulled off the impressive feat of a winter wedding without a can of snow spray or a gilded pine cone in sight. Instead, their big day at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, was led by an organic woodland theme, full of warm earthy tones and plenty of grown-up black-tie glamour.

The food and the playlist were particular focal points for this Manchester music-loving pair, and the following day saw the festivities extended with an aprés-ski extravaganza. So get comfortable, perhaps with a glass of Malbec or a mulled wine – go on, Luisa would definitely approve!

With images by Jonny Draper Photography

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luisa says: Peter and I got engaged in Barbados. One night we went down for dinner and, instead of heading for our usual table in the restaurant, we were led down a path lined with candles that took us to a private beach and a table for two. When we sat down and opened the menus, I saw all of my favourite foods and champagne. Then a steel band appeared playing Elvis Presley’s I Cant Help Falling In Love With You. When I looked around, Peter was down on one knee; it was a truly magical moment. He made a beautiful speech and, of course, I said yes. We spent the rest of the week celebrating and relaxing; it was just so perfect!

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We chose to get married on 19th December 2015 because it was the closest Saturday to the Winter Solstice – a date important to me and my mum. We wanted a winter wedding as we felt that there were lots more options to explore in terms of the decorations and the vibe that we could create.

For the venue, we chose Colshaw Hall in Cheshire. We wanted to make sure that the event was totally private and this was the huge bonus of Colshaw: the venue and all of its grounds are hired exclusively so we wouldn’t be sharing our special day with anyone else. Secondly, as Peter’s family are based in Suffolk, we wanted to make sure that there was accommodation onsite to ensure that the wedding weekend was as easy as possible for those travelling. Having looked at quite a few venues in the area, Colshaw’s accommodation was, we felt, the most beautiful. Each room has its own stunning theme and beautiful view over the grounds. Colshaw’s Peel Suite also offered a beautiful blank canvas; no wedding looks the same there. We had hired the main house for the drinks and canapés straight after the service and this offered a unique, cosy, Christmas drinks party atmosphere.

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Theme-wise, we wanted to create a natural and organic winter forest. Peter and I love walking our dog Digby up on the Edge and we wanted to recreate that same earthy, woodland environment. I wanted my wedding to be just that little bit ‘out there’, and having the trees as the centrepiece certainly achieved that goal. As our wedding was the weekend before Christmas, I think people expected us to go down the more conventional festive route and it was truly lovely seeing their reactions to the chapel and the main room. We’d focused on lots of earthy tones, such as dark greens and ambers, making sure that everything was lit by candles to create warmth.

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I had chosen quite a traditional and simple gown designed by Stewart Parvin with the lace detail as a nod to my Italian heritage. My dress was bought and styled by the incredible ladies at LOVE Bridal in Cheshire. They helped accessorise my gown with a Stewart Parvin veil, lace jacket and honey-toned belt which contemporised it perfectly. My shoes were Hangisis by Manolo Blahnik; I just loved their quirkiness. In the evening, I removed the lace jacket and added a thin sparkly belt to liven it up for the dancing. I visited several bridal stores and LOVE Bridal’s service surpassed all the London boutiques. From the beautiful little cakes they serve to the ‘grand reveal’, the wonderful Emma and Clare have it covered.

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