Charlotte Balbier

look book: sheer sublime

May 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Symphony - Charlotte Balbier

Here at Brides Up North we love nothing more than the unveiling of new bridal collections that will determine brides’ big day looks. And every season now it seems designers are getting more daring with their creations, particularly when it comes to the sheer trend – see-through fabric panels that create the illusion of bare skin – as brides are encouraged to take a less is more approach to their attire.

We love this fresh take on bridal, giving ladies the opportunity to flaunt their figures whilst still technically keeping flesh under wraps. There’s no denying however that it takes one heck of a brave bride to go against the traditional demure grain – but what if you don’t want to be smothered in fabric, but you do still want to retain some style? If you’re after something clingier, slinkier, dare I say it sexier than a meringue, but don’t want to blow Uncle Dave’s pacemaker into oblivion?

Poem - Charlotte Balbier

Well, that makes sheer panels, barely-there lace and see-through chiffon your new best friends, and luckily for you, dresses with such detailing are the focus of today’s look book. From long-time fans of the look Berta Bridal to the stunning new Bohemian Blush collection from Brides Up North sponsor Charlotte Balbier (as featured recently on these pink pages), it seems everyone is getting in on the act. Though fierce, such designs featuring cleverly-positioned lace, illusion necklines and backs will still preserve your bridal modesty (and Dave’s pacemaker).

Berta Bridal are industry champions in creating dare-to-bare gowns, with style 17-113 and 17-130 from the F/W 2017 collection being seriously brave takes on the trend – all dangerously plunging necklines and sheer lace. Design 17-136’s sheer chiffon skirt puts legs at centre stage, whereas 17-144 is like the love-child of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Jennifer Lopez circa 2009 made into wedding dress form – sexy, sassy, righteous.

Klara - Charlotte Balbier

Charlotte Balbier’s newest offerings are typically soft, feminine and fairytale-esque, but still offer a glimpse of what lies beneath. Symphony from Bohemian Blush is to die for, with its slinky A-line cut, sheer bodice and appliqued lace. The prettily-named Poem features a plunging neckline but saves most of its sheerness for the bodice back, making the whole look arguably more realizable. There’s also Sonnett, with its delicate sheer detailing and peach and pistachio colour injection – definitely worth a lingering look.

Many a real wedding favourite, Maggie Sottero is also getting in on the flash of flesh action. Verina has a dramatic illusion lace v-back and sleeves, looking regal but not matronly. Blanche is a whole lot of daring with its double keyhole back and lace illusion sweetheart neckline and the Maren – well, just wow. More Swarovski than you can shake a stick at.

Sonnett - Charlotte Balbier

And then there’s the inimitable Elie Saab, offering up everything from sheer sublime to the slightly bonkers but beautiful. Check out that potentially pant-flashing lace number. Would you? Could you?

We say, she who dares… wins.

Main dress images by Charlotte Balbier

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tropical punch. maggie sottero for a destination wedding on the costa del sol – zalie & jack

May 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Destination Wedding In Spain (c) Peace Photography (24)

We’re predictable creatures here at Brides Up North. Usually when we’re sent a wedding featuring a Maggie Sottero creation, we can’t tear our eyes away from the bride. However, today’s groom almost – almost! – steals the limelight from his stunning lady in a tropical blue jacket and chino shorts combo.

Jack and Zalie were married on the Costa del Sol and their jaw-dropping pictures really have us aching for a summer holiday. They settled on a tropical blue theme and the azure sea, aqua skies and blue detailing really packs a photographic punch.

Add in some original photo styling – swings, brides in goal, grooms air punching – and you’ve got one of the most inspirational beach weddings we’ve seen in a long while.

Images by Peace Photography.

A Destination Wedding In Spain (c) Peace Photography (34)

zalie says: We got engaged at Jack’s family home in Spain on Christmas Day in 2014. It wasn’t a surprise for me; we‘d arranged and planned most of our wedding before anyone knew and surprised our families on Christmas Day when we told them.

Our wedding was organised for 29th May 2016. We chose the date as it was a bank holiday, falling in half term so that family and friends were likely to be able to attend. Also, being in May meant that the weather wasn’t too hot or too cold.

A Destination Wedding In Spain (c) Peace Photography (46)

We married in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol in Spain, and we had the ceremony and reception on the beachfront. We chose a destination wedding as my husband grew up in Spain and the place holds a lot of great memories for the two of us. Because we were getting married abroad, we used wedding planner Melissa Palmer of Bespoke Weddings Spain. I’d highly recommend her – she made life so simple from the day we met her until the day of the wedding.

A Destination Wedding In Spain (c) Peace Photography (35)

Our wedding theme was connected to gin; we had a gin-inspired table plan titled ‘Grab a seat and let’s be-gin.’ Each table was named after a different type of gin, and we placed a bottle in the centre of the table along with fruit and berries. Guests could then help themselves to the many different types flowing on different tables.

For colour, we went with a bright, tropical blue. It suited a beach theme!

A Destination Wedding In Spain (c) Peace Photography (45)

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress which I bought from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds. My mum chose it and it was the perfect dress.

Jack wore a tropical blue suit jacket, cream chino shorts, a white shirt and white leather Converse.Our groomsmen wore the same as Jack.

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a winter’s tale. maggie sottero for a contemporary wedding in derbyshire – danni & rich

April 18th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (36)

We’re easing you back into the four day week by featuring the beautiful big day of Danni and Rich, who tied the knot last November after more than six years together.

They exchanged vows in their parish church in Melbourne, Derbyshire, and then celebrated at one of their favourite local venues, Amalfi White – a stunning restaurant and cocktail bar complete with a contemporary ballroom.

We just love the couple’s special touches throughout the day, which included a nod to their love of books, and also lots of glorious sweet treats in the form of a dessert table.

Wih images from Ragdoll Photography

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (31)

danni says: Rich had a ring, ready to propose for a while, so when we booked a last-minute trip to Rome in June 2015, he decided to pop the question, which was incredible! We’ve been together for over six years (four-and-a-half when he proposed) so we’ve always talked about it, but it still took me by complete surprise. I’d always said please, please do not propose in front of anyone, so he tried a few times in various super romantic locations but every time he was about to get down on one knee (unbeknown to me) a crowd of people would come along. In the end, he proposed in our hotel room at the end of a perfect evening. I was in my pyjamas but immediately after saying yes got dressed and we went out for champagne.

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (32)

We got married on 25th November 2016, which has always been a special time of the year for us. Our first date was on 22nd November 2010 and Rich’s mum’s birthday, who sadly passed away ten years ago, would have been on 27th November. So, this date was a way to honour Rich’s ,um.

We tied the knot in Melbourne, Derbyshire, which is the village we live in. We got married at Melbourne Parish Church. Angela, the vicar, is amazing (she was extremely patient with me when I sobbed my way through our vows) and we were so glad that it was her who married us.

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (44)

Our reception was at The Ballroom at Amalfi White. It’s where we celebrated buying our first home and is literally our local as it’s along the road. We wanted a very relaxed day full of lovely food and drinks and our favourite people so it felt perfect to be somewhere we loved and where we would feel comfortable.

A Contemporary Winter Wedding in Derbyshire (c) Ragdoll Photography (35)

We didn’t have a particular theme. Overall, we just wanted it to be relaxed with great lighting so that it felt atmospheric and romantic. The combination of chandeliers on dimmers, light-up ‘love’ letters and candles as table centre pieces looked beautiful together.

We knew we wanted to entwine our love of books into the day and do this in a subtle way. Our table names were Minas Tirith, Hogwarts and The Shire (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter references) and we had quotes from F Scott Fitzgerald (our new surname is Fitzgerald) dotted around.

We’re also Christmas fanatics, so Amalfi White put the Christmas decorations up and we had some of our favourite Christmas songs on our playlist in the evening.

There was no particular colour scheme. I don’t like anything to be ‘matchy matchy’ so all of the bridesmaids wore different dresses in complementing shades and we kept decorations soft and neutral. We used burgundy ribbons in the flowers and burgundy ties and pocket squares to give a bit of depth and winter warmth to the neutral colour palette.

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industrial chic. maggie sottero for a relaxed wedding at the west mill – kate & matt

March 31st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

While we Brides Up North girls are big fans of timeless stately home settings, we can’t help falling head over heels for the stripped-back industrial style venues that are coming through strong on the current wedding scene.

Today’s celebration takes place at one such venue, a former cotton spinning mill that has been transformed into a stylish wedding venue, complete with exposed brick, wooden floors and pendant lighting. We love!

Bride and groom Kate and Matt, enhanced the venue further by paying homage to the area’s textile industry roots within their décor and colour scheme choices.

There’s lots of pretty to pore over, from Kate’s stunning beaded dress and Hollywood-worthy makeup, to the beautiful bouquets and suspended floral arrangement!

With images by Toast of Leeds and video by Brides Up North Sponsor Silver Sixpence Films.

Matthew and Kate from Silver Sixpence Films on Vimeo.

kate says: We got engaged in Alghero, Sardinia, in August 2015 and set the date for a year later, on Monday 15th August 2016.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

We chose to marry on this date as we really wanted our wedding at The West Mill in Derby and, due to its popularity, there were limited dates left and we didn’t want to miss out. Luckily, we both work in a school so a Monday wedding in the summer holidays was not a problem for us.

The venue was right up our street with its industrial chic design and its exclusive use for our big day. The setting is beautiful right on the river Derwrnt and only ten minutes from Derby.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

We went with a simple, cotton mill theme for the wedding in honour of the building and because we are both from Rochdale and Oldham, renowned for their part in the textile industry during the industrial revolution.

The colour scheme was made up of rustic tones, with white, cream and peach flowers and navy for the groomsmen’s suits.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

I chose to wear a vintage beaded dress by Maggie Sottero from Brides and Gowns, located in Derby city centre. I chose it for its simplicity and style, I wanted to maintain a classic look in keeping with the venue.

Matt wore a navy Venttuno suit with a cream waistcoat and champagne cravat from Moss Bros. The groomsmen wore the same as Matt but with champagne ties instead of cravats.

West Mill, Derby wedding by Toast Photography

On the day of the wedding myself, my mum and my bridesmaids travelled to the venue by limousine.

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forest of feelings. a glittering winter wedding at sandburn hall – jade & carl

March 15th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Winter Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography 34 (47)

Today on the blog, we’re being swept away by a captivating woodland themed wedding on the outskirts of York.

Newlyweds Jade and Carl decided on a winter’s wedding at the beautiful Sandburn Hall. The surrounding forest provided the most romantic of backdrops to their fabulous wedding photography, complemented by the venue’s rustic interior.

With pops of berry tones, log centre pieces, faux fur to keep the bridal party cosy and a pair of wellies for the blushing bride – this wedding really showcases the best of the British outdoors! Jade talks us through their special day.

With images by Photography 34

A Winter Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography 34 (31)

jade says: We got engaged on 3rd August 2013. We went for a picnic to Dalby Forest, a place we often go to. After our picnic, we went for a walk around the lake and Carl got down on one knee and proposed!

Our wedding date was set for 18th December 2015. We loved the idea of a winter wedding and Christmas seemed like the best time as there are many people are already celebrating. Plus, the thought of it being cold outside, with everyone warm and cosy inside, really appealed to us. It was also a guaranteed way not to be disappointed by the weather!

A Winter Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography 34 (60)

We got married at a beautiful church in our village called St Laurence’s. My mum and dad were married here and my grandpa was buried there, so it has special meaning for me. My husband, Carl, had grown up in the village most of his life too, so it was an obvious choice.

Following on from this we had our reception at Sandburn Hall near York. We chose this venue as we loved all the exposed oak beams and the huge windows. It gave it an outdoorsy feel even though we were inside. Without any decoration, the room looked beautiful and overlooked a forest and golf course.

A Winter Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography 34 (54)

We went with a woodland theme for our wedding based on our love of being outdoors.

We chose navy and berry colours as these felt wintery, especially the lovely berry colours which were incorporated into the flowers and men’s ties.

A Winter Wedding at Sandburn Hall (c) Photography 34 (50)

I wore a Maggie Sottero gown from The Wedding Room in Scarborough. The straps were embellished with Swarovski crystals all the way round the low scoop open back and under the bust. The dress was loose fitted, with a train and a down to the floor veil which framed the dress beautifully.

The groom wore a navy wool suit from Next. As for the bridesmaids, they wore navy floor length Adrianna Papell gowns with embellishment on the chest area. The best men wore the same navy suits as Carl. Meanwhile, my dad and brothers wore kilts which were berry coloured, as they are Scottish.

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rustic charm meets 1920s chic: a summer wedding at skipton castle – rachel & harry

February 6th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (44)

Today on the blog, we’re stepping back in time with Rachel and Harry as they tie the knot at the medieval Skipton Castle in Yorkshire.

After 10 years together – Rachel awoke from her slumber one day to find an engagement ring on her finger; the definition of a dream come true if ever we saw one!

Their wedding was just as dreamy, with wildflowers, pretty pastels, a classic Bentley and a gorgeous three-tiered cake, not to mention a subtle nod to all things art deco. Read on for all the exquisite details…

With images by Bethany Clarke

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (9)

rachel says: We had been together for 10 years before we got engaged and always joked that there was no point in Harry proposing as he knew I would say yes, so we may as well skip the engagement and just get married. In the early hours of 31st August 2015 Harry popped the most beautiful sapphire and diamond ring on my finger while I was asleep! Obviously, it was a wonderful surprise to wake up to, and Harry had spent hours nervously waiting for me to be in a deep enough sleep to put the ring on.

We got married on 23rd July 2016. We knew that we wanted a summer wedding and the venue we wanted only had a few weekends left and this date worked the best for us.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (20)

We tied the knot at Skipton Castle. We are both really interested in history and love visiting heritage sites and museums. We had visited Skipton Castle together a few times and always had a lot of fun there so it was really exciting to find out that they actually hold weddings there too! Of course, I wanted the whole fairytale princess in a castle vibe too! We had visited a few other venues but Skipton Castle just felt so special to us, everyone that works there is so lovely and genuinely wanted us to have the best day; they really put us at ease and made our wedding super special.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (39)

We wanted to have a really casual and fun wedding. It was quite small and intimate, we didn’t have a seating plan or anything like that, we just wanted everyone to mingle and have a great time.

I wouldn’t say we had a particular theme but due to our own personal styles there was a bit of a vintage feel to the day – my dress was 1920s inspired, we had a classic Bentley and wild flowers everywhere. It’s hard not to get swept up when you’re getting married in a medieval castle!

We didn’t have a colour scheme; everything was quite neutral. We had a range of different colours in our flowers and these were the only real colours on the day, at the castle and later at our reception venue too. We matched the car and the cake to the bridesmaid’s pale grey dress as it was important to us that everything looked quite minimal.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (32)

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress from Abigail’s Bridal Boutique. Looking through bridal magazines and blogs I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s designs and I discovered that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique is one of the few shops in Leeds that stock this brand. I tried on a handful of dresses but as soon as I put on ‘Ettia’ I knew that was the dress for me. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in a wedding dress and the lovely ladies at Abigail’s had to coax me out of it in the end as I didn’t want to take it off. I paired it with a cathedral length, Swarovski trimmed veil and an art deco headpiece – I felt like a princess.

Harry wore a gorgeous suit from The Kooples and my bridesmaid wore a pale grey dress from ASOS.

A Rustic Wedding at Skipton Castle (c) Bethany Clarke (28)

We hired a classic S-type Bentley from Classic and Vintage Travel in Harrogate. The car was incredible and the driver was so wonderfully friendly and surprised us with a bottle of Champagne after the ceremony. He drove us out to a lovely area of greenery in Skipton and we drank some Champagne and enjoyed a few minutes to ourselves before driving to the reception. It was such a special moment and we were so grateful to the driver for suggesting it.

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