Charlotte Balbier

country class. justin alexander for a traditional wedding at the devonshire arms – gwen & rob

July 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Classic Wedding at The Devonshire Arms (c) Mark Newton Photography (48)

Push those Monday blues aside and lose yourself in this classic country wedding.

After a traditional church ceremony, today’s bride and groom Gwen and Rob enjoyed a relaxed yet fun reception at The Devonshire Arms Hotel, complete with fabulous musical entertainment.

Highlights for us include Gwen’s gorgeous gown, the perfectly iced cake and that fine wedding transport!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Mark Newton Photography.

A Classic Wedding at The Devonshire Arms (c) Mark Newton Photography (26)

gwen says: We got engaged in September 2014. Rob took me on an evening walk where we went on our first date – Barden Bridge near Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales.

We set the date for 23rd May 2015. The venue we wanted was free on a Bank Holiday weekend at a few months’ notice and we wanted a late spring/summer date – it seemed too good to be true!

A Classic Wedding at The Devonshire Arms (c) Mark Newton Photography (22)

We had the wedding ceremony at The Priory Church of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert at Bolton Abbey. The reception was held at the Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, in North Yorkshire. We had stayed there previously. We loved the country hotel vibe and always had brilliant service. The close proximity of the hotel to the abbey meant that if the weather was good then guests could walk along the River Wharfe to the hotel.

We didn’t have a theme as such but I’d describe it as a traditional country Yorkshire wedding with a champagne, pink and aubergine colour scheme.

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vintage pinks. art couture for an elegant wedding at ashfield house – liz & nick

July 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (83)

Time to district you from those Monday blues with this gorgeous North West wedding.

Keen to make her day an elegant affair, bride Liz chose a timeless colour scheme of vintage pinks to complement the venue, which was decorated with beautiful and natural blooms.

In particular we love Liz’s luxurious satin A-line dress, as well as her bridesmaid and flower girl dresses too – they all look stunning!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (46)

liz says: Nick proposed during a party that he and my family had organised as a surprise for my 30th birthday. During the night Nick surprised me again with a trip to Iceland (somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit), before asking if I would be his wife in front of everyone – not like him at all!

We set the date for 24th March 2016, which led into the Easter weekend and would give us about a year to plan.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (54)

Ashfield House in Standish, Wigan, was our chosen setting. It was the venue of the first wedding fair I went to with my mum and sister. I loved it and nothing compared after that. I took Nick and we decided it was the place for us.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted everything to be elegant and the venue style helped with this. We then chose a complementary colour scheme of vintage pinks which the flowers and other accessories were styled from.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (91)

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (114)

I chose a champagne, satin, A-line dress by Art Couture, which I bought from Bride in Childwall. I didn’t think I would go for a half/half style dress but after trying this on I fell in love.

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lemons & limes. charlotte balbier for a tuscan themed wedding at owen house – charlie & patrick

July 6th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Tuscan Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (53)

Unfortunately it’s not often that we get to meet the brides that we feature on the blog, but today’s leading lady is an exception.

We met gorgeous bride Charlie at the launch of Amanda Wyatt’s 2017 dress collection earlier this year and totally fell in love with the sound of her rustic Tuscan wedding when she told us the details. Better still, her chosen gown was by Brides Up North sponsor and friend, the fabulous Charlotte Balbier, and so we knew Charlie would look absolutely stunning on her big day.

And we weren’t wrong – serious #bridegoals, right ladies? We adore Charlie’s stunning Everley gown and her pretty forehead band accessory. The styling of the venue was also exceptionally well executed, so top marks to Charlie!

Any North West brides-to-be might also be interested to learn that Charlie has just set up her own personal training company, so if you’re looking to tone up a little for the big day be sure to look up TaylorFit.

Now, on with the pretty…

With images by Suzy Wimbourne Photography.

A Tuscan Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (26)

charlie says: We got engaged The Drunken Duck pub in Ambleside in the Lake District. Patrick contacted my boss and booked the Friday off work for me, then surprised me with a spa day, followed by an intimate dinner at the pub where he proposed in front of everyone (which I didn’t expect as he usually doesn’t do PDAs!)

We set the date for Friday 6th May 2016.We wanted a spring wedding and a wise man once told us the first weekend in May is always good weather! Also, marrying on the Friday meant we would be able to set up at the venue the day before the wedding.

A Tuscan Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (24)

Our chosen venue was Owen House Wedding Barn in Mobberley, Cheshire. We immediately fell in love with the relaxed, rustic, cool vibe of the place. The space is very versatile, we loved the fact we could have our civil service in the cute ceremony room and then hold the reception straight after without having to transport the guests anywhere. There is also a lovely garden where we were lucky enough to have our drinks reception as the weather was sunny – not to mention the house prosecco truck!

A Tuscan Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (50)

Our theme was Tuscany. We toyed with the idea of getting married in Tuscany as we have been on holiday there and loved it, but in the end we felt it was too much to ask our guests to finance the trip abroad. So we brought Tuscany to Mobberley! There were lemon and lime centre pieces, fresh rosemary and basil displays and a map of Tuscany as the table plan. Olive trees flanked the entrance and later acted as a room divide.

A Tuscan Wedding at Owen House Barn (c) Suzy Wimbourne Photography (70)

We selected a colour scheme of neutral creams and golds. Patrick wanted to wear a tweed suit and so the groomsmen had beige chinos and light brown tweed waistcoats with a gold silk back and the bridesmaids/flower girls were in cream and gold, wearing dresses from Coast and Monsoon. These colours complemented the touch of limes/lemons in the Tuscan decor and also the rustic venue of the wedding barn.

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real wedding recap: a pink & gold wedding at lartington hall – florence & stephen

July 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime

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 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. 

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.

An Opulent Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Nicola Helen Photography (28)

Before we start today’s post we must warn that it may cause serve weakness of the knees.

Florence and Stephen’s wedding takes place at what we believe is one of the most stunning wedding venues in the North, not only that, but it was held during one of our favourite months of the year, and it features our top hues of pale pink and elegant gold.

As a real family occasion with the bride and groom’s children fully involved, this is a wedding day that really is beautiful through and through.

We could seriously swoon over this one all day, but instead of rabbiting on we’ll let you see the pretty for yourselves – just make sure you’re sitting down first!

With images by Nicola Helen Photography.

An Opulent Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Nicola Helen Photography (26)

florence says: We got engaged in 2012 at Matfen Hall Hotel in Northumberland. We had been together a few years and I was expecting our son, Hugo. I was quite pregnant by this point and feeling tired. Stephen surprised me with a night away so we headed to Matfen and just spent the afternoon relaxing. He had booked the most expensive room in the hotel and I still had no idea. Just before we headed down to supper, he proposed in the window, overlooking the beautiful grounds. It was all quite relaxed. We ate in the Library Dining Room quite quietly excited to know we were finally going to get married!

Our wedding was on 31st October 2015, yes, Halloween! It most certainly was not a themed wedding, though there was a nod to the day with pumpkins scattered here and there. October is my favourite month and it was the last Saturday the venue had available – so we just went with it and now quite enjoy the looks on people’s faces when we tell them the date.

An Opulent Wedding at Lartington Hall (c) Nicola Helen Photography (27)

We initially wanted a venue that was very quiet and intimate, our local village hall perhaps. But we had fallen in love with a property in Lartington and knowing that we would be spending the rest of our lives there, we thought it would be wonderful to be able to tell the children that we were married locally.

Once we viewed Lartington Hall in Teesdale, we knew it was something special. My family are from Barnard Castle and my parents had stories about the Hall from years gone by. It just felt right. Once the hall was booked, things grew from there.

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rosemary & lace. a bespoke dress for a timeless wedding at broughton hall – diana & andy

May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Timeless Wedding at Broughton Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (46)

Happy Fri-yay to one and all! To get your weekend off to a truly stunning start, we’re sharing the beautifully elegant wedding day of Yorkshire girl Diana and her beau Andy.

After falling in love with the grandeur and charm of Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire, today’s bride and groom planned their relaxed and timeless wedding in just five-and-a-half months (impressive, right?).

Leaving the venue to do the talking, Diana concentrated on selecting simple floral decorations with memorable scents, including romantic rosemary and lavender. And to make herself stand out – a bespoke lace gown and Chanel shoes. Girl, we salute you!

With images by Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.

A Timeless Wedding at Broughton Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (5)

A Timeless Wedding at Broughton Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (20)

diana says: We got engaged on 31st October 2014. Andy surprised me with a trip to Tuscany, Italy for a long weekend. We drove south to Grosetto, an area we had been to and loved before. Andy planned to go to our favourite beach for a picnic lunch before checking into our hotel.

It was quiet, with a few Italians sunbathing in their speedos! Andy got tomato juice over his hands so walked the few paces to the sea to wash his hands. Looking up, I found him flailing his arms around holding a now wet iPhone looking for something. I went to him and was told to help him look for something, something he had just dropped out of his top pocket. I immediately started sifting through sand in the shallows, asking him what exactly I was looking for. “A ring, he said. A special ring!” We looked for a long time not saying much, until I realised it was fruitless and we were both in soaking wet clothes. We went back to our patch of beach and I guess I was in shock as I had my hands over my eyes. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, not knowing if that was a proposal or not. Until I turned to find Andy down on one knee asking me to be his wife, holding a box with a diamond in it. I didn’t hesitate with my answer. It was magical. Thinking he had made the whole previous couple of hours up and wondering how I never knew he was such a good actor. It turned out he had bought a proposal ring by one of my favourite designers, Poppy Dandiya, which he had dropped in the sea, which we continued to look for and never found. But thankfully he didn’t lose the diamond and we designed my ring together back in London after spending the most wonderful few days in Tuscany.

We set the date for 13th August 2015. We wanted to get married straight away and once we had decided on our venue, it was the only date left that year, so we went with it!

A Timeless Wedding at Broughton Hall (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (59)

Our wedding ceremony was at All Saints Church Broughton with Elslack, which was followed by a wedding breakfast at Broughton Hall, Skipton, North Yorkshire. The evening reception was then held at Utopia on The Broughton Hall Estate.

It was the first venue we looked at and we fell in love with it. At first it wasn’t possible as there were no dates available. We returned to look at venues in Italy, but as a Yorkshire girl I really wanted to get married at Broughton Hall. Luckily a date came available and we were very happy it did. It was our perfect venue. We were able to be on the estate for five days and the owners and staff made it feel like it was our home for the week.

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the big debate: high street vs designer

April 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Asos 3

Every couple is different when it comes to planning their wedding and every bride is different when it comes to picking their dress. There is no rule book to follow on how much the overall budget for the wedding should be, or how it is to be split between the different elements of the day. And while for some, the venue and food will be top of the list, for others it’s the honeymoon, entertainment or attire that gets the majority of the cash.

In terms of the bride’s spend on her dress it may be the case that she’s been saving on the side of the main budget to buy her dream dress, or that this is something her parents have said that they would like to contribute to. Whatever the case, the dress ‘allowance’ generally comes down to the bride’s mind-set: ‘you only do it once – spend on an amazing designer gown’ or ‘it’s only one day – save with a high street dress’.

So today on the blog we’re debating if ladies should be booking appointments at bridal boutiques filled with fabulous designer gowns once that ring is firmly on her finger, or if it’s worth giving the high street options a go for a pretty gown at the fraction of the price?

(All gowns pictured in post body by ASOS. This is not a sponsored post, we just think they are pretty!)

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rachel says: high street happy

Once upon a time I would never have suggested a bride look to the high street to find her wedding gown but now I would say it’s certainly worth considering.

We’ve seen the likes of BHS, Monsoon and Phase Eight releasing wedding dress collections (and making a good job of it too) and now more stores are jumping on the bridal bandwagon by launching their own big day collections – most recently fashion giants ASOS and H&M.

This means there is now more choice than ever for brides-to-be when it comes to selecting a gown at the lower end of the price scale, with high street designs starting from as little as £100 – leaving lots more in the spending pot for the shoes and accessories!

And just like the designers, the high street are taking notice of brides’ desire for individuality and so you won’t just find a one-style-suits-all approach within the collections. Instead there are options for the boho bride, the fashionista, the style statement maker and fans of vintage. Just this week Self-Portrait has launched its first bridal collection within selected Selfridge’s stores (and it includes some real beauties – some of which are shown in our Gallery below). With modern and rock n roll influences, the brand has created “a contemporary capsule of affordable, timeless wedding dresses for the ‘untraditional bride’”. Sounds good to me!

I’m also bowled over by Needle & Thread’s swoon-worthy bridal collection with dreamy designs varying from slinky floor-length gowns, to modern separates and mini dresses, not to mention ridiculously pretty tulle, almost ballerina, style creations.

One of the main reservations of buying bridal from the high street can be the thought of missing out on the boutique experience – and while having specialist on hand to help you pick a dream dress is a hugely valuable service – there’s nothing to stop you creating your own special shopping experience at home or on the high street. Either make a day out of it with your leading ladies, factoring in time for a lush lunch and a champagne stop (or two) on the agenda. Or, order online and invite your nearest and dearest to help you pick over an evening of fizz, canapes and cupcakes (surely that’s an ideal job to delegate to your bridesmaids). Who knows, you might even be able to afford to keep more than just the one dress!

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julia says: undoubtedly designer

We’ve featured all sorts of amazing frocks on these pretty pages, from vintage finds to high street bargains to couture masterpieces and the one thing that they had in common was that the bride felt like a million dollars in them and they all looked bloody beautiful.

I also think it’s wonderful that there is now a range of fashion forward options at varying price points for today’s bride and would never judge a friend for choosing a more affordable option, but would I pick up my wedding dress during a high street haul?  Not a chance!

I’ve been lucky enough to sit on the front row of some of the world’s most prestigious bridal events and work alongside some of the most talented designers in the business.  What makes these labels successful is the unbelievable attention to detail that they pay to every gown, every sequin and every client.

What makes these dresses worth saving for and spending on is the whole ‘dream dress’ experience.  It’s in the exciting trips to the boutique or atelier with your loved ones; the anticipation (and pop of Champagne) at every fitting; the rustle of tulle in a big, starched box; the million hand sewn pearl buttons; the bespoke accessories and additions and the perfectly steamed silk chiffon.

Not only that, it’s the exquisite fabrics, perfect cuts and delicate boning that nip, tuck, lift and skim in all the right places. These gowns really will make you look the best you ever have, and I think that’s worth paying for.

On your wedding day you want to feel special, beautiful, unique and individual, not just one of thousands of off the rail identikit Saturday shoppers.  Your wedding day fashion can be flash, but it should never be fast!

I love some of the most recent designs hitting the high street and featured here today, but I still wouldn’t give up the couture experience over bagging a stylish bargain.

To be honest, I’ve never seen a clearer cut need for a two dress wedding day… some of these numbers would look amazing on the dance floor!  Pass the credit card.

Asos

what you said on social…

Elizabeth says: “I’ve dreamt of getting married since being a little girl and so have saved up for my dream dress. Going to the boutiques was an amazing and unforgettable experience so for me it would have to be designer every time!”

Jemma says: “We’re doing our wedding on a £4,000 budget (excluding the honeymoon) and so I’ve decided to buy from the high street. I’ve fallen in love with a lace Monsoon gown with scallop detail which is just under £300. I think it could be ‘the one’.”

Fay says: “I’ve already picked a designer gown and enjoyed every minute of the shopping experience. However it’s quite a voluminous dress and after recently seeing a real wedding on a blog where a bride chose a slim-line high street gown to change into for the evening do, I’m tempted to do the same.”

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