Charlotte Balbier

ruffled. vera wang for an exquisite wedding at rudding park – amanda & steve

March 14th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (47)

After popping the question across the pond in sunny LA, Steve and his bride-to-be Amanda tied the knot at luxury Harrogate-based hotel, Rudding Park, in October 2016.

Wearing the most sublime Vera Wang gown, Amanda was the picture-perfect bride, with her gorgeous bridesmaids by her side in sophisticated grey maxi dresses.

We love it when a couple decide to get hands on and creative, and Amanda and Steve didn’t disappoint; making some of the key decorations and props for their special day, with the mother of the groom baking a stunning cake to match.

Truly elegant and understated – we think you’ll be just as smitten as us when you see all the precious highlights.

With images by Bethany Clarke.

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (19)

amanda says: We got engaged when we were on holiday in the US. We had gone to New York for a few days, then flew to LA, where we then travelled over to Orange County to stay with some friends for a week. We then went from there to LA for a few days, which is where Steve proposed!

We were at the hotel waiting for our friends to join us and I had just woken up from an afternoon nap, when Steve got down on one knee! We then rang my mum to tell her the good news and she didn’t believe us! (We had been together for over eight years at this point, so I think she thought it was never going to happen!)

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (38)

Our wedding date was 29th October 2016. We chose this date as – to be honest – we knew it would be cheaper than getting married in the summer and we both love autumn and the colours associated with it. There are also no expectations with the weather!

We got married at Rudding Park, Harrogate. We chose this venue as not only was it stunning with amazing food, but it was also reasonably priced and a good location for family and friends to easily travel to. We would highly recommend Rudding Park, they really helped make our day amazing and everything ran smoothly. The staff were all so lovely.

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (35)

The colour theme for our big day was ivories and greens.

I wore an ivory strapless trumpet/mermaid gown by Vera Wang. I was really lucky as I managed to find one in my size on Still White, so I got it much cheaper than what it originally cost! I love Vera Wang’s designs and just loved the bottom of the dress – there were so many layers! I bought my shoes from Office and for the night do I changed into a Needle and Thread dress.

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (56)

My bridesmaids wore grey multi-way maxi dresses. I chose these as all my bridesmaids loved them and felt comfortable as they could wear them slightly differently.

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boho bliss. a fun-filled wedding at park house barn, cumbria – charlotte & anthony

January 30th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Beautiful Barn Wedding in Cumbria (c) Jessic Grace Photography (31)

Today on the blog, we have our umbrellas at the ready, as we meet a couple who show us how to make the most of a rainy wedding day in Cumbria.

Park House Barn provided the rustic backdrop to Charlotte and Anthony’s laid-back boho wedding, complete with a BBQ, woodfired pizza van, ceilidh, games and an actual cheese cake for a wedding cake.

With images by Jessica Grace Photography

A Beautiful Barn Wedding in Cumbria (c) Jessic Grace Photography (23)

charlotte says: We got engaged whilst on a road trip in south west USA. We were camping in the desert in Utah – Anthony had been planning a romantic proposal by the campfire on a starlit night, but on the night he’d planned, a storm hit. He decided to go on ahead and ask anyway, sheltering from the gales and rain in the tent! It was definitely unexpected!

We got married on Saturday 3 September. We both love that time of year – and we thought it was a good bet for some good weather!

A Beautiful Barn Wedding in Cumbria (c) Jessic Grace Photography (28)

We tied the knot at Park House Barn in the south Lakes. We chose this venue because it’s a stunning, rustic building, and we could see that it had so much potential. We loved the idea of just being able to do our own thing – and use thousands of fairy lights! We’re both from the north west and have always felt that the Lakes are a beautiful part of the world.

The general style was relaxed, fun, colourful and a little bit bohemian. An accidental vintage map theme also developed as everything came together! My grandfather used to draw these amazing intricate maps as a hobby, and I’ve just always loved old maps and atlases. As we have grand plans of a belated travelling-honeymoon in 2018, it seemed like a fitting theme.

There wasn’t a strict colour theme. The flowers were simply white wildflowers and gypsophila (with a few blush roses for the bridal bouquet) with lots of greens and herbs. We wanted to let the building and lighting to do a lot of the talking. We had rainbow umbrellas, colourful signs and multi-coloured macarons to add some colour and lots of fun.

A Beautiful Barn Wedding in Cumbria (c) Jessic Grace Photography (21)

My dress was by Anna Campbell, and we got it from Jean Jackson Couture NQ in Manchester – I’d seen it on the internet, and instantly fell in love with it. I’d tried a handful of other dresses on, but this one just felt so comfortable and natural. I think I was always going to end up in lace.

Anthony was keen to keep it simple. He bought about eight high street suits and then picked his favourite!

The bridesmaids were all in Needle and Thread dresses, which they picked themselves. I didn’t really mind what they wore, as long as they were broadly in keeping with the venue/vibe of the wedding, and moreover, that they were all happy. The groomsmen all wore navy blue suits, and ‘granddad’ collars – which was Anthony’s idea.

A Beautiful Barn Wedding in Cumbria (c) Jessic Grace Photography (34)

Our photographer was Jesse, of Jessica Grace Photography, who we heard about from a friend-of-a-friend. She did a brilliant job on the day – making us feel at ease and taking lots of natural photos, which is what we asked for. The weather was certainly challenging from a photographer’s point of view, but Jesse just got on with it.

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canvas & lace. a relaxed outdoor wedding in derbyshire – emily & jordan

January 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (79)

This afternoon’s real wedding is a shining example of just how beautiful an outdoor British ceremony can be. Marrying at the height of summer, Emily and Jordan enjoyed an open-air ceremony before partying the night away under the cover of a cool tipi tent.

Highlights for us include Emily’s stunning lace detailed dress, the beautiful ‘meadow’ colour palette and that gorgeous floral archway!

With images by Mick Cookson Photography.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (66)

emily says: We got engaged in Bali on a very relaxing holiday. Jordan had booked a ‘100 candlelit’ meal at a 5* restaurant. We had our own table by the riverside surrounded by candles and flower petals. We were laughing because they provided us with speakers but the only music they had put on the iPod was Boyzone and Westlife. Very cheesy but great to sing along to! I turned around after a photo to find Jordan on one knee saying “you going to marry me or what then?”

We set the date of the wedding for 30th July 2016, as it was the only date our perfect venue – Sycamore Farm Barns in Matlock – had available. It’s in the middle of the Peak District surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. We love the great outdoors so it was perfect. We had a tipi and we were able to get married outside, which was amazing. We were able to stay at the venue in beautiful cottages from the Thursday to the Monday so we could decorate the tipi, put up an archway and include personal touches. Our friends could also camp in the field.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (73)

We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted things relaxed, informal and beautiful.

We had a humanist ceremony led by Janice Castings – it was perfect. Janice was brilliant and it meant the ceremony was personal to us. We married legally on the 24th July with close family present.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (62)

I found my dress in The Cheshire Wedding House. The staff were so friendly, they made me feel really comfortable and at ease. They also let my four-year-old niece try on a flower girl dress, which made her day! My dress was made by Romantica of Devon and it was called Yvonne. The skirt was made out of delicate tulle and felt lovely and floaty. The sleeves were lace and it had a heart-shaped cut out back. I loved it!

My wedding makeup was done by Sarah Morten and I loved it! Luckily, she is an amazing makeup artist and one of my best friends so she also doubled up as one of my bridesmaids.

A Relaxed Outdoor Wedding (c) Mick Cookson (110)

Jordan picked a navy tweed suit with a waistcoat from Jennis & Warmann, which he ordered online. The best man wore the same suit.

My bridesmaids wore a Needle & Thread dress that was a navy/taupe colour. I had two flower girls that wore beautiful dresses from a company on Etsy called MillyWeddingShop.

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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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friday fabulous!

January 8th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Needle & Thread

Gowns and separates so lovely (and easy on the budget) that we were tempted to keep them as our little secret.

Voluminous Tulle Skirt, Needle & Thread (Debut Bridal Collection) £150

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