Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

personality & passion: introducing stella photography

March 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

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If you’re looking for wedding photography that’s beautifully emotive and bubbling with energy, then you’re going to be as excited as us about this afternoon’s post, as we’re introducing the fabulous Stella Photography as a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor.

Brimming with enthusiasm, the duo behind the cameras are Zuzi and Seb, who strike the perfect balance between creating relaxed and fun vibes to capture a couple at their very best on their big day.

Based in the North West, but always eager to travel, the Stella team pride themselves on delivering images that rock! So, if you like what you see, be sure to read on for more details on this talented twosome.

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Tell us a little about the Stella Photography team? 

stella photography say: Our story started more than eight years ago when we (Zuzi and Seb) finished our fine art photography degrees full of passion and ideas. Seb went on to do a masters in photography at LCC in London whilst the business was gradually growing. We are the super creative, energetic social butterflies, buzzing with charisma and fun. Seb’s wife of ten years, Clare, keeps the business running from behind the scenes and keeps our feet firmly on the ground! Zuzi is like family and is godmother to Seb and Clare’s three children. Seb also has a career as a photographic artist with regular solo shows internationally and various publications. He gives talks and workshops in Universities all over the EU. We have more photographers living the dream with us now as the business has developed so much and they bring their new creative ideas and personalities.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically? 

We are all hopeless romantics. Quite simply, getting married, one love for life, the unity and strength of family and sharing the same name, drew us naturally to wedding photography and finding our niche of vibrant and fun loving brides and grooms. Keeping it real for us.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

We just love working with all our couples and their families and being a part of the most special day of their lives. The hanging out with them all over again when their siblings or friends tie the knot. Then seeing all the new baby arrivals! We also love the creative opportunities to explore each unique couple’s loving vibes and chemistry on film and constantly push ourselves to try new, fresh and creative ideas.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

We are really relaxed with bit of quirkiness and fun. We love to blend in, making our couples feel as supported and comfortable as possible and keeping their guests entertained!

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

We have the best clients ever and the feedback we get is genuinely heart-warming. They love that we are there for them in every capacity on their day, to make it run as smoothly as possible in a fun and relaxed way. They are overcome by their images, which totally rock!

How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?

We understand that some couples are camera shy but, to be honest, after meeting with our couples at the fayres or for a coffee, they book us as they feel at ease with our natural, fun approach and relaxed vibe. They know that we are all about them on the day and trust that we will get the most beautiful images for them. Spending more time together at a pre-wedding shoot can be invaluable to camera shy couples as they love their pictures so much they become even more excited about their big day.

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out?

Every wedding we shoot is super special to us as each one is so unique, we love the variety of rural and urban locations as they all present different challenges and ways of working creatively.

Where would be your dream location to shoot?

A desert wedding like Arizona, Vegas… bring it on please… oh the light!

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once in a lifetime moments: say hello to arusha’s images

February 16th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon on the blog we’re catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographer, Arusha of Arusha’s Images Photography.

As a self-confessed romantic, North West based Arusha loves nothing more than photographing couples’ weddings in a relaxed yet enthusiastic manner, capturing the big day as it naturally unfolds.

Having built up another year of fabulous photography in 2016, she’s back on the blog today to tell us what it is that keeps her utterly hooked on weddings, and what she can offer to brides and grooms who are currently on the search for a friendly pro to document their big day.

Also, Arusha is kindly offering Brides Up North readers a complimentary signature frame, or framed image from their wedding day, should they book with her, so be sure to mention this when dropping the lovely lady a line.

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Tell us a little about your background…

arusha says: I have always loved photography, since being a child and playing in my dad’s dark room as he developed images. As soon as I picked up a camera I was in love, I studied photography, and as soon as I started photographing people I knew that was for me. I have been working in wedding photography and perfecting my style as a wedding photographer for nearly ten years now.

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically? 

I am a romantic at heart, and I adore photographing real people, real moments and real emotions. Wedding days are just packed full to bursting with emotion, which is perfect for my natural style of photography. I also love seeing and photographing all of the gorgeousness of weddings. Working as a wedding photographer I get to constantly be creative in my photography, as all my couples and their weddings are personal and different.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

As a romantic, I love having a job that allows me to photograph so much excitement, happiness and love, and involves me being constantly creative. Being a wedding photographer is a fabulous job, yes it is hard work, and long days, but it is totally all worth it when you perfectly capture those once in a lifetime moments on your couple’s wedding days. I love hearing from excited newly married couples when they see their wedding images for the first time, and are just so overjoyed with what I have created for them. That is just a really awesome feeling!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

I am primarily a documentary wedding photographer, so this means that the majority of my wedding photography is un-posed. I love to let your wedding day happen, allow you to be immersed in the excitement of it all, and photograph it all as it happens without getting in the way. I do not do a lot of posing. I do love creating unique and romantic images, and having a little play with my couples when it comes to your newly married images. Maybe we will go for a dance in the grounds of your venue, a walk through the streets outside, or to a little hideaway I have found close by beforehand. I love to make people laugh, and work hard to create really relaxed and beautiful photographs.

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What do brides and grooms love about your approach, service and images?

I love the feedback I get from couples. I find that they love how naturally beautiful my images are, and how relaxed and friendly my approach is on their wedding days. I often get feedback that my images are romantic, and that I have captured so many of the little moments. I always try to go the extra mile, helping out with advice during wedding planning, if my couples ask for it, and giving little extra surprises when I deliver their images.

How do you help camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens?

After working as a wedding photographer for a number of years, I have experience of helping even the most anxious and camera-shy couples to relax in front of the lens. I always recommend a pre-wedding/engagement shoot to all my couples. This is a wonderful way for you to ‘have a go’ at being photographed professionally before your wedding day itself, and also allows couples to see that even with couple portraits I photograph in a really natural way. I like to start with getting you to walk together, talk to one another, make each other laugh, whilst I photograph in the background. I find that this approach soon helps everyone to relax and really flourish in front of the lens.

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What would you say was your career highlight of 2016?

There were lots of wonderful moments, I loved featuring in a whole range of wedding blogs and wedding magazines over the year. It’s always super exciting for my couples when their weddings are shared with the world.

But, I think that a more personal highlight was being able to photograph the wedding of an amazing couple, whose Lake District wedding was postponed after the bride was diagnosed with breast cancer. I often get to know my couples quite well in the build up to their wedding days, and following this bride’s battle with breast cancer, then hearing the best news that she had been given the all clear just weeks before their rearranged wedding day, and then being able to photograph her day knowing that she was now cancer free, was amazing. Emotions were definitely running high all day, and it felt extra important that I could capture all that celebration of life and love for them and their family and friends. Plus, it was a beautiful wedding!

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sunshine, showers & champagne. an elegant wedding in the north west – melissa & chris

October 31st, 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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Today’s real wedding is brimming with timeless details to inspire all of those brides-to-be hankering after an elegant, traditional affair.

Melissa and Chris tied the knot at a beautiful local church with a family connection and held their reception at the stunning Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. And they didn’t let it rain on their parade – despite the inclement weather, we think these breath-taking photographs radiate pure joy.

So sit back and enjoy Melissa’s account of a day full of sunshine in spite of the showers…

With images by Jonny Draper Photography.

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melissa says: We got engaged in January 2013. Chris didn’t want to be predictable and ask over Christmas; he wanted to catch me completely off guard. He proposed at home, one of our favourite places, on a very ordinary Saturday morning. He presented me with a photo book which contained memories of our holidays, adventures and fun times we‘d had over the ten years we’d been together and on the last page I read the all-important four words. The next thing I knew, Chris was down on one knee and holding out the most beautiful ring he had designed with the help of jeweller Simon Washbrook.

Our wedding date was 14th August 2015, exactly 12 years after we got together. My wedding ring also contained 14 diamonds to represent the date of our anniversary.

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The wedding ceremony was held at Christ Church, Woodford. It’s a meaningful place for us as my parents were married there 33 years ago and I was christened there. And the tradition will continue: my sister is planning her wedding there for December 2016, too!

The reception was held in the Gold Suite at the Deanwater Hotel in Wilmslow. The newly-refurbished suite was a perfect venue for us as we wanted a small wedding which was close by for friends and family.

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In terms of our wedding style, we went for a very traditional a gold, pearl and champagne colour scheme. I wanted something simple and elegant which would stand the test of time.

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keepin’ it real: say hello to squashed apple photography and film – plus an amazing gift for our readers!

August 29th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon we’re introducing you to a new Sponsor of ours that offers the most important keepsakes from a wedding day – photography and videography.

That’s right, the fabulously talented team at Manchester-based Squashed Apple can capture the real essence and emotion of a couple’s big day both in images and footage, providing memories that last a lifetime and with the power to transport brides and grooms back to that very moment in time.

If this sounds right up your street you might be interested to know that Squashed Apple will throw in £1,300 worth of albums and presentation for free for every Brides Up North reader that books their full day photography and full wedding film packages.

Now to tell us more about their style of shooting, we’ll hand over the blog to one of the Squashed Apple team. Take it away Carlo…

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Tell us a little about your background ? 

carlo says: I have been in this industry for around nine years and fell into photography by accident really. A friend needed a hand on a wedding and simply passed me a camera, well that was it – I was sold – and filming was a natural progression. I wanted to create a brand, which was not only affordable but offered fantastic value for money. I’m a believer that every couple should have access to our services and it’s this customer focus that has seen us sustain more than 100 weddings for the last seven consecutive years.

Intro – Goodbyes are not forever from SquashedApple Pro on Vimeo.

What attracted you to the wedding industry specifically? 

I love weddings, in fact if I wasn’t doing this I would be a wedding planner. It’s an amazing life event that has everything; they are fun, sad, joyful and emotional. I find there is so much going on in a wedding day that can make you an amazing creator.

And what is it about your job that you love? 

Well apart from being your own boss, it gives you the freedom to create, plus tonnes of family time.

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How would you describe your style of wedding photography/videography?

Squashed Apple brings collectively everything to the table. We’ve never had a set style, but I believe it’s important to be able to adapt and present something that suits the couple. I believe it’s important to engage with a brides of all ages, therefore I don’t really believe in styled shoots or using models. I want to keep it real. We can have just as much fun with a bride approaching 60-years-old as a bride in her twenties. Our oldest bride last year was 72 – so cute!

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typically us. raffia and roses for a moving wedding at sandon hall – nicola & matt

June 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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We just love all the little personal touches and surprises that today’s bride and groom incorporated into their big day.

From undercover entertainment to secret menu choices, Nicola and Matt planned a wedding day to reflect them as a couple whilst also keeping their guests on their toes.

If, like us, you are captivated by their stunning wedding images which capture the emotion of the day so perfectly, we have some excellent news for you. The photographers behind the images, the fabulous Katie and James from Fairclough Photography, are offering our readers an amazing £200 off their full day wedding package for those that book before 30th June 2016. Just quote ‘BUN16’, when enquiring or booking.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Fairclough Photography.

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nicola says: We got engaged on 26th July 2014. We decided to book a short break in Summerbridge, North Yorkshire, as we’d been there not long after we first got together in 2010. We stayed at the exact same place – Springwood Lodges – in a totally secluded area, surrounded by nature, in a lovely log cabin, which was perfect for a romantic break away from the hustle and bustle! We were enjoying some bubbles in the hot tub when Matt announced he needed to get a top up from inside. When he returned and had settled back into the water, he reached over the side of the hot tub, but instead of turning back round with a glass in his hand, he had a ring box! He’d picked out the most perfect ring I could imagine and after 20 or so “Oh My Gods”, I said yes!

We set the date for 22nd August 2015 as we wanted to go for a Saturday in the summer to make it as easy as possible for all family to attend – and give us the best chance of sunshine!

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Sandon Hall in Stafford, was our chosen venue for the wedding. Not only is the building stunning, but we had access to the grounds for the day, which are breath-taking! Our families are pretty much all based within 30 minutes of the venue, which is lovely and rural. Funnily enough what clinched the venue for us was a ‘sign’ from nature. When we got engaged in Summerbridge we spent a lot of time relaxing outside on the decking and saw a Jay bird for the first time in the wild – we saw our second one when we were just turning the corner on the long driveway up to the hall the first time we went to view the hall!

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We didn’t have a theme as such for the wedding, we just wanted to be ourselves more than anything – still look like us in the pictures, have music we enjoyed and food we loved. The venue is so incredible it didn’t need a great deal of styling so I opted for a neutral colour scheme of pale pinks, champagne and gold for a classic look, a little bunting here and there and lots of natural textures, such as wood and raffia.

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its a family affair. pops of pastel for a spring themed wedding at eaves hall – steph & matt

June 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s real wedding couple Matt and Steph, fell in love with their chosen venue at first sight knowing that it would be just perfect for the family focused big day they had in mind.

Pops of pastels were picked to complement their springtime theme, while personal touches were added to remember their most nearest and dearest, resulting in a pretty and sentimental celebration.

And if you like the look of Matt & Steph’s wedding images, we have some excellent news that might just make your Monday. The photographers who photographed the day, the fabulous Katie and James from Fairclough Photography, are offering our readers an amazing £200 off their full day wedding package for those that book before 30th June 2016. Just quote ‘BUN16’, when enquiring/booking.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Fairclough Photography.

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steph says: We got engaged at the end of March 2014. We had arranged what I thought was a birthday meal for my sister in the restaurant we had our first date in. We had a gorgeous meal and a few wines and suddenly ‘our song’ came on in the back ground. I pointed it out to Matt and he just made this silly grin at me, and then there he was down on one knee in the middle of the restaurant with the most gorgeous ring in his hand. Neither of us spoke we just cried (like the big softies we are) – I’m not sure I’ve technically said yes yet.

We were married on 6th April 2016. We picked this date as it was the same date as our engagement party and we wanted it to be in the half term as Matt has two daughters and my sister works in a school. Generally, we just wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the build up to the wedding with us.

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Our wedding venue was Eaves Hall in Clitheroe. I fell in love with it at first sight, it’s the only place that we looked at because in my mum’s words “it just doesn’t get any better than this”. It was intimate and cosy, just perfect for the family filled wedding we wanted.

The theme was spring, we just wanted it to be pretty and understated and a little bit country, so this worked well. To complement the theme we chose pastel shades for the colour scheme and incorporated lots of different pastel flowers and some gorgeous daffodils, adding a lovely splash of colour.

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My dress was a lace A-line design, and lots bigger than I thought I would of picked! The train at the back was gorgeous and I spent most of the day swishing it around. I knew it was the dress for me when the lady in the shop went to help me out of it and I cried. My shoes were glittery blue shoes with a bow on the front from Irregular Choice. They were a gift from my sister (who was my maid of honour) as my something blue.

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