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Style A Rainbow: Could You Rock A Colourful Frock?

July 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Claire Pettibone – Venus

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As well as the usual – and still beautiful – ivories and whites adorning the bridal catwalks for the past few seasons, they have also been awash with watercolour hues as wedding gown designers step away from monochrome and explore the further reaches of the rainbow.  Our regular guest blogger, Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides has fallen head over heels for colour. 

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Rachel says:  As part of my job (and in my spare time) I spend a lot of hours swooning over beautiful wedding dresses which often results in a daydream of my very own white wedding. However recently I’ve found myself dreaming in colour as many wedding dress designers have dared to dip their gowns in beautiful blush tones and even vibrant hues, posing a controversial question to brides – would you marry in a colour?

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While many brides do stray from pure white to the heady heights of ivory, very few dare to go that step further. But with an influx of coloured gowns on the bridal catwalks for several seasons now the trend is gradually growing in popularity and has picked up several celebrity endorsements along the way. Last year the gorgeous Jessica Biel married Mr JT in a pretty pink gown and actresses Anne Hathaway and Reece Witherspoon have also walked the aisle wearing the girly hue.

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While I wouldn’t dare to go as far as fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker who married in black, I would consider the option of a pastel wedding dress. I think soft hues such as taupe, peach, powder pink and baby blue give gowns a romantic and whimsical appearance, perfect for a fairytale wedding.

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Claire Pettibone – Dew Drop

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Some of my favourite designs come from Claire Pettibone who often injects bursts of colour into her delicate and detailed creations.  For those not wanting to stray too far from tradition, Pettibone has many flattering and fashionable designs in subtle gold and blush tones with elegant embroidery detailing.

Personally I was a big fan of her pale pink ‘Dew Drop’ dress, complete with eye-catching rose bolero.

Several designs in her recent collection ‘An Earthy Paradise’ feature on-trend pops of mint green and the full coloured ‘Venus’ dress.

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Ian Stuart

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The expert in theatrical bridal wear, Ian Stuart is also an advocate of coloured wedding dresses.

His ‘Killer Queen’ collection featured many dramatic designs in muted palettes such as taupe, honey, rose and lilac as well as bolder options including the ‘Verbier’ dress in blue and ‘Broadway’ in bright peony pink. Coloured dresses also feature in his latest collection ‘Supernova’ but the confident designer has gone one step by with the addition of a floral print dress, ‘South Pacific’ which is both bold and beautiful. Australian designer Wendy Makin has also included a statement floral print dress (‘Katelyn’) in her couture collection which is attracting a lot of attention..

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Ian Stuart

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Of course these aren’t the only designers experimenting with colour. Maggie Sottero, Charlotte Balbier, Veromia and Elie Saab but to name a few have also come up with colourful creations.

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Ian Stuart

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Perhaps the queen of coloured wedding dresses though is Vera Wang who never fears to push the design boundaries. Previous collections have included the cute yellow Isabella dress and the dramatic grey and black Josephine gown. She also turned up the heat with an all red collection for Spring 2013 and her latest Spring 2014 saw the catwalk awash with striking monochrome creations for fashion-forward brides.

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Ian Stuart

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So, would you, could you, should you?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as credited

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Posted in Guest Blog, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

It’s Just A Little Blush: A Real Wedding In The North West – Eleanor & Patrick

January 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Sometimes my favourite Real Weddings aren’t the ones with all the fiddly details, they’re the ones with all the fabulous personalities.

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Eleanor and Patrick’s perfectly personal celebration, with images by documentary photographer Haydn Rydings Photography, proves my point exactly.  Enjoy!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Eleanor says:  Patrick asked me to marry him in December 2011 on the spot where we met for our first date in Newcastle upon Tyne.  We were married on 3rd November 2012 at Davenport House, Worfield, Shropshire.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We knew we wanted to get married near Bridgnorth in Shropshire as coincidentally both my mum and Patrick’s dad grew up there. So the main reason for choosing the venue was the location; Eleanor’s family have lived on a farm just outside Worfield for three generations and my mum remembers being taken for tea there with the Dowager Viscountess by her mother and grandmother when she was small. In recent years lots of family parties have been held there so we knew the food and service would be excellent. & of course it is such a beautiful house!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Loosely our theme was ‘heritage’. I work in the heritage industry and we thought it was quite an appropriate theme since we are bringing two families’ heritage together.  Our colours were pink, black and white, chosen by Patrick’s sister. Pink is my favourite colour and black and white are Patrick’s football team, Newcastle United’s colours.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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I bought my dress on Etsy from a seller in Boston, USA. After trawling Etsy for a pink vintage dress appropriate for getting married in I couldn’t believe it when such a beautiful dress was exactly my measurements. I’m 5ft11 so it is incredible that not only did it fit but it was also long enough. A few people on the day said they were a bit surprised by my pink dress, but the majority said I couldn’t have been married in any other colour. My friend who lives in New York brought it over as her carry on when she came home in the summer.

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I was also determined to wear the crystal necklace I bought with money my uncle gave me for my 21st birthday and to use a little pink suede Mulberry bag my godmother who was doing a reading had given me a few years ago. So my necklace and shoes were my old, my dress was my something new. I really needed a petticoat to go under the dress so I was delighted when Patrick’s mum said she had her mother’s wedding dress petticoat, so with a few alterations, she managed to make it fit me, so that was my something borrowed. Then I painted my nails a pale blue.

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Then to top it off, my great aunt remember she had a cream shawl with pink embroidered flowers that was my great, great grandmothers, so that kept the chill off in the evening.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick really wanted to wear a kilt as his mum is Scottish but he wasn’t sure about which tartan. Then his mum discovered that he could hire a Northumberland tartan kilt so he matched that with an Argyll jacket (he wanted something a bit more modern looking) from The Highland Store in central London and a black bow tie with white spots from Woods of Shropshire. He finished the look off with new Paul Smith shoes.

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So we both managed quite successfully to pull together outfits that represented our heritage!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Patrick’s best man was his best friend from school, Edwin.  My male of honour was my friend Adrian from university. The ushers were a mix of cousins from both sides. We let them wear their own suits/kilts and just provided black ties with white spots from Woods of Shropshire, and for those not in kilts we provided bright pink socks from Sock Shop.

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The bridesmaids wore white dresses with black spots with silver shoes and different coloured cardigans. The eldest bridesmaid’s dress was from Debenhams, the middle bridesmaid’s dress was handmade by her grandmother and the youngest bridesmaid’s dress was from TK Maxx.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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It was a November wedding at 4pm so we didn’t bother with any grand entrances as it was getting dusky, so I arrived at the side entrance to the venue in my dad’s car. This meant I could make my grand entrance down the main staircase.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our mums and friends put together the two bouquets carried by me and my eldest bridesmaid and the buttonholes. The buttonholes were made up of dried wheat referencing our Shropshire heritage and dried thistles referencing Patrick’s Scottish heritage, all bought from Shropshire Petals. I carried a bouquet of supermarket white roses, ivy from my uncle’s garden on the farm and dried wheat. My eldest bridesmaid carried a bouquet of supermarket roses and gyp. My little bridesmaids carried signs saying "Here She Comes" and "Make Way".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We wanted a wedding that referenced our heritage and was distinctly us. We gave a lot of thought to the ceremony music and agreed we wanted some live music. I walked in to an instrumental version of Elvis’ "Love Me Tender" played by a group of friends on ukuleles (our second date was to a ukulele group meeting & we knew we wanted a ukulele band at the wedding so contacted all our friends who could play guitar or ukulele, most of them hadn’t met before the big day and had only communicated over email and youtube). Whilst signing the register, a school friend of mine & the best man’s wife performed an acoustic version of The Crystals "Then He Kissed Me". We walked out to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have ethical wedding rings, Patrick’s ring was made from fairtraded and fair mined gold by Cred and my ring was made from recycled platinum by American jeweller Ravens Refuge.

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My favourite part of the day was walking out of the ceremony as a married couple and seeing all our friends and family looking so happy for us.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We opted for a hog roast for our wedding breakfast so Davenport House contracted a hog roast man to provide the meat.  We also brought in a barrel of Northumbrian Brewery High House Farm’s real ale Nel’s Best (I’m known to friends and family as Nell).

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The majority of suppliers were found online, with floristry supplies from Amazon, wedding favour supplies from www.notonthehighstreet.com, Etsy and www.papermash.co.uk.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We used family wedding photographs for our wedding table names. Patrick’s sister made spotty frames for the photos with the names of the couple underneath. The couples included our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. For the table plan Patrick’s sister photoshopped mine & Patrick’s faces onto a wedding photo of Kate & Wills, with the names around it.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We were determined to have a feminist wedding so the speeches were given by the best man, male of honour and the bride and groom gave a joint speech.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Our third date was to a pub quiz so we decided to hold a pub quiz before & after the meal as an ice breaker, with us as the quiz masters. The questions were general knowledge but the pictures round was of celebrity couples on their wedding day. It worked really well and got people talking. We gave put pub snacks on the tables too and gave out prizes to the winners.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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During the ceilidh we put out a dressing up box and a camera on a tripod to create our own photo booth which resulted in some hysterical photos!

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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As thank you gifts, we brewed sloe gin and damson vodka, made green tomato chutney and I embroidered handkerchiefs with a message for close family members. For favours we bought pink and white striped bags which we stamped which we stamped with a ‘Thanks for coming’ stamp in black ink, filled them with sweets and closed with black and white spotty tape.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We booked The Ship Band, a ceilidh band for the evening which was very successful! The combination of Scottish family members and Eleanor’s friends who attended Edinburgh University with her meant plenty of people were quick to get on the dance floor. When the band finished they just plugged in our ipod whilst they packed up.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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We had a mini-moon at The Harbour Master Hotel, Aberaeron. We are going on our honeymoon to the West coast of America in April, starting in Vancouver with a trip to see Patrick’s step-grandmother who couldn’t come over for the wedding, and finishing in LA.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Everybody keeps telling us how much they loved our wedding because we broke from tradition and planned a wedding that was about us and our friends and families coming together. So my top tip for other Brides Up North is don’t worry too much about what other people might think, have the wedding you really want to have, and don’t worry about including things that are fun or silly.

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Haydn Rydings Photography

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Congratulations Eleanor & Patrick!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Haydn Rydings Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in DIY, North West Wedding, Real Weddings, Vintage Wedding | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Up For Discussion: Eye Candy – Blushing Bride or Back To Black?

October 22nd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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It’s no secret that colour is a big trend in bridal fashion for 2012.  As I recently reported to Pure Weddings Magazine (for their next issue, out soon), at the couture shows this season the catwalks were awash with a palette of blush pinks, champagnes, crème de menthe and dove greys and we can expect to see more real brides incorporating a taste of the rainbow into their bridal attire. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Martha Stewart Weddings   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Martha Stewart Weddings

Vera Wang and Monique L’huillier via Martha Stewart Weddings

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Martha Stewart Weddings   Oscar

Reem Acra and Oscar de la Renta via Martha Stewart Weddings

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I wore a blush gown in duchess satin by Alan Hannah on my wedding day.  It flattered my skin tone better than the diamond white or ivory options and just felt special.  Colour isn’t for everyone, but this is one trend that I just love.  I can even remember when Gwen Stefani did it first and rocked the pink dip dye.  Classic couture.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: David Lawson StudiosBrides Up North Wedding Blog: bridalwave.tv

Photograph of Julia by David Lawson Studios, photographs of Gwen Stefani via bridalwave.tv

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However, always one to lead the way, Vera Wang has gone one step further and unveiled a completely black bridal collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week.  Whilst The Daily Mail (who shared the story) explains that “Until Queen Victoria popularised the trend for white when she wore the shade for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, many brides – including royals – had worn gowns in a variety of hues [including black]”, I’m not sure what to think!  My first thoughts were that she was just in time for Halloween, but when I looked a little closer, I kinda fell in love. 

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To do black bridal with aplomb, I think it will always need to be couture.  The beauty in these dresses is all in the layering of black on a peep of nude, the precise structures and the gorgeous fabrics.  Where a pale colour way might have meant that intricacies in the design were bleached out, the flat black colour means that the stunning workmanship can really be seen.  Very, very, clever and very, very couture. 

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Ms Wang knows exactly what she is doing, but if you love this look – I urge caution, as I worry that a cheaper imitation might not cut it and you might end up looking more Scottish Widow than Blushing Bride.

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What do you think?

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Let me know where you stand on the trend for colour and especially these black gowns?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily MailBrides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily Mail

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily MailBrides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily Mail

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily MailBrides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily Mail

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily MailBrides Up North Wedding Blog: Vera Wang via Daily Mail

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  – Images © 2011 Vera Wang via The Daily Mail, other images as credited

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Posted in Bridal Fashion, Eye Candy, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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