Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Find Your Dream Wedding Dress… In A Click!

October 16th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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So. Cancel all plans and meetings for the rest of your afternoon.  Some favourite industry colleagues of mine have launched something rather special. 

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Find Your Dream Wedding Dress

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The wedding dress hunt never got easier than this!

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The team at Find Your Dream Wedding Dress say: this is a completely new concept, and the best idea ever. The minute he pops the question, and you have said yes, the search for your dream dress is underway.

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Find Your Dream Wedding Dress brings together, in one beautiful, easy-to-navigate site, a world of wonderful dresses from the top designers and manufacturers – hundreds and hundreds of them – covering all design options and price points. It focuses on bridal gowns, and nothing other than bridal gowns – no flowers, no venues, no best-man speeches. Just gorgeous gowns.

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It works so simply. Just pick out the features that really appeal to you. It could be a halter-neck, a cute fifties silhouette, a fabulous fairy-tale ball gown, or a slinky number with lots of vintage detailing. It could be glitter-loaded, or plain and simple. The choice is yours and you’ll see dozens of dream dresses that fit in with your ‘wish list’. Then you pop your favourites into your ‘dressing room’ and, if you want, you can go back for more choices by changing your criteria.

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Find Your Dream Wedding Dress

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Ready for a close up? Click on the dresses in your dressing room and you’ll get all the detail, from the fabric and colour options, size and price range, and personalisation opportunities to special design highlights – and that could include extras, like a sparkly belt or a lacy jacket. You’ll get different views of the gown and you’ll also get comments from the designer about what they like best about that particular style and why. What a great way to find out who’s who of the bridal gown designers!

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But that’s not where the fun stops. You’ll be able to check, right there and then, the bridal shops that carry the collections you have picked. One click and an email will go to the shop you select, to say you are interested in a particular label. And you can make an appointment instantly, by email, to see what could be your own dream wedding dress.

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Find Your Dream Wedding Dress

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My friend and colleague Rachel Morgan, editor of Wedding Ideas Magazine loves the idea too, and says: Searching for your dream dress is the most exciting part of the wedding planning. This amazing new website brings together hundreds of gowns from all over the world, and in every price bracket. You can quickly see the designers and the details you like, whittle down your favourites and make an appointment to actually try on the dress – all with a click of a mouse.

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At Find Your Dream Wedding Dress you will discover the latest collections from: Alexia Designs,
Alfred Sung, Amanda Wyatt, Augusta Jones, Beautiful, Benjamin Roberts, Blue by Enzoani, Callista Bride,
Charlotte Balbier, Chic by Hollywood Dreams, Daisi Daisi, Decades by The Vintage Wedding Dress Company, Decorum Bride, Enzoani, Heritage, Hollywood Dreams, Impression Bridal, Intuzuri, Jim Hjelm Blush, Justin Alexander, Joyce Young by Storm, Madeline Isaac-James, Maggie Sottero, Mark Lesley, MDS by Margaret Moreland, Modeca, Mori Lee, MS Moda, Phil Collins, Private Label by G, Ritva Westenius, Romantica, Ronald Joyce, Rosa Couture, Sincerity, Sonsie by Veromia, Sottero & Midgley, Tara Keely, Terry Fox Couture, Tia, Trudy Lee, Venus, Veromia, Watters and Wtoo.

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Literally hours of dress gazing. Right there. 

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Go ahead and play.  And be prepared to come up for air three days later. 

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  – Images © 2012 Find Your Dream Wedding Dress

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Rock That Frock! Supplier Showcase: Rocks & Roses

August 7th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Rocks & Roses Bridal Boutique North Yorkshire 

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This morning we are playing dress up, as we chat to Brides Up North Featured Supplier Chloe of the newly opened North Yorkshire bridal boutique Rocks & Roses about all things lace and tulle. I’m such an enabler (and not at all sorry about it!), I know!

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Chloe says: After completing a fashion degree at Northumbria University, I knew I wanted to be involved in the bridal industry. However during and after my degree I worked for a large high street fashion brand, and I was progressing steadily. It wasn’t till later that I took a leap of faith with a brand new bridal store as the manager. It was in the field I wanted to be in, but unfortunately the owner lacked real passion and enthusiasm for the industry. It quickly became clear that I wanted to immerse myself in the world of weddings, the way it should be!

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So I opened Rocks & Roses in March 2012. I actually have to give total credit to my Mum for the name, she once upon a time wanted to write a book called Rocky & Rosie, and although the book has never been started the name has always stayed with her. After discussing for hours, days and weeks, many other possibilities it became clear that Rocks & Roses had just stuck, and I’m so pleased it did!

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Rocks & Roses Bridal Boutique in North Yorkshire

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What wedding gowns do you stock?

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We stock a beautiful collection by Annais Bridal. They were brand new to the UK last year, and Rocks & Roses is currently the only stockist throughout North Yorkshire and the North East! They have such a great focus on quality and design, using hand made lace from places such as Italy and adding intricate beadwork by hand.

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We have recently taken on a collection of Amanda Wyatt dresses, which I absolutely love. From simplistic to fairy-tale they’re beautiful. All of Amanda Wyatt’s dresses are designed with real women in mind. She understands that not all brides are a size 10, and designs dresses to flatter every shape and size.

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The other bridal collection in our boutique is Gallery by Private Label, a capsule collection of destination dresses for the lucky brides jet-setting off to exotic locations. This range is perfect as you get the style and quality of the other designers, but are much lighter with what I call “travel-ability”. In the future we hope to stock a larger range to keep up with demand for destination weddings.

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What lines of bridal accessories do you stock?

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The accessories are from Studio Bridal, Annais Bridal and Amanda Wyatt, made up of both vintage style and modern pieces that are hand made or hand finished. We stock a beautiful range of hand made crystal tiaras in a variety of colours and styles as well as a fabulous range of shoes, which can be ordered in colours to match the dresses or theme.

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Kasumi by Annais Bridal at Rocks & Roses

Kasumi

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Where are you located?

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We are located just off the prestigious Northallerton High Street in North Yorkshire. We are No. 6, Zetland Street, above Cowley’s Cycles. Look out for our little topiary tree that stands at the entrance. There is free parking on the high street, and its a two minute walk from the long stay car park near Barkers department store.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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The bridal gowns range from £525 – £2,000. We also stock a collection of sample dresses, which are available “off the peg” and start at just £225. All brides are offered an interest free payment plan, allowing them to pay for the dress in instalments.

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Emporia by Annais Bridal at Rocks & Roses

Emporia

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

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They don’t need an appointment, but we do recommend that they call ahead to ensure we can spend as much time with them as they need. We do however appreciate that finding “the one” can take time, and therefore offer exclusive 1-2 hour appointments during the week, if booked in advance, where we will ensure that no one can interrupt the appointment.

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We also open Sundays 11-3pm, which is handy for busy brides. 

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What can Brides Up North expect when they come in for an appointment?

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At Rocks & Roses we offer a relaxed and friendly approach to finding “the one”. The boutique is spacious and private, allowing brides to feel comfortable and at ease when trying on dresses. During the appointment, our attention is solely on them, to give as much advice and guidance as we possibly can. We do like to suggest that brides only bring those whose opinions they value most. Choosing your wedding dress is a big decision, and bringing people that are only interested in what they like, can make the experience confusing and less enjoyable.

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Rosaria by Annais Bridal at Rocks & Roses

Rosaria

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What is your current favourite wedding gown that you stock and why?

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Ooh that’s a tough one, I love them all in different ways! I suppose for being so extraordinary I would say Kasumi by Annais Bridal, a tea length dress with hand made lace and feather detail on the skirt and a detachable halter-neck. For brides looking for an unusual or vintage style, this corseted dress offers just that. If I wore this it would be with fuchsia pink heels and a matching lipstick! This dress is available to order in all sizes and priced at just over £1,000.

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Is there a particular style of wedding dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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Surprisingly the most popular has been Rosaria, the plainest dress in the collection, but such a stunning style that just speaks for itself. The brides trying it on haven’t been enthralled but when they’ve tried it, have had a complete change of heart. It doesn’t have any “bling”, but with some sparkly accessories, a little bolero or a beautiful lace veil, this dress comes to life. It has a corset back, which gives such a gorgeous silhouette, and being so simple there is the option to change their look throughout the day. It works for both petite and curvy girls, its fab and oozes understated elegance! Available to order in all sizes and priced at £995.

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Folie by Annais Bridal at Rocks & Roses

Folie

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How does Rocks & Roses provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I’m sure many stores will also say the same: we want to offer our Brides the very best service and attention to detail, but after only four months, this really has been the thing that everyone has commented so positively on. We are patient, understanding and honest. We will not push you into a sale, it has to be completely your choice. If we feel you’re not sure or you would like to try a few more styles just to check, we are happy to give you our time and expertise to find the right dress for you. We have already had brides from as far as Somerset, Leeds and Huddersfield coming to us on recommendation alone. In such a short time, we feel this says a great deal about our service.

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We also provide a very distinctive collection of dresses. Offering our brides something completely unique is something we are very keen to do. We have started with Annais Bridal, and would love to add to our collection with new and even graduate designers over the coming year.

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Do you stock bridesmaid dresses?

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We stock a fantastic range of bridesmaid dresses from Colour by Kenneth Winston. This collection is also fairly new to the UK and is very diverse; you can choose any style, in any length, colour and size. It also provides the opportunity to have bridesmaids in different styles but all the same colour, ensuring that they look and feel great in their dresses. There’s nothing worse than grumpy bridesmaids in your wedding photographs! Sizes available from 4-32 priced between £170 and £280. We also stock a great selection of “off the peg” dresses starting at just £69.

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If you purchase a bridal gown from Rocks & Roses you will get 10% off your bridesmaids and flower-girl dresses.

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We also stock a capsule collection of Mother of the Bride/Groom outfits, available in a variety of styles, colours and sizes.

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Mandy by Annais Bridal at Rocks & Roses

Mandy

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Who would be a Rocks & Roses bride?

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We would like to think that any bride looking for her dream dress would like to come and pay us a visit. We have a beautiful boutique and a fabulous selection of dresses from traditional to contemporary. We don’t just cater for petite or curvy brides, so we believe we have something to suit all shapes and sizes. Our collections are also very unique, so for brides looking for something extra special, we would love for them to call into Rocks & Roses.

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What gown would you choose for your own wedding day?

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If I were to get married I would like to think I would wear a very fitted fish tail or mermaid dress like Coco by Amanda Wyatt. Having said that, like most brides, I haven’t tried many on and will probably end up choosing something completely the opposite (like Mandy by Annais Bridal!) Being in the industry has made me very open-minded about trying different styles, so I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see!

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Kasumi by Annais Bridal at Rocks & Roses

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?
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They can contact the boutique on 01609 258 518,  visit our website www.rocks-roses.co.uk or email us at rocks-roses@live.co.uk

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Rocks & Roses Sample Sale Summer 2012

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Don’t forget that Rocks & Roses are having a sample sale THIS WEEKEND from 11th – 12th August 2012.  All current collections including some brand new 2013 dresses from Annais & Amanda Wyatt will have up to £100 off. The sample dresses (mainly discontinued styles) will have up to 75% off.

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Please call Chloe at Rocks & Roses on 01609 258 518 to reserve your place. Appointments are recommended.

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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Rocks & Roses 

Rocks & Roses is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

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

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EXCLUSIVE! Fired But Fabulous! A Styled Shoot With The Apprentice’s Laura Hogg Of Laura Reece Bridal

May 12th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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I’ve been glued to the telly every Wednesday night for the past few weeks keeping track of the latest hiring and firings on The Apprentice which is, in my opinion, TV gold.  I’d love to give it a shot someday, but I worry that I might not be the chirpy that you all know and love with all those early starts, boardroom grillings, a camera constantly in my face and a team full of egotistical maniacs.  I’ll just watch and judge from the comfort of my sofa thank you very much!

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One lady who did dare to do it was the fabulous Laura Hogg of Laura Reece Bridal and friend of the blog.  Hats off to her!  As you can see from this earlier blog post, I was rooting for her to go all the way, but alas it was not to be. Well she may be fired, but she sure as hell is fabulous, as this styled shoot by Focus Wedding Photography goes to show!

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography  Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography  Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Lorna of Focus Wedding Photography says: This bridal fashion shoot was arranged at The Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago with Laura modelling some gorgeous wedding gowns from her shop. We were fortunate that the weather was kind to us and we got the only dry day that week which enabled us to get out onto the gorgeous rooftop gardens which overlook the Calton Hill and into the beautiful balconies overlooking Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth.

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Laura Hogg is owner of bridal boutique, Laura Reece Bridal in Glasgow but more recently she will be known as a candidate on this years series of The Apprentice. Her boutique has been running for nearly two years and next weekend (19th/20th) she is hosting a rather exciting designer weekend with one of her main brands, Kay Mason Bridal. With the opportunity to meet Laura and the designer Denise available appointments are flying out the door!  Visit Laura Reece Bridal to make an appointment.

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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In the light of her recent firing from the hit BBC series, Laura is remaining positive and very much throwing herself back into her bridal business. She is looking to expand the bridal accessory hiring service she currently offers in her shop nationally. It will allow brides to personally choose their own packages for tiaras, veils, underskirts and hire them for their wedding day at a fraction of their normal retail price. On other news, she has also just been welcomed into Entrepreneurial Spark, a business start up community in Scotland and she is working with them on a separate project to be announced soon. For details on this you can keep in the loop at www.laurahogg.co.uk

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography  Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography   Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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For this shoot the dresses were a combination of Ella Rosa Gallery by Private Label By G (£550) and Just For You (£499). 

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography   Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Our inspiration for the shoot was to get some gorgeous portraiture of Laura using the iconic backdrop of Edinburgh and the stunning features in The Glasshouse. It is really a beautiful wedding venue and it was a pleasure to photograph there.   We have been involved with a number of shoots with Laura over the past couple of years. 

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography   Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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Laura Hogg of The Apprentice by Focus Wedding Photography

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The ultra cool and contemporary contours of the 5-star boutique hotel, The Glasshouse, are perfectly combined with the medieval gothic architecture, perfect for a wedding in the heart of Edinburgh.  The Glasshouse’s unique and beautifully landscaped roof gardens and alfresco terraces overlook the world famous Calton Hill, the Royal City and as far as the Firth of Forth, providing a distinctive and memorable venue to enjoy your wedding reception.

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Little Black Book

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Photography – Focus Wedding Photography

Laura – Laura Reece Bridal and Laura Hogg

Hair – Kennedy Hair

Venue -  The Glasshouse, Edinburgh

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  – Images © 2012 Focus Wedding Photography

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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As Audrey Would Say: ‘I Believe Happy Girls Are The Prettiest Girls’: Supplier Showcase: Choola, Sheffield

February 22nd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.  Audrey Hepburn
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Today we meet an Audrey fan who lives by her idol’s motto – the fabulous Francesca from the even more fabulous (if it’s possible!) Choola bridal boutique, Sheffield.  Form an orderly queue girls. 

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With images by Jess Petrie

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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When did Choola open and what is your background?
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Choola proudly opened its doors in July 2008 and is run by myself and my partner Ivan. I’m thrilled to say since opening, we have become one of the leading boutiques in Sheffield and the Northern region with brides travelling from all over the UK and now even abroad to visit us! We have worked very hard to establish ourselves and we are thrilled to have been recognised enough that we were selected to appear on Wedding TV, be the supplier to National and local Radio competitions and regularly featuring in the leading bridal magazines.

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Bridal had always been my passion, having religiously bought the wedding magazines each month for years and losing myself in a world of style, fashion, flowers and cakes! After being a bridesmaid 6 times, I had known for many years that I wanted to open my own boutique but it was only when driving down Ecclesall Road one day and spotting the empty shop that the ‘Eureka’ moment hit me! It was now or never!

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That was back in January 2008 and within weeks I had gone part time in my job, signed the lease and all focus was now on turning the once bathroom and shower showroom into a gleaming bridal boutique!

Ivan and I did all the work ourselves with a huge amount of help from our family and before we knew it the appointments were flooding in and we were in full swing. 

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Having graduated in 2004 with a degree in Law and working within the field of policy and procedure, suddenly running my own business was a huge shock to the system! However, Ivan and I were used to throwing ourselves in at the deep end and having previously worked as a Rent Arrears Officer for the Council, I was certainly not afraid of a challenge.  My fiancé and business partner was no stranger to the complexities of business with a degree in Business Studies and having run a successful property development company. With his business expertise, my legal background and passion for all things wedding, we knew we had the perfect mix for a fabulous new venture. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We were really keen to have a mix of designers both well established and up and coming and over the years this has developed significantly. We aren’t afraid to change which designers we stock as quality and service is everything to us and we have successfully managed to carve ourselves a niche for showcasing dresses with "that little bit of something different". The dresses aren’t so far off centre as to limit our clients but yet edgy enough to set the Bride apart from the crowd.

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We have stocked Lyn Ashworth from first opening and these are our classic British made gowns. With an exceptional cut and quality of silk and lace, these our firm favourites with our brides seeking the quintessential English wedding style.

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For girls who love beautiful fabrics with more emphasis on cut than embellishment, we stock the French design house of Lambert Creations. All handmade and made to measure in Brittany, these gowns can seldom be found anywhere else in the UK. 

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For our brides who favour lace and intricate beading we stock the Portuguese designer Maria Karin which again has few UK stockist so brides can be assured of exclusivity.

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The award winning Mark Lesley range provides beautiful dresses with a more traditional element but still with some great contemporary twists.

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We then have then very glamorous designs of Anoushka G, favoured with the celebrities, these dresses are perfect for brides who want to be fashion forward and not feel overly "bridey"! The collection boasts a lot of silk-chiffon which is also perfect for brides having destination weddings.

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Our two newest designers to Choola are Jonathan James Couture and Private Label by G. We were drawn to Jonathan because he isn’t afraid to break the rules when it comes to his collections! He can just as easily create a simple unembellished gown as he can a heavily beaded princess dress and with the ability to bespoke gowns for our clients, he was a definite must!

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Private Label by G has only just been introduced in the UK with its cult following being in the USA and Canada but always wanting to be ahead of the crowd we quickly sought to introduce the label into Choola! The first dress from their fabulous collection was sold within an hour of arriving at the boutique and already are proving a real talking point! The Private Label collection literally has a dress for every bride, from vintage glamour to full on fairy-tale romance. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What lines of accessories do you stock?
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I love my sparkly things! We stock stunning headpieces and veils from Ivory & Co, Studio Bridal and Emmerling. We have an eclectic mix of vintage inspired pieces, art deco styled hairbands, traditional tiaras and some quirky birdcage veils and fascinators.

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As a huge shoe lover we have over 30 pairs of shoes to choose from by celebrity favourite Benjamin Adams. We love their shoes because they are stylish, fashionable and all beautifully handmade. The best thing is that most of them can be dyed after the wedding and worn again so they don’t end up gathering dust in the attic. I have several pairs in several colours that look great with pair of jeans or the infamous LBD. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Where are you located?

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Our beautiful boutique is based in one of my favourite places in Sheffield, Ecclesall Road. This road has always been a favourite with the independent boutiques and the trendy bars.  It has a great cosmopolitan buzz to it and perfect to be able to spend a whole day on, browsing the shops, having lunch and a glass or two of wine! It also has a fabulous park with beautiful views. In my opinion there is nowhere else we could have had our boutique.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Can you give Brides up North an idea on price?

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Our dresses start from around £900 to approximately £2700. A good retailer will always chat with a bride about budget as the last thing we want to do is put you in a dress you fall in love with, only then for you to find out that the price is above what you would like or more importantly able to spend. Don’t be afraid to be honest about what you are able to spend, the more honest you are the more we will be able to help you. For us its not about selling you the most expensive dress in the boutique, its about selling you the perfect dress for both your body shape and personality. The bride after all is our walking advertisement!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do Brides up North need an appointment?
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We will always try and see a bride if somebody pops in and we have the time to do so but we always advise brides to book as there is nothing worse than travelling a long way to see us, only to be turned away as we already have a full diary. Booked appointments are a must on Saturdays and need to booked well in advance. We always suggest a bride to come on a week day if she is able to take time off work as we can generally spend a little longer with her. However, as a busy woman myself, I understand that its not always possible, therefor we offer late appointments on both Mondays and Wednesdays. We only close Sundays so we are very accessible to both busy brides and those who live further afield.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What can Bride Up North expect when they come for an appointment?
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When brides come to visit us we want everyone to leave feeling energised and excited! They will have time to browse the gowns, chat through their thoughts and feeling about what they envisage for their day and then be taken to their private fitting area.

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Looking for your dress is one of the most important and exciting parts of the wedding planning, this is where it all starts! We are genuinely passionate about what we do and I think that shows. We take time getting to know our brides, we listen and support. We offer constructive advice and never pressure brides into a decision. We ask brides to pick out their own dresses to try on but then we will make our own suggestions and often a bride is surprised to fall in love with the dress she never dreamed of. 

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We only see two brides at a time but they are both on separate floors so each bride has her own consultant and more importantly her own privacy. Great refreshments are also a must and we always have plenty of drinks and freshly baked cupcakes to nibble on! For us, providing a woman’s dress for her wedding is a real honour and privilege so we always strive to provide the best level of service and advice. We all still regularly attend training events with designers and all staff have completed national qualifications in customer service and business.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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What is your current favourite gown and why?
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My favourite dress changes regularly depending on my mood or who has just tried it on. I’m a real fan of quirky dresses that have intricate pattern cutting or unique fabrics.  At the moment though, I’m really in love with Elenore by Anoushka G. Its a silk dress with cowl neck and back and an amazing waterfall train! I also love Gwendoline by Lyn Ashworth as its very Audrey Hepburn and as you will be able to tell from the amount of Audrey Hepburn pictures in the boutique she is my style icon! Elegant yet quirky, chic yet individual!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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The vintage and lace styles have been popular for several years now but I think we are seeing a move away from the vintage trend with a number of our brides opting for either the more classic style or braving a more contemporary look. Organza has become very popular as you can create a number of looks with this versatile fabric. What I love though is that a style of dress can look so very different on each bride, this is what makes the job so interesting. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How does Choola provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think this is a really tough question to answer as the one thing I’m not so good at is saying how good we are! I think we would all like to believe we are the best at what we do and it can become easy to criticise other boutiques in the process. The fact is though, that Sheffield and the surrounding area has some fabulous boutiques and when we started the business we wanted to become a part of that, to really put Sheffield on the map. We are pleased to say we have forged some great friendships with other bridal boutique owners which is not only beneficial for us and them but also for the brides.

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We take great pride in our attention to detail in both our service and how the boutique looks and feels.  We are very humbled to have a shop filled to the brim with thank you cards and photos from past brides and with a huge amount of our business coming from recommendations, I guess that tells us we really are getting it right! Many brides have now become firm friends and come back with friends and family either to help someone else shop for a dress or simply just to pop in and have a chat. 

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We are very honoured and proud to have been nominated for 2 awards within 12 months of opening, getting to the finals of Wedding Boutique of the Year UK and the top 50 Hottest boutiques in the UK! This was especially exciting as we were categorised alongside the very best of the best such as Bruce Oldfield and Suzanne Neville! It was a lovely surprise as a lot of awards you have to put yourself forward for but this was completely out of the blue!

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We have a genuine enthusiasm for our business and I’m a bit of a wedding-a-holic! I go home and watch Wedding TV and read the bridal magazines, I just cant get enough of it! Our brides tell us we have a lovely warm atmosphere here at Choola and I think it’s because our business is family run so our dedication and passion radiates through all of us! We also have fun! My heart swells when I hear the shrieks of laughter and the champagne corks popping, its a feeling like no other. 

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Our ethos here is to treat brides how we would want to be treated, simple I know but its strategy that works! We are honest with our brides and try to give them as much information as possible to enable them to make an informed decision about their gown. Our boutique is chic and stylish with great lighting and lots of space and privacy, There are always fresh flowers and our boutique smells divine thanks to our fab candles.  We have soft cosy cream sofas and carpets and stunning mirrored furniture. The changing areas are luxurious and large enough to really move in the dresses. We offer a full styling service as well as being able to provide contacts for other bridal industry experts. We know our gowns and industry inside and out and most importantly, know how to dress a woman to show off her figure and personality to its full advantage. All in all we believe our dress shopping experience is exactly what it should be, fun, relaxed, special and a memory to be treasured.

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Do you stock bridesmaid’s dresses?

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We have two great collections by Mark Lesley and our newest designer Kenneth Winston. The dresses are a wonderful mix of traditional, contemporary, quirky and style led. A lot of the dresses are perfect to be worn again after the wedding. We have a great array of colours and many of the dresses my friends and I order to wear at days at the races and awards events as they are that gorgeous. 

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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Who would be a Choola bride?

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Anyone can be a Choola bride! We literally have a dress to suit every figure and personality and love that fact that over the years we have dressed brides from the ages of 20 to 60 and every size and shape that’s in between! We have brides who aren’t particularly "girly" and don’t want to look "bridal" right through to brides who have dreamt of being the princess from a little girl. I love the quirky mix of brides we have and how individual and different they all are.

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Are you married?

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In case anyone didn’t know, Ivan and I got engaged last year and are marrying in early summer! I’m so excited that I tell everyone! I’m extremely fortunate to be able to have a couture gown made for me by one the most talented designers (I’m keeping it secret for now!) The whole process of sitting down and sketching out the dress has been a fabulous experience and watching the dress develop step by step is truly amazing. I’m so excited to see the finished gown and I think there will be lots of tears when I have my final fitting! I can tell you though that I am having the most stunning pair of Aruna Seth shoes and they aren’t ivory. I’m a bit of a Carrie Bradshaw and have more shoes than I care to admit (or want Ivan to know about) and these are just to die for!

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Choola by Jess Petrie

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How can Brides up North get in touch with you and find out more?

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Brides can visit our website www.choola.co.uk, our facebook page, Choola Bridal Boutique and our Twitter page for more information about us. We will soon have a blog where I can talk wedding till my hearts content! Or if you just want a chat the good old fashioned way you can call us on 0114 2671303.

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Anything else Brides up North should know?

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Yes, we will soon be having our very first celebrity bride tie the knot! My lips are sealed but when the time comes keep your eyes peeled and there may even be an appearance in OK magazine… watch this space!

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  – Images © 2012 Jess Petrie

Choola is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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New Names at BBEH!

August 27th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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I am very much looking forward to attending the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate in a few weeks time in my new capacity as a .  It’s a trade fair, which means it’s for industry bods only, but whilst your favourite bridal retailers are there selling their wares or supplementing their stocks, I’m full on trend hunting.  For me, it’s all about the gorgeous gowns.  And I’m bringing them direct to you…

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Private Label By G

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These gorgeous gowns are from Private Label by G – coming soon to a bridal boutique near you.  You saw it here on the wedding blog first brides Up North!

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Victoria Woodley from Private Label by G says; ‘We create the collections to ensure that there is something for every bride and every taste. ‘The Eponymous’ is an upmarket bridal collection that boats meticulous detail. ‘The Signature Plus’ collection is a plus size collection that is both technically and fashionably designed to enhance the figure and the ’The Ella Rose’ collection has a ‘less is more’ message and features classic silhouettes and offers best value, great styling and outstanding quality.’

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Private Label By G

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But what else is new in the industry? This years new designers at BBEH include Aahan Jewellers, Annais Bridal, Belle Lux, Blossom Tiaras, Butterfly Jewellery, Claire Mischevani, Crystal Couture Shoes, Elegancia UK, Guestlist Design, Hazaar Of London, Her Best Kept Secret, Kiss The Frog Bridal, KLS Halifax, Kurrens, Lisa Marie, Lizzie Agnew, Lovett & Co, Patricia Eye, Pilgrim, Private Label By G Inc., Silhouette Lingerie, Starlet & Co, Stephanie Browne Australia, Verise Collection Limited and Victoria Ann Millinery.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Private Label By G

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Rebecca from Starlet Jewellery says: ‘BBEH will see the launch of the Fontaine collection. Designed by popular demand we have created homage to our Hayworth collection in rhodium plated Silver to create a luxurious vintage feel. Glistening Crystals and beautiful Freshwater pearls are the key ingredients at Starlet Jewellery. Designed in full collections, each hair piece has complimenting jewellery designs.’

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Private Label By G

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Leanne from Her Best Kept Secret Shoes said; ‘The heavenly shoes collections are designed to be very small in style offerings with maximum choice of colour. Her Best Kept Secret offer only 5 essential styles but in up to 14 colours. The shoes are versatile and styles have been purchased for brides, bridesmaids and mother of the bride. Each style has a matching handbag.’

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Private Label By G

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Rachel Lovett and Allison Martin are launching their company Lovett & Co and their first bridal jewellery collection at this year’s exhibition. Rachel Lovett says: ‘We are excited to be launching are first bridal collection at this year’s exhibition. Our collection is made up of approx. 30 pieces and we have taken inspiration from vintage elegance, silver screen glamour and a bygone of style and sophistication. We have given it a modern twist and offering glamour for the contemporary woman.’

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.Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Private Label By G

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Watch out for Brides Up North’s pick of the new trends – coming soon to Pure Weddings Magazine!

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If you are a supplier reader who wants to register for BBEH or for more information, please visit www.bbeh.co.uk.

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  – Images © 2011 Private Label By G

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

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