Charlotte Balbier

Ruby Vintage: A Real Wedding At Southport Beach – Charlotte & Austin

July 12th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Cunningham Photography

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Ok, I’ll admit it.  The missing blog post in yesterday afternoon’s regular slot was not due to computer meltdown or technical issues, rather due to a very strong desire to get away from my computer screen and off into the big sunny outdoors with my parents and baby girl.  Sometimes a (tactical) skive is just what you need to set the World to rights and get those creative juices flowing again, and goodness do I have some beautiful features lined up to share with you over the next week and this weekend. 

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So, after exploring the fabulous Great Yorkshire Show yesterday (come on, where else would a blogger so passionate about the great and good in the North be?) armed with pushchair and ice-cream, I’m back this morning to make amends with a rather lovely celebration sent to me by Charlotte, Austin and their photographer Teresa of Cunningham Photography

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Charlotte and Austin’s Real Wedding was personal and passionate with heaps of style.  I hope that you enjoy our recap. 

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Charlotte says:  We got engaged on 26th October 2011 at Southport Beach, one of our favourite places, and were married on Friday 5th October 2012.  The ceremony was in the Chambers Room at Southport Town Hall and the reception was in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport.

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We chose our venue for it’s gorgeous ballroom and as it was where we first met at the age of 16 and had our first kiss (although we didn’t start dating until 7 years later).

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We didn’t have a theme as such but went for reds, autumnal colours and a vintage feel.

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I bought a cheap, disastrous dress from eBay but my Mother’s friend is an amazing seamstress and managed to make the perfect dress for me from it. It was a just below the knee, 50s style dress with a detachable long sleeved overtop. Austin wore a grey teddy boy style suit with a black velvet collar, red bow tie and black and white winkle pickers!

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I had eight bridesmaids all of different shapes and sizes and so asked them all just to buy their own red dresses for the occasion. I did start to stress a few days before the wedding when I realised I still hadn’t seen any of their dresses but it turned out looking really nice having all different shades of red and different styles of dresses. Austin had three groomsmen (one being his lovely female friend Katy) and just asked them the wear grey which had the same lovely effect as the bridesmaids originality.

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We were so lucky that a lot of our family and friends were so very helpful (and useful!). A family friend made our cakes while Austin’s Grandmother worked in a florist and sorted our flowers out for us. We also made a lot of things ourselves and with friends to keep the costs down.

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I was driven to the Town Hall in a cream Volkswagen Campervan and then we were both driven around in it after the ceremony for our photos.

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Our dream wedding was for everyone to have fun and so we had a home made “photo booth” consisting of an underwater scene with inflatables and snorkelling gear and disposable cameras. We also had a “tuck shop” with lots of different sweets in jars and striped paper bags for people to take some goodies home!

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A friend of ours is in a covers band, The Grace, that often plays weddings and so they played two sets for us and got everyone dancing! After the band we relied on Austin’s laptop for the tunes.

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All of the day was perfect and it was just amazing having all our family and friends there in the same place. I loved our first dance to ‘No one’s Gonna Love You More Than I Do’ by Band of Horses and all the bridesmaids and groomsmen joining in after the first chorus, such a special moment.

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My family friend, Ann, made out dream wedding cake. The bottom tier was chocolate and strawberry cheesecake with the middle and top layer as fruit cake, all decorated with roses and vines. She also made a separate carrot cake for myself with little marzipan carrots all over it.

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After the wedding we drove to Hull and got the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge where we then drove around Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany for two weeks. It was magical. We stayed in a tree house, a space themed room and a canal boat among lots of other hotels.

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My top tip for other Brides Up North is just remember that although you’ll want to make everyone happy, ultimately this is yours and your loved one’s big day and you should do everything to make it special and meaningful for the both of you.

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Cunningham Photography

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Congratulations Charlotte & Austin!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cunningham Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Patent Red: A Real Wedding In The North West – Lucy & Nick

April 5th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Editor’s note: Due to spikes in traffic, we have been experiencing some delays with our server over the past few days.  It turns out that you can be too popular for your own good!  Be rest assured our web team are working hard behind the scenes to restore super quick speeds.  Please bear with us!

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Well, when I saw today’s bride Lucy’s choice of shoes (patent red Jimmy Choo Mary Janes people!) I just knew that the rest of her wedding to Nick at Combermere Abbey in Cheshire was bound to be very fabulous indeed. 

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With images by Yana Photography, I wasn’t disappointed!  This is a very beautiful way to finish off the week.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Lucy says:  We got engaged in Cornwall during a weekend away. Nick proposed on top of a cliff overlooking the sea one evening at sunset. We then went back to the cottage where we were staying and celebrated with champagne he had waiting.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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We were married on 8th September 2012 at Combermere Abbey, Cheshire.  Combermere has beautiful walled gardens and a stunning glasshouse for the ceremony which opens out on to a fruit maze. The reception was held in a lovely permanent marquee they have in another part of the walled gardens. Nowhere else we looked around compared to Combermere. The gardens are fabulous and we were lucky as the weather was perfect on the day which added to the relaxed atmosphere.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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We didn’t have a theme. I like simplicity so nothing too fussy or wedding(y)!  We chose a colour scheme of black and white with a splash of red for colour – again to keep things classic and clean.

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Nick held a pre-ceremony drinks reception for guests so that they could relax with a drink and enjoy the gardens at the venue prior to the ceremony.

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I wore a Maggie Sottero gown from a boutique in Chester. I picked it as it was different to anything else I had seen before and the fit was perfect.  My shoes were from Jimmy Choo. I originally went in to buy from their bridal collection but after seeing these striking red shoes I knew they were the ones for me. I also wore them a lot when we went for dinner on our honeymoon.

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A bouquet of red roses which were so beautiful I didn’t want to put them down.

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My bridesmaids wore dresses from Coast. I don’t like traditional bridesmaids dresses so I picked dresses that I thought were smart but also really suited the girls.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Yana from Yana Photography took our wedding photos. Yana photographed my sisters wedding a few years ago at Wrenbury Hall so knew how beautiful her photos are.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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For favours each person had a scratch card and a bar of organic chocolate. We had a few winners – but only small amounts!

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We had a harpist for the ceremony and drinks reception and a DJ for the evening. We also hired a fun casino for the evening which went down really well with the guests. Everybody had fun on the black jack and roulette tables and champagne spot prizes were handed out to the winners.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Our cake was a three tier chocolate, fruit and sponge from Marks and Spencer. My grandparents bought our cake for us as a wedding gift.

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Every single minute was wonderful but the speeches and seeing our guests having fun on the casino was great.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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After the wedding we spent a week on Barbados soaking up the sun followed by a week in Cornwall where Nick had proposed.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to put together a detailed running order for the day a few months prior to the wedding so that you can identify where there might be any lulls and you can fill these gaps with entertainment – this will also ensure your day flows really well. For example to avoid a lull after dinner our casino kicked started the evening for guests and got everyone out of their seats and talking.

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Yana Photography at Combermere Abbey

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Congratulations Lucy and Nick!

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Fancy seeing your own beautiful Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North?  Here’s how

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Yana Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Wednesday Wed-spiration! Sexy Senorita!

May 16th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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It’s the middle of the week already!  Time flies when you are having fun eh?  Today, our regular guest blogger Katy of What Katy Did Next is back with a slinky slice of Latino wedding inspiration. 

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I’m off to sunnier climes today too – taking a much needed break with the hubby to relax, recharge and soak up some vitamin D (hours hunched over a computer in the dead of night does nothing for bone density let me tell you)!  So whilst, I jet off, I’ll leave you in Katy’s capable hands.

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Don’t worry though – I might be taking a break, but Brides Up North is very much on duty this week – as I’m leaving you with a full schedule of blog posts bursting with wedding pretty.  See you on the other side! 

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Sexy Senorita

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1. Poppy Cupcake 2. Red Lipped Bride Image 3. Spanish Inspired Bouquet 4. Cinnamon Tree Heels 5. Savannah Maxi Dress 6. Ruffle Mermaid Dress 7. Chandelier Earrings 8. Wedding Stationery

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Katy says: Though I know it is hugely popular, I am not the biggest fan of the use of red in Weddings, I think it all depends on how you use it. Julia herself came up with this request at last week’s North East Tweet Up – something a little bit different, a classy Spanish/Latino red wedding – inspired by Julia’s love of the musical Evita. I jumped at the challenge hoping to make the colour red work for me.

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I chose a sumptuous poppy red with a slightly orange hue to it, using it in the bridesmaids’ dresses, the fabulously sexy shoes from BHLDN and that beautiful shade of lipstick that contrasts so beautifully on the dark skinned model. If you are a bride looking to wear a daring shade on their big day I highly recommend talking to a professional make up artist about it, make sure the shade is something you are comfortable with and that it suits your colouring – after all, these pictures will stay with you forever.
  {Editor’s note – for a tutorial on applying the perfect red lipstick, see this recent post over on Love My Dress}. 

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The dress is a OTT in an amazing way, the lace ruffled mermaid gown oozes Spanish elegance which is emphasised by the voluminous bolero jacket, perfect with an up-do hairstyle. The gorgeous wedding stationery has an Andalucian feel to it with the tile patterns, and the use of the navy blue adds a fashionable touch to the wedding colour scheme. A great alternative to red and black!

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Remember: the plan is to share a new inspiration board in this time slot every week, either compiled by myself, regular guest blogger Katy or YOU: get in touch with your own ideas and inspiration boards! We’ll be discussing our inspirations behind the images too so it’s simply going to be a whole load of lovely.

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If you are a little less arty but in need of inspiration and still want to play along, we will also be taking requests for colour schemes and themes and making bespoke boards for my readers. Please contact me to suggest a theme or colour scheme.

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Click here to see previous Wednesday Wed-spiration Mood Boards

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  – Images © 2012 as credited and supplied by What Katy Did Next

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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High Street Honey: Karen Millen

May 22nd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Perfect for if you are a wedding guest or as a choice for your bridesmaids or for your rehearsal dinner, Karen Millen hits a home run once again with it’s failsafe range of occasion dresses.  With a particularly strong collection of taupe, ivory and blue styles, Karen Millen is one to note.

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If in doubt, head for the high street.

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High Street Honey Karen Millen

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Like what you see?  Here’s the links to the online shop.  Yes, I’m not only a wedding blogger, but a total shopping facilitator.  I make no apologies.

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1  Draped and Ruched Dress £190

2  Fun Satin Bow Dress £140

3  Layered Hem Dress £140

4  Soft Frill Dress £190

5  Draped Satin Maxi Dress £295

6  Signature Stretch Satin Dress Blue £175

7  Signature Stretch Satin Dress Taupe £190

8  Tailored Lace Dress £210

9  Signature Stretch Satin Dress Red £175

10 One Shoulder Draped Dress £175

11  Satin Long Dress £295

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All prices were correct at the time of going to press.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Karen Millen

This is not a sponsored post

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

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A Bridesmaid Rainbow: Red

March 26th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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On the lookout for bridesmaid frocks to suit your colour scheme?  Brides Up North is here to help! Up first, put your ladies in red…

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Click the image to go direct to the supplier’s website.  Easy peasy.

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Karen Millen Beaded Necklace DressKaren Millen, Beaded Necklace Dress, £210

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Debut Red Satin Ball Gown

Debut, Red Satin Ball Gown, £120 

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Coast Dacia DressCoast, Dacia Dress, £150

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Alfred Angelo 7126Alfred Angelo, style 7126, in Cherry 

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Reiss PeacockReiss, Peacock, £195

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BCGB Mariola

BCGB, Mariola, ask UK stockists for availability and price

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Jim Hjelm

Jim Hjelm, Style JH5083, ask UK stockists for availability and price

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Monsoon Mayne MaxiMonsoon Mayne Maxi, £180 

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.Whistles Gaby

Whistles, Gaby, SALE £65 

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DessyDessy, Alfred Sung, Style D486 

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This is not a sponsored post

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

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