Brides Up North

crafty corals. a san patrick gown for a flower filled wedding in derbyshire – lisa & sam

September 8th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (18)

I think I may have mentioned recently that I’m totally obsessed with wedding flowers. Well, Sam and Lisa’s fab big day features the most amazing blooms that I just can’t stop swooning over.

They formed a key part of the chosen theme, which put simply was all things pretty – including a gorgeous coral colour theme, antique lace and elegant glassware.

The crafty couple rolled up their sleeves to add lots of lovely special touches to their big day – and roped in their talented family and friends to help along the way.

This stunning wedding is quite literally bursting at the seams with inspiration so grab your planning scrapbook and prepare to take notes ladies.

With images by Kate Cooper Photography.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (4)

Lisa says: We got engaged on Friday November 4th 2011. I had absolutely no idea that Sam was even thinking of proposing. We’d been together for ten happy years having met at university. We’d lived together for a few years with various friends and finally after nine years of being together, we could afford to live on our own in our own home – something we’d wanted to do for so long. I’d just started my first job as a teacher and we were beginning to do up our house. Life as a ‘proper’ grown-up couple in our home was feeling great but I had no idea we were about to get engaged. The next thing I know, Sam was proposing! He proposed at home under a star lit lounge (he’d put fairy lights up round the room) and got down on one knee. It was simple, personal, private and lovely.

Our big day was on Thursday 1st August 2014. Being a teacher, I wanted to get married in the summer holiday. We also love summer weather so we chose an August wedding date. We had our wedding on a Thursday as it was cheaper to get married during the week at our venue.

We chose Stancliffe Hall in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, as our wedding venue. We’d looked endlessly for venues – both around the Sheffield area where we live and also down in Sussex where Sam is from. Nothing felt right and we were about to give up when we stumbled across Stancliffe Hall on a different Google search.  As soon as we drove down the sweeping driveway lined with rhododendrons we knew we were somewhere special. The butterflies we had in our stomachs as we arrived continued as we looked at round the house. We were stunned at how beautifully the stately home had been renovated from a boarding school into a fabulous home and wedding venue. There is an amazing feel to the place – mixing complete luxury and boutique styling throughout the house, with traditional features too. There are so many beautiful touches around the house and there are lots of different rooms, balconies and nooks and crannies to explore. It’s surrounded by stunning scenery and is completely private. It also had its own beautiful wooden chapel that sits just outside the main house which meant we could get married on site too.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (8)

I had never been a girl who had dreamt up or imagined my wedding day so I didn’t really know where to start but I bought a couple of magazines and off I went! I knew I wanted a pretty, natural, floral theme and I was ridiculously excited at choosing the flowers. I started by thinking about the sort of blooms I wanted and one of my favourite flowers is the coral crush peony. My first and easiest decision was the colour scheme. Coral – a pretty, summery colour and one of my favourites! Grey – because Sam wanted to wear grey and it goes really nicely with coral. And yellow – because it complimented the rest! Next came the dress which was a lace gown which then became incorporated into the theme. My grandma gave me her cameo brooch as my something borrowed, and this then became something we incorporated into the theme. So the overall theme was a mix of – pretty, coral, lacey, cameo, homemade and vintage.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (10)

For my wedding dress I chose the Rita gown by San Patrick which was not an easy find – a bit of a mission in fact. I had looked at so many dresses online, in magazines, on wedding blogs and in shops. I wanted something pretty and feminine but with an edge to it. I stumbled across a dress online by San Patrick called Risco which made my heart skip a beat every time I looked at it. But it was so difficult to track it down and find somewhere that stocked it. I persisted and eventually I found a bridal shop called Xquisite Bridal in Leighton Buzzard that stocked it. Sabrina, the owner, had one left in stock and I think it had been discontinued – hoorah, I’d found my dress! I made an appointment to try on Risco in the boutique for the next month. By the time I had arrived, it had been sold to another bride! I was devastated. All that effort to find it and a three-hour trip to get there and it had been sold! Really kindly Sabrina let me try on the dress, but after all that excitement and anticipation, it didn’t even suite me! I had a backup dress to try on though – Rita. She was beautiful and my mum and sister both agreed that it was much better on me than Risco. Never someone to rush into a decision, I didn’t have the ‘it’s the one’ moment so I went away to think about it. In the meantime, I tried on some other dresses and confused myself even more. I was torn between Rita and a Benjamin Roberts gown. However, eventually after going back to Xquisite Bridal, I decided that Rita was the one for me. Not only was it a beautiful dress but she shared my late auntie’s name. I decided to have straps added and the skirt taken in at the knees to give it slightly more fishtailed look. I also bought a beautiful sash belt from Pearl and Co. who are based in the Manchester area who also made my garter using my grandma’s lace. I have to say, I did doubt my choice (I’m so bad at making decisions and sticking to them) but on my wedding day I absolutely loved every minute of wearing her!

Sam wore a bespoke tailored suit from King and Allen in Wilmslow. Sam got to choose the material – a lovely lightweight material which wouldn’t be too hot for our summer wedding. He decided on a classic fit so that he can continue to wear it through the years. We also had our names and wedding date embroidered into the jacket which added a really nice touch. His shoes were brown Barker brogues. As a little extra, I bought Sam some Edwardian cameo cufflinks that I found on Etsy to fit with our theme.

I’m so lucky to have such a talented mum who made the bridesmaid dresses and without really even following a pattern. I’d found a dress that I loved, but it didn’t come in coral. In fact, finding anything in coral was almost impossible at the time. So in the end I stumbled across some coral lace on a market stall and I nearly ripped the woman’s arm off for it. My mum is such a perfectionist and worked her magic using just a picture of the dress I liked for reference. After six months of work on them (she’s a retired teacher with time on her hands) they were perfect. The groomsmen all wore light grey suits, similar to Sam’s. The dads wore their own choice of grey suits.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (11)

Our photographer was the lovely and talented Kate Cooper. Sam works with her husband which is how we found Kate, and she was just the loveliest person to have around on the day. I couldn’t recommend her enough because she has such a good eye for detail. She really knows how to capture the ‘feel’ of an event and she’s so calm and sweet – she even helped me to get ready and she is so inconspicuous on the day. She just seemed to glide around without being imposing in any way and she made us feel completely at ease.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (16)

Flowers formed the main theme of our day so we really went to town on them. All the flowers were put together by Tracey Campbell of Campbell’s Flowers incorporating the colours we had picked along with the feel we were trying to create – vintage-inspired, natural and romantic.

My hand-tied bouquet was a posy-style design that was quite open and loose with lots of textural interest but still feminine and pretty. Flowers included were coral David Austin roses, succulents, craspedia, burnt orange leucospermum, brunia, rosemary, peach hypericum, eucalyptus cinerea and a little gypsophila. I also asked Tracey to include a tiny piece of holly from my dog’s grave which I gave to her.

The bridesmaids had vintage-inspired double wrist corsages which were put together on an ivory organza ribbon using two David Austin roses, a sprig of gypsophila and a cameo brooch. Meanwhile the button holes were based on a David Austin rose design using elements from my bouquet. They were constructed on their natural stem and bound and finished with a tie of lace. Coral ribbon was also added to Sam’s button hole.

For the chapel we had collections of random clear glass bottles at different heights and apothecary jars along the edge of the ceremony table which featured a random selection of our chosen blooms. To continue the vintage theme throughout the floral designs Tracey used cream enameled candlesticks topped with beautiful gypsophila topiary balls and finished with floating glass baubles filled with David Austin Juliet roses. Pretty glass baubles, again filled with delicate peach roses, were also hung from the walkway between the house and ceremony room.

When it came to dressing the room for the wedding breakfast, some of the flowers from the ceremony room were transferred and a few new arrangements in tiny cut glass heirloom vases were added. We had bought an antique French chest of drawers which we wanted to use at the venue because it is so beautiful. We used it outside the chapel to place the order of service and confetti cones on. We then transferred the drawers into the house for guests to place cards and gifts in. We had one drawer filled with flowers designed by Tracey to look as if they were tumbling out.

Other decorations we had included photo frames with old family wedding photos in, candles in storm lanterns, olive trees, hanging pearl hearts, homemade lace lanterns, a large free-standing metal heart that I decorated with lace as the table plan, a homemade wish tree with luggage tags for people to write on and hang from the tree and finally we had a floral ‘L’ and ‘S’ made by my mum. She bought cardboard letters for our initials, hollowed them out and painted them green and then filled the inside of them with oasis and flowers. It looked so pretty.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (25)

We had homemade jam and liquors as our favours. Glassware was another theme of the wedding which we used to present the flowers in and also for a sweetie table in the evening, so we carried the glassware theme through into the favours using pretty bottles and jars for the jams and liqueurs. The idea was to have translucent pastel colours from the preserves and liqueurs – peaches, yellows and greens to make the tables look lovely. Sam’s parents made the liqueurs for us – Limoncello, Pompelmocello (pink grapefruit Limoncello), and Rhubarbcello (rhubarb). I made the jams and curds: lemon curd, lime curd, pink grapefruit curd, gooseberry jelly and rhubarb jelly (the fruit coming from my grandma’s garden). I made salt dough hearts that I stamped in the same way as I stamped the stationary to give them a texture and colour. We tied them to the bottles and jars and my sister made lovely labels to go on them. We had some lace from the bridesmaid dresses left over so we used this to top the jars. My sister alos made beautiful cake pops for the children.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (19)

After getting a few ‘real’ quotes from some amazing cake makers, we decided that we didn’t want to take that amount of money out of the wedding fund, so we had to push the cake down the priority list.

We decided to go with a lady called Val Brown who makes cakes as a hobby and is really good at it. We designed the cake ourselves – taking elements of different cakes that we’d seen and liked. We drew a plan for Val to follow. She did a great job but when mum and her partner Norman picked up the cake it was absolutely enormous! Transporting the Eiffel Tower sized cake on the most humid day of the year, along the windiest road wasn’t exactly favourable. Disaster struck when we arrived at the wedding venue and opened the box. The whole thing was collapsing in front of our eyes. In the end we had to dismantle the cake and we were left with three separate tiers. Chocolate, lemon drizzle and fruit cake. But it wasn’t pretty and we wouldn’t have a cake to cut. To cut the rest of a very long story short, Val remade the top two tiers overnight using polystyrene. We salvaged enough of the pearl beading and icing details to remake the cake. Nobody knew it had happened by the time she had finished, and we were able to serve the cake that we’d saved from toppling off the cake.

We were really lucky with our food. Stancliffe Hall don’t have their own caterers but they had three outside caterers that we could choose from which meant we could be creative with the menu. We had a company called Coghlans do our catering and they were absolutely fantastic. Andrew (the boss) met with us and discussed our favourite foods and what we envisaged for our wedding food and then came up with a bespoke menu. First we had canapés which were an Italian Anti-Pasti theme. For starter we had ravioli of king prawn and scallop topped with a lobster cannelloni and a light caviar butter sauce. Main was fillet of pork wellington with apricots and sage, served with fondant potato and calvados jus lie. And dessert was iced raspberry parfait and raspberry shortbread rounds topped with gold leaf and chocolate disks.

Coghlans were also responsible for the drinks, which again, we were able to be creative with. We did a wine tasting before the wedding where we matched wine with the food. We had Mr and Mrs cocktails. My choice was the Aperol Spritz – the perfect colour and my favourite drink from a trip to Italy with my best friend a few years before. Sam’s was an old fashioned but made with Jacquin’s whiskey which has fruit in the bottle and gives it a peachy colour. We served these as our reception drinks and also in the evening too.

We had a rustic evening buffet with a whole serrano leg of ham that Sam’s parents had bought back from Spain. We served it with breads, olives, cheese, biscuits, pasties and my grandma’s fruit cake, served with the cheese.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (35)

We have lots of talented people in our family that do all kinds of things so the wedding ended up being a real family affair. Everyone, including myself and Sam, had a hand in creating things for the wedding to add lots of special touches.

Not only did my mum make the bridesmaid dresses and our beautiful L and S, but she also made our beautiful ring cushion out of little bits of lace that belonged to my grandma and great grandma (some of the lace was over 100 years old). My dad is a classical musician and he composed a song for uscalled The Presence of Love which was such a special thing to have. He had some members of his London choir travel to Derbyshire to sing it on the day as I walked down the aisle.

Sam’s mum spent a long time searching charity shops for glasswarethat we could use for the sweetie table. My uncle made my jewellery, except for my bracelet which was a gift from Sam’s parents. He designed my earrings and necklace to go with the bracelet. He also made my engagement and wedding ring. Lots of people made homemade sweets for the sweetie table including me, my mum and sister and Sam’s parents. We also made our own stationery, handmade confetti and doily cones, embroidered coral place napkins and we hand-dyed coral socks for the groomsmen.

We had a wedding blessing after the civil part of the ceremony as it felt like we were missing something by not having a vicar marry us. In between the ceremony and blessing we had a 15-minute mini concert where my dad’s choir sang some songs and he also played a couple of piano pieces. Our dads both did speeches on the day while our mums put their feelings down in words and presented us with letters.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (34)

For both of us the ceremony was our favourite part of the wedding. It is such an amazing experience to say our vows to each other and to have my dad’s choir sing his song for us. To be in such a beautiful place and to be married in front of our closest friends and family was just so special. It was really overwhelming and a bit like an out of body experience, but totally amazing.

a crafty coral wedding in Derbyshire (c) Kate Cooper Photography  (43)

Sri Lanka was our honeymoon destination. We spent three weeks there in total. We spent the first week at an incredible resort where we sunbathed on an amazing beech, had spa treatments and did morning yoga. After that we travelled around to lots of other destinations and packed loads in including doing safari, visiting tea plantations and Buddhist temples, rock climbing and eating lots of food.

Our advice to other wedding couples would be to do things that are important to you. If you like crafting, do crafting. If you like food – do foodie things. Some people thought I was mad doing as much ‘making’ as I did but it was one opportunity in my life where I could go to town doing things that I love. Organisation is key and giving yourself plenty of time to get everything done is so important. We had planned everything to be done and dusted with a week to spare so that we could relax in the run up to the wedding. Of course we were running round like headless chickens in the week before and if I could go back I would try to get more done beforehand so that we could have had a day or two to ourselves. I also wish I’d had a few minutes before going into the chapel to soak in what was about to happen. I wanted time with my mum and dad before they gave me away and time with my bridesmaids but my makeup artist messed up the timings so I was the last one to have my makeup done. My advice therefore is to make sure you know exactly what time you’ll have your hair and makeup done so you can plan in some ‘reflection’ time and just be in the moment and soak up the experience before you walk down the aisle.

My sister was a huge support throughout planning the wedding and on the day itself. She was like my personal assistant and did so much for us. If a bride can enrol the support of someone like a sister or a best friend to help with all things wedding, it makes the whole experience even better.

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So Not Matchy Matchy! San Patrick For A Real Wedding At Ellingham Hall, Northumberland – Jennifer & Sean

July 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Phil Smith Photography

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This morning we join Jennifer and Sean for their pretty May wedding in Northumberland.  With images by Phil Smith Photography, Jennifer only had one rule – no matchy matchy!  The result?  A elegant, personal celebration in a stunning setting.  Enjoy. 

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Phil Smith Photography

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Jennifer says:  We got engaged on the sofa in our front room on 2nd January 2012. It was the night before Sean went in for surgery so I was already quite emotional!  He almost did it on New Year’s Eve and New Years Day but didn’t want it overshadowed. My Dad already knew it was coming as Sean had asked his permission. 

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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We were married on Saturday 4th May 2013.  The service was at St Maurice Church in Ellingham and the reception was next door at Ellingham Hall.

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Phil Smith Photography

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We needed somewhere with accommodation as my family are from down south so they would have to stay over. Ellingham Hall is an exclusive hire place, its not a hotel so we had it all to ourselves from Friday to Monday and got to spend loads of time with our wedding guests. It also has cottages in the grounds so everyone was nearby. We looked at about 20 venues!

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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We didn’t have a colour scheme.  We used spring colours in general with a bit of the groom’s family tartan thrown in. My one thing I knew I wanted is I didn’t want everything to match.

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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I went for a very traditional big wedding gown, it was strapless with a lace and silk bodice, ruched over a tulle underskirt with applique flowers.  It was from an amazing shop called The White Tulip Wedding Company which I would highly recommend.  It was made by San Patrick who are owned by Pronovias but use less expensive fabrics for a bride on a budget – it was also in the sale!

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Phil Smith Photography

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In the morning I had help in getting ready from an amazing make up artist called Melanie Hedley based in Newcastle who travelled up on the day.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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I made my bridesmaid’s’ dresses myself. I knew what I wanted and couldn’t find it in my budget so I got a pattern and got to pick exactly what colour fabrics I wanted and could tailor them to each body shape. They were the same pattern but different colours – a bouquet of bridesmaids!  The guys wore three piece suits from Harry Brown at Slaters of Newcastle. 

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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The church was right next door so I picked the fanciest car from the guests and jumped in that! And we walked back in a big procession along the country lane.

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Phil Smith Photography

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I had an informal hand tied bouquet of my favourite flowers – purple tulips, pink peonies, white roses, green pompom chrysanthemums and lots of gypsophila. I pretty much had to get married in May!  The flowers were by Lilly Rose Flowers of Morpeth and were exactly what I wanted.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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We loved our amazing photographer, Phil Smith Photography, the day would not have been the same without him!

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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The tables were all themed differently around us as a couple, places we’ve been and things we enjoy. We used things from our home that we’d collected over the years as centre pieces and themed the favours to each table and person.  All the children had a toy themed to the table they were on so they didn’t get too bored.

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As a personal touch, we used champagne flutes we had been given as an engagement gift for the top table.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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My favourite part of the day was our wedding breakfast – working the tables with my new husband, seeing everyone enjoying themselves and laughing and crying through the speeches. 

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Phil Smith Photography

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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The cake was homemade by family, friends and myself, it was based on a design I tore out of a magazine about 15 years ago! Five tiers all covered in white chocolate panels – a chocolate brownie layer, fruit cake, banana and choc chunk, Battenberg and lemon. 

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Phil Smith Photography

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We had a pianist during the cocktails and canapés before dinner and a DJ at night. A friend who is in a wedding band advised us against a wedding band! It turned into a bit of a 90’s rave in the end, great fun!

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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The honeymoon was a surprise from my wonderful husband, we had a private cabin in the mountains in Corsica with a couple of days in Paris either side. It was perfect.

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Phil Smith Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be reflexology the week before the wedding!  Don’t imagine the day too much just go with it, make your plans but then let it go, the important bit is you are now married to the person you love.

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Ellingham Hall Wedding Photography

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Congratulations Jennifer & Sean!

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Fancy seeing your own Real Wedding here on the wedding blog?  Here’s how.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Phil Smith Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Bird Of Prey: A Styled Bridal Shoot In The North West By Fable & Promise

May 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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As you’ll have seen from this morning’s post, today I am dashing around the capital filling my boots with bridal design pretty at White Gallery London.  I am so excited to check out what my old favourites have in store and discover some new talents as the designers unveil their new collections to the trade and press.

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One designer that I am keen to meet is controversial British fashion designer Jess Eaton who will unveil new pieces from her Roadkill Couture collection, designed exclusively for White Gallery. 

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EatonNott Roadkill Couture at White Gallery London by Chris Dadey
EatonNott Roadkill Couture at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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EatonNott Roadkill Couture at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

.EatonNott Roadkill Couture at White Gallery London by Christopher Dadey

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Eaton’s collections, Roadkill Couture & Roadkill Couture II, challenge everything we feel about the use of animals in fashion. The designs are meant to celebrate the raw beauty that surrounds us every day in the natural world by creating beautiful bespoke pieces from the most unlikely of places.  My own jury is still out on these designs and the ethos behind them (hovering around somewhat-freaked-out right now) but with ever the open mind, I’ll let you know my thoughts once I have seen the pieces in real life.

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This afternoon I leave you with a styled bridal shoot which also has an animalistic edge, sent to me by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Charlotte of Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd.  This team’s shoots (whether showing off their own designs or the brands that they stock) are certainly never boring, and it’s a pleasure to feature them and their feathered friends on the wedding blog today.

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Click here (Urban Rockabilly) and here (Lady Of The Lake) to see previous shoots from the team. 

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And as a special treat for Brides Up North readers, at the moment when you visit the Fable & Promise website you will find a very offer there just for you – click here to see what it is!

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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Charlotte of Fable & Promise says:  I have a fear of birds; completely irrational and entirely illogical, so quite how that little fact was overlooked when we were arranging this shoot is testament to the excitement that overtook us all in the preparations. The inspiration simply took over… and we’re not disappointed.

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The first kernel of an idea came with the delivery of our 2013 San Patrick collection in September last year. The Arosa gown  is completely breath-taking and we knew instantly that we needed to showcase it. The unique details of this dress are what led us to search out a snowy owl… the purest white feathers on the bodice, along with the magnificent tissue organza skirt that is simply crying out to be the centre of attention.

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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We are massive advocates of the San Patrick brand which is part of the Pronovias fashion house. With the delivery of twenty new dresses we couldn’t wait to show them off and quickly chose two others from the collection to promote alongside Arosa.  Arrecife with its subtle sweetheart neckline, nipped in waist and swathes of Spanish tulle and Refran, a stunning figure hugging silk taffeta fishtail with gorgeous beading detail.

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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Arosa’s unassuming white feathers have a lot to answer for. It was while discussing the idea with Kerry Baker MUA that the idea of using birds of prey in a bridal photo-shoot really came into its own. We knew we had to find something unconventional, and Richard, head falconer from Cuerden Valley Birds of Prey didn’t disappoint! To accompany our human models we had a range of hawks, falcons and owls including Angel, a striking male barn owl trained to carry wedding rings and Tundra, a beautiful snowy owl (think Hedwig from Harry Potter).

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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We had also seen pictures of the stunning Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall in Clitheroe and knew this would be the ideal setting. Built in the late 17C, the historic farm buildings have undergone a ¾ million restoration, carefully preserving their original appearance, whilst creating a new and unique wedding venue. The traditional features in the Tithe Bran such as the flagstone floors and oak timber created a fantastic dramatic backdrop for our shoot and also gave us the opportunity to get creative and really express our more theatrical tendencies.

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It was an absolute pleasure working with Rebecca, the wedding coordinator at Browsholme Hall; “I was initially a little nervous about taking a photo shoot booking as I didn’t know the team involved. Once I had spoken with Charlotte my mind was completely put at rest, I was assured of a seamless and professional day from all involved, I have to say that any doubts were totally blown away once the shoot got underway. All the team knew exactly what they wanted from the day and how it should be achieved, the looks varied so much from beautiful and traditional to the strong, striking yet slightly alternative images, Charlotte, Kerry and Duncan pulled it together fabulously!”

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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You should know by now that there is more to Fable & Promise than our contemporary bridal collections. We were completely inspired by the Gothic atmosphere of the Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn and knowing that Cuerden Birds of Prey also had Vultures and Eagles the possibility of using these magnificent birds of prey allowed us to run wild and also create three utterly dark and dramatic wedding dresses. Taking inspiration from the San Patrick dresses we created three complimentary yet completely contrasting gothic wedding dresses, similar in silhouette yet entirely original.

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With the change in aesthetic we also welcomed a dramatic black vulture named Dennis, and Iona, a stunning golden eagle for real wow factor! Richard and his team provided the models with expert training on how to handle the birds and were present to ensure the welfare and safety of the birds throughout the shoot… I have to say that although my fear of birds is quite acute, the expert handling meant that this didn’t affect the day. And I have to admit that there is something about birds of prey that demands you pay attention.

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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We worked with Kerry Baker as our makeup artist and Duncan Fisher of L’Hairport was our hair stylist for the shoot. “Together we planned two very contrasting looks to compliment the beautiful designer and bespoke Legend gowns. For this shoot the hair and make-up needed to be versatile enough so that we could cover the two looks in one afternoon. So to start with, the models hair was fashioned into soft, lustrous curls which were elegantly pinned up and styled using stylish tiaras and combs.”

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“For make-up, I used a romantic palette of pink, champagne and taupe on the models eyes, a delicate peach blush on cheeks and silky nude tones on lips. It was important to keep the look a little more traditional in order to contrast with the second look which was dripping in gothic drama. With just an hour to transform the three models, Duncan and I shook off convention and allowed our wild sides out! Duncan tousled, backcombed and sprayed hair into feral, untamed, glossy manes and accessorised with feathers and bespoke accessories. To complement the hair, I applied layers of smoky charcoal and black to the eyes complete with dramatic false lashes for full impact. Lips were coated in glossy reds and burgundies while cheeks were chiselled using shades of deep rose and raspberry.”

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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CMY Productions for Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd

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We had such fun on the day; our models Sadie, Stacey and Sam were all amazing and I want to thank everyone that helped create this shoot. Even being surrounded by magnificent birds of prey the day was almost effortless and I just love the results.

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Little Black Book:

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Dresses – Fable & Promise Wedding Company Ltd

Makeup – Kerry Baker MUA

Hair – L’Hairport by Duncan Fisher

Birds of Prey – Cuerden Valley Birds of Prey

Venue – Browsholme Hall

Photography – CMY Productions

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 CMY Productions

Fable & Promise Wedding Dress Company Ltd is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Keeping It Fresh! A Real Wedding In Northumberland – Stephanie & Martin

November 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Northumberland Wedding by Andrew Billington Photography

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Welcome to Tuesday Brides Up North!  No “it’s only the middle of the month and the overdraft is maxed on wedding paraphernalia” dreariness here!  No way Jose!

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Only the stunningly beautiful Real Wedding of North East couple Stephanie & Martin, with images by Andrew Billington Photography.  Crisp, cool and romantic, Stephanie and Martin’s big day is contemporary, fresh and oh so lovely

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North East Wedding by Andrew Billington Photography

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UK Wedding by Andrew Billington Photography

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Stephanie says:  We stayed at a romantic farm cottage in Hexham on New Years Eve 2010 – Martin proposed outside of the cottage before we went out for the evening. 

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We were married on 23rd August 2012 at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.  It was exactly what I had imagined for us. It’s a period building with lots of character but intimate and smaller than other Halls I had been to. It felt very special.

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UK Wedding Blog

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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We opted for a simple colour scheme of ivory, pink and white.  I chose a lace over tulle San Patrick wedding dress with spaghetti straps and a heart shaped bust, from Wendy Coles Bridal in Monkwearmouth.

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My bridesmaids wore coral rose coloured full length strapless dresses from Coast and the boys wore suits from French Connection

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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My sister, Lisa McNamara, who is a hairdresser based in Boldon did my ‘do. 

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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I carried a hand tied bouquet of roses in dusty pink and ivory by Jan Watters, East Boldon.   

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Aurora Strings played during the day on the lawn and we chose Jason Issacs – a fabulous swing singer – to sing in the evening. 

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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We had a very special guest – an RAF Sea King helicopter!  It was a flyover from RAF Boulmer as Martin is a Search & Rescue helicopter pilot.

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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The food at Eshott was fabulous, and I loved getting married on the stairs below the stained glass window – it felt really special and different to any wedding I had been to.

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Our cake was a combination of two tiers of fruit & one sponge decorated with pink icing roses, made by Martins grandparents who are (handily!) retired bakers.  We also chose a cake of cheese – bought from Fenwick’s food hall, Newcastle.

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Martin made flight tickets for the guests and the destinations were places we had either been or were going to on our honeymoon, and they were the names of the tables.

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We also left postcards of the places on the tables so that people could write us a special message and the beers on the table matched the table names – e.g. Phuket table had Chang beer & the Barcelona table had San Miguel beer etc!

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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There were a few favourite moments for me.  Martin did a rhyming speech which was hilarious and Martin’s brother sang during the ceremony which was really special.

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Andrew Billington Photography

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After the wedding we took a long honeymoon and travelled around Thailand for three weeks. 

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Andrew Billington Photography

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to stay true to what you originally want for your wedding – don’t be swayed by expensive stuff and extras that you don’t really need.

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Andrew Billington Photography

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Congratulations Stephanie & Martin!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on these pretty pages.

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  – Images © 2012 Andrew Billington 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

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Fashion Exclusive! Supplier Showcase: Fable & Promise PLUS The Chance To Win £1,000 Off Your Wedding Dress!

May 8th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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So it’s back to the office for most of us today, but it’s not all bad…

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I’m thrilled to introduce you to Brides Up North Featured Supplier Charlotte of Fable & Promise this morning on the wedding blog.  Never ones to do things by halves, the girls at Fable & Promise have even organised an exclusive fashion shoot at Blackpool pier to show off their gorgeous gowns especially to Brides Up North.  Now that’s commitment to the cause.

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These ladies will clearly go the extra mile to make your wedding day super special, and they are even offering one lucky bride the chance to win £1,000 off your wedding dress.  Not bad for a day’s work!  Keep reading to find out all about their wonderful service and how you can win.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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Tell Brides Up North a little bit about Fable & Promise

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Fable & Promise opened its doors in September 2011 but is not an entirely new company.

Before Fable & Promise was born we were a much smaller business: Silver Lining Sewing Rooms, offering bespoke bridal design and professional alterations in Blackburn. Rachel worked there full time with me and mum giving up all our evenings and weekends to help out. We loved that environment and the opportunity to be really creative. We dreamed about the possibility of working together properly but the size and location of the business pretty much dictated how much we could grow. We’d effectively reached our limit in that environment and were looking at our future when we were approached by a local bridal shop looking towards retirement. They didn’t have to ask twice and the rest is history… 6 very short weeks later Fable & Promise was created.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise   ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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San Patrick is our flagship bridal brand: we just love their innovation and style and the quality of their gowns is unrivalled. Their wedding dresses are simply stunning but we love them as a company too; starting out as lace manufacturer they are still a family company 90 years on and you can really tell they care about every one of their brides. It’s hard not to fall in love with them. Fable & Promise are a premier stockist meaning that we carry a wider range of styles than other retailers and we are the only stockist in Lancashire.

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We are also very proud to stock Linea Raffaelli bridal gowns. Linea Raffaelli isn’t afraid to experiment and their designs really appeal to those brides with more adventurous tastes. Their exquisite designs can use fabrics woven with metal threads and their collections contain some beautiful alternatives to ivory that really flatter all skin tones. There was no hesitation in adding Linea Raffaelli to our collections.

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We are also massive fans of Mori Lee. They have always been popular with our brides as their new collections are always fresh and extremely fashionable. They really know how to flatter all figures and add sparkle like no-one else. We’re really excited that we have also just extended our Mori Lee collections to include the Julietta range designed specifically for the fuller figure.

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There is also a new range due in store in a couple of months but we’re keeping this one under our hats for a little while…

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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We hear that you have a bespoke service? Tell us about it.

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Our bespoke service is really important to us. There are many reasons someone might chose to have a wedding dress or mother of the bride outfit made but predominantly our bespoke customers are after something they can’t find in available collections. We’ve made everything from romantic and ethereal floaty chiffon wedding dresses to ultra dramatic black satin encrusted with blood red handmade flowers. The excitement we feel when we begin a new bespoke creation is just immense and seeing it take shape can be quite emotional.

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I think there is something about the whole experience too… you bring all your ideas and inspiration, have them transferred to paper, see the design come together in toile form and then choose fabrics and embellishments which results in a totally unique, entirely original work of art that only you will ever wear. That can only be a special feeling.

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Our bespoke service doesn’t just stop at creating the perfect wedding dress. Our mother’s can also have a unique experience and love being able to have shoes, bags and hats made to match their bespoke outfit.

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Between the three of us we have a wide range of techniques and expertise under our belt; we love the opportunity to get creative with fabric flowers and intricate beading and Mum loves nothing more than unleashing her creativity on a flat piece of sinamay and turning it in to a cocktail hat or flamboyant fascinator.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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What lines of accessories do you stock?

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We are a bunch of magpies and love accessorising. Since we make a lot of our own accessories we maybe expect a higher standard from the designers we stock. We are careful to only carry lines that are handmade with the highest quality materials using the best techniques. That’s why we stock both Richard Designs and Liza Designs -  they have very different styles but both are continually bringing fresh and inspiring designs in tiaras, veils and jewellery.

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We are always on the lookout for new and interesting accessories to add that finishing touch. We have recently started stocking the most gorgeous crystal bouquets by Couture Crystal & Button Creations. They must spend hours collecting all the perfect trinkets to incorporate into each bouquet and the results are just beautiful. They can be completely personalised as well; adding family heirlooms and special charms or we can even save the hem lace from a wedding dress to be incorporated. We also love our line of lace parasols and bridal umbrellas by Chrysalin… entirely too practical in this British weather.

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And we mustn’t forget our Rainbow Club and Rainbow Couture shoes and bags. Their designs are extremely fashionable and they offer a range of fits and heel heights. Their dye-ing service is also second to none and fantastic for bridesmaids and mother of the bride outfits.

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All these ranges are supplemented by our own in-house ranges of bridal headwear, birdcage veils, handmade flower bouquets, shoe clips and garters. All of which can be modified to your heart’s content.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise    ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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Where are you located?

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We’re located in the centre of Blackburn, Lancashire – the heart of the textile industry (or it was). We’re lucky to be within easy reach of the M6 and M65 meaning we’re privileged to see brides travelling from Liverpool, Manchester and further afield. You can’t miss us really. We’re on the main road into Blackburn from Preston and fortunate to have off road parking.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise    ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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We are firm believers that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get beautiful design and quality fabrics. Our designer wedding dresses start at just £500 up to £2000 and with our bespoke service we really are able to tailor your design to your budget.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise    DSC_4200web

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

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We would always recommend making an appointment as we understand that it can be daunting to know where to start and difficult to navigate your way into layers of tulle and lace. We prefer to work by appointment as this allows us to manage our time and the workroom effectively and ensures you have our undivided attention. It is particularly worthwhile booking an appointment if you want to snap up one of our coveted evening or Saturday appointments and is essential if you know you want the bespoke service as space is limited. Don’t worry if you don’t have an appointment though as we will always try to make ourselves available and will endeavour to help our brides discover their style and find the perfect dress.

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What can Brides Up North expect when they come in to Fable & Promise?

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Fable & Promise really does offer something different to most bridal boutiques. We have a fantastic team who really do look after our brides. We’re also slightly eccentric which really appeals to those brides who want something more individual. We have been complimented time and again on our friendly and accommodating manner with many of our brides really valuing our ability to cater for the whole wedding party. Our brides really appreciate that we can take the stress out of making sure everything matches and everyone has found something that they really love to wear.

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

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This is one of our favourite games and one that has developed its own rituals. Whenever a new collection arrives at Fable & Promise all work stops, the boxes are broken open and the dresses brought out in a flurry of tissue paper and cellophane. The process of scrutinizing the designs begins and we love watching the team assess each new dress. This has actually recently developed into our ‘Dress of the week’ feature on Facebook … with nine of us at Fable & Promise there is definitely a wide range of tastes and it’s great to see how popular our choices are.

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My personal favourite at the minute is Calais by San Patrick. I love the elegance and 1920’s influence and adore the effect that meters and meters of super soft tulle creates. It’s also flattering for every body shape and beautiful in any size.

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

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We are noticing a couple of trends at the moment – 50’s inspired elegance with crisp lines and nipped in waists and romantic layers of lace.

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How does Fable & Promise provide a different experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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The main difference of Fable & Promise is that you really can get everything your heart desires… without compromise. We have fantastic designer collections but if there’s nothing in our collection that ticks all the boxes we have the ability to turn your wildest ideas into reality. Nothing is beyond our grasp.

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We are also passionate about helping people find other details for their wedding and like to encouraging relationships with other wedding professionals. There is some amazing talent in the wedding industry and it’s great to work with people who also share your passion.

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We also love to play out and experiment with staged photo shoots and we had such fun with Zoe from ZT Photography and Gail and Kelly from Couture Crystal & Button Bouquets on our exclusive photo shoot for Brides Up North in Blackpool that it really didn’t matter that it was teaming down with rain and as blustery as anything on the end of North Pier.  The day was coordinated by the The Wedding and Party Boutique with fabulous hair and make up by Hazel Tyler.  

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise    ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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Do you stock bridesmaid dresses?

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We have some stunning bridesmaid dresses to choose from and currently stock Mori Lee, Romantica, Ronald Joyce and Forever Yours bridesmaids. We usually have roughly 30 bridesmaid’s designs in our collection and with all of them available in up to 75 colours, up to size 34 and various lengths the options really are limitless. We also have a new range due in store in August. You could say we have a bit of an addiction. Rachel in particular is a sucker for a rainbow… if our suppliers arrange their collection in a rainbow it somehow seems essential that we have it all. Needless to say if you can’t find what you want from our collection you can always have something made.

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Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day? What would you choose to wear now?

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My husband and I got married 7 years ago. Of course we made all our outfits ourselves back when Rachel was seamstress for another bridal shop and the idea of Fable & Promise or Silver Lining was only a dream.

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I’m a dyed in the wool Goth and the idea of wearing Ivory brought me out in a cold sweat. I knew I wanted something unconventional and right up until buying the fabric I had planned to wear red.  At the last minute I changed my mind and wore black. It was absolutely the right decision and I’ve actually worn my wedding dress several times over the years.

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If we were getting married now I would probably choose something very similar but having developed so many techniques for embellishments would probably end up even more dramatic.

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?

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Our website www.FableandPromise.co.uk is a great source of information and is continually being updated. Our blog and events pages are where you’ll find out about any news, events or special offers. We also have Facebook www.facebook.com/fableandpromise and Twitter www.twitter.com/fableandpromise accounts which are updated daily and give you more of an insight in the day to day goings on. This is also where you will find out about the other wedding businesses we are working with.

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ZT Photography for Fable & Promise    ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

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Do you have any events coming up that Brides Up North should know about?

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We are actually hosting a wedding marquee as part of the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Society Countryside Experience in Witton Park, Blackburn on 20th May.  We have some fantastic wedding professionals on board offering a wide range of services from wedding flowers by Ewood Florist and photography by Colette Davies to the gogopod photo booth, Sweet Sensation Sweet Trees and Beautifully Vintage china hire. We also have some fantastic catwalk shows lined up showcasing some cutting edge designer gowns and excitingly for us we have invited some of our customers who have had bespoke creations made to come and strut their stuff on the catwalk too! We simply can’t wait!

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We are also holding a fantastic Prize draw where we have decided to offer up to £1000 off a wedding dress at Fable & Promise as the main prize! If you want to get tickets or more information they can click here.  

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It’s going to be completely different to your standard wedding fair; for a start it’s in a marquee rather than a hotel or stately home. It’s also forming part of a much larger event and is just one of the attractions organised for the day. You will also be able to take in some fantastic craft making, community activities, classic car shows, animal displays and much more. It promises to be a fantastic family day out.

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Shoot Credits Little Black Book:

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Gowns:  Fable & Promise

Images: ZT Photography

Shoes & Bouquets: Couture Crystal & Button Bouquets

Co-ordination: The Wedding and Party Boutique

Hair & Make Up:  Hazel Tyler

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  – Images © 2012 ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

Fable & Promise 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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