Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

fine romance. a luxurious styled wedding inspiration shoot in the peak district

April 27th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

A Romantic Styled Shoot in the Peak District (c) Shelley Richmond (33)

Thursday evening’s don’t come much better than this! It’s very nearly the beginning of a bank holiday weekend and to top that, we’ve got an uber-gorgeous styled shoot packed with wedding inspiration to share with you. Ladies, it’s time to let down your hair, fill up your glass (with bubbles, we hope) and feast your eyes on this bridal beauty.

Lead by award-winning Sheffield florist Tracey Campbell, of Campbell’s Flowers, this shoot is the work of a talented team of South Yorkshire suppliers who relished in the opulent ‘fine romance’ brief.

True to form, Tracey created some truly breath-taking designs, which were complemented by the stunning choice of bridal attire, hair, makeup and details.

The backdrop of the misty Peak District hills adds to the romantic tale, and we are thrilled to see a little cameo appearance from some rather gorgeous greyhounds.

With images by Shelley Richmond Photography. Models: Jessica Fletcher and Jessica Leatherday.

A Romantic Styled Shoot in the Peak District (c) Shelley Richmond (22)

tracey says: The big idea behind the shoot was to really visually explore the growing trend of floral wedding designs moving away from the meadowy, just-picked look so dominant in recent years, and towards a very opulent, luxe look. It’s an incredibly romantic look, so we worked with the shoot title ‘A Fine Romance’.

To create that style, I used lots of textures when crafting the floral designs, and maximised contrasts, by juxtaposing more traditional blooms, like amaryllis with exotic flora, such as King Protea.

A Romantic Styled Shoot in the Peak District (c) Shelley Richmond (19)

Much of the inspiration came from the wonderful Marilyn gown by Sassi Holford, particularly in terms of the colour palette, which featured silvery grey eucalyptus and pinks in a range of hues from soft, baby blushes through to some magnificently vivid magenta. The stunning gowns for the shoot, including Marilyn, were provided by Sheffield-based bridal boutique, The White Room.

A Romantic Styled Shoot in the Peak District (c) Shelley Richmond (16)

When it came to the shoot location, we decided on Losehill House Hotel and Spa. We’ve long been fans of this superb venue, and as preferred suppliers we adore working with them. For us, its incredible location is hard to beat as the rolling hills of the beautiful Peak District will always hold a very special place in our hearts; constantly inspiring us and drawing us back.

Losehill also perfectly matched our theme, as the whole place is brimming with luxury details and feels very special. We also love to collaborate with other businesses who share our ethos, and Losehill really does, particularly when it comes to insisting on quality and supporting local artisans and suppliers, for example, the lounge and restaurant furniture was all hand crafted to their design by a nearby company.

A Romantic Styled Shoot in the Peak District (c) Shelley Richmond (34)

To create our romantic, high-end look with our flowers for the shoot, we focused on a contemporary classic look that was all refined elegance with a muted, soft and incredibly feminine colour palette, which we then contrasted with vivid colour pops like cerise. We also incorporated rich colours that were reminiscent of oil paintings, such as a deep emerald green as seen in the simple ivy crowns.

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look book: simple silhouettes

December 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime


Jesus Peiro

Understated glamour is the buzz phrase within 2017 bridal collections as designers strip back the beads, pearls and crystals to create fuss-free and flawless gowns with minimal detailing.

Perfect for those who believe that less is more, the fresh designs are all about clean lines and cuts with an emphasis on rich and luxurious looking materials that help to heighten the elegance. From sleek, slimline designs to eye-catching A-lines, there’s a style and silhouette to suit all shapes and sizes.


Rosa Clara

And if the perfectly plain creations are a step too sophisticated for some, there are designs featuring feminine detailing in pretty bows and soft lace trims as well as those with deep backs, plunging v-necklines and thigh-high splits, for the more daring bride to bare little skin.

For a truly classic look we love the structured and more traditional designs in rich Mikado silks. Meanwhile for the fashionista bride, there are beautifully uncomplicated jumpsuits and simple separates that provide a more on-trend alternative to the stripped-back trend.


Sassi Holford

Spanish designers in particular are doing the look on point, with ultra-ladylike designs coming from Rosa Clara and Pronovias, while Jesus Peiro offers more striking and statement pieces. Favourites for us include the stunning slim-line Nantes gown by Rosa Clara and the feminine yet flirty Tabina by Pronovias.

British designer Sassi Holford has also executed the art of simplicity beautifully within her recent collections with Davina and Darcy both proving to be big hits on The White Gallery catwalk earlier this year, and one of our favourite gowns from Charlotte Balbier‘s Untamed Love had to be the delicious Agatha. 


Charlotte Balbier

Those that choose to go down the clean route can opt to keep their accessories and styling in line with the style with subtle jewellery and neat hair, or alternatively make more of an impact with statement jewellery and modern, undone hair styling to complete their desired bridal look.

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inspiring designs: introducing so sassi

October 20th, 2016 | Julia Braime



Engaged or not, looking at beautiful bridal wear is one of our very favourite pastimes and so we’re excited and honoured to be adding another fabulous designer to our list of Sponsors. Ladies, prepare to swoon as we welcome So Sassi to the blog.

As its name suggests, this label is all about brides showing their own unique style through their bridal attire choices, whether they are looking to achieve a pretty and timeless look or to make a real style statement.

Inspired by both designer and high-street fashions, So Sassi also enables brides to think outside the bridal box, with striking separates, big playful bows and even cute caped designs, all forming part of the latest collection.



Can you give us a little background on So Sassi and how the label came to fruition?

so sassi say: So Sassi was created in 2012 as the esprit label from Sassi Holford. The gowns are designed for the fashion forward bride looking for a twist on tradition. The gowns are designed and handmade by a team of talented fashion graduates at the Sassi Holford studios in Somerset.

What is the ethos behind So Sassi dresses and what type of brides do the designs appeal to?

The ethos behind the label is about having fun – we wanted to create a collection that is fashionably stylish but that also keeps the light hearted aspect of bridal. Our ideal bride has her own unique style.

Tell us a little about the latest So Sassi collection?

The 2017 collection has a playful yet romantic vibe! We have gorgeous romantic gowns like Pixie which feature soft tulle, subtle sparkle bodice and diamante waist detail, but then we have Daisy which is a really pretty hi-lo, 3D floral lace gown – it’s so cute!



Where did the inspiration for the collection come from?

Our inspiration comes from many sources; the runway, cool accessories and high street styles. These themes are then developed and combined with shapes and fabrics, it all comes together from there. The collection was really exciting to put together this year and we feel it definitely shows in the dresses!

What types of fabrics feature in the collection?

We experimented with a few fabrics and fabric combinations this year, putting together beautiful soft tulles, stunning spot organza, soft crepe and illusion laces with bold checked fabric and 3D florals. There is also a gorgeous new leaf lace detailed fabric that we’re hoping to see a lot more of!

Similarly, what types of detailing feature in the collection?

We’ve really focussed in on ensuring that the details are just as important as the overall look of the dress. We’ve created a few more accessories for brides, to help transform their looks by simply adding or taking a way an accessory. For example our Jasmine jacket can be removed and replaced with the Crystal belt for the evening!

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diary date: sassi holford & so sassi collection preview at the little pearl bridal boutique

October 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime


Ladies, if you’re on the dream dress hunt then grab a pen and prepare to take note, for we have news of an exciting event that features two of our fabulous Sponsors.

On Friday 21st October and Saturday 22nd October, the gorgeous Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in Pickering, Yorkshire, will be hosting a Sassi Holford and So Sassi collection preview, to which you are invited to attend. The exclusive event will feature the full range of dresses from Sassi’s new Twenty Seventeen collection, as well as stunning dresses from the So Sassi diffusion line.

Unsurprisingly appointments for this event are in high demand, so let’s not delay in handing over the blog to Little Pearl owner Diana, who can give us full details, including how to secure a place…


What can brides-to-be expect from the collection preview event include?

diana says: All of the gowns from Sassi’s new Twenty Seventeen collection, plus a selection of certain styles from her previous collections, will be in the boutique. We are also very excited to be hosting a So Sassi collection preview on the same day too. So Sassi is the diffusion line to Sassi Holford. This collection mixes Sassi’s signature elegant silhouettes with super-cute, fashion-focused styles.

Will there be any special treats in store?

Every Little Pearl event comes with lots of special treats, including fizz, cakes, luxury goody bags, and a £100 accessory voucher with any order placed on the day.

What would you say are the main benefits of the preview event for brides-to-be?

Not all of Sassi’s new collection has hit boutiques yet so this event allows brides exclusive access to Sassi’s whole collection in one place! Plus it’s a chance to enjoy lots of extra special treats too

How many appointments will be available on the day and how long will the appointments last?

Our collection preview will run across two days – Friday 21st October and Saturday 22nd October – to give more brides the chance to come and view and try on this stunning collection. Each appointment will last one hour and 15 minutes, with brides given exclusive use of the boutique during that time.


Tell us a little about the Sassi Holford collection…

The Twenty Seventeen collection encompasses beautifully fitted fishtails, subtle hints of colour, full skirted gowns, soft crepe skirts, rose satin belts and unique wrap coat gowns – perfect for the classically modern bride. Sassi has really pushed boundaries with her new collection, bringing more of a stylish yet tailored twist to the separates trend and, of course, I’m loving the increased introduction of colour into the collection.

And what about the So Sassi collection?

The So Sassi collection introduces details like high-lo hemlines and tops and full tulle skirts, just perfect for modern brides who like their bridal traditions with a creative twist.  I love the fun element of the So Sassi collection and it still gives brides that amazing couture fit.

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understated glamour. sassi holford for classic wedding at rudding park – michaela & ben

April 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Chic Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (38)

Prepare to get pinning ladies as this morning’s real wedding is a true beauty!

Having dreamt about her wedding day since being a little girl, bride Michaela knew exactly what she wanted for her moment in the limelight – from her dress to the décor!

The result of her careful planning is a beautifully classic wedding celebration, centred round a romantic colour scheme of white, grey and silver (a Brides Up North favourite!) The attire of the wedding party is a definite highlight for us; from the men’s dapper suits and bridesmaids’ lacy dresses and, of course, Michaela’s fabulous Sassi Holford gown.

With images by our superstar Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood Photography.

A Chic Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (41)

michaela says: We got engaged on the 13th February 2013, in the middle of Central Park, New York. New York was in the middle of a snow storm with below freezing weather conditions so our trip was definitely a cold one. The sun was shining on the 13th and the temperatures had increased so we took a stroll through the park. We started off with a horse carriage ride around the park where Ben had initially planned to pop the questions but our rider had plenty to say and Ben could not get a word in edge ways so he had to change his plan. As we were walking through the park he got down on one knee near the John Lennon memorial “Strawberry Fields” in front of a lot of tourists. I could tell Ben was very nervous  and embarrassed doing it in front of others and it took me a while to get my response out from nervous laughing but I eventually said “yes, of course”.  He said he felt like he was down on one knee for ages with people starring and taking photos.

A Chic Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (57)

Our wedding took place on the 1st May 2015. I always wanted a spring wedding as it’s my favourite season and the 1st May is a special day for me as it’s my grandma’s birthday. It was lovely that my grandma got a double celebration on her birthday plus she got to spend it with all her family.  It was a double advantage that it fell on a Bank Holiday weekend so we had an extra-long weekend of celebrations.

We got married at the Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate. We knew as soon as went to visit that it was the perfect place for us to have our big day. It was a mixture of old and new, modern and traditional, which is exactly what we wanted – plus it had gorgeous grounds, which was another thing on my wish list.

A Chic Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (43)

I always wanted a classic wedding with a modern twist so this was the theme I ran with. I had grown up watching American chick flick movies and got a lot inspiration from them when I was a teenager so I knew from a young age things I wanted when the time came for me to have my own wedding.

As our planning got underway we chose a lot of grey, silver and white which came to form the colour scheme. We also added a mixture of mirrored objects into the decor to give it a stylish modern twist.

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well dressed. sassi holford for an elegant wedding at iscoyd park – emily & rory

May 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (63)

Bride Emily experienced a nightmare situation when the boutique she had found her gown in went out of business. Determined to still secure her dream dress, Emily went straight to the designer whose team went above and beyond to make sure she got her wish – and we’re sure you will all agree she looked absolutely stunning!

Groom Rory then chose to reflect his family roots by donning traditional Scottish Highland dress for the occasion and the pretty maids completed the attractive line-up in their elegant lavender dresses.

An abundance of pretty blooms in bouquets, button holes and décor enhanced the already romantic setting of Iscoyd Park for one very dreamy day indeed.

With images by Jo Bradbury Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (26)

emily says: Rory had planned a romantic trip to Ireland where he intended to propose at Giant’s Causeway. Unfortunately heavy snow over two consecutive weekends scuppered his plans. I was wondering why he was so insistent that we travel to Ireland in a blizzard. Having asked my parents’ permission I think he was becoming worried about the cat being let out of the bag so, during a snowy weekend in January, whilst I was busy defrosting the freezer, he called me into our living room where I found him down on one knee. I was completely shocked, it was so unexpected but absolutely perfect as it was.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (29)

We had originally planned to marry on the 2nd August, which would have been five years to the day that we had met, but when we eventually found our perfect venue the only date they had available was 24th May 2014. So although it was a little earlier than we had planned it was absolutely worth it to secure the venue.

We got married at Iscoyd Park in Shropshire. Apart from being the most beautiful Georgian house in a gorgeous setting, from the very start the staff were overwhelmingly wonderful and relaxed and remained so right through to the big day itself – absolutely nothing appeared to be too much trouble.  I had become a bit of a bridezilla and was struggling to find a venue that ticked all our boxes. Iscoyd Park ticked the boxes and more, I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (2)

We didn’t have a fixed theme as such we just wanted an elegant and happy day with lots of personal touches and I like to think we achieved that. In terms of colour, we tried to match one of the colours to Rory’s family tartan, which was a sort of dusty lavender.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (40)

After a fairly exhaustive search, I settled on a dress by Sassi Holford. Unfortunately the shop where I had ordered the dress from went out of business just before the wedding leaving me without a dress. Thankfully Sassi Holford were incredible and after a trip from Derbyshire to Taunton to be re-measured they made another dress from scratch. I really can’t thank the team at Sassi Holford enough for pulling out all the stops to make the dress for me at breakneck speed to ensure I had the dress of my dreams.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (43)

Rory’s family is Scottish so he opted to follow tradition and wear a kilt, which was hired from Greenwoods. The best man also wore a kilt hired from Greenwoods. Rory also had sgian-dubhs, worn as part of traditional Scottish Highland dress, made and personalised to go with the kilts.

Sourcing bridesmaid dresses in the right colour proved more challenging than I had originally thought but, thanks to family in the USA, we were able to obtain them from Donna Morgan via Nordstrom.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (16)

We booked Iscoyd Park for the whole weekend so my bridesmaids and I stayed in a beautiful cottage in the grounds the night before for a girly spa evening and Rory drove himself to Iscoyd the morning of the wedding.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (41)

In our view, the photography was probably one of the most important elements, it is really the only thing you are left with other than memories after the day itself and I really wanted to be able to look back and see all the little details and moments from our wedding. Our photographer was Jo Bradbury. She had photographed my mum’s wedding to my step father at which I had been a bridesmaid, so I knew from direct experience that the photographs would be beautiful. Rory and I aren’t always the most serious of people, and models we certainly are not, so I really wanted someone who would be able guide us. I could not recommend Jo highly enough. She was there from getting ready, where she was incredibly non-intrusive during the nervous moments but was able to capture some really lovely shots. She then stayed almost right until the end to get photos of some dodgy dancing. Very importantly she managed to make one of the rainiest days of the year (we even had to throw the confetti indoors) look like a classic late spring day.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (47)

I carried a bouquet of white peonies, roses, freesia with a lamb’s ear greenry. All the bouquets and buttonholes were provided by Selina Godsal, the mother-in-law of Phil who owns Iscoyd Park. She is the on-site florist which is so handy for tying in meetings with venue visits.

I wanted predominantly white flowers so we used peonies, roses, hydrangeas, gypsophila with a few coloured roses in the hanging vases behind the top table. We decided early on to do some of the flowers ourselves so my mum sourced an enormous van-load of flowers from her local flower stall in Manchester as well as the best part of a small lavender bush from friends. We arranged them in hundreds of vases sourced from Ikea. Selina then did some big displays for us in the ceremony room and a large ball display hanging from the centre of the marquee.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (48)

I wanted to do something a little different for the favours and as I had decided most of the flowers and table settings were to be white I added a little colour by planting succulents into small glasses which would double as a wedding favour and a name place setting. It’s quite nice really as I am still getting updates from our guests nearly a year on as to how their plant has grown.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (49)

I had seen a cake on Pinterest which I fell in love with and which fitted well into our dusty lavender theme. We couldn’t decide what flavour to have so went for different flavours in each tier. It was absolutely beautiful and tasted great too!

I was given free rein on the décor for the wedding but the food was definitely my husband’s domain. Iscoyd works closely with the Fine Dining Company – the food was incredible and not only tasted great but looked lovely too.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (57)

For entertainment, we had the Vittorio String Quartet play as our guests arrived and as I walked down the aisle through to the drinks reception. I’m not sure it was necessarily a wise decision as I managed to cry almost every time I heard them play in the run up to the wedding. Thankfully, I successfully held it together on the big day.

For the evening Iscoyd suggested a DJ for us which was really useful as we are not from the area so any recommendations were gratefully received. We spoke to Robert Maxfield who asked our likes and dislikes music wise and he really created a party atmosphere for our evening of dancing.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (59)

I took a lot of inspiration from Pinterest for the little details. We printed a little poem for the ladies bathroom complete with a basket of toiletries to try and refresh the guests before continuing the party. Another of my favourite details were the little packs of tissues on the seats for during the ceremony; ‘for happy tears’. I really wanted to personalise a lot of the wedding so we had various things made, from a wooden card box painted with our names and wedding date, to the arrows directing the guests to the venue.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (6)

Other suppliers we used that I would recommend include Sash and Co who supplied the belt to go with my wedding dress. This too was originally ordered from the bridal shop that went out of business so they also pulled out all the stops to remake the belt in time. Gemma Cosgrove was my make-up artist, who was another calming influence on the morning of the wedding, not forgetting my friend Emma who not only managed to do my hair but also four bridesmaids, two flower girls and a few aunts all in time for the ceremony! Jean Jackson Couture also deserves a mention for making my mum look amazing!

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (12)

I actually don’t think I can ever recommend Iscoyd Park highly enough. Not only is it incredibly beautiful but the people there are great too, Jen the wedding planner and Phil the owner were always on hand for any questions I had and Jen particularly really put my mind at ease. They have the perfect set up from the onsite beauticians and florist to the luxurious accommodation and venue. They urge you to make Iscoyd your home for the duration of your stay which I have to say, during what can be such a stressful time, was a really welcome comfort.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (4)

The moment that stands out in my mind from the wedding day is hearing the string quartet start to play as I began to walk down the aisle and catching the eye of my soon to be husband – a moment which Jo managed to capture perfectly. My mum’s speech was also incredibly touching, not sure there was a dry eye in the house, including a couple of Rory’s friends from the Army. Other than that I genuinely loved everything from getting ready with all the girls to the amazing best man speech to endless dancing and finally being able to call Rory my husband.

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (1)

We went on a mini moon to a lovely boutique hotel in Norfolk booked through Mr and Mrs Smith. Later in the year we then went to stay in Tuscany in the most magnificent villa called Villa Fontelunga. Neither of us had ever been to Italy before and it is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Phillip and Paulo the owners of Fontelunga were so welcoming and although we were offsite in our own villa they were always at the end of the phone to make dinner reservations for us or recommend places to visit. They hold weekly dinners for all the guests where everyone can get together to eat, drink and have lots of laughs overlooking the gorgeous rolling hills of Tuscany! We absolutely cannot wait to plan our return trip!

An Elegant Wedding at Iscoyd Park (c) Jo Bradbury Photography (70)

My top tip for other Brides Up North to help with the planning would be – Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest (you can follow Brides Up North’s boards on Pinterest here). It became my wedding planning bible, from colour schemes to flowers, to personalised details, I found it a really useful tool to create a mood board for the wedding.

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