Brides Up North

pearl’s girls. introducing the little pearl bridal boutique.

January 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (3)

This morning on these pretty pages I’m very proud to introduce a new Brides Up North Sponsor and brand new (so new its doors haven’t even opened!) bridal boutique for North Yorkshire, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique.

The boutique’s fabulous owner, the lovely Diana, wanted to organise a special photo shoot to show off the wedding dresses that you’ll be able to find at The Little Pearl on launch day and beyond.  I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously excited…

Readers, I give you, pearl’s girls.

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography, Samantha Ward Photography and Georgina Harrison Photography, as individually credited in our gallery.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (9)

diana says: The inspiration behind the launch shoot for The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique was creating our own style of hollywood glamour.  Our vision for the boutique is elegant yet stylish with a warm, relaxed and welcoming feel.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (16)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (2)

We decided on The Talbot Hotel in Malton as a shoot location due its classic British design, period features, but also its modern take on traditional comforts.  The landscaped gardens and historic setting also provided some great backdrops for the photographers to work their magic!  We had the most talented people in Yorkshire involved on the day, all assisted by my good friend Jonny Draper at Jonny Draper Photography, who helped bring all these fantastic people together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (15)

We had the best photographers Yorkshire has to offer, who all brought their different style and edge to the shoot.  Hayley Baxter has such a contemporary style to her shooting, with the most stunning use of light.  Samantha Ward takes a relaxed and romantic approach. She’s passionate about film photography and incorporates shooting film within the wedding day, producing beautiful images, rich in tone and depth. Sam was thrilled to be involved in the Little Pearl Bridal photo shoot and says “Diana has sourced some stunning dresses for her boutique along with incredibly beautiful accessories and what a wonderful opportunity to be able to photograph these gowns and details creatively with film.”

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (11)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (10)

Georgina Harrison shoots hybrid with traditional medium format film along side digital. Her style is feminine, using natural light to create luminous , light airy images that have a sense of romance with soft pastel tones. She always loves shooting bridal portraits and making woman feel comfortable so was delighted to be involved in this shoot and despite the damp, grey day she produced some gorgeous soft, light romantic images.

Having these photographers come together for our launch shoot was an honour and they’ve captured such beautiful and complimentary shots between them.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (4)

Our stunning models were styled by the superb and internationally renowned, hair and make up artist, Catherine Elizabeth.  She came along knowing exactly what would work both for the shoot and on the models themselves – a true pleasure.  I even learnt a few techniques myself!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (8)

Sarah of Leafy Couture brought along some stunning floral displays, from bouquets to floral crowns, which helped bring the essence of glamour and elegance together.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (3)

The models (Laura, Kirstie, Livvie and Molly) are all friends of mine and even though it was a new experience for them, they were naturals! They all brought something different to the shots and loved playing dress up for the day!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (6)

The shoot itself went so well! Obviously it was my first time organising and running something like this, and everyone involved was so supportive and helpful throughout the day.  I loved finally seeing the dresses on, watching their movement and experimenting with different accessories to complete the look.  They all looked stunning!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (7)

The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique is a beautifully elegant boutique, situated in the historic market town of Pickering, North Yorkshire.  We will be opening the doors in February and can’t wait for brides to come and see us.  Searching for your perfect gown is such an emotional experience, and should be a joy from the moment you start seeking out what designers you like to the day you walk down the aisle.

I have had a passion for all things bridal for as long as I can remember.  After working with my husband in the wedding industry and then searching for my own gown, I knew that opening a bridal boutique was my destiny.  I wanted to give brides the experience that I feel you should have when planning such an important purchase!

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) GH Photography (1)

At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring ourcustomers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles.  Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches.  Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).

We have lots of exciting plans for the boutique, including exclusive events and helping brides and their families get access to and experience the very best wedding suppliers in Yorkshire.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Samantha Ward Photography (14)

The diary is now open! We will be having a launch open day, so follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to Pearls Girls via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl.  Contact us at diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutiqe.co.uk to book your Little Pearl experience now.

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lookbook: city sleek.

January 7th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Mae & detachable skirt - Stephanie Allin

Mae by Stephanie Allin

We were recently Highly Commended in the Wedding Blog Awards 2014′s “Best City Wedding Blog” category, and chic cosmopolitan styling is one of our favourite trends for wedding day fashion, like, ever.  goodbye meringues! A stylish city ceremony gives brides-to-be the opportunity to rock sleek attire that varies from the wedding norm.

Moving around busy urban areas and climbing staircases of grand city halls and hotels calls for a slim line, fluid number that isn’t going to slow you down or trip you up. And we’re not just talking dresses; a city centre do pushes the style boundaries wide open, inviting fashion forward brides to consider a two-piece skirt and top design, or even an all in jumpsuit, Solange Knowles style.

Those preferring to stick to tradition with a dress can always hitch up their hemline to free their feet ready for stepping out through bustling streets.

Pia - Monique Lhuillier

Pia by Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier has some particularly striking options for city brides, including stylish mini-length dresses and sophisticated two-piece designs.

Billie is a particular favourite of mine, not that I would be brave enough to work its cut-away silhouette. But for those that are, its gorgeous crisscross crop top and elegant illusion pencil skirt scream high fashion. Meanwhile, for those planning a more vintage affair, the pretty embroidered Charlotte top and ballerina skirt cover a little more flesh and are still easy to get around in.

Lhuillier’s short-length dresses are also incredibly swoon-worthy options, particularly the Pia and simple yet striking Zelda designs.

Pia - Monique Lhuillier

Billie by Monique Lhuillier

Zelda - Monique Lhuillier

Zelda by Monique Lhuillier

The princess of prettiness, Stephanie Allin boasts several slim line dresses within her collections that would most definitely stand out in a city scene.

Chicago, Eternal, Ingrid and Olivia are all stunning examples of city simplicity at its best, but for those wanting a more structured design there is the Ashlea or even Mae, which has a detachable skirt, to give brides two equally wonderful looks.

The pièce de résistance has to be Allin’s Garbo jumpsuit as she dares to go where few other designers would. The fabulous sweet-heart neckline and wide-leg design also has an optional lace shrug for that extra piece of prettiness and cover-up where required.

Chicago  - Stephanie Allin

Chicago by Stephanie Allin

Olivia  - Stephanie Allin

Olivia by Stephanie Allin

Eternal  - Stephanie Allin

Eternal by Stephanie Allin

Garbo  - Stephanie Allin

Garbo by Stephanie Allin

Finally, I’d encourage city brides to consider the svetle, sleek lines of Suzanne Neville’s Novello Collection (click here to see a preview on Brides Up North), the fab and flirty frocks in Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection (click here) or some of Sassi Holford’s cute designs as big day contenders.

For city brides wanting to bring a bit of bling to their big day, well, you can’t go wrong with a beaded Jenny Packham number, can you?

Simone - Jenny Packham

Simone by Jenny Packham

Rio-Jenny-Packham

Rio by Jenny Packham

Noa-Jenny-Packham

Noa by Jenny Packham

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real wedding recap 2014. a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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real wedding recap winter 2014: all things bright and beautiful for a city centre wedding – katy & tony

December 23rd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.

Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.  Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (39)

This bright and beautiful wedding is guaranteed to inject a big boost of colour and happiness into your day.

Creative couple Tony and Katy tied the knot in the super city of Sheffield, starting off with their ceremony in the stunning Town Hall before moving onto the nearby Workstation for a fabulous afternoon tea and evening celebrations.

To really make the day their own they included lots of vibrant decorations, quirky homemade touches and beautiful blooms, all of which was captured perfectly by their talented photographer.

With images by Photography34

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (27)

katy says: We got engaged on New Year’s Day 2013. We had been to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party and Tony had taken the ring, but he couldn’t find the right moment when we were both alone.  The following morning we both woke up early and Tony asked me what I was doing for the rest of my life as he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then produced my beautiful ring! I cried a little and then called the world.

We set the date for Saturday May 24th 2014. We wanted to get married over a Bank Holiday as we had lots of guests who would be travelling a distance so we were keen to make sure they had plenty of time to party and recover.

I think we must have viewed almost every venue in Yorkshire, but we couldn’t find anything which would allow us to create the different look and feel we were hoping for within our budget. We are both from Sheffield and love to city so when we found the Workstation which is part of the Showroom Cinema and met Mark the sales manager, it ticked all the boxes. He was so accommodating and because the venue is an exhibition centre he allowed us to dress it exactly how we wanted. We originally wanted to get married at the same place as our reception but this was not possible at the Workstation so we started to look for somewhere close by. We had walked past Sheffield Town Hall hundreds of times but had never been inside. Once we did we were blown away by how beautiful the building was, especially the fabulous staircase.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (13)

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (7)

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (16)

Very early on in our wedding planning I discovered Pinterest, and began pinning ideas to a mood board. We knew the venue was going to need a lot of dressing so we decided to hire someone to help with this. Jennie from Hansley Beard came highly recommended by our venue and she did a fabulous job of keeping me calm, my ideas focused and she planned the design to the finest detail, we could not have done it without her.

We knew we wanted to do things differently and we wanted the whole feel of the day to be bright, colourful, fun and homemade. We both like colour – our house is full of it. We originally found some bright material which we liked at The Range store, we used this as the basis for our colour scheme, they had paper, buttons etc all in the same collection which was great. Bright coloured ribbons and buttons then became the main theme throughout the wedding. We didn’t want a traditional wedding so decided that lots of bright colours would really help create a different atmosphere. We are so happy that we went with these colours in the end as our wedding day turned out to be raining and gloomy but the colours helped keep everyone bright and cheery!

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (14)

I always knew that I wanted a fitted lace dress and I fell in love with Pippa, a Sassi Holford dress which was well over my budget.  I searched the internet and to my complete amazement I found Silk Bridal in Litchfield selling a sample of this dress in my size. I would highly recommend this bridal shop – they made my wedding dress experience so memorable. Helen, the seamstress, could not do enough to help with my alterations and every time we visited the shop I was made to feel just as special as the last. My friend Serena, very kindly lent me her beautiful Jenny Packham headband for my something borrowed. I’m actually selling my dress it is currently listed on eBay and preloved. Although I will be very sad to see this dress go, it would give me great pleasure for another bride to have a chance to wear a fabulous Sassi Holford dress.

Tony wore a bright blue tailored three-piece suit from Moss Bros in Meadowhall, homemade emerald green tie and shoes from Ted Baker.

I knew that I didn’t want traditional bridesmaid dresses or anything too formal; I wanted something that they would wear again so they wore emerald green maxi dresses from Mango which were accessorised with belts from H&M.  The best man wore a bright blue suit from Moss Bros and our page boy, my nephew, wore a little navy suit from Next, a homemade emerald green bow tie and some white Converse boots which he loved!

Tony’s mum’s friend made all the bouquets and button holes. I picked the flowers for these, along with the flowers for the venue, from the Parkway Flower Market in Sheffield. I had a hand-tied bouquet with bright flowers including Gerberas,Ranunculus, Gentian and Craspedia. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were similar, just a bit smaller. All the bouquets had ribbons hanging from the stems.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (12)

We both share a love for VWs, especially retro split screen camper vans and we knew that we couldn’t arrive any other way. We hired the stunning ‘Johnny’ from Something old Something New. As our venues were close together we were able to use the same van for the whole wedding party.

We were let down by a friend who was originally planning on doing our photography, very close to the wedding day. Tony at Photography34 was recommended to us and to our delight he was available on our date. Choosing Tony was the best decision we made, after getting married of course! He had a very relaxed, natural style and went above and beyond. He made us, and our guests, feel relaxed all day. Our guests noted how hard he worked on the day. Most importantly he captured all the detail, fun and laughter of the day.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (24)

When we started planning we decided that we wanted things to be as personal as possible and make as much ourselves as we could. Having ‘Brown Owl’ as my mother-in-law-to-be made this a lot easier. Jennie from Hansley Beard helped us to create our desired look with lots of help from our bridesmaids, best man and friends. We had homemade bunting, pom poms, table numbers, seating plan, card box, paper covered jars as centre pieces. We also used fairy lights to decorate the mezzanine. We had bright coloured ribbons hanging from the back of all the chairs and a ribbon drop which cascaded from the mezzanine to the dance floor. I went to the Parkway Flower Market with Jennie, other than Gerberas which are my favourite flowers I wasn’t that particular, it was mainly the colours I was looking for. We incorporated all the flowers from the bouquets as well as Golden Glory, lime green and yellow bloom Chrysanthemums. Jennie then arranged all the flowers for the venue and centre pieces, and made these look great, she truly was amazing!

Tony’s mum and I made homemade rhubarb jam for our favours. The rhubarb was home grown in Tony’s dad’s allotment.

I love baking so the wedding cake was very important. We had a four-tiered cake covered with bright coloured hearts. The actual cake was striped coloured Victoria sponge with butter cream and made by Gemma at Iced Gems. We had two wooden birds with matching hearts as cake toppers which we got from Etsy.

We didn’t want to have a formal three-course wedding meal so we decided to have afternoon tea with prosecco for our wedding breakfast.  In the evening we had pie and peas with plenty of Henderson’s relish!

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (37)

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (47)

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (52)

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (53)

The entertainment was really important to us, we wanted a big party with all our friends and family, and I love to dance. For our ceremony we had a friend, Rebecca Guy sing and play her guitar. As a wedding present my parents got Paul Pashley, Sheffield’s answer to Michael Bublé, to sing at our evening reception. Not only does he have an amazing voice, he was a little bit of eye candy for the ladies. We then had a DJ who played us into the early hours.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (46)

We did include quite a few special touches in our big day. Tony’s mum made a very cute ring cushion for Reuben, our page boy, in the same material as the bunting and sewed buttons all over it, he was very proud of his special job.

We hired some beautiful vintage crockery from Jameson’s Tearoom for the afternoon tea, and one of the highlights was their teacup glasses which we served the prosecco in.

We chose big illuminated ‘LOVE’ letters from Typical Type as a backdrop to our dance floor, and our homemade photo booth and they were the talk of all our guests. Once we had decided on the letters it helped us decide on our first dance – L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole sang by Paul Pashley.

We both share a love of sweets, so a sweet table was a must. We brought in our theme by laying the table with ribbons, we used the same paper we had used for the centre pieces for the sweet labels and homemade pin wheels, and then had bright coloured paper fans as the backdrop to the table.

I found a finger print poster tree from Etsy which was a wonderful alternative to a guest book. Our guests added their fingerprints as ‘leaves’ to the tree and wrote their names. We now have this framed and it acts as a daily reminder of our special day and the guests we shared it with.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (55)

My favourite part of the wedding day came at the end of our first dance. Jennie, who had helped us to design our wedding day, had arranged with our guests to drop all the off cuts from the ribbons from the mezzanine above the dance floor. This was a total surprise and the only thing throughout the day which we had not planned for. This was an amazing moment which Tony, our photographer, captured perfectly and we have used one of these images for our thank you cards.

We went on honeymoon two days after or wedding; we spent two days is Dubai and eight in the Maldives. Dubai was very hot and we packed in a lot within the two days; tours of the city and a dessert safari. Then the Maldives, which was absolute paradise, was the total opposite to Dubai, quiet and relaxing, which was exactly what we needed after the wedding.

a bright and beautiful wedding in Sheffield (c) Photography34 (63)

My advice to other Brides Up North would be to do what makes you happy and have the day that you want, not what others expect of you. That is so important. You want to look back on your day and know that you had it exactly how you wanted it. It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t follow traditions or you think people won’t like your ideas, as long as you do, that’s all that matters. Tony’s advice would be at some point during the wedding breakfast, to go around each table and speak with your guests and thank them for coming, as it’s a very busy day and you don’t get chance to spend very much time with anyone. Our collective advice is to make sure you both take time together to have a few moments to take everything in as the day will go past so fast.

It rained for the most of our day, but like Louis Armstrong sang, we didn’t care what the weather man said, when the weatherman said it was raining as you didn’t hear us or anyone else complaining!

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eye candy. So Sassi 2015

December 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

So Sassi 2015 - Gabrielle Back CU

It’s Friday.  Got your cuppa in one hand, bacon buttie in the other?

Excellent.  Time for a bit of dress gazing

So Sassi 2015 - Paige & Jacket 1

This morning, we debut multi award-winning wedding gown designer Sassi Holford’s 2015 Collection of her esprit label, So Sassi. Perfect for the young, modern bride with a sense of fashion and her own style, So Sassi is the creation of a young design team working in a highly creative environment under Sassi’s expert tutelage.

So Sassi 2015 - Petula CU 1

So Sassi 2015 - Paige CU 1

So Sassi 2015 - Colette

sassi says: The collection features fresh, spirited dresses that combine exquisite silks and laces with contemporary twists – key hole backs, cut outs, sheer cap sleeves and ballerina length tulle. The dresses are handmade in our workrooms in Somerset and the collection retails from £1,100.

So Sassi 2015 - Kitty

Our young designers understand the exuberance and style of contemporary brides and that really comes across in the collection.  It’s attracted a great deal of interest from brides looking for dresses that express that sense of joie de vivre that makes a wedding day so special – and being ‘made in England’ has become a key element.

So Sassi 2015 - Arabella back CU

So Sassi 2015 - Willow 1

So Sassi 2015 - Maisie CU 1

For more, visit www.sosassi.so

For more gowns and dress details, see our gallery below.

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Look Book: The Bow Factor

July 10th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Rosa by Stephanie Allin

Rosa by Stephanie Allin 

From small to big and neat to blousy, bows are everywhere. 

A pretty addition to many wedding dresses, ribbons, sashes and bows can be used for delicate detailing or to make one heck of a statement.

Traditionally bows appeared in the back of the dress and were used to cinch in the waist, but today designers are making bolder statements with bows, placing them on the front of the dress, the side, or even on the shoulder.

Honour by Stephanie Allin

Honour by Stephanie Allin

Graceful bows feature quite heavily in Stephanie Allin’s Day and Night collection. Rosa, Heaven and Bardot are equally dreamy designs with slim-line bow and ribbon detailing. Allin’s steely toned Masquerade dress also features a delicate bow, but in the back. Meanwhile her Honour dress (which I have swooned over too many times) gives brides the option to tie its stunning sage green sash, complete with fabulous floral corsages, in the front, back or side, depending on their styling preference.

Stephanie Allin

Images: Stephanie Allin

Those looking for simple bow designs will find options in the collections of Ronald Joyce, Ellis and Sassi Holford, including large princess style gowns as well as structured slim-line creations. Ellis’ tea-length fifties 11404 style dress is a cute example as is Sassi Holford’s Martha dress. Those looking for more detailed designs might prefer Ronald Joyce’s Bernice dress. Its slim-line silhouette features a beautiful cowl neck and embroidery detailing, all finished off with a large jewel-centred bow on the side.

Martha by Sassi Holford

Martha by Sassi Holford

17416 by Ronald Joyce

Bernice by Ronald Joyce

11404 by Ellis Bridals

11404 by Ellis Bridals

67073 by Ronald Joyce

Style 67073 by Ronald Joyce

Josephine & Josephine Skirt by Sassi Holford

Josephine by Sassi Holford

Megan by Sassi Holford

Megan by Sassi Holford

Fans of structured, rather than blousy, bows should look to Holford’s Josephine gown, which features a wide satin bow belt in the front, and her fabulously feminine Megan dress with slim duchess satin bow belt, which nips in neatly at the waist.

South Pacific Print by Ian Stuart

South Pacific Print by Ian Stuart Bride 

Blue Bird by Ian Stuart

Blue Bird by Ian Stuart Bride

Finally, for those really wanting to make a statement on the aisle, there‘s only one man for the job – step forward Ian Stuart. His sensational Supernova collection has several dresses featuring bold bows. Blue Bird (from the Killer Queen collection) is a particularly striking design with incredible oversized bowtails that waterfall down the back of the dress into a flowing chapel train. But top of the stand-out stakes has to be South Pacific that features a billowing oversized bow which cascades from the left hip and opens to reveal flowing silk gazar. A must for fashion-forward brides, this dress is also available in striking floral print for that extra wow-factor!

Ian Stuart Bride

Images: Ian Stuart Bride

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Wahoo! We’re Off To White Gallery London 2014.

April 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Anna Dello Russo For H&M

Image: Fashion Gone Rouge

So that’s another fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition done and dusted!  The already beautiful Nostell Priory looked the prettiest I’ve seen it yet yesterday at our fifth event of the spring season. Big, big love to all our amazing exhibitors (a truly superb selection) and gorgeous brides and grooms who supported our event.  We salute you… and hope you left feeling inspired by the talent on show and super duper excited about your big day! Hooray!

If you’ve not popped in to see us at one of our beautiful events yet – or if you have and would like to do it all over again – there’s still plenty of time this season!  Pop one of these stunners in your diary

Its a quick turnaound at Brides Up North HQ today – no rest for the wicked (I must be pretty damn wicked!) – as we were up at the crack of dawn and are already on the East Coast Mainline down to the smoke, to catch up with the fun that’s already started at White Gallery London

Recognised as one of the leading international designer bridal trade shows, White Gallery London is set to present the finest in bridal design at its sold-out forthcoming fifth edition.  Press passes in hand, Ellie and I will be joining the trade at this hunting ground for the best in British and international bridal design, previewing the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.

It’s one of my very favourite events of the whole year, and I can’t wait to (do a bit of schmoozing and) see what my favourite bridal designers have lined up for us in 2015.  I’m hoping for structural extravagance, sexy silhouettes and even bolder use of colour in bridal wear.  Let’s wait and see…

Over 70 leading designers will preview their new bridal wear and accessories collections at the event including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley Sposa, Anna Romysh Haute Couture, Annasul Y, Augusta Jones, Benjamin Adams London, Blue Bridalwear, Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan, Cabotine Novia by Gema Nicolas, Caroline Atelier, Caroline Castigliano, Charlotte Balbier, Charlotte Mills, Christos Costarellos, Cocoe Voci, The Couture Veil, Cymbeline, Eliza Jane Howell, Emma Hunt, Emma Tindley, Encore, Franc Sarabia, Freya Rose, Gemy Maalouf Bridal, Hadas Cohen, Halo & Co, Harriet Wilde, HT Headwear, I Love Gorgeous, Ian Stuart, Ivory & Co Bridal, Ivory & Co Tiaras, Jack Sullivan Bridal, Jenny Packham, Jesus Peiro, Johanna Hehir, Karen Willis Holmes, KatyaKatya Shehurina, Lark Bridal, Linea Raffaelli, Lou Lou, Lusan Mandongus, Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett, Maddy by Madeline Isaac-James, Madeline Isaac-James, Accessories by Madeline Isaac-James, Malis Henderson, Mia Mia, Miguel Suay, Miranda Templeton, Mooshki Boutique, Naomi Neoh, Nicki MacFarlane, Nicola Anne, Nicola Harvey Couture, Nilah & Company, Nordic Gems, Novia D’Art, Nymphi, Ozlem Suer, Parthenis, Patricia Avendano, Polly Edwards, Qiana Bridal, Rachel Simpson, Raimon Bundo, Sadoni, Sassi Holford, Sasso, Shelle Belle Couture, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin Couture, Stephanie James Couture, Stephen Yearick, Terry Fox, Timeless Couture,  Victorio & Lucchino, Watters Brides, White Ivy, YSA Makino, Yolan Cris and Zaeem Jamal. 

Then we’ll come back to tell you all about it!

We’ve seats lined up at some of the iconic catwalk shows including Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac-James and Suzanne Neville, plus drop in appointments with our pick of the bunch.  We’re also looking forward to catching up with our friends and supporters from bespoke bridal label House Of Mookshi – based in the North East – at this their debut show.  Specialising in custom designed wedding dresses and bridal gowns from vintage inspired through to gothic, those girls have always got something fabulous up their sleeve.  

After all that, we’ll be ready for a drink (or three) and will be hitting the hard stuff with our industry colleagues at Kensington Roof Gardens for a cocktail party sponsored by Perfect Wedding Magazine and in association with the Retail Bridalwear Association.  I’ve a free pass for the evening as the hubby’s on babysitting duty back Up North, so make mine a Mojito please!

See you on the other side.  There’ll be lots of catching up to do…

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Anna Dello Russo for H&M via Fashion Gone Rouge

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Eye Candy: Sassi Holford Signature Collection 2014

November 26th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Sassi Holford 2014 Matilda

Matilda

Tuesday’s are just the worst day of the whole week, aren’t they?  I’m hoping this big fat dose of eye candy by Brides Up North favourite Sassi Holford brightens the mood.  After all, who on earth can stay grumpy in the face of such pretty?!

And the best news?  All Sassi’s 2014 Signature Collection is landing in wedding dress boutiques near you, right now

Sassi Holford 2014 Amelia

Amelia

Sassi Holford works with absolute attention to detail and an uncompromising eye for quality, and each season her collections are individual yet balanced, focussed yet inspiring.

The 2014 Collection defines classic elegance, achieving this with dramatic silhouettes and exquisite fabrics.

The design emphasis is on femininity: for the bodice the key lines are the elegant portrait neckline and bustier detailing. Many of the gowns offer coverage on the shoulders and arms as the trend away from strapless continues. Silhouettes should be designed to make a statement – from an impressive ball gown to a flattering column skirt with fluted hem.

During the year Sassi visits European fabric fairs and this season sees her working with a range of impressive textured fabrics in combination with soft, floating fabrics such as fine lace and embroidered tulle.

Sassi Holford 2014 Catrina & Georgina Jacket

Catrina & Georgina Jacket

Sassi Holford 2014 Clarissa

Clarissa

Sassi says:  My 2014 Sassi Holford Signature Collection was conceived around my notion of modern elegance but emphasised with dramatic silhouettes and tactile fabrics. To achieve this I have consciously moved away from traditional laces to unusual, feminine laces and combined them with delicate tulles and chiffons. Though some designs are elegantly simple and rest on the perfection of their lines, I adore the styles that are exquisitely embellished with laser cut fabrics and 3D textures.This season my necklines are more demure, but contrast beautifully with a number of dramatic but feminine deep V backs (a detail that I’m particularly enamoured with at the moment).

Sassi Holford 2014 Emily

Emily

My primary concern is to make the female form look truly fabulous. My brides are elegant, feminine and romantic.  All my designs are available in the standard size range of 8 to 18 but they can also be ordered in a size smaller or up to size 28 if required.

Sassi Holford 2014 Evelyn

Evelyn

Sassi Holford 2014 Ida & Beatrice Belt

Ida & Beatrice Belt

My gowns are handmade in Somerset by my wonderfully skilled team, and the integral corset that we put in each gown creates a beautifully streamlined silhouette and ensures a high level of comfort for the bride on her big day.

Sassi Holford 2014 Jessica & Jemima Coat

Jessica & Jemima Coat

My signature piece would be Jessica from my Signature Collection – the dress alone is a stunning silk crepe column design but it can be worn with a jacket and a sash, just a sash – just a jacket. The different looks that you can create with this dress, for a bride, are almost endless and whilst simple, they’re all so effective.

Sassi Holford 2014 Josephine & Josphine Skirt

Josephine & Josephine Skirt

Sassi Holford 2014 Megan

Megan

Sassi Holford 2014 Mimi

Mimi

Sassi Holford 2014 Rebecca

Rebecca

Sassi Holford 2014 Ruby

Ruby

Sassi Holford 2014 Sara

Sara

Sassi Holford 2014 Veronica

Veronica

 

Visit www.sassiholford.com for more information and a list of Northern stockists.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Sassi Holford

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The Editorials: Catwalk Queen

November 20th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Kelly by Stephanie Allin

Kelly by Stephanie Allin 

In the wedding blogosphere, things move at breakneck speed, and you can be sure that any wedding blogger worth her salt will have discovered, dissected and disseminated any trend worth trying at least a season before it hits the mainstream.  Earlier this year, I visited White Gallery London – a huge exhibition and set of catwalk shows at which the big name bridal designers launch their new season collections to the trade and press – to take a sneak peek at the gorgeous gowns that will be landing in bridal boutiques near you this autumn. Let me tell you, if you are in the market for a wedding dress this season, you are in for a treat!

What followed was a collection of high profile designer interviews, right here on the pages of this wedding blog.  The collections have now landed in a boutique near you, so if you missed the previews and interviews, I’ll be republishing these to Facebook over the next few days.  Click here to like our page and stay updated. 

As well as online, I wrote about the beauty and drama of the new collections in my regular column for Loved Up Magazine.  Here’s my summary of the season.  Limited by word count, let me tell you, it doesn’t even touch the sides of all the fabulous frocks you have to choose from.  Make sure to revisit our Designer Series interviews at the earliest opportunity too!

Ipad October 695

Brides Up North in Loved Up Magazine autumn/ winter 2014

The collections this year had something for everyone with glitz, feathers, embellishment and lace, as well as simpler styles too. Skirts were either voluminous (with a nipped in waist) or sleek and swishy. Many designers drew inspiration from bygone eras – with the 1920s and 1930s being popular influences – and whatever your hemline preference: short, long or even trousers, there was something for you. Favourites included Suzanne Neville’s Vintage Rose Collection, Stephanie Allin’s fairy-tale gowns and boho styling from Terry Fox Couture. Check them out soon at a Northern stockist near you.

Cuvee Rose by Ian Stuart Bride

Cuvee Rose by Ian Stuart 

Blushing Bride

The craze for adding a pop of colour to your wedding gown continues for spring/ summer 2014 with a watercolour wash of pastel shades on the catwalks. Fashionista Ian Stuart led the way with his candy coloured Frill Me! collection.

Great Gatsby!

Where the silver screen leads bridal fashion follows, with drop waists, beading and gemstones more prevalent than ever for the new season. Add a bejewelled feathered headdress and some dancing shoes to complete the look. Daisy Buchanan, eat your heart out!

Gatsby by Suzanne Neville

Gatsby by Suzanne Neville 

Celeste by Naomi Neoh

Celeste by Naomi Neoh 

English Vintage

Contrasting with all that Hollywood glam, other designers like Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Caroline Castigliano stuck to what they do best – British beauty. If you favour the English rose look, their floaty skirts and frothy lace confections will be a dream come true.

Annie by So Sassi

Annie by So Sassi 

Cute & Quirky

Rarely seen in the past, there’s now a flippy little short number in nearly every designer’s collection, as well as jumpsuits and shorts making an appearance at the most cutting edge design houses. If you still favour a frock, check out flirty t-shirt sleeves, deep pockets, daisy detailing and polka dot lace to bring the cutest dresses right up to date.

Jesus Peiro 2014 Collection

Jesus Peiro 2014

Simply Divine

Don’t despair if you like your styling fuss free. Many designers kept things clean this season with a focus on structure and tailoring. Watch out for the new collection by Astral Sundholm Circa Brides for a refined and fresh look.

Tallulah by Astral Sundholm

Tallulah by Astral Sundholm Circa Brides 

 

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

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The Designer Series: Sassi Holford Introduces So Sassi 2014

August 23rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

Julia

Julia by So Sassi

This morning I am thrilled to introduce you to a wedding gown designer that I have long admired and had the opportunity to meet on several occasions (she’s a lovely lady), Sassi Holford, as we find out about her design inspirations and she previews her So Sassi label’s 2014 collection for Brides Up North.  One year after it’s launch, Sassi’s esprit label continues it’s fashion forward path…

So Sassi launches the 2014 collection at White Gallery, London from SassiHolford on Vimeo.

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your brand?

I am Sassi Holford and I’ve been designing wedding dresses for over three decades… my gowns are handmade in Somerset by my wonderfully skilled team, and the integral corset that we put in each gown creates a beautifully streamlined silhouette and ensures a high level of comfort for the bride on her big day.

Abbie

Abbie by So Sassi

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