March 6th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As the shopping trip of all shopping trips there is no doubt visiting bridal boutiques in search of that one special dress is one of the most exciting elements of planning a wedding.
You’ll want the experience to be fun, enjoyable memorable and stress-free, which is why we think its uber-important to enter into the search fully equipped with all the dos and don’ts that will see you well on the way to securing your perfect dress.
And who better to deliver such golden advice than a lady who has helped to dress hundreds of beautiful brides for their moment in the wedding spotlight, Hayley Hoyle, proud owner of top Yorkshire bridal boutiques, The Bridal Collection Harrogate and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.
So, we’ll waste no time in handing over to Hayley to impart her insider knowledge in the form of a handy step by step guide to make your dress shopping, an absolute dream!
Homework – what research/preparation can brides do when initially beginning their wedding dress search?
hayley says: There is certainly no shortage of wedding inspiration in this world. Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, social media, magazines, wedding fairs, designers’ websites the list goes on – I would start a Pinterest board specifically for your gown and keep it as a secret board, use it to collate a collection of images you like; from a fabric, a neckline or even a specific dress or designer. This board will be useful when you start the shopping process, show your stylist and ask them to select some styles for you based on what you have been liking so far. If you are a technophobe a scrap book works just as well.
Booking appointments – how should a bride go about selecting the boutiques she makes appointments at?
First of all, I would consider the designers that have caught your eye from your research, check their websites and find your nearest stockist. Get on social media and check out the profiles of your local boutiques and see what resonates with you, each boutique will have their own brand personality and it should inspire you. Check out their reviews on Google and Facebook and look at how they respond to complaints as well as praise. Most importantly try to support your small, independent, service driven boutiques, to them you are special, you are a unique bride not just another sale.
Attending appointments – what advice would you give to brides when attending boutique appointments?
Most importantly – relax, remain open minded and let the stylists do their thing. It might be wise to wear modest seam-free flesh coloured underwear and a good strapless bra. Don’t slap on the fake tan before your appointment as it may damage the dresses and definitely don’t take too many people shopping with you! Remember the less people that see the dress the bigger the impact on the day. Finally remember to ask your boutique what extras will need paying pay for? Do they have an in-house alterations team, can you use it and how much are anticipated fittings?
Making a decision – what would you say to a bride who can’t make up their mind on a dress or that is unsure whether to visit more boutiques before making up their mind?
Don’t over think it. Think about both of the gowns in the setting of your wedding, does one work more than the other? Is there anything you would change about either of the dresses? Do they make you feel amazing? Over shopping will only make the process harder and more choices will only confuse you more. Remember there will always be more dresses and selecting yours is not the end of the process, it’s actually just the beginning. If after all of that you still have reservations, chances are you haven’t yet found your gown so head to your next appointment and keep looking, the perfect one is out there.
Fittings – is there anything you would advise brides to be mindful of during their fittings?
By the time it gets to your fittings your weight needs to be stable and you need to have the correct shoes and underwear, so your gown can be fitted to perfection. It is impossible to make a garment fit a moving target and because we want your gown to fit perfectly we advise no further weight loss once your gown has been pinned. Don’t take photos during your fittings, the gown isn’t perfect yet and looking back at a photo of a dress that doesn’t fit correctly will only cause you stress and anxiety. Trust the professionals and leave the photos until the day.
Accessories – after the dress comes the accessories. What elements should brides take into consideration when it comes to picking their finishing touches?
Your accessories should be the icing on the cake, they should complement the gown perfectly and not overpower you or the dress. When styling any outfit, I believe that less is more with regards to accessories and a wedding gown is no different. Choose one piece to shine and keep everything else simple. Oh – and always try a veil, there is only one day in your life you can wear one.
The big day – any tips on how brides can look and feel their absolute best in their wedding gown on their big day?
Make sure one of your bridal party knows how to get you in to your gown and how to bustle the train for dancing if there is one. Try practicing at your final fitting to avoid unnecessary stress on the day.
Most of all, keep calm and remember what the day is really about: you and your partner celebrating each other. Everything else is just stuff.
Aftercare – once the big day has been and gone, what should brides do with their dress/what are the options?
Depending on your sentimentality there are a few options you can choose post wedding to either preserve or recoup. If you intend to have your gown professionally cleaned I recommend you use a specialist gown and luxury fabric cleaner. We offer a post wedding dry cleaning service in our boutiques with the option of a long-term storage box in a design of your choice. Speak to your boutique to see if they do something similar or have any recommendations.
Timeless dress design: Swanson by Suzanne Neville
Showstopper dress design: Margo by Enzoani
Favourite dress trend: I love unusual fabrics, so I’m a big fan of gowns that have plenty of texture to them such as brocade, printed organza and thick textured Mikados. There is nothing more beautiful than a simple gown, expertly cut in a beautiful fabric so I’m a big fan of the simplicity popular with brides at the moment.
Celebrity style: For everyday fashion I love Holly Willoughby, she always looks expertly put together and I am constantly Googling where her outfits are from.
Favourite wedding trend: We have seen so much in the way of blush pinks, rose gold, greys and mixed metallic colour palettes over the last couple of years, I am very excited to see some strong opulent tones coming through now too – think peacocks, exotic landscapes and rich jewels.
December 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding comes courtesy of Brides Up North reader Laura, and oh boy, is it a good one!
From the choice of venue through to the stylish colour scheme, fabulous blooms and Laura’s incredible dress, we adore everything about this wedding, which was planned in just four months. Yep, you read right, four months!
We’re also thrilled to see lots of our fabulous Sponsor suppliers contributing to this gorgeous celebration (if you’re on the hunt for talented professionals to make your day perfect, be sure to take a look at our ‘Suppliers We Love’ online directory).
Laura and Andrew wanted a relaxed and informal big day with a rockin’ party atmosphere, and by the looks of things, that’s exactly what they got!
With images by York Place Studios.
laura says: We got engaged at home, in September 2015. It was a total surprise – we have been together for ten years, after meeting at Uni. We’d recently moved into our new home and Andrew got up early to do some painting, when I got up he’d written “will you marry me” on the wall!
We booked the wedding for 12th March 2016, as we fell in love with our venue – Middleton Lodge in North Yorkshire – as soon as we saw it and they had an opening for this date. It meant that we had just four months from viewing the venue to the wedding day!
Middleton Lodge had everything we were looking for – character yet it still felt relaxed. We wanted the wedding to be a whole weekend party without people having to worry about taxis and getting home. At Middleton Lodge everyone could stay and the house was exclusively ours for the weekend. We also immediately loved the cellar bar as it was totally different from the house and knew we’d completely change the dynamic of the day when we went down there in the evening.
We didn’t have a wedding theme as such, things were just relaxed and informal, though we wanted it to have a real party atmosphere.
Our colour scheme was navy and copper. We loved the colours as we’d seen them a lot in home interiors but we’d not seen them being used for weddings.
My wedding dress was a 50’s inspired Caroline Castigliano dress, called Hepburn, from The Bridal Collection in Harrogate. It had a very full skirt but other than that was very plain and simple. The dress was the one thing I didn’t want to compromise on if we’re going to organise the whole wedding in four months so I chose this before we committed to the venue and date. My shoes were Jimmy Choos.
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January 22nd, 2016 | Julia Braime
Girls: stand by. We are interrupting your Friday lunch al-desko with news of another exciting date for your brand new 2016 diaries!
On the weekend of Saturday 30th January 2016, five of the North’s best luxury bridal boutiques will be showing their finest dresses in the tranquility of Gilpin Lake House, a stunning wedding venue set in 100 acres of private grounds with its own lake, swimming pool and spa.
This is a special treat for the girls (no grooms allowed!) and a rare opportunity to have unfettered access to these stunning luxury bridal boutiques, some of whom *waves to LOVE Bridal Boutique and The Bridal Collection Harrogate* are our wonderful Brides Up North Sponsors.
You will be welcomed with Champagne (of course!) and later enjoy either lunch or afternoon tea at Gilpin Hotel, where they will show you their Garden Suites (with hot tubs) and Spa Lodges with their own private spas – perfect for a minimoon or even a pre wedding getaway.
If you fancy making a girls weekend of it and book a room at Gilpin for the weekend, brides will receive a complimentary pass to The Bridal Collective at the Lake House.
Where else can you find the following designers all under one roof?!?! Stewart Parvin, Suzanne Neville, Jenny Packham, Alan Hannah, Charlotte Balbier, Sarah Seven, Ian Stuart, Charlie Brear and Sassi Holford…
Tickets are £25 per person, with a maximum of 2 tickets per bride.
Exclusive access to 5 of the North’s best luxury bridal boutiques
Complimentary transfer from Oxenholme train station (please request when booking)
Champagne on arrival at the Lake House
Lunch or afternoon tea at Gilpin Hotel (3 AA Rosettes)
Preview of the brand new Spa Lodges and Garden Suites
For full details of how to book visit The Bridal Collective website.
November 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
It’s not just Santa that is bringing us treats in the next month as Harrogate bridal boutiques, The Bridal Collection and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, have some extra special events lined up for brides-to-be in December featuring lots of gorgeous goodies!
The two events will focus on helping brides-to-be find those all-important finishing touches to achieve their dream wedding day look with bridal stylists on hand to offer expert advice and fizz flowing to set the festive mood.
From hair accessories and jewellery to fancy footwear, the glitzy events will showcase beautiful creations from the likes of Jenny Packham, Emmy Shoes London and Ivory & Co, making them must dates for your diary.
To tell us a little more about what’s instore, we’re welcoming the owner of The Bridal Collection and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge to the blog, take it away Hayley…
You are holding a Christmas Styling and Accessories evening at The Bridal Collection on 3rd December, what will the event include and who will it appeal to?
hayley says: Our Christmas Styling and Accessories Evening is an in-store event taking place 5pm – 9pm on Thursday 3rd December. This year we have teamed up with Jenny Packham accessories and the launch of our stunning collection of Emmy London Bridal shoes. We have an extensive selection of Jenny Packham accessories for brides to admire.
Our bridal stylists will also be on hand along with local makeup artist Victoria Farr, to help inspire brides with key bridal looks and trends.
The evening is aimed at brides-to-be who are looking for some finishing touches to their bridal look. It’s a great opportunity for brides-to-be to view a wide range of accessories while enjoying some festive celebrations.
What style of accessories will be available at the event?
Jenny Packman’s accessories cover a wide range of styles and designs to suit lots of bridal looks. There is an extensive selection of beautiful hair pins, tiaras and clips. As well as the elegant classics, Jenny Packham’s collection features on trend pieces such as hair vines, cuffs and sparkly pins and beautiful jewellery, such as earrings and statement necklaces, for those looking to spice up their evening look.
Why did you choose to introduce Emmy London Shoes to The Bridal Collection and what types of brides will the shoe line appeal to?
We fell in love with Emmy shoes when we first saw them and we feel the collection sits beautifully in our boutique alongside our British dress designers. The attention to detail is amazing and we are sure our brides will really love the addition of this luxury brand. The designs range from classic and simple, to vintage and full on glitz and glamour, so there is a piece for every bride. Prices range from £350 – £725.
Do you have a favourite piece from the Jenny Packham accessories collection and Emmy London Shoes?
All of the Emmy shoes are stunning but I have to say the Leila shoes are my favourite from the collection. They have real vintage feel and they are super soft suede so brides can dance the night away. From the Jenny Packham collection I really like the Loren hair vine as it’s sparkly yet understated and with lots of co-ordinated pieces such as the earnings and the bracelet it’s easy to co-ordinate your look. I love to Monroe hair pins too, they’re so sweet and match almost any dress.
You are also holding an Accessories Evening at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge on 10th December, what can brides-to-be expect from this event?
The Accessories Evening at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge will be a fantastic opportunity for brides-to-be to view an extensive selection of accessories from a wide range of designers to complement every bridal style.
The event will run from 5pm to 9pm and we have lots of special treats in-store throughout the evening to make it a very special night with an array of beautiful accessories to choose from and lots of festive celebrations.
The event is aimed at brides who are looking for some luxury finishing touches to their bridal style, whether it’s a pair of beautiful Rainbow Club shoes or some sparkly hair pins, we are sure we have it all covered.
Accessories from Tantrums and Tiaras, Ivory and Co. and Rainbow Club will be featured at the event. Can you tell us a little about what each of these designers?
Rainbow Club are a bridal shoe company with an extensive range of beautiful shoes ranging from contemporary styles to elegant vintage designs. They specialise in bridal design so the comfort of the shoes is amazing.
Tantrums and Tiaras are a fabulous British company who specialise in beautiful handmade designs. The collection ranges from gorgeous hair vines and tiaras to handmade earrings and bracelets. Perfect for brides-to-be looking for an added hint of sparkle.
The Ivory and Co. collection offers brides a wide selection of pieces to give an added hint of glamour to their bridal style. Crystal side pieces, slides and tiaras are mixed perfectly with pearls to allow brides to complement their gown.
Are there any stand out pieces for you from within the collections?
We have some new style Rainbow Club shoes in the boutique which are gorgeous!
How important are accessories to finishing off a bride’s wedding day look?
Accessories are a great way for brides to individualise their look for the big day. Our bridal stylists are fabulous at helping brides create and personalise their style by experimenting with a range of accessories.
Is there any preparation brides can do before attending either of the events?
There are so many beautiful ways to personalise your wedding look so we advise brides-to-be to think about the wedding look they would like to achieve for their big day, whether they are aiming for a vintage or contemporary look, we have designs to suit both.
How do brides book a place at the events?
If brides-to-be would like to visit either of our accessories events we ask them to contact the relevant boutique on the contact details below. We look forward to seeing them there!
The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, call 01423 888242, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bridal Collection Harrogate, call 01423 202029, or email email@example.com
October 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon on the blog we’re squeezing in an extra (exciting) post to give you all the details of not one, but two, very special sample sales taking place in Yorkshire, in the coming weeks.
Bridal boutique owner Hayley Hoyle will be holding the sample sales at her two gorgeous boutiques – The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and The Bridal Collection Harrogate – giving brides-to-be the opportunity to save up to 70% on their dream dress and up to 50% on those all-important finishing touch accessories.
With an amazing selection of gowns by both British and international designers, such as Maggie Sottero, Justin Alexander, Suzanne Neville and Caroline Castigliano, hanging on the rails, these events are not to be missed.
So ladies make a note, the sample sales will take place between 10am-4pm on Sunday 1st November 2015 at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and on Sunday 8th November at The Bridal Collection Harrogate.
We’ll now hand over to the leading lady herself Hayley, to give you details of the fabulous bargains that will be on offer as well as info on how to secure a sample sale appointment. Now go, go, go!
Images by Cat Hepple Photography.
Dresses by which designers will be included in the sample sales?
hayley says: At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge we have a fantastic selection of dresses in the sample sale from designers such as Maggie Sottero, Justin Alexander, Enzoani and Mia Mia by Alan Hannah.
Meanwhile at the Bridal Collection we will have some stunning dresses by iconic British designers, including Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Caroline Castigliano, Sassi Holford and Ian Stuart in the sale, as well as picks of some top international labels such as Badgley Mischka and Claire Pettibone.
What level of discounts will you be offering on the dresses?
We have lots of amazing discounts on our sample dresses. The discounts will start at 20% and go up to an incredible 70% off!
What sizes of dresses will be in the sale?
At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge our sample sizes are between an 8 and 20, while at The Bridal Collection our sample sizes are between an 8 and 14.
Overall, the majority of our dresses are between a size 10 and 14. If brides-to-be have any enquires with regards to the sizes of our samples they shouldn’t hesitate to get in contact.
Why are the dresses in the sale? What condition are they in?
All of the dresses going into our sale are sample gowns, this means that they have been tried on by brides-to-be. The condition of our sample dresses varies, some are new collection dresses that are in excellent condition and others have been well-loved and tried on. Some of the dresses are discontinued gowns, however many dresses are going into the sale simply to make more room for the stunning new collections we have coming into the boutique!
We offer a gown cleaning service and alteration packages, so any brides-to-be that find their perfect dress at our sample sale can still get a bespoke fit and finish to their dress. Also, all of the gowns in our sample sale are priced to reflect their age and condition.
What is the process for brides-to-be that attend the event? Are they given a one-to-one appointment?
All appointments at both of our boutiques are on a one-to-one basis which allows us to give brides a very personal shopping experience. Each sale appointment is an hour long, within this hour ladies will be with their very own bridal stylists who will talk them through designers and styles and help them into the dresses. Brides will be allowed to try on a maximum of five dresses during their appointment. Appointments are on a first come first serve basis and they are filling up fast so we advise booking in soon to avoid disappointment.
What is your advice to brides-to-be who will be attending the sale?
Take a look on our website and social media pages to gain a good insight into what types of dresses you are likely to find at the sample sale. Study the designers that we stock and make notes of any particular styles or dresses that are standing out. We advise brides to have tried dresses on prior to attending a sale event and to have a clear understanding of what it is they are looking for in their dream dress.
As the sale is a one day only event it is for brides who are ready to find their perfect dress at an amazing price. We advise that you bring along to your appointment the one person who wish to be there when you make that big decision, whether this is mum, relative or your maid of honour. We wouldn’t want you to miss out on your dress or make a decision without them. It’s going to be a busy day and space may be limited so we do ask that you only bring up to three people to your appointment.
Can you give us details of a few highlight pieces that will be included in the sale?
At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge there are lots of highlight pieces going into our sample sale; Maggie Sottero’s Joelle is a beautiful A-line lace dress with delicate cap sleeves, Justin Alexander’s 8731 is a beautiful fit and flare gown with a bodice full of sparkle, and Enzoani’s Haleyville is a timelessly elegant mermaid gown with beaded appliqué on a delicate lace bodice, just to name a few!
We also have some great stand out dresses heading into the sample sale at the Bridal Collection. Jenny Packham’s Jocasta is a stunning fully beaded gown with a big wow factor, Ian Stuart’s Amalfi is another dress that’s certainly got the wow factor, or if you’re a bride-to-be looking for a more romantic boho look then Claire Pettibone’s Rosemary dress is a top pick.
Will any accessories or shoes be in the sample sale?
Yes there will be a selection of accessories at a both sample sales. This includes headpieces, veils and belts from designers such as Tantrums and Tiara’s, Ivory and Co, Lilly Bella, Jenny Packham and The Couture Veil Company with discounts of up to 50%. It’s a great chance for brides to complete their wedding look at a brilliant price.
How should brides-to-be get in touch if they have any other questions?
You can contact either of the boutiques through email or telephone for any enquiries or to book one of these exclusive sale appointments. Depending upon demand it is possible that appointments will be available on Monday 2nd November at The Wedding Lounge and Monday 9th November at The Bridal Collection, please enquire at time of booking if this is convenient.
The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, call us on 01423 888242 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bridal Collection Harrogate, call us on 01423 202029 or email at email@example.com
December 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime
The classic styling continues this afternoon on these pretty pages with Nicola and Duncan’s stunning celebration at Goldsborough Hall. Nicola added elegant details and a scatter of snowflakes and sparkle to create a beautiful winter’s wedding day.
With images by Yorkshire wedding photographer Damian James Bramley, DJB Photography.com.
Nicola says: Duncan proposed at the top of the York Eye in North Yorkshire in the VIP Cabin on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2012.
We were married on 1st December 2012 at St Mary’s Church, Alne, with our reception at Goldsborough Hall. It’s a truly stunning venue, intimate and royal with fabulous photographic opportunities.
We had a winter wedding with lots of snowflakes and sparkle! I chose a colour palette of white, soft ivory and silver with a hint of vintage green.
I travelled in a 1952 Bentley Freestone and Webb by Superior Motor Cars.
My bridesmaids wore a Vintage Kiwi one shoulder dress made in duchess satin with a Lux Chiffon overlay by Dessy.
Duncan wore Newbury Charcoal Tails with classic stripped trousers, olive diamond waistcoat with silver cravat and hanker-chief by Moss Bros, and our groomsmen and pageboys wore the same with olive accessories.
I carried a natural, quite large loose hand tied bouquet with large creamy winter white roses, white bouvardia, white freesia, creamy white spray roses, green hypericum berries, feathery fountain grass and added winter foliage by Paper White Flowers. Our church flowers were by Hilda Harvey.
When it comes to my favourite moment, its very difficult to pull out one specific part. Walking down the aisle and our first dance and having all your close family and friends around us was fantastic.
We used crooks and ribbon to line the pathways both at the venue and at the church with large floral displays, storm lanterns with flower explosions, lots of candle light, crystal candelabras and topiary hearts with twinkle lights on the red carpet. Inspire Me Designs provided our stationery and It’s A Cover Up did our venue dressing.
Our cake was covered in winter snowflakes with snowdrop beading and was a four tier fruit cake and chocolate sponge with chocolate truffle icing. The layers were alternated with the bottom tier starting with fruit cake by Patisserie Viennoise of Otley.
We honeymooned in Sri Lanka and then onto the Maldives. It was all booked by my ‘husband to be’ as a surprise! I found out the day after our wedding on route to the airport where we were going!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to jot down everything you’ve always dreamed of for your wedding day. I had a day called ‘Wedding Wednesdays’ purely set aside for wedding planning and appointments! Enjoy every moment, add personal touches where you can and try not to make too many compromises. Relax, drink tea and eat cake! Not too many though!
Congratulations Nicola & Duncan!
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