Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

downton decadence. an english country garden wedding at carlton towers – natasha & matthew

March 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (53)

Today’s real wedding couple might have got engaged amidst the bright lights of NYC, but chose a very different theme for their summer wedding: an English country garden x Downton Abbey inspired celebration. In fact, bride Natasha admits that her guiding mantra during planning was WWLMD? (What Would Lady Mary Do?)

Looking at these gorgeous blooms, floral confetti and the Gothic-style setting of their stunning Yorkshire venue, it’s a mantra that served them well. On with the pretty!

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Laura Calderwood.

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (31)

natasha says: Matt proposed on Christmas Day in Central Park in New York. We’d spent Christmas morning exploring Times Square and decided to go for a walk. We were watching the skaters on the ice rink when he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said (or, should I say, screamed) “Yes”!

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (49)

Our wedding date was 6th August 2016. We originally tried booking the ever-popular Bank Holiday weekend but this date was taken, so we went for the 6th. It probably sounds strange but I had a strange feeling then that we’d have really good weather that day. Luckily, I was right! The sun shone all day and it rained like crazy on the August bank holiday. It was a blessing in disguise that date was taken!

We got married at Carlton Towers in Yorkshire. I had actually provisionally booked another venue and decided on a whim to go visit Carlton Towers because my uncle recommended it. I completely fell in love with the Gothic-style turrets and opulent Venetian Drawing Room and knew it was the place for us. I’m so glad I took a chance on it!

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (36)

The theme was ‘Downton Abbey’. I wanted something romantic and classic with a feel of English country garden to it. If I ever had to make a decision during the planning process, I’d ask myself, ‘Would Lady Mary like this?’ If the answer was yes, then I’d go with it!

We chose a blush palette with petal pinks and ivory as the main colours. We wanted something fresh and pretty that had a summer wedding feel.

A Garden Wedding at Carlton Towers (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (32)

I wore a Justin Alexander mermaid-style gown in ‘Sand and Silver’ from the Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was actually the second dress I tried on and as soon as I stood in front of the mirror I knew it was the one. The mermaid-style complemented my curvy figure (and, most importantly, nipped me in all of the right places) and the detailing made it stand out from the others. I also absolutely loved the colour. It was much warmer than a traditional ivory, which complemented my slightly olive skin tone.

Matt and the groomsmen wore royal blue suits from Charles Tyrwhitt. The blush pink ties/pocket squares were from Swagger and Swoon.

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laidback glam. a chic wedding with a rustic twist at the saddleworth hotel – hannah & tom

November 11th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

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Today on the blog we bring you a beautiful real wedding in the picturesque foothills of the Pennines.

After a three-year engagement, Hannah and Tom exchanged vows over the May bank holiday weekend, in the quaint setting of the village church in Ripponden.

Blending rustic charm with an elegant and contemporary décor – not to mention one of the most stunning balconied ballrooms we have ever seen – The Saddleworth Hotel provided the gorgeous backdrop to the couple’s memorable celebrations.

With handwritten notes to each and every guest, as well as a special donation to a charity close to their hearts – this was a wedding brimming with nostalgia and personal touches from start to finish.

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, James Tracey Photography.

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hannah says: We got engaged three years ago. Tom arranged for us to go away for the weekend to one of our favourite hotels. He hired a beach hut and brought along a picnic with prosecco. He pulled out the ring which he’d had made for me and, obviously, I said yes. We then headed back to the hotel, where he’d arranged to meet my parents for a meal to celebrate.

We got married on Saturday 28th May 2016. I’m a teacher so we needed a date that fitted in with the school holidays, and with a good chance of nice weather! The bank holiday weekend fell in the middle of our spring bank holiday, so it was perfect.

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We tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ripponden. This is our village church and it was also the church I went to whilst growing up, so it was really special to get married there.

Our reception was at The Saddleworth Hotel in Delph. It was actually the first venue we looked at, and nothing else came close. We loved the mix of old and new – the ballroom is amazing and fitted really well with our vision for the day. The double height room really is special.  The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning and the team there is brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.

We chose The Saddleworth Hotel partly because of its glamorous setting and wanted to incorporate this theme within our wedding. We wanted our day to be classic and glam, but at the same time reflect us as a couple and be laidback enough for guests to really enjoy themselves. We wanted our guests to feel special, and spot those little touches that made the day about us as a couple and as individuals. So, not an easy job!

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We didn’t have a specific colour scheme, although the bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses and the flowers were blush pink and white. Everything else we picked because we loved it and it fitted our idea for the day.

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My dress was a chiffon and beaded Justin Alexander gown, which I bought from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. I had an idea of what I wanted when I started looking for dresses, and this was absolutely not it! But when I tried the dress on, I swished around the room and felt like an amazing version of me! It wasn’t what I set out to get, but it was the perfect dress for our day.

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diary dates: september events at the harrogate wedding lounge and the bridal collection

September 2nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

The Bridal Collection (5)

Ladies prepare to block out your diaries for the next month as we have news of a host of fabulous events set to take place at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and The Bridal Collection, throughout September.

Located in the gorgeous Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, the two beautiful boutiques feature stunning wedding dress collections from a number of the top British and International designers, making them a must-visit during a bride’s dream dress search.

Owned by the lovely Hayley Hoyle, a good friend and Sponsor of Brides Up North, visiting brides can be sure of top customer service and first-class styling advice in their pursuit for that one special dress.

Better still, over the next month ladies can save money on a dress, receive expert advice on their accessories and try on some very exclusive designs during a line-up of exciting boutique events, which include sample sales, accessory events and a Jenny Packham trunk show. We said to block out your dairies!

Here to fill us in on all the details is the lovely Hayley…

The Bridal Collection (3)

When will the sample sale events be taking place at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and The Bridal Collection, and what can brides expect from them?

hayley says: Our upcoming sample sales will take place between Saturday 3rd September and Friday 9th September and will provide a fantastic opportunity for brides-to-be to find their dream gown at a discounted price.

At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge we have an amazing selection of dresses in the sample sale from designers such as Maggie Sottero, Sottero and Midgley, Justin Alexander, Justin Alexander Signature, Enzoani, Blue by Enzoani and Raimon Bundó. Gowns will start from as little as £400!

At the Bridal Collection we have some iconic British designers’ gowns heading into our sample sale such as Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Caroline Castigliano, Sassi Holford and Ian Stuart as well as picks of some top international labels, such as Badgley Mischka and Claire Pettibone. We have some fantastic discounts and our sample gowns will be priced between £550 and £3,500.

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. A selection of the sample sale 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 boutiques!

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What sizes of dresses can brides expect to find at the sample sales and how much could the save on the cost of a dress?

We have lots of amazing discounts on our sample dresses. The discounts will start at 20% and go up to an incredible 70% off!

At The Harrogate Wedding Lounge our sample sizes are between an 8 and 16, while at The Bridal Collection our sample sizes are between an 8 and 14.

Please note that the majority of our dresses are between a size 10 and 14. If you have any enquires in regards to the sizes of our samples please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Do you have any tips or advise to brides who wish to attend the sample sales?

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 first come, first serve 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 you 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 week and space may be limited so we do ask that you only bring up to three people to your appointment.

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You will also be hosting exclusive accessory events at both boutiques, can you tell us when these will be taking place and what will be in store?

On Thursday 15th September we are holding an accessories evening at The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. We will have an extensive selection of accessories for you to admire ranging from headpieces and veils to that perfect pair of sparkly bridal shoes. Charlotte from Charlotte Mills bridal shoes will also be here to showcase her new collection to the boutique – an amazing opportunity for brides to choose their wedding shoes with the designer herself. Our bridal stylists will also be on hand throughout the event to assist you on styling your own individual look for the big day.

Our accessory evening at The Bridal Collection will take place on Wednesday 21st September. At The Bridal Collection we are extremely proud to stock the beautiful Emmy London Bridal Shoes. The attention to detail is amazing, with Swarovski crystals and pearls perfectly hand beaded onto soft suede. The designs range from classic and simple, to vintage and full on glitz and glamour, there is a piece for every bride.

When it comes to the all-important veil we work with the wonderful design team at Sassi Holford who bring us The Couture Veil. Couture Veil’s offer a wide variety of beautiful handmade veils. Soft and delicate vintage or English tulles, silks and a whole host of pretty edgings and scatters that perfectly complements your gown. We also have an extensive selection of beautiful hair pins, vines, tiaras and clips from Jenny Packham, Ivory & Co and Emmy, for that extra bit of sparkle.

Finally in September The Bridal Collection will be holding a Jenny Packham trunk show. Can you tell us a little about it?

The boutique will be holding the Jenny Packham trunk show on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September, for brides to see the full 2017 collection before it arrives into boutiques. This two-day event will be a very exciting for brides-to-be who have long lusted over wearing a Jenny Packham gown as it will be one of the first opportunities to see the full 2017 collection straight off the international runways.

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real wedding recap: justin alexander for a dreamy pink wedding in the north east – claire & anthony

June 20th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, 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 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some 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.

Claire and Anthony Wedding, Close House, Northumberland, north east wedding photography

There’s pretty – and then there’s today’s real wedding pretty! Just wow!

As soon as we saw the images of Claire & Anthony’s big day we fell head over heels in love. Picture perfect, we adore all elements of this stunning celebration: from the pastel pink colour palette and soft blooms to the cake, décor and Claire’s gorgeous Justin Alexander gown.

Ladies, make sure you’re sitting down for this one – it may cause weakness of the knees!

With images by Katy Melling Photography.

Claire and Anthony Wedding, Close House, Northumberland, north east wedding photography

claire says: We got engaged during a surprise weekend away in June 2013, which Anthony had organised. He took me for afternoon tea at Betty’s in Harrogate as he knows I love cakes. This was followed by an exciting stay at Rudding Park Hotel, in Harrogate. When we got to our hotel room, champagne and roses awaited us. As I checked out the room, Anthony dropped to one knee and pulled out a gorgeous ring. He gave an emotional speech and I said yes, of course. We celebrated that evening by having a delicious steak dinner at the hotel restaurant and drinking more champagne. I later heard that he had asked my father for his approval. I thought this was lovely as I’m an old romantic.

Claire and Anthony Wedding, Close House, Northumberland, north east wedding photography

Our wedding was on 7th September 2014. We chose this date as we had always wanted a September wedding as the weather always seems to be nicer at that time of year.

We chose Close House, in Heddon-on-the-Wall, as our venue. This was because we didn’t want a church wedding but didn’t want to compromise on the beauty of our venue. We set our hearts on Close House as it was a short drive from Newcastle, but felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, with fantastic views of the rolling countryside. Close House itself is a beautiful Georgian style venue but we felt like we had two venues in one as the evening reception was held in the golf club house.

Claire and Anthony Wedding, Close House, Northumberland, north east wedding photography

The theme for the wedding was classic elegance. I chose this theme as it fitted in with our venue but it was also very glamorous. Our colour scheme was pinks and white, which I chose as they complemented each other well and provided a little colour, without being overwhelming.

Claire and Anthony Wedding, Close House, Northumberland

My dress was from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. It was a fitted lace Justin Alexander Signature design. The dress was strapless with a sweetheart neckline. It had pearl and diamante beading around the bust and waist with a silver under layer. There was then diamante buttons all the way down the back of the dress and along the train. I felt like a princess in my dress. It was gorgeous, and despite the length, it was easy to wear.

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under the sea. maggie sottero for a teal wedding at allerton castle – nicola & nick

April 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime

A Water Inspired Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (77)

Today’s real wedding has a somewhat unusual theme to it, though we just love to see brides and grooms thinking outside the box and injecting a little of their personalities into the day. This is exactly what Nick and Nicola did by picking an underwater wedding theme to reflect their favourite hobbies: angling and scuba diving.

To complete the look, Nick and Nicola chose a beautiful teal colour scheme, which tied in with their chosen theme, as well as the venue’s existing décor, perfectly.

We will be visiting the fabulous Allerton Castle in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, ourselves this Sunday to host one of our fabulous Luxury Wedding Exhibitions. The event will give couples the opportunity to see this impressive venue for themselves whilst also meeting some of the area’s top wedding suppliers, several of which were a part of Nicola and Nick’s glorious big day. So if you like what you see be sure to register for the event here, it’s free entry!

With images by Laura Calderwood Photography.

A Water Inspired Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (1)

A Water Inspired Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (78)

nicola says: We got engaged at Thorpe Perrow Arboretum, which has always been a special place of ours to walk and relax. We wandered to our favourite spot with the lake in front of us and the trees behind, next to the giant acorn sculpture! I thought we had just come out for a nice stroll in the sunshine, but as I turned around Nick got down on one knee and asked “will you marry me?” I couldn’t believe it, of course I said yes! Nick had a mini bottle of champagne in his back pack, which we enjoyed in the sunshine. It was such a peaceful place and very romantic. When we went back home, our parents were waiting for us and had decorated the house in banners and balloons, it was such a lovely surprise and I had no idea it had all been planned!

A Water Inspired Wedding at Allerton Castle (c) Laura Calderwood Photography (73)

Our wedding date was Sunday 24th May 2015. We wanted to get married in spring, in the hope for some nice weather on the big day. We chose the Sunday as it was the bank holiday weekend, and it was nice to have the whole family celebrate for a long weekend. It also meant that those who had to travel long distances would not have to take any time off work.

We got married at Allerton Castle, which is a beautiful place. We went to our first wedding fair at the castle and it just took our breath away. As we looked round other venues, we kept comparing them back to Allerton Castle, we just knew straight away it was the place for us. Another practical point was that Allerton Castle were willing to hold smaller weddings on a weekend, requiring 60 guests during the day. Other venues insisted on a minimum of 100, or even 150 guests, for a weekend, which we thought was quite unfair. We had 65 guests during the day and 85 in the evening, it was just the right number for us.

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diary date: bridal accessories styling evenings in harrogate

November 27th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Bridal Collection Harrogate (c) Cat Hepple Photography (6)

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…

Bridal Collection Harrogate (c) Cat Hepple Photography (25)

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.

Bridal Collection Harrogate (c) Cat Hepple Photography (1)

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.

Bridal Collection Harrogate (c) Cat Hepple Photography (13)

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.

The Bridal Collection & The Harrogate Wedding Lounge (c) Cat Hepple Photography (1)

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!

Bridal Collection Harrogate (c) Cat Hepple Photography (23)

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.

Bridal Collection Harrogate (c) Cat Hepple Photography (18)

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.

The Bridal Collection & The Harrogate Wedding Lounge (c) Cat Hepple Photography (2)

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 info@theharrogateweddinglounge.com

The Bridal Collection Harrogate, call 01423 202029, or email info@thebridalcollectionharrogate.com

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