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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

new gowns on the block: 2019 bridal trends report

April 13th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Luca Latrofa at White Gallery - Sassi Holford (9)

Luca Latrofa – Sassi Holford

You may recall from our social media feeds being flooded with catwalk shots and videos that we headed down to London a few weeks’ ago for the bridal fashion event of the year – The White Gallery. Combined with London Bridal Fashion week for the first time, the event was bigger than ever with a host of both British and international designers in attendance to showcase their new collections to bridal boutique owners and members of the press, like us!

As always, we were totally blown away by the designers’ stunning creations and their ability to reinvent what we know to be wedding dresses time and time again while also pushing bridal boundaries to incorporate more fashionable elements for full-on style, impact and individuality.

Whilst there we always love to catch up with the northern boutique owners that we work closely with on both Brides Up North and UNVEILED magazine. This includes fabulous bridal fashion guru Hayley Hoyle, who is the proud owner of Yorkshire-based boutiques, The Bridal Collection Harrogate and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.

With an expert eye for what brides want in terms of style, fit and functionality, Hayley is 100% in the know when it comes to spotting the next big thing, and so we’ve invited her to the blog today to report on the collections that caught her attention at the latest White Gallery event so you lovely readers are well informed of the upcoming trends when setting out on your dream dress search.

Images provided by Hayley Hoyle unless credited.

Jenny Packham Rosa

Jenny Packham – Rosa

hayley says: Buying new collections is such a big and important part of our job in the bridal industry. Forward thinking stores use the opportunity as staff training and by way of ensuring stylists and seamstresses are invested in the product, the brands and as a way of introducing the team to emerging trends. I have always involved my team in the selection of our collections, it keeps our team at the top of their game, knowledgeable and enables them to provide an exceptional and authentic experience to our brides back in the boutiques.

A couple of weeks ago myself and a few team members went along to our biggest buying event of the year. London Bridal Fashion Week and The White Gallery, this year the shows occupied one space all together at Excel London and we also attended 2019 collection launches at The Ritz and Home House by both Jenny Packham and Suzanne Neville.

In my honest opinion there is very little out of fashion in bridal at the moment; as an industry very much focused on embracing your individual style and executing it perfectly. However, there are some notable trends emerging and staying put. Here’s our round up of the hot looks to watch out for in the coming season.

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Suzanne Neville Orianna

Suzanne Neville – Orianna

This season we are seeing a big emergence of the scoop neckline. We saw soft and flattering versions for designers such as Caroline Castigliano and Suzanne Neville finished with delicate lace shoulders or subtle shoe string straps. Keep your eye out for new dresses Sakura from Caroline Castigliano and Floriana from Suzanne Neville.

The plunge neckline is also here to stay. As brides are getting braver and designers getting more adept at pulling this look off with class and sophistication we will be seeing a lot more of this sexy statement look. Some of our favourites for this season is Rosa by Jenny Packham and Vivian from Sassi Holford.

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dream dress shopping: pro pointers for finding your wedding dress from yorkshire boutique owner hayley hoyle

March 6th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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hayley loves

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.

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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…

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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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