September 21st, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As we gear up for two more fabulous Brides Up North Wedding Shows in the north this Sunday, we have a double dose of wedding loveliness for your Friday afternoon. Prepare to pay extra special attention as we’re sharing details and images of the breathtakingly beautiful new collection of bridal gowns from our amazing Sponsor, British designer Caroline Castigliano, plus we have details of a super event taking place at her flagship boutique in a few weeks’ time that you won’t want to miss out on!
First up, those dresses! Ever a fan of Caroline’s incredible creations, her latest collection is just as wow-worthy (if not more so!) than the last, comprising beautifully feminine gowns that celebrate the female figure, in the finest fabrics complete with delectable detailing.
And so, we’re hearing directly from Caroline about her inspiration for this latest set of divine dresses and quizzing her on which are her personal favourites.
Thankfully you lucky brides-to-be won’t have to wait long to see such gowns first-hand as the collection is arriving in stockist boutiques across the country from this week. The event we have details on also provides a perfect opportunity to view Caroline’s latest designs and gather ideas for your big day to come.
Taking place on the Thursday 4th October at the Caroline Castigliano Knightsbridge store, the Evening of Wedding Inspiration invites brides to meet Caroline along with her favourite partners, all experts in their field of luxury, who will be offering top tips and advice that only insiders know.
Those who attend can enjoy mini make-up and styling sessions by the Bobbi Brown and Richard Ward teams, get wedding planning tips from Bruce Russell, talk to Scott Dunn about the perfect honeymoon destination and sample drinks from Berry Bros. & Rudd, while also meeting Luxury florist Paula Rooney, wedding and celebrity photographer Andy Mac, diamond expert Duttson Rocks, exclusive wedding cake designer Yevnig and Leeming Brothers Fine Stationery.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, all guests will receive a goody bag worth more than £150 with special gifts and exclusive offers from partners involved in the event.
But enough from us, let’s hand over the blog to Caroline now for more details on those dreamy dresses plus information on how to get your hands on tickets for that a-maz-ing event!
Can you start by giving us a brief overview of your gorgeous new collection?
caroline says: The collection is called the ‘Power of Love’ and features classic and timeless gowns with contemporary highlights and details that create a chic look.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this particular set of dresses?
My inspiration behind the collection was relaxed effortless style. I love creating glamorous pieces that fit perfectly and create a beautiful silhouette but at the same time appear relaxed and chic – no effort. The collection has gowns that are understated and quite simple but exude a sensual feeling. For me it all comes down to the cut and the movement – the architecture of the gown.
Can you tell us about the various styles and silhouettes of the gowns within the collection?
The ‘Power of Love’ collection features day to night looks – sleek fishtail gowns are paired with sumptuous detachable trains and delicate lace shrugs to transform the silhouette.
The essence of 50’s glamour is brought back with a modern take on the classic ball gown with clean lines making the statement.
I have also continued with the unique stretch corsets I’ve developed with bra cup corsets sculpting the figure to create a feminine and playfully sensual shape with layered laces creating depth and texture.
And what about the fabrics, detailing, colourways?
The collection has been handcrafted in the UK from fluid crepe, satin faced organza and guipure lace alongside new modern laces with subtle beading creating an understated yet glamorous bridal vision. Colours are soft – ivory, blush, mocha and beautiful water colours.
Do you have a particular favourite within the collection?
I really do love quite a few of them. It’s difficult to pick, though three standouts for me include:
Chrissy – the new scoop necked corset is stunning, modern and fresh with a power mesh layered with Chantilly lace and then moulded with exquisite beading very delicate and feminine, it comes with a soft water wash mocha silk organza skirt – I love the movement of this dress.
Madeira – all corded lace dress with a high neck and cap sleeves falling into a full circle lace skirt – it says young modern bride with a sense of classic.
Celia – full crepe dress with a strap and deep curved neck skimming the body – powerful yet understated, a chic glamorous style.
When will be new collection be landing in boutiques?
Dresses are arriving in stores from this week. You can find you closest Caroline Castigliano stockist here on our website.
We are excited to hear of the Evening of Wedding Inspiration that you are hosting at your Knightsbridge flagship boutique on 4th October. Can you tell us how the event will be beneficial to brides-to-be and why you’d encourage them to attend?
This is a fantastic opportunity for brides-to-be to see our latest collection of designer wedding gowns and meet some of the top experts in the wedding industry to get exclusive tips, ideas and inspiration! From bridal beauty to floral arrangements and honeymoons, we will have it all covered!
Furthermore, we will be showing a selection of our evening wear collection – just the thing for mothers-of-the-bride looking to wow in a red-carpet-worthy dress.
Tickets are available to buy online here.
September 21st, 2018 | Julia Braime
Things are pretty crazy behind the scenes here at Brides Up North Towers as we find ourselves in the full swing of our wonderful wedding fair season. It feels like there might be confetti and canapés in every orifice right now, and we’re not stopping yet! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
In a week’s time, we are returning to our favourite new wedding venue to the Cheshire scene: the beautiful Stock Farm Wedding Barn. Box fresh, this brilliant barn wedding venue that forms part of the famous Tatton Estate is one not to be missed from your location low down. We are so excited to show it off!
We’ll be putting on a pop up mini wedding festival on Sunday 30th September 2018 from 11am till 2pm. As always, the event is free entry (we like spoiling you!) and quite literally packed to the rafters with 30+ of the area’s best wedding day suppliers, from dream dresses to cute cakes. Whether you’ve got your venue sorted or not, this is a day full of fun and inspiration, with a distinctly boho vibe.
So, flower crowns at the ready once more, and we’ll see you at Stock!
With a stunning 2000 sqft of indoor space to play with at Stock Farm’s magnificent wedding barn it is an incredible opportunity to make a truly bespoke event tailored to you. Civil ceremonies can be held inside the barn or outside in our private garden under the apple tree. Stock Farm offers extensive acreage of open rural space exclusively for you and your guests to enjoy as well as onsite farmhouse accomodation. This will be no ordinary experience.
We’re giving away up to 150 free Bride To Be media packs at the event, filled with glossy magazines – including the BRAND NEW issue of UNVEILED Magazine – and treats from Brides Up North. The first 100 registered brides to arrive will also save £££ by taking away a pair of complimentary tickets to The National Wedding Show! As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag – and for FREE ENTRY – all you need to do is pre-register using the form for your venue of choice (you can register for more than one) found by clicking below. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
Images by Chiascuro, shot at Stock Farm during our last Brides Up North autumn event.
September 20th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Glamorous would certainly be a key word to describe today’s featured wedding between Katie and Tom, with a classic black and white theme carried through the suits and dresses and highlighted beautifully with the all-white flower scheme. There’s a stunning contrast between the white roses and hydrangeas and the deep green of the foliage in the table centrepieces, which, combined with the plush surroundings of the Titanic-themed venue (velvet curtains, sparkling chandeliers – even a padded door into the ceremony room), gives a clear vision of opulence.
Katie and Tom make a picture-perfect couple. Katie’s Ronald Joyce gown with its fishtail silhouette and beautiful lace detail chimes beautifully with the high-end theme and we’re loving the tuxedos on the chaps. Such a classic choice and always guaranteed to add a debonair vibe to the groom’s party. Unusually, Katie went for black fishtail gowns for the bridesmaids and these work so well – the whole look is timeless. A fishtail is also super flattering on all body shapes and, when you have six bridesmaids to dress, it’s a great choice to ensure everyone feels and looks gorgeous.
Complete with a jaw-dropping proposal (we haven’t heard of many grooms hiring an entire venue just to pop the question!), Katie and Tom’s wedding is definitely a lesson in how to style a classic wedding. We’ll let Katie tell us more …
With images and video by Madison Picture.
katie says: We got engaged on 14th March 2014 in London. We went away for the weekend for my birthday and Tom booked out the Trafalgar St James hotel rooftop bar just for us. With incredible views over city centre London he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. The staff then brought us champagne, macarons and strawberries. We then had a meal in the oldest restaurant in the city, Rules, and finished the evening with a trip to the theatre to watch Les Misérables. The perfect day!
We got married on 7th June 2018. It is a special day for us, as we got married on our eleventh anniversary together as a couple. During the planning of the wedding, I loved looking at the real weddings section of the Brides Up North blog to gain inspiration for our day – and looking at the amazing wedding dresses! It got me so excited about the big day to come.
We got married at 30 James Street hotel in Liverpool – we had the full ceremony and reception there. We live quite close to Liverpool and absolutely love the city. The building is the former White Star Line headquarters and is Titanic themed – the building has lots of history but has been restored with a modern, glamorous feel. We would recommend the venue as it has a lot of character and history – the grand hall is beautiful and spacious. We also liked the fact the bar was in the same room – it kept all the guests in one room and partying.
The theme came from the hotel as it is the ‘home of the Titanic’, so we didn’t add any extra theme to our wedding, as the building itself is enough. The colours we chose were black and white. The groom and groomsmen were all in black tuxedos and the bridesmaids were in black fishtail gowns. We had all-white flowers for bouquets and centrepieces and it all looked classic and simple, yet glamorous.
For my dress, I wore a white fishtail gown with sparkle, beading and lace by designer Ronald Joyce. I always knew I wanted a fishtail gown and chose it as it went really well with our venue and made me feel amazing.
Tom and his groomsmen wore a black tuxedo with braces and a bow tie from Moss Bros.
My bridesmaids wore a black fishtail gown purchased from Jane Norman. It wasn’t a traditional bridesmaid dress but it looked amazing on the day. My flower girl wore a white flower petal dress from Marks & Spencer.
September 19th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Today’s real wedding is something of a showstopper; we hardly know where to begin as there are so many Insta-worthy moments and details to pore over.
Our featured couple Laura and Ash tied the knot at the astoundingly beautiful Peckforton Castle in Cheshire in May. And we love what they done with the venue – think blossom trees, floating candles, a whimsical floral arch and a candlelit aisle lined with ivory petals. The stuff of fairy-tale dreams. And that’s before we even mention their moreish food and drink line-up of a chocolate truffle brownie cake, elderflower cocktails and a hog roast!
Music played an instrumental (ahem) role in the couple’s big day. Not only did the bride and groom surprise their guests with a performance of two of their own songs, but Laura’s uncle performed a violin solo during their ceremony too, and they also had a string quartet later in the day. And, we have to confess, Laura’s wedding gift to her hubby-to-be – a guitar – is one of the most memorable and thoughtful we’ve ever seen!
With images by Sansom Photography.
laura says: We got engaged on our third anniversary of dating – Valentine’s Day 2017. We had a spontaneous date in the Peak District village of Castleton in the Hope Valley, not far from Sheffield. We had just finished dinner in a charming little restaurant called 1530. Over coffee, our first and favourite pastime, Ash inconspicuously reached into his pocket, to offer me a ‘sweet’ he’d picked up earlier that day – but instead he presented the ring, brightly sparkling in the humble glow of the empty room! It was a complete shock to me, I was instantly brought to tears. The sweetest, softest words were spoken as he moved to one knee beside me, where he received my resounding “yes”. The kind waitstaff re-entered the room in delight and took our photo.
Our wedding date was Saturday 19th May 2018. Although we liked the idea of an autumn wedding, spring 2018 was far enough to plan and ensure a large amount of family and friends from abroad would able to attend and sooner than waiting until autumn 2018. Within three weeks of our engagement, we confirmed our date with the registrar and venue. Ten months later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their wedding date as the 19th of May, also! We were delighted to share the day (and the beautiful weather).
We initially thought of getting married in London where I spent my childhood in Chiswick, but due to my elderly grandparents living in Cheshire now, we wanted to find an option closer and easier for them to enjoy. Through a casual Google search, Ash came across the incredible Peckforton Castle in Tarporley, Cheshire. From our first glimpse in pictures, we were blown away by the beauty of the castle and grounds. It included stunning countryside surroundings, historic Grade I listed buildings and the perfect backdrop for our dream come true. We went to an open house conveniently that next week and wanted to look no further.
The venue is licensed for civil ceremonies only, which we chose to follow with a Christian blessing and arranged for my uncle to be our celebrant, rather than a local reverend, as this was more personal and meaningful for us. My uncle is also a first violinist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and performed a violin solo to a song we chose called Vapor by husband and wife duo, Gungor, during a candle memorial to honour those no longer with us. We included readings by family members: excerpts from The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis and 1 Corinthians 13 before an inspiring closing and prayer.
While we didn’t have a set theme, our style was a gilded floral romance. We chose a palette of ivory, blush and nude against lush foliage of eucalyptus and olive leaves.
Blush and gold were our feature colours as they complemented our florals delicately without distracting from the castle décor. These worked well for spring and kept the mood light and romantic.
I chose a dress by MillaNova, which I purchased from Elements of Serenity Boutique, Swindon. I had originally seen the dress on Pinterest but had no details on who the designer was. After two visits to other boutiques and countless evenings scrolling through my dress inspo board, I hunted down the details and found that only one boutique in the country carried this line! I visited EOS as soon as possible with my aunty who lives in Cheshire and my iPad as we facetimed my mum who lives in the States. We knew that this was the one! I had tried on so many chic, fitted dresses that looked and felt lovely but hadn’t spoken to me the way this MillaNova dress did – I wasn’t initially looking for a ball gown, but this made me feel so beautiful and most like myself. It was a wonderful experience without the hype or pressure you see on TV. The boutique didn’t rush me or over-influence, they were excellent from start to finish.
September 18th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Gotcha! The lead image on today’s post may well have caused you to double take, but Andy and I haven’t got hitched just yet! The photo was actually taken at our best friends’ wedding a few weeks ago where I was a maid of honour and Andy one of the groomsmen.
Attending four fabulous weddings this year has certainly made for very helpful research for our own big day, reaffirming the most important elements to us, where we should allocate more of the budget, where we might be able to make a saving and how to weave special touches among the proceedings.
And now, with no other weddings in the diary between now and summer 2019 we are officially next in line to become Mr & Mrs – and I feel that with less than eight months to go, we are making surprisingly good progress.
I have, however, found myself somewhat torn when writing these diary posts as I’m excited to give you updates and share my experience, but like any other bride-to-be, I don’t want to give away too many details about the big day before it’s happened, especially for those that will be attending.
Following the wedding I’ll certainly be divulging all aspects and details of the amazing suppliers we have onboard, but in the meantime, there are some elements that I think are safe to reveal…
Since my last diary post the day invites have been sent out causing Andy to get weirdly cocker-spaniel-style excited for the post arriving each day. Every time a few more RSVPs drop through the letter box he quickly retrieves them and moves the responding guests’ names into the ‘attending’ column on one of our many planning spreadsheets. I have to say though, I adore this level of enthusiasm and organisation (if only he could take transfer such skills keeping ‘his side’ of our bedroom in order!).
Clean and elegant, we went with a personal ‘R&A’ design in a gold leaf garland for the invite with accompanying details card and RSVP sealed within a brown Kraft envelope, which should tie in nicely with other styling elements that we have planned for the wedding.
Another box ticked is Andy and his groomsmen’s suits, which he found while shopping with his best men in Manchester. It’s really important to me that Andy loves what he wears on the day as much as I love my dress and I must say, though he’s still to accessorise his outfit, he looks absolutely gorgeous in his chosen suit and picturing him in it at our chosen venue The West Mill, gives me butterflies! Finding his attire also helps to pull together the wedding colour palette a little more, though the hue of his tie is an ongoing debate!
We’ve ticked all entertainment boxes now too, with bookings for different parts of the day that we hope will reflect our musical tastes while setting the desired atmosphere and, in turn, creating memories that will last beyond the wedding.
I’ve also recruited my #glamsquad to beautify me and my four bridesmaids – it was certainly an area where I was spoilt for choice as through both Brides Up North and UNVEILED magazine we work with some true talents of the hair and makeup industry. The two pros I’ve enlisted the skills of are Lake-District-based hair stylist Gareth Lambert of Aqua The Salon, and North East makeup artist Anna Cordelia Mason. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this dynamite duo on several occasions and I’ve found their approach and styles to be right up my street, plus they both have such lovely personalities that I know they will bring a really fun yet chilled vibe to the wedding morning.
What else? Well after letting you all know that I unexpectedly found my dream dress in record time in the summer I thought I’d move onto my accessories, starting with my shoes – and I’m thrilled to say I’ll be a Charlotte Mills bride when it comes to my big day footwear. I was keen to go to a designer that specialises in bridal shoes, rather than buy off the high street, as I know the experts in this area provide both style and comfort in their designs. As a girl that lives in trainers (all hail the Stan Smiths!) I couldn’t bare the thought of hobbling around in pain on my wedding day, though I knew I’d want a heel for added height and an elegant posture. Thanks to Charlotte I had the most amazing experience picking the perfect pair from her utterly gorgeous collection and would highly recommend others to follow in my footsteps by visiting her cute boutique in Saddleworth near Oldham or visiting one of her amazing stockists for personal on- to-one service and advice. For those coming to our Luxury Wedding Shows this season, you’re in for an extra special treat as our goody bags will include a Charlotte Mills discount voucher meaning you can bag yourself a pair of her totally dreamy heels and make a saving in the process!
Next on my wedding to-do list is the bridesmaid dresses, an element of the planning I’m really stoked for as I’m looking to fabulous designer Rosanna Garden of Motee Maids to assist me in dressing my leading ladies. Having first met Rosanna at The White Gallery in London when she’d not long launched her amazing bridesmaid collection, I instantly fell in love with her clever customisable creations that give options on dress style, colour and delicate hand embellishment detailing, enabling individual personalities and style preferences to shine through. Furthermore, Motee Maids was named ‘Best Bridesmaid Collection of the Year’ at the 2018 Bridal Buyer Awards, just last week further cementing Rosanna’s position as a leading designer in the industry. The only problem with picking such a talent is that I will, without doubt, be enviable of my maids’ attire.
Over the coming months we have a few more suppliers to source and meetings to arrange, including with the florist, caterer and our amazing photographer Jon of S6 Photography. And so, I guess what is safe to say is that the wedding clique is coming together, and momentum is building for the big day, though I’m eager to not wish away the run-up as it’s all part of the wedding experience and a time that I aim to absorb and enjoy!
Catch up on Rachel’s other diary entries here.
September 17th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
There are some lovely special touches present at today’s real wedding between Alun and Sophie, which takes place by the sea for an extra air of romance. We love the personalised order of service with its bridal party roll call and amusing message to the guests as they await the bride’s entrance. Then there’s the sign that states “Uncle Alun – here comes your bride”, proudly held by the groom’s nephew to signal her arrival. Not to mention the personalised poems written for the guests and left at their place settings.
In sight of the glorious coastal view, the couple arranged lawn games to keep guests entertained and hay bales with blankets around a fire pit upon which family and friends could toast marshmallows and enjoy the sea breeze. Which leads us nicely on to cocktails – all personalised of course to add to the unintentional theme noticed by Alun and Sophie’s guests as very “them”!
The tipi wedding setting looks spectacular against the cerulean Welsh sky – we can totally see why Alun and Sophie wanted an outdoor wedding in such a spectacular location!
With images by Jess Yarwood.
sophie says: Alun wanted to make sure I didn’t suspect the proposal – not an easy task as all I had spoken about for the last three years was getting engaged! As I’m a teacher, he decided to surprise me after school; keeping me in school was tricky but, with help from my workmates, Alun managed to sneak in and be in my classroom as I walked back from the staff room. I was surprised to see him there! He handed me a letter and, as I read the beautiful words, I had tears in my eyes. Alun went down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course, my answer was yes!
We got married on 5th August 2017. We needed to choose the school holiday and, as we wanted an outdoor wedding, we felt August would be perfect.
We had the ceremony in a beautiful church in Llangwnadl and the reception was in a field overlooking the coast. I fell in love with the church when I first visited Alun’s sister’s house in the same village. As we both love the sea, the field was the best choice and the tipi made it extra special. Having a tipi meant we could personalise everything.
The order of the day was fun! We wanted everyone to be relaxed and enjoy themselves. I’m not sure there was a theme as such but lots of our friends commented afterwards that the wedding was very “us”.
For our colour scheme we chose burgundy and baby pink. I liked the contrast of colours and wanted summery and country flowers.
When it came to the dress, I visited lots of shops and tried on several dresses but couldn’t quite find the right one! I wanted a simple gown due to the venue. I finally found one in a little village down south when visiting my best friend for the weekend. It was in a pre-loved wedding shop and, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. After a little altering by a wonderful seamstress in Chester, the dress was perfect.
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