Brides Up North

celebrity spy. oscars inspiration: dakota johnson

March 5th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Dakota Johnson

It’s been one red carpet event after the other recently with The Oscars, Elle’s Style Awards and The Brits all taking place in quick succession of each other.

While stylish ladies from both the UK and US have pulled out all the stops at each of the events we think the fabulous females at the Oscars presented the most award-worthy looks.

There didn’t appear to be any total fashion flops (though Lady Gaga’s red leather gloves were a little questionable) or any serious wardrobe malfunctions (unlike at The Brits #nocape) with the majority of ladies working their enviable red carpet styles perfectly.

Though it might be difficult to mirror their exact looks, fashions flaunted by the stars often spill over into the bridal wear scene giving brides-to-be the opportunity to take inspiration from these A-list celebs.

So prepare to take note ladies as we translate of some of the finest Oscar looks paraded outside LA’s Dolby Theatre into fabulous bridal wear options in a series of posts.

It seems only right to start with the most talked about actress of the moment Dakota Johnson, aka Fifty Shades’ Ana Steele.

the dress

Dakota Dress

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, dress by Vera Wang

Moving herself to the opposite end of the colour spectrum from grey, Dakota chose to be a lady in red. Her Saint Laurent column gown features an asymmetrical neckline and high-leg slit, trends we’re already seeing on the bridal catwalks and therefore an easy look for brides to imitate.

Ticking all the Oscar boxes, Dakota’s look is timeless, sexy and sophisticated and features just a touch of sparkle in diamond detailing on the shoulder.

Brides can choose if they would like a dress featuring all three of these features or just one or two areas of detail.

Column and asymmetrical dresses lend themselves to the Grecian look which might be a particularly appealing to those brides saying their ‘I dos’ overseas. Many designs of this type can also be found with touches of sparkling detailing like Dakota’s dress, whether it be similarly placed on the shoulder or perhaps along the waistline or hip.

Alternatively brides might want to do away with the shoulder detailing altogether in favour of a simple, strapless, slim line gown reflecting the lower part of Dakota’s outfit.

Meanwhile those keen to make an impact could take inspiration from the glamourous hue of Dakota’s dress and don red for their big day.

the hair

Dakota Hair

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, dress by Berta| image source| image source via Shut The Front Door| image source, photography by Melissa Oholendt Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Bethany Belle| image source| image source, dress by Ellie Saab

The sleek ponytail is a timeless and effortless look that works as well on the red carpet and it does on the aisle.

Some brides-to-be get caught up thinking they require a complicated up do or a style they wouldn’t usual go for when it comes to their big day, but Dakota proves you can keep things simple and still look stylish by sporting a classic pony tail.

Brides can keep sweep their locks up straight, or as an alternative style their ponytail into loose romantic waves. Brides with short hair can still work the look by gathering their hair in a low ponytail at the nape of the neck while those with long hair might want to also lower their ponytail and reposition it to the side for a slightly different style.

Those with wispy bangs like Dakota shouldn’t feel the need to grow them out for the big day as we can see that a fringe can frame the face beautifully.

Brides choosing to wear their hair in a ponytail tend to keep their accessories simple, picking out pretty hair combs or tiaras to complete their look.

the make up

Dakota Makeup

Clockwise from left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by A Brit & A Blonde| image source, photography by Olga Thomas Photography| image source, photography by This Modern Romance| image source, photography by Erich McVey| image source| image source| image source

Sticking with a classic and simple look once again, Ms Johnson adds a pop of colour to her flawless porcelain-like face with radiant red lipstick to match her attention-grabbing dress.

In true Cara Delevinge style she makes the brows bold and the eyes soft, sultry and alluring (must be her inner Ana Steele).

For brides this is a glamorous film star look that can easily be carried through from day to night without the need for alterations.

Just like Dakota those going for red lips are advised to keep the rest of their make-up simple as not to look like an over made-up Barbie.

Red lips are a hot trend right now in the beauty world so brides will be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a shade. Options vary from brights like poppy and cherry through to medium and darker hues such as scarlet and claret.

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a modern monroe. a styled bridal portrait shoot

March 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (38)

To me, Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate Hollywood icon – all curves, pout and platinum locks – so when a talented North West collective of wedding industry suppliers asked me to share these styled bridal images of a modern day Marilyn, it was lights, camera, action

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (19)

Photographer Julie from Julie Lomax Photography has been running her own business in Bolton for 10 years. As well as weddings she does a lot of portrait work so really enjoys working with people to ensure they’re comfortable and at ease so that she gets the best shots possible.

julie says: When we first started to plan this photo-shoot we’d been inspired by the undeniable and timeless beauty of the fabulous Marilyn Monroe. Our model, Melissa Jade Cheetham has that enviable petite figure, killer smile and cropped blond hair and was the inspiration behind the look that we eventually created. However, Melissa’s classic features were brought up to date with a more edgy side complete with tattoos and piercings, elements that really showcased her personality and made us want to bring Miss Monroe bang up to date!

After doing some research and creating some inspirational mood boards on Pinterest, we decided that to achieve a more up-to-date, on-trend bridal look we would have to add in some sparkle and chose gold metallics combined with black to create our look.

My style of photography requires plenty of natural light which is why The Dance Mill, Halifax was perfect, it has fabulous big industrial windows and a large mirrored wall for the students to practice in which reflected all the light beautifully, enabling me to really show off the details on the dress and capture the colours perfectly.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (40)

With over 10 years of designing and dressmaking experience, Charlotte Yates and the team at Legend Bridal, Lancashire have a spectacular reputation with customers travelling from all over the UK. As well as designing and creating fabulously unique, made-to-measure wedding dresses, Legend Bridal also create all manner of dresses, costumes, ball gowns, mother of the bride outfits and a wide range of accessories from bridal head pieces to corsages, bags and hats. Between them, the team have a wide range of training and disciplines, from design and couture, to embroidery, beading and millinery.

charlotte says: We thought of the iconic ‘Marilyn’ dresses; the signature empire cut and nipped in waistline. We took those elements, updated it with gold sequins and added a Legend twist teaming it up with jagged tulle and black petticoats.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (4)

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (6)

Hair and Make Up was by Debra Schofield at Ruby Red Lips and Lucinda at Lucinda Kay Hair Design.

Debra opened Bolton’s first make-up studio and works with her team of talented make-up artists at Bolton’s Last Drop Village. The team have a loyal customer base for weddings, special events and proms and work with their clients to achieve their desired make-up look whether that be a natural look or full-on glam.

debra says: We wanted to work with Melissa’s natural pale skin tone but add some classic Marilyn elements by giving her statement eyebrows, fabulous long fluttery eyelashes, bold rep lips and of course that iconic beauty spot!

Lucinda is a freelance hair-stylist based in the North West but travels all over the country creating spectacular hair styles. With over seven years of experience, Lucinda started the business two years ago and has seen it go from strength to strength, even styling the hair for the prestigious Miss World Competition last year. As well as bridal hair, Lucinda specialises in colouring, cutting, and styling for photo-shoots and shows.

lucinda says: I used heated tongs to create the curls and then set the hair to get that retro look. Once cooled, I brushed the hair out and created volume using a backcomb spray before setting with hairspray to make sure it held throughout the shoot. The look was finished with a shine spray to make sure it looked perfectly glamorous, just like Marilyn!

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (42)

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (46)

The styling for the shoot was done using a selection of props including some on-trend giant lit letter M’s courtesy of Hollywood Letters, fabulous florals from Victoria at Lancashire Floristry and beautiful cakes created by Rachel at Marie Antoinette Cakes.

Phil Ingram started Hollywood Letters in 2014, based in the North West, they supply giant lit letters for any occasion or event. Whether you want individual initials, full words, giant love hearts, or even smaller table top letters, the team at Hollywood Letters can help. Their large white M and smaller black M were perfect for the shoot and really helped bring that classic Marilyn look up to date.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (27)

The team asked Victoria from Lancashire Floristry to create some beautiful floral arrangements for the shoot and she didn’t disappoint. Embracing the colour scheme, Victoria, who works from her shop in Bolton, supplied arrangements in a selection of rose gold vases teamed up with whites, pale pink and black to complete the look.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (9)

The cakes were designed and created by the photo-shoot’s co-organiser Rachel from Marie Antoinette Cakes. Based in South Manchester, Rachel has been creating people’s wedding cakes for the last three years and has quickly developed her own signature style.

rachel says: The colour scheme and theme were a dream for me, pastels, gold and black are just so popular right now and styled shoots like this really give me the opportunity to show clients what can be done when it comes to their wedding cake. Cake decorating has really come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there’s just so much possibility. We used a selection of techniques to create three stunning cakes, including edible gold leaf, edible gold sequins, sugar ruffles, and a selection of handmade sugar flowers. The whole look really came together when teamed with the other elements of the shoot, we’re really pleased!

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (36)

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on air.

March 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

BBC Radio Tees

Interrupting our usual blogging schedule to bring you this special broadcast

Following our plus one debate on the wedding blog last Friday, we were invited to join the argument over guest list difficulties on BBC Radio Tees yesterday morning. You can listen again at the BBC website, I join the show at around about 50 minutes in.  And talk.  A lot.

Click here to catch up.

You can catch up on our original debate here.

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this sunday! its our big one: Ramside Hall Hotel

March 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

Ramside Hall Luxury Wedding Exhibition Spring 2015

Well, you picked the right time to stop by, because look!  It’s the Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition!  It’s THIS WEEKEND!  And it’s only the biggest event in our whole spring calendar.

The region’s best and most beautiful wedding industry suppliers will gather at of the North East’s favourite wedding venue – Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club – on Sunday 8th March 2015, from 12pm till 4pm, FREE ENTRY.  

Yep. Free.  With a goody bag on top!

Judging by our pre-registration, it’s going to be pretty epic…

Cat Hepple Photography

Once again, we don’t do things by halves here at Brides Up North!  We are filling the whole hotel – that’s five huge function areas – and it’s going to be spectacular!

If there’s one wedding fair to attend this year, this is it.  This isn’t your typical wedding fair though, it’s a knock-your-socks-off super showcase!  This is officially the largest free entry bridal event in the North East area and should most definitely be one for your diaries.

Whether you are shopping for the final details or have no idea where to start, I can promise you the very best choice of the best bridal experts in the region.  Everything you can think of for planning your big day will be represented and there’ll be on the day discounts too.

CHP small no logo IMG_5250-36

Come and see our two professional bridal catwalks (this season we are getting ready to party!) meet the Ramside wedding planners, pose in our photo booths, taste our scrumptious wedding cakes, kit out your man and bridesmaids,  play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories, get lost in our beautiful floral displays, get the hair and make up sorted, source your stationery, find a top photographer and tick off all those last essential details.  You name it, we can sort it.

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I adore this event – it’s big, it’s busy, it’s exciting, but most of all it’s really beautiful.  I can’t wait to see you all there for a day of wedding heaven… and lots of fun too.

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bride to be? you’re in the right place!

Just ’cos I’m generous, we’re giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors House of Fraser and Love Hearts.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

Middleton Lodge ONLY: Would you like to book a venue viewing appointment with the Middleton Lodge team? Brides Up North will contact you with available times.

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2015. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this spring.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone No

Your Website (begin web address with http://www.)

What sort of wedding business are you enquiring on behalf of? e.g. Bridal Boutique/ Photographer etc

Select the event that you are interested in (required)

If you wish to attend more than one event, please list all here - discounts are available for block bookings

Images by Cat Hepple Photography.

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vintage lace and sequins. an art nouveau inspired spring styled shoot

March 3rd, 2015 | Julia Braime

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (68)

We love local, and we love stylish weddings – so as well as promoting our own luxury bridal events via these pretty pages we also like to tell our readers about certain selected special events – like the massive North West Wedding Fair this weekend – or this rather lovely little event, The Exquisite Secret Vintage Wedding Fair, hosted by our friend and Brides Up North Exhibitor, Rebecca Jenkinson of Pretty Little Trio Vintage (Rebecca will be showing you what she can do at our Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms, later this month).

To celebrate the announcement of the secret location of the show, released later today, these beautiful images were curated by Rebecca and were captured by exhibitor Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography. We’re thrilled that they chose Brides Up North to show them off.

Be inspired!

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (6)

rebecca says: The inspiration for our shoot was a modern interpretation of one of my favourite vintage styles, Art Nouveau, with a hint of the twenties too. I wanted to showcase our beautiful secret venue and took inspiration from the surroundings and weaved in pretty spring oranges, a hint of teal blue, deep greens and of course a beautiful dash of gold sequins and vintage elements.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (61)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (32)  Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (31)

For the shoot we wanted to produce images that could be easily interpreted as inspiration for real wedding days rather than anything too aspirational so the general brief we took was everything was to be beautiful but achievable.

When planning the shoot, in the same way as many brides planning their wedding ideas, I found Pinterest a huge help in pulling thoughts together. I selected ideas for colours, dresses, hairstyles, makeup, props, stationery, cakes and lots of other details and then shared the board with the team ahead of the day so we could all add our skills to bringing the vision together.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (65)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (66)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (21)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (11)

The lovely images were captured by Lucy Greenhill Photography with second shooting by Emma Hillier Photography, both creative, great fun and lovely people to work with.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (62)

Our bride Charlotte was dressed by Fiona of The Wedding Boutique Cheshire, all the stunning designs are from the Elizabeth Cooper Collection and are exclusively designed and crafted by Fiona in her boutique where she takes inspiration from vintage styles and materials. She is going to be debuting her latest collection at London Bridal Fashion Week in May, I’m so excited for her.

Charlotte’s pretty hair and make up are by the amazingly skilled Sophie, part of the fabulous Manchester based Bethany Jane Davies - Vintage Beauty Parlour.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (50)

The stunning flowers are by the super talented Heather at Living Colour Floral Design, there is literally no vintage style this girl can’t master for you whilst giving it a contemporary feel too.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (46)

All the beautiful stationery, so perfectly vintage, is created by Emma at Hattie Boo Designs. It has a real vintage heritage being based on wedding stationery found in an old wooden box from the wedding of Emma’s Nanna’s Husband’s first marriage in the 1920’s!

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (63)

The beautiful swirly icing art nouveau inspired white and gold tiered cake was created by Manchester based Beth at Cakes by Beth. She is a total genius and can turn her hand to any idea you might have and they taste phenomenal too!

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (19)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (49)

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (2)

I supplied all the vintage china, suitcases, books and other props through my vintage hire company with the look completed with dazzling table cloths from lovely Helen at Pudding Bridge, who hires nationwide.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (34)

The team involved in the shoot are just some of our wonderful exhibitors, I’d definitely recommend any one planning their day with a vintage flavour to come along on the 8th March to enjoy the event and meet our lovely exhibitors.

The Exquisite Secret Vintage Wedding Fair returns to Manchester city centre for its second year this Sunday the 8th March 2015. It is a vintage wedding fair with a bit of a difference, as the exact location is a total secret until just days 5 before when the secret venue is unveiled. (That’s today!)

Tickets are £2.50 in advance (£5.00 on the door) and £10.00 for group tickets.

Pretty Little Trio - a styled shoot by Lucy Greenhill Photography with Emma Hillier Photography (3)

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