Charlotte Balbier

front row: amanda wyatt 2016 collection, promises of love.

April 23rd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Amanda Wyatt Promises of Love  (30)

Is there anything more exciting than sitting front row catwalk knowing that you’re among a select few to about to clap eyes on a designer’s brand new collection for the very first time? We think not.

We were therefore delighted, enthused and excited when an invitation to the launch of Amanda Wyatt’s 2016 Collection, cutely named promises of love, arrived here at Brides Up North HQ. Today we’re extending that invitation further by sharing the designs with you, our fabulous readers, here on the wedding blog.

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For those of you that aren’t familiar with Amanda and her gorgeous creations it’s time to come out from underneath that rock as Ms Wyatt is a pretty big deal, having been a leading name in British bridal for more than 20 years.

Amanda Wyatt Promises of Love  (5)

Amanda Wyatt Promises of Love  (6)

Amanda Wyatt Promises of Love  (4)

Forward thinking Amanda is known for creating gowns that not only look amazing, but also that make her brides feel amazing thanks to their fabulous fit, quality fabrics and sensational detailing, so we were confident that the latest collection would be just as fabulous as those that have gone before.

Amanda Wyatt Promises of Love  (26)

And we weren’t wrong – cue soft flowing chiffons, French and Italian laces, fine tulle and rich satins, adorned with frosted pearl beading and embellished details. This lady sure knows how to make us (and plenty of other pretty-loving ladies) go weak at the knees.

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As the lights dimmed the music kicked in and the models stepped out to flaunt Amanda’s fabulous frocks. From sleek slim-line designs and flattering A-line silhouettes to short 50s style dresses and perfect princess gowns, Promises Of Love had covered all bases meaning that there was quite literally ‘the one’ for everyone. And this lady is not only big on offering brides a wide range of looks, but also a wide range of sizes as not to exclude more curvaceous ladies from the wonderful Amanda Wyatt party.

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Further choice was provided with Amanda’s exciting colour palette which strayed beyond classic ivory hues with some gowns in soft gold, blush pinks and even powder blue.

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Standout favourites for us Brides Up North girls included the headline gown of the collection, Promise – a slim design featuring delicate lace and a pretty fluid skirt. In terms of fuller designs there were plenty to choose from, including regal satin gowns and romantic tulle offerings with varying levels of detail.

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In a nod to the princess of the moment, and no we’re not talking Kate Middleton, the collection features a design named Elsa (Frozen fans will get the reference). Available in ivory or powder blue, (just like the Disney sovereign herself) this gown is what fairytales are made of with its voluminous tulle layered skirt and angelic lace detail.

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Those planning a city centre or destination wedding may well be drawn to the cute shorter length gowns in the collection, such as Nia and Cupid, which certainly caught our eye on the catwalk.

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There was however one particular dress that got us wishing for an impromptu proposal (from quite literally anyone) just so that we could put it on – Chantilly. High fashion and hot, we mean hot, this sultry little number is a guaranteed head-turner with its plunging neckline, elegant lace top and slinky skirt. Pure perfection!

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Following the catwalk show, leading lady Amanda talked us through the collection dress by dress, explaining the inspiration behind the designs, which in a lot of cases included listening to brides’ feedback via stockists and giving them exactly what they asked for, showing that this talented lady has a real connection to her clients.

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Amanda also explained that the collection had been designed with matching accessories to complement each gown, with additions including soft tulle silk veils and delicate hair accessories.

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Finally we were given a taste of the beautiful bridesmaid gown styles that Amanda has added to her increasingly popular maids’ collection for 2015, meaning both you and your gals can be styled by Wyatt for your big day.

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And that, our friends, is one promise worth keeping.

Images by Jonny Draper Photography.

Amanda Wyatt 2016 Collection from Silk Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Enter the password mere to view this exclusive video. (Trust me, it’s worth a good look, and you might just spot us FROW!)

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look book: a cut above

April 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Hayley Paige HP6450

Hayley Paige - HP6450

If we said cut-out wedding dress to you there’s a good chance horrifying thoughts of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding would spring to mind. But fear not, the type of dresses we’re referring to in today’s look book post are oh-so-elegant designs that reveal just the right amount of flesh and are set to be one of the biggest bridal trends on the 2015 catwalks.

We’ve witnessed cut-out detailing on in the fashion world over the past year or so, and while some designs brought out the inner-Jordan (cue the revealing bodycon) others demonstrate how baring just a little skin can be both sexy & sophisticated.

Reem Acra (2)

Reem Acra

In bridal wear designers are using cut-out detailing in numerous different ways to create dresses with graceful peek-a-boo charm. This means brides can choose which part of their figure they wish to flaunt – whether it be their chest, shoulders or midriff.

Hayley Paige HP6513

Hayley Paige - HP6513

Dresses with keyhole detailing in the back have been popular for a while now though designers appear to be getting bolder with their creations by cutting away more fabric than before. Some have also chosen to lower the keyhole from the shoulder blade area down to the lower back, which is considered a more flirtatious area of the body to reveal. Braver still, designers such as Hayley Paige offer gowns that border on being completely backless. Pretty detailing in floral corsages and intricate embellishing ensure that such dresses remain tasteful rather than tarty.

Keyhole detailing has also crept around to the front of some dress designs to reveal a little of the chest area, or even a glimpse of cleavage. These designs suit small framed brides beautifully but perhaps larger-busted ladies should give them a swerve so not to shock their vicar.

Claire Pettibone Adagio

Claire Pettibone - Adagio

Elsewhere designers are using cut-out detailing by getting creative with straps for a high fashion look. Again, Hayley Paige offers some head-turning examples within her collections – HP6450 and HP6513 being standout designs.

Hayley Paige HP6463

Hayley Paige - HP6463

For body confident brides there are some incredibly striking gowns with cut out detailing in the bodice of the dress which expose areas of the waist, hips and stomach. Reem Acra and Badgley Mischka are particularly talented at producing such dresses.

The level of exposure varies from small slits or triangles in the side of the dress, which can help accentuate a bride’s curves, to fuller areas of the torso being revealed, which might require a fair few pre-wedding-day planks to pull off.

Claire Pettibone Rachel 9back)

Claire Pettibone - Rachel

If you like the idea of flashing a your midriff but don’t want to strip back to the bare skin, there are designs that use pretty sheer fabrics to create an illusion cut away for that extra bit of coverage. Those that would prefer to keep the cut-out detailing at the top of the dress can also take advantage of effective illusion designs adorned with pretty embellishing for that extra wow factor.

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Read on for more gowns in our Gallery…

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beloved. supplier showcase: one fine day bridal

March 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

One Fine Day Bridal (1)

This afternoon we are proud to welcome Brides Up North Sponsor Lindsey of Lancashire based bridal boutique, one fine day bridal to our pretty pages.  One Fine Day Bridal is unique in that it specialises in pre-loved, worn once wedding gowns and sell only face-to-face to offer the full bridal service.

You know that wayyyy out of budget designer gown you’ve had your eye on? It’s yours.

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When did One Fine Day Bridal open and what is your background?

I am a fashion buyer, wife, mama and thrilled to say owner of One Fine Day Bridal which opened its doors on 20th November 2014.

I have worked in the fashion business since I graduated with a degree in Fashion and Brand Promotion in 2001.

I have been fortunate in my career to work directly with celebrities who I admire. I love the class and quality of Amanda Wakeley designs and was taught about dressing to your body shape by Trinny & Susannah. The most rewarding time was spent working on occasion and bridal wear. I love the design, the fabrics and the finished garment – preparing for a special event and how amazing the right style can look on a woman.

Following the birth of my son last year I made the decision to run my own bridal shop. The time felt right and I understood how radically my lifestyle was changing.

Quality designer wedding gowns are timeless, and I love that one bride’s treasured dress may also bring such happiness to another. Once upon a time women who bought pre-owned may have felt the need to keep it secret, but this has changed. At One Fine Day Bridal we take pride in offering a personal service in beautiful surroundings and ensure our brides feel special, whether buying or selling

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Which wedding gown labels do you stock?

Due to the nature of my business I am lucky to stock a wide range of designers and styles. I currently hold designs from top designers in the UK market such as Justin Alexander, Ian Stuart, Alan Hannah, Ronald Joyce, Augusta Jones, Maggie Sottero, Pronovias Bridal, Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier, Sophia Tolli, La Sposa and Enzoani and designers who are unique in style or up and coming such as Cymbeline, Lizzie Agnew, Sanyukta Shersetha, Kayta Kayta, Jesus Peiro, Eliza Jane Howell and Minna.

What bridal accessories designers do you stock?

I work locally with a handmade accessories designer to offer a personal consultation to all my brides; I take pride in quality service. One Fine Day also currently stock one-off accessories by Enzoani, Sasso Brides, Rachel Simpson, Halo & Co and Amanda Wyatt amongst others.

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Where are you located?

In Lancashire. Tarleton, a beautiful rural village which is easily accessible from Manchester and Liverpool. We are situated on a lovely courtyard with restaurants and coffee shops nearby and are on the first floor, so nice and private.

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

Our dresses range from destination styles at £250 to more exclusive designs at £1800. Accessories and shoes begin at £19 for lace gloves to £120 for beautiful head pieces.

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

I do recommend an appointment as I like to lock the door and give my brides and their family full attention. I would begin by chatting to you as I love to hear all the details of your big day, from the engagement to any dress designs already tried and styles you love.

Dresses can be tried on as usual however I do request that heavy make-up and fake tan is not worn for fittings.

We offer the full bridal service and have an experienced seamstress who will fit your gown to you perfectly.

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What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

My personal taste is very simple by design. I adore a Jesus Peiro gown which arrived this week in pale ivory. The fabric is matt satin and it is slim fitting with a gentle train. The belt has exquisite beadwork and I love a bridal gown with pockets!

Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

I have found Justin Alexander to be a very popular designer and many brides are asking for mermaid styles in lace. I think gowns are becoming much softer and romantic with beautiful details in beading and fine lace and I love to see designs with a hint of colour – blush or ice grey.

The bridesmaid colour I have been asked for most is soft aqua.

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Do you stock bridesmaid dresses?

I am expanding the business in summer to stock a range of new bridesmaid dresses; the designer is yet to be selected when I visit the London Bridal exhibition at the end of March. I also have lovely open space in my shop and am lucky to have 2 lovely rooms. One will become home to One Fine Night Lingerie as I introduce a beautiful new lingerie range in August this year.

One Fine Day Bridal (10)

Who would be a One Fine Day bride?

A One Fine Day bride is aware of her budget and is searching for her dream dress at an affordable price. She is aware of style and quality and she is not prepared to compromise on personal service or a pleasurable buying experience.

What did you wear on your wedding day?

I married in 2007 in a stunning silk Cymbeline gown, it was a very simple design in a warm ivory with one-shoulder, no embellishment but the skirt was a two piece with a gorgeous tulle underskirt shown through a split – I love it! It sits in my shop as a lucky omen. I wore a pearl necklet on my forehead woven into my hair which I later dropped around my neck.

Today I would chose a tea length gown with a full skirt and a pair of killer heels in a strong colour!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you and find out more?

Visit our website at www.onefinedaybridal.co.uk, find us on Facebook, email me at Lindsey@onefinedaybridal.co.uk or call 07793288986.

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a lovely launch: The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique

March 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (55)

We are so proud of our fabulous industry Sponsors here at Brides Up North, and were thrilled to support gorgeous Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in the run up to her (very pretty) launch party.

A little while ago, we ran a feature to introduce the beautiful boutique and show off some of the amazing gowns that they’ll be stocking.  You can click here to catch up on the stunning shoot and hear about, and if I was excited then..

Girls, doors are officially open!

Images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (4)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (2)

diana says: It seemed only right to have a little party to celebrate the launch of our gorgeous new boutique, so a few days before our open day, we had an exclusive launch evening for our lovely family, friends and industry friends.  It’s certainly been hard work getting to this point, but to see everyone’s expressions when they came into the boutique that night was unforgettable.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (31)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (28)

The night was filled with a flurry of emotions, from being paranoid about fizz getting spilt on the freshly laid carpet to having to make a speech!  Thankfully no fizz was spilt and the speech as someone else described was ‘epic’, although I wouldn’t have given it that description!  It was really important for me to thank my family for all the love, support and hands on help they have given me to get the boutique looking like it does.  I could not have done it without them. The look and feel of the boutique is everything I had hoped for and more.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (21)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (13)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

I was also very touched by so many industry friends travelling from near and far to support the launch.  I know how manic this industry is and how busy everyone’s diaries are, so to see so many there was just lovely.  To top the night off we made a booking for a bride to be too!  We were so pleased with how a great an evening everyone had and there was certainly a buzz in the air ahead of our official open day.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (57)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (45)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (37)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (22)

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (26)

At The Little Pearl we pride ourselves in offering a one on one, by appointment only service to all of our brides, in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. We have carefully selected our gown and accessory designers to bring our customers the very best in bridal wear, whilst suiting a wide variety of styles.  Our gown designers are the award winning Sassi Holford, Charlotte Balbier and Enzoani and the up and coming Maria Senvo. We also offer accessory styling appointments for all those finishing touches.  Our accessory designers are Rachel Simpson (shoes), Flo & Percy (headwear and jewellery), Sasso (stoles) and Pompadour (garters).

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique Launch (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (24)

Valentine’s Day is not only the day of love but also the day The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique opened its doors!  We had a day of bookings and lots of lovely treats for the bride-to-be and their families.  This is what all the hard work has been about, getting to meet these lovely ladies and helping them on their journey to finding the perfect gown and accessories.  We had lots of happy brides in the boutique, who had such lovely things to say about The Little Pearl.  We are so proud of our boutique already and can’t wait to welcome more lovely ladies through our doors.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or sign up to ‘Pearl’s Girls’ via our website to keep up to date with everything at The Little Pearl. Contact us at diana@thelittlepearlbridalboutiqe.co.uk to book your Little Pearl experience now.

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lookbook. collars & capes.

March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Jasmine - Enzoani

Several of our previous lookbook features have focused on wedding dress trends that encourage brides to flash some flesh, but today we are swooning over graceful gowns where modesty is key.

Somewhat unexpectedly dresses featuring high collars and capes (sorry Madge) have come to rule recent bridal runways promoting sophisticated styles that scream high fashion.

Capes

Though it didn’t work out for Madonna at The Brits (awkward) capes are a stylish accessory and can prove an incredibly practical choice for ladies having religious ceremonies that need to cover up that bit more, as well as brides with body hang ups that want to detract from the bits they’re less keen on.

A cape is a demure alternative to a shrug, bolero or jacket that comes in a variety of lengths and designs so brides can choose the type of style statement they wish to make.

The shorter options are fabulous for covering shoulders and the tops of arms while still showing off the main spectacle – the dress. Meanwhile long capes are particularly popular with brides looking to make a dramatic entrance on their wedding day without the use of a regular veil or train.

Solange Knowles is one high-profile bride that recently rocked this look on her wedding day, donning a cape with both her elegant gown and edgy jumpsuit outfits.

High low capes provide an option between the two either as a full coverlet or semi open design depending on how much of the dress a bride wants to be on show.
When it comes to detailing ladies opting for plainer dresses can add interest with laced and blinged-up designs. Meanwhile brides with highly detailed gowns are likely to stick to a simple sheer design though there are no hard rules to abide by.

Whichever option, caped brides can remove the additional garment for the evening celebrations giving them two different looks for their big day whilst also ensuring the all-important dress gets the exposure it deserves.

Designers that we think are executing the caped look exceptionally well within their collections include Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Packham and Claire Pettibone, though our favourite has to be Jasmine from Enzoani, which combines modern elegance with vintage glamour for one gorgeous dress.

Collars

Moving on to another covered-up trend – collars. Overtime the wedding dress neckline has crept up and where once the strapless sweetheart gown reigned supreme there are now full-sleeved designs as well as those with illusion necklines and high-necks.

In some cases the neckline has developed into a fully-fledged collar creating an incredibly regal look, which was favoured by one of the most elegant ladies in history on her wedding day – Grace Kelly.

Similar to the cape, a collard neckline can offer that bit more cover-up for body conscious brides whilst also emitting a theatrical look that’s bound to make a statement.

Many of the collared designs feature delicate lace collars but alternatives can be found in striking shirt necklines and super cute Peter Pan collars. Designers doing up the collar look perfectly include Pronovias, Ian Stuart and Charlotte Balbier – we heart her oh so sweet Flora dress.

All gowns featured are credited in our gallery.

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