Brides Up North

a wedding alphabet. G is for Gown

December 2nd, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Amaryllis - Claire Pettibone

Amaryllis by Claire Pettibone

A bride’s wedding attire had to appear somewhere in our wedding alphabet, so here it is under the letter G for gown.

This is the element of a wedding that most girls picture first, and that some dream about from being a little girl. Watching the Disney princesses flaunt their posh frocks when I was a youngster certainly helped me conjure up an image of what my very own ‘princess’ dress might look like for the day I would wed my prince charming.

My first thoughts were very much along the lines of Ariel’s wedding dress with corseted top, Princess Diana-esque puff sleeves and an almighty voluminous skirt. Of course over time our ideas and tastes change (thank God), and we come to realise the vast number of pretty bridal dresses there are to choose from beyond the standard fairytale gown.

But how do you find the one? When collating our fabulous real wedding posts for the blog, it becomes apparent that while some ladies find their dream dress almost instantly, others trawl numerous boutiques, toing and froing for months before making their decision.

Leila - Jenny Packham

Leila by Jenny Packham

While we can’t put a time on how long it, will take we can offer a little guidance. So, here are some top tips to help when wedding dress shopping, along with some of my favourite current designs for some extra inspiration:

money matters

Like a helpless moth to a flame, it’s easy to be drawn to stunning full lace gowns, those with intricate detailing or a dress with a killer train to rival Kim Kardashian’s. But if it carries a price tag that is well out of your league it really is pointless, if not a little heartbreaking. So to save you the pain, set a budget and look for designers/boutiques that fall into your price bracket. Also bear in mind that your attire allowance needs to also cater for the accessories that will complete your look, such as shoes, veil, under garments, jewellery and hair accessories.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier‘s Iscoyd Park Collection

early bird

One panic buy you don’t want to make is your wedding dress so be sure to give yourself a suitable amount of time (usually around eight months) to shop around and have alterations made. At the same time, be careful not to start too early or you run the risk of buying something too far in advance and then see something you prefer closer to the big day.

Alchemy - Claire Pettibone

Alchemy by Claire Pettibone

picture perfect

Build up an image of the types of dresses you like using magazine cuttings and Pintrest to record your findings. As well as basing choices on your personal style preferences, also take into account elements of the wedding, such as the venue and season and how your dress might work with this in terms of its colour, fabric and design.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection

bookable boutiques

When booking appointments at bridal boutiques, make sure they stock designers that you like, that are within your budget and that go up to your size. If you have your heart set on trying on a certain design ring ahead and make sure they stock it. Once you have made your bookings be sure to go along prepared with suitable nude underwear and heels of a height similar to what you plan to wear on your wedding day so you can see how the dress falls.

Simone - Jenny Packham

Simone by Jenny Packham

keep an open mind

During the search if a bridal shop owner or assistant suggests trying on something you wouldn’t pick out yourself, don’t dismiss it straight away. These people are experts in the field, and don’t forget, a dress can look completely different on the hanger to what it does when it’s on. A real bride featured on the blog recently (the lovely Fiona) is a great example of how being open minded can work in a bride’s favour. She took up the suggestion of trying on a pink gown (more out of politeness than anything else) and ended up falling head over heels for it.

Charlotte Balbier Collection 2014

Charlotte Balbier’s Iscoyd Park Collection

don’t crowd me

Too many cooks and all that! You need to select your dress shopping companions carefully. It’s advisable to take just two or three people when trying on dresses in the early stages. For most it’s a combination of their mum, sisters, best friend and/or nan. Basically the people whose opinion you value the most. What you need is honest and reliable thoughts, not confusing and conflicting opinions. Once you have made your decision you can always take a few other friends or relatives along to a later fitting for a sneak peek.

Julia - Claire Pettibone

Julia (great name!) by Claire Pettibone

be true to yourself

Ultimately the final decision comes down to you so trust your instinct and don’t be swayed by others. You might not have that teary, speechless, dramatic moment, but the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with your choice. When you do find ‘the one’ be sure to order it in the size you currently are, not what you aim to be. Organising a wedding can be stressful enough without putting yourself under added pressure to drop several dress sizes before the big day. If you do lose weight in the meantime, you can always have the dress taken in.

Above all remember that shopping for your wedding dress should be an exciting and memorable experience so keep calm and enjoy!

Garbo - Jenny Packham

Garbo by Jenny Packham

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the designer series: KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer

October 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (28)

A collaborative styled shoot at Carlton Towers brought together a fantastic group of Sheffield based wedding suppliers to showcase the 2015 whiting collection from Brides Up North Sponsor Kelly of KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer.

The Whiting Collection is made up of seven bridal gowns which reflect the label’s signature style and showcase various shapes, fabrics and looks that brides can choose from.

I’m just a little bit absolutely head over heels.

With images by RJH Wedding Photography.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (59)

Kelly says: The concept of the shoot was to emulate heritage and inspire brides to embrace the past whilst incorporating modern themes and traditional values.  We chose Carlton Towers a grand and traditional wedding venue which we juxtaposed with an ethereal whimsical feel.

The shoot day was fantastic, the team of suppliers involved helped create such amazing results. We were shooting for 12 hours! We were able to use the entire venue for shooting which gave us some fantastic shots in the wedding reception rooms, hallways, snugs, outside and in the bridal suite.

This styled shoot showcased my 2015 Whiting Collection and brand new accessories range which will soon be able to purchase on our website. The collection is named after my late grandmother, who taught me to sew and inspired me to become a designer. The names of the gowns are Grace, Pamela, Ivy, Marlene, Elizabeth, Ruby and Annie.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (54)

Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown.  A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.

Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown.  Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.

Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (33)

Marlene is a tea length bridal gown with an ivory silk taffeta circle skirt with layers of net and tulle to create a classic silhouette. The bodice is made from laser cut silk organza with an illusion neckline finished with bound silk taffeta and a floral laser cut finish on the waistband. Delicate rouleau loops and covered silk button create a beautiful fastening down the back showcasing the unusual fabric and floral detail.

Pamela is an ivory floor length lace gown with three quarter length lace sleeves. It has a deep V neckline at the front and back of the gown with scallop lace edge detailing on the neckline, sleeves and hem. The gown is fastened with pearl buttons down the back. We have styled Pamela with a cathedral length KMR veil with a thin lace edging.

Ruby is an ivory duchess satin gown with a low V neck back, large pleated skirt and applique shoulder detailing creating a modern silhouette. Ruby has been styled with one of our bridal belts and headpieces from our new accessories collection.

Elizabeth is an ivory duchess satin, tulle and embroidered lace strapless wedding gown. It is styled with one of our brand new bridal sashes and a beautiful floral crown from Campbell’s flowers with a KMR drop veil.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (32)

Showcasing this shoot on Brides Up North has come at an exciting time for KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer. We have just announced that the brand new bridal boutique The Bridal Emporium, in Leeds, will be our first stockist of our Whiting collection and accessories range.  Our 2015 accessories range will also be available to purchase on our website very soon.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (56)

Rob and Alice at RJH Wedding PhotographyWorking with other exceptionally talented suppliers on styled or editorial shoots like this gives each of us the opportunity to bring something new and exciting to the mix. Collaborating helps us all to enhance one another’s individual skills and therefore realise something greater as a result.

KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer’s new 2015 Whiting Collection inspired us to produce imagery that complimented the style, elegance and luxury of her collection and Carlton Towers was the perfect setting.

As photographers, RJH Wedding Photography subscribe to a more traditional style where we use a delicate balance of light, texture, colour and form combined with an understanding of the setting and subject to best evoke a desired mood or style. The combination of the fantastically dressed and styled models, in such an impressive setting, really helped to represent the luxury and elegance that we, as photographers, try to capture in every wedding we cover.

We aimed to create a visual tone, in keeping with the period, grandeur and elegance of the setting which equally complimented the grace and beauty of each dress. This concept was kept in mind through the work on the day to post production and we have been proud to help launch KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer’s new collection.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (53)

Tracey at Campbell’s Flowers: I designed several bouquets for the shoot, all in my very relaxed, soft, natural, ‘just picked’ style in different shapes to suit the different silhouettes of Kelly’s gowns. Bouquets featured a meadowy cascading, almost sheaf-style in lovely bright locally grown, summery blooms using wheat, lavender, daisies, nigella, ammi, lysmachia and sweetly scented herbs such as clary sage, mint and oregano. I also created a slightly smaller more posy-styled bouquet using similar flowers but with the addition of an alternative variety of daisy and lots of pretty white thistles.

Here at Campbell’s, we’ve found that many of our brides are looking for an unstructured, slightly asymmetric bouquet using seasonal blooms. This I created in muted tones of soft pale pinks, lilacs, lavenders, all of which are very much on trend at the moment.  Flowers and foliage were highly textured and included ‘Memory Lane’ roses, peonies, hydrangea, spray roses and campanula teamed with lots of soft trailing ferns, gorgeous silvery senecio and jasmine vines. To complete the look I designed a really full bridal crown using more of the roses and pretty green eustoma, along with wheat and white thistles.

For my final bouquet, I put together stylish, classic ‘balls’ of the babiest shell pink hydrangea to work alongside a slightly more elegant, formal gown, along with a ‘pom-pom’ buttonhole to match, for our groom. Kelly had also dropped off a really stunning silver candelabra which had belonged to her grandmother, which seemed to cry out for balls of hydrangea, softened with wispy asparagus fern!

Lastly, in keeping with the grand, historic surroundings, I designed a really soft, flowing design into an urn I’d brought along with me filling it full of lush, opulent, open peonies, hydrangea, roses and lots of gorgeous foliage kindly donated by the lovely gardeners at the Carlton Towers estate.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (58)

Lydia from Sweet Additions: For the cake we created a soft ombré effect using delicate sugar ruffles wrapped around each tier. We chose a subtle dusky pink shade which we gradually faded to white. The gentle ruffle layers created an almost peeling effect which gave the cake a beautiful antique look.

KMR Bespoke Bridalwear Designer (c) RJH Wedding Photography (13)

Makeup artist Sarah Gray: With the shoot showcasing all of Kelly’s new collection there were plenty of different styles of dresses from quite classical to vintage to more of a fishtail design so I wanted to show a variation off different bridal looks which could work well with Kelly’s designs. The four looks were designed to appeal to every type of bride whether they would want something very natural to full on glamour.

Tina Howarth from Beau Hair: I created a range of 2015 Inspired Bridal Hair designs to compliment both the stunning bridal gowns and the romantic whimsical nature of Carlton Towers. Three themes were selected and adapted to compliment and to show how the gowns were adaptable to all brides and to show off the various headpieces and veils in the range and how to wear them in various hair designs.

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Heroines. A Literature Themed Bridal Shoot To Celebrate The 2015 Whiting Collection By KMR Bespoke Bridal

June 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Have I got some eye candy for you lovely lot today! The lady behind this (fabulous) wedding dress is nothing if not versatile.  She’s also extremely talented and a rather lovely person at that.  I know.  I’ve met her, and see these beauties in real life.

Step forward Kelly Redhead of KMR Bespoke Bridal.  One to watch and superstar designer of the future, she’s here to present her 2015 Whiting Collection to Brides Up North.  You saw it here first girls (oh, except from on the pages of Vogue Italia – yes, that’s exactly how we roll!).

Images by Folega Photography.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Kelly says: A collaborative literature vintage themed shoot at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster brought together a talented group of suppliers. Cusworth Hall was a fantastic venue to hold the shoot with many of the shots taken in the Library, in keeping with the literary theme.

The little details from the various suppliers involved with the shoot worked perfectly with my designs and the fresh approach of the photography by Sarah really did make this shoot romantic and full of love.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

The Whiting Collection is my debut 2015 collection of bridal gowns. The collection is named after my late Grandmother who inspired me from a young age to become a designer. Three of the collections gowns were used in this preview shoot at Cusworth Hall; Grace, Ivy and Annie.

Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown. A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown. Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.

Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.

There are three other gowns in KMR’s 2015 bridal collection. As this was a preview shoot of the collection the final three gowns will be revealed soon.

Folega Photography for KMR Bespoke Bridal

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One For The Cool Girls. Introducing Brand New Bridal Label Maria Senvo & “The Fifteen Collection”

February 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Rye & Joy

It’s only February 2014, but already the invitations to view the biggest bridal houses’ 2015 collections have started to roll in here at Brides Up North HQ, and we are excitedly marking some special dates in our office diary.  Last year we brought you our Designer Series of interviews with some of the most recognised names in the industry, and are looking forward to doing the same again later this spring. 

You know me though, I like to keep things fresh, mixed up and interesting – and that’s why alongside the established designers I also like to keep my readers abridged of the hottest happenings in bridal couture, the newest labels on the scene and also laud the work of talented, smaller, independent designers.

Asana

So when the lovely Holly Cuthbert of brand new label Maria Senvo contacted me to show off her inaugural collection, I couldn’t wait to share it with the rest of you.  Coming soon to a bridal boutique (and some of the Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions!) near you, let’s meet the lady behind the designs. 

Rye & Joy

Please introduce Maria Senvo and tell us a little about your brand?

The label has been set up by me and my partner Ryan, so we have both a male and female influence on the designs which we think is what makes them so unique. Our first collection launches this month, alongside the website and we also have some exciting events coming up over the coming months.  Our first one coincides with London Fashion Week and is the invitation only launch of the label. We are super busy planning at the moment but it’s set to be great!

Bo

What is your style philosophy?

Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to be different. Many brides are taking their day to day style and working this into their big day looks to be individual and stylised. Gone are the days where brides wear what is expected of them… be bold.

Asana

Tell us about the new collection by Maria Senvo?

We always say… “If you’re a cool girl and your am to pm wardrobe is simple, paired down and effortless, what do you then wear to get married in?”

That bride – someone not unlike ourselves we think – really is the inspiration for each and every design. The aim always was to master that elusive paired down aesthetic with just the right amount of glamour.  As well as the bride herself the inspirations are endless from art, culture and modernism, even the campaign taster shot at a British sculpture park oozes an essence of what the brand is really about; creating what we hope really is a striking new presence in a somewhat traditional industry.

Bo

What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?

Intricate beaded bodies, elongated lines and pleats adorn the collection that when turned around reveal scoop detail backs and razor sharp features. The collection is designed with a new generation bride in mind who is looking for something a little different from her gown. Each is handmade and hand beaded and feels amazing to wear! The fabrics range from silks to crepe chiffon and everything in between.

Joy

Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection?  Which piece and why?

We both have our favourites for different reasons! Mine (Holly) is the Joy gown as it’s the first gown we designed and also happens to be one of the favourites with our brides so far. Ryan loves the Edith gown as the shape is so different to anything else out there and the heavy lace teamed with the soft crepe looks elegantly stylish.

Rye & Joy

What accessories would you pair with pieces from your new collection? 

For our campaign shoot we used pieces from the latest Indian Summer collection from Flo & Percy. We love the style of their accessories and they complement our gowns perfectly. A lot of our boutiques also hand make bespoke accessories to match our gowns which is a gorgeous little addition when shopping for a Maria Senvo gown.

Rye

What beauty look would complement the pieces in your new collection?

Our own style is very paired down and somewhat European so we love the effortless looks that look less bridal and more day to day. On the shoot our makeup and hair stylist scooped hair into high ponytails or brushed long length hair back off the models face… paired with neutral eyes (add a little subtle false lash for definition) and a pop of colour on the lip to take your big day look from am to pm.

Asana

Do you have a “signature” piece?

We definitely have a signature look running through the collection – spot it for yourselves?

How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?

The name of the collection ‘The Fifteen Collection’ is purely the year date of the collection.  As we designers are always a year ahead of ourselves this collection launches this month yet will be sold internationally as 2015 pieces. The dress names were a little more tricky, a lot of the dress names have a personal meaning to us be it names of family and friends or aims and achievements we have.

Rye

What sizes are available in your gowns? 

The gowns are size 6 – 22 but custom sizing is also available as each gown is handmade to order.

What is the retail price range for your designs?

The designs start at around £1,500 and range up to around £2,700 for our Swarovski custom gown.

Joy

What sets Maria Senvo apart from other bridal wear brands?

The designs mix a respect for the old with a flair for the new but what makes Maria Senvo unique is how we understand the woman inside our dress. Composed and sensual, she wants to be comfortable yet elegant, fashion forward but timeless.  The first collection is new and bold and altogether interesting for 2014, but to call us minimalists would be too simple. The seemingly uncomplicated pieces are stylish and on closer inspection, playful experiments in shapes and fabrics with a focus on the finer points in design, so that the inside of the garments are just as beautiful as the outside. Trust us – when stepped into they feel sensational!

Bo

Was there a defining point in your career that made your business the success that it is today?

As young entrepreneurs the biggest step so far was taking the leap and setting up the label – it really just keeps going from strength to strength and the reaction to the collection has been unbelievable.

What are your plans for the future?

At the moment we are concentrating on our UK launch and with London Fashion Week just 2 weeks away we are busy bees to say the least!

Rye & Joy

What would “a day in the life” at Maria Senvo HQ be like?

We have a studio which in every way encompasses the typical studio you would imagine – from moodboards to swatches it’s an organised chaos! Ryan is a real night owl and is constantly tapping away until the early hours most days. No two days are the same and we split our time between London and Manchester for many reasons, both cities have a great culture for design and both have wonderful support systems for new generation brands such as ourselves. Every day is vibrant. 

Rye

How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you or see more of your designs?

Our new website launches this month housing some great features for brides like “create your own lookbook” and “request a sketch” and is a great spot to see more of our designs and keep up to date with all our events. We also love to hear from our brides to be direct through our social media. 

Joy

Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?

Yes! The lovely The Case Of The Curious Bride in Manchester is the exclusive stockist for the North and the boutique is a gorgeous hub of treats – with Melanie (the owner) also housing an abundance of accessories for brides to lust after alongside our debut collection. 

The Case Of The Curious Bride will be exhibiting at Brides Up North’s North West events this Spring.  Click here to add the dates to your diaries and see Maria Senvo’s beautiful new collection in person. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Maria Senvo

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Diary Date: Stunning Sample Sale At The White Room, Sheffield

December 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Jenny Packham at The White Room Sheffield

I’m popping by this afternoon with a date for your diaries from Brides Up North exhibitor The White Room Sheffield.

In their special sample sale on Saturday 11th January 2014, The White Room will be offering Brides Up North a unique opportunity to buy a beautiful couture wedding gown by one of the most prestigious bridal designers around including Jenny Packham, Sassi Holford, Stephanie Allin and Claire Pettibone.

Jenny Packham at The White Room Sheffield

Chloe of The White Room says: Some of our beautiful samples are ‘as new’ whilst others are discontinued or need a new home! We also have a selection of gowns at £500 and under. All gowns as ex boutique samples and are UK sizes 12 – 14. We will also have accessories and shoes in the sale too, starting from £25. 

Doors open from 10am and although this is a sample sale, we work on a first come first served basis so the day will not be self service – we will have a welcoming team to greet you and to help you try and buy your dress.  All dresses can be stored at The White Room however we cannot facilitate fittings but can advise on a brilliant seamstress who can. 

A few words of advice….

We strongly recommend that you have already tried on bridal dresses so that you have an idea of what shape and style suits you best.

A sale day is not the best environment for someone trying on for the first time or to get ideas, as we are unable to give you the level of service or time, so we suggest that you make an appointment separately and prior to our sample sale so that it will not be your very first time trying on bridal gowns.

Sample sizes generally are 12 and 14, but there are always a small selection of both smaller and larger pieces.

At a sample sale you do not have the luxury of time to go away and think, because the dress is likely to be bought by the next person who tries it on… please come ready to make a decision. 

This is great opportunity to find a beautiful designer dress at a price that you can afford, so be ready to buy if you fall in love with your dream dress and we are looking forward to seeing you!

Any questions? Call or e-mail The White Room on 0114 272 2336 or email chloe@whiteroombridal.co.uk

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by The White Room Sheffield

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Haute Grace. The Designer Series: The Seams Collection 2014 By Jesús Peiró

July 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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I am in the privileged position of obtaining access to all my favourite bridal designers for a series of exclusive interviews here on Brides Up North, where they’ll be giving you a sneak peek at their newest designs, sharing the inspirations behind the collections and giving you a glance into their (very beautiful) world.  These are the gowns that will be landing in a wedding dress boutique near you soon.

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Today I’m celebrating 25 years of and introducing one of my very favourite bridal design houses, the gorgeous Jesús Peiró.  Inspired by the tradition and history of the dressmaking atelier, their new collection celebrates 25 years of cutting-edge haute couture under the Jesús Peiró  brand.  
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Reflecting the current trend toward simplicity and minimalism, the Seams Collection is a fusion of design between the fabric and the line. Moving away from the richness and intricate detailing of embroidery, damask and embossing, to light and airy fabrics such as tulle, organza and gauze, the collection is the perfect balance of slender, willowy silhouettes and big volumes.  

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Accessories and details are the artisan elements that infuse the gowns with touches of dressmaking; white detailing imitates the reels of thread or the seamstress’ chalk markings while the black ribbons represent the structure of the mannequins, the pins and trimmings.  

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The Seams Collection express 25 years of dressmaking perfection and commitment, paying tribute to the meticulous work of the Jesús Peiró team in delivering unique, impeccable gowns time and again. 

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As we chat to head designer Merché Segarra, and with images fresh from Barcelona Bridal Week, I hope you love these beauties as much as I do. 

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Please introduce Jesús Peiró and tell us a little about your brand.

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Jesús Peiró is a bridal gown company with 25 years’ experience specialising in the creation of wedding gowns. We pay very close attention to quality and excellent service and the hallmark of our collections is the tailored craftsmanship of the gowns.

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What is your style philosophy?

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To strive for excellence in the final product, to convey to the bride-to-be the company’s passion for quality, beauty and attention to detail in the dress itself and in its final appearance.

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Tell us about the new Collection by Jesús Peiró. What were your inspirations behind this beautiful collection?

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As we are celebrating our 25th anniversary, we have based this collection on our DNA, our very essence. This is above all couture. So we start with the image of an haute-couture model, with its black straps that mark its constituent parts. With these black tones we construct a styling of embellishments that complement the details in the gowns.

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Where do you look for inspiration?

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In the world of fashion, since we are a fashion house that is keenly aware of new trends. Also we constantly look back at haute couture, to recapture its classical elegance and the fine proportions of what is a very important garment.

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What sort of woman do you design for; did you have a specific “muse” for this Collection?

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My muse this year is a model, an anonymous woman who moves with the grace of a ballerina. She is delicate, feminine and subtly spontaneous.

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What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new Collection and why?

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Classic smooth fabrics like velvet, organzas, and tulles to represent the various types of lines. From the most structured to the most soft  Embossed fabrics, damask-like, embroidered, and guipure laces that enrich the collection because they give the gown an air of distinction and added volume.

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The details complement this important presence that is so characteristic of rich fabric, with accents of light and textures such as stones, straps and even feathers, occasionally.

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Do you have a personal favourite from the new Collection? Which piece and why?

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I really like gowns that have a hint of lingerie. Because they are delicate, very subtle and give the bride-to-be a look that is both laid back and delicate at the same time.

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Do you have a “signature” piece?

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Yes, a pencil gown with a halter bust line and an abstract motif at the waist.

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What sizes are available in your gowns? Are your pieces made to measure?

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They can be ordered as off the peg standard sizes and we can also do special sizes.

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What is the retail price range for your designs?

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Most of the collection falls in the £1,300 – £2,500 price range with some of the “luxe” fabric or heavily embellished gowns falling in the £2,500 – £4,500 bracket.

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What sets Jesús Peiró apart from other bridal wear brands?

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What sets us apart is our commitment to quality in everything we do, the care we take of our customers, excellent service and craftsmanship that is renowned for being second to none.

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How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?

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When I completed my studies in Fine Arts, Fashion Design and my Masters’ Degree in Fashion Technology in Milan, I started working in the made-to-measure sector.  Ten years later the owner of Intersposa contacted me and asked me to design Jesus Peiro collections. This is my tenth year with the firm.

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What would “a day in the life” at Jesús Peiró HQ be like?

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It’s a combination of the technical side of observing the dressmaking process and the creative side of coming up with new designs, inspecting samples of materials and meetings with both the management and other members of the team. It’s never monotonous and the working atmosphere is open and very dynamic.

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Where do you go and what do you do to relax?

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Whenever I can, I go with my family to our house in the mountains. That’s where I read, cook and go for long walks with my dog.

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What are your “best things” in life?

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No question – my husband and my three children.

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How can Brides Up North Readers get in touch with you or see more of your designs?

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They can visit our website or contact the company directly.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Jesús Peiró

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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“An Elegant Art” The Designer Series: Lyn Ashworth

July 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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I am in the privileged position of obtaining access to all my favourite bridal designers for a series of exclusive interviews here on Brides Up North, where they’ll be giving you a sneak peek at their newest designs, sharing the inspirations behind the collections and giving you a glance into their (very beautiful) world.  These are the gowns that will be landing in a wedding dress boutique near you soon.

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Darling Paris

Darling Paris

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This afternoon I want to introduce you to Sarah Barrett, the talented lady behind the Lyn Ashworth label.  The Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett brand continues to move forward into exciting times and Sarah’s 2014 collection was one of my very favourites on my recent press trip to White Gallery in London.

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Today we find out more about Sarah and her inspirations, design ethos and more importantly, where you can get your hands on one of her gorgeous gowns for your own wedding day. 

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Buttercream Satin

Buttercream Satin

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Sarah says:  My studio is based in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside on the beautiful Duchy of Lancaster Estate where I am surrounded by the most breath taking fields and woodland. This is where all my dress designs are evolved and manufactured by myself and highly talented and passionate team, using tradition skills and craftsmanship, all of my gowns are created from start to finish by one seamstress and we pride ourselves on flying the Made in England flag.

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Coco Ganache

Coco Ganache

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Coco Ganache

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At a very young age I was extremely fortunate to have been taught to sew by two incredibly talented people in the theatre industry, Brooking & Chell. From them, I quickly learnt the skills and work ethic that has enabled me to do what I do now. I am very lucky to occasionally still work along-side this team. I class them as dear friends as well as work colleagues.

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Whilst studying fashion at college and then University, I split my time between both the fashion and theatre industries, learning on the job and tapping into a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent which was invaluable and such a privilege. Although having a good education whether at College or University is extremely important, I believe that being hands on and gaining on the job experience teaches you things that the education system cannot.

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It was a natural progression for me to move into the bridal industry where I have done pretty much everything from design and construction of the gowns to the management of shops. I have experienced all sides of the industry for over two decades now.

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Gainsborough Garden

Gainsborough Garden

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Gainsborough Garden

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Gainsborough Garden Short

Gainsborough Garden Short

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I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Lyn Ashworth for a number of years prior to taking over the company. I have always had a great admiration for Lyn whom over the years has designed and created some of the most beautiful wedding dresses in the industry. When Lyn first spoke of her wish to retire from the business and to emigrate back to her birthplace New Zealand, it seemed the most natural thing for me to take over the company.

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Cottonfield Waltz

Cottonfield Waltz

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Cottonfield Waltz

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The Lyn Ashworth name has been in this industry for over 30 years and I now look to grasp it with both hands and take it through the next 30.

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Heritage Gala

Heritage Gala

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Heritage Gala

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It has been an honour for me to take over this company and it is extremely important to me to keep the ethos of the company the same, beautifully hand crafted couture that is proudly, Made in England. The ultimate in elegance, where attention to detail, cut, fit and drape is paramount. Lyn spent decades building a reputation for quality and I will continue this further to ensure that we are constantly improving our quality and fit. A Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett dress is a creation in itself and a work of art in its own right. My skilled team of cutters and seamstresses and I are dedicated to creating each gown with care and attention to every detail. Each dress is made with love and precision using some of the most beautiful fabrics in the world. My dresses are not just about ever changing fashion; they are about a unique and special craft and creating something of timeless beauty.

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HoneySuckle

HoneySuckle

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HoneySuckle

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My aspiration is to slow down the fashion industry at times and to allow the artistry to create an old mystique for today’s modern woman. Attention to detail and couture craftsmanship is my trademark. These elements are paramount to my business at all times. From the shape of the buttons to the fine hand couture stitching, these details may seem insignificant to some people, however for me, I would not have my dresses manufactured any other way.

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Darling Paris

Darling Paris

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The vision for the 2014 Romantic Elegance Collection comes from a time when dressing was an elegant art.

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Each dress has been designed to be cherished and loved encapsulating the imagination of all my brides. Styles have been refined showcasing a timelessly modern yet romantic and feminine structure. The finest quality bodices are complimented beautifully by sweeping pleats in the most exquisite silks, laces, crepe satin and organza. With subtle understated luxuries of graceful sleeves and belts accentuating ball gown waists.

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Laced in Tradition

Laced in Tradition

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Laced in Tradition

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This collection is very personal to me as it showcases what is to be an exciting future for this Made in England couture house. The signature Lyn Ashworth dress of beautiful organza skirts and fitted-bodices that are somewhat our trademark will always be an important element to this company. However, a Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett dress is so much more. I take my inspiration from all sources. From the surrounding fields and woodlands, flower meadows and wildlife to artwork, jewellery and architecture from wherever I am and whatever I see. For me fashion and design should have no boundaries. My gowns are designed to be worn with no boundaries, therefore designed for all women. A Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett bride should be able to choose from any of my collections with ease knowing that the dress they chose will fit impeccably and be an extension of there own style and personality and the beauty of my dresses are they are for all women irrespective of age and size, whether getting married in the country, in the city, in a church or the middle of a beautiful summer meadow. Saying their vows on a sandy beach, in New York or at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

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Ivory Truffle Tea

Ivory Truffle Tea

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It is extremely important to me that all my designs are made from the most exquisite fabrics and where possible locally sourced. For instance, in the 2014 Romantic Elegance Collection we have been working with the most beautiful English lace. This is made in a breath-taking old mill that is less than an hour away from the studio. It is wonderful to be able to drive to the mill, pick the lace straight from the loom, head back to the studio to cut out and then manufacture a dress for one of my beautiful brides.

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Song Bird

Song Bird

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Song Bird

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Song Bird

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I see the key trends for 2014 a little more demure, overlays with sleeves and the prettiest of jackets. English cotton lace and delicate French silk lace compliment each other beautifully, gathered into frills on necklines and cuffs. Colour palettes are a mixture of warmer sea pearl tones or crisp ivory all adorned with velvet and satin ties in rich colour tones of blue, pink, nude or olive green.

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Scattered Blossom

Scattered Blossom

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Scattered Blossom

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Accessories are key to this trend with each gown having the ability to evolve from day through to evening, swapping a flower velvet brooch belt for a sparkly starry night belt or alternatively, change a simple buckle belt for a ribbon art deco sash. Also, the ability to remove pretty lace jackets and straps to give a more evening look to the gown for the reception or simply adding a cotton lace wrap to cover the shoulders as evening falls. A Lyn Ashworth bride has the option to evolve her dress to her own personality and style, this I believe is the key to each and every bride finding and having her dream dress. Let your imagination run wild! Be confident that you can ask for changes.

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Sweet Anniversary

Sweet Anniversary

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Sweet Anniversary

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A Lyn Ashworth gown can be brought direct from my stockists, the prices starting from £1600.00. The key to finding “the one” I believe is to stay true to yourself. I believe that when looking for your wedding gown it is all about finding a shape that is not only sophisticated and elegant, but also flatters each individual bride, simple elegant with timeless style. “A wedding gown should be the loveliest dress she will ever wear”. When a bride is first seen by her guests, the first thought by those present should be “How amazingly beautiful she is”. That should then be followed by “How exquisite her dress looks”. The wedding gown is an expression of a brides personality and an extension of herself.

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Sweet Anniversary Tea

Sweet Anniversary Tea

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I have lovely stockists who are listed on the web site and they are dedicated to offering the Lyn Ashworth brand and ethos. They have the ability to offer brides the options to evolve her dress and the option of a made to measure and also toile service if so required. Or for those brides who truly wish to experience and enjoy a bespoke service this is available direct from the studio. My team and I work closely with each individual client to achieve perfection and precision for her perfect dress.  Maintaining the integrity of a design, whilst making adjustments to suit each individual clients figure, personal preferences and personality is always a balancing act. We ensure that we go to great lengths to achieve them all. Prices for our studio appointments are available upon request, a contact form is available from the website.

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Willow Maiden

Willow Maiden

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Willow Maiden

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As a designer I feel it is extremely important to showcase new, up and coming talent. In recent decades we have lost generations of hugely talented people in this field through the decline in manufacturing here in the UK.

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I work very closely with my brother Paul Barrett who is the Course Director at the Theatre Performance and Event Design Course at Birmingham City University. Paul and I share a great passion for the arts and have worked as a team on many projects over the years. Together we are able to give students guidance and a chance to learn and develop skills. For instance for the 2013 and more recently 2014 Collection we held the photo shoot at the University where we were able to use the state of art photo studio. My team and I along with my fabulous photographer Bruce Smith had a blast with chosen students and graduates including two amazingly talented guys; Ben & Callum from Dontfret Media, who have injected life and energy into our amazing new website.

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With the new 2014 collection we have incorporated behind the scenes videos from the photo shoot for all the dress. This will enable brides to see the dresses moving with ease. A Lyn Ashworth is about elegance and style but also having fun.

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Willow Maiden

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What is the future for the Lyn Ashworth brand? Well that is simple, to continue doing what we do best, making beautiful, romantic, British manufactured dresses in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, sourcing the best fabrics possible and encouraging new young talent into the industry. I aim in time to take the brand overseas where we can give brides all over the world the chance to wear the most beautiful hand crafted couture from the heart of the English Countryside.

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Visit Sarah’s website at www.lynashworth.co.uk to find out more.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Sarah Barrett at Lyn Ashworth

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Good Morning Beautiful! A Supplier Showcase – PLUS 10% OFF For Wedding Blog Readers

July 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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It really is a beautiful morning isn’t it… following a very special weekend, where all of the UK’s wishes seemed to come true all at once!  Blinding sunshine, a Lions win and a straight sets victory at Wimbledon for our very own Andy Murray.  If (like my friends Matt and Charlotte) you said “I do” this weekend, you sure picked a blinder! So, what better time to spring out of bed, and welcome Bella of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Good Morning Beautiful to the wedding blog?!

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And to make things even more rosy, Good Morning Beautiful are offering Brides Up North readers a 10% discount for purchases made before 1st September, using discount code BRIDESUPNORTH10 at the checkout.  Go forth, shop!

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Why and when did you decide to launch Good Morning Beautiful – what is your story?

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My husband, Fiachra, and I got married in September 2012 and I was desperate to find bridesmaids’ presents that were unique, that my girls would love but that weren’t particularly ‘bridal’. I wanted them to have a great memento from the day, but thought it was a waste of money to buy them gifts they might never look at again! I searched for ages (and bought loads of presents!) but couldn’t find exactly what I was after. I knew our photographer, Katharine Peachey, would be there in the morning to photograph us getting ready and this sparked the idea that non-traditional ‘bridal’ dressing gowns could make the girls feel comfortable in her presence, look awesome in the photos and be used again and again after the wedding. There wasn’t a huge amount of choice for us, but this idea stayed with me and, on a very cold October morning we decided to just go for it and start Good Morning Beautiful. Originally we were going to focus solely on brides and their bridal parties – with the name ‘Married in the Morn’ – but out on a long ‘business chat’ walk I exclaimed to Fiachra “Women should feel beautiful every day, not just on their wedding day!” Good Morning Beautiful’s personality – and mission – really was formed from that point onwards.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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What is the Good Morning Beautiful “philosophy”?

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We know we won’t change the world one dressing gown at a time, but our philosophy is that every woman deserves to feel beautiful, every day. We believe that the simple act of popping on a gorgeous gown can make your day feel a little brighter and make you feel a little more beautiful. You don’t have to be a particular shape, size or ‘look’ to look and feel gorgeous in our gowns and that, I think, is the beauty of them.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Tell us about your range of gowns, fabric, colours and styles?

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Our first collection, the Rosalie collection, consists of a bright floral print in five colours (white, black, red, blue, purple) and two styles, long and short. The dressing gowns are made from soft Indian cotton here in the UK. We plan, over the next few months, to introduce our second collection so stay tuned!

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Where are your gowns produced?

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Right here in good ole Blighty! It was really important to us to support the UK manufacturing industry and guarantee the very best quality for our customers. The UK manufacturing industry has some really fantastic characters, many of whom are carrying on family businesses, and we are proud to be involved in it.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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All the models on your site are your real life friends (and very nice they look too)!  Why did you decide on this approach?

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Quite frankly, I was tired of seeing models and thinking ‘but I’ll never look like her in that’! As our philosophy is that every woman deserves to feel beautiful, every day, why not use ‘real women’ to show off our gowns? Our gowns come in sizes 8-22 and we wanted to reflect, in our website, what we believe as a company. The main model was actually one of my bridesmaids, too, as were three of the others! It was fantastic to be surrounded by friends during the photo-shoot, too. Our photographer was Katharine Peachey again, as we loved her so much after our wedding, my friend Gemma Conley-Smith, who works in fashion, styled the shots and my pal Anna Allen (www.skinandblisterblog.com) was in charge of hair and make-up. My ‘veil lady’, the wonderful Margaret Byrne over at Sale-based Dream Veils lent me veils to use – it really was a family affair!

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Why should a bride choose to wear a Good Morning Beautiful gown on her wedding day?

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The feeling a bride gets on her wedding morning is second to none. There’s excitement, a little nervousness and a strange amount of calm – all going on at once! The last thing you want to feel is self-conscious when people are popping in and out and you’re sitting there in your hair rollers and no make up on! Our dressing gowns are so easy to take on and off, protecting your hair and make-up, and add a touch of glamour to start your day off in the best way. Wearing a gown will also mean that every time you wear it post-wedding you’ll be reminded of your big day – particularly if you take it on honeymoon! One of our brides told me that her husband loves when she wears her gown around the house because it always reminds him of their incredible honeymoon, which is pretty awesome!

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Do they make good gifts for the bridal party?

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Our dressing gowns make fantastic gifts for the bridal party because they are, first and foremost, gorgeous! They are fantastic mementos from the day that will make your best girls feel special, and, importantly, more relaxed in front of your photographer that they might be in old PJs. The dressing gowns are ageless, so equally appropriate for your mum or grandma, or your 15 year old bridesmaid, and they add a special touch to the getting ready preparations. My big bit of advice, however, is don’t forget the mums – they will care! (My mum now has two to make up for my previous oversight!)

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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What sizes are available?

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Our sizes run from a size 8-22 and, as we have two lengths (knee and ankle length) we can cater for most heights, too.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price? Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers? 

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The short dressing gowns are £54 and the long gowns are £60, including postage and packaging to a UK address.

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I loved Brides Up North when I was planning my wedding (particularly as we moved to Hale 8 weeks before the big day!) and so we’d love to offer your readers a 10% discount for purchases made before 1st September, using discount code BRIDESUPNORTH10 at the checkout.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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What can Brides Up North expect when they use your service?

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Brides Up North can expect high-quality products that they – and their friends with love – delivered with a personal touch. We really care about our customers and, as such, welcome questions and queries directly to me.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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How does Good Morning Beautiful provide a superior experience to other online accessory retailers?

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We really care about the personal touch. I have so many of our customers emailing me about sizing, or colour suggestions, or just to say hello and every email or tweet back comes directly from me. Wedding planning – and indeed present buying – can get stressful at times, so I see it as my job to take that stress away and just leave our customers with beautiful dressing gowns they can treasure.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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How are your products packaged? 

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Everyone deserves gift wrap! Our gowns come in beautiful cotton gift bags, which can be used again and again and we use acid-free tissue paper to protect the gowns in transit.

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Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

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

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To find out more you can find us at www.goodmorningbeautiful.co.uk, tweet us, follow us on Pinterest or say hi on Facebook. You can also email me on bella@goodmorningbeautiful.co.uk anytime!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Katharine Peachey for Good Morning Beautiful

Good Morning Beautiful is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Who Says Lace Won’t Sell? The Designer Series: Charlotte Balbier

June 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Beaullea by Charlotte Balbier

Beaullea

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If you are a regular reader of the wedding blog, you’ll know that I recently made a whistle-stop trip down to the smoke to White Gallery London, for a preview of the top bridal designer’s 2014 collections.  These are the gowns that will be landing in a wedding dress boutique near you soon.

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I couldn’t possibly keep all the pretty to myself though, and so am in the privileged position of obtaining access to all my favourite bridal designers for a series of exclusive interviews here on Brides Up North, where they’ll be giving you a sneak peek at their newest designs, sharing the inspirations behind the collections and giving you a glance into their (very beautiful) world.  Watch this space for the finest in bridal design, direct to your screens soon.  Excited, much?!

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Let’s open the series with a chat with one of my very, very favourite designers – who also happens to be a very lovely lady indeed – North West based Charlotte Balbier, a pioneer of lace detailing and vintage styling in modern bridal design. 

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Charlotte’s eagerly anticipated 2014 collection adds embellishment and modern touches to cloud like romantic gowns, teaming muted hues with metallic accents for subtle sophistication.  A Decade of Style takes a turn to the future with a plethora of luxury textures and tones that have never been seen before from this leading bridal fashion house.

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Charlotte Balbier

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Charlotte Balbier

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Hi Charlotte, please introduce and tell us a little about your brand?

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Charlotte Balbier was first established September 2003 and elatedly for all of 2013 we are celebrating a decade in British bridal. I was born into bridal heritage with both my grandparents being in bridal design, manufacturing and retail between the 1960’s-1990’s and my Mum is award winning bridal designer Amanda Wyatt. I created Charlotte Balbier as I wanted to bring something fresh, fashion forward, young and vibrant to the U.K bridal scene and thank fully 10 years later I can proudly say… it worked!

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What is your style philosophy?

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Be true to you, don’t follow the trends and dress for your style, personality and body shape and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd, be unique!

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Beaullea by Charlotte Balbier

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Beaullea by Charlotte Balbier

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Tell us about your beautiful new collection?  

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Each gown has an identity, a distinct look and feel, a story behind the magic.  The collection captures the imagination and that’s just how I  intended when designing each piece with the bride in mind. Each bride embarks on a journey and each bride is consumed by love, and they all have their own love story to tell…

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Beaullea by Charlotte Balbier

Beaullea

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Beaullea by Charlotte Balbier

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Where do you look for inspiration?

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Everywhere and anywhere, every day brings a new lease of inspiration and ideas. My brides are amazing and I love to hear from them with all their wedding news and journey’s and thanks to social media I get to keep in touch with each and every one of them. I love to take myself away with my dog Buster for a long walk whilst mulling over ideas and taking in the countryside. I am also addicted to Pinterest and love to follow all kinds of  lifestyle, fashion and wedding boards. My biggest passion is high fashion and haute couture and I love to keep an eye on all the latest collections from my favourite designers.

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What sort of woman do you design for, did you have a specific “muse” for this collection?

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I design for all women! To me all my brides are all beautiful and special in their own way. Each collection has 25 pieces and each design is unique.

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Belle by Charlotte Balbier

Belle

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Belle by Charlotte Balbier

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What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection?

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I chose soft satins, French laces, floating chiffons, rich jersey and crepes. I adore lace and I spend months sourcing beautiful and bespoke laces for each collection. This collection I have also commissioned some exclusive Charlotte Balbier fabrics with metallic silver accents, which are just amazing.

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Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection?

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I have two! I love ‘Leonora’ for the shape (it makes you look and feel 1-2 sizes smaller) and really makes the most of a woman’s shape. I also love the lace on Leonora as it’s so feminine. My other favourite is ‘Sienna’ as I just adore the soft satin and cowl back detail.

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Holly by Charlotte Balbier

Holly

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Holly by Charlotte Balbier

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Holly by Charlotte Balbier

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What jewellery would you pair with pieces from your new collection?

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I am a less is more kind of girl when it comes to jewellery, although I am a sucker though for a cuff or some statement earrings but it really depends on the gown, the bride her style  and style of wedding.

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What beauty look would complement the pieces in your new collection?

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The beauty styling we went for on the photo-shoot was old sultry Hollywood glamour, vibrant red lips and nails with long lashes. This look compliments the gowns perfectly and it’s a personal favourite of mine!

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Boadicea & Holly by Charlotte Balbier

Boadicea & Holly

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Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier

Boadicea

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Boadicea & Holly by Charlotte Balbier

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Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier

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Do you have a “signature” piece?

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‘Flora’ is my ‘wow’ dress that captures everyone’s attention, it’s completely unique and stands out from the crowd.

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How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?

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I try to match them with a name that suits the style of gown, I also only use names I like and love. If I have a dress that reminds me of someone I will name it after them, it might be a past bride, a Charlotte Balbier boutique owner or member of my team…

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What sizes are available in your gowns? Is there a made to measure option?

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A Charlotte Balbier gown can be ordered in any size.  Our chart is 8-30 but we often make below and over this. Yes, you can have made to measure and these start at £2,500 upwards.

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Rose by Charlotte Balbier

Rose

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Megan & Beaullea by Charlotte Balbier

Megan & Beaullea

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Libby by Charlotte Balbier

Libby

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What is the process for your clients from finding “the one” to the final fitting?

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Every Charlotte Balbier bride orders their ‘one’ via a Charlotte Balbier stockist and they handle all the appointments and fittings. We recommend a bride orders 8-12 months in advance to ensure there is time to make the gown and all alterations to be carried out. We do though cater for those last minute brides too.

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What is the retail price range for your designs?

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£1,000 – £2,000 for the ready to wear pieces.

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Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier

Boadicea

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Boadicea by Charlotte Balbier

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Flora by Charlotte Balbier

Flora

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Flora by Charlotte Balbier

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What sets Charlotte Balbier apart from other bridal wear brands?

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Over the 10 years as a designer my aim was always to create fresh and exciting designs that still remain true to the brand identity and that are instantly recognisable as a ‘Charlotte Balbier”.

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How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?

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I was born into it, my Grandmother was a wedding dress designer and my Grandfather both a wedding dress designer and tailor. My  Mum is also a designer, Amanda Wyatt so it’s in the blood. I did toy with other career path’s in my early 20’s but my heart belonged to our bridal heritage.

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Holly by Charlotte Balbier

Holly

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Holly by Charlotte Balbier

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Was there a defining point in your career that made your business the success that it is today?

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Yes my ‘Summer Of Love’ collection that I launched in 2007 put me on the map so to speak. This was my 5th collection and I really pushed myself and the boundaries to create a collection that was really different. I also produced a photo-shoot to go with this collection that at the time was very different to what anyone had ever done before in bridal. The location, model, styling and photography were amazing and I still love it now five years on!

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Another turning point was that when I started in 2003 there was no lace dresses in the market, my 1st collection and every collection since has always had lace pieces and it’s so lovely to see it now so popular.  The first shows I did so many people said to me “Ooh lace won’t sell it looks too vintage and brides don’t like vintage or lace!” I’m glad I stood by what I believed in and pushed the boundaries.

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What are your plans for the future?

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This year and collection is a massive achievement and turning point for Charlotte Balbier both for the brand and me personally. Every year I have evolved and this collection sees my biggest evolvement to date and next year I have some very exciting changes and developments up my sleeve for the brand. I am also getting married this Winter so will no longer be Miss Balbier I will be Mrs Balbier Bedford… I feel so grown up!

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Leonora by Charlotte Balbier

Leonora

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Leonora by Charlotte Balbier

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Phillipa by Charlotte Balbier

Phillipa

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Phillipa by Charlotte Balbier

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Is this your dream career?  What alternative career would you choose?

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This is my dream and I feel blessed to have the dream job and career every morning I wake up (however stressed I am with new collections or photo shoot planning)!

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What would “a day in the life” at Charlotte Balbier HQ be like?

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My day starts at 9am and very rarely before 9am as I don’t do mornings! We have regular morning meetings with all the team together (there are 20 of us in the Balbier Wyatt HQ) if we are not having a big meeting with all the team we have mini meetings with those we work closely with, for me that’s my assistants Lucy and Holly and I always have a ten minute catch up with my Mum and business partner Amanda.

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My inbox is constantly full and I try my best to clear it but it never seems to get done… I do though answer all the urgent ones immediately.

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Depending on the time of year my day really can vary, in sales season I can be in the showroom daily with Charlotte Balbier stockists showing them new collections. Around show times I am running round like a crazy lady finishing new designs, signing off catwalk shows, stand plans and many, many things that make a show successful. At the moment  have been busy arranging the next photo-shoot working with the stylist calling in gorgeous accessories and props. I also spend a lot of time away from the HQ sourcing fabrics and working on new designs and collections.

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Priscilla by Charlotte Balbier

Priscilla

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Priscilla by Charlotte Balbier

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Where do you go and what do you do to relax?

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I am obsessed with having facials and massages and I go to the Clarins Spa every 2 – 3 weeks for a body or face treatment. For 90 minutes I switch off and have some ‘me’ time. I walk every day with my dog Buster and this relaxes me as it’s the only time I am not either on my laptop or iPad!

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What are your “best things” in life?

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My family comes first followed closely by my friends.  I am lucky as I am from a very close family and have a wonderful circle of close friends. I love spending time with them all: BBQs in the garden, cocktails in the sunshine or just a walk in the park.

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Sarah by Charlotte Balbier

Sarah

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Sarah by Charlotte Balbier

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How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs? 

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Online at www.charlottebalbier.com or join our fabulous online community on Facebook and twitter or you can email charlotte@charlottebalbier.com

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Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?

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Of course we do! Click here for a full list of all of the Northern boutiques that stock Charlotte Balbier. 

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Charlotte Balbier

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Thank you Charlotte!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Charlotte Balbier

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Just Dreamy! Supplier Showcase: Dreamcatcher Bridal

May 1st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Today I am proud to introduce you to Dreamcatcher Bridal, one of our fabulous Featured Suppliers and definitely worth a visit for all our North West readers on the hunt for their dream dress.  These ladies know their gowns, and goodness, what gowns they stock!  Let’s meet them…

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Dreamcatcher opened its doors in July 2000, a family business run by mother and daughter team, Gill and Georgina. Having had some bad experiences ourselves during bridal gown shopping and realising that it would be necessary to travel long distances to find designer dresses, we set upon our venture to bring couture designer collections to the Preston area. Gill with a passion for beautiful fabrics and a background in the technical side of dress design and construction and Georgina with the business brains, artist flair and youthful enthusiasm, we knew we’d make the perfect partnership. 

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We have bridal gowns to suit all budgets with bargain sample sale gowns under £500 to new gowns from £650 to £3500.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Following months of research and planning, the designers at the top of our wish list were Sassi Holford and Suzanne Neville. Both designers of exquisite, classic gowns with amazing cut, structure and style, yet each bringing an individual twist. Sassi the pure genius with lace and Suzanne with the ability to create smooth sculptured bodices that somehow make all brides instantly drop a dress size.

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At our very first Harrogate Bridal Buyer Exhibition, some 13 years ago, we were fortunate enough to be introduced to Benjamin Roberts and knew instantly that the label was just what we were looking for. With beautiful embroidery and stunning beadwork at amazing prices but still with the quality and structure we weren’t prepared to compromise on.

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Over the years we have added new designers to our range including Enzoani and Essense of Australia. Enzoani offers a modern European style using soft satins, chic layers, signature high quality and rich detail using the finest Swarovski crystals. Essense gowns feature luxurious fabrics and just the right amount of head-turning sparkle. With the added option of a lace up or zip/button up back this diverse collection is a popular choice with both our staff and brides to be.

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We are also extremely proud to stock beautiful designs from Anoushka G, perfect for destination weddings, Veromia, for the traditional fairytale wedding and Sonsie by Veromia, a stunning range specially created for the curvier figure. The newest addition to our extensive collection is Anny Lin, offering a definite WOW for the more daring bride. The usual fabrics and delicate, yet stunning beadwork make Anny’s designs stand out amongst the crowd.

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Our range is so diverse with so so many amazing designs. If absolutely pressed our favourite at the moment is Faye by Sassi Holford. It’s a simple waisted style in rose damask with a plain duchesse satin sash with buttons and large bow detail down the back. The fabric is so unusual, simply subtle and stunning!  Currently lace gowns are particularly popular, with brides looking for a more covered demure look.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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Loving all things that sparkle, we have a fantastic range of accessories, hand selected to complement each bridal gown. With designs from Halo & Co, Polly Edwards, Ellie K, Richard Designs and Bijoux Bec, all offering coordinating headpieces and jewellery handcrafted using Swarovski stones. A large selection of veils from Joyce Jackson and The Couture Veil, designed by Sassi Holford using gorgeous soft vintage tulles with a wide variety of lace edges which perfectly match Sassi’s superb bridal designs. There really is something for everyone!

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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We have an excellent selection of bridesmaid’s gowns with collections from JLM Europe, Watters & Watters and Veromia. With traditional bridesmaid’s styles to cutting edge designs all available in a variety of fabrics and colour options. We also have a beautiful collection of silk flower girl styles from Nicki Macfarlane.

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Not wanting to leave out the Men, we offer an extensive range of high quality hire wear from Peter Posh and Highland wear from Cameron Ross, catering for both traditional and contemporary weddings. When everything’s available under one roof it’s much easier to co-ordinate styles and colours to ensure the perfect match.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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It’s official! We stock some of the best in the business. The recent Bridal Buyer Awards proved to be very successful for some of our designers, not just Bridal designers, but Bridesmaids and accessories too. Massive congratulations to Sassi Holford, for winning British Bridal Designer of the Year 2013, Benjamin Roberts for winning Best Bridal Manufacturer 2013, Sonsie by Veromia for winning Best Plus Size Collection 2013, JLM for winning Best Bridesmaids Collection 2013 and Ellie K for scooping the award for Best Headdress Designer 2013. This we think proves we have fantastic taste and stock the best in the business!

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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We’re located in Kirkham approximately half-way between Preston and Blackpool. Very easy access from Junction 3 of the M55, 300 yards from Kirkham & Wesham railway station, with free parking right outside.

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Appointments are not essential but advisable especially on a Saturday and Thursday evening to avoid disappointment. Private appointments are also available upon request.  Brides can expect a very warm welcome from a friendly, experienced and knowledgeable team, dedicated to finding the dress of your dreams.

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Dreamcatcher Bridal

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As most of our business now comes from personal recommendation we must be doing something right! We pride ourselves on the calm and relaxed atmosphere in our boutique with customer service being of paramount importance to us. We believe that all our brides should feel like the only bride in the world. We also have an excellent reputation for fit. Our in-house personal fitting and alteration service is second to none.

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Brides can get in touch via our website, email info@dreamcatcherbridal.co.uk or telephone 01772515090.  We’re also on facebook and twitter @BridalInfo so like our facebook page and follow us on twitter for up to date news, special offers and events.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as supplied by Dreamcatcher Bridal

Dreamcatcher Bridal is a Brides Uo North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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