Charlotte Balbier

bohemian beauties: rebeca juliet bridal launch event

May 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (11)

Back in March our wonderful sponsor and new talent to the wedding industry Rebecca Juliet Bridal, held a rather special launch event in the North West to showcase a range of beautiful bespoke wedding dresses, all handmade by designer Rebecca at her studio in the picturesque village of Chipping.

Calling upon some of her creative industry friends, Rebecca treated brides-to-be to an evening of bridal fashion, complete with fizz, cakes and chocolate, at the stunning Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.

Great fun was had by all as brides were given oodles of inspiration for every element of their wedding day.

For those that couldn’t make the event Rebecca is taking over the blog this afternoon to tell us how it all went whilst filling us in on her gorgeous debut collection and giving details on how brides-to-be can book an appointment at her studio to view the collection, or discuss a fully bespoke dress for something truly unique.

With images by Sarah Valentine Photography.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (99)

After months of planning, how did your launch event go?

rebecca says: It was a fantastic evening to celebrate the launch of my new business. Rebecca Juliet Bridal has been a dream of mine for many years and it was really emotional watching my dresses go down the runway to smiles and applause from our guests.

It was also a great opportunity to work with some other exceptionally talented local wedding experts; I felt honored that they had gathered to support me with my new venture and the Eaves Hall were the perfect hosts.

What did the event involve?

Upon arrival guests were given a lovely ribbon charm bracelet to wear and were welcomed by the mesmerising voice of Hannah Rose, an up and coming local musician, with beautiful mellow acoustic music that is ideal to underpin any wedding day. They were then spoiled with glasses of bubbly and delicious cake mini canapes from the award winning Lisa Marie Cakes as well as exquisite handmade chocolates from Bowland Chocolate Company.

The highlight of the evening was the catwalk where we showcased the debut collection; a blend of bohemian and chic to give a really fabulous and classy look for brides-to-be. The models looked amazing in the gowns, as they weaved through the guest tables having had a full makeover from Baie 16 using Jane Iredale products, a salon only range of beautiful make up.

They loved rocking up the runway to a great music selection from Total Entertainment Solutions, who managed all the sound and lighting for the event. After the show the models stayed in the dresses and mingled with our guests as Hannah continued to impress us with her stunning singing voice.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (25)

What other suppliers took part in the evening?

Eaves Hall hosted the event for me. This exclusive venue, which is part of the fabulous James’s Places group, was beautifully decorated with floral arches and stunning blossom tree table centre pieces by the very talented Felicity Farm Flowers.

The hall was further enhanced with show stopping blossom trees and huge vintage letters from Brides Little Helper, another award winning local supplier to give it a magical feeling akin to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sarah Valentine Photography, a fine art photographer, mingled effortlessly and captured the memories of the evening beautifully for me.

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the big debate: high street vs designer

April 15th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Every couple is different when it comes to planning their wedding and every bride is different when it comes to picking their dress. There is no rule book to follow on how much the overall budget for the wedding should be, or how it is to be split between the different elements of the day. And while for some, the venue and food will be top of the list, for others it’s the honeymoon, entertainment or attire that gets the majority of the cash.

In terms of the bride’s spend on her dress it may be the case that she’s been saving on the side of the main budget to buy her dream dress, or that this is something her parents have said that they would like to contribute to. Whatever the case, the dress ‘allowance’ generally comes down to the bride’s mind-set: ‘you only do it once – spend on an amazing designer gown’ or ‘it’s only one day – save with a high street dress’.

So today on the blog we’re debating if ladies should be booking appointments at bridal boutiques filled with fabulous designer gowns once that ring is firmly on her finger, or if it’s worth giving the high street options a go for a pretty gown at the fraction of the price?

(All gowns pictured in post body by ASOS. This is not a sponsored post, we just think they are pretty!)

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rachel says: high street happy

Once upon a time I would never have suggested a bride look to the high street to find her wedding gown but now I would say it’s certainly worth considering.

We’ve seen the likes of BHS, Monsoon and Phase Eight releasing wedding dress collections (and making a good job of it too) and now more stores are jumping on the bridal bandwagon by launching their own big day collections – most recently fashion giants ASOS and H&M.

This means there is now more choice than ever for brides-to-be when it comes to selecting a gown at the lower end of the price scale, with high street designs starting from as little as £100 – leaving lots more in the spending pot for the shoes and accessories!

And just like the designers, the high street are taking notice of brides’ desire for individuality and so you won’t just find a one-style-suits-all approach within the collections. Instead there are options for the boho bride, the fashionista, the style statement maker and fans of vintage. Just this week Self-Portrait has launched its first bridal collection within selected Selfridge’s stores (and it includes some real beauties – some of which are shown in our Gallery below). With modern and rock n roll influences, the brand has created “a contemporary capsule of affordable, timeless wedding dresses for the ‘untraditional bride’”. Sounds good to me!

I’m also bowled over by Needle & Thread’s swoon-worthy bridal collection with dreamy designs varying from slinky floor-length gowns, to modern separates and mini dresses, not to mention ridiculously pretty tulle, almost ballerina, style creations.

One of the main reservations of buying bridal from the high street can be the thought of missing out on the boutique experience – and while having specialist on hand to help you pick a dream dress is a hugely valuable service – there’s nothing to stop you creating your own special shopping experience at home or on the high street. Either make a day out of it with your leading ladies, factoring in time for a lush lunch and a champagne stop (or two) on the agenda. Or, order online and invite your nearest and dearest to help you pick over an evening of fizz, canapes and cupcakes (surely that’s an ideal job to delegate to your bridesmaids). Who knows, you might even be able to afford to keep more than just the one dress!

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julia says: undoubtedly designer

We’ve featured all sorts of amazing frocks on these pretty pages, from vintage finds to high street bargains to couture masterpieces and the one thing that they had in common was that the bride felt like a million dollars in them and they all looked bloody beautiful.

I also think it’s wonderful that there is now a range of fashion forward options at varying price points for today’s bride and would never judge a friend for choosing a more affordable option, but would I pick up my wedding dress during a high street haul?  Not a chance!

I’ve been lucky enough to sit on the front row of some of the world’s most prestigious bridal events and work alongside some of the most talented designers in the business.  What makes these labels successful is the unbelievable attention to detail that they pay to every gown, every sequin and every client.

What makes these dresses worth saving for and spending on is the whole ‘dream dress’ experience.  It’s in the exciting trips to the boutique or atelier with your loved ones; the anticipation (and pop of Champagne) at every fitting; the rustle of tulle in a big, starched box; the million hand sewn pearl buttons; the bespoke accessories and additions and the perfectly steamed silk chiffon.

Not only that, it’s the exquisite fabrics, perfect cuts and delicate boning that nip, tuck, lift and skim in all the right places. These gowns really will make you look the best you ever have, and I think that’s worth paying for.

On your wedding day you want to feel special, beautiful, unique and individual, not just one of thousands of off the rail identikit Saturday shoppers.  Your wedding day fashion can be flash, but it should never be fast!

I love some of the most recent designs hitting the high street and featured here today, but I still wouldn’t give up the couture experience over bagging a stylish bargain.

To be honest, I’ve never seen a clearer cut need for a two dress wedding day… some of these numbers would look amazing on the dance floor!  Pass the credit card.

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what you said on social…

Elizabeth says: “I’ve dreamt of getting married since being a little girl and so have saved up for my dream dress. Going to the boutiques was an amazing and unforgettable experience so for me it would have to be designer every time!”

Jemma says: “We’re doing our wedding on a £4,000 budget (excluding the honeymoon) and so I’ve decided to buy from the high street. I’ve fallen in love with a lace Monsoon gown with scallop detail which is just under £300. I think it could be ‘the one’.”

Fay says: “I’ve already picked a designer gown and enjoyed every minute of the shopping experience. However it’s quite a voluminous dress and after recently seeing a real wedding on a blog where a bride chose a slim-line high street gown to change into for the evening do, I’m tempted to do the same.”

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eye candy: the separates collection by charlotte balbier

February 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tempest Lace

Our lead Sponsor here at Brides Up North, Charlotte Balbier is famous for celebrating a bride’s individuality and style and sometimes, just sometimes, breaking all the bridal rules (kinda why we love her)!

With great delight we are proud to debut the new Balbier separates collection on our pretty pages.  Charlotte has created 11 inter-changeable separates all designed for the bride to build and create her own individual look.

Tempest & 1252 Sash

Maybe a satin slip with a lace topper and satin sash, or a ball gown skirt, crop top and lace reverse bolero? Whatever your personality and look the new separates collection offers a diverse way of creating your very own bridal syle.

charlotte says: Now, more than ever before, a Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirited feminine woman who is confident in both her fashion and bridal style, expressing her unique individuality, personality and style through her Balbier gown.

Girls, get ready for some serious dress crushing…

Harper

Harper:  A slipper satin dress with shoestring straps and low back. Fabulous with one of the lace overlay gowns, lace toppers or worn simply as it is.

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diary date: anna campbell trunk show at jean jackson couture nq plus 10% off all orders

December 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Christmas is coming early to brides-to-be who dream of saying ‘I do’ in a stunning Anna Campbell gown thanks to Jean Jackson Couture NQ who will be hosting a special trunk show event with a fabulous 10% off all orders!

Not only is there a saving to be made, but ladies attending the event will also be able to try on anna campbell designs exclusive to the Manchester boutique, providing the opportunity to create a gorgeous and individual wedding day look.

For the all-important details we’ll hand you over to Felicity at Jean Jackson Couture NQ. Diaries at the ready ladies…

Images courtesy of Anna Campbell.

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (15)

felicity says: The Anna Campbell trunk show will be held from Friday 18th December 2015 to Sunday 3rd January 2016, to celebrate the release of the Anna Campbell Gossamer collection!

There will be more than 40 combinations of Anna Campbell dresses available to try on from the Gossamer, Spirit and Forever Entwined collections, exclusively at Jean Jackson Couture NQ. Better still, there will be 10% off all Anna Campbell orders, as well as goody bags and festive treats!

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (5)

This will be the first Gossamer collection trunk show in the whole of Europe and so we are absolutely thrilled to be hosting it! Until now the Gossamer collection was a made-to-measure service and has only been available in Melbourne. However, due to the demand for the collection, Anna made the Gossamer range made-to-order, and it will still feature her iconic dresses, such as Ashlyn, Tash and Carolina.

The Gossamer collection is inspired by French romance, with its intricate detailing and delicate hand-craftsmanship it epitomises grace and glamour. There really is a dress for every bride within Anna’s collections, with a range of customisable options, including unique colours and an assortment of skirts in varying fabrics and fit! All Anna’s dresses are lined in silk too, so they look and feel amazing to wear!

I recently saw the collection when I was in New York for bridal week and it blew me away! Ashlyn is such a special dress and Annabella is another favourite of mine.

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (4)

The Anna Campbell gowns are available from a XXS – XXL, which is the UK equivalent of a size 4 to a size 18. In the studio, we have samples from a size 6 to 14. There are certain styles of Anna’s dresses that are unavailable above a size 14, however the majority of them are available in her full size range.

The Anna Campbell dresses range in price, dependant on the amount of beading and skirt choice. The UK RRP for the range is from £1,659 to £4,499, which includes shipping costs from Australia, import duty and VAT. We also offer alteration packages from £100.

Anna Campbell at Jean Jackson Couture HQ (8)

Ordinarily we are closed on Sundays, however during the trunk show we will be open on Sunday the 20th and 27th December 2015, and the 3rd January 2016, we will also be open on Monday 28th December 2015.

The trunk show will be appointment only, and all appointments will last up to an hour and a half. To book an appointment, please email info@jeanjacksoncouture.com or call 07436 535 587. There is no charge for appointments.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

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promises of love. the full collection by amanda wyatt 2016

November 2nd, 2015 | Julia Braime

Amelie 2

Earlier this year, we were proud to bring you a first look at designer Amanda Wyatt’s beautiful 2016 collection promises of love and now, we are excited to share the full range of gowns available for our readers to choose from Amanda’s fabulous stockist boutiques.

Girls, it’s like Christmas has come early at Brides Up North HQ!  Let’s stop with the talking and play dress up already…

PromiseÔÇöMocha-AW1235-

Promise – The beautiful signature gown of the Promises of Love collection.  A delicate lace bodice decorated with seed pearls and beading enhances the beautiful 14 yards of chiffon trailing luxuriously down to the floor.

Ailsa-AW-3450

Aisla – The princess gown of the new collection is simply stunning in the colours silver blue with an ivory lace and tulle overlay. It’s a statement gown with the all out there bridal skirt.

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Love – We’re in love with the Love dress!  A gorgeous defined gown of matt pleated satin creates a beautiful silhouette for the bride and can be styled with beaded belts and jewels.

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Audrey – A sweeping silk neck-line with fine beading falls into a beautiful v-neck back.

ophelia- 18LoRes

Ophelia – Accentuated with over 5,000 diamante and sequin beads to create some sparkle and detachable wide shoulders to become strapless gown, the Ophelia offers two different looks.

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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.

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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.

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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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