May 25th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
When it comes to bridal beauty – the hairstyle you choose for your special day is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.
If your hair is mid-length or longer, then chances are, you’ll be considering a pretty up do to complete your bridal look, whether you’re going for something vintage, modern, ethereal or boho.
What we love about the up do is that it helps to frame the face whilst also accentuating the neckline of a bride’s chosen dress wedding dress. Best of all, the up do should put all day and look just as glam when the clock strikes midnight as when you swished down the aisle 12 hours before.
Your hair should always complement your bridal look, so when choosing a style think about your makeup and jewellery – and how all these aspects will work alongside your gown, bouquet and overall theme.
Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite bridal up dos of the moment to get you started – Pinterest boards at the ready!
Chic and timeless, the French twist is one of our favourite up dos, perfect for channeling your inner Bardot. Mix things up a little by pairing your sophisticated twist with an unruly, messy bun or side swept fringe – and don’t be afraid to add some sparkle with a cute diamanté clip, flower pin or embellished hair comb.
A grown-up ponytail can look super stylish, especially if you have long glossy locks. For an A-list worthy look, we love extra height at the crown with the hair wrapped around the bobble for a flawless, polished finish. If you’re after something a little softer, ask your stylist to tease out hair strands from around your face to create more of a textured, undone look. And for an extra dose of wedding day glam, combine your high – or low – pony with tumultuous curls or loose waves.
There are lots of stylish ways to incorporate braids into your up do without looking like you’re ready to swap your wedding vows for an escapade at Coachella. From chunky braided crowns and dainty bands to ruffled fishtails and tangled twists – braids are a fun and oh-so-pretty addition to your bridal beauty look.
The top knot might be your go-to hairdo when your tresses are in need of a wash (or is that just us?), but have you thought about sporting this look on your special day? The bun is a bridal staple that’s versatile and flattering for all face shapes. Whether you’re after a sleek and elegant look, or a more tousled and wispy finish – the fashionable top knot is a gorgeous style perfect for the more contemporary bride.
The definitive retro hairdo – the beehive – is the hairstyle du jour if you’re after some voluminous back-combed action. This up do is bold and classy – think about combining it with loose bangs or soft curls for an indulgent vintage look. For a real princess moment – a decorative hairband will emphasise the volume of your hairstyle and work beautifully with your veil discreetly pinned underneath.
May 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
As one of our very favourite red carpet events of the year, we were thrilled to see celebs making a stylish return to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute last week for the annual Met Gala.
With opulent and outlandish outfits galore, garments are picked to wow, shock and stun, as stars vie for the paparazzi limelight. Their choice of threads do all have something in common though, as each year’s gala celebrates the theme of the current Costume Institute exhibition, making the dress code for 2016 – ‘Fashion in an Age of Technology’.
Cue a whole host of beautiful metallic maidens in shimmering and reflective garments with tech themed embellishment, artistic cut-outs and robotic style finishes.
As is always the case at such events there some sensational faux pars (errrrr, Madonna what were you thinking?!), but thankfully the fashion hits outweighed the skips with the likes of Sienna Miller, Kylie Jenner, Blake Lively and Jourdan Dunn setting our hearts racing.
There was one lady in particular though who caught our eye (alright, we literally couldn’t stop looking at her) and that was the fabulous Poppy Delevingne. Reminding us that there is more than one hot Delevingne on the celeb circuit, model Poppy rocked a striking sheer and beaded gown whilst dripping in lavish jewels.
While not an obvious bridal look, we feel that ladies soon to be making their way down the aisle can certainly take a style tip or two out of Poppy’s on-trend book, and so today we’re making her the subject of our celebrity spy post…
Ok, so as we said, while perhaps not wholly suitable for a wedding there are certainly elements of Poppy’s stunning Marchesa dress that translate to current bridal trends. Embellishing: check, tassels: check, metallics: check, sheer panels: check. You get the idea!
So while you brides-to-be might not be able to steal Poppy’s look from top-to-toe, you can definitely give a nod to it on your big day.
For fabulous embellishment and beaded detail we would say to look to designers such as Jenny Packham, Anna Campbell, Ellie Saab and Eliza Jane Howell. Whether it’s a boho, vintage or a super glam look you are after, a creation from one of these talented designers is sure to tick the box.
The level of detail varies from one design to the next, giving brides the opportunity to follow in Poppy’s footsteps with full on razzle dazzle appearance, or pare things back a little with lighter scattering of beads and gems.
And while most brides might want to stick close to tradition with a white or ivory design, there are also metallic creations hitting the bridal runways, broadening the choices available to gold, bronze, silver and copper.
the hair & makeup
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Amanda K Photography| image source, photography by Kristen Wood| image source| image source, photography by Shelley Richmond of Kindred Photography| image source, photography by Tamiz Photography| image source, photography by Rebekah J Murray| image source| image source, photography by EK Studios.
Poppy kept her hair poker straight and vamped up her look with a dark lip colour, but although alternative, neither of these are out of bounds for a wedding.
Just as Poppy did, keeping hair sleek and simple is a good way to let the dress take centre stage and a wise move for brides opting for heavily detailed dresses. For a slightly different take on the look, brides could wear their hair to the side with a coordinating beaded hair comb to hold locks in place, or sweep the hair up into a sleek ponytail.
While Poppy’s choice of dark plum lipstick might be a shade too far for brides, a colourful lippy can be a fun and fashionable way of adding individual personality and style to a big day look. Similar to Poppy, those choosing to go down this route should keep other elements of the makeup simple – so neutral colours on the eyes, a slick of eyeliner and mascara and just a touch of blush or bronze.
May 26th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
If there’s one event where female celebrities raise the style stakes it’s the met gala. Primarily the annual event is held to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York, though the glitzy bash also gives top celebs and designers the opportunity to team-up and create some show-stopping red carpet looks.
Each year’s gala celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition making the dress code for 2015 ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’. However, to us the theme may as well of been ‘bare all’ as that’s what many of the female A-listers decided to do.
Make no mistake, sheer gowns were big news at the event with bootylicious ladies Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez entering into some kind of flesh-off. While were very impressed with the bravery of all involved, for us it was Queen Bey who ran the red carpet.
And so today we’re putting the Love on Top singer in our celebrity spy spotlight to see how fierce and fashionable brides-to-be can take inspiration from Beyonce’s glittering getup, slick hair and pretty makeup.
Girls, you’re going to be crazy in love for this one!
What there was of Beyonce’s dress was custom made by Givenchy and left very little to the imagination. In fact her modesty was only covered with strategically placed sparkling gems – similar to the look she adopted for her Dangerously in Love album cover, way back in 2003. The girl’s still got it though and even if a few people lost their breath when she stepped out on the red carpet, there’s no denying she worked the bold look incredibly well.
We realise that this exact look would be wholly inappropriate for a traditional church wedding, or many other styles of ceremonies for that matter, but there are certain elements of Beyonce’s style that ladies can steal to add some attitude to their attire.
The majority of the sheer wedding gowns that we’ve seen on the bridal catwalks thankfully offer more coverage than Miss Knowles’ gown – with full length nude underlays and carefully embroidered panels hinting at nudity rather than actually revealing it. There are of course more daring dresses with embellishment or delicate 3D flowers covering just the area between the bust and the bum.
More conservative creations give brides the option of a design with just one or two sheer elements, such as the sleeves, back or side panels of the dress, so they can choose which areas of their body they feel most confident flaunting (as well as what’s deemed appropriate). Alternatively for brides that want to remain under wraps there’s the option of a gown with a sheer lace overlay or jacket that will give a translucent look but without the need to flash any flesh that you’d rather your parents, in-laws and the vicar didn’t see.
And as if she needed to reveal anymore, Beyonce’s dress did also feature sexy cut out back detail, which is an easy feature for brides to mirror.
Ponytails are growing in popularity, particularly with brides looking for a simple up do that will last the day, and the test of time. That said, the majority are keeping their hair ties a little lower than Beyonce who chose to pile her hair high, presumably not to distract from the dress.
Brides in favour of the high ponytail can choose whether to keep the look sleek and straight, undone and messy or classy and curly, like Miss Knowles. Meanwhile if you like the idea of high up hair but want something a little more exciting for your big day, further options include the top knot, ballerina bun, sophisticated chignon or an intricate twisted do.
In terms of accessories most ladies tend to keep the look quite simple opting for a cute girly bow or blousy floral corsage hair slide. Locks scraped away from the face also gives brides the opportunity to rock some elaborate earrings such as sparkling chandelier styles.
Once again, not to detract from the gown, Beyonce kept her makeup fairly simple opting for classic rosy cheeks and lips.
Her eyes were the main focal point which featured a mint green hue on the lids to pick out the stunning colours of the gems sprinkled across the dress. To open up the eyes just a flick of liner was used on the top eye line, adding a sexy edge, while the bottom was left bare – much like the rest of Bey’s body.
Lashings of mascara and perfectly sculptured brows completed the look which is certainly one brides could adopt for their moment in the limelight.
May 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime
That is the question.
Today’s big debate topic is a dilemma ladies come up against time and time throughout their lives and is a particularly tough call for brides-to-be – to grow your hair or not for your wedding day. As well as the engagement ring a signal that proposal has taken place is often a bride’s hair growing at a rapid rate as hair appointments are put on hold while operation rapunzel is carried out.
However while once long locks reigned supreme in the wedding hair world, a new relaxed and individual vibe is coming through that gives brides-to-be more choice than ever before.
So what’s it going to be ladies, long or lopped?
rachel says: let it grow
Ok so I once had lovely long blonde locks, then at the age of 14 I started work in a hairdressers and before I knew it my hair was up by my chin as I became the salon Guinea pig.
While I didn’t particularly mind, the problem is I’ve never had the patience or strength to get it back to that length and so see a wedding day as a goal to get mission grow back on track once and for all.
Furthermore I feel that growing your hair gets all the more impossible the older you get making a wedding day almost a last chance saloon scenario for me to resurrect my once long trestles.
And it seems I’m not alone in this trail of thought. Many friends of mine that have gotten engaged have instantly put the brakes on their regular salon visits in an attempt to lengthen their locks for the big day, whether opting for an up or down do.
So while I’m all for brides rocking their own individual look and not succumbing to a stereotypical bridal mould, I do love to see ladies walking down the aisle with long loose waves, just as the lovely princess Kate did on her special day.
And for indecisive people like myself, long hair can act as a safety net as it gives a bride lots of different options for their wedding day look – down, partly up, or relaxed dos such as messy top knots and romantic fishtail plaits. Those with short hair however can be confined to just a handful of styles.
Now, bring on the hair boosting supplements *heads to Holland & Barret*
julia says – it’s a no grow
You can always count on an impending wedding to bring on a princess complex.
Even if you’re an otherwise hip and happening chick who rocks a cool cut and knows her lobs from her pobs, one mention of wedding day styling and the bi-monthly trims go out of the window. I’ve seen it happen to my best girls… and – I’ll admit – I’ve had it happen to me.
I’m just one of those girls who feels better in a bob. Short, choppy locks suit my face shape and style. My (sometimes almost white) blonde hair just looks cooler with a bit of bluntness, and I love an interesting neckline.
But when the proposal dropped, what did I do? Squealed over the ring, spent my month’s wages on wedding magazines and promptly started the “must grow my hair” process. Why? Not sure really. Having long hair is just a thing brides do, right?
Brides Up North, I implore you… claim back your rights to a haircut. Ditch the fish oil supplements and the coconut oils. Be yourself. Wear your dream dress… but with the hair that he fell in love with. Otherwise you’ll spend a lifetime looking at your wedding photos and wondering who the gal with the funny up-do is, or (worse, and like me) marvelling at your amazing tresses and wondering why you cut it all off after the wedding.
Because – and I guarantee you this – you will cut it all back off again after the wedding.
You know it and I know it, and whether you can stand to spend the next 12 months painstakingly watching your hair grow or not… some girls just aren’t meant to have long hair. If you’ve felt the call of a bob before, you’ll feel it again.
After all, what says “Brand New Mrs” better than brand new hair?…
Save yourself the hassle and spend the supplement fund on shoes instead. Much healthier.
what you said on facebook:
Laura: “I’m trying to grow mine. I just think my dress would look better with long hair, and if not now, then never!”
Penny: “I’ve always had short hair and it would feel weird to change my whole look just for one day”
Kate: “I’ve been growing mine since we got engaged – it’s nice to look special on your wedding day”
Jayne: “I can’t grow mine past my shoulders, so I guess I’ll be a bride with a bob!”
What’s your verdict girls? We’d love to know?
April 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today on Brides Up North its all about the aesthetics, as we argue the case for keeping things natural or giving the beauty gods a helping hand. We ask: wedding day beauty – what to do? No added effort or bring in the experts?
rachel says: keep it natural
While I do enjoy a good Mac makeover now and again I have to say I’m more a fan of the au natural look than I am an obvious made up look, especially when it comes to weddings.
I’ve first-hand double-taken brides arriving on the aisle, not because I’m dazzled by their radiance but because I barely recognise them. Who is this Barbie-like bride and what have you done with my friend?
Many ladies can think they have to look a certain way for their big day, often adding false nails, eyelashes and fake tan to their pre-wedding beauty regime that they wouldn’t usually entertain. But to me the most important thing is to look like you – a flippin’ good version of you, but you all the same.
I’m pretty certain the majority of grooms out there would also much rather lift a veil to find a bride that they actually recognise rather than someone who could give Amy Childs a run for her money at the cosmetics counter.
And that’s not the only problem, if you go for an on-trend fashionable look chances are you will regret it when look back on your wedding photos, perhaps within a few months, never mind years.
So I say keep it natural ladies, just like our celebrity bride yesterday, Ms Palermo. This doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your makeup a little by adding a bolder lip colour or subtle, smoky eyes but just be sure not to go OTT, which should result in a look that’s more wowie than it is TOWIE.
julia says: go all-out
Ooh, I love a good makeover.
Girls, hear me! This is your wedding day for crissakes. If there was ever a time to step it up, that time is now.
Yes, he loves you just as you are, and yes, you don’t want him to wonder who the make-up caked stranger advancing down the aisle might be, but really – he bought you a diamond – an all-out effort on the most important day of your life really is the least you can do.
First and foremost, when will you get the chance for such unashamed pampering again? Take it from this working mum, not when you’re changing nappies at 5am or catching up on emails at midnight. If I were you, I’d revel in the chance for a bit of spa-time and shopping. Full body massages, regular manicures, raiding the Charlotte Tilbury counter of a Saturday afternoon – the wedding budget can cover that!
Secondly, upping the beauty ante prior to the big day shouldn’t leave you looking like Franken-bride – just choose carefully. In the weeks pre-wedding, I’d leave the chemical peel and spray tan appointments free, but carefully placed individual eyelashes or pretty highlights and even a light swoosh of airbrush makeup will leave you looking flawless and fresh.
Often, the cheapest changes are the most effective. Prior to my own wedding way back in 2010 (when we barely even knew what a wedding blog was), I upped the ante on my regular runs, pencilled in lots more shut eye, ditched the vino and glugged lots of water instead. I treated myself to lots of lovely beauty products and more regular trims to keep my crowning glory in ship-shape. On the day itself, I brought in the experts: my nails were buffed and polished to perfection, hair casually coiffed and make-up beautifully done. The result: tons of confidence and a set of wedding pictures that I’m really proud of.
Did I still look like myself?
Nope. I looked better.
what you said
Kim: “I definitely plan to go glam on my wedding day, this is my chance to look like a princess and I fully intend to make the most of it!”
Melissa: “I’m keeping things natural. My partner hates heavy make up and I don’t want to scare him off!”
Julie: “I’ve heard horror stories about fake tan going wrong, so I plan to let my natural beauty shine through.”
Kate: “Part of my hen party involves a spa day so the bridesmaid and I are going to do lots of pre-wedding pampering!”
We’d love to hear what you’re planning for your big day beauty look?
February 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m starting the week with something simply gorgeous (hey, isn’t that how we always start the week here at Brides Up North) and introducing another of my super creative Featured Suppliers – Jenny of bespoke accessories brand Ophelia May. I’ve had the privilege of seeing and trying Jenny’s beautiful collection at one of our Brides Up North luxury events and let me tell you, these pieces are even more delicate and delectable in real life than on these pretty pages.
And the cherry on top? Ophelia May is also offering Brides Up North readers an exclusive 15% discount on all orders placed by midnight on 16th March 2014 using the code BUNweb15. If I were you, I’d hightailing it over to Jenny’s online shop right now, before the rest get there first.
In the meantime, let’s say hello…
Tell us about Ophelia May and how it all began?
Ophelia May offers beautiful vintage inspired bridal accessories and hair adornments. Each piece is individually handcrafted, with delicate embroidery and embellished with scatterings of Swarovski crystals, tiny pearls and seed beads. The collections are designed using beautiful silks, Scottish lace and vintage bits, to produce a unique selection of intricate head pieces and bridal sashes.
I have always had a particular interest in bygone eras and find that this often translates into my work sometimes even unintentionally. I am forever collecting vintage fabrics, jewellery, beads and pearls as well as fragments of antique lace. Not only do these inspire me to create beautiful pieces but they can also be incorporated into the designs, ensuring no two pieces will ever be quite the same.
Following my degree in Textile Crafts, where I specialised in Embroidery, I did a placement with a bridal designer in London. I then went on to work in the fashion industry as a designer but I always missed the creativity of designing for the bridal market so I jumped at the chance to set up my own company. I hope brides will get as much pleasure wearing my pieces as I get from creating them!
What bridal accessories are available to buy at Ophelia May?
Beautiful hair adornments, wrist corsages and stunning bridal sashes are available in the current collection. I am also currently designing a range of bridal veils and garters, which will be introduced in future collections.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration in so many things – film, nature, vintage magazines and fashion, both modern and historical. I love seeing the latest collections from bridal gown designers and making pieces that compliment their designs.
Also, my inspiration often comes from the materials I use, whether it’s a vintage brooch or a delicate fragment of lace from a vintage dress. I love to look around charity shops, vintage fairs and antique markets. London’s Portobello Road is a great place to delve into, as it is full of bric-a-brac, antiques and beautiful vintage finds, perfect for sparking ideas.
What bridal accessory trends have been popular in 2013 and what trends do you see emerging in 2014 and beyond?
The vintage trend remained popular throughout 2013, particularly the Twenties and Thirties, with the release of period dramas in film and television such as The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey and I think this will continue into 2014. Headbands and smaller hair adornments will continue to emerge, with intricate embellishments, lace and plenty of sparkle to reflect the decadence of the Jazz Age.
There is also an emphasis on Nature in the 2014 trends, with floral details and embroidery appearing on headpieces and bridal sashes. Oversized silk flowers and hints of colour will add a dramatic statement for any bride wanting to create the perfect boho look.
What can Brides Up North expect when they use your service?
I am very passionate about every piece I make. All the designs are individually and completely handmade in the studio. Each petal is hand cut and shaped, all embellishments and embroidery are delicately done by hand and all elements are carefully hand-sewn together to produce a truly unique product of the highest quality for every bride.
What is your current favourite piece and why?
I love all the pieces in the collection, but the Annalise lace bridal halo is a personal favourite as it’s so versatile. It can be worn across the forehead, as a normal headband and it looks stunning worn at the back to compliment a gorgeous up-do. With its intricate array of crystals and beading, it will add a touch of sparkly vintage glamour to your special day!
Tell us about your bespoke service?
Our bespoke service is for those brides looking for the perfect accessory to complete their bridal outfit but who can’t find seem to find it. Every piece can be fully customised to suit each bride. If you love an existing design and would like something similar, then fabric, accents and colours can be altered. Or maybe you would like a combination of two designs?
I can also create something completely new and unique, handmade just for you to match your theme or your dress. Any cut offs or spare lace from your wedding dress can be used for a bridal sash or even incorporated into a hair accessory.
Do you make pieces that would be appropriate for Bridesmaids?
Several of the smaller pieces would be perfect for bridesmaids, such as the Rose hair clip or the Nellie hair pins. These can be made in a variety of colours to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Can brides incorporate their sentimental jewellery into a piece?
Yes, absolutely. Family heirlooms or treasured jewellery can be incorporated into your design, creating a unique keepsake for future generations. I love to create pieces this way, as these special objects have a history of their own and have the ability to evoke strong emotional sentiments, making them truly personal to the bride.
Tell us about your personalised embroidery?
Items can be delicately hand embroidered with names, dates or a significant quote, for that extra special touch. This can be applied to anything from a bridal sash to a cherished handkerchief.
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