Charlotte Balbier

style sheet: tempting tropics

July 22nd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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All this hot weather has got us in the mood for a little tropical wedding inspiration – so grab your sunnies, pour a Pina Colada and lay back in your hammock as we head for the tropics…

Pineapples, flamingos and botanics have all been making a statement on the home interior front for some time and now they’re beginning to creep into the world of weddings too.

From loud and in-your-face playful décor to romantic muted tones, there are numerous different ways to incorporate the tropical trend into your day, whether you’re jetting off for a wedding by the sea or staying closer to home.

Here are the top tropic looks that have currently got us hot under the collar…

brights

Tropical - BOLD

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Laura Hotz| image source, photography by Amber Gress| image source| image source| image source, photography by Maddison Short Photography| image source, photography by Couple Cups| image source.

For those who take a “go hard or go home” approach to life, this full on Club Tropicana styling is definitely for you.

Think bright colours, bold patterns and playful props and you can’t go too far wrong.

As huge fans of the colour pink, us Brides Up North gals love the idea of a flamingo theme that can be carried right through the wedding styling; from the invites and stationery, to the wedding cake and décor. While we might just draw the line at introducing inflatable flamingos to the day, we encourage couples taking this route to go all out.

Pineapples and bright fruits, like lemons and limes, can be incorporated into table settings and centre pieces doubling up as name place holders and even vases. There’s also the option to include zesty fruits into food and drink choices too – perhaps a Havana rum cocktail for the drinks reception and a citrus cupcakes or cheesecake for dessert? Brightly patterned crockery and glassware to serve, also helps to set the scene.

When it comes to the bride’s attire we advise steering clear of fruit basket hats and grass skirts and instead keeping it clean and classy with just a slight pop of colour as a nod to the theme. Think vibrant footwear and flower crowns, or perhaps if feeling bold, a bridal separates set or dress that features a burst of colour. Bridesmaids meanwhile can afford to be more fearless, going for a strong solid hue such as turquoise, tangerine or hot pink, or even opting for a punchy patterned dress.

muted

Tropical - MUTED

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Alana Jones Mann| images source, photography by O’Malley Photographers| image source, photography by Jessi Rae| image source, photography by Maui Maka Photography| image source| image source| image source, photography by Our Labour of Love| image source, photography by Krista Mason Photography| image source| image source, photography by Brian Tropiano.

If the above pushes you a little too far out of your comfort zone, then the tropical trend can be stripped back for a softer and dreamier look.

Pale pastel pinks and greens work particularly well for this theme, as do hints of baby blue, lemon and peach.

A lot of the same typical tropical props can still be used, but it’s about creating a more elegant feel with delicate textures and tones. So mix up sharp-skinned pineapples with gentle blooms, trailing plants and romantic candles. Adding tiny touches of light gold can also help give the look a more classical edge.

Once again, brides might prefer to stick to a traditional ivory or white gown not to compete with the décor, though a pretty blush pink or powder blue dress is an option. Bridesmaids can be muted and matching or all mixed up in differing tones or girly floral prints – just be sure that the pattern remains bold as not to look too ditsy.

botanical

Tropical - GREEN

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Bethany Michaela| image source, photography by Calvin Elizabeth| image source, photography by Cathy Durig Photography| image source| image source, photography by Lindsay Madden Photography| image source, photography by Cathy During Photography| image source, image by Calvin Elizabeth| image source, photography by Fondly Forever| image source, photography by Jose Villa Photography| image source, photography by Paula Player Photography.

Finally for those wanting to stick to just one colour for their big day, we highly endorse the botanical tropical trend.

Loud leafy patterns are something we’ve seen for a while now in both homeware and fashion so it’s little surprise that brides and linking the look for their weddings too.

Simple yet strong, the trend is all about large textured greenery that can be used in centrepieces, bouquets, tablescapes, signage and chair décor. It’s up to the couple how bold they go. Keeping leaves more sparse against white with elements of wood and hints of metallics, particularly rich gold, can look absolutely stunning but there’s nothing to stop brides and grooms going for much fuller foliage and striking hanging botanics either.

Bold leafy print patterns in stationery, cakes and attire work well for those wanting to add a graphic and more modern twist to the theme.

For bridesmaids patterns, single hues or varying shades of green are all options and the groom and groomsmen have the opportunity to don green as well. While the earthy colour is not typically a hue that you would see a bride wearing, there are lots of fancy green footwear designs out there so think about going more green-toed than green-fingered!

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style sheet: ethereal metallics

May 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Metallics

image source

When asked to think of a metallic styled wedding, visions of a glitzy and glamorous celebration with lots of sparkling décor might well spring to mind. However, brides looking for a more muted palette should not instantly rule out metallics, as hues of bronze, gold and silver can be easily stripped back for a more natural and dreamy finish.

Particularly well suited to outdoor and ethereal style weddings, there is a clear trend emerging for muted metal tones that provide opulence without the OTT element.

We love to see elegant table set ups of mercury glass vases and worn metal candelabras mixed in with earthy foliage for an almost Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Lord of the Rings feel. And it’s not just the décor were these fanciful hues can be added to the big day – what about a gold embellished wedding dress, silver muted heels or bonze bridesmaid dresses?

So to help spread a little metallic magic here on the blog, today we’re sharing three swoon-worthy metal inspired mood boards…

beautiful bronze

BRONZE

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Katie Bryant Photography, Love Ya Jess| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Amy Fanton Photography| image source| image source, photography by Ashley Ludaescher Photography| image source.

Though associated with third place, bronze can be a winning choice of colour scheme, particularly for those wanting to incorporate lots of foliage into their big day as its darker tone sits beautifully alongside earthy greens.

Bronzes also have lovely worn qualities whilst still retaining an element of shine, giving a sense of luxury but that isn’t too polished.

For table settings think long timber tables with trailing centrepieces that creep along, interspersed with bronze candle stick holders and table wear. Elsewhere hanging decorations work particularly well with ethereal metallic themes and can easily be suspended from branches if marrying in the open air, or from beams if, for example, marrying in a barn-style venue.

In terms of attire bronze is a bold and untraditional choice for a bride and therefore those wanting to incorporate the hue are more likely to do so through accessories, such as shoes and jewellery. There is also the option of bronze bridesmaids, with its warming tones complementing many complexions and hair colours.

silver sophistication

SILVER

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Mi Amore Photo| image source| image source| image source, photography by Jen Wojcik Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Conforti Photography| image source| image source.

To achieve an ethereal look with silver it’s best to mix varying finishes; from shiny silverware, to worn pewter and varying tones of grey. This way there is a good mix of depth, interest and texture, which will prevent the premium hue looking too glam.

The level of décor detailing is up to the individual with the option to strip things right back to bare wooden tables dotted with small shiny and muted pots of cactuses or succulents, or to go all out with large glass and mercury vases and urns over spilling with greenery and linked up with leaves and moss. Given that it’s done effectively the latter should look natural and uniformed rather than cluttered and messy.

Large pewter lanterns are an effective way to add ambience whilst remaining on theme and can look incredibly effective when used outdoors to line pathways, entrances or the aisle.

Dresses embellished with dainty detail in silver beads and sequins are not unusual on the bridal catwalks, giving brides the option to venture beyond traditional ivory for their big day. The men can easily be included in the theming too with grey being among the most popular choice when it comes to grooms picking their suits. For added interest the groom and his groomsmen can pick varying shades of suits as well as ties/Dicky bows.

To keep things simple those wanting metallic maids should look to dresses with simple shiny detailing, rather than top-to-toe sparkle.

going for gold

GOLD

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Conforti Photography.

Perfect for those wanting a stripped back outdoor wedding but still with a hint of elegance; simple touches of gold be the perfect way to add an opulent edge.

Similar to bronze, gold works well with leafy green plants as it provides a complementary contrast between raw and regal.

For the décor little pops of gold works best – so you might want to add metallic finished cutlery, glass wear or napkin rings. Also, stationery such as name places and menus can bring a hint of shimmer with gold leafing detail – as can the cake. Gold antique mirrors are also an excellent choice to create unusual seating plans and signage.

Just as we’ve seen silver embellished dresses grace the catwalks, gold detail dresses are no stranger to designers’ collections either, with the likes of Jenny Packham well known for her metallic creations. If however, that’s a little too glitzy for the bride, a simple gold Game of Thornes style head piece or botanical detail shoe or jewellery can be the perfect way to give a discreet nod to the theme.

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all in the detail: the wedding of my dreams

May 12th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Photo credit Daffodil Waves Photography (3)

Daffodil Waves Photography

We’re big believers in it being the little details that bring the overall look and feel of a wedding together. We’re therefore over the moon to be introducing another fabulous Brides Up North Featured Supplier to the blog this afternoon, who happen to know a thing or two about styling a wedding.

Prepare to go slightly weak at the knees as we say hello to The Wedding of My Dreams and their fabulous wedding prop and décor offering.

Run by mother and daughter team, Karen and Gemma, this easy to navigate website is an Aladdin’s cave of pretty details for your wedding day. Better still, as well as shopping till you drop on the site, The Wedding of my Dreams also offers an abundance of stunning big day inspiration to really crank up the creativity… and they are giving an exclusive 5% discount to all Brides Up North readers, just enter the code BUN5 at the checkout.

To tell us more about all the pretty on offer, we’ll now hand over the blog to one half of the dream team…

Birmingham Wedding Photographer

Daffodil Waves Photography

Can you give us a little overview of The Wedding of my Dreams?

gemma says: I’m the younger half of the mother and daughter team who founded The Wedding of my Dreams in 2010. My amazing mum, Karen Morgan, runs the award winning wedding florist Passion for Flowers, which I got more and more involved with after graduating from uni. I’d help on busy weekends picking up floristry skills as I went along, learning only from the best, and developed a real passion for floristry, styling weddings and to be honest everything wedding related! My job at the time was in digital marketing and social media, I knew a thing or two

At the time Passion for Flowers couples were hiring an array of props and decorations from us to complement their florals, saying they couldn’t find anything as lovely elsewhere in the market. Mum and I both love sourcing decorations and wanted couples all over the country to have access to the props and decorations we had searched so hard to find and so The Wedding of my Dreams was born.

Going into business with my mum was the best decision I’ve ever made, we both love going to work every day and both now work across the two companies. It’s so rewarding to see how far we’ve come and how both businesses have blossomed. All the hard work and late nights have really paid off. In 2015 Passion for Flowers was voted best wedding florist in England in The Wedding Industry Awards and The Wedding of my Dreams has won numerous awards since its launch.

Birmingham Wedding Photographer

Daffodil Waves Photography

What services and products do you offer to wedding couples?

The Wedding of my Dreams is an online shop brimming with beautiful wedding decorations and details to style your tables and venue. We sell table decorations, centrepieces, tea light holders, table plans, favours, and signs, oh and so much more.

Our blog runs alongside our website and we use it as a way to show styling ideas and how our products can be used at weddings. If you’re a crafty DIY bride we have a number of free printables and step-by-step guides on our blog too, so you can make your own bits and pieces. Check it out our blog here.

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love is golden: a pretty seasonal styled shoot

February 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Autumn Styled Shoot at Froyle Park (c) Ilaria Petrucci (25)

Here at Brides Up North we may have mentioned one, or two (hundred) times that we absolutely love the autumn season. As such, when this stunning styled shoot inspired by the time of the year when the days shorten and golden leaves fall from the trees landed in our inbox, we just had to share it with you, our lovely readers.

Providing perfect inspiration for those of you planning an autumnal wedding later this year or next, this shoot, organised by Ilaria of Ilaria Petrucci Photography, features beautiful ideas for décor, floral designs and attire, using warming colours and textures that work in harmony with the season.

To explain why it’s so easy to fall for an autumn wedding, and to fill us in on details of the shoot, we’ll hand over to the lady behind the lens…

With images by Ilaria Petrucci Photography. Model Jessica Van Twuiver.

Autumn Styled Shoot at Froyle Park (c) Ilaria Petrucci (15)

ilaria says: I love autumn. Perhaps because I was born in October, so I like to think of myself as a fall-child. The light, the colors, the atmosphere, everything about it is absolutely gorgeous!

That said, a lot of people dislike this season as they see it as a dark and grey time of year, when everything is dying back. I don’t see it that way though, instead I see a burst colour and energy, change, new opportunities and growth.

Autumn Styled Shoot at Froyle Park (c) Ilaria Petrucci (22)

I will admit that I’m not a huge fan of the dark days that come with the season though, and so this was in part the inspiration for the shoot. I wanted to bring softness to slightly dim the strong, bright colours of yellow and red often associated with the season, whilst also brightening up the darkness of the shorter days with light.

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style sheet: pantone 2016

February 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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For some couples giving their wedding day a theme makes it feel a little gimmicky, and so they prefer to keep things simple by coordinating the details to a chosen colour scheme instead. But which hues to choose?

Some brides will simply go with their favourite colour(s), while others will pick shades which complement the season of the year in which they will wed. Those needing inspiration meanwhile can always turn to colour experts Pantone, who forecast the top colours each year based on a snapshot of what is taking place in our culture.

For the first time ever, Pantone has introduced two colours for 2016 – rose quartz & serenity – both of which make dreamy wedding colour schemes, either alone or when combined together. So today we’re giving you, our lovely brides-to-be, ideas on how to pull off the perfect Pantone palette for your big day…

rose quartz

Rose Quartz

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Masha Golub| image source, photography by Laura Gordon Photography| image source| image source, photography by Matthew Morgan Photography| image source, photography by Elizabeth Messina| image source, photography by Ryon Lockhart| image source, photography by Sarah Mellor| image source| image source.

Described as a warm tone that reflects wellness by Pantone, this stunning dusky shade of rose pink is particularly elegant and would suit various styles of weddings, from classic to contemporary.

Sweet and soft in its appearance this shade is the epitome of love and romance and is also gentle on many skin tones, making it an ideal choice for bridesmaids. It’s also an option for brides looking for a subtle alternative to ivory, with a growing number of designers introducing blush gowns to their collections.

Brides sticking to tradition however can still incorporate the rosy hue into their attire through their shoe and accessory choices; whether it be a blush garter, pink pearl necklace or dusky stone drop earrings.

Thankfully when it comes to flowers, there are plenty of pink blooms for brides to choose from, such as peonies, lilies, astilbe and anemones. In addition to bouquets and button holes, such blooms can be incorporated into the décor and even the cake design. It would also be a nice play on the colour scheme to feature roses in the theming, both in terms of the flowers and design of elements like the stationery.

Weddings that are light, soft and delicate in their appearance will work best with this girly hue so just be sure to keep things simple, clean and classy.

serenity

Serenity

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Ben Yew Photography| image source, photography by Fuller Photography| image source, photography by Anastasia Belik| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Amaranth Photography| image source.

Every bride needs a something blue for her big day, so why not choose Pantone’s serenity for an on-trend and elegant colour scheme.

Described as tranquil and soothing by the colour forecasters, this is an ideal choice for those wanting a laid-back yet loved-up feel for their wedding.

Though not the most popular choice with brides, we have seen an increase in the number of steely blue dress designs hitting the bridal catwalks, notably from top designers such as Ian Stuart and Monique Lhuillier. Brides wanting to play it safe meanwhile could go for the classic something blue in the form of their shoes, adding a pop of colour to their attire.

For bridesmaids the cool tone could be a little tricky to match to varying complexions and so a mix of differing blue tone dresses might work best, whilst also adding depth and interest.

Grooms can also get in on the blue colour scheme for their attire. Though serenity is a mid to lighter shade of blue, which many men might not feel comfortable in, there is the option of a navy suit matched with a tie or dicky bow in a similar shade to serenity, whether it be plain or patterned.

Elsewhere blue can be reflected through flower choices such as hydrangeas, thistles, eucalyptus and iris. Cake designs can also feature the hue, with watercolour, ombre and wedgewood styles lending themselves particularly well.

As to not make the overall look too cold and controlled, try to keep to the powder side of blue and soften décor with the use of pretty petals and bows.

blue & blush

Blue & Blush

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Into the Light| image source, photography by Loft Photographie| image source, photography by Natalie Bray Photography| image source, photography by Rebecca Amber Photography| image source, photography by NJ Wedding Photographer Kay English| image source, photography by Eve Photography| image source| image source, photography by Tiffany Hughes Photography| image source, photography by Caroline Tran| image source.

Finally for a complete colour contrast, couples can fully embrace Pantone’s picks of 2016 by incorporating both blush rose and serenity blue into their big day.

Focusing on gender equality, Pantone points out that bringing the two shades together creates something of a gender blur, though for weddings it could be seen as both a reflection of the bride and groom through both a feminine and masculine colour combination.

Working in perfect harmony Rose Quartz and Serenity are particularly appealing for those wanting a sweet, surgery and elegant look to their wedding.

Bridesmaids can be mixed and matched in the two colours, or alternatively kept in one shade for their dresses and then have the contrasting colour for either their bouquets and/or heels.

In terms of décor, coordinating and contrasting blooms and vases, jars or bottles work well, as do pretty paper pompoms or lanterns in the two shades. Crockery and glassware can also be mismatched to reflect the scheme, and in pastel shades can work particularly well with vintage and afternoon tea style settings.

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stylesheet: water babes

September 22nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry

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image by Emm & Clau Photography

Here at Brides Up North we’ve noticed that waterside weddings are proving rather popular with our couples; be it a lakeside celebration in Bowness, a seaside wedding in Scarborough or a Tyneside ceremony in Newcastle.

Though the British weather is unpredictable, the various waterside options show that there are many more possibilities beyond the beach, and that getting wed by the water doesn’t have to mean taking the ceremony outdoors.

Some couples opt for venues that have spectacular views of a particular lake or river, while others choose to pitch up a marquee close the water’s edge so they can enjoy the pretty whilst still being protected.

Another idea we’ve seen played out by our brides and grooms, is to incorporate the setting into part of their plans for the day. So for example, they might organise an open-air bus ride down the sea front, book a traditional river boat cruise or take advantage of fab photo opportunities on iconic bridges.

Of course another way to tie in the setting is through the styling a décor of the day, whether couples choose to go all out with an obvious theme or simply opt for a complementary colour palette.

With this in mind, we’re sharing some of our favourite water styling options. So come, sail away with us…

watercolours

WATERCOLOURS

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Anna Munro| image source, photography Catherine Rhodes| image source, photography by Bek Grace Photography| image source| image source, photography by First Mate Photo Co| image source, photography by Christine Sara Photography| image source| image source, photography by Katie Kett Photography| image source| image source, photography by Jose Villa.

We love this theme, not only because of its soft, dreamy and modern appearance, but also because you don’t need to be getting hitched waterside to choose it. Basically it’s all about fluidity and beautifully blended, washed out colours.

Couples can choose to stick with just one hue, or instead pick a mixture of two or more shades. Elegant pastels such as baby pink, powder blue and lilac work particularly well, but so too do more punchy colours, such as magenta and tangerine.

Stationery is particularly helpful in getting the theme across to guests, with save the dates and invitations in pretty washed ink designs. The look can then be continued on the day with correlating name places, table numbers and menus.

Additional décor looks effective in delicate paper pompoms, watercolour patterned crockery and tie-dyed like fabrics in table runners, serviettes and bunting.

Flower choices should tally with the colour palette and mirror the gentleness of the theme, so think big, blousy blooms with lots of light petals as well as flowers peppered with tiny buds.

Picking the cake shouldn’t be too hard either as hand painted designs, particularly those of watercolour effect, are a current trend, giving couples plenty of options.

With so many opportunities to project the theme through the above, it’s not necessary for it to be extended to the wedding party’s attire though there are some truly stunning washed out, coloured designs available for both brides and their maids.

nautical nuptials

NAUTICAL

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Green Tea Photography| image source, photography by Laura Murray Photography| image source| image source, photography by Agnes Lopez Photography| image source| image source, photography by Caroline Tran Photography.

A classic, though there is a fine line between tacky and tasteful on this one. The key is to add subtle nautical nods throughout the styling rather than making it look like a seaside town has quite literally exploded all over your big day.

The look should be clean rather than cluttered and the colour theme mainly blue and white. Couples can go for either a deep traditional blue or a lighter, elegant tone. For a softer nautical look, we also like the idea of also adding a pastel shade to the palette, such as peach, diversifying slightly from what’s been seen before.

Décor for this one can be a lot of fun with the opportunity to incorporate shells, sand, anchors, sailing rope, boats and compasses, to help set the scene. Just take care not to overdo it.

Stripes are also associated with the theme and so can be added in fabric choices, cake designs and even attire. Perhaps the groom could wear a striped tie or dicky bow and the bride could slip on some nautical footwear, which might also provide her something blue.

In terms of flowers, most brides opting for this theme tend to stick to fresh white hues bound with stripped ribbon.

deep blue ocean

DEEP BLUE OCEAN

Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Elisa Bricker| image source, photography by Emma Lucy Photography| image source, photography by EmmPhotography| image source| image source, photography by Jacqueline Dallimore| image source, photography by Love Life Studios| image source| image source, photography by Gucio Photography| image source, photography by Peach Blossom Photography| image source, photography by Spencer Photography.

Perfect for those who like to keep things simple, this look is based on bringing different colours of the ocean together.

While a plain blue palette can fall flat, this theme enables couples to add interest with varying shades such as turquoise, sky blue and royal blue as well as adding hints of greens and greys. The result should be fresh, relaxed and classy.

To play on the ocean theme couples can add small influences from the themes above, if they so wish. So water coloured style stationery would work well as would small decorative details, such as shells, driftwood and sailing rope knots.

Patterns in decoration can also help to add further interest and ombre details can easily be added to the theme as the varying shades appear to wash in and out of each other, just like waves.

While blue wedding gowns are growing in popularity, the theme can easily be reflected in other areas of the wedding party’s attire, so the bride can remain in traditional white or ivory. Rather than just picking one tone of blue for the groomsmen’s bow ties and pocket squares or the maids’ dresses, different ocean shades can be mixed and matched for a real aqua appearance.

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