Charlotte Balbier

personality & passion: introducing stella photography

March 23rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Stella Photography (35)

If you’re looking for wedding photography that’s beautifully emotive and bubbling with energy, then you’re going to be as excited as us about this afternoon’s post, as we’re introducing the fabulous Stella Photography as a brand-new Brides Up North Sponsor.

Brimming with enthusiasm, the duo behind the cameras are Zuzi and Seb, who strike the perfect balance between creating relaxed and fun vibes to capture a couple at their very best on their big day.

Based in the North West, but always eager to travel, the Stella team pride themselves on delivering images that rock! So, if you like what you see, be sure to read on for more details on this talented twosome.

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Tell us a little about the Stella Photography team? 

stella photography say: Our story started more than eight years ago when we (Zuzi and Seb) finished our fine art photography degrees full of passion and ideas. Seb went on to do a masters in photography at LCC in London whilst the business was gradually growing. We are the super creative, energetic social butterflies, buzzing with charisma and fun. Seb’s wife of ten years, Clare, keeps the business running from behind the scenes and keeps our feet firmly on the ground! Zuzi is like family and is godmother to Seb and Clare’s three children. Seb also has a career as a photographic artist with regular solo shows internationally and various publications. He gives talks and workshops in Universities all over the EU. We have more photographers living the dream with us now as the business has developed so much and they bring their new creative ideas and personalities.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically? 

We are all hopeless romantics. Quite simply, getting married, one love for life, the unity and strength of family and sharing the same name, drew us naturally to wedding photography and finding our niche of vibrant and fun loving brides and grooms. Keeping it real for us.

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And what is it about your job that you love? 

We just love working with all our couples and their families and being a part of the most special day of their lives. The hanging out with them all over again when their siblings or friends tie the knot. Then seeing all the new baby arrivals! We also love the creative opportunities to explore each unique couple’s loving vibes and chemistry on film and constantly push ourselves to try new, fresh and creative ideas.

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

We are really relaxed with bit of quirkiness and fun. We love to blend in, making our couples feel as supported and comfortable as possible and keeping their guests entertained!

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

We have the best clients ever and the feedback we get is genuinely heart-warming. They love that we are there for them in every capacity on their day, to make it run as smoothly as possible in a fun and relaxed way. They are overcome by their images, which totally rock!

How do you help couples to relax in front of the lens?

We understand that some couples are camera shy but, to be honest, after meeting with our couples at the fayres or for a coffee, they book us as they feel at ease with our natural, fun approach and relaxed vibe. They know that we are all about them on the day and trust that we will get the most beautiful images for them. Spending more time together at a pre-wedding shoot can be invaluable to camera shy couples as they love their pictures so much they become even more excited about their big day.

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out?

Every wedding we shoot is super special to us as each one is so unique, we love the variety of rural and urban locations as they all present different challenges and ways of working creatively.

Where would be your dream location to shoot?

A desert wedding like Arizona, Vegas… bring it on please… oh the light!

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ruffled. vera wang for an exquisite wedding at rudding park – amanda & steve

March 14th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (47)

After popping the question across the pond in sunny LA, Steve and his bride-to-be Amanda tied the knot at luxury Harrogate-based hotel, Rudding Park, in October 2016.

Wearing the most sublime Vera Wang gown, Amanda was the picture-perfect bride, with her gorgeous bridesmaids by her side in sophisticated grey maxi dresses.

We love it when a couple decide to get hands on and creative, and Amanda and Steve didn’t disappoint; making some of the key decorations and props for their special day, with the mother of the groom baking a stunning cake to match.

Truly elegant and understated – we think you’ll be just as smitten as us when you see all the precious highlights.

With images by Bethany Clarke.

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (19)

amanda says: We got engaged when we were on holiday in the US. We had gone to New York for a few days, then flew to LA, where we then travelled over to Orange County to stay with some friends for a week. We then went from there to LA for a few days, which is where Steve proposed!

We were at the hotel waiting for our friends to join us and I had just woken up from an afternoon nap, when Steve got down on one knee! We then rang my mum to tell her the good news and she didn’t believe us! (We had been together for over eight years at this point, so I think she thought it was never going to happen!)

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (38)

Our wedding date was 29th October 2016. We chose this date as – to be honest – we knew it would be cheaper than getting married in the summer and we both love autumn and the colours associated with it. There are also no expectations with the weather!

We got married at Rudding Park, Harrogate. We chose this venue as not only was it stunning with amazing food, but it was also reasonably priced and a good location for family and friends to easily travel to. We would highly recommend Rudding Park, they really helped make our day amazing and everything ran smoothly. The staff were all so lovely.

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (35)

The colour theme for our big day was ivories and greens.

I wore an ivory strapless trumpet/mermaid gown by Vera Wang. I was really lucky as I managed to find one in my size on Still White, so I got it much cheaper than what it originally cost! I love Vera Wang’s designs and just loved the bottom of the dress – there were so many layers! I bought my shoes from Office and for the night do I changed into a Needle and Thread dress.

An Elegant Wedding at Rudding Park (c) Bethany Clarke Photography (56)

My bridesmaids wore grey multi-way maxi dresses. I chose these as all my bridesmaids loved them and felt comfortable as they could wear them slightly differently.

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all of the lights. asos bridal for a sharp city wedding in manchester – sophie & kyle

March 9th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A City Wedding at Salford Quays (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (27)

Today’s military groom Kyle proposed to the gorgeous Sophie before he was posted to the US for three years and the couple organised their wedding in less than three months. Respect, guys.

Nothing in today’s pictures, however, betrays the fact that they were up against the clock. This seriously chic city wedding scores countless cool points, from Sophie’s edgy ASOS bridal dress, those Oriental-style violet silk shoes and stunning urban backdrops.

This wedding gives us all the feels. Who knew that being photographed in front of a lift could look so – well – completely and utterly perfect?

With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Rebecca Parsons Photography

A City Wedding at Salford Quays (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (17)

A City Wedding at Salford Quays (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (12)

sophie says: Kyle popped the question over an Indian takeaway in our new home. Kyle’s in the Royal Navy so he’s often away but is mainly home at weekends. We’d recently bought our first home together and moved in October 2016. Shortly afterwards, Kyle broke the news that he’d received his new drafting and would be going away to America for three years in January 2017. Then, casually while eating our takeaway, he said, “Sooo, will you marry me?”

Our wedding date was Saturday 7th January 2017. We were married at On The 7th at Manchester Media City. We weren’t looking for a traditional church wedding venue and, both being from Manchester, loved the idea of having a Manchester backdrop for our photos. As soon as we arrived at the venue we knew this was the one. It suited our quirky characters and we loved the laidback feel. It’s a fantastic place and didn’t need much decoration. We did, however, hire some lights spelling out “love” from Love Lights The Way.

A City Wedding at Salford Quays (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (23)

The groom and groomsmen all wore navy suits with burgundy accessories and tan shoes. The colour theme was minimal with the flowers being mainly white with a hint of light blue fuchsia and blue thistle.

A City Wedding at Salford Quays (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (15)

My dress was a cream, crochet-style lace dress from ASOS bridal. It was down to the ankle, with a shorter underdress and a slit up the back. It had a high neck with small capped sleeves. I wore statement blue floral shoes, which were my favourite part of the outfit – I received so many compliments on them!

My hair and make was done by Nicky Selvidge and my nails by Rare Beauty.

A City Wedding at Salford Quays (c) Rebecca Parsons Photography (30)

Kyle wore a navy Ted Baker suit with a slight check detail and matching waistcoat. He had a paisley patterned pocket square with a burgundy tie and a pocket watch. The groomsmen also wore Ted Baker in navy.

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honest love: say hello to slice of pie photography

March 9th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Slice Of Pie (26)

This morning we’re getting snap-happy on the blog by catching up with our fabulous Sponsor and talented wedding photographers, Mark and Laura of Slice of Pie Photography.

Covering weddings throughout the North West and beyond, this dedicated duo considers it an honour to capture the most important day of a couple’s life and pride themselves on their “honest” images that stand the test of time.

As a special gift, Slice of Pie are offering Brides Up North readers who book them, a free guest book featuring their pre-wedding shoot photographs (worth £150), so be sure to mention this when enquiring with Mark and Laura. Now let’s hear more from them about their images and approach…

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Tell us a little about your background… 
slice of pie say: Having backgrounds in art and design and marketing meant that a creative career was a natural choice for both of us. After Mark’s time being behind the lens and directing photoshoots for advertising campaigns eight years ago, it seemed the right time for us to turn our love of photography into our own business in the wonderful world of weddings.

What attracted you to wedding photography specifically?

We love that each wedding is as unique as the couple themselves. We could do lots of weddings at one venue but no two would ever be the same. There is so much opportunity for couples to put their own stamp on their wedding day giving us the scope to produce new and unique images all the time, which keeps our work fresh and our creative juices flowing.

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And what is it about your job that you love?

Even after all the years of photographing weddings, we often say to each other in the midst of a drinks reception; “We’re at work!” We still pinch ourselves that we basically get to photograph parties where people are on top form having a great time, it’s also a huge honour to be such an important part of the best day of someone’s life!

How would you describe your style of wedding photography?

When people ask us this question we always tell them that we are great believers in honest images. Filters and overworked photographs will age quickly but a beautiful crisp image will stand the test of time. Many of our images are natural and contemporary in composition but at the same time we produce some more traditional yet relaxed images. We listen to what our couples want but guide them if they feel daunted by the whole prospect of being photographed. Having flexibility in style and taking the time to get to know our couples helps us to make sure they get what they want from their wedding photographs.

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What is the feedback like from your clients?

The feedback we get is phenomenal. We often joke to each other that we must be good but we never get complacent, every time we go to a wedding we look each other in the eye and say “this wedding must be a show album”, which we believe shows our passion for what we do. Most of our brides tell us that it felt like a friend was photographing their wedding and that they were able to relive the whole day, which is our main aim after all.

What is the top piece of advice you would give to camera shy couples?

The key to relaxing in front of the camera is to have fun and remember that you have picked a professional photographer whose job it is to make you look and feel relaxed and happy! Most couples aren’t used to being photographed, which is why each of our packages include a pre-wedding shoot. The last thing we want is to be the strangers with the big cameras on the wedding day. The pre-wedding shoot is so valuable in building a relationship between us before the wedding, which always shines through in the photographs. Having the opportunity to see the photos before the wedding also gives couples the confidence that they will look fabulous on their wedding day!

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Are there any weddings in particular that you’ve shot that stand out to you?

Loads as we are very lucky to have photographed so many great days. One of our favourite shots was taken in Manchester City Centre on King Street Zebra Crossing, Mark was lying in the middle of the road while Laura stopped a bus (it wasn’t going fast) the driver and passengers just smiled when they saw what we were doing. We have great memories, taking pictures across the lake at the beautiful Capesthorne Hall, in the garden at the fabulous Belle Epoque, a stunning 1920’s themed wedding at the Alderley Edge Hotel, bridesmaids andushers shots under the T-Rex at Manchester Museum, confetti canons exploding in Manchester Art Gallery followed by the procession of bridesmaids dancing down the aisle, the elegance of a French Chateau to a golf club in Mallorca. Oh, and we always remember an emotional groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting for his beautiful bride!

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autumn glory. allure bridals & cosy vibes for a lake district wedding – caroline & scott

March 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (46)

This evening’s inspiration comes from the lovely Caroline and Scott, who cosied up at Linthwaite House Hotel for their autumnal Lake District wedding. Opulent shades of plum and pink, a homely and characterful venue, cheese, cheese and more cheese – this wedding just makes me want to crack open the Merlot and be done with today.

So, if time and place allows, we advise you to do exactly that whilst soaking up this beautiful big day…

Photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke.

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (23)

caroline says: We got engaged on the 12th January in 2015. We’d been together for almost ten years at that point, and many of our friends and family were starting to wonder if we’d ever get engaged. Scott proposed while we were on a ski trip with friends – we were sitting at a picnic bench at the top of French Alps. It was a beautiful sunny morning and just a perfectly romantic moment. After I’d said yes, some of our friends got off the ski lift and took some pictures, then we all skied down the mountain for lunch and champagne. It was just a brilliant day!

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (17)

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (42)

We got married on the 20th October 2016. We chose the date as we wanted an autumn wedding and, as we were getting married in the Lake District, we knew the autumnal colours would look wonderful. Additionally, we hoped that the weather would still be mild with a little bit of light in the evening before the clocks changed. However, we didn’t worry about having it all our own way weather-wise, as if it did rain it would also create a cosy atmosphere for our guests at our venue.

We chose to get married at Linthwaite House Hotel at Bowness-on-Windermere. We always knew that we wanted to get married in the Lake District as it’s such a special place to us. We looked at three other hotels before visiting Linthwaite but as soon as we arrived there I just knew that it would be perfect. It ticked all of our boxes: beautiful views, extremely friendly staff, warm, homely interiors, beautiful rooms for our guests to stay and just amazing food. We really wanted a laid back and relaxed day that wasn’t stuffy; a place where our guests could truly relax once they arrived and, as we had exclusive use of the entire hotel, this is exactly what we got and a whole lot more. I really couldn’t recommend Linthwaite highly enough to any couple looking for a place to get married in the Lake District.

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (41)

The time of year and the beautiful surroundings of the hotel also influenced our colour scheme. As it was October, we wanted rich autumnal colours and chose lovely shades of plum. It seemed to be a popular choice with my bridesmaids, too!

I wore a dress from Allure Bridals and accessorised it with a belt and bolero. I bought the dress from Adele Louise Bridal, which is a bridal boutique in Wolverhampton. This is quite far from where I live but my sister-in-law is a friend of the owner. I was pretty clueless as to what I was looking for so I went with her and my niece to try on a few dresses. I had an idea that I wanted something quite simple and this dress just seemed perfect. The beautiful lace design fitted in somehow with the timeless Lake District surroundings as well.

A Cosy Lake District Wedding (c) Bethany Clarke (45)

Scott wore a blue suit from Next and a bow tie that he bought online from San Francisco. Scott’s best men and also the fathers of the bride and groom also wore the same blue suit as Scott. The plum ties were from the same retailer in San Francisco.

I bought the bridesmaid dress online from a company called JJ’s House. I left getting the bridesmaid dresses quite close to the wedding as one of my bridesmaids was pregnant and I was a bit wary of buying them online, but they were great. They tailored the dresses and had such a big selection that I was able to get four different dresses for each of my different bridesmaids but in the exact same colour and they arrived really quickly.

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contemporary class. a styled bridal shoot at brinkburn northumberland

March 2nd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (61)

Today on the blog we have a styled shoot that focuses on the venue and decor aspects of a wedding – and features not one, but two of our fabulous Brides Up North Sponsors.

Captured by the talented Melissa Beattie Photography at dream wedding venue Brinkburn Northumberland, this shoot aims to show how old can be mixed with new to create a stylish and unforgettable setting for those all-important “I dos” and big day celebrations.

Located on the banks of the river Coquet, Brinkburn provides a relaxed and informal backdrop for couples looking for an unusual historic and quirky venue. Offering use of its stunning White Room, Tipis and the 12th Century Priory Church for the ceremony and reception, alongside its comfortable accommodation in The Stables, Priory Cottage and Bel House, the venue has everything a wedding party could desire all in one place.

Here to show us more of this gorgeous venue whilst talking us through the details of the shoot, is Brinkburn’s wedding coordinator Jan-Marie…

With images by Melissa Beattie Photography.

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (65)

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (2)

jan-marie says: In doing this shoot we wanted to capture, the natural vibe of Brinkburn, taking inspiration from our mantra, “The Hills, The River, The Woods, The Quiet, Ssshhhh”.

The idea was to show the juxtaposition of contemporary design amongst the historic buildings and natural surroundings.

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (37)

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (7)

In terms of styling and colour we took our inspiration from the natural palette of Brinkburn. Christine of Lavenders Blue really does know Brinkburn inside and out so her brief was short and sweet. Fabulous greens from the lush and relaxed foliage set against the natural sandstone of the walls and the canvass of the tipi. Almost as if the viewer had stepped into their own decadent secret garden.

Christine foraged for foliage with stronger hues of green, fresh fern, ivy and rhododendron leaf in the woodland at Brinkburn and paired this with eucalyptus, olive leaf, rosemary and bay leaf for the tablespaces. The tipi poles were adorned with a cascading soft ruscus.

Contemporary Styled Bridal Shoot at Brinkburn Northumberland (c) Melissa Beattie (54)

The simple brass belted glass vases we used are from a collection at Tutti & Co, along with all of the table accessories from their wedding table styling range.

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