Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

planned to perfection: introducing fabulous together

February 2nd, 2018 | Julia Braime

D&A_Fabulous Together

While planning a wedding is super exciting, it’s also classed as one of life’s most stressful events and so it’s good to have support to hand to ensure you’re organised and not overwhelmed by the task ahead.

If you’re already feeling a buried in the wedmin, or know exactly what you want but aren’t sure how to make it a reality, then the Sponsor we’re introducing on the blog today is going to be very useful to you. So, join us as we welcome professional wedding planners Andrea Swift (Northern Ambassador and Supreme Member of UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) and Debbie Rainford (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) of Fabulous Together.

Dubbed as “Fairy Godmothers” and “Secret Weapons” these are the ladies in the know, who can help bring your wedding dreams to fruition. Whether you require a full or partial planning service Andrea and Debbie will be there to bounce ideas off, provide professional advice and banish any pre-wedding worries.

So, let’s hear more from the dynamic duo on how their approach, services and style.

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Adam Riley Photography

Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how was Fabulous Together was formed?

andrea & debbie say: After working together on several large-scale luxury weddings we had a ‘lightbulb’ moment – we realised that we not only shared the same ethos, the same professional values and the same sense of fun, but ultimately, the same vision. By combining our experience and expertise, we decided we could offer the region the ultimate luxury wedding planning service: Fabulous Together Weddings.

Why would you advise couples to hire a wedding planner?

Planning a wedding can be really stressful and we know how time consuming it can be too. A big part of our role is to match our clients with people we think will best suit their style, vision and personality, then deliver the wedding day they had always dreamed of and we keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest trends, ensuring each individual wedding has its own unique ‘wow’ factor.

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Sansom Photography

Can you outline the services that you offer to brides and grooms?

Our Full Planning Service includes a detailed consultation and bespoke proposal after which clients are assigned a senior planner who will remain by their side throughout the whole process.

Our Partial Planning package would be better suited to those clients who have already undertaken some of the planning themselves. Fabulous Together Weddings will review all bookings and plans to-date, manage the booked suppliers and stay with the couple right to the end of the wedding day, ensuring everything flows smoothly.

Proving that distance really doesn’t need to be a barrier when creating your dream wedding, our Fabulous Together Weddings’ unique Destination UK service is perfect for couples who live overseas but want to marry in the UK.

What would you say to couples who think hiring a wedding planner means they will lose control of their wedding day?

Absolutely not! The relationship we have with our couples is always collaborative. We are here to help and bring their ideas to life. Think of us as super organised fairy godmothers – we’ll offer professional advice when it’s needed, banish worries and ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

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Haydn Ridings

What area of planning would you say that couples find the most stressful and how can you help?

It is always hard keeping everyone happy and it can be a delicate balancing act, especially where parents are concerned. As we have so much experience in dealing with these sometimes tricky situations, we can provide an independent view that often puts things into perspective. That and the weather! We always ensure we have a good Plan B so we are prepared for whatever the British climate throws at us!

What is it that you love about the world of weddings and what is the favourite part of your job?

Sometimes it’s the simplest thing, that moment in the ceremony where the couple are officially married – the kiss, the love, the intimacy of it all – we feel privileged to be a part of it. But we also love hearing the guests chanting for one more song on the dance floor after a stunning band set or catching them talking in the toilets about it being the best wedding they have ever been to! At the end of it all we can slip quietly away knowing we have helped our couple have the very best day imaginable!

Tipi Wedding image Lisa Aldersley

Lisa Aldersley Photography

Are you noticing any trends in weddings at the moment and, if so, what are they?

A key element now though is that couples want the wedding to last as long as possible. We are seeing more and more ‘wedding weekends’ often at lavish venues, but increasingly at home or in the grounds of a close family member’s property, providing a more personalised option.

Do you have any particular memorable moments from weddings you’ve organised?

Lots and lots of memorable moments, yes, but some real stand out ones include the groom and his eight best men singing as they walked down the aisle, it was a definite ‘hairs standing up on the back of your neck’ moment. Of course, it did help that they were all professional singers! Then there was the wedding where we were waiting (outside in the rain), to get a call from Heathrow airport to see if the cloud base was high enough for our couple’s air acrobatic display to take place – it meant that Heathrow would have to alternate take off and landings to allow for the seven-minute display – when they finally said yes, we literally had two minutes to get the guests outside and in position. It was stressful but completely amazing when it happened as if on cue.

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make it personal: wedding styling tips from one stylish day

July 17th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

One Stylish Day (9)

One piece of precious advice from our featured brides that comes around time and time again is “make it your own”. But with wedding inspo coming at you from all angles, it can sometime be a little tricky to know how to put a truly personal stamp on the proceedings.

Luckily for our readers, we just happen to know an expert in this area who is a pro at taking wedding styling to the next level of gorgeous, while it still remaining a reflection of the happy couple. So please prepare to take note as our wonderful Sponsor Louise Hughes, the fabulously stylish event designer behind One Stylish Day, takes to the blog…

Main post images by Kate McCarthy Photography or otherwise provided by One Stylish Day, with additional gallery images from Nicola Dixon Photography.

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louise says: When browsing Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll see the same wedding trends come up over and over again. They may look fabulous, but are a bit, well, ‘done before’. You want to create a dream day that will surprise and delight your guests. So, how can you design a wedding day that doesn’t look like all the rest? Here, I share my top ten tips for creating a wedding day that is both achingly stylish and completely personal to you…

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Know the difference between trends and style

The key difference between trends and style is that a trend is for everyone, whereas style is deeply personal. Trends can be fleeting but style has longevity. Great style has confidence and authenticity – focus on finding your own personal wedding style for a truly unique day.

Identify your Couple Style

Think beyond superficial fashion or design details to get to the heart of what makes you tick as a couple. Are you fun-loving explorers or city dwelling culture vultures? Are you famous for your cocktail parties or kitchen table suppers? The wedding style should be comfortable for both of you and reflect both your personalities.

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wedding planning like a pro: dine’s dos and don’ts

February 28th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

The Mansion (5)

Following a surge of engagements over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s, we’ve been welcoming lots of lovely new brides-to-be to our pretty pages. If you’re one of them you may well be looking to steam straight into the wedding planning process, though feel a little overwhelmed with all the different elements to consider.

What areas should you tackle first, where should you invest the majority of your time and effort, and what should you look for in suppliers? Here to assist with some of the questions is our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning catering and events specialist Dine.

Catering for more than 200 weddings each year, the Dine team has drawn on its vast experience of hospitality and event management, whilst also taking into account comments from some of its happy newlywed couples, to share its top ‘do and don’t’ tips to planning the perfect wedding.

We will be hosting one of our Luxury Bridal Show with the Dine team at its flagship venue The Mansion at Roundhay Park in Leeds, on Sunday 12th March, 11am till 3pm, free entry where you can gain further pointers and advice while meeting some of the area’s finest wedding suppliers. You can pre-register for the free-entry event here.

Now, on with those tips…

Images supplied by Dine/ Joel Skingle Photography

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make sure you do

Give yourself plenty of time to plan and appreciate every part of the process. As the actual day goes by so quickly make sure that the anticipation and build up is also something you will remember with fondness.

Think carefully about the expense and research all aspects to ensure that your budget isn’t overstretched. You may well end up spending more than you originally planned. Wedding planners like ourselves can be a great asset when it comes to budget planning, as we have lots of experience and can advise where savings can be made and where it is worth splashing out.

Book the main aspects of the wedding such as venue, photographer and the registrar first as these often get booked up the quickest. Once these have been sorted it’s much easier to plan the rest of your wedding around them. For example, if your wedding is going to be in a stately home you may decide to theme the day accordingly.

To avoid disappointment, sit down with your photographer prior to the wedding to ensure they are fully aware of what you want to achieve and the photographs you’d like to be taken.

Communicate with each other and family, friends and suppliers. It is important that both the bride and groom with the plans for the day and communication is the best way to make sure this happens.

Remember that you have your partner to rely on. Even if everything feels like it is getting out of hand, the relationship between you and your partner means more than anything and should come before any wedding planning.

Make sure you involve all of your guests on the day as it is important everyone has fun. Think of the different age groups that will be present and plan elements, such as food and entertainment, accordingly.

Enjoy the day! It goes by in a flash so make sure to take it all in and take time out with your partner. Having an events caterer such as Dine means that you can spend more time with each other, as they will be checking everything runs smoothly, leaving you to simply relax and enjoy.

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but don’t

Leave planning to the last minute. Foresight saves you money, hassle and stress and no stress means you enjoy planning the big day far more.

Book suppliers that you don’t trust or whose work you haven’t looked at otherwise there’s a very high chance you’ll be unhappy with the results. Responsible suppliers also mean that on the day you can relax as you know they will be doing a great job.

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lady of the lakes. pronovias for a gold & cream themed wedding at the lingholm estate – michelle & adam

November 24th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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Today’s real wedding on the blog is pretty damn special in that the bride is an industry friend and Brides Up North Sponsor, the wonderful Michelle of Box Tree Events and the Bridal PA.

An expert in both catering and event management, some might think that Michelle would have it easy planning her own big day, but having seen so many weddings from week to week she was looking for something that bit different.

Cue a stunning lakeside wedding at the beautiful Lingholm Estate near Keswick, with a church ceremony, followed by marquee (top class) wedding breakfast and a stately home evening party. Impressed? Us too!

We must say Michelle and her beau Adam pulled off a truly elegant wedding to perfection with Michelle looking nothing short of stunning in her swoon-worthy Pronovias gown.

So let’s hand over the blog to the leading lady herself to tell us more about her dream day…

With images by Wynn Davies Photography.

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michelle says: We got engaged on the 14th December 2014. We went on a weekend away with some friends on the Isle of Arran where Adam spent a lot of his childhood with his grandparents. On the very last day we went for a walk on the beach in the pouring rain and he proposed; after nine years of being together it was a big shock. I remember a lady walking past with her dog, saying “Isn’t it a miserable day” and I was ecstatic! He knew I loved all things vintage and had bought the ring six months beforehand in Whitby. The ring dates back to 1909.

We set the date for 3rd September 2016, as Adam’s birthday is on the 9th of September and he always has great weather. However, on the 3rd, it didn’t stop raining – all day!

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Being a wedding planner and events caterer I have been to a lot of wedding venues so it was very difficult to find somewhere that I hadn’t worked at, or that was a bit different. Adam actually chose the venue after working up in the Lake District. The venue is owned by friends and has only been a wedding venue for a very short time. It is truly breath-taking; it is called The Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter wrote many of her books. It’s situated on Derwentwater, not far from Keswick.

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We didn’t really have a wedding theme as such. The sail cloth marquee that we hired from Paul at Shades, had transparent sides all the way around and so I wanted the view to be the focal point. The later part of the evening was up in the house, where we just lit all the fire places with hundreds of candles, contrasting with the old panelled wood, it looked lovely.

Our colour scheme was gold and cream, with blush tones brought in by the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s ties.

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Choosing a dress when I see them every week turned out to be hard. I wanted something less weddingy! My only conditions were no lace or sparkles, I wanted something elegant and super plain. I chose two dresses from Pronovias that they were able to combine. I had a capped sleeve, fitted, slightly fish tailed dress with a low back and buttons to the floor with a detachable bustle which made the most beautiful train. I didn’t want to take it off! I bought the dress from Eternity Bridal in Warrington.

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Adam wore a Hugo Boss black suit, shoes, socks and shirt. All the gents had personal cufflinks made by Chimo Holdings, my father’s silver company in Sheffield. All the cufflinks were personalised with my nana’s hallmark.

The groomsmen wore suits by Moss Bros and the bridesmaid dresses were from ASOS.

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For our wedding transport, we used my father’s car, which used to belong to my uncle, who has sadly passed away. The bridesmaids’ car was Adam’s BMW, which I had bought a personalised number plate for as a little pressie.

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a planning pro: introducing silver sixpence weddings

August 18th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

James Tracey Photography (4)

We all know that while wedding planning can be a fun and exciting, it can also be a daunting and stressful task, which is why having an expert to help can really lighten the big day load.

Contrary to what some may think, hiring a wedding planner doesn’t mean a couple are left out of the decision-making, but instead the bride and groom-to-be work with a professional who knows the industry like the back of their hand to piece together their perfect big day, saving time, and in some cases money, along the way.

Cue an introduction for our fabulous new Sponsor, wedding planner Justine Vincent of Silver Sixpence Weddings. Whether a couple just need assistance certain elements, such as venue and supplier suggestions, or instead want a professional on hand at every point of the planning journey for guidance and inspiration, Justine is the lady for the job.

Described by her clients as “amazing” and “a godsend” perhaps we could all do with a Justine to organise our busy lives, but for now we’ll leave her explain how she can help to plan your perfect big day…

KC Photography (2)

Tell us a little about your background and how you came to set up Silver Sixpence Weddings?

justine says: As long as I can remember I’ve always loved planning! Whether it’s been a party, corporate event, holiday or wedding. Over the years I’ve helped many friends, family and even the odd work colleague plan their special day. Before starting my new business I worked various organisational/planning roles, however these were never as fulfilling as my passion for wedding planning – for me was the best thing ever.

After having my little boy I decided it was the right time for me to do the one thing that I have wanted to do all my life and that was to become a wedding planner. After lots of research in to the wedding industry, hard work and planning Silver Sixpence Weddings became a reality.

Do you offer full planning packages or can couples opt to just use one or two services, such as venue search assistance?

I do offer a full planning package, however this I know is not necessarily for everyone. That’s why I offer a number of services, including venue and supplier searches as well as on the day management to ensure the smooth running of the day from the bride and groom’s perspective. As I’m independent anything can be tailored to suit each and every couple. I can even help the bride to find her perfect dress!

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Do you offer your services nationwide or just in a particular area?

At this moment in time my clients are Yorkshire based, however I’m more than happy to travel to any couples that require my help.

What is it that you love about working in the wedding industry?

I love all the different people that I meet in my job. These people enable and help me to create a wedding that’s as individual as my couples’ personalities. Creating ideas with them and seeing them come to fruition is truly amazing. What could be any better than being involved in the best day of someone’s life?

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wedding planning 101: super stylin’

September 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Be My Bridesmaid

image source

Having set your budget, booked your venue, sent out your save the dates and secured your photographer and entertainment, it’s time to move onto tasks that many brides deem as the more enjoyable and exciting parts of the planning schedule.

This is because it’s time to start thinking about how to style yourself and your venue for the big day to come! So in today’s wedding planning post we’ll be talking blooms, bridal boutiques and bridesmaids.

Check out our earlier posts in this series by clicking here (the early stages) and clicking here (the next steps).

flower power

Today beautiful blooms tend to stretch way beyond bouquets and button holes with many couples opting to incorporate pretty petals into their décor too. From dainty pew ends to grand floral chandeliers, the possibilities are pretty much endless, though you will need to find a florist that shares your botanical visions in order for them to become reality.

When searching for the right florist, it’s important to look for a trusted supplier with good testimonials from previous couples. You will also want to view examples of their recent work to get an idea of the styles and arrangements that they can achieve. So it might be that you are looking for a florist known for loose, natural and rustic designs, or perhaps neat and elegant arrangements or those that can wow with modern, striking floral structures.

Once you have whittled down a short list meet up with the florist to see how you ‘click’ and if they share your visions on bouquets and floral decorations. They might even suggest great ideas you’d never even thought of.

the one

In many cases shopping for the dream dress is a bride’s favourite part of the planning, though it can be daunting and frustrating at times too with so many options to choose from.

Having done your initial wedding dress research using magazines, blogs and websites to get an idea of the type of gown you might like and to suss out which designers fall into your dress budget, it’s time to search for boutiques that stock your chosen designers and make appointments to visit.

When attending bridal boutique appointments it can be easy for brides to get carried and invite a small entourage to accompany them but it really is best to keep numbers to a minimum to avoid becoming confused by differing opinions. Take those who know you and your style best and will give you an honest opinion – so perhaps mum, sister and maid of honour.

Though it’s good to have an idea of the type of dress you might like, it’s also good to be open minded at your appointment as a style that you’ve never considered just might turn out to be ‘the one’. Bridal stylists know their stuff so if they make a suggestion to try a certain gown on, go with it but don’t feel pressured – the decision is ultimately yours.

leading ladies

Once your dress is sorted you can move onto finding the right gowns for your maids. Again, though most ladies love to shop, bridesmaid dress hunting can be far from retail therapy with bridesmaids clashing on what they would and wouldn’t want to wear.

To avoid shopping centre tantrums it’s a good idea to get together with/speak to your bridesmaids about what type of design and colour you were hoping to dress them beforehand, giving them an opportunity to express any concerns early on. If you have maids of varying figures you could dress them in one colour but different styles of dresses to suit their individual shapes. Alternatively, if you have maids of varying hair colours and complexions, you could ask them all to wear the same design but in varying complementary colours, to suit both them and the wedding styling.

Also, when picking suitable colours for the maids’ dresses think about the styles and tones of flowers you’ve picked and how they will work together.

#foodie

At this point in the planning process it’s also a good idea to get the catering search underway if the venue you’ve booked won’t be providing the food.

Over time wedding breakfast menus have been extended beyond traditional meat and vegetables, meaning that there are now lots exciting options to whet your appetite. Some couples base their food choices on their personal preferences while others make their decisions by the season of the wedding. There’s also the option to pick menus that complement the style of the wedding, so for example afternoon tea for a rustic, country themed wedding, or street food, such as pizza or Mexican, for informal outdoor weddings.

Whatever you decide look for caterers with good reputations and find out what is included in the price, such as waiting staff and glass/crockery hire, to avoid any hidden costs. Then it’s time to sample the goods with a tasting session so you’ll know exactly how the food will look and taste when it’s served up on the day.

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