Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March: Meet The Designer - An Exclusive Interview With Charlotte Balbier


This month we have a very special, exclusive interview with one of our very wonderful designers, Charlotte Balbier. 

As a British bridal designer, Charlotte launched her brand in 2003 and has become well known for her feminine, unique and fashion forward bridal designs. Charlotte was one of the first designers Sally chose to have at White Bride. 
As stockists of the Charlotte Balbier collections for over 8 years, we can safely say that her styles and designs always have something different to offer our brides. With a lot of tears and excitement, it is Charlotte's dresses that have captured the hearts and dreams of many a White Bride. 

So, for this month, we have teamed up with Charlotte to give you inside access to the designer behind the gorgeous gowns!! 

White Bride: What made you want to start designing wedding dresses?  
Charlotte Balbier: My mother is famous bridal designer Amanda Wyatt and has been in the bridal business for generations.  I have been super inspired to create the brand Charlotte Balbier.  I was brought up surrounded by bridal dresses, materials and sketches of bridal gowns.  I actually come from a very long line of bridal as my grandfather manufactured gowns in the 60’s and ran a successful bridal business for generations.  We have a bridal empire going on and we love it everyday!

WB: What is your favourite part about what you do?
The brides is what makes the job so special, even after so many years of doing this job receiving images and notes from the brides about much they loved their gowns is still so special. 

WB: Was designing your own wedding dress a dream come true or was it a lot of pressure? 
Choosing my gowns for my big day was a tough decision!  I wanted a timeless elegant look that was very feminine and stayed true to my style and personality. I have always adored Grace Kelly’s look on her wedding day as even today her gown and overall wedding style still look’s relevant and beautiful.  The day dress was a silk organza full ball gown skirt with a deep French lace trim. Fitted to the natural waist with a sash and flower detail. The bodice was fitted and boned with a sheer tulle neckline and 3Ž4 sleeves. The train was a cathedral length with diamante buttons all the way down.  The dress had a zip fastening and an oversized hand tied bow.  The evening gown was a small A line skirt with godet fit and flair. I used gold French lace fabric with a small spot tulle over a soft Champagne satin.  Both these gowns are in my 2015 Iscoyd Park collection, the day gown is called ‘the Charlotte’ and the evening gown called ‘Iscoyd Park’.

WB: What would you say is the best advice you can give brides looking for their dream dress?
Keep an open mind and do not try on too many dresses. Do your research on the designers you like and just visit 1-2 bridal boutiques. Trying on too many gowns will just confuse you. When attending your appointment just take 1 guest with you, too many opinions will cloud your judgement and remember it’s about you and what you love.

WB: What advice would you give to a bride on their first appointment?
I always give this piece of advice to brides!  I highly recommend they trust the bridal stylists in the boutiques as they will help guide you into the perfect dress for you.  These ladies will live and breathe bridal and they will be able to pick out a dress instantly to suit your body shape.  They will 99% of the time be right in picking out the perfect gown for you as they would have seen hundreds of brides try on gowns to suit all different body shapes and celebrate a brides individuality and personality.

WB: Do you have a favourite style of wedding dress, or do you love them all and Have you got an all-time favourite wedding dress that you have designed?
I don’t tend to have favourites because I’d feel like I was cheating on each dress having a fav and I of course love them all!  One dress does kind of stand out though and that’s the Lilac gown from my Willa Rose Collection from a previous year!  We took beautiful images of the lilac gown and it had over 200 hand-cut flowers sewn onto the gown!  From the most recent UNTAMED LOVE collection, the signature floral gown called Untamed Love certainly made a huge splash and impression.  Many bridal stores bought this gown as a dress to have in their store window!  I’ve also been crushing over the CARMEL gown from the latest collection too as it’s got a beautiful bodice and we took some stunning imagery of the gown with a beautiful lace veil!

WB: What was your favourite collection to design?  
All of them are favourites because they all have a special meaning and a huge amount of effort is poured into making every individual collection stand out.   The Iscoyd Park Collection years ago was around my own wedding so will always be close to my heart as it contains two gowns I actually wore on the day!  With the Willa Rose Collection, I simply could not take my eyes off the beautiful photo-shoot we did to show off the collection!  With the latest Untamed Love Collection we wanted to stay one step ahead with our gowns for them to be bright visually for brides and social media.   There is a trio of floral bridal gowns in the collection called Posy, Bloom and Untamed Love!

WB: As fashions are always changing, is it challenging to come up with new ideas every collection? 
It’s great that fashions do change because this is very inspirational for our collections!  I often look to the high fashion catwalks for fashion trends.  I adore Elie Sabb, his Red carpet gowns are simply out of this world. Valentino is my all time favourite and I have huge respect and admiration for Jenny Packham and Vivienne Westwood. 

WB: What can we expect from your future collections?  
We always like to stay one step ahead so we always keep the new collections under wraps but their will certainly be a WOW gown in the new collection to keep the brand out there!  There has been an array of off the shoulder gowns in the fashion stakes so you may spot even more emphasis on this look in bridal!

WB: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your collections past and future?  
Inspiration is around me daily and I draw on so many sources.  The latest Untamed Love Collection was inspired to celebrate a brides individual beauty!  We looked to design unique gowns and the Posy, Untamed Love and Bloom gown are all prints exclusive to Charlotte Balbier only! 

WB: What is the best piece of advice you have been given as a designer?  
To stay true to your brand and brand values!  Everyone will have their opinion on your brand and changes you should make to it but you need to be strong willed and stick strong to the vision you have for the company.   Charlotte Balbier gowns always have a certain look about them and always have a certain signature look which I will never shy away from.

WB: How should a bride feel when she wears one of your gowns?
The best she has ever felt in her life.  The ultimate aim is for a bride to feel the most special she should ever feel on her wedding day!   She needs to feel special, gorgeous, feminine and above all loved!  We simply love our brides and want them to feel amazing.

WB: What has been your favourite celeb bridal look? 
Oh my goodness so many. Michelle Williams always get’s it spot on and her style is so unique, stylish and personal to her. She never puts a foot wrong on the red carpet. 

WB:  As well as a British bridal designer, tell us something else you’re great at… 
I am a really good cook, my curries and Asian fusion food is my speciality.


A massive Thank-You to Charlotte for taking the time out of her schedule to answer our questions (we could have gone on forever!). Check out some of her other gowns below and please contact us if you would like an appointment to see any of Charlotte's gowns at White Bride. 

Charlotte Balbier Details: 
Website:    www.charlottebalbier.com
Instagram: @CharlotteBalbier 


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January - All Your Wedding Photography Questions Answered With Nic Ford


This month we are chatting to Wedding and Fashion photographer Nic Ford. 
Nic specialises in Wedding photography, but has recently ventured into the ever changing, fast paced world of fashion. She has worked with many companies at London Fashion Week and has even ventured to Los Angeles for work! Nic has also worked closely with our previous blog guest Kimberley of Salt on several weddings and fashion shoots.

Nic has worked for numerous couples on their wedding day, including travelling to Brecon and back down to Pembrokeshire. She has over 5 years experience specialising in wedding photography and we have had the pleasure of working with Nic on one of our very own photo shoots. 

For our very first 2017 January blog, we have managed to get your wedding photography questions answered by Nic herself! 

White Bride: Some couples may feel a bit nervous in front of the camera. What is your advice for them? 
Nic: With the packages I offer, there is a free pre wedding shoot. Most couples want to do these and I enjoy doing them. It gives me more time to get to know them before their wedding day and to see how we work together. It's also great because they get extra photos at a location of their choice. 
When couples are nervous I act like a fly on the wall and ask them to act as if I'm not there. To me it is much nicer to get a candid shot! 

WB: Is it a good idea for couples to have a firm idea on what photos they want for their wedding day?
Yes, definitely! It is great to know what style of photography they want. It also helps me so i can research if I need to. 

WB: How far in advance should couple book a photographer? 
A lot of people say once you have booked your venue, book your photographer! I have had bookings up to 2 years in advance! 

WB: Do you recommend they have an all day wedding photography package or half day?
It is entirely up to them, but most people go for full day coverage. 

WB: What happens if it rains on the day? 
The rain doesn't change how the couple feel about each other and they definitely still have an awesome day, but things do get wet! You just have to work around it the best you can and it can be a lot of fun. Prepare beforehand, bring brollies and just go with it! 

WB: When is the deposit and balance due on a typical booking? 
The deposit is due upon booking and the balance in full can be paid anything up to a month before the wedding.

WB: Do you help couples pose for the photos? 
Yes, I always start by giving them direction. A lot of the time their emotions come through so I don't need to give a lot of direction. 

WB: How long after the wedding should the pictures be with the couples to see? 
I try and aim within two to three weeks after the wedding. 

Big thanks to Nic Ford for taking the time to answer our questions. 
Below are some of the fabulous images Nic has taken and some more information on how you can get hold of her.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nicfordphotographer
Email:        info@nicfordphotography.co.uk

Web:          www.nicfordphotography.co.uk


Thursday, December 1, 2016

December: The One With The Christmas Wedding


December is upon us and you know what that means.. *Christmas* 
It is the most wonderful time of they year, so why not have a Christmas wedding? 

We all love the cold, frosty sunny mornings. There is nothing more romantic than a Christmas wedding! 

Fall in love with our selection of Christmas colour schemes and ideas.

Gorgeous Copper

Copper has really taken off in 2016, whether it be in the venue dressing or in the bridesmaid dresses, copper is a trend that is set to stay for the future. 

You can try on our Christina Wu sequin collection and more at White Boutique! Perfect for a winter wedding. 

Classic Blush Pink 

Blush pink has been a firm favourite for years. It is perfect with a classic ivory wedding dress and with so much out there to dress your venue, you'll be spoilt for choice! 
We have a good selection of blush pink wedding dresses available to try at White Bride, including the two below from our Charlotte Balbier collection. 

The Venue

Fairylights, fairylights and more fairylights! No Christmas wedding is complete without lights to set the scene. They're inexpensive and make such a romantic setting! 

Add some pine cones to your venue decorations and a lot of white to make a frosty setting! 

Here are a few of our favourite winter wedding things.. 

We hope you all have a magical Christmas and you've been inspired to consider a Christmas wedding! 

See you in 2017 

Love from all at White Bride & Boutique!