Brides Up North

Now We Are Two! Happy Birthday Brides Up North!

November 16th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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On this day, two looooong years ago, my life changed inexorably.  A couple of clicks of the mouse started a journey that at the time, I would not have though fathomable nor possible.  A journey that was, quite frankly, beyond my wildest dreams.  Brides Up North was born. 

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Brides Up North is Two!

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Only the journey didn’t quite start on 16th November 2010.  I’d discovered blogs (those brilliant pages of escapism) and tinkered with some efforts of my own, all the time in the process of planning my own wedding.  Feeling increasingly frustrated with the constant focus on the South of the country in magazines and online and being surprised to find amazing vendors right on my door step, I toyed with the idea of a wedding blog devoted to brides in the North of the UK, and to the cause of championing the fabulous industry on my doorstep.  I didn’t know it, but in March 2010 as I sketched out plans for a pretty pink and silver site with space for a supplier directory and plenty of screen space for photographs, called my web designer and registered my self employed status, the Northern Revolution was hatching. 

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By Tuesday 16th November 2010, I was basically a construction lawyer (didn’t know about my past life?  catch up here) with a very pretty little secret. 

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The site was designed and I’d been writing (some very mediocre posts that at the time I thought were brilliant – practice makes perfect has never been more evident than in the blogosphere) “in private” for a few months, and was considering a soft launch (basically lifting my privacy settings, how I laugh now!) at the start of December. 

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But then, one HRH William went and asked one Catherine Middleton for her hand in marriage.

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Suddenly, British weddings were BIG news.

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That lunchtime, instead of grabbing my usual soup or sandwich, I hot footed it round to my local internet cafe (a blog was not something that work would have encouraged), wrote a quick post celebrating the Royal marriage and lifted my privacy settings.

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Brides Up North had over 2,000 page hits within the first afternoon of it’s existence. 

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In the right place at the right time, with a huge dash of luck, but before and after that day has been a whole lot of late nights, early mornings, the hugest highs, the lowest lows, sheer determination and so much work. 

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A lot of the brand’s success has been down to the support of my fabulous readers (who I now know, thanks to nifty google analytics) are – as was exactly the idea – very predominantly located in the North of the UK (HELLO YOU LOT!) and the wonderful Northern wedding industry who has embraced me as their own and thrown themselves behind my cause.  I love you all. 

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I was recently updating the information on my profile page, and commented that handing in my notice as a solicitor to concentrate on growing the blog and brand full time was really only the very beginning.  This last year particularly has seen Brides Up North expand so rapidly (page hits are up 100% (100%!) from this time last year and I have hosted  ten (ten!) record attendance inaugural bridal events and six (six!) sold out wedding industry networking events since then) and I now wear the hat of full time editor, figurehead, brand manager, event organiser, freelance writer, public speaker, employer and chief operating officer. It’s been a crazy ride – hard, hard work – and I have a feeling that we are just getting started…

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You can read my recap on our first year here, or catch up in full over on the about page, but in the last year, this is what Brides Up North has been up too (a bit, then).

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In November 2011, one year since it’s launch, Brides Up North was officially registered as a trademark, profiled in a cover story two page spread Blogging It! in wedding industry bible Bridal Buyer Magazine, contributed to a feature on top UK Wedding Blogs 20 Amazing Ideas Blogged in Wedding Ideas Magazine, featured a Don’t Tell The Bride Real Wedding and of course, celebrated it’s first birthday with loads of cake!

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December 2011 saw features in The Times, a double page feature in Wedding Ideas Magazine and a double page fashion trends feature in Pure Weddings Magazine. Julia was also invited to judge the Best Retailer Website Award for the prestigious Bridal Buyer Awards in 2012. To top off a Merry Christmas, Brides Up North was recognised as the best blog for Northern Brides by Channel 4 Beauty.

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In January 2012 Brides Up North was proud to attend the inaugural Wedding Industry Awards as a regional judge. Brides Up North was also nominated in the Best Wedding Directory category for The Bridal Magazine Awards 2012 and asked to contribute to Bridal Buyer Europe.

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In February 2012 the first Brides Up North Wedding Exclusives in Yorkshire took place – with a sell out on exhibitor spaces and a record attendance at both venues. Julia addressed The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners in a special “Blogging For Business” seminar and also spoke at both the Forward Ladies’ Positive Womens’ Days in Runcorn and Leeds. Brides Up North also featured in Hitched Magazine and The Journal.

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In March 2012, Julia hosted the first Brides Up North Super Showcase grand wedding exhibition in the North East (again a sell out on exhibitor space and another record turn out!) and was invited to join National glossy Wedding Magazine as a regular columnist. Julia also took part in and completed the Ski The World Challenge with Wedding Ideas Magazine for The Make A Wish Foundation.

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In April 2012, the final two Brides Up North Wedding Exclusives in Yorkshire were another huge success, again complete sell outs and record attendances for the venues, Nostell Priory and Sarah Beeny’s Rise Hall. Julia was also invited to be the guest speaker at the North West Wedding Vendors Party with Caroline Castigliano.

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In May 2012 Brides Up North reprised the successful Tweet Up wedding industry networking events with a sell out party in the North East (click here to see a video from the event). Julia was also invited to be headline sponsor and presenter at the North of England Wedding Awards to take place later in 2012, and re-invited to sit as a consultant judge for The Wedding Industry Awards 2013.

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In June 2012 Brides Up North hosted two more sell out Tweet Ups in Yorkshire and the North West and Julia took part in a press trip to Cyprus with Brides Up North Featured Supplier Thomson Weddings on behalf of both Brides Up North and Wedding Ideas Magazine.

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In July 2012 Julia saw her first monthly column published in National glossy Wedding Magazine, all about the trend for All White Weddings. Brides Up North also had a column in Mosaic Brides Magazine and was interviewed and took part in a photo shoot for Fabulous Magazine about the origins of Brides Up North and the rapidly growing brand.

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In August 2012 Brides Up North had triple page features printed in regional glossies LovedUp Magazine and Darlington Weddings and Julia began to put the finishing touches to plans for a busy Autumn season ahead.

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In September 2012 Brides Up North hosted three more record attendance bridal events – the Brides Up North Wedding Exclusives at Nostell Priory and Allerton Castle in Yorkshire, and the Brides Up North Super Showcase in the North East – beating even their own record footfalls in Spring 2012. Julia also hosted and presented two industry gala dinner awards ceremonies celebrating the winners and finalists in the inaugural North of England Wedding Awards. Brides Up North also saw another column printed in National glossy Wedding Magazine focussing on modern glamour for grooms.

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In October 2012 Julia was invited to sit on the judging panel for the prestigious Wedding Ideas Magazine Awards 2012 and hosted two more record attendance Wedding Exclusives at The Mansion and Sarah Beeny’s Rise Hall. Brides Up North also announced plans for brand new bridal event venues in Spring 2012 and a very exciting collaboration with Manchester Fashion Week 2013 (MCRFW 2013). More news soon!

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Happy Birthday Brides Up North!

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I have high hopes for the continued growth and expansion of Brides Up North in 2013, with a huge Brides Up North Christmas Party, just a few more exciting bridal events in new areas, better blog content, a burgeoning Featured Supplier directory, more industry events, a brand new full time member of staff (Hello Kate!) and a few surprises too.  Not least a Brides Up North baby!  It’s going to be interesting!

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What would be my blog birthday wishes?  Another exciting year in business like last one, but even better (aim high!).  More blog comments from my lovely readers… this is your cue to chip in on the discussion here as well as over on Facebook and Twitter (where there is no holding you back!), health and happiness for my family and friends and an easy labour. Please.

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So happy second birthday to Brides Up North, the Northern Revolution and all those who support it!  I hope that your Friday is filled with good cheer, and can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring…

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And with that, I’m having the rest of the day off (again, in my wildest dreams!). 

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  – Image © 2012 Party Piggy

This is not a sponsored post

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comments

  • November 16, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Well done Julia – you’ve worked really hard and you deserve every success. Here’s to a glittering future x

  • November 16, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Happy Birthday and congratulations Julia on a job well done! Fantastic site and resource for brides, grooms and just anyone that likes wedding pretty.

    Rebecca & Sarah. x

  • November 16, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Happy Birthday Julia! xxx

  • November 19, 2012 | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations Julia! Wow, you’ve had a busy and very successful two years, big pats on your back x

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

learn more about Julia Braime