September 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re giving away up to 200 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis and Love Hearts. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.
While stocks last only.
September 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Well, you picked the right time to stop by, because look! It’s the Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition! It’s THIS WEEKEND! And it’s only the biggest event in our whole autumn calendar.
The region’s best and most beautiful wedding industry suppliers will gather at of the North East’s favourite wedding venue – Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club – on Sunday 21st Septemeber 2014, from 12pm till 4pm, FREE ENTRY.
Yep. Free. With a goody bag on top!
Judging by our pre-registration, it’s going to be pretty epic…
Once again, we don’t do things by halves here at Brides Up North! We are filling the whole hotel – that’s five huge function areas – and it’s going to be spectacular!
If there’s one wedding fair to attend this year, this is it. This isn’t your typical wedding fair though, it’s a knock-your-socks-off Super Showcase! This is officially the largest free entry bridal event in the North East area and should most definitely be one for your diaries.
Whether you are shopping for the final details or have no idea where to start, I can promise you the very best choice of the best bridal experts in the region. Everything you can think of for planning your big day will be represented and there’ll be on the day discounts too.
Come and see our two professional bridal catwalks (this season we are getting ready to sparkle!), meet the Ramside wedding planners, pose in our photo booths, taste our scrumptious wedding cakes, kit out your man and bridesmaids, play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories, get lost in our beautiful floral displays, get the hair and make up sorted, source your stationery, find a top photographer and tick off all those last essential details. You name it, we can sort it.
I adore this event – it’s big, it’s busy, it’s exciting, but most of all it’s really beautiful. I can’t wait to see you all there for a day of wedding heaven… and lots of fun too.
Just ’cos I’m generous, we’re giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis and Love Hearts. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.
While stocks last.
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.
Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
Images by Cat Hepple Photography.
September 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s been a really inspirational week or so here at Brides Up North HQ. We’ve kicked off our lovely autumn season of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions with a really beautiful (and record attendance) bridal show at Hilltop Country House yesterday, launched our exciting new industry concept, The Circle, at a glittering party last week, and have been making travel plans to attend the three award ceremonies that Brides Up North is nominated in this year (The Wedding Blog Awards (“Best City Blog”), The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”) and the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”), if you’re asking…)
There’s something in the air, and I’ve definitely got that raring to go, ‘back to school’ feeling.
One professional engagement that I’m really looking forward to is joining my friend and industry colleague Cat Hepple at another of her wonderful workshops for wedding photographers. I was lucky enough to speak at Cat’s last event and catch her in action, and left feeling really energised and extremely inspired. This time I’ll be reprising my session on blogging, social media and offering my insider advice to help you to get your work published in blogs and magazines.
This girl definitely has the golden touch, and I’d love for you to join Cat and I at her next workshop on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at the gorgeous Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire.
Images by Cat Hepple Photography, shot on location at her last workshop.
Cat says: Do you long to have a more editorial and fashion feel to your wedding images, but don’t know how to achieve this with your couples? Do you struggle with posing, ideas, working under wedding time pressures?
My one day workshops for photographers show you my techniques on a wedding day, from directing my couples, to working with light and creating a consistent editorial feel to the full collection of images.
Other topics covered include;
- How to market yourself to clients who want the fashion feel
- Branding and visual identity
- Equipment and technical approach
There’s always a live shoot on the day, allowing you to build your wedding portfolio and advice on getting published too.
The next workshop is on the 23rd September 2014, at the Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire, and I’d love you to join us.
Here’s what some of our last delegates said from our spring course…
“I absolutely loved the day at the workshop with Cat!
We were completely spoilt beyond my expectations…. through the thoughtful little touches such as our handwritten letters, cute notebooks and stellar food, alongside the fact that Cat had gathered a fantastic team to produce the styled shoot and help us not just get some really specific and useful practice but also really high quality images to use afterwards! All of this made me feel really valued and respected, and totally relaxed in that environment to chat and learn.
On the shoot, it was great having the time to break down the thought process of how an image is made. There was so much attention to detail, and I really began to understand why each of these things mattered, which I know will help me to remember the issues in the future. Cat was incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and ideas, and we all had a lot of fun at the same time.
The information before and following the shoot was massively thorough as well. I had no idea we were going to cover such ground, but honing in on a developing this specific ‘editorial’ style it became apparent that that would affect all aspects of your business! With this at the core of the discussions it felt like everything was that much more relevant, so instead of general advice, I was working out exactly what I would need to do next for me, which was refreshing and rewarding.
As a bonus it was great to get to know some more people in the industry! Julia, you were as generous with your knowledge and attention as Cat was and I couldn’t be more grateful! I’m feeling very energised still right now and keen to apply what I’ve learnt. Would definitely recommend the workshop to anyone considering!”
from Eleanor Woodruff
“I would just like to take this opportunity to offer a heart felt thank you for allowing me to attend such a wonderful day.
You made us all feel so very welcome, and the whole day was perfect – from the Venue, Styling, masses of information & guidance… right down to the smallest details like the bespoke stationery – such a lovely touch!
I particularly enjoyed the section where we explored the images we had chosen, this really was a brilliant opportunity to take a step back and consider our own styles and where we aspire to be.
A huge part of the day which I took away with me was the guidance around use of light & posing…I loved seeing you in action and am already putting into practice a lot of what you taught us.
I loved the fact that the day was really interactive – and not just a case of being talked at. Julia coming along was also really great – and such a brilliant opportunity to meet her in person and hear what she had to say.
I have followed your work for such a long time now – and am thrilled that your Workshop lived up to and surpassed my expectations!
I really do want to take my business to the next level and the course has really given me the confidence and tools to do this.”
from Hayley Baxter
That link again? Click here.
September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
A glittering press party at Media City, Manchester this Wednesday night saw the launch of The Circle - a brand new concept in creativity, training and connectivity for wedding and lifestyle businesses.
I’m so proud to stand along my industry friends (who also just happen to be the very best entrepreneurs in the business), Charlotte Balbier, Jonny Draper and Howard Wing, as we launch our new concept.
Finally… I’m allowed to talk about it! (It’s been killing me).
Just so you know who you are dealing with here, Charlotte Balbier is one of the UK’s leading bridal gown designers; Jonny Draper is an award winning photographer and boutique owner; Howard Wing is the most in-demand wedding entertainer in the UK and I’m the Editor In Chief of one rather lovely wedding blog… all four of us have won numerous coveted awards and are recognised for excellence and experience in our specialisms within the industry. (*blush*)
Over the years (and over the odd cocktail or ten!) we’ve discussed the need for a club or collective – an inspiring and exciting space, comprising a combination of special events, practical training and online membership – where wedding industry suppliers can meet to exchange insider ideas, secrets and knowledge with the aim of boosting business and raising standards, profiles, contacts and turnover.
The Circle. Founded 10th September 2014.
Following Wednesday’s big reveal (an exciting and nail biting evening explaining the scope of our plans to assembled press luminaries like editors from Brides Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine… and other industry big wigs – official photos and lots of thank yous coming soon!) The Circle are now proud to announce our exclusive inaugural event, strictly limited to just 100 initial The Circle members.
Attendees should forget anything they ever knew about training days and get ready to transform or refresh the way in which they do business.
The first ever full day event is suitable for experienced industry professionals and start-ups alike and sessions packed full of insider tips and strategy will tackle topics such as brand evolution, blogging, social media wizardry, killer sales, effective networking and management, before ending the day with a VIP After Show Party. More in-depth info about the event, The Circle’s founders and pricing info can be found over at our brand spanking new website, just live:
Inspiration is guaranteed, and surprises come as standard.
As an attendee at the February event, delegates will automatically become a year-long member of The Circle’s essential online support networks, gaining exclusive access to an immediate, priceless forum in a private space to share ideas, make referrals, win business, solve problems and generate goodwill.
When you’re in The Circle, you’re one of us.
We’d love to see wedding businesses old and new, fresh and familiar faces at our first event, strictly limited to just 100 places. Since the website went live yesterday our inbox has been pinging with booking confirmations, so we’d urge you to move quickly to avoid disappointment.
This is going to get epic, and quickly…
the 100 club
Tuesday 10th February 2015
Styal Lodge, Cheshire
9:30am till 5pm
Then After Show Party
One day to transform your wedding business.
Inspire. Apply. Connect. Elevate
Book now at www.theweddingcircle.co.uk
Images by Hayley Baxter Photography
Film by Silk Wedding Films
July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re cracking open the bubbly here at Brides Up North and taking the afternoon off!*
*Ok, we’re not really doing that, we’re actually stuck at our screens working on our re-launch, but if we could, that’s totally what we’d be doing.
We’ve just had word that (thanks to you, our lovely readers!) Brides Up North has been shortlisted to win the Wedding Blog category in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014.
Now, this is just a bit of a big deal. First up, Cosmo is a market leading lifestyle magazine, not an industry title, so to have been recognised outside of our little bridal bubble for our hard work is pretty immense, and puts our wedding blog in front of a much wider audience. Secondly, we were nominated for the shortlist by you, our readers: brides to be and industry supporters, and we love that.
We love you.
But lets not let that (imaginary) Champagne go to our heads… we still need your votes to take home the gong! Let’s show the rest of the UK that Northerners do it best!
We’d be ever so grateful if you’d head over to the awards site and cast the deciding vote in our favour (and check out some other fab blogs across the board while you’re there – we’ve already added a few to our reader). 50% of the votes are cast by readers and the other 50% is made up from the panel of Cosmo Editors, and voting closed on 29th August 2014, so we need your help to be in with a chance.
Click here to support Brides Up North. #jointhenorthernrevolution #CosmoBlogAwards
This is not a sponsored post
June 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Suddenly find yourself with a gaggle of glamorous gals to dress? A host of different sizes and styles? Hope they go easy on you on the hen do? Thought so. Time to win some serious brownie points then…
You need LOVE Bridesmaids in your life.
Brides Up North favourites LOVE Bridal Boutique will be officially launching LOVE Bridesmaids at a fabulous catwalk event on Sunday 29th June at Styal Lodge in Cheshire, to give brides and their maids a first hand experience of LOVE and Maids To Measure.
Tell Brides Up North about your launch event?
Emma says: The gorgeous team from Maids To Measure will be on hand on the day to offer brides and their maids advice on the perfect style for them, with a catwalk show to show off their gowns. We will also have a hair and make-up station on offer to give styling inspiration with Paisley Gamble hair stylist and Gemma Hallowell make-up artist. Shoe designer Charlotte Mills will be there with her brand new collection, plus bridesmaid underwear from Pompadour Lingerie and lots of other little surprises too! It promises to be a fabulous event!
Why have you decided to stock bridesmaid dresses?
Ever since we opened the boutique back in 2012 we have toyed with the idea of stocking bridesmaid dresses, but kept coming back to the fact that our brides are the focus of everything we do and we didn’t want to take away from that. We are dedicated to creating a very special exclusive, private and intimate atmosphere when a bride comes into the boutique ensuring that she will have the boutique to herself for the duration of her appointment. For this reason it was a challenge for us to find a way to offer bridesmaid dresses and maintain the experience that brides love us for and are telling all their friends about. But at the same we wanted to offer those very same brides who have been asking (telling!) us for the past 2 years… ‘If only LOVE did bridesmaid dresses…’
Why did you choose to stock Maids To Measure?
I first made contact with Sinclair at Maids To Measure when we first opened LOVE to say how much I loved their dresses as I had already sent quite a few of my brides their way, as their style fit so beautifully with our bridal dress collection and whilst we weren’t then in a position to stock their gowns, we would continue to be a huge advocate of theirs by recommending them to our brides. Well, lots of emails and chats followed, including a few chance encounters at award ceremonies particularly at the You & Your Wedding Awards where we both won our respective categories of Best New Bridal Retailer and Best Bridesmaids Retailer!!
When we received our invitation to preview their latest collection this year I then contacted Sinclair to say we finally might have a way to stock their beautiful dresses so just wanted to chat it through with them and see the new collection! So we went, we saw and we are now currently the only North-West stockist of this stunning collection.
What price are we looking at?
Maids to Measure dress prices start at £265 and this price excludes any alteration fees required.
How will Maids To Measure work at LOVE?
Due to the set up of the boutique and the fact that only one appointment will ever take place at one time, we will be setting up a pop up Maids to Measure boutique one Sunday every month for LOVE Bridesmaids, to give brides and their maids the opportunity to try and buy dresses from the Maids to Measure collection on this day only. A list of recommended seamstresses will be provided in order for maids to book appointments with them directly at their convenience.
From placing an order for a Maids to Measure gown the standard delivery time will be around 12 weeks. Rush orders are available at an additional cost.
For more information about LOVE Bridesmaids and to register for their exciting upcoming event please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 941 6446.
June 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Our season of Brides Up North events has now closed till September (you can see our fabulous forthcoming dates here) but your offline wedding inspiration needn’t grind to a halt whilst we take a much needed break.
I’ll only ever other recommend external events that I think are worth your petrol money, and this lovely soiree will be one of them. My friends at Belle Bridal Magazine have been in touch to let me know about a night of wedding planning bliss that’s going on at The Wedding Wonder Show, National Glass Centre, Sunderland this Thursday 19th June 2014.
What better excuse do you need to escape the World Cup? Grab the girls and call in after work, indulge in a tipple and meet over 50 wedding exhibitors showcasing throughout this amazing venue.
Starting at 6:15pm, there will the so much going on until 9:15pm – book your space in the exclusive make-up master class with Powder & Pinups, have a casual tour around the arty National Glass Centre (which is available to hire for weddings) and take a seat for a designer dress fashion show – featuring brand new dresses from House of Mooshki.
Bride’s that RSVP in advance can also reserve their own VIP goodie bag including free 5-day passes to the gym and leisure facilities at the Marriott Hotel Sunderland, and beauty wonder products from Comfort Zone.
Stop by the Belle Bridal Magazine tombola table – you could win an Alfred Angelo wedding dress, courtesy of First Glance Sunderland and help raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Pop it in your diaries:
Thursday 19th June 2014
National Glass Centre
6:15 till 9:15pm
For more information, and to reserve your goodie bag visit www.weddingwondershow.co.uk.
This is a sponsored post
May 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This time a fortnight ago I was doing what I do best… talking my socks off. I was over in Cheshire to address the attendees of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Jonny Draper’s Two Day Masterclass in Wedding Photography.
After a full day of shooting at Jonny’s right hand, through the editing process and onto the business of wedding photography (it’s not just all about taking a few pretty pictures and spending the rest of the time in the pub you know!), it was time for me to take the floor. My input? It was all social, baby! The power of blogs, social media and real life relationships on your business, the impact that building relationships through these mediums can have, how to harness that power for good, staying “real” and how to work with the pacesetters and trendmakers to further your own success. I was talking about what I look for in a Real Wedding, feature or sponsorship submission, how to succeed at wedding exhibitions and about picking your team wisely. And boy, can I talk! Tips, tricks and tales of the trade… nothing is sacred anymore!
I also learnt a lot from watching Jonny and the wider team at work and hearing from the floor, too. What I loved about the day was that I felt able to be myself, contribute, question and bounce off the others in the room. It made for a very inspiring session and one very weary blogger, ready for a nice cold glass of something grape related at the end of the day!
Like at the Masterclass itself, I’ve probably gone on too long… let’s hear from the man himself, and see some of his images from the day (all shot, edited and submitted on location in front of the class, no less).
Images by Jonny Draper.
Jonny says: The Two Day Masterclass in Wedding Photography is the very first wedding photography training workshop that I put together and it’s still one of my absolute favourites. Having run it four times now, the Masterclass just goes from strength to strength and has continued to evolve each time we’ve run it. Day One is the shooting day where I walk the attending photographers through how I shoot a wedding from bridal prep through until the first dance and Day Two is the business day.
This time we were lucky enough to have Julia Braime (readers – you will know her very well!) with us on Day Two talking to us about all things social media, blogging, marketing, wedding exhibitions and events – she was an amazing addition to our ‘core team’. Sarah Heath from Heaton House Farm and Emma Draper from LOVE Bridal Boutique also join us on Day Two to talk about working with photographers from their perspective.
Julia’s involvement has helped to put new ideas into place for the next Two Day Masterclass and also for some brand new training experiences (more on that later!).
From a personal point of view, I love these workshops. I encourage them to be conversational rather than me just standing in front of people for two days talking. By encouraging all the photographers to talk with each other as well as me, we all get to learn some awesome new things! I love how much I’ve learned from other photographers who have attended the Masterclass – and that is absolutely key to it’s success. It’s a level playing field. No one will ever be the finished article and our willingness and desire to learn is what makes us all get better and better at what we do.
Overall, the reason I started doing the photographer training is because I want to be surrounded by great photographers in our industry. I want brides and grooms booking an amazing photographer to be the norm. I don’t want to hear any more stories about how a bride and groom were so disappointed with their wedding photographs. I want every bride and groom out there to love their photographs.
And this isn’t a money thing. There are so many different markets within our industry that require very different pricing structures which is absolutely fine – everyone has a budget to work to and that must be respected. But regardless of whether a bride and groom pay £500 or £5,000 for their photographer, there should be one stand out consistency – and that is the quality of the work and the level of service that the photographer provides. That’s what I want to change in the industry, I want those two things to be expected and demanded of every photographer.
Vive la revolution!
More shots from the day – and those on the course – coming soon.
April 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Never work with children or (fake) animals. You have no idea just how long it took me to style these little Easter chicks. I fashioned a teeny-tiny veil and eventually got them to snuggle up, but all they were interested in were the mini eggs.
Who can blame them?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. We’re taking a brief Easter holiday here at Brides Up North HQ, to relax and recharge, spend some time with the family and eat our body weight in milk chocolate ahead of a very busy run up to the summer.
There’s wedding exhibitions a plenty, public appearances, styled shoots and a very special Brides Up North “spring clean” coming up… we’re keeping all the good stuff but redecorating with a fabulous new look, snazzier Directory and some lovely extra features to make your inspiration hunt all the better. Watch this – soon to be even prettier – space!
I’m really, really (super duper with a big fat cherry on the top) excited – and a little nervous – and can’t wait to get to work. But for now, back to those Easter eggs.
Wishing you and yours the most wonderful break. See you on the other side: fatter, but happier.
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Brides Up North
This is not a sponsored post
April 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This week has been all about catching up, office time, making plans and getting ready – because once I’ve eaten my last Easter egg on Monday it’s a jam packed diary right until the end of April. As well as a double daily features schedule, the usual 200 plus emails a day from readers and suppliers (no lie, but I love hearing from each and every one of you!) there’s a fabulous vintage wedding exhibition for Brides Up North at The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, not one but two very exciting speaking engagements, fittings, styling jobs, freelance writing, social media projects, a blog overhaul (oh yes, oh yes!) and one very special styled shoot. More on that later.
All this is jammed into a three “day” and a lot of midnight oil burning seven “nights” a week, as I try to juggle my business with motherhood! Consequently, May might well involve a lot of lying down.
Anyway, those very exciting speaking engagements I mentioned? They both take place next week, and I can’t wait to get out into the spring sunshine and hang around with some wonderful, creative, inspiring souls.
I’ve already told you about the wonderful workshop that I’m thrilled to join Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple Photography at next Tuesday: The Editorial Wedding (click here for more information). I’ll be joining Cat and a collective of wedding photography professionals as she shows them the tricks and techniques that allow her to do what she does so well. Cat’s craft is very special – her work has that magic touch that makes you look a million dollars, “magazine ready” in your wedding photographs. Put it this way, I’ve never turned down a feature submission from Mrs Hepple yet.
I’ll be there on the day too, to talk to you about the process of getting your work “out there” and seen more effectively. I’ve been in this game for nearly four years, and worked on glossy magazines long before that, so I know my stuff. How to craft a successful submission to a wedding magazine or blog, how to increase your chances of being selected and what those with an editorial eye are looking for.
And it just so happens that the very next day, I’m hopping in the Brides Up North mobile and heading over the Pennines to make a very special appearance on day two of Jonny Draper Photography’s Masterclass too! I can’t wait! Jonny and Cat are two of my very favourite industry friends and to see they do what they do best in their own environment will be fantastic.
So, we’ve heard from Cat, but what’s the plan for Jonny’s class? Please note – Jonny’s Masterclass is now SOLD OUT but watch out for more dates later in the year.
Jonny says: This two day wedding photography experience has been specifically designed for wedding photographers who are ready to take their business to the next level. This is a Masterclass for photographers who are confident with their own digital SLR and are ready to shoot stunning images inside and outside of one of the UK’s most beautiful bespoke wedding venues.
Throughout the shooting day, Jonny will be demonstrating a range of lighting techniques that he uses during a wedding. Attendees are invited to bring along as little or as much equipment as they would like to use throughout the day and there may be opportunity for attendees to use some of Jonny’s own lighting equipment.
From the business point of view, this Masterclass offers an insight that no other wedding photography workshop has done before. On day two of the course, not only will you hear from The 2013 Wedding Industry Awards "North West Wedding Photographer of The Year" (that’s Jonny!) about how he runs his hugely successful business, you will also be given invaluable business information from one of the UK’s busiest and most popular wedding venues about how you can develop relationships with venues just like them.
You will hear from the owner of Cheshire’s most exclusive bridal experience about how to establish and develop relationships with top wedding suppliers that will benefit your wedding photography business as well as an award winning blogger (that’s me!) who will show you just what it takes to get your work featured on the UK’s most popular wedding blogs.
Sounds good to me! I’ll be reporting back on both sessions, and might just have picked up a few photography tips myself. Watch this space.