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
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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.
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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
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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.
April 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Wrapping up last week’s fashion marathon as I recapped the catwalks I’d seen at White Gallery London, I thought I’d ease you into an equally fabulous (but perhaps not quite so manic from my POV) week with one last bit of eye candy… for now.
The Designer Preview catwalk showcases a selection of gowns from twelve big name designers and due to it’s eclectic and diverse collection is always a favourite of mine.
My take on this season is that it’s all about shape and detail – whether high fashion or big romance – as the bridal catwalks echo haute couture with high low hemlines, interesting backs, bold use of pattern, embellishment, fit and flare and florals, florals, florals. Colours are pale and interesting – a watercolour wash of pale pink, blues and greys.
I loved every second. And here’s my pick of the bunch…
A wonderful white-out that sang with style and luxury. The collection by Lusan Mandongus is vintage inspired with rich yet subtle details, incorporating different stunning features focusing on elements such as higher necklines, sleeves and peplum waist detail.
The Barcelona based label totally rocked it with their style setting detailed designs and rich handcrafted applications. Daring, stylish and different.
A Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirit who expresses her personality and individuality through her Balbier designed gown. My favourite? Iscoyd Park, the collection’s title gown that Charlotte designed for her own evening reception.
Daring,different and sometimes (very seriously) barely there, these gowns raised a few eyebrows (and iPhones!) but I salute the risk taking label for putting a high fashion stamp on their collection. Avant garde meets ultimate fashion.
For the romantics. Naomi Neoh’s stunning skirts were dipped in a swish of pink for the prettiest wedding day look. And you know I love pink! The designer has taken inspiration from the glamour and romance of vintage Hollywood and her gowns are crafted from only the finest silks and French lace.
Just what it says on the tin: timeless, couture. Encapsulating elegance and glamour, with a dramatic and contemporary twist.
Boho and beautiful as ever, this truly romantic collection for 2015 encapsulates mystical creatures of the sea and the ancient call of the Siren song. Magical.
The Nordic signature of Sadoni expresses pure simplicity and understated luxury through their flowy, feminine silk dresses.
Sometimes better known for their twinkling bridal accessories and tiaras, Ivory & Co also specialises in stunning silk designer wedding dresses. I’m in love with the subtle, swishy, silky glamour of the gown above. One to add to your dress hunt for sure.
A unique collection from Australia’s leading designer, a new and updated take on vintage bridal style.
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April 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
And with that, it’s Friday! I don’t know about you, but it’s been a whirlwind of a week here at Brides Up North HQ, with our gorgeous wedding exhibition at Nostell Priory (which seems like an absolute lifetime ago), a jam packed trip to do ‘the shows’ and catch up with the most exciting talent in bridal design in the capital, a snatched day off with my baby girl, admin, VAT returns, planning and prep for the rest of our spring season, venue scouting, social media services, a new season of Made In Chelsea… who’s got time for sleep?!
Well, this weekend, I have. I’ve a rare weekend off so I’ll be catching up on my zees, having some lovely family time, reacquainting myself with my sofa, staying in my pyjamas and laying down some secret pins for a very, very special Brides Up North styled shoot taking place in a few weeks’ time. Bliss. However you spend your weekend (perhaps more actively than I plan to… anyone tying the knot?!) I hope it’s just as lovely
For now though, there’s something gorgeous to impart on these pretty pages, as I recap the catwalk show from Madeline Isaac-James that Ellie and I were lucky enough to bag front row seats for earlier this week.
Designer Natalie Gladman surpassed herself with a pretty, feminine signature collection and a youthful diffusion line, Maddy, for happy, fun loving, budget conscious brides. With accessories by friend of the blog Jane at HF Couture (and a breakdance!) this was always going to be something special.
Inspired by the colour and emotion of Turner’s paintings, the new 2015 collection by Madeline Isaac-James promises hints of the softest ivories, pinks, blues and golds with exquisite pearl accents, reminiscent of a beautiful sunset over the sea… a stunning collection of beautiful gowns in sumptuous silks, finished with exquisite beaded laces delicately adorned with pearls and Swarovski crystals.
April 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Normal blog service will resume tomorrow, but for now, I’m just popping in to say hello before continuing with our hectic schedule of catwalks, appointments and coffee meetings here in the smoke for White Gallery London.
To recap, White Gallery (and The London Bridal Show across the way) is a huge trade event in the wedding industry. Its the time when the big name bridal designers showcase their new collections to the retail buyers (your local bridal boutiques) and the press (like me!). It’s a really big deal.
@ Lusan Mandongus/ Designer Preview
I’m here to preview the pretty before anyone else, to liaise with our favourite and up and coming designers and to give you a sneak peek into the trends for 2015, and the dresses that you might be gliding down the aisle in soon.
@ Ian Stuart Bride
Yesterday, as well as visiting various lovelies on their exhibition stands, Ellie and I also took in no less than three catwalk shows (and countless glasses of prosecco) for Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac-James and the Designer Preview including the likes of Lusan Mandongus, Charlotte Balbier and Naomi Neoh. This morning we’re off to the Tower Of London to view Suzanne Neville’s latest offering. Its a tough life…
@ Yolan Cris/ Designer Preview
@ Ian Stuart Bride
The collections and creations have been eclectic, demure, theatrical, beautiful and above all, fabulous. I’ll be sharing more soon as I launch a fresh Designer Series of interviews for 2014/15, but for now, let me just say that if you’re just starting out on your dress hunt you should be very, very excited…
@ Ian Stuart Bride
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Brides Up North
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April 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Image: Fashion Gone Rouge
So that’s another fabulous Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition done and dusted! The already beautiful Nostell Priory looked the prettiest I’ve seen it yet yesterday at our fifth event of the spring season. Big, big love to all our amazing exhibitors (a truly superb selection) and gorgeous brides and grooms who supported our event. We salute you… and hope you left feeling inspired by the talent on show and super duper excited about your big day! Hooray!
If you’ve not popped in to see us at one of our beautiful events yet – or if you have and would like to do it all over again – there’s still plenty of time this season! Pop one of these stunners in your diary.
Its a quick turnaound at Brides Up North HQ today – no rest for the wicked (I must be pretty damn wicked!) – as we were up at the crack of dawn and are already on the East Coast Mainline down to the smoke, to catch up with the fun that’s already started at White Gallery London.
Recognised as one of the leading international designer bridal trade shows, White Gallery London is set to present the finest in bridal design at its sold-out forthcoming fifth edition. Press passes in hand, Ellie and I will be joining the trade at this hunting ground for the best in British and international bridal design, previewing the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.
It’s one of my very favourite events of the whole year, and I can’t wait to (do a bit of schmoozing and) see what my favourite bridal designers have lined up for us in 2015. I’m hoping for structural extravagance, sexy silhouettes and even bolder use of colour in bridal wear. Let’s wait and see…
Over 70 leading designers will preview their new bridal wear and accessories collections at the event including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley Sposa, Anna Romysh Haute Couture, Annasul Y, Augusta Jones, Benjamin Adams London, Blue Bridalwear, Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan, Cabotine Novia by Gema Nicolas, Caroline Atelier, Caroline Castigliano, Charlotte Balbier, Charlotte Mills, Christos Costarellos, Cocoe Voci, The Couture Veil, Cymbeline, Eliza Jane Howell, Emma Hunt, Emma Tindley, Encore, Franc Sarabia, Freya Rose, Gemy Maalouf Bridal, Hadas Cohen, Halo & Co, Harriet Wilde, HT Headwear, I Love Gorgeous, Ian Stuart, Ivory & Co Bridal, Ivory & Co Tiaras, Jack Sullivan Bridal, Jenny Packham, Jesus Peiro, Johanna Hehir, Karen Willis Holmes, KatyaKatya Shehurina, Lark Bridal, Linea Raffaelli, Lou Lou, Lusan Mandongus, Lyn Ashworth by Sarah Barrett, Maddy by Madeline Isaac-James, Madeline Isaac-James, Accessories by Madeline Isaac-James, Malis Henderson, Mia Mia, Miguel Suay, Miranda Templeton, Mooshki Boutique, Naomi Neoh, Nicki MacFarlane, Nicola Anne, Nicola Harvey Couture, Nilah & Company, Nordic Gems, Novia D’Art, Nymphi, Ozlem Suer, Parthenis, Patricia Avendano, Polly Edwards, Qiana Bridal, Rachel Simpson, Raimon Bundo, Sadoni, Sassi Holford, Sasso, Shelle Belle Couture, So Sassi, Stephanie Allin Couture, Stephanie James Couture, Stephen Yearick, Terry Fox, Timeless Couture, Victorio & Lucchino, Watters Brides, White Ivy, YSA Makino, Yolan Cris and Zaeem Jamal.
Then we’ll come back to tell you all about it!
We’ve seats lined up at some of the iconic catwalk shows including Ian Stuart, Madeline Isaac-James and Suzanne Neville, plus drop in appointments with our pick of the bunch. We’re also looking forward to catching up with our friends and supporters from bespoke bridal label House Of Mookshi – based in the North East – at this their debut show. Specialising in custom designed wedding dresses and bridal gowns from vintage inspired through to gothic, those girls have always got something fabulous up their sleeve.
After all that, we’ll be ready for a drink (or three) and will be hitting the hard stuff with our industry colleagues at Kensington Roof Gardens for a cocktail party sponsored by Perfect Wedding Magazine and in association with the Retail Bridalwear Association. I’ve a free pass for the evening as the hubby’s on babysitting duty back Up North, so make mine a Mojito please!
See you on the other side. There’ll be lots of catching up to do…
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