May 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Here at Brides Up North we’re always encouraging our readers not to get too caught up in planning pandemonium and to ensure time is taken out of the hectic pre-wedding schedule to simply unwind.
And we’re not the only ones worried about brides over doing it and burning out before the big day. Online printing company StressFreePrint, which helps to lighten the planning load by making the printing process a breeze for couples wanting to create their own wedding invitations, has noticed brides-to-be getting bogged down and stressed out in the run up to their weddings too.
As such they’ve come up with a few handy tips to help brides on their way to a stress-free wedding day. Plus, they’re also giving one lucky Brides Up North reader the chance to win a fabulous bride-to-be pamper hamper which includes gorgeous goodies such as a luxurious silk Victoria Secret kimono dressing gown, elegant Hotel Chocolat champagne, strawberries and cream truffles, a Heavenly Hands Nails inc. manicure gift voucher and Ted Baker luxury relaxing bath collection. What a prize! To enter simply answer the question at the end of the post.
set a budget and stick to it
If there’s one thing that stresses people out, it’s money, especially when it comes to a wedding. While you want a wonderful day, you don’t want to be paying it off ten years down the line so in the early planning stages set a budget and stick to it. Think about the areas that are most important to you such as the venue and photographer and allocate funds accordingly.
ask for help
Planning details with friends, family or your partner can help bring you all together and as they say, two heads are better than one. This can also provide an opportunity to save some time and money by calling in a favour or playing on the talents of your nearest and dearest. So if, for example, your uncle has a posh motor ask if he will be your wedding chauffer, or if your mum’s baking skills are up there with Mary Berry’s see if she will create you a bespoke cake for the big day.
consider calling in a professional
If the planning burden still feels a little heavy or overwhelming why not look at hiring a professional wedding planner to help? This doesn’t mean losing control of what you want but instead having someone on hand for guidance and reassurance. Wedding planners often have great links to suppliers in the industry too which could also save you some money along the way.
While it’s your big day and of course you will want to do things your own way, be prepared to listen to what others think, especially the groom. So if it would mean the world to your parents to invite some dear old distant relative would one more guest cause that many problems? Or if your groom has his heart set on chocolate brownie for dessert could you forgo your choice of crème brulee? Sometimes backing down is easier than the stress incurred by going against others.
You will want to look and feel your best on your wedding day which might mean upping your exercise regime and though it might feel like a chore, just a little activity can release endorphins which increase your mood – win, win.
It’s not just about how you look on the outside but how you feel on the inside too that can affect your mood. Obviously eating healthy is a good move in the run up to your wedding day but to maximise on calming chemicals try eating foods which contain tryptophan, such as bananas, oats, soy, poultry, milk, cheese, and nuts.
make the admin part easy
StressFreePrint focuses on making the printing process of wedding invitations simple. They can assist every step of the way, from design to print, and help you in producing the perfect invitations for your special day. StressFreePrint offer folded or flat invites that incorporate a design of your choice making the print as personal as you want. With more than ten years online printing experience and proven excellent customer service, StressFreePrint hope to bring you a printing process that is simple and easy and helps to take the stress out of your wedding planning.
To be in with a chance of winning the StressFreePrint pamper hamper*, that will help you find time for you and stay stress free during your wedding planning, simply answer the following question:
Which of these is not a style of invite that StressFreePrint design?
C) Pop up
To enter, just email your answer either A, B or C along with your name to email@example.com by midnight on the 31st May 2015, good luck!
*The full prize includes; a Paperchase wedding planner, delicate and fresh Lanson Rose NV Champagne, luxurious silk Victoria Secrets kimono dressing gown, elegant Hotel Chocolat champagne, strawberries and cream truffles, Heavenly Hands Nails inc. manicure gift voucher, Ted Baker luxury relaxing bath collection, Benefit Primping with the stars makeup kit, clean and calming natural Lush face mask, delicious sweet Wedding Day large jar Yankee Candle and a gloriously soft fragrance of fresh cut roses Yankee Candle reed diffuser.
Competition Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all UK and NI residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees of the Promoter and their immediate families, the Promoter’s agents or anyone professionally connected to the competition. Only one entry per household. Incomplete entries will be void. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are incomplete or not received for any reason. The Competition will run until 31st May 2015. Winner will be the first entry drawn at random by computer software. The prize must be accepted as offered. No cash alternatives and the prize is non-transferable. There will be one winner selected who will be contacted within seven working days of the closing date and the winner must respond within fourteen days, otherwise an alternative winner will be selected. If you are a winner, you may have to provide additional information (including, without limitation, proof of age or identity) within a specified time period. Failure to provide such additional information and send them to the Promoter within the required time period, or if any notification is returned as undeliverable as addressed, will result in your disqualification as a winner and an alternative winner will be selected.
February 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime
The Manchester Evening News have teamed up with Worsley Park, Marriott Hotel and Country Club and other top wedding vendors from across the region to offer one lucky couple in Manchester the chance to Win a Wedding beyond their wildest dreams.
Since 2011 Win a Wedding has given 3 very happy couples over £70,000 worth of prizes. Last year’s winning bride Jessica says: “When I got the call saying we had won I burst into tears. I can’t describe the feeling – it was so amazing.”
This year, it could be you.
What’s included in the prize we hear you ask? What isn’t might be a better question. This year’s package includes everything you could possibly need for the best day of your life and more. Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club have provided a premium package for 80 guests during the day and 130 for the evening.
You’ll be prepared for your big day after a VIP makeover from Jamilla Paul and dressed in a stunning £1500 dress and handmade accessories from The Case Of The Curious Bride – and your groom will be kitted out too.
Whilst you’re being chauffeur driven to your wedding in a luxury vintage car from Horgans feeling like the most important bride in the world, your guests will enjoy your theme at the venue with flowers (Venus Flowers), a cake (Slattery) and bespoke stationery (I Do Designs) as chosen by you.
If it’s going to be all too much to take in don’t worry, the precious moments of your day will be captured in timeless photographs from Mike Plunkett Photography and you can re-cap on the highlights with your wedding video by Unforgettable Memories.
As if all of that isn’t enough, the winners will also enjoy an all-inclusive 7 night honeymoon to one of the most romantic islands in the world – Saint Lucia.
To be in with a chance of winning this unbelievable prize worth over £25,000 (!) couples across Greater Manchester along with their friends and family are invited to collect as many tokens as they can from the Manchester Evening News. At the end of the competition the couple who have collected the most tokens will win.
So what’s next? You can now pre-register for the competition. All who do will be featured in a special supplement in the paper on 17th March to drum up some extra support in their local community, along with full prize details and the all-important first token.
To find out more, to register and read the terms and conditions for this incredible competition please visit the Manchester Evening News’s dedicated Win A Wedding webpage.
For the inside scoop and latest Win a Wedding news you can also like their Facebook page – Win a Wedding 2015.
February 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning, I gave you the heads up on some of my very favourite Yorkshire venues, and I’m swinging by this afternoon with a special treat for one lucky couple from my friends at Dine At The Mansion.
I work really closely with award winning event caterers and venue managers Dine at their venues (check out our fantastic exhibition schedule here) and so I’m really proud to help them unveil their beautifully refurbished Garden Room Restaurant at this iconic Leeds venue with this special competition.
I have a feeling that love is in the air…
My friends at Dine would love you to join them to celebrate St Valentine’s Day with dinner for two at The Mansion, their beautiful wedding venue in the heart of Roundhay Park.
For one lucky couple, the evening is on them – just like the Dine Facebook page & share their Valentine’s Competition image for your chance to win.
Happy St Valentine’s y’all!
Love, julia x
Competition closes at midnight on 09/02/15. No cash alternative. Prize includes dinner for two from set menu. Prize does not include drinks. Dine At The Mansion Ltd’s decision is final. Winner to be notified via Facebook by Dine At The Mansion Ltd.
February 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you’re a regular reader of the wedding blog, or follow Brides Up North on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have shared my exciting news that I have been invited to act as the Official Blogger for the huge event that is The North West Wedding Fair in a few weeks’ time.
I’ve already been contributing over on their blog – click here to read my thoughts on this season’s bridal fashions and why you really should hire a professional wedding photographer (I don’t care if your mate will do it for free!) – and will be blogging for the team up till the weekend itself, when I’ll be live from the first night of the event on Friday 7th March, giving you a preview of all that lies in store for you lucky visitors (and hosting the official show video – eep!).
When I announced my involvement with the team at The North West Wedding Fair and Mercury Events, I was quite candid in that initially I wasn’t sure if teaming up with (essentially) a competitor was a good idea, but I liked the company’s ethos and attitude – basically, they want to bring you North West brides one hell of a good show and look after their exhibitors whilst doing it – and I also saw the opportunity to further the Northern Revolution that we have going on on these pretty pages and get Brides Up North in front of a lot of new readers. If you are one of them, hello and welcome. I hope you’ll stay awhile!
However, right from the word go what (hands up) started out as a bit of a marketing exercise was suddenly an event in my diary that I am very much looking forward to. I’m swept up in the excitement and super, duper thrilled to be able to write this post today. You see, I have something pretty special to share with you, my readers, as part of the Official Blogger job!
The North West Wedding Fair and Brides Up North are teaming up to offer one VERY lucky bride to be and her guest a money can’t buy prize! And all you have to do is show me your pins…
Up for grabs are two VIP Experiences at The North West Wedding Fair at Event City, Manchester on 7th March 2014, plus 5 runner up prizes of a standard pair of tickets worth £30.
The VIP Experience includes Fast Track Entry, a Luxury Goody Bag, a Complimentary Glass of Champagne, Reserved Catwalk Seating and Complimentary Premium Ice Cream, plus tickets to the show itself, completely free.
And here’s my icing on the rather lovely cake – the prize includes a wedding brainstorming session with the Official North West Wedding Fair Blogger – that’s me! – at the event itself, and follow up sessions by email to help to turn your pins into plans.
As the editor of Brides Up North,one of the top UK Wedding Blogs and the only blog written for brides in the North of the UK there’s not much that gets past me in this industry. Whether you are looking for the freshest new ideas, budget advice, supplier introductions, sneaky discounts, insider info and (sometimes) a shoulder to cry on, I’m your woman.
And after the planning is done and the day arrives? I’d love to share your wedding with my readers here at Brides Up North in a special Real Wedding feature.
So how can you win this one off, never to be repeated prize? Simple. You know that wedding mood board you’ve been cultivating on Pinterest? All you have to do is share the link to it with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org along with 250 words (maximum) introducing yourself, your wedding date and describing your dream wedding.
Don’t worry about sprucing things up either – I want to see what your actual dream wedding would look like! If you are new to Pinterest, it’s really easy to get going too. Create a board and send it my way.
The competition is open now, the closing date is midnight on 4th March 2014, and my decision is final. The winner will be notified by email.
1. Log onto Pinterest and create your board, or share an existing wedding planning board that you’ve already been curating.
2. Send the link to your board to me by email at email@example.com along with 250 words (maximum) introducing yourself, your wedding date and describing your dream wedding.
3. Win those fabulous prizes if your board is my winner.
Happy pinning! I can’t wait to share your planning!
Terms & Conditions:
Competition closes 11.59pm on 4th March. Promoter: Brides Up North & The Wedding Fairs. Prize excludes travel to and from the venue and personal expenses. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older. Only one entry per person allowed. Email data will be shared with The Wedding Fairs but no other third parties. No responsibility accepted for lost, delayed, ineligible or fraudulent entries. One winning entry and 5 runners up will be chosen at random from all eligible entries. Winner will be notified on the closing date by email. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. If the winner is unable to be contacted within 24 hours of the closing date, the promoter will offer the prize to a runner-up. Tickets are non-transferrable. Children under 4 enter for free.
This is a sponsored post
December 22nd, 2013 | Julia Braime
Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the team take a break until to rest and recharge for what’s set to be the biggest and best year yet at Brides Up North HQ, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on 2nd January 2014, but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings in 2013. Drop in every day for the very, very prettiest wedding inspiration and if you are a Brides Up North bride, to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks.
Ok, ok. hands up, this wedding isn’t ‘Up North.
I’m normally super strict with my submissions, but I’ve a free pass to publish Carla and Jonny’s fantastical and fabulous Real Wedding this morning (yes, even though it’s in the Cotswolds!) as it comes to us via Brides Up North Featured Supplier Peter Boyd Photography and their online competition – featured on these pages – for one lucky couple to win their wedding photography completely free.
Carla and Jonny got lucky – as did Pete, as he and Kelly got to shoot their absolutely stunning big day in this brilliant location. I’m feeling pretty lucky to share it here today with you. Be inspired!
And if there’s any beef at all on the geography thing – one of the ferrets is a Mancunian. So there.
Carla says: Jonny proposed on Hampstead Heath on 23 September 2012 and we were married on 15th August 2013 at Aynhoe Park.
We really loved the fun, quirky feel to the place, and loved the idea of a house party atmosphere at the reception. And they did ferret racing…
We tried to make each element of the wedding as personal to us as possible. There was no real colour scheme but a lot of navy blue and splashes of pastel pink.
I chose a 1950s style dress from Johanna Hehir in Marylebone, London. It had an organza skirt with a lace bodice. It was light and easy to walk in! I wore some bubblegum pink vintage Miu Miu shoes to add a fun touch!
Jonny, the best man and my dad wore simple slim navy blue suits, white shirts and pale blue ties. Jonny wore his dad’s shoes as a memory of him on the day.
The two bridesmaids (my sisters) were both heavily pregnant and wore Grecian navy blue maternity dresses from ASOS – I made sure I was flanked by people who made me look thinner!
Groomsmen wore navy suits, slim navy ties, white shirts and navy blue braces.
I carried a vintage pastel bouquet of ivory and pink roses, freesias, lisianthus, wild daisies, eucalyptus, hydrangeas.
We tried to involve our friends and family as much as possible – my sister Anna did all of our flowers, our best friend Stan provided beer from his family’s brewery (Rebellion Brewery) and two of our ushers managed the music.
The church and venue are next door to each other, so we didn’t need much transport. Jonny and his brother/best man arrived in his brother’s prize possession – his Porsche. I walked over to the church with my dad and bridesmaids (We stayed at the venue the night before).
We used Aynhoe Park’s recommended caterer, Indulgence, for the food – they were fantastic (especially the popping candy strawberry cheesecake and late night fish finger sandwiches!)
Our table plan was Scrabble themed – all our guests had to unscramble anagrams of their names to work out where they were sitting.
On the tables were gingerbread men with each person’s name on (for anyone who didn’t manage the anagram!). These were baked by our friend, Sarah.
Our favours were mini apothecary bottles of limoncello (for the girls) and Hungarian palinka (for the boys). The palinka was brought back from Hungary by our usher Jules, who then flavoured the spirit with apricots (Aynho is known as “the apricot village”).
Our usher Alex managed our video diary room, which was our take on a traditional guest book.
In particular, the speeches were brilliant! My dad did a slideshow of horrendously embarrassing photos from throughout my life – and he even resurrected some notes I’d written as a child (“Them Smarties made my day”).
Walking in to dinner as a married couple was really amazing.
In the late afternoon we played cricket in the grounds – only a couple of injuries, and I managed to bowl Jonny out!
The main attraction was a ferret racing event, with Jonny’s brother Alex as the resident bookie! Each ferret had a name – i.e Madferret (the Mancunian), Ferret Across the Mersey, Ferret O’Rocher and so on…
In the evening we had a band – The TwentySomethings – who played two sets of everything from motown to modern classics. They also played a medley of Israeli music, to which our Jewish friends threw us around on chairs, table cloths etc!
OnCafe did our “cake”, which was actually a tower of flavoured petits choux. The flavours were peanut butter, salted caramel, raspberry crème and citrus crème.
For our honeymoon we went Greek island hopping – Santorini, Folegandros and Spetses.
My top for other Brides Up North would be to forget about what people expect from a wedding and strip back your day to the things you really want.
Get as many friends and family involved as you can – not only to cut costs but to make the day as personal as possible.
Congratulations Carla & Jonny!
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