Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

The Editorials: Va-Va-Groom!

February 18th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Wedding Magazine

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In this new blog series, The Editorials, I share my pre-published offline content, online.  I write on a freelance basis for numerous regional and National glossies, and rather than be relegated to being rather posh chip paper, I thought that my words might be useful to my online readers who didn’t manage to pick up a print copy of my features.  Double the pretty!

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Wedding Magazine

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The second instalment in this series (click here to see the first, focussing on the trend for all white weddings) catches up on a column I wrote for Wedding Magazine before Christmas, all about giving your groom some va-va-voom!

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Wedding Magazine

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I wrote: The days of identikit grooms are long gone. You might be preoccupied with selecting the perfect wedding gown, but you can bet that your other half is also giving some careful thought to his own wedding day look. For him too, this is a day where he wants raise the style stakes and feel that little bit special.

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Peter Boyd Photography

Image credit: Peter Boyd Photography

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Luckily, there has never been more of a sartorial selection for a groom to choose from. Whether he is a traditionalist looking for a classically cut morning suit or an individual wanting to cut a dash with quirky accessories, it’s now acceptable for the groom to look beyond a hired waistcoat and cravat. Whilst it’s true that his choice of attire should complement the overall style of the bridal party, some of my favourite wedding day images are those where the personality of the groom shines through.

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India Hobson Weddings

Image credit: India Hobson Weddings 

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Damian Hall

Image credit: Damian Hall Photography

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Top man

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If he wants to keep his look classic, help him to stand out from the rest of the wedding party by choosing a different colour of tie or more elaborate buttonhole.

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Katy Melling Photography

Image credit: Katy Melling Photography 

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Katy Melling Photography

Image credit: Katy Melling Photography

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The cravat caveat

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Rather than sticking to the status quo, encourage your man to mix things up with by adding a special touch. How about a colourful bow tie, socks, braces, sharp shoes or a neckerchief?

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Phil Drinkwater Photography

Image credit:  Phil Drinkwater Photography 

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David Lawson Studios

Image credit: David Lawson Studios 

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Keep it comfortable

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For a relaxed celebration or destination wedding he needn’t be trussed up like a turkey. Work with the style of his surroundings and opt for light fabrics and a pale colour palette.

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Andy Hook

Image credit: Andy Hook Photography

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Lissa Alexandra Photography

Image credit: Lissa Alexandra Photography 

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A man in uniform

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If he’s decorated, this is his chance to show it off. I also love to see a groom in national dress: kilts at the ready boys, it’s time to show some leg!

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Jonny Draper Photography

.Image credit: Jonny Draper Photography 

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Andrew Ward Photography

Image credit: Andrew Ward Photography 

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Toys for the boys

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Indulge him! If he has a need for speed, why not hire a cool car or vintage scooter to get him to the church on time and in style.

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Insight Photography

Image credit: Insight Photography

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  – Images © 2013 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in Groom, Press, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Very Significant Other: Getting Your Fiancé Involved

December 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

David Lawson Studios

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Let’s get Christmas week off to an all-inclusive start with some advice from our regular guest blogger the lovely Rachel of Mosaic Brides about how you can get your other half involved in the wedding planning process.  And this isn’t just about getting the boys in order either, as this advice can apply to any wayward fiancé on either side of the partnership.  Get ‘em involved, people!  Using images from my own wedding (a groom who did as he was told FYI!) by David Lawson Studios

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Rachel says: For most of us girls an engagement ring isn’t necessary to start planning our big day, it simply signals a time to put our thoughts into action.  Long before we meet Mr or Mrs Right we spend time swooning over wedding dresses, deciding who our bridesmaids will be and how we will dress them – we even think about the flavour of the sponge and filling for our three-tier wedding cake (mine’s a simple iced white cake with vanilla, lemon and chocolate layers, decorated with fresh vintage style flowers)!

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By contrast our significant other may not have given any consideration to their wedding day, and for some even getting down on one knee does not prompt such thoughts.  As a result it’s sometimes the case that a bride can feel alone during the planning process when her partner takes a back seat and utters those three frustrating words "I don’t mind". But with many couples ditching traditional weddings in favour of more personal affairs, it’s never been more important that input comes from both sides to achieve a day that’s a reflection of both of you. 

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David Lawson Studios

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So, if your husband or wife-to-be is under the impression that their duties end at the proposal, suit hire and picking a best man or woman who will plan them a send off to rival The Hangover, I suggest the following…

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In the beginning

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Sit down and talk. From the very start make clear to your fiancé that you want them involved with planning the wedding and the ways in which they can help.

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Next, discuss your opinions on the main areas like destinations, venues, styling, size of the wedding, food, entertainment and, of course, the budget. To encourage your partner to come up with their own ideas, or to prevent them just going along with what you say, try writing down your ideas separately and then coming back together to discuss your thoughts. While you might have the same ideas on some things other areas might need compromise – it’s no good asking for their opinion and then ignoring it.

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David Lawson Studios

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Work as a team

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Part of being in a relationship is working as a team, a quality that can be incredibly useful when planning a wedding.

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Discuss which elements you can do together such as attending wedding fairs and venue visits then look at your strengths and divide some of the other jobs between you.  For example, if one of you is particularly creative then take the lead in styling the venue or designing invitations, if the other is good at research they can spend time looking up venues, entertainment, transport and so on. 

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It also makes sense to let the person who is good with numbers handle the budget while the more ballsy of the two can take charge when it comes to haggling.

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David Lawson Studios

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Talent spotting

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Don’t be offended if your partner doesn’t take an interest in every little thing.  It may well be the case that they don’t mind (or even care) which flowers, favours or bridesmaid dresses you have in mind but this provides the perfect opportunity to involve other relatives and friends. Meanwhile your fiancé can take some time out with their side of the bridal party to pick their wedding attire.

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Also allocate your other half jobs that you know will spike their interest. So if they love music leave them to look for a band or to plan the play list, if they fancy themself as the next Jamie Oliver ask them to consider food options or if they usually organise your annual holiday let them arrange a dream honeymoon.

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David Lawson Studios

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Keep calm and carry on

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If despite your best efforts you feel that your husband or wife-to-be is still not taking an interest talk to them – communication is key in a relationship and is absolutely essential when it comes to planning a wedding.

Let your other half know that you want them to be involved and explain the ways in which you can inject elements of your personalities into the day as this might help to engage them.  Equally don’t get carried away and leave your partner out – the day belongs to both of you.

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There is no doubt that planning a wedding is a stressful and demanding task that can lead to arguments but it should also be a time you enjoy together.  To avoid fall outs don’t talk wedding all the time. Try to have a night or two where discussing weddings is strictly off limits, giving you both a break and a chance to spend quality time with one another.

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Finally and most importantly don’t lose sight of the reasons why you are actually getting married, beyond the paper pompoms and that three tired cake there should be a whole lot of love.

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  – Images © 2012 David Lawson Studios

Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides is a regular guest writer for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Groom, Guest Blog | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Purely Wedding Research, Honest! A Styled Menswear Shoot In The North East

October 27th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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So, fancy a bit of eye candy on a Saturday?

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I’m off to see the latest 007 this afternoon so I’ll be getting my kicks Daniel Craig-stylee, and thought it most unfair not to leave something lovely for you ladies to gaze upon, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Stan Seaton Photography and Darlington Weddings (pick up the latest issue to see this shoot in print along with my spread on styling a winter wedding). 

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Plus, I’ve seen first hand that Affleck & Moffat – one of my amazing exhibitors at our Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibitions – really know how to dress a gent, so they’d be worth a visit for his wedding day styling.

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If he asks: its wedding research.  Got it? 

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Jane and Stan of Stan Seaton Photography say: We love photographing brides and ensuring that their wedding day photos reflect how amazingly beautiful and happy they looked and felt on their big day, but it is good to show our clients – and especially the girls – how good their grooms can look too!  When Darlington Weddings offered us the opportunity to do a featured menswear photo shoot for their latest magazine, in conjunction with Affleck & Moffat menswear, Paul David Hairdressing and Crathorne Hall Hotel, we couldn’t resist!

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I say: Hello, boys!

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Affleck & Moffat Menwear by Stan Seaton Photography

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Little Black Book

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Images: Stan Seaton Photography

Menswear: Affleck & Moffat

Grooming: Paul David Hairdressing

Venue: Crathorne Hall Hotel

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UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2012 Stan Seaton Photography

Stan Seaton Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

Posted in Featured Supplier, Groom, North East Wedding, Wedding Photography | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Wedding Blog WINNER! £2,000 To Spend With Award Winning Confetti & Lace!

June 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Does anyone have that Friday feeling already?  The only thing I miss about working for “the man” is the intense feeling of elation I felt every Friday at around about 4:55pm. 

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Now that I’m my own boss and love what I do, plus the fact that you’ll just as likely find me at my desk, out at a shoot or at a wedding event all day on a Saturday means that the feeling has diminished a little, but I still think that Friday has a certain magic.

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It’s going to get a whole lot more magical for one Brides Up North reader today too, as today I get to announce the winner, drawn by random number generator*, of our headline Spring competition to  win your wedding day clothing for the bride, groom, ushers and bridesmaids worth up to £2,000 with Brides Up North Featured Supplier Award Winning Confetti & Lace. 

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You can read all about Award Winning Confetti & Lace and their (award winning) service in this interview, definitely worth a visit for any bride to be and her bridal party. 

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Over 1000 (!) of you entered (1283 to be exact) both online and at the Brides Up North Wedding Exclusives and Super Showcase events this Spring, but there could only ever be one winner.  Thank you so much to everyone for taking part and believe me when I say that I wish I could make each and every one of your day’s today. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Let’s quickly recap the prize.  Today’s winning bride will scoop:

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Wedding Dress from Brides of Harrogate

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Brides of Harrogate is the largest bridal store in the North of England, right in the centre of the beautiful spa town of Harrogate with ample forecourt parking. It houses some of the most sought after bridal gowns from top designers such as Pronovias, Benjamin Roberts, Justin Alexander and more.

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There are also large bridesmaid, prom and special occasion wear departments stocking the latest styles in up to 55 colour options with sizes 6-28 catered for! As a premiere stockist of American designer Dessy.com there is a huge choice all of which can be matched to menswear waistcoats and ties – even down to bridesmaids shoes. There are large individual changing rooms and there’s even a menswear department downstairs – all under one roof!

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Your prize from Brides of Harrogate will include:

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A beautiful designer wedding gown up to £1,000 in value.

Half price fittings if required (can be either at our Leeds or Harrogate stores).

Free bottle of bubbly for the lucky bride.

Half price dry cleaning after the event.

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Bridesmaid dresses from Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Multi-award winning Confetti and Lace of Leeds are leading providers of wedding, bridesmaid and prom dresses in Yorkshire. With bridesmaid styles from fantastic designers as Kelsey Rose, Alfred Angelo and Impression Bridal in many colour options and in store alterations services, you’ll be spoilt for choice! .

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Your prize from Confetti and Lace will include:

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3 Bridesmaid Dresses from any of our Designer Ranges up to £200 each.

Up to 55 colour options in sizes from 8-32 (ages 2-16 for Flower Girls/Juniors).

Complimentary bubbly and drinks in store.

Half price alteration charges if required.

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Menswear from Yorkshire Menswear.com

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Yorkshire Menswear have a branch in Rodley, Leeds and one in the heart of Harrogate. Hire is from an amazing £49 and they are leading suppliers of Cameron Ross providing suits for weddings, black tie events, prom’s, race wear and also carry a great selection of kilts.

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Some of your party outside of Yorkshire? No problem, book with Yorkshire Menswear.com and they can provide free measure and collection via over 150 outlets nationwide! Tall and large parties catered for.

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Finalists for Best UK Groomsmen Retailer 2012 – top 5 companies in the UK!

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Your prize from Yorkshire Menswear.com will include:

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Up to 4 FREE menswear suit hire packages worth up to £400 in total from our main ranges.

Packages include 7 items including suit, waistcoat, shirt, tie, hanky and cufflinks.

2 Professional suit fittings.

Huge choice and range with jackets up to 60” chest.

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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And, without further ado, the lucky winner is…

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Kimberly

June 11, 2012 | Been with my fantastic fiancé for 10 years next year and we are finally getting married! We are finding it so hard saving and would love a little help, this would be a dream come true, fingers and everything crossed!

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Congratulations Kimberley!  You are a winner! 

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Please contact me by email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk to claim your prize.

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For everyone who didn’t win – better luck next time – and watch this space as I’ll be bringing you news of more fabulous Brides Up North competitions very shortly. 

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Have a lovely Friday everybody!

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*drawn using a random number generator at www.random.org

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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Award Winning Confetti & Lace

Award Winning Confetti & Lace is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Bridesmaids, Featured Supplier, Groom, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Dresses, WEDDING GIVEAWAY | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Wedding Dress Wonderland! Supplier Showcase: Award Winning Confetti & Lace

June 11th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This morning I am thrilled to welcome Abbi Lewis from Award Winning Confetti & Lace and Brides of Harrogate to the silver swirly pages of the wedding blog.  I first met Abbi when we shared a table at the Bridal Buyer Awards back in 2011 and was struck by how lovely she was then – it turns out that I am a great judge of character!

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Abbi has been generous enough to sponsor our current headline competition here at Brides Up North: the chance to win not only your wedding dress but your bridesmaid dresses and menswear too, to the value of £2,000!  We do like to spoil you. 

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There is not long left to enter so make sure to click here for the chance to win this fabulous prize.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the original competition post (or register at one of the Brides Up North Spring wedding showcases) and you are in in to win it.  What are you waiting for?  The competition closes at midnight on 26th June 2012. 

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Meanwhile, lets meet Abbi. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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When did Award Winning Confetti & Lace open and what is your background?

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I opened Confetti and Lace nearly seven years ago on October 15th 2005 after working as a bridal shop manager.  I grasped the opportunity to run my own bridal business doing the job I love with both hands! I started up with two part-time ladies (previous work colleagues) and a seamstress and now we have twenty two staff across four branches so I feel very lucky!

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I expanded our bridal shop after a couple of years and then found that our brides were having difficulties sourcing menswear so opened up Yorkshire Menswear in Rodley, Leeds in April 2009 and our second bridal branch, Brides of Harrogate exactly four years to the day I opened Confetti.   Six months later we launched our second menswear branch in Harrogate and have never looked back!

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What lines of wedding gowns do you stock?

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We have so many designers and have built up great trust and great relationship over the years that we only stock dresses we know are best in class, value for money, constructed well and where the quality and fit is superb: designers such as Alfred Angelo, Mori Lee, Justin Alexander and Benjamin Roberts.  We are also the premier stockists for Pronovias in the North of England and have one of the largest collections outside of Harrods and their London Flagship Store! I very much enjoy going to Barcelona each year to see their latest collections and bring them back to the UK.

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Impression Bridal are a great label from the US and English designer White Rose is one of my favourites with great boning, design and fabulous fabrics such as sumptuous silks and taffeta’s. Essence is a fabulous Australian designer and offers such a flattering fit.  The list goes on and on and we carry over 200 designs in sizes 6-32 in each bridal store.

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What lines of accessories do you stock?

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We are a major stockist for Rainbow Club where we can dye handbags and shoes to match any outfit. We have hundreds of tiaras, veils and bridal accessories including ring cushions, garters, hairpins etc. and if we don’t do it (very rarely) we know someone who does!

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Where are you located?

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace is situated between Leeds and Bradford near M&S/ASDA at Owlcotes, Pudsey.  We also have one of the largest bridal showrooms in the North of England, Brides of Harrogate, close to Betty’s Tea Rooms with over 6,000 square feet of bridal, bridesmaids, mother of the bride/groom, menswear and accessories.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Bridal gowns range from just £450 upwards and we have payment plans to help brides budget for their whole wedding outfits if need be.  Many are taking advantage of this easy monthly instalment plan with no hidden charges or extra costs.   Some top designers such as Pronovias carry a £1400+ price tag but most of our stock is around £800 – £900 on average. We always carry several sale items which are ready to wear and can be up to 75% off so we truly believe we cater for all tastes and budgets.

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Do Brides Up North need an appointment?

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We would recommend that brides make an appointment as we want to allocate a dedicated, experienced member of staff to help and a changing room to get changed in.  We have between seven and eight changing rooms in each bridal store so we can usually help even if you’re calling in on the off-chance although appointments take priority of course. 

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What can Brides Up North expect when they come in for an appointment?

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You can expect a warm and friendly welcome, expert, knowledgeable and down-to-earth staff who are there to help you. We like to put you (and your guests) at ease and we serve bubbly/ bucks fizz/ tea and coffee as it can take anywhere between one to two hours to try on different styles. In our Leeds store we open seven days, two evenings a week for our customers’ convenience and in our Harrogate store we have huge private changing rooms for both the bride and their parties. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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What is your current favourite gown that you stock and why?

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I have so many favourites!  In our Harrogate store I love a gown called Benicarlo by Pronovias and it has a lovely sweetheart neckline which is tastefully covered in feathers! It has a full romantic skirt which is high-waisted so very flattering. In our Stanningley Store my favourite is a dress named after me, Abbi by Phil Collins Bridal and is a beautiful princess line gown in matt duchess satin with a georgette (chiffon) overlay across the bust and scattered crystals all over the gown, concentrating on the neckline. It has a flattering ‘ruched’ waist effect, a detailed train and a lace up corseted bodice. It comes in white or ivory, is flattering in any size and is £900.  With all that detail and work, I think it’s excellent value for money.

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Is there a particular style of dress that is popular with your brides at the moment?

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Lace is a particular favourite at the minute and vintage themes have been very popular. We are getting asked for gowns with straps, sleeves or higher necklines and as we are dress-makers can offer this service on most of our dresses.  We also have in store a large range of jackets, boleros, shrugs and stoles to compliment all of our gowns.

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How does Confetti & Lace provide a superior experience to other wedding dress boutiques?

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I think a lot of other bridal retailers do a sterling job, especially faced with internet sellers and as mentioned before I think the service and quality of the dresses plus a full and comprehensive alterations service means we can offer much more than taking a big risk on the most important dress of your life!

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We have seen an huge influx the last few years of cheap copies and substandard gowns, often with little or no boning, cheap glued on crystals and no lining!

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Our customers can expect top class service from wedding professionals who are fully insured (we are members of the British Bridal Retailers Association, BBRA and the Retail Bridal Association RBA) who guarantee that you are covered in case of theft, loss or damage.

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We’ve also won most of the major bridal accolades and awards over the years, most recently we we’re runners up in the Best Bridal Retailer 2012 and also UK Menswear Retailer of The Year, plus finalists in the Wedding Industry Awards and Wedding Idea’s Magazine 2012 – these are voted for by customers, peers and industry professionals so we’re very proud!

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Check our Google reviews and ask around, we have many recommendations and see a lot of our past brides and bridesmaids coming in with friends and family who are now getting married. You can’t ask for better than that.

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Do you stock Bridesmaid Dresses?

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We have a huge range of bridesmaids dresses with dedicated bridesmaids’ departments in both stores. We have Dessy, Mori Lee, Alfred Sung, Lela Rose in our Harrogate store and Alfred Angelo and Impression maids at both with the whole Kelsey Rose range in our Stanningley branch. Over 200 styles that come in sizes 0 to 30 plus and in up to 255 colour combinations!

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What about Menswear?

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Yorkshire Menswear.com provide suit hire by Cameron Ross who themselves are recipients of Best Groomsmen Supplier UK Awards 2010, 2011 and 2012. We can cater from age 2 to size 60" chest and even though it’s hire wear the quality is superb with up to a 37" inside leg (most retailers only go to a 33), extra long sleeved shirts and waistcoats can come as standard too.

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Our suit packages are mainly £99 which includes any jacket, trousers (in lots of styles and colours), new shirt, waistcoat (over 60 to choose from), tie, hanky and cufflinks. One in five suits is FREE and we offer a free UK wide measure and collection service for those in the party outside of Yorkshire in any one of over 180 outlets. Our suits normally come in at least a week before the wedding also which is pretty unheard of in suit hire. We do Highland Wear (one of my favourites!), dinner suits, lounge jackets, Prince Edwards and Tailcoats so if you need a suit for a wedding, black tie, cruise, the races, prom or special event, we’re on hand to help…and fast!

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Are you married? What did you wear on your wedding day?

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I got married last year in February to Martin (who can be found in Yorkshire Menswear!) and I wore a dress by Ellis Bridal with straps, crystal detail on the shoulders, dropped waist, delicate crystal bodice modesty panel and buttoned back.  As it wasn’t my first marriage and I’m now in my 40′s and a size 14 I felt comfortable in it and it was appropriate for me.  I teamed it with a silk bolero jacket because of the time of year and I looked and felt my best – I had lots of lovely comments and that was brilliant. Looking back on my photographs I was really pleased with my choice too – after all you have one chance to capture the day and there is no time for regrets!

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?

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You can ring Leeds 0113 2360652 (7 days a week) or Brides of Harrogate 01423 500010, visit our website at www.confettiandlaceweddings.co.uk or email us at info@confettiandlaceweddings.co.uk

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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ITV are currently making a documentary film about us and our brides and grooms called The Wedding Shop to be aired in the Autumn/Winter at the prime 9pm timeslot (date to be confirmed) so we’re very excited and we hope you enjoy the programme!

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We’re already slightly famous after appearing on BBC’s Don’t Tell The Bride and we had beaten several other shops in the UK for this programme to go ahead – we like to think of it as an upmarket My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and we are happy to be a Yorkshire business representing the UK wedding industry!
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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Award Winning Confetti & Lace 

Award Winning Confetti & Lace is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Best Man and Ushers, Bridal Accessories, Bride, Bridesmaids, Featured Supplier, Groom, Wedding Dresses, WEDDING GIVEAWAY | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Suited & Booted! Supplier Showcase: Sensational Formal Hire

May 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I’m recovering after an excellent night at the Brides Up North Tweet Up North East yesterday evening – more on this later – but before we move on a  massive thank you to the wonderful North East wedding industry for coming out in force and making it so special.  You are absolute stars!

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More from the Limelight Hire Photobooth shortly…

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After the success of last night’s event, and a super inspiring meeting this morning about a future very special project for the Brides Up North brand, I feel ready to take on the World! (See, I haven’t just been sleeping off a hangover!). 

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It’s onwards and upwards today as we meet another star, Brides Up North Featured Supplier John of Sensational Formal Hire, to get those grooms suited and booted. 

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.   Sensational Formal Hire

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When did Sensational Formal Hire open?

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We opened in June 2009. I have a varied, colourful background that has always been based on excellent people skills. I have worked for transport companies, oil companies, ran social clubs and been a full time Union Official. I have at times managed up to 75 petrol tanker drivers and done things others would not believe. My wife at Elegance Bridal Studio, Barnsley had planted the seed around five years ago, however until 2009 I had visions of Mr Grace and "I’m Free" and did not fancy the opportunity.

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What lines of menswear do you stock?

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I stock Cameron Ross Menswear and Highlandwear which are the hire products and I sell suits by Torre and Lloyd Atree & Smith. The shoes I sell are by Loake, however they are sold to order at a Barnsley price. Cameron Ross are the market leaders in hirewear and cannot be beaten on quality in my opinion. The suits I sell are good quality, value for money and start from £140.

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Accessories wise, I stock waistcoats, ruches, ties, dickie’s, cumberbunds and cufflinks. I pride myself on being able to offer any colour ruche to compliment the bride’s colour theme. I also do a great line in Groom, Best Man, Father of the Bride and so on matching cufflinks and socks, which my customers enjoy at a discounted rate.

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Sensational Formal Hire    Sensational Formal Hire

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We hear that won an award recently?

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Yes I did, it was a great honour bestowed upon me and I am now officially the best at what I do. I won the Best Wedding Menswear Supplier Award for the North East and the whole of England at this year’s Wedding Industry Awards. However, my feet are firmly on the ground and I know I have only set the standard.  I do intend to raise it though. As the award was based on customer feedback, what my customers had to say was not only invaluable to the judges, but more importantly invaluable to me. There were some great comments, I did not realise the difference I make to peoples’ weddings. All feedback has been evaluated appropriately and has been acted upon.

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Where are you based?  What if a member of the wedding party lives elsewhere?

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I am based in Barnsley, which surprisingly is in the centre of the country. I am in a town centre location 50 yards from the Transport Interchange. If members of the wedding party live in other areas they too can be supplied using Cameron Ross’ Roaming Wearer service. I have supplied customers who have sent their details from Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland, Dubai, Hong Kong and Spain. I have supplied suits for weddings in Poland, Malta and Cyprus.

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What about the price?

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As I deal in quality and excellent customer service, I am not the cheapest. However, why chance your photographs being ruined for the sake of an extra £10 per suit? Prices are based upon a customer’s individual requirements and tailored to their needs.

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Sensational Formal Hire

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Do we need an appointment?

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Yes, I work by appointment only. This is due to there only being me here and more importantly the customer then has my undivided attention during their initial two hour appointment. I offer appointments Tuesday to Saturday until 8pm and Sundays if the need arises. As most of my customers work, evenings and Saturdays do get booked quickly.

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What can brides and grooms who come to visit your showroom expect?

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They can expect to receive the friendliest and warmest Northern welcome available. They will be invited to sit down and then be offered refreshment (also Northern style). Everything will be explained, I shall be attentive to their needs and offer honest and expert advice. I offer a stress free and no nonsense approach that cannot be matched.  Enjoying themselves is all part of the experience.

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The feedback I receive is that I am a breath of fresh air within the Industry and I don’t just get the one time customer, my grooms all return time and time again to hire suits for other social occasions such as a day at the races, so that they can again enjoy my famous “Sensational Service”.  Sensational Formal Hire is only three years old in June and the amount of recommendations I receive from my customers proves that I genuinely care that my customers look their best on their big day.

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Are any styles particularly popular?

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Some outfits, styles and colours look better on some than others. I would not suggest a 4 foot 6, 15 stone man to order a tailcoat outfit and I would not put someone in something if it did not suit them or look right. I do not have a particular type of customer, most are honest, straightforward, uncomplicated northerners, who appreciate the service that I strive to provide.  In conclusion, my favourite look is what will look best on the groom and all groom’s are different.  Navy and Silver are fashionable at the moment, as is any form of Grey.

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Sensational Formal Hire

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Are you married?

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Yes I am married, we got married in Cyprus in June 2006 and there was a heat wave! I was married in a pair of linen trousers, a cotton shirt and a silk waistcoat with matching ruche. When I do it again (we are to renew our vows in 2016) I shall wear sun factor 75 and the biggest hat I can find! Seriously though, the most lightweight trousers available, another 100% cotton shirt and whatever else my wife wants me to put on.

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How can wedding blog readers get in touch with you?

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Via my website www.sensationalformalhire.co.uk or by email to sensational.formalhire@btconnect.com

and on 01226 321 117.  You can also find us on Facebook.

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Sensational Formal Hire

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  – Images © 2012 Sensational Formal Hire

Sensational Formal Hire is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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WIN Your Wedding Dress, Menswear AND Bridesmaid Dresses Worth £2,000 With Award Winning Confetti & Lace! (CLOSED)

March 26th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Win your wedding dress, menswear and bridesmaid dresses with Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Oh my goodness have I got some good news for you!

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I am thrilled to be working with Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Award Winning Confetti & Lace, to bring you the wedding blog’s biggest bridal giveaway yet worth a whopping £2,000! 

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In this competition, exclusive to Brides Up North, one lucky reader will win all three prizes – that’s your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and menswear worth £2,000!  That’s a huge portion of your wedding budget taken care of!  Girls, I seriously advise that you make sure you are in it to win it.   

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Excuse the exclamation mark overload, but seriously?! This is one amazing prize! (!!)

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All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment on this post saying why you deserve the prize.  You can also enter in person at any Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive or wedding fair where you see me exhibiting. 

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The competition will close at midnight on 26 June 2012.  One entry per person, and the winner will be drawn at random.  For the full terms and conditions please see below. 

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In the meantime, let’s have a closer look at what you can win…

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Win your wedding dress, menswear and bridesmaid dresses with Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Wedding Dress from Brides of Harrogate

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Brides of Harrogate is the largest bridal store in the North of England, right in the centre of the beautiful spa town of Harrogate with ample forecourt parking. It houses some of the most sought after bridal gowns from top designers such as Pronovias, Benjamin Roberts, Justin Alexander and more.

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There are also large bridesmaid, prom and special occasion wear departments stocking the latest styles in up to 55 colour options with sizes 6-28 catered for! As a premiere stockist of American designer Dessy.com there is a huge choice all of which can be matched to menswear waistcoats and ties – even down to bridesmaids shoes. There are large individual changing rooms and there’s even a menswear department downstairs – all under one roof!

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Your prize from Brides of Harrogate will include:

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A beautiful designer wedding gown up to £1,000 in value.

Half price fittings if required (can be either at our Leeds or Harrogate stores).

Free bottle of bubbly for the lucky bride.

Half price dry cleaning after the event.

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Bridesmaid dresses from Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Multi-award winning Confetti and Lace of Leeds are leading providers of wedding, bridesmaid and prom dresses in Yorkshire.  With bridesmaid styles from fantastic designers as Kelsey Rose, Alfred Angelo and Impression Bridal in many colour options and in store alterations services, you’ll be spoilt for choice! .

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Your prize from Confetti and Lace will include:

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3 Bridesmaid Dresses from any of our Designer Ranges up to £200 each.

Up to 55 colour options in sizes from 8-32 (ages 2-16 for Flower Girls/Juniors).

Complimentary bubbly and drinks in store.

Half price alteration charges if required.

 

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Menswear from Yorkshire Menswear.com

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Yorkshire Menswear have a branch in Rodley, Leeds and one in the heart of Harrogate. Hire is from an amazing £49 and they are leading suppliers of Cameron Ross providing suits for weddings, black tie events, prom’s, race wear and also carry a great selection of kilts.

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Some of your party outside of Yorkshire? No problem, book with Yorkshire Menswear.com and they can provide free measure and collection via over 150 outlets nationwide! Tall and large parties catered for.

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Finalists for Best UK Groomsmen Retailer 2012 – top 5 companies in the UK!

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Your prize from Yorkshire Menswear.com will include:

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Up to 4 FREE menswear suit hire packages worth up to £400 in total from our main ranges.

Packages include 7 items including suit, waistcoat, shirt, tie, hanky and cufflinks.

2 Professional suit fittings.

Huge choice and range with jackets up to 60” chest.

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Win your wedding dress, menswear and bridesmaid dresses with Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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What are you waiting for? 

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To remind you, all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment on this post saying why you deserve the prize.  You can also enter in person at any Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive or wedding fair where you see me exhibiting. 

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The competition will close at midnight on 26 June 2012.  One entry per person, and the winner will be drawn at random.  For the full terms and conditions please see below. 

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Terms and Conditions

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The competition will close at midnight on 26 June 2012.

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One entry per person.

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Entries are made by leaving a comment on this post or in person at a Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive or at a wedding fair where Brides Up North is exhibiting.  Duplicate entries will not be counted. 

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Winner will be drawn at random and announced in the week following 26 June 2011.  This announcement is final and will mark the end of the competition. 

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Winner agrees to feature in a follow up interview (as reasonable) with Brides Up North. 

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Bridal gown: Total prize value of bridal gown giveaway:  up to £1,000.  Redeemable against any gown in store at Brides of Harrogate, does not apply to a ‘new order’ gown and is non-transferrable.  If the value of the dress is less than the £1,000 the difference cannot be transferred or redeemed against any other product.  It is the responsibility of the winner to pay for alterations if required and is not part of the competition/offer.  There is no cash alternative.

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Bridesmaids dresses: Three bridesmaids dresses worth up to £200 each.  Award Winning Confetti & Lace will order three new bridesmaids dresses to this value as long as the order time to the wedding is greater than five months.  The winner’s bridesmaids must be available to be measured at the time of order.  Alterations, if required must be paid for by the winner at a cost of £59 each although alterations do not need to be carried out by Confetti & Lace.  The dresses are made to order and not made to measure.  Each bridesmaid must be available to attend a minimum of two fittings during the week in normal business hours if alterations are being carried out by Confetti & Lace and the two fittings have to be at least teo weeks apart to allow for sewing and the final fitting at least one week in advance of the wedding.  There is no cash alternative.  If the style chosen is not worth £200 the difference is non transferable and cannot be used to purchase anything else apart from a bridesmaid dress from Confetti and Lace of Leeds.

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Menswear:  The prize is four x menswear hire packages up to a value of £100 each.  The package includes a shirt, suit, tie, handkerchief, waistcoat and cufflinks.  The suits can be selected from any of our vast in store ranges available from Yorkshire Menswear.com (Harrogate or Leeds branches only).  No other offer, discount or promotion can be used in conjunction with the prize.  If the suits are less than £100 each, no cash alternative will be given and the difference is non-transferrable.  Accidental Damage Waiver applies to each suit hired at a charge of £7 per suit and has to be paid for by the customer in advance of collection.  Any additional suit to be hired must be paid for in full before collection and the ‘wearers’ must be available for at least one fitting.  The suits are not made to measure and we aim to provide a ‘best fit’ service.  The offer excludes shoes and highland wear.  All suits must be hired as one party for one day’s hire.  Additional hire days must be paid for by the winner at our normal rates and paid for in advance.  Collection of suits is normally one day before the date of the wedding.  We need to have all wearers measured and suits booked at least two months in advance of the wedding date within normal working hours by appointment.

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  – Images © 2012 Award Winning Confetti & Lace

Award Winning Confetti & Lace is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Best Man and Ushers, Bridesmaids, Groom, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Dresses, WEDDING GIVEAWAY | Filed Under | 134 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Up For Discussion: Don’t Tell The Groom! Man Management

December 2nd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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During my new husband’s speech at our wedding, he took some time to thank me and my Mum for all our hard work in planning the big day.  He commented, and I quote: “Wedding planning seems to involve lots of hours spent on the sofa watching Formula 1, rugby and football whilst the girls are out dress shopping.” 

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Whilst it got a laugh from the crowd, I don’t actually think he was joking.  I have the evidence:

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

The groom (centre) with the best man, father of the bride and dog.  That’s the rugby they are watching, not Wedding TV.

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Its not quite fair to say that he didn’t get involved (he had some very controversial opinions on hymns, cars and reception drinks), but it was definitely me (and Mum, thank goodness for her!) that bore the brunt of the planning (and loved it).  No appearance from Bridezilla or Groomzilla. Smiles all round. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Image by Nicola Perrott & Carly Elliott

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But what if you want your Groom to play a more active role and maybe, just maybe would like a little help and input planning the most important day of both your lives?  This morning, my fabulous guest blogger Alison Staples addresses that very issue. 

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Over to Alison: Like lots of brides to be, whilst planning our wedding I became an avid follower of ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’, the TV series where the groom gets £12,000 and three weeks to organise a wedding. The bride is kept completely in the dark until the big day.

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dttb-9

See all the images from a recent episode of Don’t Tell The Bride by Emerson Photography by clicking here

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I know it’s all about making good TV, but I’m sure I’m not the only one to sit there thinking “If that were me, he’d know exactly what to do and what to choose – because I’d have briefed him.”

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However, nine times out of 10, despite it not being the venue or the dress that the bride would have chosen, the boys generally organise an imaginative and interesting wedding day that blows their bride away.

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Other than Vegas.

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Yeah – best not to mention Vegas!

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When it came to our wedding, I had a pretty good idea of the kind of day I wanted, but a wedding involves two people. I didn’t want to be a bridezilla and I knew from ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ that boys can have hidden talents when it comes to pulling off a wedding. This needed to be a team effort.

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I was lucky that Tris (my new husband) was pretty easy going, however I did want him to feel involved and he wanted to pull his weight – after all it was his wedding too.

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However, I soon learned that we approach things very differently – in order to survive, I needed tactics!

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You’ll probably have gathered from my previous blogs that I love a good spread sheet and like to give myself plenty of time. Tris however tends to operate in a different time scale and prefers to go running.

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I remember early into the planning taking Tris for a drink in Alderley Edge, getting my blue A4 file out of my bag and spreading out my papers on the table in front of us. I must have talked for 40 minutes, barely stopping for breath, methodically going through all my ideas and plans.

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I was expecting some discussion, alternative suggestions or interrogation, but when I’d finally finished – there was a pause – and a silence – before Tris said “Well, that all seems very thorough.” There was nothing he wanted to change.

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Oh – OK!” I’d expected a much harder sell.

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So this how we did it.

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While I like a big list with deadlines I know it’s not for everyone, so I was the one driving things forward. But Tris was always there as a sounding board and on hand to help with the big decisions.

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In terms of jobs I made sure I drip fed him the ‘to do’ list. There were never more than three things on his list at any one time and we reviewed new things to add on a monthly basis. My role was to get the jobs in the right order at the right time, generate short lists and ideas for him to work from – and once I’d delegated the jobs, not to take them back if they weren’t done immediately.

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Tris’ tasks included researching and setting up our wedding ‘Bliss List’ of honeymoon treats, choosing the beer for our reception, organising the boys outfits and presents, liaising with our photographer who was an old university friend, stuffing the envelopes with invitations and double checking addresses and names of children, writing his vows and speech (well I couldn’t really do that for him could I) and generally coming with me to see venues, hotels and helping to choose a wedding bus from my short list of two.

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John Roach at FourT4 Photography

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John Roach at FourT4 Photography     John Roach at FourT4 Photography

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John Roach at FourT4 Photography

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By drip feeding Tris jobs and then trusting him to do them, he never felt overwhelmed and I didn’t feel like everything had been left to me.

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It’s so easy to feel swamped when you are organising a wedding and while it can be really hard to relinquish control – try!

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I personally wouldn’t recommend going to ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ extremes, but do consider a little delegation and you never know, your boy might just surprise you.

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How do you plan to involve your man in the planning process?  Is he hands off, hands on or a complete groomzilla?  Leave a comment and let us know.  It’s officially up for discussion. 

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Alison writes her own personal blog at http://alison-staples.blogspot.com

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Alison’s latest posts for Brides Up North:

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Up For Discussion- How To Do “I Do”- Writing Your Own Vows

Up For Discussion- Empty Chairs

Up For Discussion- Achieving The Perfect Level Of Wedding Morning Zen

Up For Discussion- The Name Game (and meet Alison!)

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Would you like to guest blog for Brides Up North? Email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Brides Up North, Nicola Perrott & Carly Elliott, Emerson Photography and John Roach at FourT4 Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in Groom, Guest Blog, UK Wedding Blog, Up For Discussion | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Winner! Ties.com

June 1st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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So much thought goes into what you and your girls are wearing on your wedding day, but make sure that your groom isn’t forgotten!  Ties.com are giving away five silk ties for your man and his ushers.

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Ties.com Ties.com

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Ties.com Ties.com

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The winner is…

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sophie

April 30, 2011 | I am having major trouble finding a tie that matches the colour of my bridesmaid dresses. I have spotted the perfect colour with these ties and would love to win this.

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Well done Sophie! You are going to be very popular with the boys. Please contact Brides Up North to claim your prize.

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Thank you

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Huge thanks once again to all of my Featured Suppliers and amazing Wedding Industry superstars for supporting the Brides Up North Right Royal Giveaway Bonanza so wholeheartedly and donating some mind blowing prizes.  On behalf of myself and all my readers, you are fabulous:

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Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear

Cards By Sophie

Hardwick Hall Hotel

Lee Brown Photography

Blue Friesian

Karen McGowran Photography

Tiararama

Ramside Hall Hotel

Mandy Charlton Photography

Cakes By Beth

Purple Princess Designs

FYEO Portraits

The English Rose Bakery

The Cupcake Studio

Matt Ethan Photography

Papaver Designs

XOXO Stationery

Sean Elliott Photography

Heaven Sent Cupcakes

Popcake Kitchen

Hannah Dornford May Photography

Amanda Wakeley & Ernest Jones

By Gina Jewellery

Wedding & Baby

Ties.com

Assassynation

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Check back here tomorrow to find out if you won your wedding photography with super snapper Assassynation.  Exciting times!

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Ties.com

This is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North Logo

Posted in Best Man and Ushers, Father Of The Bride, Father Of The Groom, Featured Supplier, Groom, Right Royal Giveaways, WEDDING GIVEAWAY | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Right Royal Giveaway – Ties.com (CLOSED)

April 27th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Don’t forget him indoors!  Today, Brides Up North has a treat that you can win for your man and his merry men.  Kit him and the ushers out for a visit to the altar with a brand new silk tie each from Ties.com.  There are five up for grabs!

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Ties.com

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Ties.com is offering one lucky Brides Up North reader the chance to win five ties of your choice.

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Simply comment on this post to enter!*

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Ties.com

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Competition closes on 27 May 2011

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right royal giveaway bonanza

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Click here for the chance to win your WEDDING DRESS (worth up to £1,200!) with Mia Sposa Bridal and Menswear.

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Click here for the chance to win gorgeous Royal Wedding inspired stationery by Cards By Sophie.

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Click here for the chance to win a bed and breakfast break at Hardwick Hall Hotel, County Durham with a bottle of champagne!

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Click here for the chance to win an  free engagement shoot, a free 14 x11 mounted image for signing and a free storybook album worth £350 with Lee Brown Photography.

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Click here for the chance to win one of 10 personalised magazine covers from Blue Friesian.

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Click here for the chance to win a portrait session and free 10×8 print from Karen McGowran Photography worth up to £150.

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Click here for the chance to win a bespoke hair accessory from Tiararama worth up to £250.

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Click here for the chance to win a bed and breakfast break at Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham with a bottle of champagne!

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Click here for the chance to win a vintage style couples shoot plus a 24 x 32 canvas of your favourite shot, worth £470, with Mandy Charlton Photography!

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Click here for the chance to win a “Finesse” Pearl and Crystal Bracelet from Purple Princess Designs.

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Click here for the chance to win 50% off your wedding cake (or cupcake tower) with Cakes By Beth.

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Click here for the chance to win a mini boudoir shoot worth £99 with FYEO Portraits.

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Click here for the chance to win 50 French macaroon wedding favours with The English Rose Bakery

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Click here for the chance to win a 20% discount voucher on any order with The Cupcake Studio

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Click here for the chance to win your wedding photography worth £750 with Matt Ethan Photography!The prize includes a full day of wedding coverage with a digital DVD album.

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Click here for the chance to win a personalised wedding paper lantern from Papaver Designs plus 25% off their whole product line.

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Click here for the chance to win an engagement shoot and supply of images in an online slideshow set to music worth £295 with Sean Elliott Photography.

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Click here for the chance to win a bespoke table plan and 25% off on the day stationery from their gorgeous Save The Pennies range with XOXO Stationery.

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Click here for the chance to win a gift voucher for 50% off a gorgeous cake from Heaven Sent Cupcakes.

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Click here for the chance to win 50 popcake wedding favours covered in sparkly sugar to match the colour theme of the winner and the ‘Mr & Mrs’ popcakes for the special couple with Popcake Kitchen.

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Click here for the chance to win a couple’s shoot with Hannah Dornford May Photography

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Click here for the chance to win an Amanda Wakeley & Ernest Jones goody bag with look book, DVD and a leather jewellery case.

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Click here for the chance to win a bridal headband of your choice from By Gina Jewellery.

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Click here for the chance to win the Eleanor Swarovski crystal and bead headpiece from Wedding and Baby.

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*Winner will be drawn at random.  Entrants will be automatically be subscribed to the Brides Up North monthly newsletter. No cash alternative. .

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This is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Posted in Best Man and Ushers, Groom, Right Royal Giveaways, WEDDING GIVEAWAY | Filed Under | 24 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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