Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

The Rise Of The Mini Moon

November 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Cat Hepple Photography

It’s been a busy Monday morning and Friday feels a long way off.  What better time than for our regular guest blogger Rachel (we’ve missed you Rach!) to talk time out and remind you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.  Today, she’s all about facilitating that “minimoon”.  Monday blues?  What Monday blues? Go on, get it booked…

Images by Cat Hepple Photography, as previously featured here and here

Cat Hepple Photography

Rachel says:  I don’t know about you but I love an excuse to extend a celebration. Take my birthday for example – of course the main celebration is the day itself but I like to push the partying over at least one weekend, if not two. After all there’s the family meal, weekend away with the boyfriend (I hope) and drinks, shopping and spa treatments with friends to squeeze in. And don’t even get me started on festive celebrations in our household – they stretch from the very beginning of December right into the new year (though thankfully don’t include a turkey curry buffet).

Looking at today’s wedding scene, it’s clear there are many wedding couples who share my mindset with a growing trend for weekend weddings. After all, why would you confine the celebrations to just one day when you can easily spread it across three with a pre-wedding dinner the ceremony itself and then, of course, a day of present opening, cake eating, champagne quaffing and catching up with family and friends.

But now brides and grooms are taking extending the wedding celebrations a step further by delaying their main honeymoon until later in the year, or even the following year, and taking a minimoon in the meantime instead.

Cat Hepple Photography

The minimoon was originally born out of the credit crunch when many wedding couples were forced to tighten the purse strings. Research revealed brides and grooms were swapping lavish two-week holidays to long-haul destinations such as the Maldives for shorter holidays closer to home. But as circumstances have continued to change so too have couples’ holidaying habits, with many brides and grooms now having the best of both worlds – booking themselves a minimoon for a that much-needed break straight after the wedding and a honeymoon a little later down the line, giving reason for the wedding excitement to live on.

Cat Hepple Photography

A minimoon usually consists of a relaxing three- to four-day break at a destination not too far away from the wedding location. Some couples might choose a sentimental location such as the first place they went on holiday together or the place they got engaged, while others might just want a destination that provides pure relaxation to unwind following the tense pre-wedding build up. In the UK top choices include rustic retreats, spa breaks and city locations while those flush enough to push the minimoon boundaries are jetting off to romantic European destinations such as Rome, Paris and Venice.

Cat Hepple Photography

While delaying a honeymoon in favour of a minimoon does effectively spread the celebrations, it has become a big hit among today’s wedding couples for many more reasons.

The minimoon is particularly popular with teachers and those with work commitments that can’t afford to take large amounts of time off work all in one go. It’s also ideal for those asking their guests for contributions towards the honeymoon instead of traditional gifts as they book a holiday suited to the fund following the wedding.

Cat Hepple Photography

For those who can only handle so much planning at a time, delaying the main honeymoon means there will be more time to organise the holiday after the wedding preparations have taken place. Taking a minimoon in the meantime means couples have that essential break before returning to the daily grind after their wedding day.

A postponed honeymoon also gives brides and grooms who will be stumping up the honeymoon costs themselves longer to save up and book their holiday at a time suited to the best prices and weather conditions.

Cat Hepple Photography

So while the credit crunch may curbed our Topshop sprees and cocktail drinking, we do have it to thank for the introduction of the minimoon/postponed honeymoon trend which helps keep the post-wedding day blues at bay that bit longer.

What do you think?  Will you/ did you take a minimoon?  Any hot spot recommendations for our other readers?

All images taken from Alice & Paul’s gorgeous Parisian engagement shoot with Cat Hepple PhotographyClick here and here to see the full set. 

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Cat Hepple Photography

This is not a sponsored post

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Posted in Guest Blog, Honeymoon | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Location, Location, Location! Supplier Showcase: Sykes Cottages

January 21st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Slipping away to a cottage retreat in the middle of nowhere (or somewhere near to spas and shopping where the neighbours can’t hear your raucous singing) for one last “relaxing” weekend with the girls might be expected as your big day approaches, but have you considered a holiday cottage as a potential venue for the wedding day itself?

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In my job as a full time and bridal features writer, I come across gems of wedding venues all the time – from the stately and sublime to the cosy and chic, but I must admit that I hadn’t considered the option of hiring a holiday cottage to host a private and personal wedding celebration until I was approached by Brides Up North sponsor Sykes Cottages

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Why haven’t I thought of this before? 

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Sykes Cottages manage a veritable smorgasbord of beautiful holiday homes which are available to hire for your special day.  Think about it – it’s a wedding “at home” (the dream home of your choice, selected from a vast variety of options that you can browse online), but “on location” at the same time.  Choose your property, location, length of stay and any added extras… then send out the save the dates.  And, as the mini-moon and staycation remain as popular as ever,  the after the event possibilities are endless too.

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Genius.  Maybe that girly get-away can wait…

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Amanda of Sykes Cottages says: So you’ve got the ring (congratulations!) and now you can look forward to the next few weeks and months of planning every little detail of your big day. From the dress to the flowers and the transport, your ‘to-do’ list seems endless.

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When it comes to the venue, your decision is crucial as the venue itself will dictate the tone of the entire day. Whether you choose a grand stately home, your childhood church or an outdoor location, choosing the venue is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions before the big day. But if a grand property isn’t quite what you have in mind, perhaps a more intimate wedding venue would fit the bill.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Finding a holiday cottage ideal for your wedding isn’t as difficult as you might think. Choose a grand property set in beautiful grounds for the wow factor with an intimate feel or a more traditional cottage for a romantic, outdoorsy style. Some properties even have a dance floor, offer a private chef and maid service to ensure your nuptials go without a hitch.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Feeling at home at the venue a few days before the wedding should help settle those last minute nerves on the big day. Book a make-up artist or hairdresser so you and your bridesmaids kick start the day in style. If you’re planning a big day with a home-spun feel, choosing a property to accommodate all the guests in the run up to the wedding is a great choice: make use of the willing volunteers and create a truly unique backdrop to your big day.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Wherever you choose to celebrate your big day, choosing a holiday cottage for the occasion is a good way to guarantee a totally unique wedding. Pick a holiday cottage in some of the UK’s most stunning countryside for exceptional wedding photos that you’ll love forever.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Instead of disappearing on honeymoon towards the end of the reception, many couples now choose to enjoy the first few days of wedded bliss closer to home before embarking on their honeymoon to remember later on. While tradition dictates that the groom to be is responsible for planning (and financing!) the honeymoon, it certainly doesn’t hurt you to drop a few hints in the lead-up to the big day!

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Choosing a holiday cottage is a really great way to combine the high-end finish of a boutique hotel with all the privacy you want in your first few days as a married couple. Find honeymoon accommodation with a private hot tub and celebrate with a glass of champagne under the stars for the perfect start to married life any time of year.

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For a summer honeymoon, why not choose a holiday cottage with access to a swimming pool or by a secluded beach for a wonderful few days. Winter brides might prefer a cosy, traditional cottage with a roaring log fire for romantic days and nights in. Wherever you choose to spend those first few days as Mr and Mrs, you’re sure to leave with memories to treasure.

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Sykes Cottages - Alternative Wedding Venues & Honeymoons

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Got your mind whirring?  Thought as much!  For more information, visit the Sykes Cottages website to find your perfect wedding venue or honeymoon destination.

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  – Images © 2013 supplied by Sykes Cottages

This is 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 Alternative Weddings, Honeymoon, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Destination: Wedding! A Day In The Life With Thomson Weddings

September 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This Summer I was thrilled to be invited along by Brides Up North Featured Supplier and destination weddings specialist Thomson Weddings to work on a video shoot in sunny Cyprus on behalf of both Brides Up North and Wedding Ideas Magazine.  I know, I know, it’s a tough job right?

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Actually, it was a tougher job than I had imagined.  It wasn’t all shoot for two hours then spend the rest of the day sipping all inclusive Cosmopolitans by the pool as I had perhaps imagined (and told my mates!) – oh no – this was two and a half day’s long slog in the ceaseless 38 degree heat of the midday sun, as we performed take after take at various (breath taking) locations in order to capture the true essence of a destination wedding with the Thomson team.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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I can guarantee one thing – if this much hard work goes into perfecting an already perfect location, then you just know that these guys are going to pull out all the stops when it comes to creating your dream wedding day.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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The ten plus strong team (makeup, hair, cameras, lighting, models, extras, set design, the Thomson team and this ) shot on location at the lovely St George Hotel in Cyprus, with a little help on site from Paphos florist Suntropical and events dresser Be Inspired.  The gorgeous gowns were Augusta Jones provided by The Ivory Wardrobe and Kitty & Dulcie, with headpieces by Flo & Percy and the most beautiful Rachel Simpson Shoes.  The boys looked smart in Hugh Harris suits. 

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Upon arrival it was straight into our wedding outfits (I had chosen a blousy French Connection dress to allow some air flow – or so I hoped!) and fascinators, topped up with plenty of factor 20 as we joined the team on set by the rippling turquoise waters of the hotel’s beautiful bay.  Here we had set up a mock open air wedding ceremony, which attracted the attention of our fellow guests and locals alike – until they realised that a. it wasn’t a real wedding (the bride walked the aisle about ten times!) and b. in the alternative, we weren’t filming for primetime TV.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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I wouldn’t call myself much of an actress but myself (and the hubby – who is gutted that most of his acting skills ended up on the cutting room floor) found ourselves getting into character as the Director asked us to clap, congratulate and shower the happy couple – of gorgeous models, don’t they make you sick?! – with confetti a few thousand times.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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After the ceremony scene was wrapped and, unbelievably, we hadn’t lost anyone to heat exhaustion – a normal ceremony takes a maximum of thirty minutes, ours took four hours – it was straight up to the (thankfully fan-filled) terrace for the wedding breakfast.  Sparkling glasses of champagne and plates of delicious looking Greek salad and seafood were lavished upon us – but we weren’t allowed to eat any of it* – as it was on with the show.

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*Ok, we may have sneaked some champagne.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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The Thomson Weddings team had dressed the scene in beautiful zesty lemon and crisp white, which sparkled against the perfect blue sky.  Bright cut flowers and ripe fruit in jars added to the fresh feel of the setting.  Warmer destinations can definitely carry off brighter colour schemes beautifully.

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After our full plates were cleared (don’t worry, they made up for it later with a beautiful team lunch by the sea the next day) we headed down to the seaside taverna to shoot the party scenes, where that sneaked champagne came in handy as we hit the dance floor hard, before calling it a wrap for the day.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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The next day we spent most of our time indoors and shooting filler scenes – longing for some time on a sun lounger or treatment bed ourselves – before enjoying that gorgeous lunch and enjoying some celebratory drinks in the evening.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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I was there with my trusty camera (and plenty of bottled water!) the whole way, capturing some of the behind the scenes shots from this blog post and looking forward to seeing what the professionals came up with.  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the fruit of our labours – two days condensed into just over three minutes – a film which perfectly captures what the wonderful Thomson Weddings team can do for you: make magic. 

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I can vouch for that, I’ve seen it first hand.

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Thomson Weddings Destinaton Wedding (c) UK Wedding Blog Brides Up North

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Try not to cringe at my acting debut (can you spot me?) and blink and you’ll miss the hubby…so whilst I love the results, I don’t think Hollywood will come calling – for us anyway – anytime soon!

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Roll the film…

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View the Thomson Weddings video

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For more information on your perfect destination wedding, contact the lovely Thomson Weddings team on 0871 984 3195 or via their website, who will be happy to help.

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Watch out for my feature in the October issue of Wedding Ideas Magazine – coming soon!

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Little Black Book

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Thomson Weddings – www.thomson.co.uk/weddings (0871 984 3195)

Photographs – Brides Up North

Day bridal dress and bridesmaid dress – The Ivory Wardrobe (www.theivorywardrobe.co.uk)

Hotel – St. George Hotel Golf & Spa Resort, Cyprus (www.stgeorge-hotel.com)

Evening bridal dress – Pearly Queen, Kitty & Dulcie (www.kittyanddulcie.com)

Groomswear outfits – Hugh Harris Menswear (www.hughharris.co.uk)

Bridal and bridesmaid shoes – Rachel Simpson (www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk)

Bridal/bridesmaid headwear and jewellery – Flo & Percy (www.floandpercy.com)

Paphos florist – Suntropical

Paphos ceremony and reception decorations – Be Inspired

Paphos dress steaming – Occasionally Suited

Hairdresser and Spa – St. George Hotel

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  – Images © 2012 Brides Up North

Thomson Weddings is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is 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 Destination Wedding, Featured Supplier, Honeymoon | Filed Under | 3 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

THIS WEEKEND! Special Event: Honeymoons At Travel Bureau – PLUS £100 Off Your Holiday

June 14th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Morning all!  We are now officially on the way to the weekend.

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Can I get a whoop, whoop?

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As since its nearly the weekend, its time to make some plans.  With this in mind, I interrupt our usual blogging schedule (you know: gorgeous, gorgeous and more gorgeous) to bring you news of an exciting event happening this very Saturday and Sunday.

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This is one for the North East ladies: Brides Up North’s latest Featured Supplier, Travel Bureau of Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne are hosting a weekend totally devoted to you and your honeymoon plans.

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Travel Bureau

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Katie at Travel Bureau says: Due to the huge success of our summer 2011 Honeymoon Event, we are doing it all over again!  Join us for this special weekend event and relax while you enjoy champagne and sweet treats throughout the day!

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We pride ourselves on organising luxury honeymoons to some of the best hotels in the world. Our specialist honeymoon concierges organise tailor-made getaways to the world’s most romantic destinations from the Maldives to Mauritius, Italy to India, Africa, Ecuador and beyond. Our honeymoon concierges have visited hundreds of hideaways to bring back inside tips.

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Book now to avoid disappointment as we are filling places fast. 

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The ticket charge is fully refundable against any holiday booked, PLUS (and here’s the best bit) you get an extra £100 off your honeymoon when booked through Travel Bureau.* 

Date: Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June, 11am-3pm

Location: Travel Bureau. 69 High Street, Gosforth, Newcastle. NE3 4AT

Tickets: £5.00 per person including refreshments and goody bags.**

Contact: katie@travelb.co.uk / 0191 272 6022

RSVP: Friday 15th June 2011 – that’s tomorrow people!  Get on it!

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What are you waiting for?

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*Full terms and condition apply, please ask in store for details 

* *Payment can be made with credit/debit card/cash/cheque/in store/over the phone or via eventbrite.

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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Travel Bureau

Travel Bureau 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

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Posted in Destination Wedding, Events, Featured Supplier, Honeymoon | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Treasure Trove! Supplier Showcase: The Berry Boutique

May 14th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This afternoon on the wedding blog it’s all about making a statement, as we chat to Brides Up North Featured Supplier Judith of The Berry Boutique about her fabulous range of costume and semi precious jewellery.  Whether you want to raise the fashion stakes on your big day, look hot on honeymoon or point your mum in the right direction for her Mother Of The Bride accessories, a visit to The Berry Boutique is in order. 

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The Berry Boutique    The Berry Boutique

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When did The Berry Boutique open and what is your background?

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The Berry Boutique officially opened 10th January 2012. That was the date my website was completed.

I started with the Berry Boutique as quite a number of years ago I had a ladies fashion shop in Darlington, called Frenchies.  My then husband (who is French) and I would visit the jewellery and fashion wholesale areas of Paris, choose the items we thought were the most unusual and have them sent across to the UK. It was really exciting and I still have a couple of items that are still commented on when I wear them. I loved the regular clients calling into the shop and the buzz of knowing the stock was so different.

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The Berry Boutique    The Berry Boutique

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What lines of jewellery do you stock?

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I have five suppliers at the moment. About 80% of my pieces are hand made. They range from £30 to £180 and my customers can be from young ladies going to proms or sophisticated ladies who want something very different, yet not too expensive. Some of my pieces are semi-precious stones in beautiful colours.

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There are some pieces I feel do not show well on photos but that sell out at wedding fairs and other venues, where they can be touched and their unusual colours and weight becomes apparent.

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My newest stock has a great deal of aquamarine and coral stones with matching earrings, lovely for a Caribbean wedding or holiday.

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I like to think that my jewellery is a little different, I have a few pieces of jewellery with fur and leather on the cuffs and fur on part of the necklace itself. All my earrings are for pierced ears, but I have a selection of new earrings, shortly to be delivered, with clips.

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The Berry Boutique

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What pieces do you think would work particularly well for brides?

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I have a good selection of diamante necklaces, with taupe coloured stones as well as light stones. These are worn near to the neck and are very effective. I believe that most of my jewellery would be absolutely ideal for a honeymoon in warmer climates, where brightly coloured jewellery looks so dramatic.

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The Berry Boutique   The Berry Boutique

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Do you have a shop or are you purely online?

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Whilst I am on-line with most of my jewellery I do many venues and fairs.  I also cater for ladies who have coffee mornings or charity functions. I am totally equipped with jewellery displays and tables and I am more than happy to donate 15% of that day’s takings, to the hostess’ choice of charity.

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The Berry Boutique    The Berry Boutique

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

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Choosing my personal favourite piece is rather difficult. I have recently had some beautiful silver heart lockets with matching silver heart locket bracelets delivered. They are on either black, beige, brown or red leather with silver ring clasps. They have been extremely popular. I am waiting for another delivery within the next few days. Whenever I wear my jewellery people ask where I found it. These pieces are not yet on my website and I have already had to reorder… so watch out for new arrivals soon!

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  The Berry Boutique   The Berry Boutique

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Is there a particular style of jewellery that is popular with your customers at the moment?

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The most popular jewellery at the moment would have to be the brightly coloured pieces for holidays and honeymoons.

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What can Brides Up North expect when they use your online service?

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Brides Up North can expect a very quick response when they use my online service. I had a young lady living in Central London who ordered a necklace last week. She was astounded that she was able to take delivery of the jewellery the very next day. A signature was required on delivery and she was only able to be at home that day. One very happy customer!

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The Berry Boutique                     The Berry Boutique

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How does The Berry Boutique provide a superior experience to other online jewellery retailers?

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Our vast range of jewellery covers every possible situation from Mother of the Bride to honeymoon to more casual situations. Everything for the lady who knows what she likes and looks special in and who needs the piece of jewellery as quickly as possible.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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I try to keep my prices as reasonable as I am able to. Well made fashion jewellery can be so effective and I feel that whilst most ladies have ‘the little black dress’ they love, it is important to totally change the look for different occasions. With reasonable priced pieces you can make very different statements and looks without spending a fortune. My prices for a necklace range from £30 to £180 and earrings from £15 to £20.

I would be more than happy to give a discount to Brides Up North readers. Just ask!

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The Berry Boutique    The Berry Boutique

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How are your products packaged?

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My pieces are posted in a black 7” x9” jewellery box with a black velvet inlay. The box is then put into a bubble lined envelope, to make absolutely sure that they are received in the same perfect condition as they left me. They are then posted first class Royal Mail. A signature is required before delivery. Should they be purchased as a gift the box would be appropriately wrapped prior being put into the bubble envelope.

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The Berry Boutique    The Berry Boutique

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

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You can visit my website www.theberryboutique.co.uk.  For special enquiries, I always have my mobile phone with me 07811 233 352 (a mobile enquiry can never be too late in the evening).  You can also reach me by email at judith@theberryboutique.co.uk

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  – Images © 2012 The Berry Boutique

The Berry Boutique 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, Honeymoon, Mother of Bride, Mother of Groom, Wedding Jewellery | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane! A Honeymoon Calendar

March 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Recently, my thoughts have been turning to holidays and honeymoons.  It could be the unseasonably good British weather – which has seen me decamp from Brides Up North HQ with my laptop and flip flops to a nearby outdoor cafe two afternoons running – or it could be a rather exciting press trip for Wedding Ideas Magazine that I am taking part in this weekend (more on that later today).  Either way, I am ready to pack my bags and leave on a jet plane, and I bet you won’t need much persuading either.

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When planning our own wedding, one of the things that the hubby and I most looked forward to was the two and a half week break at the end of it all.  Some together time to relax, regroup and *hopefully* have the time of our lives. 

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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We picked our wedding date in mid October for a number of reasons – because close family and friends were tying the knot earlier in the year, because our chosen venue would look stunning surrounded by golden trees, because the weather always seems better in Autumn (crisp blue skies and unexpected heatwaves) and – romantically – because my favourite song and our first dance contains the lyrics:

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A fantabulous night to make romance, ‘neath the cover of October skies

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All hugely valid reasons.  Particularly the last one. 

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However, what we failed to take into account was that our choice of wedding date would have a huge impact on our choice of honeymoon destination.  Yeah, I suppose we could have thrown caution to the wind and headed somewhere tropical during monsoon season, or hoped that Europe would heat up just for us.  However, when you are about to lay down the most amount of money that you have paid for a holiday EVER and for a holiday that you have really quite high expectations of, throwing caution to the wind just ain’t my style.

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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A whole lot of google searches and some rejigging of ideas later, the hubby and I self booked a triple centre holiday to New York, Vegas and Los Angeles.  It really was the time of our lives (as some of these snaps show!) and because we were so active, we made so many fabulous memories. 

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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My point is, if you have your heart set on something particular, or if you are at the honeymoon planning stage with a wedding date already booked, it pays to do your homework.

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog   (c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Thomson Holidays have just joined Brides Up North as a Featured Supplier and I am sure that they’ll be chipping in with lots of handy hints in the coming months, but until then, harnessing the power of the internet, here’s a holiday calendar of seasonal suggestions.  Whilst I can’t guarantee clear skies at your final destination, at least you’ll be giving yourself a good shot!

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Information collated using honeymoon calendars at Kuoni, Not Just Travel, The Telegraph and personal experience/ recommendations.

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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January

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Beach: St Lucia, Barbados

City: Sydney, Cairo 
Something different: Oman, Morocco, The Alps

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February

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Beach: Maldives, Goa, Malaysia, Thailand
City: Cape Town

Something different: New Zealand, Whistler

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March

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Beach: Dubai, St Lucia
City: Las Vegas, Venice
Something different: UAE, India, Morocco

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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April

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Beach: Koh Samui, Cyprus, The Canaries

City: Rome, Beijing 
Something different: Borneo

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May

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Beach: Seychelles, Cook Islands, Turkey
City: San Francisco, Paris
Something different: Canadian Rockies, Florida

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June

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Beach: Mauritius, Crete, Sicily 
City: Lucerne, Madrid
Something different: Brazil, Galapagos Islands

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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July

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Beach: Hawaii, Seychelles, Mediterranean 
City: Rome
Something different: Bali

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August

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Beach: Fiji, Mediterranean
City: Vietnam
Something different: Kenya safari

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September

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Beach: Zanzibar, Cyprus 
City: Singapore, Paris, Venice, Florence 
Something different: Cook Islands, Alaska

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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October

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Beach: Sri Lanka
City: Luxor, NYC, Las Vegas
Something different: Great Barrier Reef

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November

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Beach: Barbados, St Lucia, Cuba 
City: NYC, Boston

Something different: Phuket, Canadian Rockies

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December

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Beach: Jamaica, Goa
City: Phnom Penh, Cape Town

Something different: Mexico, Uruguay

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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  – Images © 2012 Brides Up North

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Honeymoons – Just The Two Of Us!

January 20th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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I think it’s time to inject a little sunshine onto the swirly silver pages of the wedding blog, don’t you?  This morning, my guest blogger Alison is back from a winter sojourn in Morocco, fired up on the vitamin D and ready to talk honeymoons – both mini and mega.

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Your wedding day comes with a massive added bonus:  the holiday at the end of it.  Whether you choose to visit balmy foreign shores, staycation in the UK or, like my hubby and I, go to some really really cool places that have always been at the top of your wish list, with a little forward planning, haggling and compromise, your trip of a lifetime needn’t cause you too much stress or debt. My top tips: check the weather at the time of year you want to go, compare DIY prices to complete packages for the best deals, shop around and start saving now.  

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog    Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

The hubby and I on our triple centre self planned tip to NYC, Vegas and LA! (Baby!)

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You can officially begin looking forward now…

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Over to Alison: Having just returned from the mayhem that is Marrakech (I raised a glass of mint tea to each and every one of you) – and with frost on the ground it seems like a good time to tackle ‘Honeymoons’!

Tris (my husband) and I both owned our own places before we finally took the plunge and moved in together – so when we got married we decided against a traditional wedding list.

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We put the usual on our wedding invitations, “Of course, having you at our special day is present enough”.

But I knew that people would still want to get us something. Not wanting to risk a mountain of Jamie Oliver cheese boards, we agreed that what we wanted most of all were amazing memories, so went for an on-line wedding list where people could buy treats for us on our honeymoon to New England and New York.

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But which one to choose?

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In the end we came up with a short list and ranked them on cost (many will charge a set-up fee, % of gift value and a transaction fee depending on payment. And don’t be caught out by PayPal fees), flexibility, and which looked the best.  We chose ‘Bliss List’ (www.blisslist.co.uk) but do shop around and find the right one for you.

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Finding the right product was just the start. You then have to fill it with exciting treats – describing them in a way that people almost feel like they are coming with you. ‘Bliss List’ gave us the option of adding a web link which was really handy, so guests could check the treats out for themselves.

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I tried to include a range of price options, from £5 up to £100. In addition to contributions to flights, car hire and campsite fees, we had treats such as:

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“Whale Watching at Cape Ann – Nothing beats the thrill of getting up close with these amazing creatures. Help us have a whale of a time!” (2x£30).

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“Cocktails on the Lower East Side – Very Sex and the City” (4x£7).

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“Carriage ride through Central Park - It’s cheesy, its 30mins, but it’s our honeymoon. Bring on the romance!” (2x£50).

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If you want to check out the rest of our list for ideas, click here (www.blisslist.co.uk/viewlist/Natural)

It worked like a charm. Our guests found it really easy to use and were ridiculously generous, filling their virtual shopping baskets with multiple treats. In fact it was so successful we ran out and unfortunately had to add a minimoon to Paris – damn!

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“Keep us in croissants – Help us start the day with a proper petit dejeuner!” (4x£5)

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“The Louvre and galleries of Paris – I bet we can make the Mona Lisa smile! Paris is one of the most artistic cities in the world. There is so much art to see it is a Monet away from ridiculous.” (2x£20)

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With ‘Bliss List’ our guests paid the web site directly. They held the money which we were able to transfer into our account at any time. We found that most people bought their gift as soon as they received their invitation which really helped with cash flow.

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Of course I was really careful not to over promise. I didn’t want ‘achieving our wedding list’ to overwhelm our honeymoon. The temptation is to overfill our days with treats – I had visions of screaming at Tris “But we can’t sleep yet – we’ve got a unicycle workshop from your Auntie Beryl and ice fishing from Una to fit in before bed time!”

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While we did do most of the things on our list, there were a couple of occasions where we were thwarted. So we made sure we did something else instead. When we couldn’t get to see a Boston Red Sox baseball game, we spent that gift on watching it in a bar while having dinner.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog    Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Alison and Tris on their Bliss List Honeymoon(s!)

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It was fantastic to text people from the top of the Eiffel Tower and send post cards from Moosehead Lake to thank people for treating us. Then when we got home I made a montage of photos and e-mailed people with stories.

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But despite all the treats and excitement – at the end of the day our honeymoon was about the two of us. After the build up to the wedding it was fantastic to be just us again. I can remember sitting opposite Tris in a café in Paris in the sunshine three days after our wedding. We’d moved onto the next stage in our life together and it was like falling in love all over again! Ahhhh!

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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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Santa Baby- A Bride’s Letter To St Nick

Christmas Weddings In Soap Land – Some Very Un-Real Weddings!

Up For Discussion- Money Can’t Buy You Love – Bringing It In On Budget

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

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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  – Images © 2012 Brides Up North/ Alison Staples

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 Guest Blog, Honeymoon | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Festive Fabulous!

December 26th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Festive Fabulous: Melissa Odabash

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Winter sun honeymoon?  We’ve got it covered.  Well, almost

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India Crochet Bandeau Bikini and Bottoms £166 by Melissa Odabash at Harvey Nichols

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  – Image © 2011 Harvey Nichols

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 Honeymoon | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Wedding Blog Dream Venue: Middleton Hall

September 1st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Dream Venue Middleton Hall

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I love a good stately pile.  This one, located in the glorious Northumberland countryside, ticks all my Lady of The Manor boxes.  Introducing, Middleton Hall.

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Middleton Hall’s first wedding open day is this Sunday the 4th of September from 12pm – 4pm. They have a range of recommended suppliers on display and many of the rooms dressed for ceremonies and breakfasts. This is the ideal opportunity to come and have a look at what they have to offer.   It is your chance to meet with Ashley, Middleton Hall’s dedicated wedding coordinator who will talk you through the different options on offer.  

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This afternoon, I chat to Ashley about what makes Middleton Hall a Dream Venue.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Dream Venue Middleton Hall

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What facilities does Middleton Hall have?

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The main hall houses 10 bedrooms which offer luxurious accommodation for up to 20 of your guests and additional day beds can be added for extra guests. Within the hall we have some fantastic social areas such as the orangery, south lounge and the games/boys’ room which houses its own full size snooker table. Our large dining room can seat up to 24 people making it the perfect location to relax with friends and eat some fantastic food the night before your wedding.

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Middleton Models Shoot   - 205

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog:  Dream Venue Middleton Hall

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Tell us a little bit about the other buildings on site?

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Two private lakes, walled Victorian gardens, mature woodland, and superb luxury accommodation are all within the estate’s private 30 acres. Manicured lawns and mature woodland wrap around the Hall creating the most idyllic position where peace and privacy are second nature.  Adjacent to the Hall is our newly opened beauty room, with an on-site beautician and a large list of treatments, guests can relax and be pampered right up to and beyond their wedding day. Kate our in-house beautician can transform your wedding party from head to toe.

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Lake Cottage, a 5* graded cottage located within the grounds of the Hall sleeps up to 6 people which is the ideal solution to those guests who wish to stay closer to the wedding venue. The cottage is the ideal entertaining space with an open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge. With traditional log burner and under-floor heating your guests will feel special from the moment they step into this luxury cottage.

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Our romantic and secluded boathouse benefits from one of the best views in the estate, overlooking the lake. The boathouse which is open plan and sleeps two is the ideal romantic hideaway complete with its own boat and oars. Deer, heron, carp and otters are your only neighbours.

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Middleton 085

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Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Featured Supplier, Honeymoon, Wedding Venues | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Super Sunday!

August 21st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Today is joining the fun at the Summer In The City Wedding Fair at The Caledonian Hotel, Jesmond.  If you are a Bride to Be in the North East, pop along between 12pm and 4pm.  With 50+ exhibitors, wedding fairs throughout the day by Wendy Coles Bridal and free admission, what more persuasion could you need?  Drop by this ’s stand and have a chin wag – I can’t wait to meet you!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Simply Beach    Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Simply Beach

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I am also excited to announce the winner of my Honeymoon Hotty Giveaway with Simply Beach. The winner of a £50 voucher to spend on a bikini or swimwear is:

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  • Jacqui Davies

    August 11, 2011 | Our honeymoon in Kenya this November will be our first beach holiday on our own in the 7 years we have been together, so I’d really love some fancy bikinis to wow my new husband with!

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Congratulations Jacqui!  Let’s hope you get on with each other!  Please contact Brides Up North as soon as possible to claim your prize.

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Speaking of honeymoons, whilst I ready myself for a day of wedding chat (I can’t wait!), here are some of this wedding blogger’s top tips for a gorgeous staycation, UK minimoon or romantic pre wedding break Up North…

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City Chic

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh

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A fashionable favourite, the perfectly styled Hotel Missoni is just a step from Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.  Soak up some Scottish culture, hit the shops and knock back a cocktail or three.  Champagne is on tap in this boutique hotel’s trendy bar.  Och Aye!

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Spa Heaven

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Feversham Arms

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Fresh air, delicious food, posh pampering and views to die for.  The Feversham Arms at Helmsley, North Yorkshire is one of my favourite boutique bolt holes.

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Private Island

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Isle Of Eriska

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On the Isle of Eriska in Oban Argyll, you’ll find 5* luxury, a castle residence and a private golf course.  Perfectly dreamy. 

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Seaside Bolt Hole

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. Brides Up North Wedding Blog: White Rose Cottage, Whitby

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A sea side stroll, fish and chips double wrapped, and a chilled bottle of crisp white.  The perfect Friday night in for two at The White Rose Cottage, Robin Hood’s Bay, near Whitby. 

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Gone Sailing

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Boathouse, Northumberland

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A private lakeside boathouse and a rowing boat made for two await you at The Boathouse, Middleton Hall, Northumberland.  Oars away!

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Whether you are jetting off or staying on British shores…are YOU ready to bare all on the beach?  Not sure?  Welllllllllllll… Brides Up North may just be able to help you with that!  Check back on the wedding blog tomorrow AM for some news!

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Brides Up North – Images © 2011 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

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Posted in Honeymoon, Romantic Break, Super Sunday | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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