Charlotte Balbier

tinsel time. julia’s christmas picks

December 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Julia's Christmas Picks

There’s absolutely no doubt about it that the big day is drawing near – cue an afternoon spent dashing round the shops like a headless chicken, toddler in tow, as I realised that today was my only possible shopping day till the big man comes down the chimney.

(Sorry about the late feature, and all that, but at least there’ll be presents under the tree!)

My Christmas shopping’s done (albeit hastily), but here’s what would be on my wish list for the 25th, if anyone out there’s paying any attention by this stage…

Or have I lost you all to a reality TV and mulled wine blur?

ruby & ed ballerina slippers, £39

Soft, snuggly and stylish, these ballerina slippers come in the prettiest berry shades, perfect for cosy Christmas evenings in.  Plus they do a tiny pair, just right for my little mini me!

charlotte tilbury Supermodel Body, £45

Her make up line is sensational, so I’m hoping that her Supermodel Body cream will do what it says on the tin.  After skipping the gym in favour of more screen time, let’s hope that Charlotte’s promise of a “slimmer shimmer” comes to fruition.

jimmy choo Rebel cross body bag, £795

I’m dreaming of a Jimmy Christmas, and this little number works for day or night. I’d chose the silver for maximum sparkle.

nails inc nail polish in Porchester Square, £14

My staple colour, and in need of a restock.  This pale grey is endlessly flattering and goes with almost any outfit (including a wedding gown). I pray this stuff is never discontinued.

topshop sequin christmas tree sweater, £46

If you’re going to join the Christmas jumper madness, then why not do it in style?  If you’re gong to join ’em, you may as well beat ’em. In sequins.

alex monroe teeny tiny diamond ring, £265

Fragile, different and contains diamonds. I’d love my digits to be adorned with this little number.

kurt geiger london Bond heels in pink, £270

Strong, sexy and in my very favourite colour.  I’d never take them off.

ted bakersequinned pencil skirt, £139

Perfect for a glitzy night on the tiles with the girls, or dressed down for a dinner date with the other half. This skirt has drama and sass, but it’s got plenty of class too.

clarisonic Aria in gold, £155

I dream of the perfect complexion, and apparently this little gadget is going to deliver.  A must for ladies getting aisle ready and apparently for the rest of us too. Sign me up.

labrador puppy, POA

Do I even need to explain?

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now we are 4.

November 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime


Can you believe our pretty little corner of the internet turns 4 years old this week?! I hope you’ll join me in a glass of something fizzy as we say happy birthday Brides Up North!

It’s been another amazing year here at wedding blog HQ, and I still have to pinch myself when I think how far we’ve come from the first few tentative posts tapped out in my spare room during the summer of 2010.  We “launched” – and I use those inverted commas very seriously indeed – on the day of the Royal Engagement that November to almost overnight success (ever the opportunist!), and I’ve never looked back.  After leaving my job as a lawyer the following autumn to concentrate on expanding the blog and brand on a full time basis, our first events season swiftly followed in the spring of 2012.  Now three years, six seasons and almost 60 events down, I think I deserve our fourth birthday cupcake!

Cat Hepple Photography

Usually, when people look back from a milestone, they say things like “It’s flown by!” or “It seems like just yesterday that…”.  Well, this is absolutely not the case for me.  I’ve (we’ve, for I’ve a fabulous little team around me now) have packed so much into the last four years that it feels like forty.  It’s been hard work.  Writing, sourcing, editing, styling, planning, selling, promoting, producing, managing, directing… it’s been busy.  But it’s been amazing.

Cat Hepple Photography

I’m so grateful for the way in which this industry and our brides have supported what we’re all about here at Brides Up North.  We love stylish weddings.  In fact, stylish weddings are pretty much all that we’re about here,  but we like them to be local too.  We strive to support and promote the amazing local suppliers right there on our readers’ doorsteps, show off what they can do, and make them available to you for your wedding day.  A wedding day that looks set to be very special indeed.

Every year at this time, I take a while to reflect at how far we’ve come, and every year I’m astounded to see the progress from the last. There are times when I’ve thought that it couldn’t get any better, but it does.  I love my job, my team and my brand, and I love you, my readers, who make what we’re doing possible, and make it count.

Cat Hepple Photography

And before I go all get anymore Gwyneth Paltrow on your asses, I better launch right into our traditional recap of the year that was.  It’s been busy, so as usual, excuse me for any omissions.

I’ve some really exciting news to share with you before our seasonal break over Christmas, so watch these pages for that.  Let me just say, it looks like 2015 is going to be an even more exciting year than this one.

Cat Hepple Photography

But first, that fizz and that cupcake please, Happy Birthday Brides Up North, this is the year that was…

We left you last in October 2013 having won a Wedding Blog Award!  We took home Wedding Magazine’s prize for “Best Big Day Inspiration” and were very proud indeed.  It boded well for our fourth year…

In November 2013 we wrapped up an immense events season with knockout exhibitions at The National Railway Museum and The Bowdon Rooms, before I packed my home (and 8 month old daughter) into a backpack and headed off to support my husband who was working in the Southern Hemisphere for a couple of months.

Winter tan and a spot of judging for The Bridal Buyer Awards, Wedding Industry Awards and The National UK Blog Awards under my belt, we arrived home in February 2014, ready for another events season to kick off. Columns and features appeared in regional glossies Belle Bridal Magazine, Hitched Magazine and Etc Magazine, and we hosted our first grand wedding exhibition of 2014 at Hardwick Hall Hotel.

March 2014 and we were into exhibition season proper… stops at Allerton Castle, Ramside Hall and The Mansion kept our weekends busy, and I was invited to act as Official Blogger for The North West Wedding Show at Event City, Manchester. The inspiration was going viral!

In April 2014 I styled and directed a shoot involving some of the finest wedding industry suppliers in Yorkshire, and put the final wheels in motion for our big and beautiful blog and directory rebrand.  Can anyone actually remember now what the ‘old’ Brides Up North used to look like?  I’m not sure I can! We also enjoyed gorgeous branded events at Nostell Priory and The Bowdon Rooms.

In May 2014 we concluded our spring season with a set of stunning shows at the lovely Hilltop Country House, The Alnwick Garden and Middleton Lodge, enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of the new bridal-wear collections at White Gallery 2014 and welcomed our fabulous Features Writer Rachel to the Brides Up North team to fuel our double daily dose of wedding pretty here online. What would we do without our Rach?

June and July 2014 were spent with our heads down, fine tuning the details for our site rebrand, which we were proud to unveil to much outpouring of love, encouragement and support.  I love our new look, and it seems like you do to – blog hits, social media support and bridal registrations for our wedding events are noticeably much higher than ever.  We also got busy launching our popular Brides Up North Facebook Group (have you joined yet) and started taking Pinterest more seriously, pinning to inspire both our readers and our future work.  Our boards can be seen here.

In August 2014, a brief (and lovely) family holiday was made even better when we celebrated being nominated for not one, not two, but three coverted industry awards – we were nominated for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”), in Wedding Magazine’s Wedding Blog Awards 2014 (“Best City Wedding Blog”) and the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”). We also won several nods in the Wedding Industry Experts Awards.

September 2014 arrived and it was time for another flurry of print features with columns and features in a host of glossies including Unveiled Magazine, and to head into event season, with Brides Up North branded exhibitions at Ramside Hall, Hilltop Country House and Hardwick Hall.  I reprised my coveted role as Official Blogger for the North West Wedding Fair and I was also proud to host the launch party for our new industry venture, The Circle, with some very special industry colleagues and which remains in earnest development.

October 2014 hit the ground running, our busiest month yet, with events at The Mansion, The Alnwick Garden, Nostell Priory, Allerton Castle and Middleton Lodge, and a quick succession of cocktail fuelled trips to the smoke to attend some seriously swanky awards ceremonies.  We were over the moon to be Highly Commended in the Best City Blog Category at The Wedding Blog Awards.  Snaps to us!

November 2014 has started as 2014 seems to mean to go on, with parties and fireworks! This week we’re off to The Perfect Wedding Awards, and we’ve just concluded our events season with a very twinkly, very lovely show at The Bowdon Rooms. Exhibitor sales and bridal registrations are open for 2015 – with some brand new venues- and Rachel and I are bursting with features ideas for taking our online offering to the next level.  Our brand new media pack lands shortly, so anyone interested should drop me a line.

Cat Hepple Photography

I’ll let you know that ‘big news’ as soon as I’m able, and until then, raise a glass.

here’s to you.

Love you, #jointhenorthernrevolution

Julia x

Images by Cat Hepple Photography

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Ready For my Close Up.

April 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ready For My Close Up

Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Maggie Sottero, Anoushka G, Claire Pettibone… I think I’ve died and gone to wedding dress heaven.  Brides Up North HQ is currently full of tulle and sequins, glitter and sparkle, as we prepare for a very special Brides Up North shoot – on location – tomorrow.

When we do things at Brides Up North, we don’t like to do them by halves.  That’s why I’ve pulled together the most fabulous team of wedding industry professionals to concoct a contemporary and glamorous peep behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, with fantastical frocks, beautiful blooms, sensational styling elements and ideas that you will be able to borrow for your very own wedding day. 

I’ll be ‘out of the office"’ all day, so keep track of the Brides Up North Twitter and Facebook feeds for sneaky peeks at the action as it unfolds. 

With creative assistance and input from the likes of Brides Up North Featured Suppliers and friends Cat Hepple Photography, Leafy Couture, JB Creatives, Silver Sixpence Films, Flutter, Victoria Farr, Pamella Dunn, The White Room Sheffield, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, Dine, Marie Antoinette Cakes and more, I’m raring to get started and SO ready for my close up. 

Watch these (soon to be even prettier) pages for the results soon. 


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – image © 2014 The Harrogate Wedding Lounge via Instagram

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Wishing You An Eggcellent Easter, Love Brides Up North

April 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Happy Easter From Brides Up North at

Never work with children or (fake) animals.  You have no idea just how long it took me to style these little Easter chicks.  I fashioned a teeny-tiny veil and eventually got them to snuggle up, but all they were interested in were the mini eggs. 

Who can blame them?

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  We’re taking a brief Easter holiday here at Brides Up North HQ, to relax and recharge, spend some time with the family and eat our body weight in milk chocolate ahead of a very busy run up to the summer.

There’s wedding exhibitions a plenty, public appearances, styled shoots and a very special Brides Up North “spring clean” coming up… we’re keeping all the good stuff but redecorating with a fabulous new look, snazzier Directory and some lovely extra features to make your inspiration hunt all the better.  Watch this – soon to be even prettier – space!

I’m really, really (super duper with a big fat cherry on the top) excited – and a little nervous – and can’t wait to get to work. But for now, back to those Easter eggs.

Wishing you and yours the most wonderful break.  See you on the other side: fatter, but happier.   


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Brides Up North

This is not a sponsored post

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

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In The Press: Brides Up North In Wedding Magazine – Wedding Blog Awards 2013

March 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Brides Up North Wins A Wedding Blog Award 2013

If you’re a regular reader of Brides Up North, you’ll know that last autumn I was thrilled to be a recipient of a Wedding Blog Award from the lovely people at Wedding Magazine and voted for by you, my readers. 

The Wedding Blog Awards

As a lot of our “office hours” here at Brides Up North HQ are dedicated to managing our events, business admin, meetings and email enquiries, I spend a lot of long lonely hours working on the actual editorial content for the site (often long into the night when the rest of my young family is finally sleeping!) and the recognition of our contribution to the online wedding world really did mean a lot to me.  In fact, it still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling now!  It’s nice to be appreciated!

We’ve been so busy at Brides Up North with our branded events and other exciting projects for 2014 (watch this space) that we’re a little behind recapping all our great coverage in the industry press in late 2013 and earlier on this year. 

Brides Up North Wins Best Big Day Inspiration Blog

Image: Paul Cahill

I wrote an excited post from my London hotel room the day after the Awards (absolutely no hangover, that’s the high quality Ritz Champagne for you:  I drank a lot of it!) and you can read my recap here, but I wanted to share the official round up of the evening from the hosts themselves and my “Five Minutes With” feature from my interview in the “Winner’s Enclosure” immediately after collecting my prize and a kiss from Mark-Francis (offa Made In Chelsea).

Brides Up North Wins A Wedding Blog Award 2013

So here’s the magazine’s own online recap, and you can read my interview in full – along with those of the other award winners – by clicking here.

Brides Up North Wins A Wedding Blog Award 2013

Once again, a huge thank you to my readers and industry supporters for your votes.  Brides Up North wouldn’t work without you, and I am so grateful for your daily input and love.  In my interview, I say that the ethos behind behind the blog is that “I want to spread the message that the Northern wedding industry is full of inspirational people and make their voices heard”. That will never change.  This is your blog, for your wedding, in your local area.  Think local, be inspired and make the most of the exceptional talent on your doorstep.  That’s the Northern Revolution… and it’s rumbling on!


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Paul Cahill via Wedding Magazine/ Brides Up North’s own

This is not a sponsored post

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

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