Brides Up North

something extraordinary!

September 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Alnwick Autumn 2014

We’ll be quick stepping it to both Northumberland (The Alnwick Garden) and Leeds (The Mansion) this Sunday 5th October 2014, to bring more Brides Up North readers than ever before one huge dose of wedding inspiration at two of the most beautiful venues around, all in one go!

Sleep is clearly not a priority.  Basically, wherever you are over the next month, there’s a Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition near you.  Check out the full schedule here.

So, let’s start at the top (or most Northerly!) and turn our attention to the Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at The Alnwick Garden.

the alnwick garden

Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition

Denwick Lane, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1YU

Sunday 5th October 2014

11am till 3pm 

FREE ENTRY for Registered Bride +1 Guest

I’ve just closed exhibitor bookings and started planning my (very fabulous!) layouts for this sparkling event, and let me tell you, you are in for a real treat!  The selection of exhibitors we have with us on Sunday 5th October really is stellar – from bridal gowns to cakes, stationery, event hire, accessories, love lights, music, entertainment… we’ve got it all, and these are the best in the area.  No need to look anywhere else, seriously.

This is a super special event, as not only is it packed to those bunting laced rafters with wedding inspiration, but it’s also in one of the prettiest settings I know – the extraordinary contemporary gardens and atriums of The Alnwick Garden.

Come and see it for yourselves, and get all your wedding planning sorted at the same time!

bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 200 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis and Love Hearts.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone No

Your Website (begin web address with http://www.)

What sort of wedding business are you enquiring on behalf of? e.g. Bridal Boutique/ Photographer etc

Select the event that you are interested in (required)

If you wish to attend more than one event, please list all here - discounts are available for block bookings

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let love grow. a boho beach wedding at the alnwick garden – frankie & chris

September 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (24)

The days might officially be getting shorter, but look on the bright side Brides Up North, that just means lots of beautiful summer celebrations to recap on these pretty pages.

This morning we’re starting the week off in beautiful Northumberland, and paying a visit to the Alnwick Treehouse and Alnwick Garden (where Brides Up North is very proud to be hosting our gorgeous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition on Sunday 5th October 2014, are you coming?).

Frankie and Chris’s colourful, natural, boho inspired wedding is bright and beautiful with authentic personal styling.  Let the love grow indeed…

With images by Wildhearts and Wishes Photography, with second shooter Jacqui Grigg.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (1)
a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (19)

Frankie says: We got engaged on 3 February 2013. The short and romantic version is that, one Sunday night, we went for a walk and Chris proposed along the banks of Thames in the old Naval College in Greenwich, underneath a 19th century lamp post. The longer, more accurate and less romantic story is that Chris proposed one Sunday night whilst wearing sweat pants in the house in the middle of an argument… a quick change into some nicer clothes and a short walk to our favourite location and we made it official against a more romantic setting!

We got married on Saturday 21st June 2014 at St Paul’s RC Catholic Church, Alnwick. The drinks reception and wedding breakfast was then in Alnwick Treehouse, before moving across to Alnwick Gardens for the evening do.

In terms of deciding location we knew we wanted somewhere meaningful to us so we started looking in three locations.  1) Greenwich in London where we have been living for 2 ½ years and where we got engaged, 2). Newcastle where we started living together for the first time, 3). Northumberland where we had both grown up and met.

We only looked round a few venues in London to know that something was missing, and that something was the North East.  When we looked round venues in Newcastle and Northumberland we knew straight away that that was where we should say our vows.

Having limited our choices to the North East, we were then still indecisive so greedily ended up choosing three venues instead of one!  Having both been brought up Roman Catholic, we were always going to get married in a RC Church.  We chose St Paul’s not only because of its location and its beautiful atheistic, but because we really gelled with the priest.  He was so supportive and down to earth; he sealed the deal for us!

We specifically chose Alnwick Gardens and Treehouse, as not only were they wonderfully characterful and beautiful venues in their own right, but because they also afforded us with the freedom and scope to reflect some of ourselves in the day.  Additionally, personalities played a part in helping us make our final venue choices, as the venue managers who showed us round both venues Arthur (at the Gardens) and David and Wendy (at the Treehouse) were both so friendly, accommodating and quirky that we knew they would understand the feel we were trying to create for the day.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (11)

We tried to ensure it was a feminist wedding – my Mum and Dad walked me down the aisle, but neither of them ‘gave me away’; my sister did a speech so that it was not an all male line up; and we changed some of the wording in the wedding ceremony to make it more ‘inclusive’.

Our themes/styles were quite broad; we wanted them to reflect our personalities and shared loves. In terms of style, we wanted to create a relaxed, free spirited (hence the no ties!) and environmentally conscious vibe (hence the tree planting, seed packet favour and recycled white-gold wedding ring).

Theme wise, it was primarily (a) music, to reflect our shared love of music; and (b) floral country garden to reflect our love of rural Northumberland and my love of big floral prints.  So as long as it was bright, colourful and fun, it was in!

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (22)

My dress was ‘Harper’ Rue De Seine.  I fell in love with it because it fitted the feel of both venues as well as my personal tastes; it combined both the bohemian, ethereal feel of the Treehouse with its flowing, loose fitting shape, whilst also encompassing the elegance and beauty of the Gardens through the beautifully detailed 1920’s style embellishments on the capped sleeves and midriff.

Both my mum and the lovely ladies in Luella’s Boudoir in Wimbledon Village must take a lot of credit for helping me choose my dress and I will be forever grateful to them for doing so. My shoes I bought online from Etsy.  They were embellished in an art deco design that matched the style of the dress.

The groom and groomsmen all wore grey, slim fit, limited edition suits from Marks and Spencer with white shirts.  Both Chris and I met whilst working in Marker and Spencer 8 years ago so it seemed fitting that they should be part of day in some way, as without M&S our romance never would have happened!  In keeping with Chris’ laid-back style and personality, the collars were all open necked.

The bridesmaids wore green and blue floral mix and match 1950’s swing style dresses. The dresses were bespoke; designed and made by a local seamstress in my hometown, Morpeth (The Sewing Box).  The material was Liberty of London, Lawn Denise Eva that I found in a fabric shop in London ClothHouse.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (26)

We hired a 28 seater 1940’s gray and white former RAF bus from a local bus enthusiast in Northumberland.   The owner of the bus does not run a business; he just does it for pleasure so we were really lucky to find him.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (31)

Our photographer was Paula Smart from Wildhearts and Wishes Photography.

We would absolutely recommend Paula.  Her photos are beautifully natural, understated and artistic.  We loved her laid-back, genuine style both in her photos and as a personality.  She was so thorough, accommodating and on the day, fitted in entirely with us so that photos were built around the day rather than dictated the day.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (32)

Our florist was Christine from Lavenders Blue in Morpeth.  I have been going to Christine’s shop since I was 3 years old (she even taught my mum floristry) so it was nice to have that personal and local link in the day.

My bouquet was a loose posy of wildflowers, including: blue delphiniums, pink freesia, gypsophlia, blue thistle, pink stock, clematis vine, ivory freesia and green bells, tied with ivory satin ribbon. In my hair I had a garland of flowers made with the vine of green bells with pink stock, pink freesia bud, blue delphinium and gypsophlia.

The bridesmaids had simple bouquets of gysophila to offset the patterns on their dresses.

Christine arranged our flowers for the church and for both venues. In the church we had 2 pedestals containing blue delphinium, hydrangea, lilac stock, green trailing amaranthus, viburnum opulus, thistle and astrantia. On the end of the pews, we had 16 jam jars – which we had hand decorated with craft and manuscript paper and flowers.  These jam jars were then used on the tables at the treehouse.

In the Gardens we used an eclectic selection of containers (vases, tea cups, jugs etc) that belonged to ourselves or members of our families, including family heirlooms such as a jug that was a wedding present to my granny.  These included the same selection of flowers as the jam jars. We also had vintage style buckets and watering cans filled with pink and blue hydrangeas dotted around all the venue which we provided ourselves.

Decorations wise, we had a mix of multicoloured pom poms, floral print lanterns and distressed white wooden lanterns with nightlights.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (34)

In the treehouse, our wedding favours were also our table settings.  We had mini-jam jars filled with raspberry and plum jam that had been made by my Granny.  Each jar had a hand stamped label attached to it with a guests name on one side and ‘Thank you from Frankie and Chris: Spread The Love’ on the other side’.

At the evening do we had seed packets for wedding favours. We planted a tree in the gardens, and had a washing line of string marking out the area, with seed packets on it.  The speed packets were hand stamped with ‘Frankie and Chris: Grow the Love’.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (41)

We chose an ‘All You Need is Love’ Beatles themed cake as part of our music theme, as well as because we loved its vibrant, psychedelic feel.  It was made by A Symphony in Sugar, a fantastic local couple based in Cramlington.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (51)

Chris is a musician so various combinations of his old band and a band that was born out of that provided the music on the day. And of course, Chris was playing too!  The tunes were a combination acoustic soul in the first set and punk rock-fused crowd pleasers in the second set – it went down a treat! Dominic Murphy pulled it all together.  He has fifteen years experience as a musician working all over the North East in original, covers and function bands. It was great to have our friends involved in the day like this – it produced a very personal connection.

The music theme started as early as in the church, so we walked in and out to two of our favourite songs: ‘Sweet Disposition’ by the Temper Trap on the way in and ‘You Make my Dreams Come True’ by Hall & Oats on the way out.  This really made the service come to life and be very personal to us.  Plus it really got the party started early when we walked out to Hall & Oats with the congregation waving wedding wands with bells on!

In the Treehouse, we had a little room called the Roost, which we renamed ‘the sound track to our story.’  In this room we had all the key songs that had formed part of our story growing up and then together as a couple.  As this music was playing there was also a slide show of photos of both of us over the years chronicling our stories to the present day, which my mum had put together.

The handmade seating plan was also part of the music theme, with every table being named after one of out favourite songs.  The table names were displayed on vinyl CDs that were hung from an old 1930’s suitcase that belonged to my Great Grandpa.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (58)

We used etsy quite a bit, particularly for thank you presents for the wedding party and wedding stationary.  If you have an idea, however quirky, etsy will have it.  There are some amazingly individual suppliers.

Wendy from Just Perfect in Cramlington was particularly helpful.  She stocks a range of products from lots of local suppliers as well as hires accessories.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (38)

To tempt people out into the garden to begin with we planted a tree.  As die hard romantics (and a historian) we loved the concept that however fleeting the day was; there would always be a part of our wedding in Alnwick Garden and that future generations of our family can visit our tree long after we are gone.  We also felt that we were so lucky to be celebrating such a wonderful day with our friends and family that by planting a tree we were in some way putting something back into the environment.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (52)

My favourite moment was after the ceremony, Chris and I went to the beach for a few photographs.  The beach was quite secluded and despite being a public place and us being quite conspicuously dressed it felt like it was just the two of us.  It was a lovely personal time, in what was a brilliant but busy day, with a beautiful setting.

Also, I would have to say Chris’s fabulous speech was a highlight.  As was seeing him coming alive by being reunited with his old band mates and seeing how much he enjoyed performing with them and how much people enjoyed his performance.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (53)

For our honeymoon we went to Montenegro.  We wanted something that offered a bit of everything (history, culture, café culture, beaches and outdoor activities) and had been meaning to go Eastern Europe for a while. Montenegro offers so much variety within a fairly small area. Two days in Kotor with its café culture and beautiful, 15th century preserved surroundings, two days in Petrovac on the coast for some beach time and a week in rural and unspoiled Virpazar on an adventure holiday through Undiscovered Montenegro – hiking, kayaking, wine tasting and bike rides.

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (42)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t be afraid to deviate from what is considered tradition and the standard wedding format.  Make sure the day reflects you; don’t conform to something that doesn’t mean anything to you on the one day that is solely about you both. You get out what you put in!

a boho beach wedding (c) Wild Hearts & Wishes Photography (21)

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something for the weekend…

September 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hardwick Hall Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014

bride to be?

We’re giving away up to 200 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis and Love Hearts.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last only.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

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take your marks, get set…

September 25th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Hardwick Hall Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014

If you follow the blog over on Twitter and Facebook – you’ll probably have guessed that I am just a little bit excited about our jam packed series of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions this season.

With our portfolio at it’s best ever, every venue that we work with is handpicked and special, and I can’t wait to welcome you to the beautiful country house hotel that is Hardwick Hall Hotel, this Sunday, 28th September 2014, from 12pm till 4pm, FREE entry

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If the level of pre-registrations that Team Brides Up North has received is anything to go by, it’s going to be an amazing day!  We love hearing your little stories and getting excited with you and we can’t wait to meet so many of you in person. I just love saying hello to my readers in real life, scoping out the new trends, catching up with my supplier friends and generally hosting a fabulous party every single Sunday. Who wouldn’t love this job?

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Other wedding fairs?  Pah!  What’s the point?! We are very proud to run the largest and most exciting free entry bridal exhibitions in the North East (our event last weekend at Hardwick’s sister hotel, Ramside Hall was nothing short of epic). Sunday is a bit of a special one too. It’s going to be packed to the rafters – and it’s twinkling crystal chandeliers – with wedding inspiration, fabulous ideas and the very, very best of the North East wedding industry. Ladies, if there’s one show to be at this weekend, this one would be it.

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We’ve access to all the details you need to plan your big day, live music, exclusive on the day treats, two professional bridal catwalks (always with a fun twist, trust me!) and the Hardwick Hall wedding planners will be on hand to help you to realise the day of your dreams.

Well then, what are you waiting for? Grab your girls or your groom, and we’ll see you there!

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bride to be? you’re in the right place!

We’re giving away up to 250 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis and Love Hearts.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone No

Your Website (begin web address with http://www.)

What sort of wedding business are you enquiring on behalf of? e.g. Bridal Boutique/ Photographer etc

Select the event that you are interested in (required)

If you wish to attend more than one event, please list all here - discounts are available for block bookings

Images by Cat Hepple Photography.

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a rustic romance. a wedding in rural northumberland – rachel & james

September 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Rachel and James’s lovely wedding in the heart of the Northumberland works with the natural landscape around it to create a beautiful day that just fits.  A setting that means something, allowed to shine.  And a big dash of countryside glam.

It’s a breath of fresh air for a Thursday afternoon.

With images by Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Rachel says: James and I met at a mutual friend wedding in Newcastle, but he lived in Bath and I lived in Northumberland. We spent hours on the phone and we quickly arranged a first date weekend in Bath. After collecting me from the early flight down, we went for breakfast at a cafe under Baths beautiful Pultney bridge, and knew at that point that we were both smitten. 8 years later, we both live in Bath and totally unexpectedly, James proposed under this bridge with a surprise audience of friends watching over and with a ring from a jewellers on Pultney bridge! It was an amazing moment.

We got married on June 27th 2014 in my family church in Northumberland, literally just over the hill from my family home. It’s beautiful countryside and a special place for both of us now so there was no question about it. My 94 year old grandfather drove us over the steep hill from church where we stopped for fizz and photos and we had a the reception back in the garden at the farm. It was my dream wedding.

The Northumberland countryside and my family garden already has so much character and natural beauty, I wanted a theme to work with that but I’m artistic at heart, so wanted to do tradition with a rustic/ vintage twist to compliment the old farm and house. The theme just evolved sticking to using props from the farm such as hessian sacks, old doors, an old Singer table, vintage mirrors… I got carried away with rustic vintage but loved the simple and yet effective finish.

The colour scheme was simple muted white and beige of the crisp white cloths and the beige of the hessian, combined with fresh green and white on the groomsmen and flowers. My bridesmaids were dresses in coral and white lace- which worked well with my dress and the soft flowers.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I love my dress! I chose it from Bella B in Berwick where I have shopped for years for other people’s outfits and where they had made bridesmaid dresses to fit me. Their Friday section is fantastic and I chose my dress easily and they made me a bespoke jacket to cover my shoulders and arms. Like a lot of brides, I had a thing about my arms and as a bit of a traditionalist wanted my shoulders covered in church. I had the best of both works to be able to remove the jacket at night. The dress has beautiful lace and diamond detail, a beautiful train and I matched it up with a few sparkles and a veil. The lace trimmed veil was the finishing touch that made me feel fabulously bridal (and hid a few happy tears going into the church!)

Our flowers  were done by a friend but professional based in Northumberland, Sandra Dickenson. I wanted simple and light, so I swayed totally to baby’s breath… everything! Except for my bouquet where I included some peonies. Sandra is so talented and went the extra mile to accommodate my weird and wonderful requests.

James wore traditional tails for a traditional wedding. The button holes matched the hessian and baby’s breath of my bouquet and we had the ties made in a green and blue liberty pattern which was a soft but summery finish. He had a massive 10 ushers all dressed the same with a buff waistcoat to work with the hessian. With this amount of ushers it was far cheaper to make ties and to get enough for 10 and in a design to suit. I’d really recommend it.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our photographer (Jamie Penfold Photography) was fantastic. Before the big day he came down to Bath to shoot us where we got engaged which was a great way to get to know him so that we were relaxed with him and the camera on the day. It also gave him the chance to get to know us as a couple and the type of photography we were hoping for. Not only did we do all this, but we also got some great shots of us in Bath which was an added bonus! We are so pleased with the shots of the big day, he has captured the whole feel of the day perfectly, our emotions, our guests reactions, the scenery and the wedding detail you are proud of. Most of our guests didn’t know we had a photographer- that’s a sign of a good one I think!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Instead of a traditional cake we went for cheese from The Northumberland Cheese Company. They were brilliant to work with: we tasted some amazing cheeses, it was hard to decide what to go for. The cake itself was assembled by the florist and the whole thing was demolished on the night! My theory is that people want savoury more than sweet after a few glasses of fizz and wine… and it appears they certainly did!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

In the evening we had a band, Groove All Stars - they were brilliant! Offered a wide range of music playing as a duo for the reception and as a 7 piece in the evening. We pulled together our own dance to Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. The band learned the music especially for the dance and were very happy about me getting behind the mic to start the song (which was planned I might add!)

They were a lovely bunch of people, very willing to bend over backwards to make you happy. That they definitely did – the dance floor was never empty!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I have two favourite moments from the day… walking into our beautiful little church on my proud dad’s arm and seeing James’s face at the end of the aisle – priceless and a lifelong memory of an amazing emotion.

Then, walking into the reception with my nephew leading us into a tunnel crowd of all our guests cheering. It was at that moment that it dawned on us- they are all here for us, all our most treasured friends and family are all around us  and we’ve done it, we’re married and it feels amazing.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We set off tomorrow for Crete – I can’t wait. I’ll let you know on our return if we’d recommend it!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

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this sunday! its our big one!

September 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ramside Hall Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014

Well, you picked the right time to stop by, because look!  It’s the Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition!  It’s THIS WEEKEND!  And it’s only the biggest event in our whole autumn calendar.

The region’s best and most beautiful wedding industry suppliers will gather at of the North East’s favourite wedding venue – Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club – on Sunday 21st Septemeber 2014, from 12pm till 4pm, FREE ENTRY.  

Yep. Free.  With a goody bag on top!

Judging by our pre-registration, it’s going to be pretty epic…

Cat Hepple Photography

Once again, we don’t do things by halves here at Brides Up North!  We are filling the whole hotel – that’s five huge function areas – and it’s going to be spectacular!

If there’s one wedding fair to attend this year, this is it.  This isn’t your typical wedding fair though, it’s a knock-your-socks-off Super Showcase!  This is officially the largest free entry bridal event in the North East area and should most definitely be one for your diaries.

Whether you are shopping for the final details or have no idea where to start, I can promise you the very best choice of the best bridal experts in the region.  Everything you can think of for planning your big day will be represented and there’ll be on the day discounts too.

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Come and see our two professional bridal catwalks (this season we are getting ready to sparkle!), meet the Ramside wedding planners, pose in our photo booths, taste our scrumptious wedding cakes, kit out your man and bridesmaids,  play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories, get lost in our beautiful floral displays, get the hair and make up sorted, source your stationery, find a top photographer and tick off all those last essential details.  You name it, we can sort it.

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I adore this event – it’s big, it’s busy, it’s exciting, but most of all it’s really beautiful.  I can’t wait to see you all there for a day of wedding heaven… and lots of fun too.

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bride to be? you’re in the right place!

Just ’cos I’m generous, we’re giving away up to 300 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors John Lewis and Love Hearts.  As demand is high, to pick up your VIP bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below.

While stocks last.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Telephone No

Your Website (begin web address with http://www.)

What sort of wedding business are you enquiring on behalf of? e.g. Bridal Boutique/ Photographer etc

Select the event that you are interested in (required)

If you wish to attend more than one event, please list all here - discounts are available for block bookings

Images by Cat Hepple Photography.

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stately lace. a pretty wedding at Wynyard Hall – stacey & michael

September 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Wynyard Hall Wedding by Foster and Foster Photography - 015

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a distinct “Tuesday feeling” for much of this morning (the direct opposite of the Friday feeling, which is far nicer).  I’m not sure if it’s a come down from the heady mix of industry and bridal events, high heels and glitter whirlwind that I’ve been spinning around in for the past week or so, but today’s huge to-do list of deathly dull admin left me feeling meh.

That’s until I started putting today’s real wedding feature together.

Stacey & Michael’s beautiful celebration at North East landmark venue Wynyard Hall reminded me exactly why I love this job and that however many VAT returns I have to chew through, I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

Get ready to pretty up your Tuesday and get lost in lace, blooms and birdcage veils…

With images by Foster & Foster Photography.

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Stacey says: We got engaged in October 2012. I was meant to have some annual leave from work, but had been very busy at work and consequently had cancelled my holidays.  Unknown to me, Michael had planned a couple of days away.  I phoned him from a work to let him know and when I got home from work, I changed into my pyjamas and began to prepare dinner.  He nipped upstairs and reappeared in our sitting room on one knee and proposed.

He said that he did it because now he was uncertain as to when we could go away he couldn’t wait!

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We were married on 8 March 2014. We knew we did not want a long engagement and 16 to 18 months felt about right.

I didn’t want a typical summer wedding as I envisaged the bridesmaids wearing fur capes outside.  We plumped for early March as it was likely to be past the worst bits of winter (heavy snow) but still chilly.

We chose Wynyard Hall, Teeside as our venue. We knew we wanted to get married in the North East as this is where most of our friends and family are.  We also knew we wanted an old venue as this suits our taste. We visited lots of venues, but when we drove up to Wynyard we were blown away by the building and its grounds.  When we went inside and seen the amazing stain glass ceiling with grand piano below, I was sold.

When shown around, we liked that we could use three different rooms through the various stages of the day and have our own bar area.  The terrace on the right was exclusively ours and allowed our guests privacy. In addition Wynyard had amazing bedrooms to accommodate our immediate family and friends, whilst being near enough to other hotels for other guests. It is an incredible venue, with lots of places for amazing photographs as well as creating the perfect atmosphere.

The team at Wynyard were very helpful and friendly and we knew we’d be in good hands on the day. Chris, our master of ceremonies, kept everything on track and did an amazing job.  Maggie our wedding coordinator was very attentive, answered all my queries well and efficiently and everything went smoothly on the day.

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Given the venue, I chose lace and, in hindsight, a vintage theme. The boys’ ties were a soft sage green and the bridesmaids wore nude.  The flowers then picked up on these colours with ivories and soft peach. I wanted to go for pale colours and tie everything into the lace that I had chosen for the tables.

I wore a fishtail lace Pronovias dress in an off white colour (Diago).  I bought it from Mia Sposa in Newcastle.  I knew that my preference was for a dress with straps/sleeves and no “bling”. When I tried this dress on, the way it moved made me feel amazing and the lace detail was spectacular.  Every dress I tried on after it I kept comparing to this one.

What Katy Did Next made me an amazing bespoke birdcage veil. It had a large ivory flower with pearl centre and jewelled leaves on either side.  The small veil was then detachable after the ceremony.  Her expertise and skill was second to none, as was her service.  She also made me some heart shaped shoe clips in ivory so that my shoes were unique!

Michael and the rest of the bridal party wore a mid grey three piece suit hired from Mia Sposa. We bought white shirts from TM Lewin and bought the ties with matching pocket squares from an online retailer.

I had the bridesmaid dresses made to measure by Eve and Adam in Newcastle.  They were nude coloured, sleeveless maxi dresses made to my specification. I chose to do this as I had two adult bridesmaids and two children (13 and 9) so it was difficult to find an off the shelf style to suit all.  I also wanted a dress they could easily use again.

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I had a bouquet of white lilac, champagne, soft peach and ivory roses and ivory peonies.

Katherine’s Florists in Newcastle provided these and they were amazing.  Helen at Katherine’s really understood my vision and worked with me to achieve the look I wanted.  She understood that I wanted to use fresh flowers but peonies were out of season at this time so she sourced high quality silk ones which you would not have known were silk when in the arrangement.

The bridesmaids carried very similar bouquets, with more soft peach shades and slightly smaller.

All of the groomsmen had button holes of champagne roses, along with Michael’s grandparents and mum.  My mum had a pearl wrist corsage with a champagne rose which was beautiful.

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We cannot praise Sarah and Mark enough for the huge part they played in our wedding day.   We were recommended to use Foster and Foster Photography by several friends and from the minute we contacted them for a quote the service we received was exceptional!

They met with us prior to the wedding to understand the approach we wanted for our photos, get a feel for our wedding and just get to know us in general.  They guided us on the optimal way of getting the crucial group shots we wanted whilst also allowing us to spend time with our guests.

On the day they were very much in the background, but still managed to capture amazing images!  They made us feel very relaxed throughout the day.   Michael in particular was nervous about being put into staged shots and feeling uncomfortable, but Sarah and Mark really made us feel at ease. They were brilliant at taking the group shots we wanted without being intrusive into the natural flow of the day.

The finished product was beyond our expectations and the follow up service has been exceptional!  They sent us a small sample of their shots the day after our wedding which was amazing as we were jetting off on honeymoon.  They then quickly produced a slideshow to send to our friends.  All of our friends and family adore the images and commented on how well executed the photography was on the day.

We also opted to have an album and they worked with us to include all of our favourite pictures.  More importantly they used their expertise to produce a professional finish which flowed well and captured all elements of the day.  They also helped us to get some extra shots printed for our family.  Small things like arranging specific times to deliver our disk of photos and album (to ensure we would receive them quickly and in perfect condition) really added to the already exceptional service.

I would not think twice about recommending Sarah and Mark as any couple’s wedding photographer.  The service was faultless and they are a lovely couple who work incredibly well together.  We are very lucky to have such amazing pictures from our special day!

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We did not want people to sit on certain sides in the ceremony so had a personalised framed picture made saying “Today two families become one, choose a seat not a side”. I reserved the first two rows of the ceremony room for immediate family, bridesmaids and groomsmen and had names badges made which I used as place names in the ceremony room.

Down the aisle we sprinkled petals and had white lanterns with big candles in them which looked amazing.

In the room where we were married we had to two tall slim vases with large ivory hydrangeas.  These were moved to our wedding breakfast room after the ceremony. Each table had a centre piece with tall vases containing a combination of the bouquets flowers with some ivory hydrangeas.

The top table had several small vases and jars dotted along the table with one or two of the bouquet flowers picked out.  There were then five circular vases into which my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were dropped before the wedding breakfast. These were all supplied by Katherine’s Florists.

In addition, as part of our wedding package, Wynyard supplied a floral pedestal display and a floral spray for the registrar table in ivory colours.

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I made some vintage style ladders for the table plan which were very unique and stood out next to the piano.  We also had a table of family wedding photos next to the piano, which was brilliant as some people had passed away and it was a way to recognise them.

I also had made some extra frames with M&S in as well as some Mr and Mrs signs.  One of my bridesmaid’s bought us a Mr and Mrs Hall sign for the top table which finished it off perfectly!  She gave it to me the night before which made it an extra surprise!

I hired Posh Chair Covers and Bows to do the lace bows and hoods on the chairs as well as lace runners down the tables which fitted perfectly with the theme!

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The cake was one of my favourite things! It was off-white to match my dress and covered in flowers in pale green, peach and ivory to match my colour theme.  They cascaded down the cake and were more closely gathered near the bottom.

The bottom layer was fruit cake made by Michael’s brother (and the best man) who is a chef. There were then two layers of chocolate cake and one of vanilla. It was made by a family friend, Sue Hall. We also had a huge stack of cupcakes to match the main cake as cupcakes are a favourite of mine!

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For the wedding ceremony and drinks reception we had a piano player Mark Deeks of Music Newcastle.  We knew we wanted to use the grand piano in the main hallway where guests would be chatting.  It was the perfect accompaniment to our ceremony and Mark provided an excellent bespoke service!  He took requests on the day which our guests really enjoyed!

On the evening we had a local band, The Fontains.  They were better than we could ever have hoped!  They performed our first dance song “Read My Mind” by The Killers and the arrangement was fantastic!  The atmosphere they created was beyond what we could have hoped for!

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My favourite part was walking out of the wedding ceremony to the drinks reception because I was officially married to Michael, everything looked perfect and everyone seemed to be having a brilliant time.

I felt I could relax as everything had come together as planned!

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For our honeymoon, we went to Barbados for two weeks.  The first week we spent on the west coast near Holtown self catering and the second on the south east coast near St Lawrence Gap.

The weather was perfect for us as it was hot with a breeze.  We explored the island in the first week, visiting various places by bus and foot.  This included going on a catamaran cruise and Landrover off-road island tour.

The second week was absolute luxury in an all inclusive Sandals resort which was amazing and very relaxing after the hectic wedding build up!

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One of the last things we booked was a wedding videographer, Ben at HNE Media.  It was one of the best decisions we made as it allowed us to relive the day and listen to the speeches again.  Ben was brilliant and the final product was perfect!

As my top tip for other Brides Up North I would definitely recommend splashing out on a videographer.

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mind the gap! a colourful & quirky street party wedding in newcastle – katy & andrew

September 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I’m feeling good Brides Up North!  It’s nearly the weekend, it’s almost our event season (SO excited!) and today’s real wedding is all kinds of epic! Not only did bride Katy totally rock her 50s frock and bespoke headwear, but she and her bridesmaids also hitched a ride on the Metro to the ceremony, then finished things off with one massive street party.

I’m following Katy and Andrew’s lead… it’ll be fish and chips for tea tonight!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Jamie Penfold Photography.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Katy says: Andrew proposed last summer when we were on holiday in New York.

Everyone had been nagging Andrew to propose for months and before we went he gave me ‘the New York talk’ several times – saying very seriously for me not to expect him to propose in New York and that he didn’t want me to ruin the holiday by being all miserable the whole time we were there because he hadn’t proposed.

After the flight to New York I was tired and a bit tetchy and we almost had a row at the airport but something at the back of my mind thinking ‘just be nice, we’re on holiday’. I was glad I was as when we got to our hotel room I spotted an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne and 2 glasses and a note in front. I went to investigate (in case it was a freebie) and on the note it read ‘Katy will you marry me’ – I turned round and Andrew was down on one knee.

I’m normally pretty chatty but I was so gobsmacked I wept for about 5 minutes – Andrew actually had to prompt me to say ‘yes’. I’d arranged the holiday and wouldn’t have even thought Andrew would have known where we were staying so was totally blown away that he’d organised such a wonderful surprise.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We were married on 19th June 2014. The ceremony was in the Council Chamber at Newcastle Civic Centre and the reception was in the back lane of the terrace my parents live on!

The reception was first – my parents still live in the house I grew up in. It’s a very social street and ever since a big party to celebrate the millennium they’ve held regular street dos and ‘back lane BBQs’ every summer. It was important to both of us that the whole wedding be as personal as possible, including the venue – so a back lane party was an obvious choice. All the neighbours were fab – when my folks approached them about using the lane not only did they say yes but everyone offered to help, and let us use their back gardens too.

For the ceremony we aren’t religious but still wanted a venue that meant something to us (and was big enough to host over 150 guests). My grandfather was an alderman and Councillor and sat in the (then very new) Council Chamber at the Civic Centre.

As a Geordie away from home I wanted Newcastle to be a big part of the wedding. Other than that it was just all about making it as personal as possible. Dresses, hair and make-up were 50s style.

We chose a teal colour scheme (inspired by the top of the Civic Centre and the Tyne Bridge!)

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I had a 50s style dress from online dress shop,  Honeypie Boutique. And my wonderful local milliner in Reading (where we live) Adrienne Henry made my bespoke peacock headpiece.

My shoes were from BHS and I customised them with peacock tail feathers, pearls and buttons.

I took my dress to be altered at a local dress maker as it needed taking in a bit. They totally let me down and after a series of mishaps (not doing the alterations when they said they would, not turning up at the shop when I was due to collect) I finally got my dress back only to discover, with just 10 days to go before the wedding, they’d taken it in way more than they were supposed to. I could just get into it but it was too tight to sit down/eat/breath!

Fortunately Honeypie had one readymade sample of a dress in a different design in my size which they posted straight out. The only downside being that it had a peach skirt which really wouldn’t have gone with all my peacock accessories.

I could get away with outfit number one for the ceremony and then would wear dress number two for the reception. I decided that if I was having to change dress I would brazen it out and go for a full outfit change. I sent Adrienne a photo of the new dress and my wedding hair and asked her to bring any head pieces she thought would go into her shop on the Saturday. When I got there, she said she hadn’t had anything the thought would be just right so had made me a new one from scratch. I loved my silver evening headpiece – she really pulled out all the stops and helped turn a crisis into a positive.

The bridesmaids had dresses with the inverse colour scheme to mine from Honeypie. I made peacock hair clips for them to tie in with my headpiece.

All the boys wore their own suits but had a variety of teal neckwear from Tom Sawyer.

I made button bouquets for me and the grownup bridesmaids (the younger two had button horseshoes). I did buy some buttons but friends, family and colleagues from work all dug out granny’s button boxes and I also wired in fabric flowers from my parents’ wedding cake, various trinkets and grand parents’ and great grandparents’ engagement rings. It was my old, new, borrowed and blue all in one. With my change of outfit for the evening I swapped the bouquet for a Kate Spade Mr&Mrs number plate clutch!

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

I got the metro to the ceremony – then we’d hired a vintage Routemaster to take the bridal party and groomsmen for photos and back to the reception.

My mum was really dubious about going on the metro but I was adamant about it. I’m so glad we did as it was so much fun and we got some fab photos. The looks on people’s faces as they pulled into Benton metro station and saw us on the platform were an absolute picture.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

It was really important to make the wedding as personal as possible, using people we knew wherever possible. This meant there were quite a lot of special touches! But I think it’s important to remember not to let the special touches stress you out.

My godfather is an artist and so I asked him to do a painting for us to use on all of the stationery. It was turquoise to tie in with the colour theme and had a seahorse (to echo the top of the Civic Centre) and peacock (as I’d already decided peacock feathers were going to be part of my outfit).

I sewed 300m of bunting (assisted by mother in law, Andrew and best friend Lucy) and my mum made hundreds of tissue pompoms and fans. They had a pompom fluffing party the week before the wedding with all the neighbours.

We had fish and chips for dinner and so to tie in with the theme I made a newspaper with stories about us and used half pages of it as place mats. There were crosswords and word searches on the back which proved a good ice breaker at the tables.

As we were in the back lane and gardens I’d got some mini gnomes to use for table numbers. I had a feeling these would not make it unscathed through the wedding – by the end of the night we were all swigging port out of them!

It worked out as cheap to buy antique cutlery as it was to hire it so we spent months scouring antique and flea markets for sets. We’ve got some lovely ones to keep and will give the rest to the charity shop.

We’re the Meades and so my mum had some mini bottles of Lindesfarne Mead made up for with our names on the label on the back as a surprise.

As the back lane wasn’t a typical venue we did the table plan on a blown up plan of the street so people knew where everything else was as well as their table. We always play drinking games during the speeches at other people’s wedding so we also did a big sweepstake on the table plan.

The specialist touch of all was all of the neighbours. We hadn’t managed to set everything up on the Friday night so all the neighbours came out at 8am on the Saturday morning to help set out all the tables and chairs. It was a real team effort.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

One of the neighbours is in a band and the street always head out en masse to support them when they play gigs locally so they were the obvious choice for music. They played in their garage and we had the dancing out in the lane. They were fab.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

We had wedding cheese from The Cheese Board in Harrogate. Complete with knitted mice in miniature versions of our outfits that one of my colleagues made. I hand stitched some mini bunting too.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

Our marquee was supplied by Alan Fairbairn, Marquee Hire Ltd, linen by Dandy Events, and bar and glassware by Boutique Bars.

Our chip supper was by Clems Fish and Chips.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

The whole day was amazing – better than I could have ever imagined.

But bar far the best bit – and certainly the most emotional for me was the ceremony itself. Closely followed by just about every other part of the day. Even the pouring rain we had coming out of the ceremony was fun.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

For our honeymoon we did a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco via Death Valley, Yosemite and the Pacific Highway.

© jamie penfold photography 2014 - www.memoriesandemotions.co.uk

My top tip for Brides Up North is that the most important bit of the wedding is where the two of you stand at the front and do your ‘I do’s. All the rest is window dressing.

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diary date: etc. wedding event at Sunderland Minster

September 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Etc Magazine Wedding event, Seaham Hall Hotel Sunday 16th March 2014.

Brides Up North sponsors etc. Magazine have pulled out all the stops to bring their popular wedding fair to Sunderland Minster, to start what’s set to be a very pretty season in style.

It’s the first time the luxury lifestyle magazine for the North East has brought its wedding spectacle to this exceptional venue.

This free boutique event will take place on Thursday September 11th 2014, from 6pm to 9pm, and feature more than 25 hand-picked exhibitors from across the region.

From dresses and suit hire to cakes and cocktail samples, the evening will cater for all your wedding needs and brides and grooms-to-be will find all they need to plan their big day under the roof of the church.

Guests can also enjoy a live bridal catwalk show as Miss Sunderland beauty queen finalists strut down the aisle in wedding dresses from local bridal shop Just Perfect, along with suits from Menswear by Just Perfect.

Simon Godding, owner of Just Perfect and Menswear by Just Perfect says: “It’s the second time we’ve taken part in etc’s wedding show and it’s always great to work with the team. The shows are always a success and we get to showcase our fantastic range of wedding gowns and menswear. The models always look stunning on the catwalk.”

After completing the model’s make-up, celebrity make-up artist Amanda Bell will also be on hand to offer advice to soon-to-be brides who want a flawless look on their special day.  Brides-to-be will receive a VIP goodie bag.

To register, visit www.etcnortheast.co.uk.  

Brides to be can also collect their copy of etc Magazine’s special September wedding issue at the Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition on Sunday 21st September 2014.

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

August 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ramside Hall Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014

We are so excited to get started with another fabulous Brides Up North exhibition season… and we’ve worked so hard planning and prepping here at Brides Up North HQ this summer that we are sure its going to be our best one yet!

You can view the full schedule of events – spanning three regions over three months - by clicking here. You can use our brand new drop down menu to browse, select the event of your choice, pre-register for free entry and your VIP goody bag and pop the date in your diary.  You can even register for more than one event if you like – each is very different and we’ve made sure that there is something to delight everyone!

We don’t just work with any old  venues or suppliers.  Our venue portfolio is carefully managed to offer our readers choice and quality, and our exhibitors are handpicked.  You’ll leave our events excited and inspired (and maybe a little poorer – but happier)! We promise you that.

Our season starts in style at Hilltop Country House in Cheshire on 14th September and  - did you see the beautiful wedding I featured on the blog this morning? – you have to see this place for yourselves, but for now, I want to tell you all about our biggest event of the season, and make sure its marked in your planner in indelible ink.

If you’re still looking for anything at all for your big day, you need to be at our Brides Up North Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition on Sunday 21st September 2014.  Any luxury supplier worth their sequins is going to be there! Doors open at 12pm till 4pm, and it’s free entry for you and all your guests.  Pre-registered brides will also get to take home a VIP goody bag stuffed with glossy mags, treats from our sponsors and pressies from Brides Up North.

Brides Up North Super Showcase

Grand Wedding Exhibition

Ramside Hall Hotel, Carrville, Durham, DH1 1TD

Sunday 21st September 2014, 12pm till 4pm, Free Entry

This is officially the largest free entry bridal event in the North East! With up to 100 exhibitors we’ve got all the details for your big day covered beautifully.  

Ramside Hall Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014 (2)

See you there? 

bride to be?

To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag (stuffed with treats and glossy mags) and FREE ENTRY, fill in your details below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibition. Only the bride need register for larger groups.

VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bags available while stocks last only.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

wedding industry professional?

We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family in 2014. We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions this autumn. Contact us. 

Click here to view the full schedule.

Exhibitors will be strictly limited by category and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Since their inception in spring 2012, all exhibitions have been sell outs on exhibitor space with a record attendance for every venue. Consequently, we expect demand for our autumn season to be very high. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place.

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