Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

Behind The Blog: The Life & Times Of A Wedding Blogger – Autumn 2012

October 24th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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(c) Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1  Have you been bitten by The Wedding Bug?

2  There’s more!

3  A record attendance at our beautiful Wedding Exclusive at The Mansion

4  And the sun was shining on us too!

5  Say hello to my little friend!

6  Rainbow cranes for a village hall celebration

7, 8, 9, 10  Practising my camera skills at the Caroline Castigliano event at Lace Bridal (stunning)

11  My beautiful gown by Phil Woodhead for The North Of England Wedding Awards

12  Relaxing at the end of a surprisingly hard day shooting on location in Cyprus for Thomson Weddings

13  Primping and preening before taking to the stage

14  My office is a Yo Sushi between exciting meetings in Manchester City Centre

15  They are multiplying!

16, 17  Stunning displays and busy shows at The Mansion and Rise Hall

18  Allerton Castle or Downton Abbey?

19  Another column in

20, 21 Little surprises for my brides and goody bag chaos at Brides Up North HQ

22, 23, 24 Stunningly dressed venues at Rise Hall, Allerton Castle and Nostell Priory for our shows

25  Ready to enter the spotlight at The North Of England Wedding Awards

26  And a pretty table to relax at afterwards!

27  More goody bag mayhem ahead of our massive Super Showcase event

28  Column inches…

29  Bliss. .

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It’s been a while since we delved behind the scenes here at , so I thought that a catch up post was well overdue.  There have been quite a few ‘developments’ here at Brides Up North HQ over the past few months… not least a sell out season of super successful Brides Up North wedding exhibitions, becoming the host of the inaugural North of England Wedding Awards, adding new talent to the team in the form of a brand new regular guest blogger and a full time member of support staff (hello Kate!), more fabulous Featured Suppliers joining the Northern Revolution and swelling our ranks, many meetings about brand new Brides Up North projects in 2013 and some very exciting new venues for some huge wedding shows next year.  All whilst maintaining and (I think) improving upon our daily schedule of twice a day wedding inspiration, features and a real variety of stunning Real Weddings.  Oh, and a growing baby bump

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It’s been one helluva ride!

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As you do, I tend to take pictures of the *fun stuff* rather than the hours days spent hunched over VAT returns, contracts and spread sheets, but that’s what a wedding blog is all about isn’t it?  The fun stuff… and as it would appear, the use of a great under eye concealer to mask all those very late nights and almost as early mornings that go into making a growing business a success. 

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I’m also pleased to report that whilst all this has been going on, our exhibition attendances and blog hits have been reaching new record highs (that’s what it’s all about after all!) and that Brides Up North is happily sitting right up there at the very top of the charts with the other top wedding blog names for Great Britain popularity rankings on Alexa.com. The Northern Revolution is in full swing!

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When I look back at how much fun it’s been, how much this brand has achieved and where I hope I can take it in 2013, it’s all worth it!  Some exciting times are coming up…

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I hope you enjoy this peek into my World!

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Brides Up North – Images © 2012 Brides Up North – by iPhone and iPad

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

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Behind The Wedding Blog: The Brides Up North Team Is Growing (In More Ways Than One)!

September 17th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Morning all!  I’ve some special news to share today.

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Julia Braime Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Firstly though, just a quick thank you to all the beautiful brides to be and their families who turned out yesterday to make the second Wedding Exclusive at the gorgeous Allerton Castle another record attendance!  Just in case you missed that: another record attendance!  (I love you all).

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It was so lovely to see so many of you turn out to visit this amazing venue and all our brilliant exhibitors – pretty special, no?  Roll on our Spring event!

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Allerton Castle Wedding Fair

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Allerton Castle Wedding Fair   Allerton Castle Wedding Fair

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Allerton Castle Wedding Fair

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Allerton Castle Wedding Fair

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Allerton Castle Wedding Fair

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Allerton Castle Wedding Fair

Our most beautiful show yet!

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I’ve had an extremely busy weekend (no rest for the wicked) since as well as hosting our own show at Allerton Castle I was in the North East on Saturday night hosting the second gala dinner for the North Of England Wedding Awards!  Once again, a huge well done to all the fabulous finalists and the winners.

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The North Of England Wedding Awards   The North Of England Wedding Awards

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The North Of England Wedding Awards

With the Yorkshire winners last week

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The weekend was rounded off perfectly with a huge Thai takeaway and much couch slobbing catching up on Xfactor and the first episode of the latest series of Downton Abbey – my absolute fave.  Lady Mary’s 1920s wedding styling was the perfect way to end the perfect working weekend.  I love my job.

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So, that news I mentioned at the start of the post.  The Brides Up North team is set to grow in the New Year – in more ways than one!

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We have a hectic schedule of wedding exhibitions in the New Year as we are bringing back your ten favourite Brides Up North luxury bridal events across Yorkshire and the North East, with Wedding Exclusives at Allerton Castle, The Mansion, Rise Hall and Nostell Priory and the massive Brides Up North Super Showcase at Ramside Hall Hotel next Spring and Autumn, plus five more super exciting events at some brilliant new venues to be announced.  Yes – five more!  Watch this space! 

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As well as the bridal events, 2013 will also see another set of Brides Up North Tweet Ups for the wedding industry (I can’t wait!), a very exciting and fashionable collaboration over in the North West (news soon!), more Brides Up North one off soirees and even more brilliant blog content than ever before.  Watch out for our new industry guest blogger very soon.   

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… and I have a few other very special Brides Up North surprises lined up for you too.  

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So.  Work wise, it’s going to be a pretty busy year.  Hands in the air.  I need some help.

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If you have attended one of our bridal events, you will have met some of the fantastic team of helpers who pull out all the stops to help me deliver what I believe to be the best bridal shows in the North – Kate, Robin, Katherine, Leah and my long suffering husband, Alan (who rocks a pink tie pretty well these days).  I couldn’t do without them and I am pleased to announce that as of January 2013, Kate will be assisting behind the scenes at Brides Up North on a full time, salaried basis.

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Kate, who has 30 years experience in wedding planning and event management as well as being the brains behind Ramside Estates Life magazine for two seasons, brings a wealth of commercial, events, bridal and publishing experience to the table.  If you come across her at our shows and in your future communications with Brides Up North be sure to say hello (and give her a kiss from me!).

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Kate Smith Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Handily, Kate also happens to be my mum!  Which is helpful, because the Brides Up North team is also growing in other ways too…

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Some of my industry friends have already guessed (there is only so much tummy sucking in a girl can do!), but Alan and I are delighted to announce that we are expecting the arrival of a baby son or daughter in the New Year!

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We can’t wait to meet our new arrival, and are so excited and nervous in equal measure. 

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Don’t fear readers – this isn’t going to turn into a baby blog any time soon (although if you have any tips for me – please share – I’m absolutely clueless!), and Alan and I have made the decision to keep our family life private and away from these pages.  However, as a one off, I couldn’t help but share all the exciting developments that are going on both with the business and brand and in my personal life too. 

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These are the happiest times.

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Brides Up North – Images © 2012 Brides Up North/ Wooden Hill Images/ David Lawson Studios 

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

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Vive La Northern Revolution! …Do You Have Your Ticket Yet?

August 24th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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This is a rare post just for the wedding industry suppliers.  Unlike some other blogs out there I very much bear in mind who I want my writing to be for and my readership to be – and whilst I LOVE my industry friends – the reader I write for is YOU, brides to be!  However, allow me this slight digression, as without events such as The North Of England Wedding Awards you might be a little less aware of all the fabulousness going on in the regions in this industry, and that would be a very, very bad thing.

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When The Wedding Guide asked if I would like to host their inaugural North Of England Wedding Awards, I was over the moon – FINALLY – an awards ceremony celebrating the very best Northern talent in weddings!  I can’t help feeling that some (not all, but some!) country-wide competitions focus of the South of the UK and forget about all the wonders working hard up here.  Check out the Brides Up North Directory if you need the proof, I truly believe that we have some of the most talented wedding suppliers – from photographers to florists – in the regions, and they are nice people who go that extra mile for their brides too. 

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North Of England Wedding Awards

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If have a moment today brides to be, check out this list of finalists for the awards.  You’d do worse than to select your wedding suppliers from that rundown!

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Anyway, this post is mostly for you suppliers out there as excitement is building for the gala dinner ceremonies!  Scripts have been written, dresses designed from scratch, dress rehearsals booked and lots of tickets bought. 

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Tickets are selling very fast, and I just wanted to remind you to get yours quick smart if you would like to join us for an evening of glitz, glamour and celebration.  There is only so much room in the building!  I can’t wait to see who wins (they don’t tell me these things until I open the envelope – I’m rubbish at secrets!) and to catch up with all my favourite people.  If you haven’t already booked your place, do it today. 

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The Wedding Guide say:  Well the excitement level is rising and we can’t wait to see you all either at York Racecourse on the 7th September or the following week at Beamish Hall on the 15th. A number of people have asked about the dress code and we can confirm that they will both be black tie events.

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We will have a full evening starting with a drinks reception at 6.30pm followed by a fabulous three course dinner with the presentation of the awards slotted in between. We can then dance the rest of the night away with Randolph from Randyman Productions. The evening will also be a great networking opportunity so make sure you bring plenty of business cards with you!

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We know that many of you have already got your tickets but if you still haven’t got round to it we need orders & payment by the 30th August at the latest.

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We are thrilled with the response we have had from everyone and shall certainly make this an annual event for the calendar. We are looking forward to seeing you in September and would like to wish you the best of luck for the evening!

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Click here to request your tickets for the Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony at either York Racecourse or Beamish Hall Hotel.

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Enjoy a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony, a disco and the chance to network with a wide variety of wedding industry suppliers.

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York Racecourse – Yorkshire Wedding Awards:

Friday 7th September 2012

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Beamish Hall Hotel – North East Wedding Awards:

Saturday 15th September 2012

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Black Tie

£55.00 per person or £500 for a table of 10

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  – Images © 2012 The Wedding Guide

Brides Up North is a sponsor of The North Of England Wedding Awards

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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The North of England Wedding Awards for Outstanding Customer Service: Congratulations To The Finalists 2012!

August 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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North Of England Wedding Awards

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I’m thrilled to be announcing the list of finalists in the inaugural North Of England Wedding Awards this morning, an awards process devised and organised by my friends at The Wedding Guide, which I have been honoured to support as headline sponsor. 

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I am immensely protective of the Brides Up North brand and with whom it is affiliated, but I really feel that a quality awards process which celebrates customer service and promotes Northern talent, voted for by real brides in the regions and judged by impartial industry peers is a cause worth backing.  The awards were completely free to enter and the judging process was based on feedback from customers alone. I’d like to see the awards  in Scotland and the North West too, but the Wedding Guide have chosen to test the process by starting local.  I think they’ll report a success:  the list of finalists not only reflects established industry talent, but also shines a light on emerging stars.  Well done to absolutely every business, large and small, on that list. 

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I’ve had no part in judging the awards (you can see the list of judges for each region and a brief bio by clicking here), but I do get to glam up in my razzle dazzle as the official host of the gala dinners in both the North East and Yorkshire.  I can’t wait to see you all there (finalists and industry friends alike) and as I don’t get to find out who wins until I open those envelopes, I’m looking forward to it as much as you are!

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Yorkshire: Friday 7th September – Winners announced at the Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony at York Racecourse.

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North East: Saturday 15th September 2012 – Winners announced at the Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony at Beamish Hall Hotel.

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For tickets to the gala dinners and ceremonies, click here: North Of England Wedding Awards Ticket Request.

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I’ve been attending fittings behind the scenes now for a fabulous frock befitting of such an occasion, and I can’t wait to reveal the final design on the night!  Here’s a sneaky peek… Brides Up North pink anyone?

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

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But enough about my wardrobe, let’s hear about those finalists (and its lovely to see lots of Brides Up North Featured Suppliers in there too)!

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The Wedding Guide say: Choosing finalists has not been an easy process this year! Brides were asked to review the businesses on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the highest score) in four areas:

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Service Excellence
Excellent Product Quality
Value for Money
Outstanding Commitment

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We took an average of the total points scored divided by the number of votes the company had received to determine which companies should be shortlisted as finalists. This is why there are different numbers of finalists for the different categories as there was so little to distinguish between them!

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The Judges have all received copies of the average points score for each company, along with all the comments made by brides when they were asked “Why does this company deserve to win?”

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The Judges will make their final decisions based on a combination of average points score and a review of the brides’ comments. They will also be looking at company websites and conducting mystery shops/enquiries to determine how well the companies live up to their mission statements.

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Yorkshire

North East England

Bridal Gown Retailer

Thimbelina

Bridal Gown Retailer

Simplicity Weddings

 

The Eternity Showroom

 

Mia Sposa

 

Curvy Bridal

 

Brides and Belles Northallerton

 

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

 

Grace – The Weddings Company

 

Elegance Bridal Studio

 

Rosina Brown

 

Confetti and Lace

   
 

Precious Bridal

   
 

Plush Bridal

   
 

Elite Bridalwear

   
 

Brides of Harrogate

   
 

Forevermore

   

Bridal Party and Accessories

Brides of Harrogate

Bridal Party and Accessories

Brides and Belles Northallerton

 

Confetti and Lace

 

Kate Fearnley Boutique

 

Forevermore

 

Rosina Brown

 

The Jules Touch

 

Energise Weddings

Menswear

Yorkshire Menswear

 

Simply Suits

 

Yorkshire Menswear Harrogate

   
 

Sensational Formal Hire

   
 

RoodDuke

   

Cakes, Sweet Treats and Catering

Couture Cake Design

Cakes, Sweet Treats and Catering

Kelly Ann’s

 

Fantasweets Cupcakes

 

CWC Malings Ltd

 

Cakes for All Occasions

 

Figs Catering Co.

 

CWC Malings Ltd

 

MK Catering NE Ltd

 

Figs Catering Co.

   
 

Box Tree Events

   

Cars and Carriages

The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company Ltd

Cars and Carriages

Webb’s Special Occasion Cars

 

Reece Wedding Cars

 

Abbey Wedding Wheels

 

Halifax Prestige Wedding Cars

 

Rose – Wedding (Cars) Ltd

Health and Beauty

Helen Claire

Health and Beauty

Lydia Jane

 

Gel Bridal Studio

 

Wear Fit

 

Helen Guy

 

Make-up by Jo

 

Victoria Farr

   
 

Siginature Beauty

   

Music and Entertainment

Mark Waddington – Magician

Music and Entertainment

Mark Deeks Piano Player

 

The Fireworkers Ltd

 

Impact Technical

 

Mark Gilroy Music

 

Alexander Lomas

 

Alexandra Parker – Electric Violinist

   

Photography

J Clitheroe Photography

Photography and Videography

Image Newcastle

 

PH Weddings

 

Figment Studios

 

Nikki Bowling

 

Jamie Penfold

 

Karen Walton

 

Sarah Thew

 

Lissa Alexandra

 

Neil Denham

 

Duncan Mansfield

 

Gillian Cross

 

Wooden Hill Images

 

One Digital Image

 

Alex Knight

   
 

Marmalade

   
 

I&J Photography

   
 

Cat Hepple

   

Videography

Ever After

   
 

DCH Presentations

   
 

Know Media

   
 

In Camera Productions

   

Stationery Retailer

Boutique 14

Stationery Retailer

Silver Birch Designs

 

Invites for All

 

StupidCupid

 

Butterflies and Snapdragons

 

Graphic Embers

 

White Petal Design

 

First Crush Cards

 

Vintage Love Stationery

   
 

StupidCupid

   

Wedding Enhancements

Chair Covers of Yorkshire

Wedding Enhancements

Party On Balloons

 

Décor for Events

 

Dandy Events

 

Bijou Chair Covers

 

Beckwith Events

 

The Enchanted Wood Weddings

   
 

Martin House Hospice

   
 

Booth Revolution

   

Wedding Flowers

Neve Flowers

Wedding Flowers

The Floral Quarter

 

Twisted Willow Floristry

 

The Design Studio

 

Flowers by Anne-Marie

 

Fern

     

Elise Flowers

     

Atelier de Fleurs

Wedding Services

Steve Haynes Toastmaster

Wedding Services

North East Wedding Planners

 

Jane Nordli Wedding Planner

 

JR Wedding Supplies

 

Love to Marry

 

Travel Counsellors

 

The Angels Events Ltd

   
 

Yorkshire Venue Dressing

   

Wedding Venue

The Craiglands

Wedding Venue

Newton Hall

 

Castle Howard

 

Longhirst Hall

 

Hazlewood Castle

 

Woodhill Hall

 

The Old Golf House Hotel

 

The White Swan Hotel, Alnwick

 

Hotel du Vin, Harrogate

 

Beamish Hall Country House Hotel

 

Holdsworth House

   
 

Wood Hall Hotel & Spa

   
 

Aldwark Manor

   
 

Goldsborough Hall

   
 

Burn Hall

   
 

York Venues

   
 

Villa Farm

   

New Wedding Business

Sell My Wedding

New Wedding Business

Pansy Potter’s

 

Dominic Wright Photographer

 

The Wooden Ladybird Company

 

Rachel-Elizabeth Designs

 

Just Perfect Wedding & Event Gallery

 

Campbell’s Flowers

 

Candy Dreams

 

Raithwaite Hall Country Retreat

 

Victorian Sweet Cart Company

 

Bash

 

Ruby Shoes Wedding

 

Buttercup Boutique

 

Brides and Dreams

 

Nikki R Photo

   
 

Rebecca Downes Designer Dressmaker

   
 

White Rose Weddings

   
 

The Cherry Blossom Bakery

   
 

Happy Days Chair Covers

   

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Good luck everyone, I’ll see you at the glitzy awards ceremonies that I know The Wedding Guide have planned.  That link for tickets again:  North Of England Wedding Awards Ticket Request

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You don’t need to be a finalist to attend.  Come along and support your fabulous industry colleagues. 

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Brides to be?  You’d do worse than to check out a few of the suppliers above!

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  – Images © 2012 The Wedding Guide/ Brides Up North

Brides Up North is proud to sponsor The North Of England Wedding Awards

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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