February 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Stills snapped from The Fixer, 10/02/15, BBC2
So, tonight at around 20:45 hours, we had a little bit of a server crash here on these pretty pages. I hadn’t forgotten to renew our domain name again (hey it happens!), rather it was due to an absolutely mahoosive spike in traffic – we are talking tens of thousands here – and all thanks to a little air time on BBC 2′s the fixer.
I had another feature planned for Wednesday morning’s post, but given the surge in visitors and the fantastic response that this episode had across the social media channels, I thought that I better pop my head up and say hello (hello there!) to any new bride to be readers that might be loitering after this evening’s excitement.
For those of you who are regulars around these parts or didn’t catch the show, The Fixer is a business series hosted by the dynamic Alex Polizzi (of Hotel Inspector fame), where ailing companies of any type are given a proper ‘business beating’, a shake up and a sort out. This week, it was the turn of the lovely Jo of (formerly) Balloonin’ Marvellous to step forward as Alex helped her to take her company from deflated to fabulous.
I’m sure that the industry will get to know Jo, her family – trading under their new company name of Lusso Styling - and her beautiful styling ideas very well, very soon. She’s a lovely lady and I genuinely hope that being part of this programme has given her the platform, courage and confidence that she needs to go far.
My role? I was invited to act as the reviewing expert for Jo’s final pitch (once all the hard work had been done). In the beautiful surrounds of my favourite Leeds venue The Mansion, which my colleagues at Dine kindly lent to BBC 2 as a stunning backdrop to the segment, I got to sit back and hear all about the results of Jo and Alex’s hard work. And I was really impressed.
I’ll try to piece together some of the longer footage (including some cameos by some of my wonderful industry friends) to share here shortly. In the meantime, you can check out the Lusso Styling website here.
For those of you who came this way via the programme, welcome! If you’re planning a wedding Up North, you’ve come to the right place.
Brides Up North stands out because it encourages its readers to think local and to support the fabulous wedding industry suppliers on their own doorstep. With a double daily features schedule, every single featured supplier, styled shoot, real wedding or industry expert we feature on the blog took place or is based in the North of England.
Brides Up North has been named “Best Blog for Northern Brides” by Channel 4; crowned “Best Big Day Inspiration” blog in the Wedding Magazine Awards 2013 and highly commended in the “Best City Blog” category in the Wedding Magazine Awards 2014; listed in Easy Wedding Search’s Top 100 UK Wedding Blogs and in Bride Tide’s Top 100 Wedding Blogs in The World 2011, 2012 and 2013. Brides Up North was also a finalist in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”) and in Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”).
We’ve been profiled in or contributed to almost every National wedding magazine title, as well featuring extensively in regional bridal titles, national news and lifestyle press. Brides Up North was headline sponsor for and hosted the first North of England Wedding Awards, a judge in the Bridal Buyer Awards 2012, 2014 and 2015 and The Wedding Ideas Awards 2013. I was also a judge and official blogger for The Wedding Industry Awards 2015 for the fourth year running.
I was headhunted as editor of Unveiled Magazine – the luxury wedding magazine for the North East and North Yorkshire – in January 2015 with the aim of further developing this bridal title to build on the quality and creativity that the team achieved in their inaugural issues. So it’s pretty busy backstage here at Brides Up North.
That’s the official bio anyway – and you can read more on our about page - but really it all boils down to: we love local (check out our amazing supplier Directory), and we love stylish weddings (and lots of them!).
If you think like we do, we hope that you’ll stick around a little longer.
February 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Feature in Belle Bridal Magazine
It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it! As the editor these pretty pages I spend my days immersed in designer look books, wedding magazines and glued to my computer screen tracking down the latest trends and ideas in the wedding world, so my readers don’t have to. I also spend a lot of time meeting with industry insiders to discover the best services, shops and venues for brides based in the North of the UK. Super sleuth that I am, Belle Bridal Magazine sent me off to Yorkshire early last year with one mission, and one mission only – to check out their best wedding venues and come back to divulge all.
This county has so many stunning spaces for weddings and events that it’s almost impossible to choose between them (that venue hunt might take a long time!) but I share my top tips from the article – plus a few more favourite places – below.
Think Yorkshire and what comes to mind? Flat caps, rolling countryside, whippets? You’d be right, but as well as the ale and Yorkshire pud, this beautiful county – named as the top European destination by Lonely Planet for 2014 – is also fabulously diverse. Yes, it has it’s fair share of pubs (not necessarily a bad thing, more on that later) but it’s also home to stunning vistas, crumbling stately piles, chic city venues and fairy tale castles. There’s plenty to discover, but these are some of my very favourite spots.
Allerton Castle by Chris Chambers Photography
allerton castle (Knaresborough)
With seriously impressive features and beautiful surroundings this 18th century gothic castle will take your breath away. Dine, the Yorkshire based experts in providing exceptional weddings and events, work in partnership with the Allerton Castle team to deliver faultless perfection to ensure your wedding is special.
the mansion (Leeds)
From The Mansion‘s tree-lined drive to the sweeping staircase, panoramic park views and immaculately restored interior spaces, this exclusive use, boutique venue is wedding day perfection. One for the fashionistas, this city chic space has a stellar reputation for fantastic events and wedding
The Mansion by Joel Skingle Photography
swinton park (Masham)
This privately owned hotel is the perfect romantic retreat, and good food is guaranteed, for as well as fine dining Swinton Park boasts its own cookery school! Set in 200 acres of parkland, this secluded, ivy covered castle provides the perfect setting for a fairy-tale wedding. And if it all gets too much for you, just head to their superb spa… bliss.
hotel du vin (York)
This beautiful hotel in York city centre is housed within a Grade II-listed building that dates back to the early 19th century. With 44 stylish bedrooms and suites, trademark bistro, bar and private dining rooms along with a terrace, courtyard and inner forum for alfresco dining Hotel Du Vin York is a cool and contemporary sanctuary within the city’s ancient walls.
the feversham arms (Helmsley)
Cosy yet contemporary, this former public house and secluded luxury retreat in the market town of Helmsley is perfect for a boutique wedding. With stunning menus and an award winning spa, I’d have the honeymoon at The Feversham Arms too!
thorp perrow (Bedale)
An authentic private stately pile, with amazing manicured gardens and space for a grand marquee, this beautiful property wows all year round, but my top tip is a springtime celebration when the bluebell walk at Thorp Perrow will be in full bloom. Divine!
Middleton Lodge by Hayley Baxter Photography
middleton lodge (Richmond)
Fancy your own country mansion for your wedding weekend? Middleton Lodge has that covered. Boasting Yorkshire’s only outdoor licensed space in the midst of rolling countryside, Middleton Lodge and its 250 acre Georgian estate offers the perfect setting for a traditional country wedding party with a modern twist.
denton hall (Ilkely)
An authentic stately pile, nestled right in the heart of God’s own county, Denton Hall offers an idyllic rural settic in 2,500 acres of stunning private parkland. Just add your own Mr Darcy, and you are good to go!
East Riddlesden Hall by Lissa Alexandra Photography
east riddlesden hall (Keighley)
With ceremony space in the Great Hall of this historic Grade I house and a reception for up to 180 in their fabulous converted barn, the National Trust estate at East Riddlesden Hall offers plenty of options for creating a bespoke and beautiful day.
bolton castle (Wensleydale)
Bolton Castle is a spectacular medieval fortress, preserved in outstanding condition and situated in the heart of peaceful Wensleydale. For a celebration full of atmosphere, Bolton Castle has to be at the top of your wish list.
Braime Pressings by Lee Scullion Photography
braime pressings (Leeds)
Ok so, I’m a little biased, but this authentic vintage venue in the heart of Leeds has been in my husband’s family for 125 years and only now is it open to the public for weddings and events.
The working factory’s stunning listed canteen, used to host public meetings and dance parties during two World Wars (with a separate upper floor for ladies!), has stood almost untouched for 50 plus years. With its original historic features, marble bar and parquet flooring, Braime Pressings offers a completely unique space for wedding celebrations.
the kp (Hull)
A stylish and contemporary space that can accommodate up to a whoopping 400 guests, The KP is one fabulous blank canvas for a bride and groom who want to create their dream day.
Priory Cottages by Helen Russell Photography
priory cottages (Wetherby)
Like a little piece of Provence in Yorkshire, this exclusive use barn and marquee venue is my destination of choice for summer soirees, and oh so cosy for winter weddings too. A huge bonus is the cottage accomodation on site at Priory Cottages which means that you and your party can make a whole weekend of the festivities.
oulton hall (Leeds)
With impressive grounds and an incredible 18th Century mansion on your doorstep, it’s hard to look past Oulton Hall. Factor in the serene spa space and beautifully manicured golf course for him indoors and I’m pretty much sold.
Nostell Priory by Peter Boyd Photography
nostell priory (Wakefield)
Space for ceremonies in the huge house, an outdoor drinks reception in the rose garden or orangery and a wedding breakfast in the newly refurbished riding school, beautiful Nostell Priory has it all. Set in gorgeous National Trust grounds and with the fabulous Dine events team on site, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.
the deep (Hull)
The Deep is one of the most exciting aquariums in the world, home to a whopping 3,500 fish including a pair of Green sawfish, magnificent sharks and rays, but also one of the coolest wedding venues in the UK. Make a splash by choosing somewhere completely different for your celebration.
Check our Brides Up North Directory for more brilliant venue ideas in Yorkshire and beyond.
January 15th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I’m just looking in this afternoon as I’m off to London in a whirl of sequins to attend the first major industry event in my calendar this year – The Wedding Industry Awards 2015.
This is the fourth year that I’ve been asked to support this esteemed event as a member of the judging panel, and I was very proud to take my place alongside some really rather fabulous leading lights in the wedding industry for 2015′s proceedings.
This year I’ve also been tasked with the job of being #officialblogger for the North East and North West regions, and back in November I really relished sharing all the news and tweets from the front line of the regional finals. I was so proud of all our winners and finalists.
A poorly little girl meant that I had to share in the fun by proxy, whilst my party shoes stared at me accusingly from the wardrobe, so that means that I’m even more excited to join the party at the ritzy, glitzy Cafe De Paris tonight.
I’ll be rubbing shoulders with my fellow judges at a swanky private drinks reception from 6pm, then joining the crowds to see who takes home the glittering prizes. I’ll be tweeting, instagramming and facebooking all the headlines from the night, so watch out for the news as it breaks on our social media channels… even if your favourites don’t win, seeing and hearing me descend into an excited Champagne fuelled stupor should keep you all very amused indeed.
So wish them luck, and watch the feeds. Those party shoes are about to make up for lost time.
All images from The Wedding Industry Awards Regional Events North East/ North West. Click here to see the full sets of images from all events.
January 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
I’m crazy excited to welcome readers old and new (hey, if you just popped a ring on your finger – congratulations!- you are in the right place) to these pretty pages for our first feature of 2015, and to finally be able to share the big news that I’ve been hinting at (and #hashtagging) all over our social networks during the Christmas break.
As of today, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be joining the team at the North’s glossiest bridal magazine, Unveiled, as Editor.
Editor! How very Anna Wintour!
Issue Three of this beautiful, coffee-table book style publication is about to land this month, and after that, I’ll be taking the creative reins alongside the publishing team to build on the quality, luxury and creativity that the team has already achieved in their inaugural issues.
Readers, we are going high-end and cutting edge.
I’ve always had a passion for print, and a background in glossy mags before a career in law is what pushed me to create this award winning wedding blog just over four years ago. I’ve flirted with the idea of creating an annual Brides Up North publication, but after the publisher of Unveiled approached me last year, a collaboration with this stunning title was an idea that I’ve just not been able to let lie.
I’m excited and nervous in equal measure, but there was no way that I was turning down this amazing opportunity and dream role.
I’m brimming with ideas that I think are beautifully different and will push the boundaries of bridal publishing. I’ve never been busier on Pinterest’s secret boards, and my office is currently dominated by some very large mood boards. I can’t wait to get going!
And what does all this mean for Brides Up North? Well, everything and nothing, really. First up, your favourite blog isn’t going anywhere. I’ll be here, sharing inspirational real weddings, fashion features, supplier showcases and personal posts on a double daily basis. Forever. Or until Kim Kardashian really does break the internet. We’re actually working on expanding our team to support an increased editorial schedule, more Brides Up North branded events, some very special styled shoots and even a Brides Up North You-Tube channel (watch out for that one!).
2015 is the year that we plan to get bigger, better and more beautiful.
I’m hopeful that the diversity and opportunity that comes from heading up a print title will also fuel and further creativity and contacts for our online content too. As well as having my finger firmly on the pulse of all the prettiest content and news from the bridal front line, I’ll also be sharing behind the scenes gossip and editorial insights with my online readers.
My first issue of Unveiled goes to print in July 2015 and I’m so excited to get started. Until then, I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s all going right here, or you can follow my progress via our social media channels over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you’re an industry reader who’d like to work with either Brides Up North or Unveiled, I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here.
2015. let’s do this!
Is it too early for a glass of Champagne?
November 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
^another no-makeup selfie for the archives^
I’m hoping that this quick blog feature – fired across the internets courtesy of East Coast Wifi – will make it onto your screens this morning, but as I’ve spent 24 hours without coverage back at Brides Up North HQ due to some BT mast works, and the usual dip-in, dip-out nature of on-train signal, confidence isn’t at an all time high. Fingers crossed.
Another week, another journey to the smoke, and this time for the esteemed Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards. We are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated as best wedding blogamong a really glittering line up of top blogs, and can’t wait to celebrate with our industry colleagues this evening.
Tonight’s just a little bit special.
Not only are we up for the Award, but we’re also using the occasion to celebrate a fabulous 4 years in business (my pride in which I talked about yesterday, before the lines were cut!). My husband – usually on babysitting duty when I’m on official blog business – is my date for the evening, and I’ve been promised Champagne, whether we win or not!
I’ve also got a really very lovely outfit for tonight, and I’ve the privilege of being dressed by two of my wonderful sponsors, the gorgeous Charlotte Balbier and Charlotte Mills, both of who are up for their own accolades this evening. Both have reworked some of their beautiful bridal designs in sleek and chic jet black, just for me.
I’m one very lucky girl, I know. I’ll be tweeting lots of piccys later, plus all the gossip from Perfect Wedding’s jazz-era inspired soiree. Make sure to watch our Twitter feed this evening.
I’m signing off for now, and hoping that the Wifi Gods are looking favourably on us…
Wish me luck!
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