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!
August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m really proud to be asked to contribute on a regular basis to some leading bridal titles both on a National and regional level and very happy to be able to share my published press with you on these pretty pages.
Today I’m hoping to put some roses in your cheeks with my spread on outdoor weddings featured in North East glossy, Unveiled Magazine.
I wrote: It may be the romantic notion of the wind in your hair and the sun on your backs, long lead times and increasing rates at traditional locations or a desire for something that feels a little more adventurous, but more and more Brides Up North are choosing to host their wedding ceremonies in the open air.
And once you’re out, why not stay out? A big white tent isn’t your only option for your wedding reception. Whilst nothing tops the glamour of a beautifully lined formal marquee for a traditional celebration, there are plenty more outdoor choices available. Think about how you want your wedding to look and feel before choosing your awnings. Consider a pretty yurt, a big top, a Scandinavian style tipi or even a Bedouin style tent for a day with a difference.
If you are thinking about taking things outdoors, here are my top tips for the perfect day whatever the weather.
If you want your ceremony to be legally binding, the venue must be a permanent structure with a roof and approved for marriage. There’s always the option of saying “I do” in a separate civil or religious ceremony but some venues have licensed areas with a roof in the grounds such as a summerhouse or a gazebo so that couples can still tie the knot in the open air. Do your homework in advance and make sure that your chosen location will result in a valid marriage certificate.
If you were hoping that removing the walls would bring the price down, think again! An outdoor reception is definitely a style, rather than budget, led choice. You’ll need to allow for the cost of any tent or covering, any venue fees for where you choose to park it and all those easily overlooked additional extras – like electricity, lighting, heating and toilet facilities – that an outdoor celebration needs to function. Ask your provider exactly what is included in the quote from the outset to avoid any nasty surprises.
Contrary to popular belief, a wedding reception outdoors can work in all seasons. The giant tipi design is inspired by the traditional tipis lived in by the Sami people of Lapland – so they’re built to withstand the weather and contain warmth. Stoke up the fire pit, artfully drape a few fur throws and you and your guests are set to party into the small hours.
Rustic or formal, weddings in the great outdoors are very adaptable. Choose to let the outside in with natural blooms for a homespun look, or go to town with glossy dance floors and twinkling backdrops. Whatever your preference, raising the roof widens rather than limits your styling options.
July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re cracking open the bubbly here at Brides Up North and taking the afternoon off!*
*Ok, we’re not really doing that, we’re actually stuck at our screens working on our re-launch, but if we could, that’s totally what we’d be doing.
We’ve just had word that (thanks to you, our lovely readers!) Brides Up North has been shortlisted to win the Wedding Blog category in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014.
Now, this is just a bit of a big deal. First up, Cosmo is a market leading lifestyle magazine, not an industry title, so to have been recognised outside of our little bridal bubble for our hard work is pretty immense, and puts our wedding blog in front of a much wider audience. Secondly, we were nominated for the shortlist by you, our readers: brides to be and industry supporters, and we love that.
We love you.
But lets not let that (imaginary) Champagne go to our heads… we still need your votes to take home the gong! Let’s show the rest of the UK that Northerners do it best!
We’d be ever so grateful if you’d head over to the awards site and cast the deciding vote in our favour (and check out some other fab blogs across the board while you’re there – we’ve already added a few to our reader). 50% of the votes are cast by readers and the other 50% is made up from the panel of Cosmo Editors, and voting closed on 29th August 2014, so we need your help to be in with a chance.
Click here to support Brides Up North. #jointhenorthernrevolution #CosmoBlogAwards
This is not a sponsored post
May 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
In my role as editor here at Brides Up North, I’m honoured to be invited to sit on various judging panels for some very prestigious awards ceremonies. Since our launch in 2010, I’ve clocked up a fair few judging credits including; The Wedding Industry Awards 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015; The Wedding Ideas Awards 2013; The Bridal Buyer Awards 2012 & 2014 and headline sponsor & one time host of The North Of England Wedding Awards 2012 & 2013.
I haven’t yet been asked to judge a wedding cake competition… but here’s hoping!
My most recent engagement was close to my heart, and I was thrilled to be asked to act as a judge in Wedding Blog Category for The National UK Blog Awards 2014, alongside my colleagues at Wedding Ideas Magazine.
The National UK Blog Awards 2014 are the only Blog Awards recognising a multitude of industry professional talent across the UK. The awards provide a unique opportunity for individual professionals and organisations from their sector to be recognised for their social media achievements through blogging, with the chance to network and be inspired by other industry bloggers.
From over 900 entries overall, the awards were narrowed down to 10 shortlisted blogs in each category. I was overseeing both the Individual and Professional categories in the Wedding section, so spent a good few days immersing myself in the content of the twenty hopefuls and getting to grips with their websites. The judging process itself was rigorous and time consuming (I got through a lot of Yorkshire Tea, let me tell you!) but very thorough. Each and every site was judged on specific scoring criteria and commentary, before the final scores were tallied across the board and the winners announced.
As a wedding blogger myself, choosing the winners was both a very hard and a very easy job. The structured scoring process made things easier, but as well as ticking the right useability boxes – was the site easy to navigate, fun to use, do what it said on the tin – I had to follow my heart: was the blog beautiful, was it interesting, would I come back to read in my spare time? Two different judges might reach two very different sets of conclusions, but the job was mine, and I had to choose as best I could.
Becki, from The National UK Blog Awards says: These awards were put on to recognise the best in UK blogging industry […and] in our eyes, everyone is a winner. Your blog is your personal brand and each and every one has its own uniqueness which makes them truly great! 900 bloggers entered the awards so to reach the final alone is a great achievement [showing] talent, passion, dedication and commitment. You are all truly inspirational. We did, however, love announcing the highly commended and winners of each category. It was a true delight to see everyone’s reactions and great smiles (and in some cases tears) across the room!
The judges don’t confer, so although I had an idea of who might do well based on my own scoring, I purposefully didn’t find out until the night itself who the overall winners were. I’ve never been all that good with secrets!
Over 300 attendees from bloggers to judges, sponsors and brands celebrated with the team at The Grange Hotel, St Pauls, London on Friday 25th April 2014. Due to the constraints of a small family and our very own event that same weekend (our fabulous Luxury & Vintage Wedding Exhibition at The Bowdon Rooms – no way I was going to miss that!) I couldn’t attend the awards ceremony itself, but loved following all the action on Twitter from the comfort of my sofa. You could have cut the tension in my living room with a knife that night!
So, Brides Up North, if you’d like to add a few more blogs to your reader (always!) here’s our winners and runners up in the Wedding category. Congratulations to all our finalists.
So You’re Getting Married
Gavin Forster Photography Wedding Blog
Ishari De Silva Ishari
De Silva Weddings
And now the tables have turned. Brides Up North has entered two categories in The Wedding Industry Experts 2014 Awards…
…and we’d love your vote in both!
Please use the links above to show your support. All it takes is a click, and I’ll love you forever.
This is not a sponsored post
April 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Away from the pages of the wedding blog, I’m frequently commissioned to write freelance pieces for various glossy magazines (Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out, eh?) and quite often like to share that content again here when I think it might be interesting or relevant to my readers. Or genuinely because I’m just really, really proud to see my work in print.
Loved Up Magazine, to whose pages I’ve been contributing for – goodness! – actual years and years now got in touch to ask me to compile a feature sharing my “top clicks” for online wedding planning content, a subject close to my heart.
Yes, I’m a first and foremost a blogger, but I’m also a consumer. Shock horror! I read other blogs. And I’m a prolific consumer of wedding media especially. I like to keep up with the industry news, the creativity of my peers and to be honest, it’s still fun for me. Yes, even after four years of blogging about weddings twice a day and 40+ branded bridal events and exhibitions under my Brides Up North belt… I still love it. I’ve a full blog reader, test out any new bridal app going and don’t even get me started on social media. 39,394 tweets down at the time of writing, I’m well aware that that’s my unwritten novel, right there on Twitter (hey, come follow me, I’ve clearly a lot to say!)
So, here’s my current top picks of the online wedding World – emphasis on current there: trust me, I could have filled the whole magazine with links. So, have fun exploring, but come right back again afterwards y’hear?!
I said: In my role as editor of one of the top wedding blogs in the UK I spend a whole lot of time at a computer screen. Mostly its bonafide blog business, but I also spend some time every day keeping on top of what’s new in the online bridal world. It’s as much about checking out the latest cyber products for my bride-to-be readers as staying ahead of the competition, and I’m here to share some of my favourite online resources with you.
Wedding blogs are a dynamic, easy to access and free source of wedding planning know how, with a personal touch. There’s a blog out there to suit almost every bride, so bookmark your favourites and return daily for a rapid turnover of ideas, inspiration and tips.
My Top Clicks
Brides Up North (well, obvs.) – our site and branded bridal events are a must for local ladies who want to see just what the fantastic wedding industry suppliers on their doorstep can do. Every fabulous feature on Brides Up North is sourced from the regions, be it a supplier showcase, styled shoot or real wedding.
Rock N Roll Bride – a cute and colourful site packed full of diverse and different wedding inspiration. If you fancy trying your hand at blogging yourself, creator Kat also runs courses for aspiring writers at her worldwide Blogacademy.
Festival Brides – if you’d rather host your own “wed-stock” party under canvas than hire a stately home, this is the blog for you. Focusing on outdoor and festival weddings, the site is a little bit of summer sunshine delivered to your blog reader daily.
There are apps galore for wedding planning on the move. From finding your dream dress to keeping track of your gift list, a few clever downloads can make the whole process a little less daunting. Take a break from Candy Crush and try out some bridal apps that might just save you time and money.
My Top Clicks
WedPics – An alternative to disposable cameras, this nifty tool gathers all your guests’ pics and videos in one private place – and gives you a record of your big day through your nearest and dearest’s eyes.
AppyCouple – A fully personalised online space that your guests can access to obtain all the key details for your celebration including addresses, gift list info, directions, dress code and timings. They can even RSVP and make menu choices, leaving all the information to hand when table planning hysteria sets in.
Find Your Dream Wedding Dress – A fashionista’s fantasy – browse different design features and come up with a selection of gowns that meet any given criteria, then find the shops that stock them. The dress hunt made easy.
Use social media to network your way from engagement to altar. Here you can get real time responses to your queries and supplier searches on a no obligation basis.
My Top Clicks
Facebook – Most industry professionals keep their Facebook page more up to date than their brochure or websites, making it easier for you to get a sense for their current work.
Pinterest – If you love a mood board, you’ll adore this image sharing site, also available as a smartphone app. Build online boards by pinning your favourite wedding inspiration images to build up a visual idea of your wedding style. And if you don’t want to spoil the surprise – simple – you can now make secret boards too!
Twitter – You’ll find that the wedding industry is live and loud on the Twitter airwaves: keen to offer advice, sell their services and attract new customers.
Words: Brides Up North for Loved Up Magazine Spring/Summer 2014
This is not a sponsored post
March 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you’re a regular reader of Brides Up North, you’ll know that last autumn I was thrilled to be a recipient of a Wedding Blog Award from the lovely people at Wedding Magazine and voted for by you, my readers.
As a lot of our “office hours” here at Brides Up North HQ are dedicated to managing our events, business admin, meetings and email enquiries, I spend a lot of long lonely hours working on the actual editorial content for the site (often long into the night when the rest of my young family is finally sleeping!) and the recognition of our contribution to the online wedding world really did mean a lot to me. In fact, it still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling now! It’s nice to be appreciated!
We’ve been so busy at Brides Up North with our branded events and other exciting projects for 2014 (watch this space) that we’re a little behind recapping all our great coverage in the industry press in late 2013 and earlier on this year.
Image: Paul Cahill
I wrote an excited post from my London hotel room the day after the Awards (absolutely no hangover, that’s the high quality Ritz Champagne for you: I drank a lot of it!) and you can read my recap here, but I wanted to share the official round up of the evening from the hosts themselves and my “Five Minutes With” feature from my interview in the “Winner’s Enclosure” immediately after collecting my prize and a kiss from Mark-Francis (offa Made In Chelsea).
Once again, a huge thank you to my readers and industry supporters for your votes. Brides Up North wouldn’t work without you, and I am so grateful for your daily input and love. In my interview, I say that the ethos behind behind the blog is that “I want to spread the message that the Northern wedding industry is full of inspirational people and make their voices heard”. That will never change. This is your blog, for your wedding, in your local area. Think local, be inspired and make the most of the exceptional talent on your doorstep. That’s the Northern Revolution… and it’s rumbling on!
This is not a sponsored post
March 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s still light outside (wahey!) and I’m whizzing by with a late post this first day of Spring (hope you’ve managed to get out in the fresh air to smell the daffodils today!) to bring news of a wedding event near you – if you’re a North East bride to be that is – this weekend, from my friends at etc. Magazine.
etc. Magazine, your luxury lifestyle magazine for the North East – and home to my monthly Bridal Buzz columns – is set to host a wedding show this weekend at the Radisson Blu in Durham. The free event will take place this Sunday from 12-3pm and will feature more than 30 hand-picked exhibitors from across the region.
etc editor Georga Spottiswood says: If you’re planning on getting married then make sure you head along. We’ll be featuring everything you need to make your day extra special.
From wedding cars and cakes to dresses and suit hire, the day will cater for all your wedding needs. Models from Miss 24 Carat Beauty Pageant, in Sunderland, will be strutting their stuff in a dazzling catwalk show. They’ll be wearing wedding dresses from bridal shop Opal, in Coxhoe, and First Glance, in Sunderland, along with bridesmaid gowns from Middlesbrough-based Kate Fearnley boutique and accessories.
It’s the second wedding show etc has held this month, as loved-up couples headed to Seaham Hall last Sunday. More than 200 people filled the five-star venue, on Durham’s Heritage Coast, for the extravaganza. etc launched its popular wedding shows more than three years ago, but it is the first time the magazine has worked with Seaham Hall.
Georga says: What a day, what a venue! Brides and grooms were in awe of the place when they walked through the grand entrance, and I’m not surprised. With its glistening chandeliers, stunning courtyard room with glass ceiling and beautiful grounds, it’s the perfect place to wed. I am really looking forward to welcoming brides and grooms to our wedding event at the Radisson Blu in Durham this weekend, which I hope will be as equally as busy.
It’s in the diary Georgia!
This is a sponsored post
March 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
The start of every season always begins with a flurry of freelance commissions here at Brides Up North, and days spent with my head buried in my laptop feeling like “a proper writer”. Of course, the end product is rarely very different from producing features for my own blog, but when it’s for someone else’s publication (and they’ve entrusted you with one, two or even four of their precious editorial pages) and it’s actually going to be “in print”, the stakes somehow seem higher.
Respected North East bridal title Belle Bridal Magazine celebrated their fifth birthday this season, and so, when they bestowed upon me the honour of selecting the hots and the nots of the wedding world for spring 2014, I was thrilled. But oh, the pressure!
So, with a lot of industry knowledge behind me, and a little bit of crystal ball gazing, these were my predictions for the trends that’ll be topping the charts (and sliding off the scale) at a wedding near you soon. Tell me, are you incorporating any of these trends into your big day?
Blame Jay Gatsby, but flamboyance is back in a big way. A little party never killed nobody, but why do things by halves? After these mean recession years, we’re ready for some fun. Expect heavy embellishments, cascading blooms and excess all areas.
Image: Katy Melling Photography
It started with the tipi, and now there’s an outdoor option for almost every theme. Whether it’s a Scandinavian hat, Mongolian yurt or Bedouin tent, it’s still chic to say I do under canvas. Just remember to budget for a generator too!
Image: Gerrard Photography
Image: Jo Bradbury
Amongst all the usual layers of lace and tulle a new breed of wedding gown is emerging: clean lines, sharp edges and super cool. Closer to catwalk trends than a Royal Wedding, these frocks are for the slick chicks who don’t want to leave their personalities by the church door. Choose bold shapes and structured satin (not a sequin in sight) for strut-your-stuff wedding day style.
Image: Astral Sundholm Circa Brides
Image: KMR Bridal
Platinum will always be precious, but all the best dressed ring fingers are going for gold this season. Romantics should try rose gold and pave diamonds for an on trend look that’s forever timeless.
Image: Helen Russell Photography
Colour Me Pretty
Adding a touch of complimentary colour to your wedding day wardrobe is nothing new, but this is a trend that refuses to fade. Pastels are huge on the catwalks and in the bridal boutiques for 2014 and designers are upping the ante with all over washes of warmth or layered ombre lace effects. Go on, live life in colour! If a dip dye wedding dress isn’t for you, you can still give a nod to this pretty trend with colourful stationery or blushing blooms.
Image: Ian Stuart
Forget the humble tiara, 2014 is the year that bridal headwear gets big and bold. From glittering bunny ears and feather head-dresses to vibrant flower garlands, the fashion forward bride will dare to decorate herself in colour and originality. Still not sure? Stick to simple for the ceremony and style things up for the after party!
Image: Katy Melling Photography
Image: James Melia
Image: Cat Hepple Photography
Words: Julia Braime for Belle Bridal Magazine, S/S 2014
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Brides Up North/ Belle Bridal Magazine/ as credited where relevant
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astral sundholm circa brides, Belle Bridal Magazine, brideometer, cat hepple photography, coloured wedding dress, floral crown, flower crown, freelance bridal writer, gerrard photography, great gatsby wedding, Ian Stuart Bride, Jo Bradbury, katy melling photography, KMR Bridal, lucabella wedding photography, press, rose gold, structured wedding dress, tipi wedding, uk wedding blog
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