Charlotte Balbier

are we the online/digital business of the year?

September 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime


Today I’m really very excited to share that Brides Up North has been shortlisted in the Forward Ladies women in business awards 2015 for Online/Digital Business Of The Year.  As you read this, Rachel and I are perfecting our lippy and heading to Newcastle to join lots of bright business minds at the Yorkshire & North East Awards ceremony.

We’re never really ones for making a huge fuss (in our ever so Northern manner), but we’re ever so chuffed that our work in this field has been lauded by an organisation with so dynamic and varied a membership as Forward Ladies.  Today, at the sparkling do, we’ll be over the moon if we take home the award – but it’s just as nice to see our hard work, loyal readership, solid supporter base and resultant business success recognised.

forward ladies say: ‘This year’s awards continues its tradition of being the premier forum for recognising and rewarding the talented women across the UK. The awards, which were created to celebrate trail blazing and pioneering women from enterprise and business, are hugely important because they give women a unique opportunity to acknowledge their successes and become credible and inspirational role models for others.

We have categories to showcase the underrepresented women working in traditionally male dominated fields such as the Digital and Online category, and have received some outstanding entries in this category.  The judges have seriously had their work cut out for them this year… This is a testament to the high quality of our female business leaders across the regions who are helping the region’s economy grow.’

Here at Brides Up North, we’ll ALWAYS be all about the pretty… but there’s a serious side to what we do too.  We connect. We aim to connect our bride to be readers with each other as a community; we aim to bring our wedding industry friends together, forging solid business relationships and networks along the way and most of all, we aim to put our bride to be readers directly in touch with the very best professionals in their area to help them realise their wedding day dreams.  We achieve this through our daily blog posts, social networks, luxury wedding exhibitions, supplier gatherings and more recently through our work with Unveiled Magazine.

We’ve recently gone back to the proverbial drawing board to assess our entire service and how Brides Up North can better help our readers and supplier clients. Soon, (watch this space) we hope to bring you an exciting new online offering to make these connections even easier than ever before, but just for tomorrow, we’ll stick to networking in the old fashioned way… hopefully over a glass of celebratory bubbly!

Wish us luck!

julia, rachel & the team x

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we’ve been shortlisted in the wedding blog awards 2015! and we’d love your vote.

September 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Vote For Us!

Rachel and I are absolutely thrilled to bits to share that Brides Up North has been shortlisted once again in the best city blog category in this year’s Wedding Blog Awards 2015, hosted by Wedding Magazine.

The awards evening is one of our yearly “best bits” and we are looking forward to another night of hobnobbing and hi-jinks with our fellow UK wedding bloggers (cue cupcakes washed down with Champagne) – and not-so-much the hungover train ride home – this October at The Tower Of London.

It might seem from our pretty Instagram feed that all Rach and I do is play with pretty dresses when we are in the office and put our feet up in spas when we are not.  Usually, that’s exactly what we want you to think. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the reality. Although, when I think on it, Rachel has been to a lot of spas during the working week lately… the cheeky mare.

Joking aside, behind the scenes here at Brides Up North we (ahem, Rachel’s spa-ing aside) work really long, often unsociable hours – just ask my husband – to make sure that the inboxes are emptied and the pretty pages of the wedding blog and related social channels are constantly fuelled with new wedding inspiration.  That’s not to mention my role as Editor of Unveiled Magazine or the vast amount of effort that goes into our extremely busy seasons of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions. I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard work being this goddamn fabulous.


We’d be really pleased to take home the gong for “Best City Blog” and would love it if you could cast your vote our way! Click here to do so, and to see who else made the shortlist too. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our loyal readership, so big love and thanks for your support, it’s very much appreciated.

Let’s show the rest of the UK exactly what us Northerners can do!

Voting closes this Friday.

julia & rachel x

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a friday podcast!

April 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime


A few weeks ago I was honoured to be asked to record a podcast for broadcast on the fantastic industry resource Evolve Your Wedding Business.

In this hour long episode with the website’s founder and host Heidi I discuss what you should know about working with bloggers, how to get the most out of blog advertising, how to get more engagement on social media and how to manage a busy workload.  If you are one of our lovely industry readers (or just curious about how this whole blog thang works behind the scenes!) then why not stick the kettle on, cosy up for an hour and have a listen.

You can listen to our podcast by clicking on the link here. Enjoy!

Before you start, if you are interested in finding out more about Brides Up North, just click here.

I’d love to hear from you with any comments!

what’s covered?

  • What you need to know before submitting a wedding to a blogger
  • The best way to reach out to wedding bloggers
  • How to follow up with a blogger after submitting a wedding
  • How we get such fantastic social media engagement
  • The common threads between wedding professionals who do well with blog advertising
  • Blog advertising best practices & mistakes people make
  • What you should have in place before advertising on a blog
  • How to get the most out of your next wedding fair
  • How to start making connections with wedding bloggers
  • Why you shouldn’t putting wedding bloggers on a pedestal
  • How I juggle the blog, writing, running wedding fairs, and a whole lot more without going nuts
  • How to start building a team

…happy listening!


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on air.

March 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

BBC Radio Tees

Interrupting our usual blogging schedule to bring you this special broadcast

Following our plus one debate on the wedding blog last Friday, we were invited to join the argument over guest list difficulties on BBC Radio Tees yesterday morning. You can listen again at the BBC website, I join the show at around about 50 minutes in.  And talk.  A lot.

Click here to catch up.

You can catch up on our original debate here.

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the fixer.

February 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime

The Fixer 1

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.

The Fixer 2

I cut a few shot clips on our Instagram from Brides Up North’s prime time TV debut, and you can see them by clicking here and here.

Introduction to Brides Up North

The Industry Launch 

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.

julia x

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#venuehunt. we love yorkshire weddings.

February 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Yorkshire Venues In Belle Bridal Magazine (1)Yorkshire Venues In Belle Bridal Magazine (1)

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

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 (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (3)

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 (c) Lissa Alexandra Photography (18)

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.

Lee Scullion Photography for Braime Pressings (110)

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.

a winter wedding at Priory Cottages (c) Helen Russell Photography (52)

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

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