August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s been a phenomenal year for us here at Brides Up North HQ so far. A brand new look, more fabulous sponsors getting behind us than ever before, a fan-blooming-tastic spring and autumn exhibition schedule, and now, as we say goodbye to summer, a hat-trick of industry award nominations.
I used to think a blogger’s life would go a little like this: sleep late, RSVP to a few party invitations, full hair and make up, coffee with beautiful industry friends, a bit of light writing, meet the husband for cocktails and skip off to bed… how wrong I was.
Running (and writing!) a full editorial schedule, organising and styling shoots, managing twenty wedding exhibitions, sales, admin, marketing, keeping on top of a mountain of emails, taxes, VAT, meetings with sponsors, working on new projects, liaising with the press and PRs, freelance features, social media, venue visits whilst simultaneously nurturing a young family… and remembering to brush your hair in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, It’s fun, fulfilling, exciting and no day is ever the same. But its not the Carrie Bradshaw life I thought it might be.
I still don’t own any Manolos, for a start.
So it’s with pride and pleasure that I celebrate the fabulous bits.
I’ve already told you about our nominations for “Best Wedding Blog” in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, and “Best City Blog” in The Wedding Blog Awards, and now our friends at Perfect Wedding Magazine have gone and absolutely made my year, by shortlisting us in the “Best Wedding Blog” category in their prestigious industry awards.
Despite all the events, networking parties and the constant conversation on social media, blogging can be a pretty secular profession, so this support really does mean a lot. It tells me that you like what I do, what I’m striving towards (#jointhenorthernrevlution y’all!) and that I should keep on doing it.
If you’ve got a minute on what’s sure to be a busy Tuesday back in the saddle – how was your Bank Holiday weekend? – I’d love it if you could spare a sec or two to vote for Brides Up North. The line up in our category is pretty stellar, so this Northern Revolution needs some people power.
(If you needed any encouragement, every person that does is entered into a special draw to win an amazing one-night break for themselves and a guest at one of 18 luxurious spa venues in the UK, a delicious three-course evening meal, breakfast, a 60-minute spa treatment for each guest and a cream tea courtesy of Q Hotels. Nice.)
Voting closes 29th September.
Whilst you’re feeling generous, we’d love your vote in these sequin clad showdowns too:
(voting closes 29th August!)
(voting closes 1 September!)
And I’ll love you forever.
August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
One of my very favourite parts of my job as Editor here at Brides Up North is receiving and reviewing Real Wedding submissions from my newly-wed readers and industry suppliers. There’s nothing quite like the love and joy that radiates from the images of a couple’s big day and the palatable excitement in the accompanying email. I’m putting this post together late on Sunday evening, and I’ve just spent the best part of the afternoon approving some very, very special submissions that I’m so looking forward to sharing with you soon.
I hope that those of you who visit these pages daily will come back to share your own celebrations and help to inspire the thousands of readers who pop in to see us daily. It’s so simple to contact us with a submission – and all the details of how to do this are found permanently under the submit tab above – but now and again I like to reach out and remind you that I’d love you to get in touch.
We accept submissions from brides and grooms, photographers, planners and other wedding vendors, and as well as weddings, we also love to see engagement session photographs, couples shoots, trash the dress, cherish the dress and styled session photographs. We accept wedding submissions of all themes, sizes, religions and gay weddings.
If you’d like to submit your own Wedding to feature on Brides Up North all you need to do is drop us a line.
Your initial contact email should include:
Should Brides Up North wish to review your submission further we will require:
August 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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.
See you there?
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.
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.
August 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Rachel and I are absolutely thrilled to bits. Brides Up North has been shortlisted once again in this year’s Wedding Blog Awards 2014, hosted by Wedding Magazine!
Can I get a whoop whoop?!
As winners last year, the awards evening was definitely one of our “best bits” and we are looking forward to another night of hobnobbing and hi-jinks (washed down with The Savoy’s Champagne) – and notsomuch the hungover train ride home -this October.
Voting closes on 1st September 2014.
We wouldn’t be here on these pretty pages if it wasn’t for our loyal readership, so big love for your support.
you rock! #jointhenorthernrevolution
July 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
July 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m so very excited to be unveiling our brand new look on the pages of the wedding blog today.
This makeover has been a long time in the planning and from conception to completion has been an absolute labour of love. After a 4am finish yesterday (this morning?) to get the final detailing perfect, I’m feeling wired, tired, happy and emotional in equal measure.
Finally, you all get to see what we’ve been working on behind the scenes for months (and then some)!
When developing the concept for a refreshed Brides Up North blog, I wanted a light and pretty feel, with a look to reflect the quality of the features that we curate and the amazing industry suppliers that we feature. It was also important to me that the site was easy to use, and valuable to our visiting brides when actually planning their weddings.
Inspiration is all very well and good, but I want our readers to get active, get connected and find real use in our offering. Away from these pages we strive to make every Brides Up North party or exhibition extremely fun, fresh, beautiful and useful. We aim to run our events seamlessly and at an impeccable level of quality.
I saw no reason why we couldn’t design a site to reflect all of these aims online too. And I think that we might have cracked it.
A wedding blog that’s clean and chic for easy reading on mobile devices and fabulously floral on larger screens. With a sleek new Wedding Fairs section, new imaging features and an interactive Directory brimming with supplier info and images, we are really proud.
Take some time to have a look around; whether it’s diaries at the ready as you browse our autumn events schedule; peruse our expanded Directory or lose hours being inspired by the new gallery facility on each and every blog post.
we hope you love it. Let us know what you think.
You can leave us a comment here, or socialise using the icons at top right. We can’t wait to hear from you.
This afternoon I’d like to say a quick thank you to those people who made the transformation possible. To my family for their support during this crazy time, to my brilliant (and patient) designer Helen, to the talented and kind Cat Hepple for the beautiful images that form the basis of the new design concept and to my dream team of suppliers who helped to make my styling ideas a reality. A finer team of professionals I’d challenge you to find.
With abundant florals by the marvellous girls at Leafy Couture, superb props by Love Light Hire (heart backdrop) and Pamella Dunn (table dressing and big balloons), sparkly stationery by JB Creatives, transformative hair & makeup by Victoria Farr, long lashes by Flutter, drop dead gorgeous dresses and accessories by The Harrogate Wedding Lounge and The White Room Sheffield, table dressing by Dine, scrumptiously beautiful wedding cakes by The Marie Antoinette Cake Company and cutting edge videography by Silver Sixpence Films – on location (and not at all disturbing the shoppers!) at the stunning Leeds Corn Exchange, this just looks like an ordinary day in the Brides Up North office.
You’ll find all their website links in our snazzy little white book below, and the full results of the shoot in our expandable gallery section. Just click on any image, then use the arrows to scroll. Lovely.
If you love tulle, sparkle, peonies and lace (and if you don’t, what are you doing here?!) then you are going to love this.
July 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
When you hear from me again, hopefully, it will be from our brand spanking new Brides Up North blog.
There’s lots of wallpapering, uploading and coding to be done behind the scenes, so bear with us for a few days while we slip into something a little more pretty…
See you on the other side!
July 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
“Bridal gowns transcend fashion, they are a timeless representation of the brides own style and personality.” Ian Stuart
Of all the bridal catwalks I’ve seen, the ones masterminded by Ian Stuart are my favourite – colour, music, personality, cheekiness, beauty… and fabulous frocks: it’s like a very good day at the theatre. And I love theatre. Lots.
So this morning I’m honoured to welcome a truly talented Northern export home to the pages of Brides Up North, as we sneak a peek at the marvellous Ian Stuart’s brand new collection for 2015, and hear about what makes this design genius tick.
Wedding. dress. heaven. Right here.
What sort of woman do you design for?
Ian says: My collections are always very diverse, as are the women who wear them. As a designer- you can’t put all of your energy and creativity into creating one signature look for one type of woman. We no longer live in a society where we all fit into the same shaped hole, I believe it’s my duty as a designer to celebrate this. I’m known for my dramatic and theatrical creations, because no one else has a look like this, but I also create more demure, cleaned lined and sophisticated gowns, as well as those somewhere in between. I design for all women – this is evident on our Facebook page from all of the real bride’s photos we a share.
What were your inspirations for this collection?
I’m always inspired by the same things, because these are my passions: music, theatre, couture, films, photographers, we live in such a creative world, the supply of inspiration is endless. But I was particularly inspired by the new Pink Martini album, which is a collaboration with the real Von Trapp family. The music is simply magical. I locked myself away, put my headphones in, absorbed myself in the exquisite sounds, and allowed my mind to conjure designs that flowed from the music. The album was also the central soundtrack to my fashion show, it was my favourite to date.
What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?
Lady Luxe, as the name suggests, is about those luxurious details. I’ve carefully selected laces, beading and applique that I think will make brides feel more illustrious than they could’ve imagined. The way a bride feels I think, is far more important than the way she looks, as it gives her that stunning glow you only get from being in blissful joy.
I always include many silhouettes in my collections to ensure that any bride can find a shape that sculpts and compliments her figure. I’d never eliminate a shape just because it wasn’t ‘on trend’. Bridal gowns transcend fashion, they are a timeless representation of the brides own style and personality.
July 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
might have mentioned it a few times have total mentionitis about our brand new website look, which I promise should be launching on these pretty pages shortly. I’m hard at work with my designers perfecting everything behind the scenes, and can’t wait for the big unveil very, very soon.
In the meantime though, the team here have been pulling our socks up a bit to get our social media offering in ship shape. We really do want to offer you, our readers, the best overall Brides Up North experience possible – and believe that it should extend beyond the confines of these blog pages: to our real life exhibitions and our social media communications too.
If you already follow Brides Up North over on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (especially Pinterest – it wasn’t around when I planned my wedding and I’m now a fully invested member of the walking obsessed) you’ll have noticed that we’ve upped our game a little. We’re trying to share lots more content (and not always just re-posting what you’ll already find here on the site), industry news, inspirations, chatter and things that we think our readers will like across those mediums.
Quite a lot of traffic passes through my inbox on a daily basis (like giveaways, cool press stuff, notifications of flash sales or pretty, one off imagery) that for various reasons won’t quite make it into a blog post, but will definitely make it onto our live feeds. If you’re not already with us, get it sorted… those links again… Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the new kid on the block… Google +. Join us!
Now, to the main feature. Something I’ve thought about doing for a long time now is launching a dedicated Facebook Group as a place especially for my brides and industry friends to connect. I meet a whole lot of you at my events – from both groups – and you’re all such a lovely bunch, that I think you might just get on. And there’s likely to be an even lovelier wedding for you readers at the end of it… those suppliers know their stuff.
For a while, I toyed with the idea of adding some forums to the blog instead, but Mr Zuckerberg is already doing such a good job of connecting people that we’ve decided to let him host the party, with our name above the door.
This is a Facebook Group for regional brides (and grooms!) and Brides Up North’s Featured Suppliers, exhibition exhibitors & industry friends to mix and mingle.
I see this space as an "interactive" extension of our site – a space where my bride to be readers and industry professionals can talk directly with each other in an open forum, safely moderated under a Brides Up North roof. There’ll be no hard sell, just help and guidance and useful connections.
On a personal level, 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 groups like this one are an excellent way of keeping in touch with my readers and supporters.
Please use this special space to ask and answer questions, share inspiration, links and recommendations… and lots of ‘em.
I hope the group is used and useful. You are invited. The Brides Up North Facebook Group is go!
Launched late on Tuesday night, just to “test the waters”, the group had 250+ members within the first half hour! So, I’m getting the impression that you all like this idea, and for those of you who are only getting the memo now, we’d love you to join the party! Don’t be shy, get involved and say hello.
It’s an open group (the more the merrier: we want to get those inspirational ideas flowing!), but I’m managing requests, so sign up here, I’ll click you in and I’ll look forward to chatting to you there. Mine’s a Sauvignon Blanc please.
I have a feeling that there’s going to be just a little Facebook procrastination going on in the near future…
This is not a sponsored post
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