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…
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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
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June 20th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We work hard here at Brides Up North HQ to ensure that our features schedule is fully charged, so that we never knowingly miss a day to bring you beautiful wedding inspiration: twice a day, every weekday (and sometimes bonus blog posts at the weekends too). The only exception to this rule is our bi annual fortnight’s break (once at Christmastime and once towards the end of June), to re-charge, re-assess and re-focus our efforts to keep pushing this Northern Revolutions forwards.
2014 seems to be absolutely motoring by, and all-of-a-sudden it’s our annual Summer Shutdown season here on the blog. This unfortunately doesn’t mean I’ll be reaching for a caipirinha and the factor 30, but instead shutting myself indoors and at my computer screen to catch up on emails – I get a lot; compile a shiny new features edit; complete our exciting new experts panel; put the finishing touches on our autumn events schedule; polish up our super glossy brand new look here at Brides Up North (shriek!)… and maybe plan a very special, super chic, little launch party for our even prettier new pages. Oooh… watch this space.
Whilst I use our downtime wisely (probably emerging even more translucent and in need of a break than ever before) we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule that will make sure that you still get your daily dose of wedding pretty.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 7th July 2014, but in the meantime keep dropping in on a daily basis and watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far in 2014. Will your big day be included in our editor’s choice selection?
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June 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Well, hello there! Happy Monday to you my lovely reader.
So. It’s really very nearly time to unveil the glam new look that I’ve been working on behind the scenes here at Brides Up North since the turn of the year (and procrastinating on since early 2013 – maternity leave can do that to you). We’re so excited to give these pretty pages a little makeover, add some snazzy new features and bring the whole Brides Up North experience up a notch.
Not to worry though, you won’t suddenly find our head in the clouds and you won’t be needing a map. We’re purposely keeping the layout and functions of the site familiar so that you can still find your way around quickly and easily (the experience should just be glossier and more useful) and you’ll still feel loved – everyone’s welcome at our party! You just need to be Northern, and proud of it…
To celebrate, we’re busy working on a whole host of great new features and seeking the advice of a lauded panel of industry experts – the very best in the business, no less- who’ll also be taking their places on the inaugural Brides Up North Team Excellent Panel to administer help, advice and inspiration liberally (and sprinkle a few sequins here and there).
As a blogger and creative events director, I’m used to instant gratification for my efforts. Curate a pretty feature and boom! – there it is for all to see and share, host an excellent event and voila! – the internet is filled with rave reviews and re-bookings. This is different. The site’s makeover has been a real labour of love and has taken longer than I ever imagined. Functional tweaks (upon tweaks), a dedicated branding shoot – sneak peeks of which I’ve been leaking for the past month or so, a couple of the images here – key image choices, font selection, layout decisions, team selection, features planning, writing, writing, writing and re-writing, self doubt, paranoia and self loathing (ok, not those last two)… but it’s been hard work, and I bet you’ve been wondering what I do all day between event seasons!?
Tear my hair out, mainly.
I just hope you all love the new look as much as I do. It’s coming really soon, I promise.
Amongst all the grafting, there are sometimes some nice surprises! Working late on some top secret web stuff last night, inbox pinging away with Sunday submissions (it’s one of our busiest times of the week), I was pleased to find amongst them a happy little email from The Wedding Industry Experts Awards 2014. Turns out that Brides Up North has picked up a few awards this season – Most Popular Wedding Show or Fair, West Yorkshire & Most Popular Wedding Blog, West Yorkshire (are there any others?!?), and named a top 5 National & Worldwide Finalist in both categories. Well, thank you very much! That’s certainly a boost just as I needed it.
We keep banging on about it, but I’ll say it again – our mission is to get you ladies thinking local and to promote the fabulous wedding industry talent that we have right here on our doorstep in the North of the UK. To take the crown in our home County really is something that I’m very proud of indeed.
Now whilst the recognition is nice, The Wedding Experts Awards is a huge process, with many categories and spanning the entire wedding industry and (being honest) to win can sometimes feel a little like pot luck. Lovely – icing on the cake of a lovely Sunday pot luck – but all the same, there is one rather more niche (and very special) awards process that we’d really, really like to do well in again this year. While we’re on a roll, I’d love it if you could give us a hand.
I’ve already told you all about what a fabulous honour it was to take home a Wedding Blog Award for “Best Big Day Inspiration” in 2013, and we’d love to join the Wedding Magazine winners circle again this year. Let’s keep this Northern Revolution going!
Brides Up North campaigns tirelessly to encourage brides to think local and support our fabulous regional wedding industry… so lets show the rest of the UK what we can do!
Click here to VOTE for Brides Up North. We love you! It literally takes a moment, and would mean so, so much to us.
Nominations close on Thursday 26th June 2014.
Thank you, so much x
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June 11th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Have I got some eye candy for you lovely lot today! The lady behind this (fabulous) wedding dress is nothing if not versatile. She’s also extremely talented and a rather lovely person at that. I know. I’ve met her, and see these beauties in real life.
Step forward Kelly Redhead of KMR Bespoke Bridal. One to watch and superstar designer of the future, she’s here to present her 2015 Whiting Collection to Brides Up North. You saw it here first girls (oh, except from on the pages of Vogue Italia – yes, that’s exactly how we roll!).
Images by Folega Photography.
Kelly says: A collaborative literature vintage themed shoot at Cusworth Hall, Doncaster brought together a talented group of suppliers. Cusworth Hall was a fantastic venue to hold the shoot with many of the shots taken in the Library, in keeping with the literary theme.
The little details from the various suppliers involved with the shoot worked perfectly with my designs and the fresh approach of the photography by Sarah really did make this shoot romantic and full of love.
The Whiting Collection is my debut 2015 collection of bridal gowns. The collection is named after my late Grandmother who inspired me from a young age to become a designer. Three of the collections gowns were used in this preview shoot at Cusworth Hall; Grace, Ivy and Annie.
Grace is an elegant floor length bias cut ivory silk crepe and guipure lace gown. A high illusion neckline is finished with bound silk crepe detailing and delicate cap sleeves. A KMR signature of a keyhole back opening paired with a detachable lace train creates a stunning back. The gown is finished with a silver crystal embellished waistband.
Ivy is a stylish ivory embroidered lace and silk crepe backed satin gown. Elegant lace sleeves and a deep V-shaped neckline at the back of the gown are finished with a delicate scallop lace edging. Creating a figure enhancing silhouette the gown has a bias fishtail skirt with a train to add a feminine touch. The gown is finished with delicate covered buttons and rouleau loops down the back.
Annie is a sophisticated strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The elegant circle skirt is made up of layers of silk taffeta and silk chiffon with a beautiful train. The bodice is finished with delicate pleated silk taffeta, a plunging back and fastened with rouleau loops and covered buttons. The gown is finished with a stunning silver crystal motif on the waist.
There are three other gowns in KMR’s 2015 bridal collection. As this was a preview shoot of the collection the final three gowns will be revealed soon.
June 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Promise this is the last favour we’ll ask you all year… for realz.
So, if you’re a long term visitor to Brides Up North, you might just remember an outpouring of excitement, surprise and gratitude last October, when (at a champagne fuelled and Made In Chelsea star studded ceremony at The Ritz in London) this little corner of the internets was named “Best Big Day Inspiration” Blog 2013 by Wedding Magazine in their first ever Wedding Blog Awards. Yes, us! Wahoo!
At the time, I was so busy merrily quaffing bubbly and speculating as to who the lucky winner might be that I almost choked when Mark Francis read out my name. Cue much more bubbly and merriment. That Ritz Champagne is good stuff though, I must have drank a good few vats of the stuff and my hangover the next day was non existent! Or maybe it was all the air I gulped in shock! You can read my “five minutes with” interview here and my recap of events here (from my hotel bed the next morning).
Now, a year on, a whole two more seasons of Brides Up North branded events completed and closed (20 in total!), lots more gorgeous Real Weddings, supplier showcases and fashion features blogged, a new editorial team member, and lots and lots of hard work behind the scenes for a brand new look and functional new platforms (coming very shortly) to make things even more fun and useful around these pretty pages, and it’s time to do it all over again!
This year, we’d very much like to sample the Champagne at The Savoy please.
But we need your votes to do it. (Hic!)
I’d be so grateful if you could take a moment to buzz across to the Wedding Magazine website and vote for our blog in your choice of category. It literally takes a moment, and would mean so, so much to us.
Nominations close on Thursday 26th June 2014.
Much love, and wish us luck!
Julia and Rachel xxx
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