Charlotte Balbier

visit the north west wedding fair with brides up north!

September 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography (67)

If you follow our busy social media feeds, you will know that I’m extremely excited to be reprising my role as Official Blogger for The North West Wedding Fair for the fourth show running this autumn!

I genuinely love this gig. Whilst our own events are bespoke, exclusive and perfectly formed (…are they in your diaries yet !?), The North West Wedding Fair is the largest premium show for brides from the North West and I love that every one of their Exhibitors and Partners are dedicated to serving the North West region. Isn’t that what Brides Up North encourages: thinking local?

And, whilst I can’t wait to see as many as possible of you at our own events this season, I wouldn’t want my North West readers to miss out on the biggest juggernaut of a bridal event to come your way this autumn either.  There’s plenty of room in the diary for us both and what better way to get my brand in front of thousands more Brides Up North and fuel this Northern Revolution even further?

The North West Wedding Fair is taking place at EventCity, Manchester on 26th – 27th September 2015. Visit the website for more details. Brides Up North can save 1/3 off  tickets by entering exclusive discount code WM17 at checkout.

^^^And yes, that is me nervously introducing the showreel above! (dies) ^^^

Our position as one of the top wedding blogs in the UK – and the only one specifically for Northern Brides – is extremely valuable, so alliances like this one need to be right for us. It is Mercury Events’ excellent reputation in the market that gave me the confidence to join up with The North West Wedding Fair in spring 2014, and I‘m happy to report that it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

As well as hosting my own features over on the show’s official blog, I’ll also be on site at the event, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming like mad (from a front row seat on their designer catwalk no less), trying to meet as many of you lovely brides to be as possible and also putting my judging hat on to award the “best in show” exhibitor prize.

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography (57)

Joining me this autumn will be 180 of the most trusted suppliers from Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Liverpool. The best boutiques in the North West will be on hand to help you find the best type and fit of dress for you and your whole wedding party. In fact, discover the North West’s premier wedding suppliers and experts for every aspect of your day, so you can buy and book everything from stunning dresses to venues, décor, photography, jewellery, wedding transport, floral displays, honeymoons, entertainment and much more.

Catwalk1_Aut14 Fusion Photo Ltd

Details2 Fusion Photo (2)

Eight stylish Catwalk Shows take place throughout each day of the show, showing a hand-picked selection of dresses in their very best light and keeping brides-to-be up to date on the latest trends.


Wedding experts will be hosting a selection of wedding workshops to help you build the comprehensive plan for your big day. Benefit Cosmetics’ Make-up gurus share their style secrets while wedding planners give you advice on how to achieve your dream wedding without breaking the bank.

Girls at Champ Bar Irene Yap

Tasting Sessions Tom Halliday (3)

Plus all of the show’s regular features return, including stunning catwalk shows, the Vintage Village, champagne bar and the live Entertainment Stage, where you can hold your own auditions for your big day’s entertainment.

For those looking for an extra special experience, The North West Wedding Fair is offering new VIP package in association with Benefit Cosmetics, with a Benefit bridal tote bag filled with products, plus on-stage masterclasses from their top artists.

VIP tickets include:

  • Fast Track Show Entry •Reserved Catwalk seating •
  • You & Your Wedding VIP Lounge • Benefit Bridal Beauty Tote Bag •
  • Benefit Makeup Masterclasses • Glass of Bubbly •

I can’t wait!

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Visit their website for more details and to book your tickets nowRemember – Brides Up North can save 1/3 off  standard ticket prices by entering exclusive discount code WM17 at checkout. 

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hola! #barcelonabridalweek

May 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Barcelona Bridal Week  (1)

If you follow Brides Up North over on Facebook, Twitter or (especially) Instagram, you can’t have failed to notice that I’ve been getting a leetle bit ridiculously excited about being in Barcelona as a guest of Barcelona Bridal Week (hashtag #barcelonabridalweek).  I’m here all week as a VIP blogger partner of XXL Comunication, Barcelona Turisme and Barcelona Bridal Week, bringing you all the news from the front line of the couture catwalks as it lands… and maybe even a little backstage action too.

Barcelona Bridal Week  (2)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (8)

I arrived late on Monday night, and since then it’s been a bit of a Barcelona Bridal whirlwind!  I was whisked straight from the airport to the grand opening of designer Miquel Suay‘s brand new flagship boutique, where a very warm welcome from the designer and his team (and their ah-may-zing gowns) awaited me, via late night tapas and a cheeky cerveza and back to my 5* lodgings in the sensational Gothic Quarter, then awoke today for a full on day of soirees and sightseeing.

Barcelona Bridal Week  (19)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (10)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (20)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (11)

I’m here with a hand picked selection of top bloggers and media partners including the Aussie stylistas from The Lane, the lovely Lindsay of Fly Away Bride, famous US bloggers Jen of Green Wedding Shoes and Ally of Inspired By This, gorgeous Elizabeth of Bridal Musings and the fantastic Yolanda of Girls on Film, representing So You’re Getting Married.  Together we make quite a motley (albeit fabulously dressed) crew, and I’m enjoying exchanging tips (I think Jen from Green Wedding Shoes might have changed my life with her advice on email management), gossip and trend spotting with these amazing ladies.

Barcelona Bridal Week  (18)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (3)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (4)

If today was all about the sights; a whistle-stop tour of the fashionable and quirky Born District, a tour of Casa Batllo (the beautiful Gaudi house), an amazing seafood lunch with Barcelona Turisme at La Gavina at Port Guell, a visit to the Poble Espanyol and more glasses of Cava offered my way than on my own wedding day… then this evening was all about the catwalk.

Barcelona Bridal Week  (5)

At 6pm we headed to the Fira Gran Via for the opening show of Barcelona Bridal Week 2015, the stunning and sensational, Rosa Clara. Official press images and info will follow, but here are a few of my favourite shots. The 2016 Collection by Rosa Clara seeks to ’emphasise the essence of female beauty’. We saw crop tops, blouses (very Olivia Palermo!) knits and beaded embroidered detailing, combined with a mixture of full and slim skirts and gorgeous fabrics like silk brocade, lace, crepe, muslin, silk organza and mikado.

Barcelona Bridal Week  (6)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (9)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (14)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (12)

Barcelona Bridal Week  (15)

After a quick scrum backstage to meet with the directors of the show and see those gowns (and the beautiful creatures wearing them) close up, the team was whisked off to the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona for a full VIP tour of the hotel, it’s sumptuous spa and wedding facilities (again, more on this later), and treated to an exquisite evening meal… complete with the requisite three glasses of Cava… hic!

Barcelona Bridal Week  (17)

It seems unbelievable, but we haven’t even really got started yet.  Tomorrow’s event schedule is among the craziest I have ever seen.

I have a feeling that this week is going to be one to remember, and I can’t wait to share it with you here on these pages.  Between diary updates, watch the social media feeds for live coverage and all the catwalk gossip as it happens.

Barcelona Bridal Week  (16)

Ciao for now!

All images via Instagram @bridesupnorth.

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style profile: bespoke bride

April 30th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Jess - image credit Laura Power Photography

image by Laura Power Photography

As we head full steam into the summer months ahead we’re hoping the British weather is going to be kind to us so that we can finally ditch the monochrome winter wardrobe once and for all and start wearing more colourful clobber.

Talking of which, today we welcome somewhat of a colour connoisseur to the Brides Up North pages to take part in our Style Profile feature. Introducing,

jess turley, co-founder of the fabulous Bespoke Bride.

Now here’s a girl with incredible style that’s not afraid to stand out with her vibrant outfit choices no matter what season it is. Here Jess shares her fashion fixes and crushes along with her some of her top wedding picks. She’s certainly inspired us to inject some colour into our wardrobes and we hope you’ll be doing the same.

If this doesn’t brighten up your day, nothing will! Take it away Jess…


Clockwise from top left: Jeans from H&M| skirt from Topshop| heels from Topshop| necklace from ASOS| jumper from H&M.

How would you describe your nine ‘til five style and what are your key work wardrobe pieces?

jess says: I would describe my nine ‘til five style as very casual.  If I’m working from home, I like to make sure I’m comfy but am still wearing something that makes me feel motivated! So often you’ll find me in bright colourful jumpers teamed with a bold statement necklace and a comfy pair of leggings or ripped jeans!

If we’re working out for the day or are meeting up with other fab industry suppliers then I love to wear feminine pleated skirts to dress up an outfit. As for shoes I’d normally throw on something with a wedge heel to give myself a bit of height without losing too much comfort!

What would you wear for a night out drinking cocktails with the girls?

For a night out drinking cocktails I’m most likely to wear a maxi skirt with a strappy crop top or alternatively a pretty playsuit. Again, I’d be teaming it with a pair of comfy shoes so either a wedge shoe or a block heel and probably a blazer.

If you were currently planning your wedding what would be your top picks in terms of styling, attire, accessories and blooms?

If you didn’t already know from our blog, I am obsessed with colour so a plain white wedding dress just wouldn’t be an option for me, I would need something a little more vibrant going on and to me, ombre dresses are perfect for that!

I would then continue that colourful theme throughout the styling with fun place settings and vibrant table runners teamed with an array colours, but mostly several different shades of pink.

For the blooms I really love bouquets that are a real selection of flowers but also have a few succulents in the mix, I think it gives the bouquet a little something different, and of course it would have to be filled with beautiful bold colours (no surprise there!).

For the accessories I know I would be asking the fabulous Crown and Glory to make a custom floral headband or crown to sit upon my head all day with colours that matched my bouquet and the dress! I think I’d keep it simple with the shoes and wear a block colour pair of wedges or heels, probably in a vibrant pink!


Clockwise from top left: Heels from Topshop| image found on via, photography by  Laure Joliet| dress by  Synderela Story, photography Amber Gress| headband from Crown and Glory.

Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?

Mostly Pinterest, I have a style board that I pin anything that catches my eye to, then when I’m struggling to put together an outfit I’ll check back there for reference! I also find Lookbook really helpful with fashion inspiration, I keep the app on my phone too so I can have a browse from time to time!

Where would be your dream honeymoon destination and why?

I used to think my dream honeymoon destination would be Mexico, because it’s my favourite place to visit, however because I’ve been there a lot I think it would be nice to go somewhere extra special for my honeymoon, probably somewhere really secluded like the Maldives or Bora Bora so that we could really relax, snorkel, and soak up the sun. I really like the idea of honeymoon time being all about each other more than exploring the destination, I’d like to think we have our whole lives to explore the rest of the world but that time would really be about us as a couple.

Who is currently your favourite fashion designer and why?

I don’t really follow fashion designers but the first person that popped into my mind when I read that question was Kate Spade, I just love how bold and colourful her pieces are!


Clockwise from top: Jumpsuit from Warehouse| skirt from Topshop| top from Boohoo| heels from ASOS| blazer from ASOS.

What current wedding trends are you a fan of and why?

I absolutely adore geometric themes, bold and colourful colour schemes or something Aztec or Mexican, although my favourite weddings are always the ones where you can tell a whole lot about the couple just from the wedding because their personalities are splashed all over it!

Which celebrities’ style do you admire and why?

I really like the way Cheryl Cole dresses, she always looks classy and feminine! I also love the way most of her outfits come in at the waist, that’s something I like to do often with high waisted skirts and jeans.

Another celeb who’s style I love is Katy Perry, it can be pretty wacky at times but I always love how fun and colourful her outfits are!

What is your key piece in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without?

My teal green pleated maxi skirt from Zara, I absolutely adore how long and flowy it is and I can be totally bloated in it and you wouldn’t even know! Ha! So it ticks all the boxes for me, it’s comfortable, colourful and flattering.

What areas of a wedding would you splurge on the most and why?

100% photography and videography! I cannot express how important those two factors will be in my own wedding, they’re pretty much the only two things about your day that will last you a lifetime!

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style profile: rock n roll bride

April 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Kat Williams by Shell De Mar Photography

image by Shell De Mar Photography

In the world of fashion there are those that lead, those that follow and those that don’t give a royal stuff what everyone else is wearing as they simply do things their own way. Today’s wedding superstar in our Style Profile spotlight certainly fits into the latter.  This afternoon we welcome to our pretty pages, our friend,

kat williams, founder and editor, Rock n Roll Bride blog and magazine.

Stylish Kat is known for standing out from the crowd, not only for her alternative take on weddings, but also her iconic hair (which has so far been vibrant shades of pink, blue and purple). Here the queen of quirky shares her fashion go-tos and what makes her tick in the world of weddings, which of course includes things that sparkle!

How would you describe your nine ‘til five style and what are your key work wardrobe pieces?

kat says: Well, I work from home most of the time so it’s all about comfort! I’m currently wearing sequinned sweatpants from Pink by Victoria’s Secret, a black vest from Topshop and slipper booties from Next. That’s pretty standard daily work wear I’m afraid. There’s nothing glamourous about working from your home office and I honestly think getting all dressed up is a bit of a waste of time! If I have to actually go out and see people I pretty much dress in my uniform of a patterned midi skirt or a plain maxi, a cropped and/or graphic tee and black boots! I love cropped graphic tees – most of mine come from Forever 21, ASOS and Mango. Finding a pair of the perfect black everyday wear appropriate boots is a constant quest! They need to be hard wearing, comfortable and with just the right amount of heel. I think I’m going to get the Scampy boots from Kurt Geiger next!

Kat's 9 to 5

Clockwise from left: T-shirt from ASOS| Boots from Kurt Geiger| Vest top from Topshop| Slipper boots from Next| Sweats from Victoria Secret

What would you wear for a night out drinking cocktails with the girls?

My favourite style of dress is the midi/ maxi skirt, cropped tee and boots combo, or a 50s shaped mid-length dress with some sparkly shoes. I very definitely have a ‘uniform’. I know what styles and shapes suit me so I don’t stray far from them!

If you were currently planning your wedding what would be your top picks in terms of styling, attire, accessories and blooms?

If money was no object I’d wear a Vivienne Westwood couture gown. I saw one at their press event recently and I’m obsessed! My shoes would probably be Miu Miu, or Alexander McQueen or Charlotte Olympia. Something stand-out. And my flowers would no doubt be equally bright and colourful!

Kat's Cocktail Hour

Clockwise from left: Skirt from AQ/AQ| Shoes from Miu Miu| Skirt from Ted Baker| Leather jacket from Ted Baker| Skirt from Ted Baker

Where do you get your fashion inspiration from e.g. celebrities, magazines, catwalks, Instagram?

I love Katy Perry’s style but really I know what does and does not suit me so I’m not REALLY that influenced by what any other people wear. Something that looks amazing on someone else won’t necessarily work with my shape.

What areas of a wedding would you splurge on the most and why?

Photography, because it’s the only thing that remains once the wedding is over (as well as the marriage of course!)

What is your favourite high street store and online shopping site?

ASOS all the way. I also love Ted Baker.

Who is your favourite bridal gown designer and why?

Fur Coat No Knickers are amazing. I love their Flaunt It collection which are made in the UK and based off the vintage dresses they became so well known for. I also adore Vivienne Westwood, and Claire Pettibone, but I also love the idea of getting something custom made.

What has been your biggest fashion splurge so far and was it worth it?

I don’t like to spend too much on frivolous items that you’ll only wear a couple of times, my biggest splash was probably £400 on a pair of sparkly Miu Mius. But I think investing in an amazing leather jacket and comfortable, well-made boots is always going to be money well spent.

Kat's Honeymoon Picks

Clockwise from top left: Trainers from Nike| Dress from DKNY| Face cream from Dior| Cardigan from Urban Outfitters| Face serum from Boots

Where would be your dream honeymoon destination and why? What top five items would you pack in your case?

I travel a lot with work and by this point I’ve probably visited most places on my bucket list! I recently got back from Vegas though and I LOVE it there. I always over pack when I travel and end up bringing things I never get around to wearing, but some things I can’t live without are good skincare and hair items (travel does play havoc with your skin and my bleached hair needs constant attention, I can’t wing it and use hotel shampoo!) and comfortable clothes for the plane.

What is your key piece in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without?

Sweatpants! Sad but true.

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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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