Brides Up North

the editorial wedding. a workshop for A/W2014 with Cat Hepple Photography

September 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Cat Hepple Photography Workshops (12)

It’s been a really inspirational week or so here at Brides Up North HQ.  We’ve kicked off our lovely autumn season of Luxury Wedding Exhibitions with a really beautiful (and record attendance) bridal show at Hilltop Country House yesterday, launched our exciting new industry concept, The Circle, at a glittering party last week, and have been making travel plans to attend the three award ceremonies that Brides Up North is nominated in this year (The Wedding Blog Awards (“Best City Blog”), The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”) and the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards (“Best Wedding Blog”), if you’re asking…)

There’s something in the air, and I’ve definitely got that raring to go, ‘back to school’ feeling.

Cat Hepple Photography Workshops (7)

One professional engagement that I’m really looking forward to is joining my friend and industry colleague Cat Hepple at another of her wonderful workshops for wedding photographers.  I was lucky enough to speak at Cat’s last event and catch her in action, and left feeling really energised and extremely inspired.  This time I’ll be reprising my session on blogging, social media and offering my insider advice to help you to get your work published in blogs and magazines.

This girl definitely has the golden touch, and I’d love for you to join Cat and I at her next workshop on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at the gorgeous Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire.

Images by Cat Hepple Photography, shot on location at her last workshop.

Cat Hepple Photography Workshops (6)

Cat says: Do you long to have a more editorial and fashion feel to your wedding images, but don’t know how to achieve this with your couples? Do you struggle with posing, ideas, working under wedding time pressures?

Cat Hepple Photography Workshops (10)

My one day workshops for photographers show you my techniques on a wedding day, from directing my couples, to working with light and creating a consistent editorial feel to the full collection of images.

Other topics covered include;

- How to market yourself to clients who want the fashion feel
- Branding and visual identity
- Inspiration
- Equipment and technical approach

There’s always a live shoot on the day, allowing you to build your wedding portfolio and advice on getting published too.

The next workshop is on the 23rd September 2014, at the Priory Cottages, North Yorkshire, and I’d love you to join us.

Visit Cat’s website to find our more and to book your place. Click here.

Cat Hepple Photography Workshops (2)

Here’s what some of our last delegates said from our spring course…

“I absolutely loved the day at the workshop with Cat!

We were completely spoilt beyond my expectations…. through the thoughtful little touches such as our handwritten letters, cute notebooks and stellar food, alongside the fact that Cat had gathered a fantastic team to produce the styled shoot and help us not just get some really specific and useful practice but also really high quality images to use afterwards! All of this made me feel really valued and respected, and totally relaxed in that environment to chat and learn.

On the shoot, it was great having the time to break down the thought process of how an image is made. There was so much attention to detail, and I really began to understand why each of these things mattered, which I know will help me to remember the issues in the future. Cat was incredibly generous in sharing her knowledge and ideas, and we all had a lot of fun at the same time.

The information before and following the shoot was massively thorough as well. I had no idea we were going to cover such ground, but honing in on a developing this specific ‘editorial’ style it became apparent that that would affect all aspects of your business! With this at the core of the discussions it felt like everything was that much more relevant, so instead of general advice, I was working out exactly what I would need to do next for me, which was refreshing and rewarding.

As a bonus it was great to get to know some more people in the industry! Julia, you were as generous with your knowledge and attention as Cat was and I couldn’t be more grateful! I’m feeling very energised still right now and keen to apply what I’ve learnt. Would definitely recommend the workshop to anyone considering!”

from Eleanor Woodruff

“I would just like to take this opportunity to offer a heart felt thank you for allowing me to attend such a wonderful day.

You made us all feel so very welcome, and the whole day was perfect – from the Venue, Styling, masses of information & guidance… right down to the smallest details like the bespoke stationery – such a lovely touch!

I particularly enjoyed the section where we explored the images we had chosen, this really was a brilliant opportunity to take a step back and consider our own styles and where we aspire to be.

A huge part of the day which I took away with me was the guidance around use of light & posing…I loved seeing you in action and am already putting into practice a lot of what you taught us.

I loved the fact that the day was really interactive – and not just a case of being talked at. Julia coming along was also really great – and such a brilliant opportunity to meet her in person and hear what she had to say.

I have followed your work for such a long time now – and am thrilled that your Workshop lived up to and surpassed my expectations!

I really do want to take my business to the next level and the course has really given me the confidence and tools to do this.”

from Hayley Baxter

Cat Hepple Photography Workshops (16)

That link again? Click here.

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the circle: be a wedding industry insider

September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Circle_Master_strapline_WO rose gold

A glittering press party at Media City, Manchester this Wednesday night saw the launch of The Circle - a brand new concept in creativity, training and connectivity for wedding and lifestyle businesses.

I’m so proud to stand along my industry friends (who also just happen to be the very best entrepreneurs in the business), Charlotte Balbier, Jonny Draper and Howard Wing, as we launch our new concept.

Finally… I’m allowed to talk about it! (It’s been killing me).

circle -4

Just so you know who you are dealing with here, Charlotte Balbier is one of the UK’s leading bridal gown designers; Jonny Draper is an award winning photographer and boutique owner; Howard Wing is the most in-demand wedding entertainer in the UK and I’m the Editor In Chief of one rather lovely wedding blog… all four of us have won numerous coveted awards and are recognised for excellence and experience in our specialisms within the industry. (*blush*)

Over the years (and over the odd cocktail or ten!) we’ve discussed the need for a club or collective – an inspiring and exciting space, comprising a combination of special events, practical training and online membership – where wedding industry suppliers can meet to exchange insider ideas, secrets and knowledge with the aim of boosting business and raising standards, profiles, contacts and turnover.

Our answer?

The Circle. Founded 10th September 2014.

Following Wednesday’s big reveal (an exciting and nail biting evening explaining the scope of our plans to assembled press luminaries like editors from Brides Magazine, Perfect Wedding Magazine… and other industry big wigs – official photos and lots of thank yous coming soon!) The Circle are now proud to announce our exclusive inaugural event, strictly limited to just 100 initial The Circle members.

Attendees should forget anything they ever knew about training days and get ready to transform or refresh the way in which they do business.

The first ever full day event is suitable for experienced industry professionals and start-ups alike and sessions packed full of insider tips and strategy will tackle topics such as brand evolution, blogging, social media wizardry, killer sales, effective networking and management, before ending the day with a VIP After Show Party.  More in-depth info about the event, The Circle’s founders and pricing info can be found over at our brand spanking new website, just live:

Inspiration is guaranteed, and surprises come as standard.

As an attendee at the February event, delegates will automatically become a year-long member of The Circle’s essential online support networks, gaining exclusive access to an immediate, priceless forum in a private space to share ideas, make referrals, win business, solve problems and generate goodwill.

When you’re in The Circle, you’re one of us.

We’d love to see wedding businesses old and new, fresh and familiar faces at our first event, strictly limited to just 100 places. Since the website went live yesterday our inbox has been pinging with booking confirmations, so we’d urge you to move quickly to avoid disappointment.

This is going to get epic, and quickly…


the 100 club

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Styal Lodge, Cheshire

9:30am till 5pm

Then After Show Party

One day to transform your wedding business.
Inspire. Apply. Connect. Elevate

Book now at


Images by Hayley Baxter Photography

Film by Silk Wedding Films

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it’s official! free entry to the North West Wedding Fair with Brides Up North (you are welcome!)

September 2nd, 2014 | Julia Braime

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

The North West Wedding Fair is taking place at EventCity, Manchester on 26th to 28th September 2014. 

Visit for more details. Brides Up North can save 1/3 off usual show prices by entering exclusive discount code NW58 at checkout.

I’ve also got a handful of FREE passes for two people up my sleeves, and I’ll be giving those golden tickets away to the first 150 brides through the door at our own Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Hilltop Country House on Sunday 14th September 2014.  Bonus! Be there…

If you’re a regular around these pages, you’ll recall that last spring (doesn’t it seem like absolutely ages ago now?) I was approached by Mercury Events, the organisers of the ma-hoo-sive North West Wedding Fair, and invited act as their ‘Official Blogger’.  Quite the compliment!

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

Now, you know that we run our own Luxury Wedding Exhibitions here at Brides Up North – including two very special events in the North West this autumn – so at first I wasn’t sure… partner with the competition?  Hmm.

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Whilst our 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. Visitors 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?

Also, 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?

Plus, it was loads of fun last time.  And I like having fun.

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, and I‘m happy to report that it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

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

I’m back this autumn, reprising my Official Blogger role.

As well as hosting my own features over on the show’s official blog, I’ll also be on site on the Friday evening 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.

Joining me this autumn will be 150 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. 

Ideas for every aspect of your wedding will be on tap all weekend, with stunning Catwalk Shows, The Essential Bridalwear Collection, Favours & Finishing Touches Marketplace, Live Entertainment Stage, Inspired Bakes Showcase, free Tasting Sessions and so much more.

I can’t wait.

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Louise Bjorling wedding photography

Visit for more details. Remember – Brides Up North can save 1/3 off usual show prices by entering exclusive discount code NW58 at checkout, or we’ll see you for those free tickets at our Hilltop Country House event!

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shortlisted (but still no Manolos!): The Perfect Wedding Awards 2014

August 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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.

Thank you.

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.

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in the Perfect Wedding Awards

(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:

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014 

(voting closes 29th August!)

Click here to vote for Brides Up North in The Wedding Blog Awards 2014

(voting closes 1 September!)

And I’ll love you forever. 

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just married? we’d love to hear from you!

August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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.

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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.

(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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.

step one

Your initial contact email should include:

  • Your name and email address
  • Your Wedding venue and date
  • A brief description of your Wedding including general theme, colour scheme and any other special details
  • 5 to 10 varied images from your Wedding
  • Confirmation that your Wedding has not been submitted to any other blogs/ websites/ magazines (with the exception of the photographer’s own blog)

step two

Should Brides Up North wish to review your submission further we will require:

  • 40 to 50 high quality varied photographs – mostly in colour and without watermarks – of the day from start to finish to include stylish details of your Wedding (your photographer will be able to assist with this). I accept submissions as a ZIP file or via Dropbox only
  • Completion of the Brides Up North Wedding Interview which will be provided by email
  • Details of your photographer and any other key suppliers
  • Online exclusivity for 28 days after date of publish


(c) Cat Hepple Photography

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

August 13th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Ramside Hall Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014

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.  

Ramside Hall Super Showcase Grand Wedding Exhibition Autumn 2014 (2)

See you there? 

bride to be?

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.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Select the event that you wish to attend (required)

Number of people attending the event (including yourself) (required)

wedding industry professional?

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.

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shortlisted! the Wedding Blog Awards 2014!

August 4th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography

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.

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.

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

Wedding Blog Awards 2014

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on film

July 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime

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so, how do we look?

July 29th, 2014 | Julia Braime

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography

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)!

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (77)

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (112)

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (80)

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.

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (118)

The result?

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.

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (20)

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.

We wish.

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.

Be inspired!

#getsetsparkle Brides Up North (c) Cat Hepple Photography  (127)

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#getsetsparkle. its time.

July 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime

Brides Up North is getting ready to sparkle! (c) Cat Hepple Photography


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!

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