February 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
June 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Our season of Brides Up North events has now closed till September (you can see our fabulous forthcoming dates here) but your offline wedding inspiration needn’t grind to a halt whilst we take a much needed break.
I’ll only ever other recommend external events that I think are worth your petrol money, and this lovely soiree will be one of them. My friends at Belle Bridal Magazine have been in touch to let me know about a night of wedding planning bliss that’s going on at The Wedding Wonder Show, National Glass Centre, Sunderland this Thursday 19th June 2014.
What better excuse do you need to escape the World Cup? Grab the girls and call in after work, indulge in a tipple and meet over 50 wedding exhibitors showcasing throughout this amazing venue.
Starting at 6:15pm, there will the so much going on until 9:15pm – book your space in the exclusive make-up master class with Powder & Pinups, have a casual tour around the arty National Glass Centre (which is available to hire for weddings) and take a seat for a designer dress fashion show – featuring brand new dresses from House of Mooshki.
Bride’s that RSVP in advance can also reserve their own VIP goodie bag including free 5-day passes to the gym and leisure facilities at the Marriott Hotel Sunderland, and beauty wonder products from Comfort Zone.
Stop by the Belle Bridal Magazine tombola table – you could win an Alfred Angelo wedding dress, courtesy of First Glance Sunderland and help raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Pop it in your diaries:
Thursday 19th June 2014
National Glass Centre
6:15 till 9:15pm
For more information, and to reserve your goodie bag visit www.weddingwondershow.co.uk.
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March 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime
The start of every season always begins with a flurry of freelance commissions here at Brides Up North, and days spent with my head buried in my laptop feeling like “a proper writer”. Of course, the end product is rarely very different from producing features for my own blog, but when it’s for someone else’s publication (and they’ve entrusted you with one, two or even four of their precious editorial pages) and it’s actually going to be “in print”, the stakes somehow seem higher.
Respected North East bridal title Belle Bridal Magazine celebrated their fifth birthday this season, and so, when they bestowed upon me the honour of selecting the hots and the nots of the wedding world for spring 2014, I was thrilled. But oh, the pressure!
So, with a lot of industry knowledge behind me, and a little bit of crystal ball gazing, these were my predictions for the trends that’ll be topping the charts (and sliding off the scale) at a wedding near you soon. Tell me, are you incorporating any of these trends into your big day?
Blame Jay Gatsby, but flamboyance is back in a big way. A little party never killed nobody, but why do things by halves? After these mean recession years, we’re ready for some fun. Expect heavy embellishments, cascading blooms and excess all areas.
Image: Katy Melling Photography
It started with the tipi, and now there’s an outdoor option for almost every theme. Whether it’s a Scandinavian hat, Mongolian yurt or Bedouin tent, it’s still chic to say I do under canvas. Just remember to budget for a generator too!
Image: Gerrard Photography
Image: Jo Bradbury
Amongst all the usual layers of lace and tulle a new breed of wedding gown is emerging: clean lines, sharp edges and super cool. Closer to catwalk trends than a Royal Wedding, these frocks are for the slick chicks who don’t want to leave their personalities by the church door. Choose bold shapes and structured satin (not a sequin in sight) for strut-your-stuff wedding day style.
Image: Astral Sundholm Circa Brides
Image: KMR Bridal
Platinum will always be precious, but all the best dressed ring fingers are going for gold this season. Romantics should try rose gold and pave diamonds for an on trend look that’s forever timeless.
Image: Helen Russell Photography
Colour Me Pretty
Adding a touch of complimentary colour to your wedding day wardrobe is nothing new, but this is a trend that refuses to fade. Pastels are huge on the catwalks and in the bridal boutiques for 2014 and designers are upping the ante with all over washes of warmth or layered ombre lace effects. Go on, live life in colour! If a dip dye wedding dress isn’t for you, you can still give a nod to this pretty trend with colourful stationery or blushing blooms.
Image: Ian Stuart
Forget the humble tiara, 2014 is the year that bridal headwear gets big and bold. From glittering bunny ears and feather head-dresses to vibrant flower garlands, the fashion forward bride will dare to decorate herself in colour and originality. Still not sure? Stick to simple for the ceremony and style things up for the after party!
Image: Katy Melling Photography
Image: James Melia
Image: Cat Hepple Photography
Words: Julia Braime for Belle Bridal Magazine, S/S 2014
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Brides Up North/ Belle Bridal Magazine/ as credited where relevant
This is not a sponsored post
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February 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you follow the blog over on Twitter and Facebook – you’ll probably have guessed that I am just a little bit excited about kicking off our jam packed season of Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions with one of my very favourite events, North East SUPER show, the Brides Up North Bridal Bonanza Grand Wedding Exhibition at the gorgeous 4* Hardwick Hall Hotel in Sedgefield, County Durham THIS SUNDAY (that’s come around quick!) on Sunday 23rd February 2014.
If the level of pre-registrations that Team Brides Up North has received from you lovely ladies is anything to go by, it’s going to be an amazing day! We love hearing your little stories and getting excited with you and we can’t wait to meet so many of you in person.
Other wedding fairs? Pah! What’s the point?! We are very proud to run OFFICIALLY the largest and most exciting FREE ENTRY bridal exhibitions in the North East (our last epic event at Hardwick’s sister hotel, Ramside Hall, attracted over 2,000 visitors in one afternoon – now that’s big!) with two specially choreographed professional fashion shows and almost (and sometimes over) 80 – 100 exhibitors at each, tempting on the day discounts and stuffed goody bags tailor made for each event. I might like things big and exciting, but I also like them personal.
And yes, you read that right, the events are FREE ENTRY. Cos I love ya, baby.
So, get the first of our huge North East events firmly in the diary (in indelible pen please) and come along to support the most fabulous wedding suppliers in your area – I only work with the best, dahlings – for an inspiration packed afternoon of all that is pretty, new and super gorgeous in the wedding industry. And the most important bit? Local to YOU.
And can I vouch for the beautiful 4* wedding venue that is Hardwick Hall Hotel? Well, I chose it to host my own wedding day back in October 2012 – and what’s a better recommendation than that?!.
If you would like to beat the queues, gain speedy entry and grab yourself a FREE Brides Up North Goody Bag packed with little treats from Brides Up North, the regions’ best bridal glossy magazines well as some fab on-the-day-only exhibitor discounts – while stocks last only – you can pre-register for VIP Bride to Be access now. What are you waiting for?
To register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag fill in your details below, marking the Brides Up North event venue of choice e.g. “HARDWICK HALL” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Goody Bag upon entry to the Luxury Wedding Exhibitions. Only the bride need register for larger groups.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not wish to use the contact form. VIP Bride- To-Be Goody Bags are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served polic
This is a Brides Up North Event
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November 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime
So. Recent press for this little wedding blog, eh? It appears that there’s quite a lot to cover.
2013 has been one busy year. (I wouldn’t have it any other way).
“Here Comes The… Bridal Business!” Brides Up North is profiled in Fabulous Magazine’s Careers Issue
(to over 8 million readers no less!)
“It’s All In The Detail” – an inspirational three page spread on decor and details in Wedding Magazine
“Snap Happy!” A three page guest feature in brand new Unveiled Magazine
“Catwalk Queen” – getting excited about the 2014 bridal collections in Loved Up Magazine
“Picture Perfect” – more photography talk in Mosaic Brides
“Wedding Venues – The Expert Opinions” in Belle Bridal Magazine
“Bridal Buzz” Catching up on a year’s worth of columns in Etc Magazine
That’s where all the magic happens, first. Get involved!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Brides Up North
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