February 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime
If you’re a long term reader of the wedding blog, chances are you’ll have seen the name Rachel Parry pop up a few (hundred) times.
If you recognise this pretty face, that’s because I formally welcomed Rachel to the team back in May 2014 when she joined us as a regular freelance features writer, but this time around, we are playing for keeps.
After about three years of guest blogging and one as our regular contributor, former news reporter Rachel has finally joined the Brides Up North team and signed on the dotted line (in blood) to become a full time member of staff!
She’s left hard news behind for the world of weddings.
Things just got serious.
This is a huge moment for us. This little corner of the internet that I started in a flight of fancy on a summer’s evening back in 2010 has grown beyond all recognition to support a huge online resource for inspiration and practical, local planning; a directory packed full of and passionately supported by the very best individuals, businesses and brands in the wedding industry; twenty (yes, two-oh!) Brides Up North branded luxury wedding exhibitions per annum plus the odd industry knees up; social media management contracts for some of the industry’s leading businesses; a whole host of speaking and mentoring engagements; editorial responsibility for one of the leading glossy wedding magazines in the north and now is home to a proper little team of two full time and one part time members of staff. Check us out!
Little did I know when I pressed publish on that first blog post that I’d write twice a day, every day (religiously) since that moment, or did I have any concept whatsoever of the places I would go, the people I would meet, the knowledge that I would acquire and the huge opportunities that Brides Up North would bring with it.
Rachel joins us not a moment too soon. I’m not ok with average. I’m not ok with standing still. This blog, this brand, this northern revolution, it has wings. I want to see it fly.
It was time to call for back up.
With a demanding blog schedule, a heaving inbox and lots of all consuming offline projects on the go (not to mention a teeny toddler at home), it’s an understatement to say that my resources were feeling stretched. In order to curate the best content for Brides Up North and to keep our related workflow running smoothly I needed a support team. Like, yesterday.
I did consider bringing in more freelance writers on a casual basis, but to be honest, I want my readers to engage with the writer as much as what they are writing about, and for a blog built on personality and good old northern soul, I felt anxious about expanding the team too much. I still think that the best blogs are those written by real people, for real people. Yes, our voice might have grown, but our accent isn’t changing anytime soon.
And then of course there was Rachel herself: talented and stylish, super keen, and with the perfect background in PR and wedding media. Besides, she just wouldn’t go away.
That’s passion and hustle for you. Right there.
I decided to invest: in Rachel and in the future of Brides Up North. The job was always going to be hers. Or nobody’s, as I can’t think of anyone else that I’d want to share this journey with.
If you’re beady eyed, you might have noticed a shift around here already. Rachel joined us at the start of the month, but we’ve been so busy playing catch up and hatching plans that it’s taken me a while to sit down and type out a proper welcome. Finding the right words has been difficult. A bit like writing a wedding speech, the more I’ve thought about what I’d like to say, the more overwhelming actually doing it has become. I don’t envy those grooms, one bit.
Like I say, this is a huge moment.
I could take pages to outline my hopes for the blog and our brand, our plans for growth, related projects and dreams, but instead, I think I’ll keep it simple. There’s a lot to be said for letting the proof be in the pudding.
As features writer and editorial assistant, Rachel will be penning lots of our daily content, helping to manage our very active social media output and dealing with her own client accounts as well as actively sourcing the very best weddings, shoots and suppliers in the northern wedding industry to share with you. She’s got a nose for a fabulous wedding and an eye for stunning detail, so expect these pages to be looking even more inspirational, very soon. We’re on a mission to deliver on a new level editorially and are looking to enrich our offering to provide more in depth, cutting edge content that’s also really, really lovely to look at.
She’s my right hand girl, so you can also expect her to be mixed up in whatever crazy-exciting project I have my eye on next, by my side as we steer the fabulous Unveiled Magazine to even greater creative success and hanging around offering her help at all of our Luxury Wedding Exhibitions. It’s an evolving process, so who knows where we’ll be and what we will have achieved by this time next year?! And in the meantime, I have a feeling that you are going to get to know her very well indeed.
It’s been a slow burner, but this is the start of a beautiful friendship… so I’ll just say: Welcome, Rachel.
I can’t wait to work with you.
Lets do this,
Images by Cat Hepple Photography
September 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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).
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.
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 www.theweddingcircle.co.uk
Images by Hayley Baxter Photography
Film by Silk Wedding Films
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
This is not a sponsored post
April 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Brides Up North is getting ready to sparkle. Watch this space.
Our new look, coming soon, right here.
Image by Cat Hepple Photography
This is not a sponsored post
April 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Away from the pages of the wedding blog, I’m frequently commissioned to write freelance pieces for various glossy magazines (Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out, eh?) and quite often like to share that content again here when I think it might be interesting or relevant to my readers. Or genuinely because I’m just really, really proud to see my work in print.
Loved Up Magazine, to whose pages I’ve been contributing for – goodness! – actual years and years now got in touch to ask me to compile a feature sharing my “top clicks” for online wedding planning content, a subject close to my heart.
Yes, I’m a first and foremost a blogger, but I’m also a consumer. Shock horror! I read other blogs. And I’m a prolific consumer of wedding media especially. I like to keep up with the industry news, the creativity of my peers and to be honest, it’s still fun for me. Yes, even after four years of blogging about weddings twice a day and 40+ branded bridal events and exhibitions under my Brides Up North belt… I still love it. I’ve a full blog reader, test out any new bridal app going and don’t even get me started on social media. 39,394 tweets down at the time of writing, I’m well aware that that’s my unwritten novel, right there on Twitter (hey, come follow me, I’ve clearly a lot to say!)
So, here’s my current top picks of the online wedding World – emphasis on current there: trust me, I could have filled the whole magazine with links. So, have fun exploring, but come right back again afterwards y’hear?!
I said: In my role as editor of one of the top wedding blogs in the UK I spend a whole lot of time at a computer screen. Mostly its bonafide blog business, but I also spend some time every day keeping on top of what’s new in the online bridal world. It’s as much about checking out the latest cyber products for my bride-to-be readers as staying ahead of the competition, and I’m here to share some of my favourite online resources with you.
Wedding blogs are a dynamic, easy to access and free source of wedding planning know how, with a personal touch. There’s a blog out there to suit almost every bride, so bookmark your favourites and return daily for a rapid turnover of ideas, inspiration and tips.
My Top Clicks
Brides Up North (well, obvs.) – our site and branded bridal events are a must for local ladies who want to see just what the fantastic wedding industry suppliers on their doorstep can do. Every fabulous feature on Brides Up North is sourced from the regions, be it a supplier showcase, styled shoot or real wedding.
Rock N Roll Bride – a cute and colourful site packed full of diverse and different wedding inspiration. If you fancy trying your hand at blogging yourself, creator Kat also runs courses for aspiring writers at her worldwide Blogacademy.
Festival Brides – if you’d rather host your own “wed-stock” party under canvas than hire a stately home, this is the blog for you. Focusing on outdoor and festival weddings, the site is a little bit of summer sunshine delivered to your blog reader daily.
There are apps galore for wedding planning on the move. From finding your dream dress to keeping track of your gift list, a few clever downloads can make the whole process a little less daunting. Take a break from Candy Crush and try out some bridal apps that might just save you time and money.
My Top Clicks
WedPics – An alternative to disposable cameras, this nifty tool gathers all your guests’ pics and videos in one private place – and gives you a record of your big day through your nearest and dearest’s eyes.
AppyCouple – A fully personalised online space that your guests can access to obtain all the key details for your celebration including addresses, gift list info, directions, dress code and timings. They can even RSVP and make menu choices, leaving all the information to hand when table planning hysteria sets in.
Find Your Dream Wedding Dress – A fashionista’s fantasy – browse different design features and come up with a selection of gowns that meet any given criteria, then find the shops that stock them. The dress hunt made easy.
Use social media to network your way from engagement to altar. Here you can get real time responses to your queries and supplier searches on a no obligation basis.
My Top Clicks
Facebook – Most industry professionals keep their Facebook page more up to date than their brochure or websites, making it easier for you to get a sense for their current work.
Pinterest – If you love a mood board, you’ll adore this image sharing site, also available as a smartphone app. Build online boards by pinning your favourite wedding inspiration images to build up a visual idea of your wedding style. And if you don’t want to spoil the surprise – simple – you can now make secret boards too!
Twitter – You’ll find that the wedding industry is live and loud on the Twitter airwaves: keen to offer advice, sell their services and attract new customers.
Words: Brides Up North for Loved Up Magazine Spring/Summer 2014
This is not a sponsored post
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