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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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 28th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville, Maggie Sottero, Anoushka G, Claire Pettibone… I think I’ve died and gone to wedding dress heaven. Brides Up North HQ is currently full of tulle and sequins, glitter and sparkle, as we prepare for a very special Brides Up North shoot – on location – tomorrow.
When we do things at Brides Up North, we don’t like to do them by halves. That’s why I’ve pulled together the most fabulous team of wedding industry professionals to concoct a contemporary and glamorous peep behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, with fantastical frocks, beautiful blooms, sensational styling elements and ideas that you will be able to borrow for your very own wedding day.
With creative assistance and input from the likes of Brides Up North Featured Suppliers and friends Cat Hepple Photography, Leafy Couture, JB Creatives, Silver Sixpence Films, Flutter, Victoria Farr, Pamella Dunn, The White Room Sheffield, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, Dine, Marie Antoinette Cakes and more, I’m raring to get started and SO ready for my close up.
Watch these (soon to be even prettier) pages for the results soon.
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April 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This week has been all about catching up, office time, making plans and getting ready – because once I’ve eaten my last Easter egg on Monday it’s a jam packed diary right until the end of April. As well as a double daily features schedule, the usual 200 plus emails a day from readers and suppliers (no lie, but I love hearing from each and every one of you!) there’s a fabulous vintage wedding exhibition for Brides Up North at The Bowdon Rooms in Cheshire, not one but two very exciting speaking engagements, fittings, styling jobs, freelance writing, social media projects, a blog overhaul (oh yes, oh yes!) and one very special styled shoot. More on that later.
All this is jammed into a three “day” and a lot of midnight oil burning seven “nights” a week, as I try to juggle my business with motherhood! Consequently, May might well involve a lot of lying down.
Anyway, those very exciting speaking engagements I mentioned? They both take place next week, and I can’t wait to get out into the spring sunshine and hang around with some wonderful, creative, inspiring souls.
I’ve already told you about the wonderful workshop that I’m thrilled to join Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple Photography at next Tuesday: The Editorial Wedding (click here for more information). I’ll be joining Cat and a collective of wedding photography professionals as she shows them the tricks and techniques that allow her to do what she does so well. Cat’s craft is very special – her work has that magic touch that makes you look a million dollars, “magazine ready” in your wedding photographs. Put it this way, I’ve never turned down a feature submission from Mrs Hepple yet.
I’ll be there on the day too, to talk to you about the process of getting your work “out there” and seen more effectively. I’ve been in this game for nearly four years, and worked on glossy magazines long before that, so I know my stuff. How to craft a successful submission to a wedding magazine or blog, how to increase your chances of being selected and what those with an editorial eye are looking for.
And it just so happens that the very next day, I’m hopping in the Brides Up North mobile and heading over the Pennines to make a very special appearance on day two of Jonny Draper Photography’s Masterclass too! I can’t wait! Jonny and Cat are two of my very favourite industry friends and to see they do what they do best in their own environment will be fantastic.
So, we’ve heard from Cat, but what’s the plan for Jonny’s class? Please note – Jonny’s Masterclass is now SOLD OUT but watch out for more dates later in the year.
Jonny says: This two day wedding photography experience has been specifically designed for wedding photographers who are ready to take their business to the next level. This is a Masterclass for photographers who are confident with their own digital SLR and are ready to shoot stunning images inside and outside of one of the UK’s most beautiful bespoke wedding venues.
Throughout the shooting day, Jonny will be demonstrating a range of lighting techniques that he uses during a wedding. Attendees are invited to bring along as little or as much equipment as they would like to use throughout the day and there may be opportunity for attendees to use some of Jonny’s own lighting equipment.
From the business point of view, this Masterclass offers an insight that no other wedding photography workshop has done before. On day two of the course, not only will you hear from The 2013 Wedding Industry Awards "North West Wedding Photographer of The Year" (that’s Jonny!) about how he runs his hugely successful business, you will also be given invaluable business information from one of the UK’s busiest and most popular wedding venues about how you can develop relationships with venues just like them.
You will hear from the owner of Cheshire’s most exclusive bridal experience about how to establish and develop relationships with top wedding suppliers that will benefit your wedding photography business as well as an award winning blogger (that’s me!) who will show you just what it takes to get your work featured on the UK’s most popular wedding blogs.
Sounds good to me! I’ll be reporting back on both sessions, and might just have picked up a few photography tips myself. Watch this space.
April 1st, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m really excited to bring you news today of my involvement in a very special workshop created and hosted by Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat of Cat Hepple Photography.
I always say that Brides Up North is your blog. By that I mean you, my lovely readers, who visit in your thousands daily and you, my industry friends and supporters who supply and create the beautiful wedding inspiration that I deliver here in a double daily dose. Brides Up North wouldn’t be the fantastic regional resource that it is without your loyalty and support.
If you want to get involved with the blog or see your real wedding on these pretty pages, you’ll find all the information, rules and guidelines that you need to submit a wedding for feature (whether you are the bride, groom, their photographer or Aunty Betty) here. If you would like sponsorship information you can get it here.
So, here at Brides Up North HQ we are pretty dependent on you. And that’s why I like to give back when I can, to support those who support me, and to help to make your wedding, your images – the whole experience – as fabulous as it possibly can be.
I’ll be joining Cat on her exclusive workshop for wedding photography professionals later this month as she shows them the tricks and techniques that allow her to do what she does so well. Cat’s craft is very special – her work has that magic touch that makes you look a million dollars, “magazine ready” in your wedding photographs. Put it this way, I’ve never turned down a feature submission from Mrs Hepple yet.
I’ll be there on the day too, to talk to you about the process of getting your work “out there” and seen more effectively. I’ve been in this game for nearly four years, and worked on glossy magazines long before that, so I know my stuff. How to craft a successful submission to a wedding magazine or blog, how to increase your chances of being selected and what those with an editorial eye are looking for. Plus, I always love to meet new industry professionals in a creative environment and look forward to seeing you there.
If you’re a wedding photographer who’d love to add a little bit more of that magic sparkle to your own work, we’d love to see you at Priory Cottages on Tuesday 22nd April 2014. Details of how to book can be found here.
Brides to be? Cat’s available to make the magic happen on your wedding day too. Click here to visit her website.
Cat says: Wedding photography is changing, and more and more couples are looking for something far removed from the traditional style of years gone by. Many are influenced by fashion and glossy magazines and want their imagery to have that magazine worthy look and finish, whilst still being romantic and natural.
I’ve honed my style over the past few years in business, to create exactly that – a style which is romantic, natural but also has a fashion edge to it. I’m asked all the time by other wedding photographers how I create this look and feel to wedding images, and how to do that under the time pressures a wedding brings. This is my first workshop in how to create editorial style images which your couples will adore, and which will get you published in magazines and on wedding blogs.
The Editorial Wedding will cover my style, how to achieve a look unique to you and how to engage couples who want the magazine finish to their images. We will also cover topics such as how to work with and manipulate natural light, how to pose couples and direct but still get beautiful soft, natural images.
A team of wedding experts is helping me pull together a beautiful wedding shoot, to enable everyone taking part in the workshop to see first hand how I work with couples, and then also take their own images to help build their portfolios. We’ll also be joined by Julia Braime of Brides Up North wedding blog, to discuss what bloggers are looking for with wedding submissions and how to improve your chances of being published.
The Editorial Wedding workshop is on Tuesday April 22nd 2014 just ahead of the busiest part of the wedding season, so it’s just in time to inspire and encourage other photographers as they begin the long season ahead. The workshop is to be held at the gorgeously beautiful Priory Cottages in Wetherby, near Leeds and runs from 9.30am to 6pm.
I have never really subscribed to the traditional way of creating images on a wedding day, I have honed my own style through experience and inspiration beyond the wedding industry. This course is perfect for anyone wanting to find their own style and unique approach to creating fashion inspired wedding images.
Places can be booked via my website. Please click here for more information and to book.
Some spaces have already been filled and I’m excited to be sharing the day with some very talented people.
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
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February 12th, 2014 | Julia Braime
This week, there’s a little movie moment every day at lunchtime, as we count down to Valentine’s Day this Friday, courtesy of Brides Up North Featured Supplier Emma at Story Of Your Day. Just because I love you.
Emma says: Lynsey and Joe are a gorgeous couple. And what made this film great to do was because I was also working alongside Brides Up North Featured Supplier Cat Hepple Photography. Because don’t direct my couples during their day it’s great to work with Cat who is so inspiring and takes her couples off for amazing portraits.
Linthwaite House Hotel in the Lakes was the perfect setting to sneak off and do just that, with us finding little hideaways to get away from it all for some really emotional moments. This wedding film was meant to be shorter but as with many of my films I get carried away with how fantastic the day is and for me, getting that across in my films is the most important factor.
Emma would like to offer Brides Up North Readers access to her exclusive Valentine’s Day offer. Visit her website for more details and to celebrate the most romantic week of the year!
November 15th, 2013 | Julia Braime
It’s been one seriously fabulous year here at Brides Up North, both online (the prettiest real weddings, most fabulous regional suppliers, lots of great press in the National media and a Wedding Blog Award for “Best Big Day Inspiration” from Wedding Magazine, thank you very much) and offline (sixteen absolutely brilliant wedding exhibitions packed to the rafters with wedding industry talent, inspiration and brides to be, plus two super fun wedding industry parties).
Whilst your double weekday daily dose of online inspiration ain’t going anywhere, it’s time to wrap up our offline season of bridal events with our grand finale – The Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Grand Wedding Exhibition at National Railway Museum, York, on Sunday 17th November 2013, 10am till 5pm – and completely FREE entry!
That’s THIS SUNDAY!
Now didn’t that come around fast?!
Brides Up North Luxury & Vintage Grand Wedding Exhibition
National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ
Sunday 17th November 2013
10am till 5pm
Like it says on the banner above, this is one seriously beautiful event. Set amongst the vintage carriages, our suppliers really do pull out all the stops to show you what they can do – and how they can make your wedding day dreams a reality. With vintage styling and luxury products and services, we have literally every detail covered. Join us in this unique and stunning setting for a bridal event that feels like a “proper day out” and leave with more inspiration than you can handle.
Images from our last event and photo shoot by Peter Boyd Photography. And that was just a warm up!
Come along and meet Add Vintage,
As well as all that inspiration – completely FREE – we are also giving away up to 200 FREE Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, on the day discounts, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our amazing sponsors Fenwick York. Just because we love you. As demand is high, to pick up your VIP pack all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last only.
To register for for speedy entry and a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be goody bag fill in your details below, marking “NRM YORK” in the subject line and quoting “VIP”. 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. Welcome packs are limited and subject to availability. We operate a first come, first served policy.
This is a Brides Up North Event
November 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime
It’s been a busy Monday morning and Friday feels a long way off. What better time than for our regular guest blogger Rachel (we’ve missed you Rach!) to talk time out and remind you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Today, she’s all about facilitating that “minimoon”. Monday blues? What Monday blues? Go on, get it booked…
Rachel says: I don’t know about you but I love an excuse to extend a celebration. Take my birthday for example – of course the main celebration is the day itself but I like to push the partying over at least one weekend, if not two. After all there’s the family meal, weekend away with the boyfriend (I hope) and drinks, shopping and spa treatments with friends to squeeze in. And don’t even get me started on festive celebrations in our household – they stretch from the very beginning of December right into the new year (though thankfully don’t include a turkey curry buffet).
Looking at today’s wedding scene, it’s clear there are many wedding couples who share my mindset with a growing trend for weekend weddings. After all, why would you confine the celebrations to just one day when you can easily spread it across three with a pre-wedding dinner the ceremony itself and then, of course, a day of present opening, cake eating, champagne quaffing and catching up with family and friends.
But now brides and grooms are taking extending the wedding celebrations a step further by delaying their main honeymoon until later in the year, or even the following year, and taking a minimoon in the meantime instead.
The minimoon was originally born out of the credit crunch when many wedding couples were forced to tighten the purse strings. Research revealed brides and grooms were swapping lavish two-week holidays to long-haul destinations such as the Maldives for shorter holidays closer to home. But as circumstances have continued to change so too have couples’ holidaying habits, with many brides and grooms now having the best of both worlds – booking themselves a minimoon for a that much-needed break straight after the wedding and a honeymoon a little later down the line, giving reason for the wedding excitement to live on.
A minimoon usually consists of a relaxing three- to four-day break at a destination not too far away from the wedding location. Some couples might choose a sentimental location such as the first place they went on holiday together or the place they got engaged, while others might just want a destination that provides pure relaxation to unwind following the tense pre-wedding build up. In the UK top choices include rustic retreats, spa breaks and city locations while those flush enough to push the minimoon boundaries are jetting off to romantic European destinations such as Rome, Paris and Venice.
While delaying a honeymoon in favour of a minimoon does effectively spread the celebrations, it has become a big hit among today’s wedding couples for many more reasons.
The minimoon is particularly popular with teachers and those with work commitments that can’t afford to take large amounts of time off work all in one go. It’s also ideal for those asking their guests for contributions towards the honeymoon instead of traditional gifts as they book a holiday suited to the fund following the wedding.
For those who can only handle so much planning at a time, delaying the main honeymoon means there will be more time to organise the holiday after the wedding preparations have taken place. Taking a minimoon in the meantime means couples have that essential break before returning to the daily grind after their wedding day.
A postponed honeymoon also gives brides and grooms who will be stumping up the honeymoon costs themselves longer to save up and book their holiday at a time suited to the best prices and weather conditions.
So while the credit crunch may curbed our Topshop sprees and cocktail drinking, we do have it to thank for the introduction of the minimoon/postponed honeymoon trend which helps keep the post-wedding day blues at bay that bit longer.
What do you think? Will you/ did you take a minimoon? Any hot spot recommendations for our other readers?
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