November 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, things are pretty busy! We’re already working a year ahead to bring you almost 40 sensational (and each unique and different!) bespoke bridal shows for 2018 and work has started in earnest on Issue 09 of our gorgeous bi-annual glossy magazine, UNVEILED, out in March. Add an impending site relaunch (yes (!), watch this space), a brand spanking new digital platform for UNVEILED (launching next week people!) and all the juggle that comes with being a mummy of two littles away from the office, and this editor was seriously in need of some R&R.
So, when the lovely people at Seaham Hall in Country Durham waved an overnight spa stay for two my way, I grabbed the husband, set the out of office and used up some babysitting credits. It was time to test out Seaham’s offering to make sure that you lovely Brides Up North stay blissed out in the run up to your big day and beyond.
Now, this place is incredible and some. Recently awarded the Conde Nast Johansens UK Readers’ Award 2017 (and from the facilities and service you can see why) this coastal gem is full of charm.
Pre-stay, the hotel’s website had boasted that, ‘set within 37 acres of delightful gardens in a stunning cliff top location overlooking the sea and the coast of the Durham Heritage Coastline, Seaham Hall is a beautiful Georgian Mansion ideally located in Durham for a luxurious overnight retreat’. They weren’t wrong.
On the menu for us was a stay in one of Seaham Hall’s beautiful suites, decorated artfully in shades of grey, teal and a zingy yellow – with enough wallpapers, cushions and objets d’art to keep this interiors magpie very happy indeed; a spa day for two (is it a bit cringy to read your own magazine by the pool? Maybe, but I don’t care!) with some delightful treatments thrown in; pre-dinner mojitos delivered to our suite (nice touch!) and a fine dining dinner in Byron’s Restaurant, followed by the best night’s sleep that I’d had in a long, long time.
Byron’s Restaurant has recently been awarded a 1st in the Taste Durham Awards, recognising the hotel’s hard work towards supporting and championing local producers and suppliers. My husband and I shared the Chateaubriand, and can vouch for its flavour, freshness and presentation. And although we didn’t try it ourselves, the dishes served in the venue’s Pan-Asian Restaurant ‘The Ozone’ located within the Serenity Spa looked absolutely delightful.
Now onto that spa. As well as a fully equipped gym (which I didn’t try out – my bad!) the sensational Serenity Spa boasts a 20 metre pool with massage stations; hamman with snail showers and jacuzzi, Asian herbal samarium, salt sauna, Indian steam chamber, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, plunge pools and my favourite bit – outdoor hot tubs.
The hubby and I spent a glorious few hours trying out the various heat experiences, bubbling in the hot tubs and relaxing poolside, before it was time for our treatments.
The Serenity Spa offers unique and bespoke holistic treatment rituals from Asia that deliver luxurious, indulgent experiences. Their therapists are chosen not only for their ability but their intuition to your individual needs and the treatments tailored specifically to you. Just lovely!
To aid my too-much-screen-time and sugar skin, I chose a Sunari Prescriptive Facial, which promised to reawaken and rejuvenate my skin with a holistic techinque customised for my skin’s specific needs. Naturally active ingredients were custom blended for intensive exfoliation and renewal; and Seaham Hall’s signature MarMassage (pressure point stimulation) completed the experience, for newly radiant skin. I was glowing!
The hubby meanwhile was treated to a Serenity Signature Massage, a full body massage which unlocks tension and induces a sense of relaxation, wellness and inner calm.
I’d wholeheartedly recommend Seaham Hall for a pre-wedding break to bliss out with the girls or reconnect with your hubby to be amid the planning madness. This would also be the ideal spot for a “just because” romantic break (we are all about those here at Brides Up North HQ!) or a really delightful minimoon.
And if you’ve fallen as much in love as we have here at Brides Up North, why not really commit? Seaham Hall also plays host to a number of luxury weddings a year. Offering exclusive use weddings and ceremonies, a wedding at Seaham Hall would truly be an occasion to remember.
For more information visit www.seaham-hall.co.uk
September 20th, 2017 | Julia Braime
Taking a break from the #wedmin are we? Well, you picked the right time to stop by, because look! It’s the Brides Up North big bridal super show Grand Wedding Exhibition! It’s THIS WEEKEND! And it’s only the biggest event in our whole autumn calendar.
The region’s best and most beautiful wedding industry suppliers will gather at of the North East’s favourite wedding venue – Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club – on Sunday 24th September 2017, from 11am till 3pm, FREE ENTRY.
Yep. Free. With a goody bag on top! Judging by our stellar supplier lineup and our pre-registration figures, it’s going to be pretty epic…
Once again, we don’t do things by halves here at Brides Up North! We are filling the whole hotel – that’s five huge function areas – and it’s going to be spectacular!
If there’s one wedding fair to attend this year, this is it. This isn’t your typical wedding fair though, it’s a knock-your-socks-off bridal fashion bonanza with all the extra pretty on top! This should most definitely be one for your diaries.
Whether you are shopping for the final details or have no idea where to start, I can promise you the very best choice of the best wedding experts in the region. Everything you can think of for planning your big day will be represented and there’ll be on the day discounts too.
And NEW for this season, we are adding a HUGE DESIGNER DRESS SALE, sponsored by The Bridal Collection and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. With over 100 dresses to try and buy on the day, all at £499 or less. Yes. You read that right: all at £499 or less and from designers like Enzoani, Maggie Sottero, Justin Alexander, Claire Pettibone, Ian Stuart and Raimon Bundo. You do not want to miss this!
As well as getting your dress shopping on, come and see our two Brides Up North designer bridal catwalks (we’re planning some really beautiful shows with the best boutiques in the area – don’t miss them!), meet the Ramside Hall wedding planners, pose in our photo booths, taste our sweet treats, kit out your man and bridesmaids, play dress up with gorgeous gowns and accessories (you are going to be spoilt for chose let me tell you!), get lost in our beautiful floral displays, get the hair and make up sorted, source your stationery, find a top photographer and tick off all those last essential details. You name it, we can sort it.
I adore this event – it’s big, it’s busy, it’s exciting but most of all it’s really beautiful. I can’t wait to see you all there for a day of wedding planning heaven… and lots of fun too.
To pre-register for a free Brides Up North VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack (stuffed with treats and glossy mags, including the hot off the press issue of UNVEILED Magazine) and FREE ENTRY, fill in your details below. You can collect your VIP Bride-To-Be Media Pack upon entry to the event. Only the bride need register for larger groups. While stocks last.
We would love to welcome new exhibitors to the Brides Up North family . We are now accepting exhibitor bookings for all of our fabulous luxury wedding exhibitions across three regions.
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. Get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee your place. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for exhibitor booking and pricing information listing the events or area that you are interested in.
Images by Cat Hepple Photography.
August 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
The wild and rugged North East coastline provides the dramatic backdrop to today’s stunning styled shoot, crafted by the talented Hannah Picken of Hannah Joy Photography.
After stumbling across Blast Beach in Seaham on Instagram, Hannah knew this was the perfect location for her shoot. Putting her very own wedding dress into the spotlight – Hannah opted for an earthy grey and metallic palette that offsets beautifully against the location’s magnificent rock formations, high cliffs and crashing waves. Add in some driftwood, glass bottles and a smoke bomb or two, and you’ve got an atmospheric shoot that really shows off this captivating beach setting with aplomb.
And then there’s the burnished lagoon of red water that seemingly transports the bride into another celestial setting altogether. We’re mesmerised to say the least!
Hannah’s here now to explain how she and her team of local suppliers, pulled the look together…
With images by Hannah Joy Photography
hannah says: The styled shoot took place on Blast Beach in Seaham on the Durham coast. I wanted to create an ethereal styled bridal shoot primarily for my own knowledge and experience and because I just love to be creative. This style suits me best and is where my passion lies with my photography.
The location of the shoot came about when I was browsing Instagram. Seaham Hall had posted an image of this beach and as soon as I saw it – I knew it would be a great location for the shoot and just what I was looking for. I had never been to this beach before, so one evening, my family and I headed over to check it out.
It was exactly what I had imagined! It’s a very unusual place with dramatic rock formations and an iron lake of luminous red coloured water. Upon further reading about the beach, I discovered it was used for the opening scenes of the film Alien 3; this added to the weird and dramatic feel of the location and it was just perfect for my shoot as I wanted something a bit different.
For the styling of the shoot, my model wore my own personal wedding dress and it fit her just perfectly! My dress came from The Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. It was lovely to re-use my dress rather than have it just sitting in a cupboard never to be seen again (even if it was a little strange seeing someone else wearing it!).
The dress is pretty simple by design and I decided to accessorise it with a rustic fur coat and silver accessories, bangles and rings etc to create a boho vibe and match it up with the pretty waistband detailing. The Irregular Choice shoes were my actual wedding shoes, too, and just so pretty – they were screaming to be photographed again!
With the help of The Green Florist, a lovely local supplier just on my doorstep, we created a beautiful bouquet and headpiece. The brief was natural rustic and wild and I think they delivered this perfectly. I chose white and green to keep things simple and elegant whilst also working nicely with the dress and the surrounding landscape.
April 3rd, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Today, we’re escaping to beautiful Durham City for a vintage inspired wedding that celebrates all those wonderful bridal traditions we often find ourselves daydreaming about.
The couple – Michelle and Anthony – created a special day brimming with understated elegance – we’re talking an ivory and sage green palette, 1920s cars, beautifully decorated candelabras and exquisite floral arrangements. Just look at the bride’s pretty gown and we promise you’ll be swept away by their captivating fairy-tale theme.
With images by Teardrop Photography
michelle says: After five years together, we got engaged on 15th July 2015, in Santa Ponsa, Spain. We went for a posh meal at a cliff-side restaurant followed by a stroll along the beach. The sun was just beginning to set and I remember thinking to myself how romantic it was – we stopped to admire the view and when I turned around Anthony was down on one knee asking me to marry him…and, of course, I said yes! Anthony had picked the most beautiful engagement ring with the help from the staff at ROX Newcastle.
Our special day was Saturday 27th August 2016. We wanted a summer wedding and it fell perfectly on the Bank Holiday weekend. We were very fortunate with the weather as the sun kept shining all day long!
We were married at St. Patrick’s RC Church, Langley Moor. I had always dreamt of being married in church and this church has a special meaning to Anthony as he went to the neighbouring catholic school. The church was breathtakingly beautiful without the need for accessories and decoration.
Our wedding breakfast through to evening reception was at St. Mary’s College in the heart of Durham city. This venue is primarily used for Durham University students and we had to seek permission to hold our wedding at this prestigious building with its ornate great hall and lavish landscaped grounds. My grandad was a Professor of Chemistry at the University and his ongoing involvement enabled us to be granted approval.
Our wedding day embraced fairy-tale romantic elegance, which included many bridal traditions. Anthony and I had the wedding rehearsal a few days before the big day then did not see each other until my dad walked me down the aisle on our magical day to the traditional Bridal March played by our organist. I incorporated the “something old, something new…” tradition as I wore my mam’s blue garter (which she wore on her wedding day 27 years ago) along with wearing a matching earring and necklace set which I borrowed from my mother-in-law. We also greeted each and every guest by doing a “line up” which gave our reception a personal feel and took the time to welcome and thank all our loved ones for sharing our special day with us. Another tradition I embraced was that my cousin Emma, who was also one of my bridesmaids, wore my engagement ring until after our ceremony – and not forgetting Anthony carrying me over the threshold of our new home the following day!
Our wedding colour scheme was a mixture of sage green with ivory, we opted for very natural colours which matched perfectly with the foliage and flowers we used to decorate most of the venue.
When I first started looking at wedding dresses, I had a completely different style of what I would like in mind. I originally wanted lots of lace with sleeves – completely different to the wedding dress I chose in the end! As soon as I tried on my fairy-tale princess style gown, with my full-length veil and tiara, I fell in love with it and knew instantly it was ‘the one’. This was then confirmed as I walked out of the fitting room and my mum and mother-in-law were in tears! It was such an emotional experience and I think all brides will agree this is one of the most special moments of the whole wedding process.
I got my wedding dress from Alice Elizabeth, a local boutique bridal shop in Coxhoe. The owner and dress maker Heather, and bridal consultant, Anne-Marie were truly amazing from the moment I walked through the door to find my dress, even to the moment I was just about to walk down the aisle! Heather surprised me and was waiting outside the church on my special day to give me a good luck hug and ensured my dress and veil was looking incredible! I was blown away by this touching moment! I couldn’t recommend Alice Elizabeth enough – they transformed my dream dress into a reality and I will be forever grateful to them both.
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July 1st, 2016 | Julia Braime
It’s holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a short break, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely. Usual service will recommence on Monday 4th July 2016 but in the meantime watch out for recaps of some of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year.
Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your real wedding was one of our top picks.
Before we start today’s post we must warn that it may cause serve weakness of the knees.
Florence and Stephen’s wedding takes place at what we believe is one of the most stunning wedding venues in the North, not only that, but it was held during one of our favourite months of the year, and it features our top hues of pale pink and elegant gold.
As a real family occasion with the bride and groom’s children fully involved, this is a wedding day that really is beautiful through and through.
We could seriously swoon over this one all day, but instead of rabbiting on we’ll let you see the pretty for yourselves – just make sure you’re sitting down first!
With images by Nicola Helen Photography.
florence says: We got engaged in 2012 at Matfen Hall Hotel in Northumberland. We had been together a few years and I was expecting our son, Hugo. I was quite pregnant by this point and feeling tired. Stephen surprised me with a night away so we headed to Matfen and just spent the afternoon relaxing. He had booked the most expensive room in the hotel and I still had no idea. Just before we headed down to supper, he proposed in the window, overlooking the beautiful grounds. It was all quite relaxed. We ate in the Library Dining Room quite quietly excited to know we were finally going to get married!
Our wedding was on 31st October 2015, yes, Halloween! It most certainly was not a themed wedding, though there was a nod to the day with pumpkins scattered here and there. October is my favourite month and it was the last Saturday the venue had available – so we just went with it and now quite enjoy the looks on people’s faces when we tell them the date.
We initially wanted a venue that was very quiet and intimate, our local village hall perhaps. But we had fallen in love with a property in Lartington and knowing that we would be spending the rest of our lives there, we thought it would be wonderful to be able to tell the children that we were married locally.
Once we viewed Lartington Hall in Teesdale, we knew it was something special. My family are from Barnard Castle and my parents had stories about the Hall from years gone by. It just felt right. Once the hall was booked, things grew from there.
February 26th, 2016 | Julia Braime
I can’t wait for another weekend of the finest wedding inspiration and to welcome you to the beautiful country house hotel that is Hardwick Hall Hotel for our Bridal Ballroom this Sunday 28th February 2016, 11am till 3pm, FREE entry.
We are very proud to run the largest and most exciting free entry bridal exhibitions in the North East. Hardwick Hall is going to be packed to the rafters – and it’s twinkling crystal chandeliers – with wedding inspiration, fabulous ideas and the very, very best of the North East wedding industry.
Watch out for the “Brides Up North Edit” designer catwalk shows, champagne bar, wedding hair and beauty advice sessions & demos & glossy media packs for each visiting bride.
For this event, we are filling the whole of the Coleman Suite – and it’s going to be spectacular! We don’t just squash in any old exhibitors either! Whether you are shopping for the final details or have no idea where to start, we can promise you the very best choice of the best bridal experts in the region. Everything you can think of for planning your big day will be represented.
Well then, what are you waiting for? Grab your girls or your groom, and we’ll see you there!
We’re giving away up to 250 free Bride To Be goody bags, filled with glossy magazines, treats from Brides Up North, exclusive offers and some little pressies from our sponsors. As demand is high, to pick up your goody bag all you need to do is pre-register using the form below. While stocks last.
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