Brides Up North

real wedding recap 2014. a fun & fabulous wedding at Heaton House Farm – helen & ryan

January 1st, 2015 | Julia Braime

Happy New Year! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, 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 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps 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 for 2014.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (85)

Starting a brand new year on a high by recapping one of our most fun and fabulous weddings from 2014 sent to me by my friend Jonny of Jonny Draper Photography and real bride Helen.

Check out those rocking bridesmaids. Girl power.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (15)

helen says: We got engaged in Central Park, New York in October 2012.  The arrival of Hurricane Sandy meant that we were stuck in NYC for an extra 5 days too!

We were married at Heaton House Farm on 7th June 2014.  As huge Manchester United fans we wanted our wedding to be outside of football season and before the World Cup. Plus 7 is a lucky number for us with many United legends wearing the 7 shirt!

Heaton House was the perfect venue for us as it was a blank canvas on which to create our amazing day. We went for a rustic and relaxed feel, with pale pink details. I am a girly girl and have always loved pink.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (26)

My wedding dress was by Sassi Holford and called Faye.  As time went on I decided that I liked the simpler styles of gown and didn’t want it to look dated in years to come.  I bought it from Bellisima Bridal Gowns in Holcombe.

Ryan’s navy suit and floral tie were by Whitfield & Ward in Wilmslow.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were pink 50′s style prom dresses, made by my Auntie Katie, so I could have them exactly as I wanted.

My bouquet was made up of lots of peonies and roses in pastel pinks, in keeping with the theme.  My Grandma, who I was very close to, died in 2011 and I attached a tiny picture of her in a frame to my bouquet.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (35)

Jonny Draper was our photographer.  The photographs of our special day were really important to us and I knew from the moment of meeting up that Jonny was the man for the job.  I would recommend Jonny to anyone, he is so professional and his attention to detail is amazing.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (39)

Ryan’s Auntie Nicola of Secret Garden Flowers in Newcastle did all the blooms on the day and they looked and smelled amazing. We had flowers everywhere! All of the decorations at the venue were made by family members.

We wanted our wedding cake to be very simple and all about the taste.  We decorated a plain iced cake from Walkden Cake Company with fresh flowers.

As favours, the girls had Yankee “Wedding Day” Candles, pink heart shaped sunglasses and little lavender bags.  The boys got CDs with our favourite tracks.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (62)

On arrival at Heaton House Farm we had a split level camper from Ice Cream Dub serving cones to all our friends.

We chose Dominic Halpin and The Honey Bs, a live band, to entertain the guests in the evening. Their songs spanned all ages and they go everyone up and dancing… they even had me on stage with maracas and a limbo! We also had Leos Quartet playing throughout the drinks and the meal. We were so happy with all of our suppliers!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (65)

We used Silk Wedding Films to capture our day.  There is so much we would have forgotten if Tom hadn’t filmed and edited it so beautifully for us. We would really recommend them, we hardly knew they were there yet the results were fantastic.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (79)

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (94)

We went on a minimoon to Mallorca for a week following the wedding, and are getting ready for a big trip to California in September.  I can’t wait!

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (98)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be that organisation is key!  We were very organised which saved a lot of stress.  Also, book great suppliers that you can trust. We would recommend all of ours.

a wedding at Heaton House Farm (c) Jonny Draper Photography (61)

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girls only. this weekend: the wedding edit

October 23rd, 2014 | Julia Braime


Brides Up North Sponsor Emma of Love Bridal Boutique would like me to extend a fabulous invitation to my readers (because she knows you’re pretty fabulous too) to the wedding edit.

The Wedding Edit

Happening this weekend – clear your diaries – on Sunday 26th October 2014, from 12pm at Styal Lodge, Cheshire, this event is your chance to see Love Bridal Boutique’s stunning new gowns in their catwalk show from some of Brides Up North’s favourite designers including Stewart Parvin, Raimon Bundo, Alan Hannah, Enzoani, Terry Fox, Mia Mia and Maids To Measure.


Emma says: It’s going to be an amazing catwalk show, showcasing all our designers’ new collections (including bridesmaids) and then there’s a unique opportunity to chat with all of our wedding friends who are there to offer their advice about all things wedding planning. There will also be a lot of prosecco and canapés!

Strictly no boys allowed. 

This event is guest list only.  To reserve your place, please email


Images by Jonny Draper Photography 

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get ready for the launch

September 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The Circle_Master_strapline


This evening sees the launch of a project I’ve been working extremely hard on behind the scenes for the majority of this year.

Those of you who have been regular readers and supporters of Brides Up North for the past four years will know that I believe wholeheartedly in the value of carrying on the online conversation in real life. This goes for both brides to be during our busy Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition season and members of our fantastic regional wedding industry.

Those wedding suppliers who have already used our annual Brides Up North “tweet ups” and networking parties to come together to share a few cocktails, ideas, business cards and recommendations will know just how beneficial events like these can be to business.


Well, we’ve decided to take things a bit further than that.

You know we don’t like to sit still here at Brides Up North HQ, and this year I’ve joined forces with an amazing team of industry leaders to bring industry connectivity and creativity to the next level.


This evening, I’ll be standing (in my sequins!) alongside the fellow directors of this exciting new vehicle – Charlotte Balbier, award winning wedding dress designer; Jonny Draper, award winning photographer and boutique owner and Howard Wing, award winning entertainer – to reveal our pet project to a select group of industry friends, sponsors and press, including the biggest bridal titles on the newsstands.

Nervous, me?


I’ve never been very good at keeping secrets, and can’t wait to reveal all on these pages.

One thing that’s guaranteed?  You’ll ALL be invited. 

More very soon.


Images by Hayley Baxter Photography 

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fancy footwork. the designer series: Charlotte Mills Bridal

September 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (5)

A relative newcomer to the bridal design scene, Charlotte Mills is a bit of a genius.

Launched to huge acclaim within the industry, the talented designer (and all round lovely North West lass) offers affordable luxury to style conscious brides giving them a more fashion forward option to traditional wedding shoes.

We like her style.

And we want her shoes.

With images by Jonny Draper and Sarah Saddler (see little white book for full credits)

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (1)

Charlotte says: We create beautiful, elegant, fun, romantic designs we hope brides will fall in love with and want to wear again and again after their wedding day.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (12)

What were your inspirations for this collection?

Love hearts provide the inspiration for collection each style incorporating them in a unique and individual way.  I love art deco and art nouveau, so studied heart shapes and also the lines used in the architecture of these era’s and gave them a modern twist to create the designs.  For as long as I can remember I have always has a passion for shoes. I couldn’t imagine designing anything else.

It amazing to be able to design something which some one will love and want to wear on their wedding day to show a little bit of their personality. I find this really inspiring.

Each shoe is hand finished with a silver sixpence and the leather sole is embossed with the phrase ‘Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’

We have covered all bases. The Sixpence is also the Something Old, the Something New is the shoe, the Something Blue is detailed on the insock and the Something Borrowed will be inside the shoe box. Brides love this old tradition. This detailing is unique to Charlotte Mills Bridal shoes.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (19)

What shapes, materials and embellishments were chosen for the collection?

The collection has been created using laser cutting, appliqué and embroidery techniques. Each shoe is handmade in Spain using finest materials such as Italian Kid Suede, silks, tulle or metallic and pearlised leathers and is embellished with large structured bows, embroideries, appliqués or Swarovski crystals.

What is your average retail price?


Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (23)

What does 2015 hold for Charlotte Mills?  What are you excited about?

I am busy designing lots of new styles to add to the range and working on a top-secret collection.

Seeing images of all the ‘Charlotte Mills brides’ is so exciting and as we have only just launched there is a time delay because people tend to buy so far in advance for weddings. It will be amazing to see our shoes featured in someone’s special day.

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (4)

What are your ‘best things’ in life?

Shoes Shoes Shoes!

My husband, family and friends, my dogs Meg and Coco, pink, holidays, cake, weddings and fashion – I could go on and on…

Charlotte Mills Bridal 2015 (c) Jonny Draper Photography (1)

Where can Brides Up North find out more about Charlotte Mills? 

You can visit our website at, follow on Twitter or like on Facebook.

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Where I’ll Be Next Week: Talkin’ Shop.

April 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

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.

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

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.   

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

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.

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

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.

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass

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.

Jonny Draper Photography Masterclass


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Jonny Draper Photography

Jonny Draper Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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