March 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Interrupting our usual blogging schedule to bring you this special broadcast…
Following our plus one debate on the wedding blog last Friday, we were invited to join the argument over guest list difficulties on BBC Radio Tees yesterday morning. You can listen again at the BBC website, I join the show at around about 50 minutes in. And talk. A lot.
You can catch up on our original debate here.
February 11th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Stills snapped from The Fixer, 10/02/15, BBC2
So, tonight at around 20:45 hours, we had a little bit of a server crash here on these pretty pages. I hadn’t forgotten to renew our domain name again (hey it happens!), rather it was due to an absolutely mahoosive spike in traffic – we are talking tens of thousands here – and all thanks to a little air time on BBC 2’s the fixer.
I had another feature planned for Wednesday morning’s post, but given the surge in visitors and the fantastic response that this episode had across the social media channels, I thought that I better pop my head up and say hello (hello there!) to any new bride to be readers that might be loitering after this evening’s excitement.
For those of you who are regulars around these parts or didn’t catch the show, The Fixer is a business series hosted by the dynamic Alex Polizzi (of Hotel Inspector fame), where ailing companies of any type are given a proper ‘business beating’, a shake up and a sort out. This week, it was the turn of the lovely Jo of (formerly) Balloonin’ Marvellous to step forward as Alex helped her to take her company from deflated to fabulous.
I’m sure that the industry will get to know Jo, her family – trading under their new company name of Lusso Styling – and her beautiful styling ideas very well, very soon. She’s a lovely lady and I genuinely hope that being part of this programme has given her the platform, courage and confidence that she needs to go far.
My role? I was invited to act as the reviewing expert for Jo’s final pitch (once all the hard work had been done). In the beautiful surrounds of my favourite Leeds venue The Mansion, which my colleagues at Dine kindly lent to BBC 2 as a stunning backdrop to the segment, I got to sit back and hear all about the results of Jo and Alex’s hard work. And I was really impressed.
I’ll try to piece together some of the longer footage (including some cameos by some of my wonderful industry friends) to share here shortly. In the meantime, you can check out the Lusso Styling website here.
For those of you who came this way via the programme, welcome! If you’re planning a wedding Up North, you’ve come to the right place.
Brides Up North stands out because it encourages its readers to think local and to support the fabulous wedding industry suppliers on their own doorstep. With a double daily features schedule, every single featured supplier, styled shoot, real wedding or industry expert we feature on the blog took place or is based in the North of England.
Brides Up North has been named “Best Blog for Northern Brides” by Channel 4; crowned “Best Big Day Inspiration” blog in the Wedding Magazine Awards 2013 and highly commended in the “Best City Blog” category in the Wedding Magazine Awards 2014; listed in Easy Wedding Search’s Top 100 UK Wedding Blogs and in Bride Tide’s Top 100 Wedding Blogs in The World 2011, 2012 and 2013. Brides Up North was also a finalist in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”) and in Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards 2014 (“Best Wedding Blog”).
We’ve been profiled in or contributed to almost every National wedding magazine title, as well featuring extensively in regional bridal titles, national news and lifestyle press. Brides Up North was headline sponsor for and hosted the first North of England Wedding Awards, a judge in the Bridal Buyer Awards 2012, 2014 and 2015 and The Wedding Ideas Awards 2013. I was also a judge and official blogger for The Wedding Industry Awards 2015 for the fourth year running.
I was headhunted as editor of Unveiled Magazine – the luxury wedding magazine for the North East and North Yorkshire – in January 2015 with the aim of further developing this bridal title to build on the quality and creativity that the team achieved in their inaugural issues. So it’s pretty busy backstage here at Brides Up North.
That’s the official bio anyway – and you can read more on our about page – but really it all boils down to: we love local (check out our amazing supplier Directory), and we love stylish weddings (and lots of them!).
If you think like we do, we hope that you’ll stick around a little longer.
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.
August 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m really proud to be asked to contribute on a regular basis to some leading bridal titles both on a National and regional level and very happy to be able to share my published press with you on these pretty pages.
Today I’m hoping to put some roses in your cheeks with my spread on outdoor weddings featured in North East glossy, Unveiled Magazine.
I wrote: It may be the romantic notion of the wind in your hair and the sun on your backs, long lead times and increasing rates at traditional locations or a desire for something that feels a little more adventurous, but more and more Brides Up North are choosing to host their wedding ceremonies in the open air.
And once you’re out, why not stay out? A big white tent isn’t your only option for your wedding reception. Whilst nothing tops the glamour of a beautifully lined formal marquee for a traditional celebration, there are plenty more outdoor choices available. Think about how you want your wedding to look and feel before choosing your awnings. Consider a pretty yurt, a big top, a Scandinavian style tipi or even a Bedouin style tent for a day with a difference.
If you are thinking about taking things outdoors, here are my top tips for the perfect day whatever the weather.
If you want your ceremony to be legally binding, the venue must be a permanent structure with a roof and approved for marriage. There’s always the option of saying “I do” in a separate civil or religious ceremony but some venues have licensed areas with a roof in the grounds such as a summerhouse or a gazebo so that couples can still tie the knot in the open air. Do your homework in advance and make sure that your chosen location will result in a valid marriage certificate.
If you were hoping that removing the walls would bring the price down, think again! An outdoor reception is definitely a style, rather than budget, led choice. You’ll need to allow for the cost of any tent or covering, any venue fees for where you choose to park it and all those easily overlooked additional extras – like electricity, lighting, heating and toilet facilities – that an outdoor celebration needs to function. Ask your provider exactly what is included in the quote from the outset to avoid any nasty surprises.
Contrary to popular belief, a wedding reception outdoors can work in all seasons. The giant tipi design is inspired by the traditional tipis lived in by the Sami people of Lapland – so they’re built to withstand the weather and contain warmth. Stoke up the fire pit, artfully drape a few fur throws and you and your guests are set to party into the small hours.
Rustic or formal, weddings in the great outdoors are very adaptable. Choose to let the outside in with natural blooms for a homespun look, or go to town with glossy dance floors and twinkling backdrops. Whatever your preference, raising the roof widens rather than limits your styling options.
July 8th, 2014 | Julia Braime
We’re cracking open the bubbly here at Brides Up North and taking the afternoon off!*
*Ok, we’re not really doing that, we’re actually stuck at our screens working on our re-launch, but if we could, that’s totally what we’d be doing.
We’ve just had word that (thanks to you, our lovely readers!) Brides Up North has been shortlisted to win the Wedding Blog category in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014.
Now, this is just a bit of a big deal. First up, Cosmo is a market leading lifestyle magazine, not an industry title, so to have been recognised outside of our little bridal bubble for our hard work is pretty immense, and puts our wedding blog in front of a much wider audience. Secondly, we were nominated for the shortlist by you, our readers: brides to be and industry supporters, and we love that.
We love you.
But lets not let that (imaginary) Champagne go to our heads… we still need your votes to take home the gong! Let’s show the rest of the UK that Northerners do it best!
We’d be ever so grateful if you’d head over to the awards site and cast the deciding vote in our favour (and check out some other fab blogs across the board while you’re there – we’ve already added a few to our reader). 50% of the votes are cast by readers and the other 50% is made up from the panel of Cosmo Editors, and voting closed on 29th August 2014, so we need your help to be in with a chance.
Click here to support Brides Up North. #jointhenorthernrevolution #CosmoBlogAwards
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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