Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

blissed out bride: seaham hall

November 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime

seaham-hall

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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blissed out bride: an overnight break at titanic spa

October 24th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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While you brides-to-be are in full wedding planning mode, us Brides Up North girls are right there with you in a whirlwind of organising and staging our Luxury Wedding Fairs throughout the north of the country.

And though we love what we do, such a high level of planning leads to late nights, early starts and bodies that ache from head to toe. So when an invitation for an overnight break at Titanic Spa in Huddersfield arrived in our inbox, we thought we had more than earned a little down time.

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We have been fortunate to visit the amazing West Yorkshire spa before, though we’ve never stayed for more than a day, so we were extra excited to see what else would be in store for us.

Popular with both men and women of all ages this is an ideal retreat for brides and grooms to recharge the batteries, either pre- or post-wedding, but also makes a heavenly location for a hen do or mother and daughter day. Whatever your excuse – we mean reason, you can be sure of first class facilities and service with Titanic being named ‘Best Luxury Eco Spa’ and ‘Best Luxury Destination Spa’ at the prestigious 2016 World Luxury Spa Awards.

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Upon arrival our overnight luggage was taken from us and delivered to our room which we would be able to access later in the afternoon. We knew our way round and so skipped the tour and headed straight into the spa’s well-known Heat & Ice Experience. Here guests can go between a number of hot and cold rooms, each with differing benefits to the body. The overall effect is cleansing and invigorating as you peak and dip in temperature.

We favoured the warmer rooms, such as the saunas, herbal infusion room and aromatherapy room, which cleared pores whilst draining away any feelings of stress too. In between the hot experiences we dipped in and out of the ice room but weren’t quite brave enough for the plunge pool or bucket shower experience. We did manage to idle away about 30 minutes in the foot spas though while we gossiped about all things Made in Chelsea and Real House Wives of Cheshire.

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Next, lunch. We recalled how good the food was on our last visit, but as it turns out the team at Titanic have stepped things up a gear again, with the dishes surpassing our previous dining experience. We both enjoyed a Prawn, Red Pepper and Chilli Linguine washed was with a Sauvignon Blanc. That’s right, though healthy, the spa still allows for treats!

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The impressive facilities at Titanic – which also include a 15 metre swimming pool, gym, relaxation room and outdoor hot tub – are so plentiful that a treatment isn’t essential for those on a short break. That said, if you’re on the run up to your wedding we highly recommend indulging in a facial or body treatment as part of your big day beauty prep.

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blissed out bride: slaley hall golf resort & spa

June 14th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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Ladies, we all know the affects that stress can have on our bodies; from aching muscles and skin flare ups, to dark under-eye circles and generally feeling worn out. As one of the most stressful (but enjoyable, we hope) events you can experience in life, it’s little wonder that couples planning weddings can really feel the pressure, both inside and out.

This is why we highly recommend taking a relaxing break from the wedding schedule now and again to recharge the batteries and gather your thoughts, while treating your mind, body and soul. And what better way to do so than booking into a spa resort, whether just for the day or an indulgent minibreak.

Keen to point our readers in the direction of fabulous retreats in the North where they can escape to for solace – and a flippin good massage, we’ve been out on our Blissed Out Bride travels once again.

This time our destress-destination was Slaley Hall golf resort and spa hotel, located in a secluded area of Northumberland. Following our full-on, yet fabulous, season of spring wedding fairs across the north of the country, we were literally crying out for some R&R and so sped up the A1 for a well-deserved Slaley spa day.

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As part of the Q Hotel group, the historic hall, set in 1,000 acres of stunning countryside, includes a range of accommodation and eating and drinking facilities, as well as a choice of beautiful function suites, which are available for weddings. Meanwhile outdoors Slaley boasts two championship golf courses and stunning grounds, upon which marquees can be pitched for outdoor celebrations.

The part of its facilities we were looking forward to viewing most however, was its luxury spa. Safely changed into our comforting robes and slippers we headed straight to pool side for some light refreshments and a little magazine time (one of our very favourite ways to unwind) – the pressure on our shoulders instantly lifted. As we stretched back on our loungers the humidity of the room acted as a warming cocoon and we had all on to keep our eyes open – talk about optimum conditions for relaxing!

An impressive space, Slaley’s pool area has a lovely holiday feel about it with tropical plants dotted around the pool, waterfalls and Jacuzzi, and little bridges linking the different areas together.

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It was soon lunchtime so we were shown through to one of Slaley’s three restaurants (still wrapped in our robes) to receive our spa day lunch. Presented in a neat Bento Box we enjoyed a healthy (ish) yet satisfying meal of chicken salad with cous cous, vegetable sticks and dip, followed by a lovely piece of chocolate cake, which was all washed down with a tall glass of fizz. We felt this provided he perfect combination of clean and treat eating (both we feel are essential to keep a girl heathy and happy!).

Once the food had settled it was back to the pool for a little snoozing and swimming, whilst also taking some time to detox and clear our skin in the sauna.

Though we didn’t muster the strength to visit (shame on us), Slaley also boasts a health club with state-of-the-art equipment and experienced instructors, to help you reach any pre-wedding fitness goals. Feeling the need for some ultra-pampering, we were booked in for a treatment each and so made our way to the gorgeous relaxation room, complete with soft sofas and beds, to meet our knowledgeable Espa therapists. As I’m soon to be jetting off on my jollies I wanted a treatment that would refresh my skin and really make it glow while still soothing my tired muscles while Julia, who is soon to be expecting a second bundle of joy, required a relaxing facial treatment to prevent any pregnancy break-outs.

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blissed out bride: stanley house hotel & spa

October 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Stanley House Hotel & Spa (2)

This morning on the blog we’ve got two words for you treat yourself – as we’re sharing with you another gem of a venue that we’ve discovered in the north of the country, which is a haven for both pre and post wedding pampering.

Located within the Ribble Valley countryside in Mellor, Lancashire, Stanley House Hotel & Spa really is a rural retreat, housing 30 luxurious bedrooms, bar, restaurant and a world-class spa. Oh and if that isn’t enough, you can get married there too.

Keen to experience its impressive offering for ourselves (and to recharge the batteries after a particularly hectic stint in the world of weddings), myself and Julia booked in for an overnight spa break.

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Included in our package was one night’s accommodation, farmhouse breakfast, three-course evening meal in the hotel’s restaurant, use of the spa, a 60-minute treatment, and to round it all off, a two-course afternoon tea in the bar and lounge. We were literally chalking off the days on the office wall as we counted down to our visit (which didn’t disappoint).

Upon arriving, we were advised where to find everything and then left to explore our room and surroundings. The hotel is centred around Stanley House, a stunning Grade II listed manor house dating back to 1799, that has since been lovingly restored to hold luxury bedrooms. The hotel’s function rooms, reception, bar and restaurant meanwhile are located in the main hotel building and the spa and further bedrooms (where our room was located) are situated in the newest area of the hotel.

Clearly designed with care, the two newer buildings are still in keeping with their rural surroundings and the historic Stanley House building, which stands proud in the venue’s well-manicured grounds. All buildings boast stunning views of the surrounding countryside, as did our generous sized bedroom, with which we were thrilled.

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To start our 24-hours of relaxation we headed to the hotel’s Mr Fred’s bar and lounge where we enjoyed a bottle of wine whilst brainstorming future ideas for Brides Up North (some of our very best concepts come out of a bottle of Sauvignon it would appear!)

Next we glammed up and indulged in a three-course meal at The Grill on The Hill restaurant, which prides itself on offering diners ‘something just a bit different’ – as we soon experienced ourselves. We ordered starters of ham hock terrine with crispy ’bits and bobs’, golden sultana puree and quail’s egg, and a chilled tomato gazpacho with spiced avocado espuma. What arrived was a treat for the eyes as well as the palate; dainty but plentiful portions that were punchy in flavour and beautifully presented. We ate every last bit!

Next mains of soy and ginger poached fillets of lemon sole, with sea vegetables (presented like little sushi parcels) and citrus butter, and a 10oz rib eye steak served with balsamic onions, semi dried plum tomato, field mushroom and triple cooked chips. Top marks once again for taste and appearance, resulting in more clean plates.

You’d think we’d be full at this point, but a lemon delice served with sorbet and cherries caught my eye while Julia took up the offer of cheese and biscuits. Faultless once again. And just when we thought we had come to the end of our culinary delights, we were presented with a crisp and chewy macaroon to finish. How could we resist?

Having almost eaten our way into a food coma a good night’s rest was needed and thankfully that’s exactly what we got. The hotel’s rural location means no rowdy passers-by or noisy traffic to interrupt your sleep, just pure peace and quiet.

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Eager to explore the spa, the following day we enjoyed a light breakfast in the comforting lounge area before heading off for our morning of (further) indulgence.

Almost somewhat of a secret, the hotel’s spa is accessed down a spiral staircase where those ‘in the know’ can make the most of its relaxation rooms, thermal suite and hydro pool, whilst also enjoying a treatment of two, if they so wish.

For Julia (a self-confessed mermaid), the hydro pool alone would have been enough to keep her blissfully happy. Warm and welcoming the pool’s jets bubbled away our aches and pains while we admired the tranquil gardens beyond the floor to ceiling windows.

Prizing Julia from the water, we then went on to experience the thermal suite, which offered both hot and cold environments to awaken the senses. Not only did the rooms vary in temperature, but also in design and music with different influences from around the world, which is perhaps what sets the spa’s thermal suite apart from others.

Though fairly compact it was both easy and enjoyable to while away several hours in the relaxing yet invigorating environment of the spa.

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Stanley House Hotel & Spa (14)

Feeling cleansed and refreshed we headed for the highlight of the break: a 60-minute C&C Vitamin Facial (us Brides Up North girls just love a facial). Designed to fight the signs of premature ageing the zingy anti-oxidant facial gives stressed skin an instant boost of Vitamin C, which means the treatment doesn’t only feel amazing but the products used also smell amazing too. An ideal pre-holiday treatment I’m told, this would be a great choice for anyone indulging in a minimoon at Stanley House before jetting off on their main honeymoon. Emerging from the treatment room I can honestly say my skin felt the best it ever has, so much so I took away a Natura Bisse C&C Vitamin Soufflé Mask so I could recreate the magic at home for myself (well almost).

To end our break in a similar way to how we started it (immersed in glorious food) we enjoyed an afternoon tea of freshly made finger sandwiches, pastries, dainty cakes and, of course, yummy scones, all washed down with a refreshing jasmine tea.

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So you can see from our visit just how much this place has to offer, whether you chose to visit as a pre-wedding girly getaway to escape the planning pressure, or to prep yourself ready for the big day. It would also make for a fabulous minimoon with your partner, whether it’s just overnight to fill the void between the wedding ending and the honeymoon beginning, or for a full weekend of indulgence if you’ve chosen to delay your main honeymoon until later in the year.

Better yet, there are plenty of hugely tempting packages to choose from, meaning this is one activity that doesn’t require much planning (you brides-to-be will be pleased to hear). So, whether you opt for a ‘Diamond’ day package or an ‘Only the Finest’ overnight getaway, we guarantee Stanley House Spa & Hotel will leave you wanting more (just as we did when we begrudgingly left!).

For full details of Stanley Houses’ facilities, accommodation and packages, visit their website.

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Super Sunday!

August 21st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Today is joining the fun at the Summer In The City Wedding Fair at The Caledonian Hotel, Jesmond.  If you are a Bride to Be in the North East, pop along between 12pm and 4pm.  With 50+ exhibitors, wedding fairs throughout the day by Wendy Coles Bridal and free admission, what more persuasion could you need?  Drop by this ’s stand and have a chin wag – I can’t wait to meet you!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Simply Beach   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Simply Beach

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I am also excited to announce the winner of my Honeymoon Hotty Giveaway with Simply Beach. The winner of a £50 voucher to spend on a bikini or swimwear is:

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  • Jacqui Davies

    August 11, 2011 | Our honeymoon in Kenya this November will be our first beach holiday on our own in the 7 years we have been together, so I’d really love some fancy bikinis to wow my new husband with!

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Congratulations Jacqui!  Let’s hope you get on with each other!  Please contact Brides Up North as soon as possible to claim your prize.

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Speaking of honeymoons, whilst I ready myself for a day of wedding chat (I can’t wait!), here are some of this wedding blogger’s top tips for a gorgeous staycation, UK minimoon or romantic pre wedding break Up North…

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City Chic

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh

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A fashionable favourite, the perfectly styled Hotel Missoni is just a step from Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.  Soak up some Scottish culture, hit the shops and knock back a cocktail or three.  Champagne is on tap in this boutique hotel’s trendy bar.  Och Aye!

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Spa Heaven

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Feversham Arms

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Fresh air, delicious food, posh pampering and views to die for.  The Feversham Arms at Helmsley, North Yorkshire is one of my favourite boutique bolt holes.

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Private Island

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Isle Of Eriska

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On the Isle of Eriska in Oban Argyll, you’ll find 5* luxury, a castle residence and a private golf course.  Perfectly dreamy. 

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Seaside Bolt Hole

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.Brides Up North Wedding Blog: White Rose Cottage, Whitby

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A sea side stroll, fish and chips double wrapped, and a chilled bottle of crisp white.  The perfect Friday night in for two at The White Rose Cottage, Robin Hood’s Bay, near Whitby. 

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Gone Sailing

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Boathouse, Northumberland

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A private lakeside boathouse and a rowing boat made for two await you at The Boathouse, Middleton Hall, Northumberland.  Oars away!

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Whether you are jetting off or staying on British shores…are YOU ready to bare all on the beach?  Not sure?  Welllllllllllll… Brides Up North may just be able to help you with that!  Check back on the wedding blog tomorrow AM for some news!

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Brides Up North – Images © 2011 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as Featured Supplier 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

 

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Isle of Eriska: Month of Romance Offer!

February 1st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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On Friday, Brides Up North delighted in the beautiful venue and Brides Up North Featured Supplier  that is the Isle of Eriska.  Well, they have been back in touch to share their St Valentine’s Day package.  Want!

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Isle of Eriska

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Treat your loved one to a private island experience throughout the month of February and make this Valentines one to remember. Enjoy 5 star accommodation, fine dining in Isle of Eriska’s 3 AA rosette restaurant whilst you relax and unwind in luxurious surroundings from £170 per person per night.

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Enjoy dinner in the fine dining restaurant each evening, bed and breakfast in luxurious surroundings, morning coffee, afternoon tea as well as full use of their luxurious leisure facilities, 17m heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym.

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The Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf is connected to the mainland by a small, vehicle bridge located only 10 minutes from the nearest town, Oban, offering the perfect retreat from the city with all the facilities you need located within the hotel’s own island.

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To celebrate the Month of Romance, each two night stay will receive a complimentary bottle of champagne.
Make your stay extra special by booking into one of the spa suites with private conservatory, garden and hot tub!

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Isle of Eriska

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Please see their website for further details.

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Best be quick though, Isle of Eriska only have one room left on Saturday 12th February, with some availability on surrounding dates…

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Isle of Eriska is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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