Brides Up North

Wedding Blog Winner: A £300 Online Spree With Simply Be!

February 4th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Well, doesn’t time fly!  It’s already time to announce the rather lucky winner of our fabulous New Year’s competition to win a £300 online shopping spree (and what I wouldn’t give for a £300 online shopping spree right now) with Brides Up North sponsor, Simply Be..

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Isabella by Simply Be

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If you aren’t already familiar with Simply Be, the online retailer exclusively for sizes 14 – 32, have just launched a rather beautiful – and affordable (particularly if you take home today’s bacon, right?!) – bridal range especially for the fashion conscious plus size bride.  Go see their beautiful new Bridal Boutique and exclusive new collection.

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The team say: Feel divine on your wedding day in one of our stunning plus size wedding dresses. Our angel-sleeve wedding dress in a sumptuous oyster shade features flattering arm coverage and beautiful beading on an empire line silhouette. The ivory coloured petal trim dress has a fabulously feminine feel, with pretty ruffled straps and a super floaty fabric to have you gliding down the aisle. For those who like a little more arm coverage, the clean lines of our long sleeved wedding dress are perfect. Or for something a little different, pick our knot-front bridal gown in soft blush peach – it makes a gorgeous plus size bridesmaid dress too and is available with a matching bridal shrug.

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Grace by Simply Be

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But for now, I know that you are just waiting to see who our winner is.  Get ready to spend…

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Stephanie Clarke

January 26, 2013 |

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My mum and me are a larger sized girl,
Wedding soon, we’re in a whirl.
Bridal and accessories would be a dream,
With Simply Be I’ll look supreme.

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Huge congratulations Stephanie*, that’s poetry in motion for you!  Please contact me as soon as possible to claim your prize.  And for the rest of you (and me) there’s always the overdraft, right…?

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*Winner drawn at random. The judges’ decision is final. No cash alternative. The winner’s contact details will be passed to Simply Be to allow you to claim your prize.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Simply Be

This is a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Wedding Blog Winner! A Real Wedding (With A Pug & A Bouncy Castle!) By Assassynation – Alex & Jade

September 24th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Way back in April 2011, I ran a month of competitions here on the wedding blog to celebrate the Royal Wedding.  One of the amazing prizes donated by a whole host of our favourite suppliers was the chance to win your wedding photography – completely free – with super snapper and Brides Up North Featured Supplier Assassynation.

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Bouncy Castle Wedding by Assassynation

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Our chosen winner, Jade, wrote:  

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Dear Brides Up North and Sassy,

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Hello! My fella Alex and I are getting married in Lincolnshire on Sept 8th 2012, and we think we should win because not only will our wedding be a bit different, you will also get to meet some diddy Shetland ponies!

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We got engaged after two years together in January, when Alex proposed by putting the ring around the collar of a lovely old wrinkly pug dog wearing a sparkly bow-tie- for us, it doesn’t get any better than that!

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From the start we knew we didn’t want a ‘conventional’ wedding, with no formalities and within a £4000 budget- we just couldn’t imagine standing in the ‘receiving line’, awkwardly shaking hands and air-kissing the people we really just wanted to be partying with instead! So that kind of set the whole theme of the wedding- just a big old knees up, where everyone mingles and there’s no pressure other than to have a good time!

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So over the months, we have come up with the idea of a big old English garden party (possibly not the most unique idea ever, but one we love!). And this has led us to the fun bit (found with the help of another Sassy bride, Gem of ‘Gem and Dan’s farm-wedding’ fame!)- the whole day is going to take place at a Heavy Horse Centre!
They house some of Britain’s biggest horses, and several tiiiiiiiny Shetlands, who are ridiculously cute when they come running up to you like excitable puppies!! They are being kind enough to lend us their fields to hold our wedding day in, and are even letting us use the big horses to do cart rides for the guests and the little horses for some fun photos!

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We’re going to have a low-key legal ceremony the day before, to allow us to have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony the next day that everyone will attend. Think hay bale seating, pastel cushions and throws, pug bridesmaids and a floral ‘altar’… hopefully it’ll look amazing and the good old English weather stays in our favour! The ceremony will be officiated by a friend, and afterwards we’ll all go to the next field where there’ll be a canvas marquee, decorated in bunting and pastel colours, for the afternoon tea-style reception (complete with vintage china, which has been so much fun to collect!).

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Guests will be greeted with jam jars of Pimms or home-made lemonade, and then invited to help themselves to a buffet lunch. Dessert will be in the form of a ‘bake-off’- all guests are being asked to bring a dessert, and we’ll judge which one is best (for a bit of fun!). There will be a bouncy castle and an ice-cream van to keep kids and grown-up kids entertained, and in the evening we’re having a ceilidh band for a bit of a barn dance. Evening guests will be getting a good old hog-roast, and there’ll be a mid-afternoon raffle for a bit of fun, and also to help raise funds for the horses!

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I think Sassy’s style would really bring out the best of our wedding in pictures- your pictures are beautifully soft and light, and create a wonderful feeling of fun and romance- something which we’re hoping to bring out in bucket loads on our day!

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So in short – after the essay above! – please pick us, as we love your photos, and hope to do them justice with our DIY knees-up! Plus, who else will be able to offer you a ride on a shire horse or a cuddle with a Shetland??!

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Thanks!

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Jade x

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Well, Jade’s big day actually turned out a little differently in the end – as all best laid plans do – but Sassy was still there to capture the whole beautiful occasion for her on camera!

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With images by Assassynation, and words by our winner Jade.

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Assassynation

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Jade says:  We got engaged on January 19th 2011. Alex proposed at PJ’s Pie Pub in Boston, Lincs. They had a resident pug (those who know me know my obsession with pugs, and at the time we didn’t have our Teddy!) and Alex arranged to have him be ‘ring-bearer’, so as we were waiting for our desserts, out comes a smushy faced dog with a ring on his collar! It was perfect!

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Assassynation

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Assassynation

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We got married at Bateman’s Brewery in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire on 28th July 2012. We had originally planned to have an outdoor, marquee wedding, but you’d be amazed how hard this is to organise in a county that is essentially all field! We found a perfect place in Northcote Heavy Horse Centre in Lincolnshire, but as they were sadly at risk of closure, we decided we couldn’t take the risk of having it there. So after lots of searching, lots of ‘weddingy’ and overpriced venues, we popped into the Brewery visitor centre for a beer, and our venue was born!

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Assassynation

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Our venue was just exactly what we wanted- not too large, relaxed, plenty of things to do and best of all it was seriously reasonably priced! Judy, the manager, is an absolute star- nothing phased her, every request was happily accepted, and we felt so relaxed and confident in the run-up knowing we had someone so fantastic doing the organising!

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We didn’t have a theme as such, other than ‘relaxed, well-fed and fun’. We tried to keep it to a vintage style, with china cups and saucers, bunting and the usual! When we entered Brides Up North’s competition to win Assassynation as our photographer (which we were over the moon to win!), we had wanted an outdoor ceremony, with a marquee reception, hay bales, paper pompoms, the whole shebang – however, venue changes kind of scuppered that, but we managed to keep the essence of the day, which was RELAXED!

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Bateman’s have a super cute little cottage on their premises, so I was lucky enough to stay there the night before, with my mum and sister. We had a hilarious night trying to get pizza delivered, as we discovered we were locked into the grounds once Judy had left!

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I was really nervous on the morning of the wedding- I’d not slept, the combination of tiredness and nervous nausea was getting me down as I’m normally very calm and un-phased by things. I loved spending the morning with my best girlies, and they did a fab job of keeping me excited rather than nervous. But when I was putting my make-up on, I was on my own in the bedroom, and I realised I could see the guests arriving from the window- I just watched everyone milling around, chatting, and looking really happy- it was then I realised there was nothing to be nervous about, I was about to spend the day with everyone who means the most to us, and who we wanted to be part of our day. Well, until they caught me watching, and I had to move rooms to avoid being spotted!

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Assassynation

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I’d always known I’d feel happiest in a 50’s style dress, as that’s my usual style. As soon as we got engaged, I clocked the Justin Alexander 8465 and fell in love with it. Luckily, I managed to find one that had been worn once before, at half the original price, which fit perfectly! During the planning, I had several dress wobbles, and even up to 8 weeks before the day I was google-ing alternative dresses – but other brides have reassured me this is normal! My only wedding regret is that we didn’t have a budget that would stretch to a Candy Anthony dress, but on the day I felt comfortable and got lots of compliments, so I’m glad I stuck with my original dress. My shoes were a pre-worn pair of Rachel Simpson shoes which were quite scuffed on the sole so I got them for a bargain!

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Assassynation

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My bridesmaids wore dresses from the high street, I couldn’t tell you where from though! I had the very challenging issue of having two very new mums and one still expecting, so we couldn’t go dress shopping till very near to the actual date – one of the girls only got their dress the Tuesday before the wedding! Their shoes were also high street and I bought them a Jenny Packham necklace to wear. Alex’s suit was a perfect fit from Marks and Spencer, and his groomsmen were all high-street. We intentionally didn’t want anyone matching, as we think it looks too formal, so the boys had free choice over what they wore!

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We were extremely lucky to win our wedding photography through Brides Up North with Sassy from Assassynation. Seriously, this was the highlight of wedding planning – Sassy is such a fantastic person, always so upbeat and positive, I really enjoyed our email conversations and feel quite sad the process is over now! Every time Sassy posted a new wedding, or had a blog feature, I would get so excited imagining how our pictures would look as her work is just incredible. She is a gem of the photography world, and we absolutely love our pictures! So thanks, both Brides Up North and Sassy!

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We also hired Frank, of Sassy’n’Frank, as our videographer – very much recommended, he’s such a great bloke, he’s full of humour and always fun to chat with via email and Twitter! Our video is so lovely, and it really compliments the style of Sassy’s pictures, we love watching it – if anyone is considering getting a videographer, I’d say go for it! You’ll never regret seeing your wedding in motion!

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Assassynation

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For my bouquet I carried a bunch that was meant to look handpicked from the garden- I know it had roses, cornflowers, rosemary and gyps in it, but I couldn’t tell you much else! The lady was a local florist recommended by Bateman’s, and she did a great job making the table flowers look just the right level of messy-flowers-from-the-garden. There was a bit of a miscommunication with the bridesmaid’s flowers, they were going to have a small corsage (for convenience in view of the babies!) and they received a wristband that resembled something a Power-Ranger might wear. Luckily, my hairdresser’s boyfriend is a florist/dressmaker/mechanic(!) so he saved the day and turned them into pins to wear on their dresses, which looked much better!

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Assassynation

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I handmade a heart-shaped felt brooch for every guest, which our brothers gave out as people were walking in. We didn’t bother with an order of service, but I did hand-stamp the table plan and all name cards- not recommended, my arms ached for days afterwards!

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Assassynation

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We hired a bouncy castle and light up letters from Vowed and Amazed. We were lucky they agreed to deliver to us, as we’re so far away from their base. The bouncy castle went down a storm, and looks amazing in the pictures. Sadly the letter A fell over earlier in the evening and the bulbs broke, so we didn’t get any pictures with Sassy of them- which is a shame as they looked great!

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Assassynation

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Our cake was a red velvet sponge, with chocolate cupcakes. We also had plain Viccy sponges, donuts, and a gorgeous home-made Pavlova for variety!

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Assassynation   Assassynation

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We did our own iTunes playlist, luckily for us Bateman’s has an in-built PA system. The playlist was perhaps one of the more stressful parts of the planning, but we got there in the end with a pretty cracking set!

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Assassynation

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Assassynation   Assassynation

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After the wedding we spent two amazing weeks in the Riviera Maya, Mexico – thoroughly recommended!

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My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t stress over all the little details- chances are, none of your guests will know how long it took to glue all the bloomin’ brooches together (just me then?!) – they want to be there to celebrate your marriage with you! And definitely get a bouncy castle- amazing for all ages, though over 25 and you’re risking a pulled groin and concussion!

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Assassynation

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Congratulations Alex & Jade!

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Fancy seeing your Real Wedding here on Brides Up North?  Just get in touch.

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  – Images © 2012 Assassynation

This is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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A Word From Our Winner, With Brides Up North & The Harrogate Wedding Lounge

July 23rd, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Back in January, I was thrilled to contact one wedding blog reader with some amazing news – her name had been picked at random from over 1,000 entrants on the blog and in person at the Brides Up North stand at wedding fairs across the region to win her dream wedding dress and accessories worth £1,500 with Brides Up North Featured Supplier, The Harrogate Wedding Lounge.

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Breaking the happy news to Kat, our bride to be, has to have been one of the highlights of my career as a to date.  As someone who spends a lot of time behind a computer screen it was amazing to reach out to one of my readers personally and deliver such a knockout message. 

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This afternoon, I am thrilled to welcome her to these swirly silver pages as she tells us what the prize meant to her and a little about her wedding plans.  Congratulations Kat!

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Kat says:  Neil and I have been a couple for almost 12 years now, we were friends for a while (having met at school) before we both finally realised that we were totally perfect for each other and made it official. We’ve been engaged for two years and to say his proposal came as a totally shock to me is a bit of an understatement. I’m obviously thrilled to be marrying my best friend and love of my life but, as we’d always agreed that we didn’t need to get married, it genuinely took a while for me to get my head around the concept, not to mention deciding how and when we wanted to do the deed. I didn’t really know where to start which is why I went online for inspiration and how I found Brides Up North.

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Kat with her fiancé Neil in a very different sort of outfit! (I hope!) 

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Neither of us are particularly conventional so a typically traditional wedding was never on the cards. We knew we wanted to do something that was ‘us’ but we didn’t know what it would be. After throwing ideas around for a few months we hit upon the idea of marrying on a cruise. We’ve always wanted to go to the Baltic and we found the perfect (Summer 2012) itinerary that will allow us to combine our dream holiday with our wedding.

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Winning a wedding dress from The Harrogate Wedding Lounge with Brides Up North is literally the most amazing thing to happen to me since Neil proposed! When I got the email from Julia I just sat staring at the laptop screen with my mouth open. After reading the email about SIX times, I rang my Mum to tell her the news and she was almost as excited as me. I’m the first to admit, I’m not a particularly girly girl – I own about five dresses which only see the light of day once in a blue moon. I do love glamming up, I just don’t do it very often so it’s not exactly my area of expertise. Which is why I’m SO happy to have won this prize. I had no idea where to start on my journey to find the perfect dress so this is a dream come true.

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I couldn’t have imagined a more enjoyable experience than I had choosing my dress. Hayley was amazing – down-to-earth, knowledgeable and super helpful. Anyone who thinks that wedding boutiques and their owners are full of airs and affectations will be instantly proven wrong with a visit to The Harrogate Wedding Lounge. The shop itself is just lovely – welcoming and weddingy without being overly romanticised.

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I literally didn’t have a clue what kind of dress I wanted though I knew it wouldn’t be a ‘princess dress’ simply because I’ve never aspired to look like one. That said, I tried to be open-minded when I browsed the racks of (stunning!) gowns – you never really know if a dress will suit you until you put it on. I tried on four dresses and the fourth was ‘the one’, a strapless Maggie Sottero with beautiful but subtle beading, a corset back and some great pleating on the front (both of which should help cover any over indulgence on cruise food in the week before the wedding day!).

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I was bowled over when Hayley said I could also choose some shoes as part of my prize. A free dress AND free shoes?! Days don’t get much better than that! Again I was almost spoilt for choice as The Harrogate Wedding Lounge stocks an impressive collection of Rainbow Club shoes. I chose the ‘Santi’ – the practical side of my brain said ‘Go for some flat pumps’ but the (considerably more vocal) shoe-loving side of my brain said “Get the gorgeous 3.5 inch heels and damn the consequences!” – so I did.

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I still can’t quite believe that I have a wedding dress, my wedding dress, let alone the fact that I was gifted the whole beautiful outfit.  I can’t begin say a big enough ‘Thank you!” to both Hayley and Julia for making it all possible. I just can’t wait to wear it now.

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Once again, huge congratulations from both Brides Up North and The Harrogate Wedding Lounge to Kat – we can’t wait to see some pictures of you in your chosen gown!

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  – Image © 2012 supplied by Kat Dray

The Harrogate Wedding Lounge is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Wedding Blog WINNER! £2,000 To Spend With Award Winning Confetti & Lace!

June 29th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Does anyone have that Friday feeling already?  The only thing I miss about working for “the man” is the intense feeling of elation I felt every Friday at around about 4:55pm. 

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Now that I’m my own boss and love what I do, plus the fact that you’ll just as likely find me at my desk, out at a shoot or at a wedding event all day on a Saturday means that the feeling has diminished a little, but I still think that Friday has a certain magic.

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It’s going to get a whole lot more magical for one Brides Up North reader today too, as today I get to announce the winner, drawn by random number generator*, of our headline Spring competition to  win your wedding day clothing for the bride, groom, ushers and bridesmaids worth up to £2,000 with Brides Up North Featured Supplier Award Winning Confetti & Lace. 

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You can read all about Award Winning Confetti & Lace and their (award winning) service in this interview, definitely worth a visit for any bride to be and her bridal party. 

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Over 1000 (!) of you entered (1283 to be exact) both online and at the Brides Up North Wedding Exclusives and Super Showcase events this Spring, but there could only ever be one winner.  Thank you so much to everyone for taking part and believe me when I say that I wish I could make each and every one of your day’s today. 

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Let’s quickly recap the prize.  Today’s winning bride will scoop:

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Wedding Dress from Brides of Harrogate

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Brides of Harrogate is the largest bridal store in the North of England, right in the centre of the beautiful spa town of Harrogate with ample forecourt parking. It houses some of the most sought after bridal gowns from top designers such as Pronovias, Benjamin Roberts, Justin Alexander and more.

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There are also large bridesmaid, prom and special occasion wear departments stocking the latest styles in up to 55 colour options with sizes 6-28 catered for! As a premiere stockist of American designer Dessy.com there is a huge choice all of which can be matched to menswear waistcoats and ties – even down to bridesmaids shoes. There are large individual changing rooms and there’s even a menswear department downstairs – all under one roof!

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Your prize from Brides of Harrogate will include:

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A beautiful designer wedding gown up to £1,000 in value.

Half price fittings if required (can be either at our Leeds or Harrogate stores).

Free bottle of bubbly for the lucky bride.

Half price dry cleaning after the event.

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Bridesmaid dresses from Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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Multi-award winning Confetti and Lace of Leeds are leading providers of wedding, bridesmaid and prom dresses in Yorkshire. With bridesmaid styles from fantastic designers as Kelsey Rose, Alfred Angelo and Impression Bridal in many colour options and in store alterations services, you’ll be spoilt for choice! .

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Your prize from Confetti and Lace will include:

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3 Bridesmaid Dresses from any of our Designer Ranges up to £200 each.

Up to 55 colour options in sizes from 8-32 (ages 2-16 for Flower Girls/Juniors).

Complimentary bubbly and drinks in store.

Half price alteration charges if required.

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Menswear from Yorkshire Menswear.com

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Yorkshire Menswear have a branch in Rodley, Leeds and one in the heart of Harrogate. Hire is from an amazing £49 and they are leading suppliers of Cameron Ross providing suits for weddings, black tie events, prom’s, race wear and also carry a great selection of kilts.

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Some of your party outside of Yorkshire? No problem, book with Yorkshire Menswear.com and they can provide free measure and collection via over 150 outlets nationwide! Tall and large parties catered for.

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Finalists for Best UK Groomsmen Retailer 2012 – top 5 companies in the UK!

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Your prize from Yorkshire Menswear.com will include:

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Up to 4 FREE menswear suit hire packages worth up to £400 in total from our main ranges.

Packages include 7 items including suit, waistcoat, shirt, tie, hanky and cufflinks.

2 Professional suit fittings.

Huge choice and range with jackets up to 60” chest.

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Award Winning Confetti & Lace

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And, without further ado, the lucky winner is…

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Kimberly

June 11, 2012 | Been with my fantastic fiancé for 10 years next year and we are finally getting married! We are finding it so hard saving and would love a little help, this would be a dream come true, fingers and everything crossed!

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Congratulations Kimberley!  You are a winner! 

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Please contact me by email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk to claim your prize.

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For everyone who didn’t win – better luck next time – and watch this space as I’ll be bringing you news of more fabulous Brides Up North competitions very shortly. 

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Have a lovely Friday everybody!

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*drawn using a random number generator at www.random.org

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  – Images © 2012 supplied by Award Winning Confetti & Lace

Award Winning Confetti & Lace is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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