Charlotte Balbier

style profile: rock n roll bride

April 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Kat Williams by Shell De Mar Photography

image by Shell De Mar Photography

In the world of fashion there are those that lead, those that follow and those that don’t give a royal stuff what everyone else is wearing as they simply do things their own way. Today’s wedding superstar in our Style Profile spotlight certainly fits into the latter.  This afternoon we welcome to our pretty pages, our friend,

kat williams, founder and editor, Rock n Roll Bride blog and magazine.

Stylish Kat is known for standing out from the crowd, not only for her alternative take on weddings, but also her iconic hair (which has so far been vibrant shades of pink, blue and purple). Here the queen of quirky shares her fashion go-tos and what makes her tick in the world of weddings, which of course includes things that sparkle!

How would you describe your nine ‘til five style and what are your key work wardrobe pieces?

kat says: Well, I work from home most of the time so it’s all about comfort! I’m currently wearing sequinned sweatpants from Pink by Victoria’s Secret, a black vest from Topshop and slipper booties from Next. That’s pretty standard daily work wear I’m afraid. There’s nothing glamourous about working from your home office and I honestly think getting all dressed up is a bit of a waste of time! If I have to actually go out and see people I pretty much dress in my uniform of a patterned midi skirt or a plain maxi, a cropped and/or graphic tee and black boots! I love cropped graphic tees – most of mine come from Forever 21, ASOS and Mango. Finding a pair of the perfect black everyday wear appropriate boots is a constant quest! They need to be hard wearing, comfortable and with just the right amount of heel. I think I’m going to get the Scampy boots from Kurt Geiger next!

Kat's 9 to 5

Clockwise from left: T-shirt from ASOS| Boots from Kurt Geiger| Vest top from Topshop| Slipper boots from Next| Sweats from Victoria Secret

What would you wear for a night out drinking cocktails with the girls?

My favourite style of dress is the midi/ maxi skirt, cropped tee and boots combo, or a 50s shaped mid-length dress with some sparkly shoes. I very definitely have a ‘uniform’. I know what styles and shapes suit me so I don’t stray far from them!

If you were currently planning your wedding what would be your top picks in terms of styling, attire, accessories and blooms?

If money was no object I’d wear a Vivienne Westwood couture gown. I saw one at their press event recently and I’m obsessed! My shoes would probably be Miu Miu, or Alexander McQueen or Charlotte Olympia. Something stand-out. And my flowers would no doubt be equally bright and colourful!

Kat's Cocktail Hour

Clockwise from left: Skirt from AQ/AQ| Shoes from Miu Miu| Skirt from Ted Baker| Leather jacket from Ted Baker| Skirt from Ted Baker

Where do you get your fashion inspiration from e.g. celebrities, magazines, catwalks, Instagram?

I love Katy Perry’s style but really I know what does and does not suit me so I’m not REALLY that influenced by what any other people wear. Something that looks amazing on someone else won’t necessarily work with my shape.

What areas of a wedding would you splurge on the most and why?

Photography, because it’s the only thing that remains once the wedding is over (as well as the marriage of course!)

What is your favourite high street store and online shopping site?

ASOS all the way. I also love Ted Baker.

Who is your favourite bridal gown designer and why?

Fur Coat No Knickers are amazing. I love their Flaunt It collection which are made in the UK and based off the vintage dresses they became so well known for. I also adore Vivienne Westwood, and Claire Pettibone, but I also love the idea of getting something custom made.

What has been your biggest fashion splurge so far and was it worth it?

I don’t like to spend too much on frivolous items that you’ll only wear a couple of times, my biggest splash was probably £400 on a pair of sparkly Miu Mius. But I think investing in an amazing leather jacket and comfortable, well-made boots is always going to be money well spent.

Kat's Honeymoon Picks

Clockwise from top left: Trainers from Nike| Dress from DKNY| Face cream from Dior| Cardigan from Urban Outfitters| Face serum from Boots

Where would be your dream honeymoon destination and why? What top five items would you pack in your case?

I travel a lot with work and by this point I’ve probably visited most places on my bucket list! I recently got back from Vegas though and I LOVE it there. I always over pack when I travel and end up bringing things I never get around to wearing, but some things I can’t live without are good skincare and hair items (travel does play havoc with your skin and my bleached hair needs constant attention, I can’t wing it and use hotel shampoo!) and comfortable clothes for the plane.

What is your key piece in your wardrobe that you couldn’t live without?

Sweatpants! Sad but true.

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a friday podcast!

April 10th, 2015 | Julia Braime


A few weeks ago I was honoured to be asked to record a podcast for broadcast on the fantastic industry resource Evolve Your Wedding Business.

In this hour long episode with the website’s founder and host Heidi I discuss what you should know about working with bloggers, how to get the most out of blog advertising, how to get more engagement on social media and how to manage a busy workload.  If you are one of our lovely industry readers (or just curious about how this whole blog thang works behind the scenes!) then why not stick the kettle on, cosy up for an hour and have a listen.

You can listen to our podcast by clicking on the link here. Enjoy!

Before you start, if you are interested in finding out more about Brides Up North, just click here.

I’d love to hear from you with any comments!

what’s covered?

  • What you need to know before submitting a wedding to a blogger
  • The best way to reach out to wedding bloggers
  • How to follow up with a blogger after submitting a wedding
  • How we get such fantastic social media engagement
  • The common threads between wedding professionals who do well with blog advertising
  • Blog advertising best practices & mistakes people make
  • What you should have in place before advertising on a blog
  • How to get the most out of your next wedding fair
  • How to start making connections with wedding bloggers
  • Why you shouldn’t putting wedding bloggers on a pedestal
  • How I juggle the blog, writing, running wedding fairs, and a whole lot more without going nuts
  • How to start building a team

…happy listening!


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petals & pencils. the leafy couture school for florists

February 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (2)

As well as being a source of inspiration and guidance for our brides-to-be we also like to give our supplier followers a helping hand where we can by letting them know about blooming marvellous industry events such as Leafy Couture’s two-day styling class on the 5th and 6th of March 2015, part of their brand new offering - The Leafy Couture School For Florists.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of public speaking on blogging and social media within the wedding and lifestyle sector recently, and I’m honoured to have been invited along to share my top tips in a dedicated session during this special event.

I love hosting smaller group sessions like these, and if hearing about my recent adventures into the world of coaching have peaked your interest a little do watch out for some very exclusive workshops launching here soon.

But back to those flowers.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (1)
Our good friend and the wonderful talent behind Leafy Couture Sarah Richardson, has a an amazing portfolio that comes with some serious clout. This incredible lady has vast experience in the world of weddings having worked on hundreds over the past eight years, from marquees to grand stately homes, she is truly passionate about couples’ big days.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (4)

Her work is regularly featured in national wedding magazines and local press as well as on numerous national and international wedding blogs, including Brides Up North. She’s also one of our go-to-girls for styling at our industry events and creative shoots, delivering impressive blooms every single time. To add to her credentials Sarah has taught floristry to BTEC Level 3 as a college tutor, demonstrated at RHS Harrogate Flower Show and has recently been nominated for a Wedding Magazine blogging award, phew!

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (5)

She’s therefore incredibly well placed to support others in their passion for flowers through both her group styling events and one-to-one mentoring sessions. Whether amateur or experienced a lot can be learnt from this lady and we’re sure some of our florist friends will be keen to go back to school if it means gaining tricks of the trade from Ms Richardson.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (6)

But enough from me, I’ll hand over the pages to Sarah to explain in more detail what her upcoming styling event has to offer – catch you there!

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (9)

sarah says: This class is especially for florists who are wanting to build their confidence in the world of weddings.

We will hold your hand and guide you through a series of arrangements to build your portfolios. We will introduce you to a wedding planner, wedding blogger and events team to get insider tips on how to get on in the industry.

And there’s more. We’ll help you work on building your own style and create images for your websites and social media. We will guide you through our processes with wedding appointments and show you how to create wedding bouquets, buttonholes, flower crowns and then style a ceremony and wedding breakfast with large scale designs such as urns and an archway.

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (7)

All classes take place in The Chili Barn, Otley – a real wedding venue, where we will show you all the things you need to think about when working on site and fill your head with ideas. You will be working on your own and also as part of a team as you would in a real life wedding situation.

This is a two-day course with all refreshments, including tea and coffee and cake and a delicious lunch, provided. All material, aprons, workbooks and flower material will also be supplied.

Places are limited so each student will get maximum experience and attention. A basic knowledge of flowers and floristry is preferable but we are on hand to guide you every step of the way.

We shall have a photographer on site but you are advised to bring a camera too or a smart phone. All students will get a free skype or phone mentoring session a month after the course to continue the support. Students will also get free access to our new E-Book chapter on wedding flower appointments and session hand outs.

Hope to see you there!

Leafy Couture School For Florists  by James Melia (8)

For more details about the styling class, costing £600 per person, and Leafy Couture’s one-to-one mentoring sessions, please email Sarah at, or visit

Images by James Melia.

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2015, Unveiled.

January 5th, 2015 | Julia Braime


I’m crazy excited to welcome readers old and new (hey, if you just popped a ring on your finger – congratulations!- you are in the right place) to these pretty pages for our first feature of 2015, and to finally be able to share the big news that I’ve been hinting at (and #hashtagging) all over our social networks during the Christmas break.

As of today, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be joining the team at the North’s glossiest bridal magazine, Unveiled, as Editor.

Editor! How very Anna Wintour!

Issue Three of this beautiful, coffee-table book style publication is about to land this month, and after that, I’ll be taking the creative reins alongside the publishing team to build on the quality, luxury and creativity that the team has already achieved in their inaugural issues.

Readers, we are going high-end and cutting edge.

I’ve always had a passion for print, and a background in glossy mags before a career in law is what pushed me to create this award winning wedding blog just over four years ago. I’ve flirted with the idea of creating an annual Brides Up North publication, but after the publisher of Unveiled approached me last year, a collaboration with this stunning title was an idea that I’ve just not been able to let lie.

I’m excited and nervous in equal measure, but there was no way that I was turning down this amazing opportunity and dream role.

I’m brimming with ideas that I think are beautifully different and will push the boundaries of bridal publishing. I’ve never been busier on Pinterest’s secret boards, and my office is currently dominated by some very large mood boards. I can’t wait to get going!

And what does all this mean for Brides Up North? Well, everything and nothing, really. First up, your favourite blog isn’t going anywhere. I’ll be here, sharing inspirational real weddings, fashion features, supplier showcases and personal posts on a double daily basis. Forever.  Or until Kim Kardashian really does break the internet. We’re actually working on expanding our team to support an increased editorial schedule, more Brides Up North branded events, some very special styled shoots and even a Brides Up North You-Tube channel (watch out for that one!).

2015 is the year that we plan to get bigger, better and more beautiful.

I’m hopeful that the diversity and opportunity that comes from heading up a print title will also fuel and further creativity and contacts for our online content too.  As well as having my finger firmly on the pulse of all the prettiest content and news from the bridal front line, I’ll also be sharing behind the scenes gossip and editorial insights with my online readers.

My first issue of Unveiled goes to print in July 2015 and I’m so excited to get started.  Until then, I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s all going right here, or you can follow my progress via our social media channels over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you’re an industry reader who’d like to work with either Brides Up North or Unveiled, I’d love to hear from you.  You can contact me here. 

2015. let’s do this!

Is it too early for a glass of Champagne?

To check out previous issues of Unveiled, click here and here.

Unveiled 2

Unveiled 1

Unveiled 3

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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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