June 16th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Well, hello there! Happy Monday to you my lovely reader.
So. It’s really very nearly time to unveil the glam new look that I’ve been working on behind the scenes here at Brides Up North since the turn of the year (and procrastinating on since early 2013 – maternity leave can do that to you). We’re so excited to give these pretty pages a little makeover, add some snazzy new features and bring the whole Brides Up North experience up a notch.
Not to worry though, you won’t suddenly find our head in the clouds and you won’t be needing a map. We’re purposely keeping the layout and functions of the site familiar so that you can still find your way around quickly and easily (the experience should just be glossier and more useful) and you’ll still feel loved – everyone’s welcome at our party! You just need to be Northern, and proud of it…
To celebrate, we’re busy working on a whole host of great new features and seeking the advice of a lauded panel of industry experts – the very best in the business, no less- who’ll also be taking their places on the inaugural Brides Up North Team Excellent Panel to administer help, advice and inspiration liberally (and sprinkle a few sequins here and there).
As a blogger and creative events director, I’m used to instant gratification for my efforts. Curate a pretty feature and boom! – there it is for all to see and share, host an excellent event and voila! – the internet is filled with rave reviews and re-bookings. This is different. The site’s makeover has been a real labour of love and has taken longer than I ever imagined. Functional tweaks (upon tweaks), a dedicated branding shoot – sneak peeks of which I’ve been leaking for the past month or so, a couple of the images here – key image choices, font selection, layout decisions, team selection, features planning, writing, writing, writing and re-writing, self doubt, paranoia and self loathing (ok, not those last two)… but it’s been hard work, and I bet you’ve been wondering what I do all day between event seasons!?
Tear my hair out, mainly.
I just hope you all love the new look as much as I do. It’s coming really soon, I promise.
Amongst all the grafting, there are sometimes some nice surprises! Working late on some top secret web stuff last night, inbox pinging away with Sunday submissions (it’s one of our busiest times of the week), I was pleased to find amongst them a happy little email from The Wedding Industry Experts Awards 2014. Turns out that Brides Up North has picked up a few awards this season – Most Popular Wedding Show or Fair, West Yorkshire & Most Popular Wedding Blog, West Yorkshire (are there any others?!?), and named a top 5 National & Worldwide Finalist in both categories. Well, thank you very much! That’s certainly a boost just as I needed it.
We keep banging on about it, but I’ll say it again – our mission is to get you ladies thinking local and to promote the fabulous wedding industry talent that we have right here on our doorstep in the North of the UK. To take the crown in our home County really is something that I’m very proud of indeed.
Now whilst the recognition is nice, The Wedding Experts Awards is a huge process, with many categories and spanning the entire wedding industry and (being honest) to win can sometimes feel a little like pot luck. Lovely – icing on the cake of a lovely Sunday pot luck – but all the same, there is one rather more niche (and very special) awards process that we’d really, really like to do well in again this year. While we’re on a roll, I’d love it if you could give us a hand.
I’ve already told you all about what a fabulous honour it was to take home a Wedding Blog Award for “Best Big Day Inspiration” in 2013, and we’d love to join the Wedding Magazine winners circle again this year. Let’s keep this Northern Revolution going!
Brides Up North campaigns tirelessly to encourage brides to think local and support our fabulous regional wedding industry… so lets show the rest of the UK what we can do!
Click here to VOTE for Brides Up North. We love you! It literally takes a moment, and would mean so, so much to us.
Nominations close on Thursday 26th June 2014.
Thank you, so much x
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March 26th, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you’re a regular reader of Brides Up North, you’ll know that last autumn I was thrilled to be a recipient of a Wedding Blog Award from the lovely people at Wedding Magazine and voted for by you, my readers.
As a lot of our “office hours” here at Brides Up North HQ are dedicated to managing our events, business admin, meetings and email enquiries, I spend a lot of long lonely hours working on the actual editorial content for the site (often long into the night when the rest of my young family is finally sleeping!) and the recognition of our contribution to the online wedding world really did mean a lot to me. In fact, it still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling now! It’s nice to be appreciated!
We’ve been so busy at Brides Up North with our branded events and other exciting projects for 2014 (watch this space) that we’re a little behind recapping all our great coverage in the industry press in late 2013 and earlier on this year.
Image: Paul Cahill
I wrote an excited post from my London hotel room the day after the Awards (absolutely no hangover, that’s the high quality Ritz Champagne for you: I drank a lot of it!) and you can read my recap here, but I wanted to share the official round up of the evening from the hosts themselves and my “Five Minutes With” feature from my interview in the “Winner’s Enclosure” immediately after collecting my prize and a kiss from Mark-Francis (offa Made In Chelsea).
Once again, a huge thank you to my readers and industry supporters for your votes. Brides Up North wouldn’t work without you, and I am so grateful for your daily input and love. In my interview, I say that the ethos behind behind the blog is that “I want to spread the message that the Northern wedding industry is full of inspirational people and make their voices heard”. That will never change. This is your blog, for your wedding, in your local area. Think local, be inspired and make the most of the exceptional talent on your doorstep. That’s the Northern Revolution… and it’s rumbling on!
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January 22nd, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s time for another online/ offline catch up folks. The Editorials is a series I run occasionally here on the wedding blog, bringing the offline bridal freelance writing that I do on a monthly basis for numerous glossy magazines online.
“It’s All In The Detail” was a piece penned by moi and first published in National Glossy, Wedding Magazine as a part of my Trend Alert series of columns (although it’s contents have been tweeted a few times since then)! I hope it inspires you to accessorise wisely…
I said: No longer content with just the church, dress and swish wheels, trendsetting brides and grooms are thinking outside the box when it comes to the finer details of their big day.
This isn’t about following the crowd and installing a job lot of teacups, typewriters and the prerequisite bird cage table centres, but selecting unique props and decorating details that say something about the your individual tastes and interests and using them as a backdrop to your celebration.
Dan Jones Photography
A plan is essential. It’s all too easy to get carried away at the car boot sales and lose sight of your initial vision. This isn’t an episode of ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’. Before the great rummage begins, consider your theming carefully and arm yourself with a wish list to avoid expensive mistakes. Consider enlisting the services of a prop hire or event styling specialist who will help you to bring more ambitious ideas to life.
A Personal Touch
Whatever decorating details you add to your big day, the most effective schemes will be those that really mean something to you as a couple. Travel mad? Vintage suitcases, picture postcards and grand old maps in place of table runners can add nostalgia and romance to your celebration. Love cycling? How about a bicycle made for two?
Some of the more popular grand schemes like festival or circus themed weddings need commitment to work. If in doubt, add bulk and colour – reams of rainbow streamers or paper pompoms en masse are a cheaper alternative to filling the room with flowers, and in some scenarios more definitely is more!
Before embarking on a decorating extravaganza, remember to do your sums. Props and detailing should really be somewhere near the bottom of your budget and an optional extra rather than essential expense. Decide what’s more important to you – 100 Greek urns or your Santorini honeymoon (and I’m not judging!) and budget accordingly.
Jonny Draper Photography, Shelley Hughes Photography
Nothing For The Sake Of It
Often, the most stylish weddings are the simplest affairs. Don’t feel pressured to over-style your day if a themed celebration just isn’t your bag. You can still add personal touches with your favourite flowers, photographs of loved ones or a carefully chosen playlist.
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited
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November 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime
So. Recent press for this little wedding blog, eh? It appears that there’s quite a lot to cover.
2013 has been one busy year. (I wouldn’t have it any other way).
“Here Comes The… Bridal Business!” Brides Up North is profiled in Fabulous Magazine’s Careers Issue
(to over 8 million readers no less!)
“It’s All In The Detail” – an inspirational three page spread on decor and details in Wedding Magazine
“Snap Happy!” A three page guest feature in brand new Unveiled Magazine
“Catwalk Queen” – getting excited about the 2014 bridal collections in Loved Up Magazine
“Picture Perfect” – more photography talk in Mosaic Brides
“Wedding Venues – The Expert Opinions” in Belle Bridal Magazine
“Bridal Buzz” Catching up on a year’s worth of columns in Etc Magazine
That’s where all the magic happens, first. Get involved!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 Brides Up North
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October 9th, 2013 | Julia Braime
I’m waking up this morning in an apartment just off Leicester Square with a slightly tingling head, a huge goody bag (adding to the Christmas morning effect) and a lovely little Wedding Blog Award, courtesy of Wedding Magazine, their gorgeous judging panel – including industry greats Ciara Elliott, Ian Stuart, Emily Johnston and Stephen Moran – and YOU my dear readers and supporters.
It was a brilliant day yesterday and to win an Award was really just the icing on what was already a very lovely cake. We were really just there for a very Ritz-y night out! After lunching in Covent Garden and getting our Shellac on courtesy of the Spa at the W Hotel, Ellie – who you may have met if you’ve attended one of our luxury bridal exhibitions this Autumn – and I headed back to the apartment to put our glitz on. A quick taxi ride down the Mall (our heels were too high, darlings!) took us to the famous Ritz Hotel.
Now, I worked on Old Bond Street in a former life and walked past The Ritz every day on my way to the office, but I’ve never actually been inside. What a treat! The hotel’s private dining area had been dressed to the nines and my fellow bloggers, Award sponsors, judges and magazine mavens gathered under the ornate cornicing for delectable canapés and absolute vats of champagne.
I was concentrating on catching up (hello to the Bespoke Bride lovelies, Kat and Gareth, Wedding Sparrow, Nu Bride, Gemma at Ian Stuart, Sophie from Paradox London, the Sandals girls, Charlie at London Bride, Sonia at Want That Wedding and Editor Ciara and her team at Wedding Magazine – you gals and guys rock) and getting stuck into the bubbly when the Awards ceremony began, so to say that I was surprised when Mark Francis read out my blog’s name as the winner in the Best Big Day Inspiration category was an understatement. A very lovely surprise indeed.
After collecting our Award I was whisked off for photographs and interviews to camera, then headed back to the main area to cheer on the rest of my colleagues.
What followed next is a bit of a blur – far more champagne, goody bag looting and a totter to Whisky Mist where a lack of ID (and at 31, being asked for ID is never a bad thing, even if everyone else was being asked for it too) meant that Ellie and I decided to bail out and find food. Cue a slap up Chinese, lots of laughs and a happy night’s sleep. As new mum, I’ll never knock a lie in, either!
London’s been exciting, but I’m off to catch the train back ‘Up North as we’re busy in the office this week planning for our Luxury Bridal Exhibition at Nostell Priory this weekend (click here to pre-register, we’d love to see you there) and I can’t wait for some cuddles from my baby girl too. Beats a whip around Harrods any day!
But, before I go – and I’ll be back on these pages later on with more wedding pretty for you – a huge, huge thank you to each and every one of you who voted for Brides Up North. Your support means so much to me and my little team, as we strive to keep this Northern Revolution marching on. We couldn’t do it without you, and we wouldn’t want to either.
So, Brides Up North – this one’s for you!
Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2013 Brides Up North
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October 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime
Our suitcases are packed full of high heels, sparkle and hot pink lipstick. We’re laden with the latest issues of all our favourite glossies. We’ve raided the sandwich section in M&S for Percy Pigs (travel essential).
I am so proud that my blog has been nominated for an award at this evening’s ceremony, alongside a bevvy of other beauties, and would like to say a huge thank you to you – our readers and supporters – who voted in your hundreds and made that happen. I love you.
With a very hectic schedule of features writing, events co-ordination and spending time with my little family, I didn’t need asking twice when Wedding Magazine’s little golden invitation dropped through our letter box. Never mind the awards, a night out is a night out!
But then I read on… it’s only a night out at the bloomin’ Ritz, hosted by Mark Francis (of Made In Chelsea fame, darlings!) and the perfect chance to catch up with my lovely fellow bloggers. Sold. I was down the shops outfit hunting quicker than you could say “babysitter”.
In the end, I’ve opted for a little silky number I already had in the back of my wardrobe, but with a blow dry booked, freshly manicured nails, my glam assistant Ellie on my arm and a glass of Champagne in hand, I’ll be ready to celebrate.
Whether we win it or not, we’re definitely going to show them how it’s done, Northern style.
(Maybe not as above).
That Northern Revolution? It’s happening people…
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