Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe we are welcoming a shiny new year already? Welcome, one and all, new readers and old, to what looks set to be a very exciting 2018 for Brides Up North, our readers, sponsors and friends.
I think a few of you might have a shiny new diamond on your ring finger to match the sparkly new start, so I thought I’d take a moment – in this updated, annual welcome post – to say hi there, and tell you what our little corner of the internets (and beyond) is all about. As we say over on our ‘about’ page, 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. 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.
The Brides Up North brand has become extremely well known away from the pages of the blog too. We have a loyal and local offline following and Brides Up North have hosted well over 100 luxury bridal events under our brand name since 2012, and have almost 40 planned in 2018 alone. We’d love to see you at one (or all… there’s a challenge!) of them!
2017 was an amazing year here at wedding blog HQ, and I still have to pinch myself when I think how far we’ve come from the first few tentative posts tapped out in my spare room during the summer of 2010. We “launched” – and I use those inverted commas very seriously indeed – on the day of the Royal Engagement that November to almost overnight success (ever the opportunist!), and I’ve never looked back. After leaving my job as a lawyer the following autumn to concentrate on expanding the blog and brand on a full time basis, our first events season swiftly followed in the spring of 2012. Now seven years, fourteen seasons, a couple of industry awards (including the gong for “Best Social Media” at the Wedding Blog Awards in late 2016, and “Best Wedding Blog” at The Northern Blog Awards in September last year – those ones we are really proud of), over 100 events, 3000 blog posts and well over 100,000 social media followers and blog subscribers on, I’m happy to welcome you to our very pretty party.
Usually, when people look back, they say things like “It’s flown by!” or “It seems like just yesterday that…”. Well, this is absolutely not the case for me. I’ve (we’ve, for I’ve a fabulous little team around me now, not least our brilliant Features Editor Rachel and our contributing writers Alexis, Aislinn and Laura, plus Kate managing all our admin and our events days A-team headed up by Robin) have packed so much into the last seven plus years that it feels like seventy. It’s been hard work. Writing, sourcing, editing, styling, planning, selling, promoting, producing, managing, directing (not to mention our work over on super glossy print product UNVEILED Magazine)… it’s been busy. But it’s been epic!
I’m so grateful for the way in which this industry and our brides have supported what we’re all about here at Brides Up North. We love stylish weddings. In fact, stylish weddings are pretty much all that we’re about here, but, as I said earlier, we like them to be local too. We strive to support and promote the amazing local suppliers right there on our readers’ doorsteps, show off what they can do, and make them available to you for your wedding day. A wedding day that looks set to be very special indeed.
Every year at this time, I take a while to reflect at how far we’ve come, and every year I’m astounded to see the progress from the last. There are times when I’ve thought that it couldn’t get any better, but it does. I love my job, my team and my brand, and I love you, my readers (whether you’ve been with us for years or a matter of minutes, I hope that you’ll keep coming back!), who make what we’re doing possible, and make it count.
Now, if we know you lot, you’re going to want something exciting in your diaries to face the post-Christmas January gloom. In a month usually filled with rain, non alcoholic beverages and hopeful new gym memberships that you’ve forgotten by February, we think you need a little added sparkle (yes, in addition to that diamond)! So here at wedding blog HQ we are making the perfect plans for an absolutely sensational year of Brides Up North bridal events.
We are always tweaking our events and offering (every single event at every single one of our beautiful partner venues is completely bespoke and meticulously planned from scratch each season, we’re fussy like that). Whilst – in true Northern style – we generally hate blowing our own trumpet, we really do think that our shows are the very best in the business, and pride ourselves on delivering an amazing and inspiring experience to both our visiting brides and exhibitors alike.
2018 is by far our most bespoke, but busiest and most exciting year yet and we’d love to help you and your #bridesquad to get your wedding inspo on and see you at one of our very special wedding shows.
We are proud to be working with some stunning new partner venues this year – including Matfen Hall and Howsham Hall, with more to be revealed shortly – as well as some well-established Brides Up North favourites, like Middleton Lodge, Ramside Hall, Holmes Mill, The Chester Grosvenor, Hornington Manor, Stock Farm, The Bowdon Rooms, Hilltop Country House, Lartington Hall, The Alnwick Garden, The Mansion, Capesthorne Hall, Saltmarshe Hall, Denton Hall and Worsley Park Marriott… the list goes on…
We’re also reprising our super popular WEDFEST’18 Tour! In 2018 we’ll be hosting the the UK’s leading dedicated large scale festival wedding exhibitions in collaboration with Stockeld Park, Ormesby Hall, Victoria Warehouse and Capesthorne Hall. Just like in 2016 and 17, these outdoor venues will be transformed into a boho wedding wonderland! This year we are going bigger than ever! There’ll be huge sail cloth tents, chill out areas, tipi villages, vintage Pimm’s tents, street food vendors, live bands and 60+ luxury wedding suppliers at each to make all your festival themed wedding planning ideas a reality. Bring your bridesmaids, designate a driver, wear flowers in your hair and make a day of it… these are set to be events to remember. Watch this space for more news and “line-up” announcements, coming soon!
We’ve also been working hard behind the scenes on a big blog refresh (coming VERY shortly) to make the site sleeker, slicker, even more user friendly, inspirational and connecting you directly with the Suppliers We Love, and who we know you are just going to adore, for your big day.
And all this excitement is not to mention our beautiful glossy print product, UNVEILED Magazine. That product too has been having a bit of a makeover, and we’re just days away from launching our brand new, super chic digital space. We’re also knee deep in creative shoot planning for Issue 09 (out in March) which I think it going to be our most innovative and most gorgeous edition yet. I’ll be popping back in in a few days to show you what we’ve been up to over at UNVEILED digital, and you’ll probably be needing a new cup of tea by now, but let me just say that I think 2018 might just be the year we see UNVEILED really fly!
So, there’s just a bit going on backstage right now, and we can’t wait to share all the fun with you lovely lot. Why don’t you take a moment to have a browse of our jam packed schedule and start reserving a few Sundays… things are about to get very, very pretty, starting with our very first real wedding of 2018 on Monday morning.
Julia & the team x
p.s If you are a wedding industry professional who would like to work with us you can drop us a line via our contact form here, or see our full schedule of events here. We love welcoming new talent to our Brides Up North family.
p.p.s Big congrats to our Features Editor Rachel and her new fiancé Andy, who put a ring on it just before Christmas! About time too! Now sporting a sparkler to match her smile, Rachel can’t wait to get stuck into her own wedding planning journey and share every step of the way with you!