20th August 2014

Hello readers. Although I’m no longer an official member of the Love My Dress® team, Annabel has asked me to stop by briefly today and share something that will be of particular interest to our colleagues within the wedding industry.

Way back in March, I attended The Wedding Sessions, a day-long workshop hosted by The Wedding Reporter, Emma Woodhouse, and Kirsten Butler, the talented stylist otherwise known as The Little Wedding Helper.

Designed for both new businesses trying to find their feet and established suppliers looking for a gentle nudge in the right direction, the workshop aims to help develop and indulge your creative ideas, enhance your presence online, understand the importance of marketing and networking, and give you lots of little lightbulb ideas that will help you stake your place in the wider wedding industry.

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

Kirsten explained how the idea for this unique workshop came about…

‘Emma and I were chatting over lunch and a pot of tea about the journeys we’d been on, from leaving full-time jobs to starting our own business within the wedding industry. We wanted to share our experiences, the lessons we had learnt (and are still learning!), the ups and downs of running your own business and how to get yourself noticed in the wedding world, from social media and blogs to magazines and networking.

We didn’t want this discussion to be a formal business event. We wanted to sit around a table with fellow creative business owners, or those who were just starting out, and talk in an informal environment with lots of tea on hand, a delicious lunch, lots of information to take away and a few treats too. It was as simple as that, and the first Wedding Sessions was born!’

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

Franky above – studying hard!

As I’m lucky enough to call Kirsten and Emma my friends, it would be easy for me to gush about my experience at their inaugural workshop, but believe me when I tell you that the day had a profound effect on me.

At the beginning of 2014, I knew I wanted to make some big changes in my career. I needed to establish new goals, refocus my creativity and chase the dreams I had allowed to lie dormant for far too long. The Wedding Sessions marked a real turning point for me and I have come a long way since attending, both in terms of refining the services I offer and gaining new clients.

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

Spending time with two successful business owners was inspiring in its own right, but the wealth of knowledge they shared was invaluable. Kirsten and Emma offered advice on finding your niche, branding a business and marketing your work. They gave us guidance on writing a business plan and unravelled the mysteries of social media.

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

There was also plenty of time to forge connections with like-minded wedding professionals. Networking within such a laidback setting was a real joy. Many of us have remained in contact and some have even gone on to work together.

‘The Wedding Sessions course was a true godsend for me. Having just decided to start my sample wedding dress business, I was completely unaware of the diverse and inspiring range of people and businesses who make up the wedding industry. Kirsten and Emma really know their stuff, run incredible businesses themselves and genuinely want everyone to succeed and flourish. I was gripped from start to finish! I still refer to my Wedding Sessions bible and will definitely be attending any follow-up courses they have’  (Laura, Bristol Bridal Boutique)

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

the wedding sessions, the wedding reporter, the little wedding helper

More than anything, I think Kirsten and Emma gave us all the tools and encouragement needed to harness our creativity for financial reward. As they said at the time, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Due to popular demand, The Weddings Sessions will be back in Bristol on Wednesday 1st October. Take my advice and sign up now.

Much love,

Franky

 

Photography - Frances Taylor Photography
Venue - Private Dining Room at Jamie’s Italian, Bristol
Flowers - Daisy Lane Floral
Cupcakes - Chunky Cherub Cakes
Website, logo and branding - Golden Apple Designs

Follow Love My Dress® on Google+

20th August 2014

Welcome to the wedding of Carla and Ronan, which took place on 20th September 2013. It was a beautiful day held at the most elegant of settings – Gosford Castle in Country Armagh, Northern Ireland – and filled with meaningful touches. I’m sure that now, almost a year on, the couple adore reliving the details of their day through these photographs by Paula O’Hara.

Broadcast journalist Carla and trainee public health consultant Ronan married in the Carla’s home village of Caledon, County Tyrone, with a reception in the grounds of Gosford Castle.  The couple planned their day in little over a year with the very able assistance of Julie-Anne Robertson at Event Planners NI, who also sourced and styled all the décor on the day.

We wanted to get married in my beautiful home village and we got engaged at Gosford Castle, so it has a special place in our hearts. We were thrilled to be able to hold our reception in the grounds.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Paula O’Hara

river dancing bride, gosford castle, paula ohara photography

“We met on 28th February, 2008. I was touring Germany at the time and Ronan was visiting a friend from college – who happened to be our troupe physiotherapist, Conor. He and my good friend Niamh thought this would be a ideal time to play matchmakers. How right they were! From the minute we clapped eyes on each other we knew something very special had happened. The next day was 29th February – my sister Emma joked that I should’ve asked him to marry me!

I was due to finish touring a few months later and Ronan was due to start research work in Galway, so we knew being in the same country could make this all work out. The rest as they say is (a wonderful) history. We got engaged at Gosford Castle in August 2012.”

river dancing bride, gosford castle, paula ohara photography

Carla shares the story behind her stunning gown.

“My dress was the result of collaboration between my mum, Teresa O’Brien, and Alison-Jayne Wilson, from Alison-Jayne Couture in Belfast. My mum is a wonderful creator of Carrickmacross lace and Irish crochet. Together, we agreed on a design for the back of my dress which my mum made, together with the crochet lace trim. Alison-Jayne made the rest. 

I loved how Alison-Jayne and Mummy worked together. Their attention to detail, flair and passion for their craft made this dress – which I could only have dreamt of before – a wonderful reality. It felt very special to be able to wear something my mum had made. Her talents know no bounds. She made her own wedding dress over 40 years ago, elements of which she re-created for mine, so I felt like I had a little bit of her with me throughout the day.” 

river dancing bride, gosford castle, paula ohara photography

The bridesmaid’s gorgeous blush-pink maxi is from Ted Baker.

river dancing bride, gosford castle, paula ohara photography

“We loved our flowers, which came from The Flower Studio in Dundalk. I didn’t want roses or anything too formal, and just wanted them to be relaxed, wild and cheerful. We were delighted with what Caroline and her team did for us.”

river dancing bride, gosford castle, paula ohara photography

“Our photographer was Paula O’Hara and she was an absolute dream to have around us on the day. At times we didn’t even know she was there, but she somehow managed to capture each and every special moment. Paula listened to our requirements intently and gave us wonderful memories we’ll cherish for a lifetime.”

river dancing bride, gosford castle, paula ohara photography Continue reading…

19th August 2014

There is a gorgeous blend of natural and architectural beauty in this wedding. Situated within the lush green woodland of Epping Forest, the Forest School is an independent college with Georgian heritage and made the perfect setting for the marriage of Becky and David. I love the organic styling, using natural foliage and flowers inside the grand, atmospheric spaces at the school. And those powder blue bridesmaids! This is a stunning day folks.

“We love vintage styling and wanted a relaxed atmosphere. The forest setting of the school also informed the look and feel of the day/flowers/dress and decoration of the venue.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Jay Rowden

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

“David and I met on the tube in 2005. On our first date shortly afterwards we spent a long time chatting on a bench on the Embankment in London. David proposed on that same bench, seven years to the day in May 2012 and we were married in 2014 in the same week that we met and got engaged, 9 years since our first date.

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

The bride and groom sent out Save the Date coasters by Lucy Says I Do and had a wedding stamp created for invitations by Holly’s Houses. Place settings and menus were made by the bride and they also purchased some lovely ‘thank you’ postcards by Nostalgic Imprints on Etsy.

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

I completely adore the bridesmaid’s dresses! These silky blue creations from Ghost look stunning on all of the girls, who also wore delicate little flowers in their hair and crystal earrings from Accessorize. David’s navy herringbone suit was from Charles Tyrwhitt, with a pale blue silk tie from T.M Lewin.

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

ronald-joyce-wedding-dress-jay-rowden-photography-1

The bride’s dress was created by Ronald Joyce, purchased at Amorae Bridal in Essex. It’s the simple yet fluid lines, accessorised with that beautiful crown of flowers that suits Becky and her surroundings so well.

“I loved the elaborate detailing of the bodice and sleeves, the low back and flowing plainness of the skirt. The style flattered my shape and fitted with the vintage theme. I accessorised with a vintage sapphire engagement ring belonging to my great grandmother, delicate bracelets in gold & sapphire by Lucy Simmons, my own sapphire and diamond engagement ring from Boleyn in Hatton Garden and diamond earrings by David Deyong. My shoes were powder blue courts from Aldo to tie in with my maid’s dresses.”

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

Becky and David chose Jay Rowden to photograph the wedding. I really love the depth of colour in his photographs and how he captures so many wonderful expressions throughout the day.

“We almost literally met Jay by bumping into him in a coffee shop while discussing the need to trawl the internet for wedding photographers. Jay was perfect for helping to visualise the relaxed atmosphere of our wedding. We couldn’t have been more delighted with the way he captured the day.”

jay rowden photography, ronald joyce, woodland style wedding

Continue reading…

19th August 2014

Today, all of us here at Love My Dress are super happy to be able to introduce you to the incredibly talented Gillian Million. There is just so much to share with you in this feature from beautiful bridal headpieces and delightful veils to perfectly designed hats (or to quote Gillian – ‘everything that is not a hat’!) and also the newly launched designer wedding dress agency. So, let’s take a peak into the delightful world of Gillian Million.

Gillian Million

Gillian Million has been designing bespoke wedding accessories for twelve years now and has a beautiful shop near Richmond that’s the ultimate Aladdin’s Cave for any bride to be. Showcased here are the jewelled headbands, vintage headdresses, tiaras, necklaces, brooches, earrings, hairpins, combs, veils and other accessories that we know you’ll absolutely adore. The workmanship and attention to detail lavished on each piece is just fabulous and with Gillian and her team to help you, there’s no doubt that you’ll find the perfect accessories for your wedding day. We are literally swooning for the vintage jewelled crystal headbands.

Gillian Million

Alongside these sparkling beauties sits Gillian Million’s ‘Everything that’s not a Hat’ range of hatettes, fascinators and neat headdresses with birdcage veils and striking adornments. This stunning collection could not be more perfect for mothers and guests and are handmade to take into account your outfit and your hairstyle. Jewels, flowers and exquisite design details make these easy-to-wear headpieces ideal if you want to make a stylish statement at any event (and, thanks to Gillian’s careful design), when you remove your hat, your hair will still look immaculate. Hat hair – banished by Gillian Million!

Gillian Million

Gillian Million

As if this wasn’t enough, the newly launched designer wedding dress agency is also something you must know about. Stunning once-worn and preloved wedding dresses in perfect condition are available at a fraction of their original cost and, when you visit the boutique to try on these glamorous gowns, you can enjoy accessorising your new dress with Gillian’s jewels as well. Also, don’t forget to get in touch with the team after your wedding day when the dress agency can help you achieve the best possible price for your gown and your beloved dress can take another trip down the aisle with another bride who’ll love it as much as you did.

Gillian Million Continue reading…

19th August 2014

If you love crafting, 1930’s and 1940‘s styling and a dash of downright prettiness, I’m guessing that you will really enjoy this elegant tea party inspired summer wedding. The couple have included so many brilliant ideas; each filled with sentiment and personal meaning, reflecting the couples lives, it’s completely endearing and beautiful. Plus a dapper tweed suit, the most exquisite swishy silk Johanna Hehir wedding gown and the cutest old hollywood style Rachel Simpson shoes!

Dr & Mrs Shipley, the lovely Johnnie & Kirstin, were married at St Bartholomew’s Church, Newbiggin-by-the-sea, Northumberland on the 25th of May 2014 with a reception at The Linskill Centre, North Shields. The day has been captured by the ever fabulous Matt Ethan Photography who has a real eye for incapsulating the true heart of the day.  Our stunning bride, Kirstin, is a primary school teacher and her handsome groom, Johnnie is a senior archaeology and heritage consultant, they met an uni in Newcastle and the rest as they say is history.

“We wanted to do as much as possible ourselves. I love all things vintage, particularly the style of the 1930s and 1940’s. I also adore sewing and crafting and so having a wedding to create things for was my idea of heaven! We both also liked the idea of a summer tea party style wedding complete with lots of bunting and a ceilidh. We just wanted our wedding to be as informal and relaxed as possible.

We loved every second of the day. It was completely stress free and filled with laughter and happiness. It was everything we wanted it to be, and truly the best day of our lives so far.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Matt Ethan Photography

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

“We met in 2006 when we were both post-graduate students at Newcastle University. Johnnie studying for a PhD in Archaeology and I was studying for a P.G.C.E. in Primary Education. After six years together, in March 2013,  I proposed to Johnnie and he said yes!

I had planned a picnic at Hadrian’s Wall but there was really deep snow and so ended up asking him in our living room instead! We celebrated with chip butties in the snow in the grounds of Hexham Abbey and Johnnie bought me an art deco engagement ring that we saw in the window of an antique jewellery shop next door.”

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

Kirstin made her own amazing bouquet and those for her bridesmaids, Emma and Dawn, from vintage brooches, earrings, buttons and paper flowers. The pretty Button holes for Kirstin’s family were of freesia, gypsophilia and roses from Busy Lizzie’s in Tynemouth.

Kirstin’s Bridesmaids, Emma and Dawn, wore adorable tea length navy blue dresses from Monsoon with shoes of their choice and Kirstin put to use her love of vintage and crafting to make their hair combs using vintage brooches bought on eBay. The bridesmaids’ delicate pearl bracelets with a square vintage style clasp were from from Highland Angel and their pearl and marcasite earrings were a purchase from Gama Weddings. Both were gifts from Kirstin.

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

“The day before the wedding, a crack team of our families and friends descended on the Linskill Centre and helped to set everything up and transformed it into a beautiful setting for our vintage tea party reception. They were absolutely incredible and it would not have been possible to pull it all off without them!”

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

Initially, Kirstin really wanted a vintage wedding dress but after a visit to the White Tulip in Prudhoe, fell in love with a bias-cut, 1930s inspired ‘Helena’ dress by Johanna Hehir.

“I loved the bias cut of the dress – it was perfectly in keeping with the 1930s style that I love so much. I also loved the simplicity of the dress – the only embellishment was the beautiful lace around my waist. The fabrics were such amazing quality – the dress was made of pure silk. It fell beautifully and it felt so luxurious to wear. It was also very light in comparison with many of the dresses I tried on and was very comfortable to wear all day. My mum bought me this dress. I knew it was perfect when she dissolved into floods of tears as soon as she saw me in it.”

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

“For decor we had bunting, and lots of it! Mostly made myself, with some help from friends and some borrowed from friends to use too. We also sent out a triangle of bunting with each invitation for guests to decorate and I gave some to the children in my class to decorate too! These were displayed along the walls of the hall and provided a great talking point throughout the day. It was amazing to see how creative and thoughtful people were in their ideas for this.

The bunting is a keepsake I know we’ll keep looking back at for years to come!”

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography

Kirstin and Johnnie chose Matt Ethan as their photographer;

Matt had taken the photographs for Johnnie’s sister, Joanne’s, wedding the previous year and we thought the photographs produced were really beautiful! We also knew that he’d put us at our ease as neither of us are particularly fond of having our photographs taken and we knew we didn’t want lots of posed photographs. I had also come across some of Matt’s work when looking for reception venues, in particular his photographs of another wedding, at Whalton Village Hall, and loved the natural and informal style.”

village hall, 1930s wedding, 1940s wedding, joanna hehir, matt ethan photography Continue reading…