Monthly Archives: November 2012

Our designs now on Find Your Dream Wedding Dress!

We are glad to announce that a selected few designs from our new bridalwear collection can now be seen on the wonderful site ~ Find Your Dream Wedding Dress.

This site is a wonderful tool for brides to help them choose their perfect style and locate where to try on the dress of their dreams.  If you are having trouble deciding on an ideal dress for your big day – take a look at the site as you can see all dresses by different top designers in one place and it can show you all dresses in a particular styles, save them for you in a ‘Changing Room’ and allow you to e-mail the stockists direct to organise trying the dress on for real.

The style guide on the site is also really helpful and gives advice about what style dresses are most flattering to different body shapes and a guide to all the different fabrics used in the bridal industry.

So check out this great site – and take a look at our dresses featured!

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Ivory & co. is now on Youtube!

Ivory & co. now have a channel on Youtube, and we have four videos online showcasing our new Bridalwear collections! Each video features a different collection – Romance, Red Carpet, Heritage and Haute Couture. You can click on the videos to view them below or go straight to Youtube and search for Ivory & co. Please subscribe to the channel to be updated on new videos, and leave comments if you like!

Bridal Boutique of the Week!

It’s time for our weekly recommendation of the best bridal boutiques in the UK….

This week we are focusing on the fabulous boutique – The Pantiles Bride. This boutique heads up a group of stunning stores that really are the place to go for the ultimate bridal buying experience.

If you are looking for a designer bridal gown then look no further than The Pantiles Bride in Tunbridge Wells.  Over the last 15 years they have carefully selected the best gowns by British and International designers including established names such as Alan Hannah, Sassi Holford, Suzanne Neville and Augusta Jones.  Designs by Ian Stuart and Anoushka G were also introduced in 2011.

Visiting the store itself is a wonderful experience… situated in the historic elegance of the 17th century Pantiles this is the ideal destination for choosing your wedding gown.  The store is on two floors and has spacious changing rooms with air conditioning (perfect for fittings in those hot summer months).

What makes this store so special is the friendly and knowledgeable team (with over 30 years combined experience) who go the extra mile to help you to find the gown that will make you look and feel incredible!

Once you have found the dress of your dreams the in-house technical alteration team is on hand to ensure that it is a good fit and finished to the highest standards.

Also don’t miss their “Star Buys” – this is like a year round sale – sample designer gowns at discounted rates!

After just a year of The Pantiles Bride opening they had won the Best Newcomer Award and have since won a total of 10 awards in the space of 4 years including the Best Emporium Award for the Millennium!

As well as this flagship store, there are also the sister stores Go Bridal in both Tunbridge Wells and Birmingham City Centre. So if you are based in these areas and still looking for that perfect dress we couldn’t recommend a better place to start!

These stores have a wide selection of our Ivory & Co. accessories so you can be find everything you need from top to toe!  2012 saw a special accessories event at The Pantiles Bride featuring our designs – this was a fabulous occasion allowing brides to try on all things sparkly! If another event of this sort is scheduled for this year I will keep you posted…….

To make an appointment at The Pantiles Bride call 01892 514515 or e-mail : wed@pantilesbride.com

 

Bridal Buyer Award Submission!

If anyone was wondering why we have been so unusually quiet on the blogfront last week – it was because of a very industrious last push to send the best possible award submission for the Bridal Buyer Awards 2013!

Last year we entered for the first time and were ecstatic to be shortlisted which meant attending the fantastic Award ceremony held each March as part of the BBEH trade show in Harrogate.  It was a fabulous evening made really special by the fact that when it came round to announcing our category we all waited on our table for what seemed like forever ….. before they called our name to win “Best Bridal Headdress Designer 2012” It was very nerve wracking (Oscar style!)

So this year we have worked incredibly hard to compile a new submission in the hope of retaining our title – or at the least be shortlisted as a finalist again.

The list of finalists is announced in January, so we will keep you posted as soon as we know anything.  Please keep your fingers crossed out there for us and in the meantime now that the deadline of the year is over – we’ll get blogging again………

Great Gatsby style Weddings!

There is a real trend right now for all things inspired by the wonderful Jazz age of the 1920’s when people really knew how to have fun (and how to throw magnificent parties!) With the new Hollywood version of The Great Gatsby hitting cinemas next year, we know this will add to the frenzy and lead to 2013 being a year where couples go for Art Deco themed weddings!

All that glamour of the golden era of Jazz lends itself so well for weddings, with inspiration for everything bridal from 1920’s style invitations, themed welcome cocktails, and of course the glitzy sparkle of headpieces, and jewellery. Brides will also be looking for fabulous wedding dresses fit for decadent celebrations and to wow their guests!

We have been working away with this in mind to create our opulent Heritage Collection of wedding dresses which are just perfect for brides wanting this vintage inspired look.  They create a sophisticated look for the ceremony and are also just right for dancing the night away in true Jazz age Charlston style!

Also featuring for the coming season are fabulously decadent headpieces and sparkling jewellery to create a whole Art Deco inspired look.  Here is a sneak preview of some of these new designer wedding gowns and matching accessories for anyone out there planning a wedding fit for the roaring 20’s……..

Bridal Boutique of the Week!

It’s time again to feature another outstanding wedding dress store which brides can count on for a perfect buying experience.  Today we are focusing on Scotland and are thoroughly recommending Emma Roy of Edinburgh.

With an impressive boutique on Leith Street in the centre of Edinburgh Emma Roy’s has been established for an amazing 25 years.

Even more impressive is the sheer selection of beautiful dresses available : they have an ever expanding collection of over 500 exquisite dresses.  These include a mix of contemporary, classic and vintage styles from such names as Enzoani, Cymbeline, Marylise and Ronald Joyce amongst 14 different makes of bridal. As well as the dresses on offer in the store they also hold regular special Designer days which you can find out more about on their website.

A glamorous range of Bridesmaid, evening and prom dresses are also in store available to try.

One of the nicest things about this bridal salon is the level of customer service and the warm welcome brides receive when they visit.  The most professional service is offered from experienced consultants in comfortable surroundings.

A wide range of our Ivory & co. designs are available to view and try at Emma Roy’s, and the staff there are so helpful for finding the perfect accessories for your big day.

So if you are still looking for an enjoyable bridal buying experience in Scotland then contact Emma Roy’s of Edinburgh on 0131 557 2875 or lorraine@emma-roy.co.uk

 

How to Organise a Last Minute Wedding!

The Essential Guide to 11th hour Nuptials…

As some of you may know I’m getting married very soon at the end of December.  But rather than having spent years arranging my wedding I have done the complete opposite and only set the date about 4 weeks ago!

Of course having worked inside the wedding industry for over a decade gives me a huge advantage as I have the inside knowledge on everything bridal, and know so many helpful contacts.  So I thought I would write an essential guide to help couples out there who want to speed things up!

There is a lot to be said for arranging a quick wedding…… less time for any unwanted interference,  less time to agonise over decisions that don’t need to eat you up and finally it can work out much cheaper!

Venue

Once you have decided on a timescale – be it 4 weeks or 12 weeks like me, the first job is to prioritise with venue right at the top of that list.  Once you have selected a location then you have a firm date and everything else will fall into place so much more easily.

If you are set on the wedding being a Saturday, try looking on search sites for last minute availability at venues near you.  The best site to try is Hitched.com but it is also worth looking at whirlwindweddings.com. Also try ringing a selection of local venues that you know of to ask about availability.  Once you know of any with dates available make a decision to visit just 3.  Couples can spend literally years visiting different venues and getting more confused.  Simply see 3 and opt for the one you both get the best vibe for.

Going for late availability at venues can also save you thousands – many venues have special packages available for dates they have not sold.  If the venue of your choice is all booked out for weekends – consider being more flexible and going for a friday or thursday which again will be a cheaper option.

Get that License

The next thing to crack on with is the legal paperwork.  Make a booking to see your local registrar / church to make sure that you fulfill all the requirements within plenty of time (don’t leave yourself the headache of needing to complete forms the week before the ceremony) or risking that the registrars are fully booked.  (This is as important as the venue but can be easily overlooked).

The Dress!

Now to the important bit (and most fun)!  This is the part that girls dream about when growing up – so it’s important to get right and in time.  With dresses now taking longer lead times this is the harder part to arrange quickly – but don’t worry it can be done!

Save yourself months of worrying about what style will suit you – get professional advice.  The best bridal shops have the experience to help you find the right shape / style for you just in one appointment.  For recommendations about great bridal shops see our weekly feature on Bridal Boutiques or e-mail us for advice about the best near you.

Once you know the style best for you enquire about designers that can make rush orders.  Boutiques will be able to advise which manufacturers offer this service.  (it does usually involve an extra charge but is worth it).  Another option is to ask the store to sell you the sample for a reduced rate.  Many times they will which means you get to take the dress away there and then (bear in mind it may need a good dry clean).

The next alternative is to look to buy an off the rail dress. Try large department stores as some great bridal companies have designed off the rail ranges – such as Anoushka G or Jasper Conran.

Also worth considering is buying second hand.  Some amazing dresses are for sale on wedding forums having only been worn once.  You may get a bargain on Hitched or You and Your Wedding forum.

Finally if you have no other luck anywhere else see Ivory & co. dresses  (our own label) – we can make rush orders for brides…..

Invitations

Invites need not take a long time – I arranged mine in a day.  Try the printer Leafletfrog (100 x A6 invite cards just £19.00) as they take only a few days to print.  You can send e-mail artwork from your computer (a picture of the two of you or a scanned image).  If you are not feeling artistic enough – don’t worry – you can download gorgeous wedding invite templates from Etsy and just add your details.

Flowers

Find a selection of local florists online and call to check if any have the free time in their diary for your chosen date.  Best to get it booked in first – you don’t need to have chosen any colour scheme etc… but you don’t want to be left without any flowers.

Also don’t rule out doing it yourself.  Look online for floral wholesalers near you as this can be a great experience and the route I am taking.  You get to visit and chat with them about what you are looking for – they will advise the quantities you need and arrange a day for you to pick it all up.  Arrange a girls day a few days before the wedding – invite some friends and family to help make arrangements for tables and bouquets.  It can be great fun (and save you a small fortune!)

Honeymoon

The bit we all look forward to after all the planning! Finding the perfect honeymoon for you can be stress free – rather than pouring through brochures and scouring the internet for flights, hotels etc… let a trained professional do all the hard work for you.  Take the time for one phone call to a travel consultant with honeymoon experience.  Try Travel Councellors, Independent Travel Consultants  or Co-op Travel Consultants. Explain the sort of honeymoon that would best suit you as a couple and discuss possible dates (try to be flexible) and they will do all the hard work for you – finding the best deals and will e-mail them through to you so that you can go through all their research at your leisure.  This makes for a much easier way of organising the holiday of a lifetime quickly.

Wedding Rings

Whilst the rings are really important (you will be wearing them for the rest of your life after all!) it does not need to be a stumbling point that takes a long time.  Put aside one afternoon to go as a couple and try rings on – it doesn’t take long to find the styles that appeal to you both. Make a pact to decide that day and place the order be it at a huge chain or a local jeweller.  For wonderful rings – try Hyde & Park Design at the jewellery district of Hatton Garden in London. This business is run by a talented duo of brothers who make stunning designs to order at wholesale prices.  It’s where we’ve ordered our rings – they are so talented and you will leave knowing that you’re having something special made just for the two of you (and they can deliver within a few weeks).

A Hen Weekend with a Difference!

Helpful retail therapy! – Organise a weekend away (maybe in London or somewhere else with good shopping!) Invite your closest friends and family and make it a mission to find the extra things you need for your wedding day – bridesmaid dresses, shoes, favours etc…. it will be great fun and helpful to have everyone in one place to help make decisions and find the items you need all in one weekend.  Shopping by day and partying at night (and your fiance will be so grateful not to have to go on endless shopping trips looking for all these things).

Wedding Cake

The quickest and easiest way to pick a wedding cake is to go for one off the shelf with someone like Marks & Spencer or Waitrose – they both do wonderful wedding cakes and within very short timescales.

All Things Sparkly!

For any accessories – of course check out our website at Ivory & co. – we have the largest selection of wedding accessories in Europe and that will make it easier to find what you are looking for quickly and easily…..

I hope these tips have helped – if you need any specialised advise – just e-mail me – I am always happy to impart any information gathered from my years in the business!

Good luck with your quickie wedding – plan it quickly and seamlessly and let everyone wonder how you made it look so easy!

Sarah – Head Designer at Ivory & Co. x