Hayley Ruth Photography

Friday, 26 November 2010

Two birds!

After my visit to Modern Bride at the beginning of November, I mentioned I had seen 'Twobirds Bridesmaid' and promised I would write a dedicated post about them. Having seen their website before it was great to see the dresses in the 'flesh' and to meet Michelle, the Regional Director.

The concept was founded by Ariane Goldman who was frustrated with spending too much money on bridesmaid dresses she would never wear again.  In 2007 Ariane was married in Jamaica and by this time had designed a dress that would enable all her bridesmaids to look and feel beautfiul.  Guests were anamoured and her friends loved their dresses so much that she knew she had found a solution to an ever-challenging problem.

Twobirds is a rather unique boutique bridesmaid dress company.  The concept is one dress that can be wrapped in 15 ways, available in 18 colours and 4 lengths, you will easily find a style to flatter all body shapes and tastes.  The beauty of these dresses is your bridesmaids will undoubtedly want to wear the dress again and again.  I doubt I will be a bridesmaid any time soon, but I would love to own one myself!

The collection is available in the 'classic', the 'rosette' and the 'two-toned'.  All the colours are beautiful and include Rosewater, Chocolate, Cabernet Red, Peacock Blue, Butter Yellow, Aubergine and my favourite has to be Slate.

Twobirds Bridesmaid is based in Notting Hill and can be contacted on 020 7243 8647 or visit their website on www.twobirdsBridesmaid.co.uk

Friday, 19 November 2010

Rose and Aster

I have mentioned my friend Sarah in my first post.  We have known each other since we were nine years old when we both lived in a lovely town called Yarm in Cleveland.  We had some adventurous times and our friendship was put to the test when my family moved from the North to the South of England when I was 14.  I would go on a National Express coach to visit her and when I passed my driving test, I would bomb up the M1 in my Mark II Escort!  We have shared such a lot together and it is quite amazing that we now live only an hour away from each other.

Sarah helped me get my own business off the ground and designed and built my website.  She did it out of the kindness of her heart and I am so very grateful to her.  I'm sure there were many moments when she could have done without my obsessive calls and emails.

Sarah is now fulfilling a lifelong dream by starting up her own business selling beautiful things from a gorgeous log cabin in the grounds of their family home.  She lived in the most gorgeous town house on the banks of a river in Buckinghamshire with her husband and daughter and I was green with envy.  They then decided to buy, what I can only describe as a 'shell' in the heart of the Chilterns.  I thought they were totally mad and I couldn't imagine Sarah 'roughing it' throughout the build.  Luckily she has a gorgeous husband who built her a beautiful log cabin for them all to live in.  It was rather cosy I have to admit and they lived in it much longer than anyone anticipated.

When they finally moved into their new home, transforming the 'shell' into a stunning home, life became more settled and Sarah has pursued her dream of creating a business selling the things she loves. 

Rose and Aster is a hand picked range that you too will love for yourself, for your home or as a gift for someone special.  A little taste:-





I love Sarah's style, but I am most excited about the imminent arrival of a range of wedding accessories for the bride, her wedding party and her guests which will obviously complement my business and will mean we can work together.

Please do look at her website and order something lovely for yourself or for a gift for Christmas.  Visit http://www.roseandaster.com/ or email sarah@roseandaster.com to arrange to visit her in the log cabin!

I wish you well and lots of love, B xx

Monday, 15 November 2010

Taking the plunge!

Quite relevant to write this post today as I've noticed a couple of tweets about fellow wedding professionals wanting to give up their day job. 

It never feels like the right time to give up full time employment and start your own business.  I had made an attempt five years previously but was soon working for a venue that demanded too much of my time to be classed as ‘self employed’.  I reluctantly became an employee, but the upside was I really enjoyed the job and having worked in corporate entertainment, this was the start of my ‘wedding’ career. 

The best thing about the job was I discovered Thaxted where we now live.  I was on the hunt for B&B’s to recommend to clients and I had arranged to visit ‘Crossways’ http://www.crosswaysthaxted.co.uk/.  After looking at the rooms, the owners Michael and Beppe offered me a drink and whilst we chatted over coffee, I thought ‘I want to live here’.  I was soon trawling the internet looking for properties, much to my husbands horror as we had just spent the last eight years renovating our previous home.  I quickly found the perfect house and much to everyone’s surprise, we moved in 12 weeks later! 

I then went on to work in Saffron Walden organising weddings, christenings, funerals, birthday celebrations, Christmas parties – even working for Jamie Oliver at his home in Clavering and on the set of his TV shows.  It was when I was asked by Michaela Doherty to organise her wedding to Jimmy on their farm in Suffolk, that my dreams really had come true.  Unbeknown to Michaela (and my husband) I had an article on Jimmy pinned to my wall at work four years previously!  So organising their wedding to me was like organising Robbie Williams and Ayda Fields!

With Jimmy & Michaela

After their wedding I soon realised I should go it alone, as I really enjoyed working so closely with them to organise every detail.  Working for a venue is great fun, but you don’t get to offer creative advice to the couples and to work with them on colour schemes and styling ideas, something I am most interested in.

It was a big step to take as we were used to the security employment brings, but I had spent such a long time putting my energies into other people’s businesses, I thought now was the perfect time to put them into my own. 

It is the best decision I have ever made and whilst every month varies financially, there is nothing more rewarding than working for yourself.

Monday, 8 November 2010

My visit to Modern Bride

I had been looking forward to visiting Modern Bride, a new vibrant contemporary wedding show at Excel.  I went on Friday to avoid the crowds that were undoubtedly expected at the weekend. 

Not long after I arrived, I bumped into the very lovely Andri Benson from Always Andri http://www.alwaysandri.co.uk/  A fellow wedding planner and member of UKAWP.  She is always inspiring to talk to and whilst we chatted we saw Kelly Chandler from The Bespoke Wedding Company http://www.thebespokeweddingco.com/ one of the Directors of UKAWP - it was great to see familiar faces.

The show was much smaller than I expected, but they had certainly attracted some great suppliers.  A few highlights for me:-

Two Birds Bridesmaid http://www.twobirdsBridesmaid.co.uk/  I am going to write a dedicated post on this wonderful company soon as I think the concept is amazing and dresses you can certainly wear after you have waved the Bride & Groom off on their honeymoon.  I had seen their website before as one of my Brides this summer had come across them.  One dress, two sizes, four lengths, eighteen colours! Although I doubt I will be a Bridesmaid any time soon, I would love to own one.  My colour choice would be 'slate' or 'deep ocean'!

The stands looked great at this show, especially the beautiful handmade invitations and wedding stationery by Ivy Ellen http://ivyellenweddinginvitations.co.uk/  They were attracting a large crowd, so I hope they had a successful show. 

A very busy stand!

I also hope they enjoyed Peter Kay at the O2 who I had seen the night before.  London two days in a row - too much excitement for me in one week!

There were many wedding dress designers, one I had the chance to speak to, Madeline Isaac-James http://www.madelineisaacjames.com/  In her words, a collection of stunning, stylish and highly desirable wedding gowns, this British designer creates wedding dresses that capture the bride's spirit and imagination, ensuring that she looks fabulous and feels confident on her wedding day.  It was great to meet Natalie and to see her amazing collection in the Fashion Shows.

The two Matts!  It was a nice surprise to see the very talented Matt Pereira exhibiting http://www.mattpereira.co.uk/  I had met him recently at a workshop we both attended.  I loved his 'vintage style' stand.  Maybe he will borrow some pieces from my Vintage Style Hire collection for next year?  I had heard a lot about Matt Tyler http://www.matttylerphotography.com/ so it was great to finally meet him - his stand was rather cool too!

I was amazed by the chic and stylish bespoke wedding cakes made by Zoe Clark at The Cake Parlour.  Again her stand was very busy and I didn't get a chance to speak to her, but luckily she has the most gorgeous website, so do check it out http://www.zoeclarkcakes.com/

Candy Rose

Applique Blossom

Little Roses

Painted Blossom

How gorgeous are these!  Her designs would tempt any Bride.

I'm sure this is the last show of 2010 for most.  I am looking forward to exhibiting in 2011 and meeting many more wonderful suppliers I can recommend to my new Brides.