Friday, 31 December 2010

{Wedding Idea's Magazine} The Awards

Wedding Idea's Magazine is the best Magazine in the world. Fact.

And that is one of the reasons that I advertise in it, and so many Brides buy it.
Now Imagine our surprise when we were nominated for a Wedding Idea's Magazine Award in their annual Supplier Awards voted for by Brides.
Starting in 2005 and just getting bigger and bigger they are going to be Glitzy and Amazing.


And not only that....


WE'VE BEEN SHORTLISTED.

After winning The Best Wedding Photographer 2010 for The Bridal Magazine
we are over the moon to also be shortlisted for the Wedding Idea Magazine Awards.

To find the rest of the Nominees go and by the Wedding Idea Magazine from all leading supermarkets and WHSmiths.

Over 8000 Brides have voted in this years Awards with the shortlist being the final 5 in each category.

The Glitzy Ceremony will be held in Central London on 14th Jan 2011 and winners will be announced in the Magazine on 26th Jan 2011.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

{Top Tip Thursday} Guest Lists

Determine Your Budget

Decide the maximum amount of guest you can afford to invite or who will fit at the Wedding Venue.

It can be a cause of issues from parents or other relatives not being invited etc,
but you have to stick to what you can afford.

Alternatively, think of how many people you want to invite at a maximum, and then find a venue to suit. This would mean that when people are making you feel guilty for not inviting them,
or family are saying you should invite Mrs Bee from down the street that they've been friends with for years, stick to your guns, and your budget.

If you use the Venue as an excuse as "maximum capacity" then this should help a little while.

What issue have you had whilst planning your Guest List at the Wedding? 

Tip taken from"The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings"Click HERE to buy the book on Amazon.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

{Top Tips Thursday} Raising Money

Register for Wedding Ceremony & Reception Components

We all know we can register at Debenhams etc for their Gift Register Services
but what about other services.

When buying your flowers, or paying the venue have you ever asked if they do a registry style service.
That someone else can go and pay some money off your chosen item.

At Blue Lights Photography we can do that, whether its with Gift Vouchers to purchase an album
Or if its help with actually paying for the Photography itself.

How many of your suppliers have you asked if they'd do this.
How would it help you out?

Leave a Comment if you offer this service to your Brides.
Or had you ever thought about it.

Brides, what is your opinion.

Tip taken from
"The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings"
Click HERE to buy the book on Amazon.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

{Wedding Wednesday} Handmade Winter Wedding Items {Guest Post}

To begin a series of blogs showcasing a variety of handmade finds for weddings, Viv from Poppy Sparkles and a big advocate for handmade, will be looking at winter weddings.

Winter Weddings are growing in popularity and with our inability to guarantee decent weather during the traditional wedding season, it can seem little point opting for the Summer months in the hope of a glorious sunny day. Besides, with everywhere decorated to the hilt for the Christmas season and the opportunities for incorporating some Festive elements to your big day for extra twinkle and sparkle, it's a rather lovely time of year to tie the knot. The nights drawing in earlier lends itself well to the magic of candlelit tables or festive fairy lights, which have the added bonus of making Crystal Bridal Jewellery sparkle brilliantly. Unusual tree decorations make lovely favours, or perhaps even Christmas crackers. There's something magical about the festive season, why not add to the magic by having your wedding?!

Cherry Pie Lane Snowflake decoration Bridal Designs Icicle Necklace
Lucy Ledger Christmas Wedding Invitation philippa smith snowflake napkin rings
Goddess Bridal Accessories Snowflake side tiara Glass fairy lights with snow by wendy jeavons

To view items in more detail and to purchase, please click on images which will take you to the designer's online store or website.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

{Supplier Spotlight} Mia Rose Tiara's

Today on our Blog we have Debbie from Mia Rose Exqusite Tiara’s & Jewellery answering a few questions to tell us more about her, and her business. Being named after her beautiful Daughter, she tells us how the business has gone from strength to strength as she offers a handmade and personal service to all her Brides. And now off the back of this, she now holds Prom Parties to help all those teenagers find their items for the other special day in their lives.


1. In just a few sentences, could you describe your business?

My name is Debbie Buck and my business is called 'Mia Rose Exquisite Tiaras & Jewellery' - the business sells beautiful handmade tiaras and jewellery with an strong emphasis on quality and excellent customer service As the only person in my company I like to offer my clients a personal and trustworthy service they can rely on.


2. When did you set Mia Rose Tiara’s up?
I set the business up in February 2009. The first 6 months of the business was busily spent creating designs and getting to grips with suppliers, advertising and mostly developing my website. I had never worked on setting up a website before and decided on a template based site to get me going and learn the ropes so to speak.

Work halted on the business in October 2009 when I fell pregnant with my youngest child and I suffered terribly with pregnancy sickness. Immediately following this in December 2009 my mother sadly took ill with terminal cancer and I spent the following 4 months at the hospital caring for her until her death on March 1st, 2010. This left only 12 weeks until the birth of our child and so I decided that I would wait until the baby was 3 months old before picking up work with the business again, as I did not feel I could reasonably dedicate the time ensure the quality of service I like to give my customers. In the meantime, I worked hard on my brand new, bespoke website and launched it on the 1st September 2010.



3. How did Mia Rose Tiara’s Start?

I have always loved everything about weddings, ever since I was a child. It was always my dream to own a bridal boutique, but having run a business 10 years ago, I knew the pitfalls involved in a static shop based business.

However, in 2007/2008 I was busily planning my own wedding and during the process I could not find a tiara that I liked enough and was shocked by the prices charged in the bridal shops. So I began studying designs and investigating suppliers until I eventually decided that I would have a crack at making my own.

On my wedding day i got lots of lovely comments about my tiara, but never really thought anything else of it. 6 months later in Jan 09, my work colleague reminded me of the tiara I made myself and asked if I would create 2 simple crystal bands for her sisters wedding later that month. It was whilst I was making these 2 bands that I commented to my husband how much I enjoyed doing them and how relaxing I found it. It was my husband who encouraged me to look at turning my relaxing hobby into a business and asked me what was stopping me doing something more?? I didn't have an answer to that question except to say that there was nothing stopping me, I guess I just didn't know where to start.

With his encouragement I started to research this type of business, look into suppliers and began to build my website. I would often go to bed at night, only to get up within an hour excited and determined to bring my ideas to life. I would sit up till the small hours many an evening creating designs, photographing, pricing and uploading them onto my website. The more I did, the more research I did, the more I was encouraged that I could do something that I really, really enjoyed. Every hour I have worked on my business has been driven by a passion to succeed. I am a born problem solver and will spend many, many hours researching techniques and suppliers overcome obstacles.
4. Why did you set up Mia Rose Tiara?

Being a mother of 3 children and having worked full time for other companies for the past 21 years of my working life, I have found it extremely difficult to strike a good work/life balance. The majority of my roles have always been in sales and I generated a considerable income and profit for all of my employers. I have always felt it is essential to believe in the products you sell, otherwise the customer will sense your dispassion and loose confidence in your product. I came to the stage where I wanted to create a legacy for myself and my family, where all my efforts were for our future and not that of another company.

Although the hours I work are extremely long, I am able to fit them in well around my children who no longer need to go to out of school clubs. I am also able to be flexible when my children are ill and no longer have to make the dreaded phonecall "i'm sorry I can't come in because the children are poorly."

5. How many employee’s are there in Mia Rose Tiara’s and who are they?

At present there is only me working for the business and for the foreseeable future i don't see this changing. From a quality and service point of view I feel that being ultimately responsible for looking after my clients, I am the only one equipped to do this whilst I build and establish my business. Perhaps in time this will change, but at the moment it is only me.



6. How did you decide on the Business name?

I decided on my business name very easily, I called it after my beautiful daughter Mia Rose. I wanted something eloquent and pretty and something which i hoped would be different from other suppliers in the same line of business. Hopefully in the future, the name Mia Rose will resonate with people as a company providing quality, affordable products and a service which is second to none.
7. What’s the best thing about your business?

Without a doubt, the best thing about my business is knowing that out of all the suppliers I compete with, when a bride chooses to wear one of my designs on her very special day, she has chosen it with care.
Every bride wants to look their very best on their wedding day; they want to look back and say 'yes, everything was just perfect.' Knowing the thought and care i put into my wedding ensemble, I feel honoured when a bride chooses one of my designs. That in itself is extremely rewarding indeed.

The testimonials on my website are a reflection of the feedback I recieve from my clients and once they have been despatched I have a period of excitement and tredpidation hoping that when they receive them they will be happy. I recently recieved the most beautiful hand-tie of flowers, which can only be described as a work of art. The card simply read "thank you for the most beautiful tiara, it is going to make Alex's day so special." This was from the mother of the bride and goes a long way to encouraging me to keep plugging away at establishing my business with bigger and more recognised companies.

8. What do you find most challenging about your business?

Probably the most challenging aspect of my business over the last few months since I have got busier, has been working with brides to design something bespoke for them and bringing their ideas to life.

On a positive note, this has challenged my creativity and taken me out of my comfort zone, sometimes working outside the box and using techniques which i previously wouldn't have thought about. Over the last 18 months I have taught myself how to do this work, on most occasions simply looking at photographs and thinking "how have they done that??" It makes me think back to my days at secondary school when my physics teacher would have me building science models simply from looking at pictures.....looks like this experience has stood me in good stead!



9. What have been some of the greatest rewards from your business?

Probably the greatest rewards have been seeing my company live on the web, attending wedding fayres discussing plans with brides and grooms and seeing what was once just an image in my head come to life. As I mentioned above, testimonials are also very personal to me and I feel very fortunate to be involved in a business which is not only providing a service to customers who need it, but one that is so personally rewarding to me also.

I have recently launched a new service, which I anticipate will grow immensly in 2011. Having seen just how popular school proms are, I now hold Prom Parties for girls to spend time with their friends and mum's choosing their tiaras and jewellery. Held in the comfort and safety of their own homes, it gives the girls a chance to enjoy this aspect of the prom process and actually see products up close and personal. The feedback I have received from the parents attending has been excellent and they have had the opportunity to purchase something sparkly for themselves too!

10. What’s the best thing Mia Rose Tiara’s give to its customers?

I would say that the best thing the business gives to its customers is quality and service, backed up by affordability. I often felt that once the word 'wedding' was mentioned in relation to a service, the price would automatically be doubled or trippled. Knowing just how much all the little things add up, I try to be as competitive as possible as well as making regular special offers and running competitions.

11. Do you have any top tips for choosing your Tiara and Jewellery?

To any potential clients I would say the best thing to do is shop around when choosing tiaras and jewellery. The prices can vary greatly and more expensive versions of relatively the same product does not always mean its the best. Testimonials are also a good indication as to the service offered, and speaking with the business owner is also a good indicator too. If you feel comfortable and encouraged by this then this is usually a good sign that you can shop with confidence.


12. What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to run their own business?

Having run a business in the past I feel i was very fortunate when starting out setting up Mia Rose, I had learned many of the pitfalls that come with business a business owner. But my top 3 tips would be as follows:

a) Your Status - Don't kid yourself that being the owner of a business is glamorous or easy - it is most definitely the hardest work you will ever do. Remember that the buck stops always with you, and it will be up to you to make things happen and resolve any obstacles that stand in your way.

b) Time, Effort & Money - Be prepared to invest not only lots of time, but also a considerable amount of money into setting up and establishing your business. Definitely do not expect to start taking any type of salary that would reflect the actual amount of man hours you are investing in your business. More often than not, you are often the last person to receive payment out of your business in its early stages.

c) Finances - Ensure you are organised with your business paperwork, ie. invoices, receipts and general accounts. If you can't do this yourself, it is worthwhile investing in the services of an experienced book-keeper and also an accountant. Quite often, things look good on paper but in reality it is a very different story. Ensure that you are pricing your products correctly and don't undersell yourself in terms of the amount of time you need to charge to provide your services. How many people have you heard on "Dragon's Den" say that they simply don't pay themselves and have hardly any money for this in their long term business plan! It is a false economy and being a "busy fool" in business does not equal success.
13. Where can I find out more about Mia Rose Tiara’s?


You can find out more about Mia Rose on our website http://www.mia-rose.org.uk/

Alternatively, you can email or telephone Debbie to discuss any aspect of their products and services.

She'd love to hear from you.






Debbie
Mia Rose - Exquisite Tiaras & Bridal Jewellery
Tel : 01204 456405
Mob : 07973 516081

Thursday, 16 December 2010

{Top Tips Thursday} Raising Money

Ask Family Members to pay for specific expences

A lot of people ask family and friends to purchase their own outfits for the
Weddings such as Bridemaid dresses and Groomsmen to hire their own suits

People think that being asked to pay for their own things isnt fair
but why not discuss it with your friends and family who have been in other people's bridal parties
and whether or not they've had to pay for theirs at other people's Weddings.

Please leave your thoughts in a comment


Tip taken from
"The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Weddings"
Click HERE to buy the book on Amazon.

Friday, 3 December 2010

December Flowers

When we look at flowers, we always want the most popular flowers, or the ones that are easy to get hold of, but we never really look at what flowers that are in season.

Going for flowers that are in season can really help keep the costs down, as they don’t have to be shipped internationally for you.
Here we have a look some of the December Flowers



Agapanthus Otherwise known as African Lily
Long lasting, large striking flowers

 
Ammi Other wise known as Queen Anne's Lace
Masses of delicate white flowers, ideal as a filler


Anthurium Otherwise known as Painter's Palette
An Exotic waxy looking flower.


Calla Lily  Striking single flowers.
The coloured varieties are smaller than the white ones,
and not all colours are available all year round

Craspedia Small completely round flower head made up of lots of tiny yellow flowers


Freesia Highly popular, highly scented flowers


Gerbera
Large daisy like flowers, a smaller 'Germini' variety is also available
(And my personal favourite)

Add caption

Gomphrena Otherwise known as Globe amaranth
Small globe shaped flowers which can be easily dried.

 
Gypsophila Very popular filler flower.
New smaller-flowered varieties are now available



Moluccella
Otherwise known as Bells of Ireland
Tall stems with a mass of bell shaped flowers.


Ranunculus Small delicate, papery flowers.



Trachelium Masses of tiny flowers create a large flat flowerhead.





Even though Gerbera's are my favourite flowers, closely followed by Calla Lillies.
I can safely say that doing this has opened my eyes to Ranunculus and how much of a gorgeous Wedding Bouquet they make!

Remember to go for something different and striking, that compliemnts your dress!
And remember you'll be carrying them around most of the day.






Adele at Blue Lights Photography
http://www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk/

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wedding Suppliers: Saturday Help! - Wedding Fayres

Wedding Fayre’s are hard to gauge on what you should or shouldnt wear, i’m not pretending to be an expert on the cause at all, because...I’m really not.

I’ve been in business 10months, and stood my first Wedding Fayre within 3-weeks of going into business. Here are my hints and tips (and I hope you find them useful) for standing Wedding Fayres.

1. Plan. Try and plan standing at the Wedding Fayre. What are you wanting from it, what impression do you want to give. Have you visited the venue before, do you know what to expect..? Can you find out how many stalls are going to be there, or how many other people from the same type of “business” you do – just ask the questions – some will even tell you what other suppliers ARE going to be there so you can check out the competion beforehand.

2. Prepare. Do you have all your business cards ready, are you having new products printed? Are you thinking of giving out a prize, or offering money off for people who book on the day. Your stall is your “shop window” if it looks boring, or doesnt stand out, noone is going to come and visit no matter how good your product or service is.

3. Pack. Try and pack the car the night before. This means that you are more prepared and chances are you wont leave anything. Rushing to pack the car with your items the same morning as your meant to be setting up will mean that something may be left behind and you will not have time to sort it in the morning.

4. Wear. Be comfortable, be smart, be presentable. This doesnt mean turning up in a £400 ensemble, when in reality, the brides who are visiting the venue, arent spending that on their dress. What do you wear to do your job? If your not a heel wearer then dont start at a Wedding Fayre either. Chances are even if you have a seat, you wont get chance to sit down – and standing in one or two spots, talking to people all day, on a hard floor is tiring and hard work. If you are going to wear a suit, then wear something underneath which means you can take your jacket off incase its warm. Alternatively, if your just going for a branded t-shirt or polo-shirt then take a jacket (branded if needed – ie fleece) just incase its cold.

5. Time. Give yourself time for everything. Time to get there on time (or early) plenty of time to set up. Plenty of time to rearrange your stall – do you have as much room as you expected, is there power easily accessible if you need it. Also give you time to have lunch. Are you expecting it to be busy? If so have a good breakfast. Are you taking someone else with you to stand with you so you can go for a pee, a drink and something to eat quickly.

6. Stand. What size is the stand? Is it just a table or a shell scheme? Does everyone have the same size stall or are they all different. (smaller venues tend to do same size, bigger ones shell scheme) How are you going to be different to the competition? What is going to draw them to you? I would try and advise getting a roll-up banner stand – you dont have to spend a fortune on these. I have two for my stall...draws in people. You stand out over a crowded room.

7. Offers. Are you offering anything on the day or incentives to book? Look at doing a prize draw for one of your services (or even part of a service) as this will then give people an idea to what they would be paying for (or may even then up-date to a full service)

8. Data Collection. Are you getting the bridal register list? If not then look at using a special offer/prize draw for data collection, and only get brides to enter whom you speak to – that way its easy to chase up with people as you have a reason to get in touch and not just “cold calling”

9. Network. Wedding Fayres are a fabulous way to meet new suppliers as well as brides, you are selling your service to everyone. These people can become friends – and can pass on business to business to you. No matter what business you work in brides will always ask if you can recommend “someone” who does something you will meet at a Wedding Fayre. Most people will be there early, and will give you chance to chat when your setting up. Offer help wherever you can, if your set up early, and someone is just carrying boxes in, offer to help.

10. Enjoy. As silly as it sounds – enjoy it. If your not enjoying it, are bored or fed up then brides will see it. If you’ve only seen 5 brides all day, treat the next one through the door as she’s the first. If you’ve seen 100 brides through the day, treat the next one as she’s the first...but enjoy it. This is why its important to be comfortable.

 
 
Thanks
 
Adele
http://www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk/

Friday, 27 August 2010

Second Place! - Top UK Wedding Tweeters


Since I started going on Twitter more and more, it has become some what that when Friday's come around, you need to be there, with bells on to see where abouts you have landed in Easy Wedding Search's Top 100 Wedding Tweeters.

It is a lot of us business-like people, all tweeting about business and the things that are happening on our day to day lives, and business lives, and helping each other out where needed, and generally growing contacts and networks which means that we can then build up good relationships with people, so that if our customers and clients need a particular thing for their Wedding, we can point them in the right direction.

My first Week on the Twitter List, I entered at No. 49.
The Week after I was in the 30's.
Week after I was in the 20's
Week after I was No 14.
Then No 7
Then No 4
And this Week, I am in the coveted No 2 spot that Alison from Plans and Presents Event Planning has held all along the time that I have been going up the list. It was a joke that I was after her spot...and now I have it.

Overwhelmed I have to say, but she has been quiet on the tweeting front this week - so no doubt she'll be back with avengance for it next week.

Visit here to see the top 100 - and why not join us on twitter and say hello :)



Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Money as a Wedding Gift...


A recent poll conducted by Wedding Magazine found that almost half (45%) of couples would prefer their guests to give them money as a wedding gift.

In the 1980’s it was almost unheard of to ask for money as wedding gift but by the 1990's people were starting to come round to the idea and cash became the second most sought after wedding gift, with kitchen and home-wares taking the number one spot.
Couples living together before marriage has become the norm rather than the exception. Currently in the UK, more than three quarters of couples live together before marriage. Therefore, it is understandable that most people no longer have the need or desire to set up a gift registry with a department store in order to buy household goods. Newlyweds are more likely to spend their money on a dream honeymoon, home improvements or even paying back some of the cost of their wedding.
It is easy to see why money has overtaken old favourites such as kitchen equipment and towel bales as the most favourable wedding gift. It is important to note, though, that this isn’t by any means a new phenomenon. In fact, only 20 years ago, we were starting to see that money was creeping to the top of the wedding gift list. Cash is most certainly king for wedding gifts nowadays and this trend definitely looks set to continue.

 
My partner, Chris, and I are the creators of http://www.starweds.co.uk. We came up with the idea in May 2009. Chris and I attended five weddings last year and gave money as a gift at each one. We found that there was no safe and/or easy way to do this, so we developed the innovative idea of StarWeds.
StarWeds is the sophisticated and hassle-free way to ask for money as a wedding gift.
We provide:
• A personalised wedding website where your guests can contribute money:

- Choice of themes

- Online guest book

- Your own blog

- Personalised web address

- Directions to your venue

- Countdown timer

- And much more

• Beautiful customised invitation inserts to tell your guests about your site.
• Your guests can contribute via quick, easy and secure payment methods on your wedding website (i.e. credit/debit card via PayPal, cheque or balance transfer).

 
Our service is completely hassle-free for both the couples and the wedding guests. Guests don’t need to worry about whether or not there will be a money box at the wedding, or which of the bridal party they should give their money gift to for safe keeping, they don’t need to stress about sending money in the post or if sending a cheque, whether to make it out to the bride’s maiden name or married name. Also from the couple’s perspective, they won’t need to spend all day at the bank cashing in lots of cheques and cash. We simply send one cheque with all the contributions from their guests.



Please visit http://www.starweds.co.uk/, and if you would like to view a sample of the personalised Wedding website, then please visit http://www.starweds.co.uk/sample.









Blue Lights Photography would like to thank StarWeds for their Contribution to Blue Lights Photography Blog

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Supplier Saturday: Cards by Sophie

Cards by Sophie was set up by Sophie Ellis-Waring after planning her own wedding and struggling to find modern wedding stationery at an affordable price.


Sophie has since developed her own range of wedding stationery, including fourteen stylish, contemporary designs. All of Cards by Sophie’s stationery is made by hand for that special touch. Each design can be customised to the couple’s needs, for example, colours of ribbons, handmade paper or Swarovski crystals can be altered to match the exact wedding theme and colours. There are no set rules, all stationery is available in a range of sizes, and you can create your own wording on the inside and outside of each card.
Cards by Sophie is proud that all of their wedding stationery is unique to each client, and therefore you won’t find it anywhere else!

Here Sophie gives us a rough guideline to Ordering your Wedding Stationary
 
 
 
What to order when – your quick guide to wedding stationery



Once you've got engaged, all the preparations can seem rather daunting in the excitement. Help is at hand for your wedding stationery. We find that the questions we're most often asked are when to order stationery, and whether it all needs to be ordered at once. Here's our handy guide:

1. First stage: Order Save the Date cards as soon as possible after you have fixed your wedding date: usually at least 9 months to a year before your wedding. These cards are a great idea if your wedding is at a popular holiday time or mid-week - make sure your most important guests aren't busy elsewhere. Don't worry too much about colours at this stage – just choose something you love. You can coordinate later!

2. Second stage: Order Invitations, RSVPs and pocketfolds. We recommend sending out invitations at least 2 months prior to the wedding. You'll also need to allow enough time for your stationer to make the items (we ask for 4-6 weeks). Once you've found a design you like, choose a colour theme. Your stationer should send out a proof showing all of your details in your chosen colours. This way you'll be sure all the details are correct before the order is completed. Consider having Pocketfolds; they contain not only the invitation but an RSVP and information card for details of hotels, directions etc. tucked inside – we love making life simple!

3. Third stage: Order on the day items. You can do this much nearer the wedding. These items include menus; order of service; place cards; table cards; table plan - anything that will be used on the big day itself! We suggest making on the day items to match your invitations to follow your theme through. We know how long it takes sometimes to finalise things such as details with the vicar, caterer and your final guest list. We usually request wording for order of service and menus around 8 weeks before the wedding and details for table plans, place cards, table cards, etc. 4 weeks prior to the wedding.

4. Fourth stage: Order favour boxes and thank you cards. You can actually order these at the same time as any of the previous steps - many of my clients have purchased these at the same time as the invitations! Leave the thank you card inserts blank if you want to write your own message, or we have some standard examples that you could try out. Both thank you cards and favour boxes can match the rest of your stationery too.

5. It easy to order in several stages, meaning minimal fuss and the chance to evenly spread payments before your wedding! If you prefer to order everything at once, your stationer may provide the items in stages: we prepare your order in two batches - the first batch includes the invitations and RSVPs, the second includes all of the 'on the day' items. Of course, we give you plenty of reminders as to when we need your information!

Having set out our suggested timescales, we realise that it's not always possible to stick to them. Don't worry – we can often help out if you've got a tight timescale. Just ask us for advice, we love to help!

For more information and a free sample, please visit the Cards by Sophie website at http://www.cardsbysophie.com/ or contact Sophie on 07795 212115.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Why Use a Make-up Artist

Today on Wedding Wednesday we have – Why you should use a Make-up Artist on your Wedding Day.
This Article is written by Katy, a Make-Up artist with over 14-years experience

Why use a Make-up Artist on your wedding day?

I’m sure that’s a question many brides-to-be have asked themselves. Or indeed, been asked by their fiancĂ©/mother/mother-in-law?!

“You do your own make-up every day? Why get someone in to do what you already do yourself?”

I’m going to take you through all the factors of bridal make-up and explain the hows and whys.

I’ve done the make-up for more brides than I can count. Each one had an individually designed look. Some wanted dark smoky eyes, others wanted soft, barely there neutrals and everything imaginable in between. The one factor they all had in common? They all wanted to look their absolute best. The wedding day is the one day when looking perfect is imperative!

So you need to take into consideration these aspects;

Longevity- This make-up needs to last all day. And night!
You don’t want to be touching up your eyeshadow and re-concealing half way through the day. Good make-up artists have tricks a plenty up their sleeves when it comes to achieving that long stay finish. I always pay close attention to the skin and address any underlying issues before I even touch it with base! Then there’s setting the make-up without looking dry and powdery, stopping the eyes from creasing, liner from smudging.



Photography- Flash photography can have a huge effect on the make-up you wear.

It can change what looks like a natural make-up into a ‘nothing at all’ look! That smudge of kohl pencil and quick coat of mascara won’t stand up to the job. Without enough definition around the eyes, they’ll disappear (not literally, just photographically!). The art is having enough on so your features are defined but not so much that you feel over done. I have a technique where I press liner into the roots of the lash; this gives the right amount of depth just where it’s needed. Plus, it’s waterproof, of course!

When it comes to foundation, having a base on that doesn’t reflect well can lead to a washed out complexion. I’m a stickler for ensuring the skin looks as flawless as possible without even looking as though there is any make-up on. A make-up artist will have a variety of shades in his/her kit, that way, if you’ve had a spray tan or used a self tan at home, your face will match your body exactly. There’s nothing worse than your face looking like it’s stuck onto someone else’s body!

I painstakingly custom blend the foundation on the day to get the perfect shade and texture. Also, be very careful not to use light reflective products, unless they’re being used for clever highlighting and contouring, they can reflect back a white tone, especially around the eyes and can be spotted a mile off.



The look- We, as women, are super critical when we look in the mirror!


It’s hard for us to be objective when it comes to our own faces. That’s why we so often get stuck in make-up ruts. A make-up artist looks at you differently.

I look at my client and I see the beauty in her face. I see what I want to enhance and emphasise, as opposed to what I want to cover. This gives a fresh take on styles and colours that you may have never thought of. A good make-up artist will bear what you do every day in mind and create you a look that combines your own style with new ideas. The idea is not to make you look like someone else, just a more polished, perfect version of you! Don’t be afraid to show clippings from magazines of make-up that you’ve seen. Sometimes it’s easier to show than to describe. That’s what trials are for!



Time- Don’t underestimate how manic the morning of your wedding can get!

I like to take the bride off into another room to do her make-up. This gives her a break from the mayhem and lets her focus on the most important thing, herself!

It’s one of the things my brides always comment on, how relaxed they feel by the time their make-up is done. Between myself and the hairdresser, we get the bride ready first and then it’s time for the bridesmaids, mother-of- bride and everyone else! Then, when everyone is done, I return to the bride.

By this time, she’s hopefully had something to eat and drink. It’s time for a small sip of champagne and the last touch ups. I put her lips on last; check the bride has her touch up items in a little bag. I then have a look at her back, shoulders and arms for any blemishes that need camouflaging, get those covered and sealed and wait for the dress to be put on.

Finally, I take a picture on my digital camera to check there’s nothing reflecting badly with the flash. Then I show the bride so she can see how amazing she looks.

Contact Katy via
Website: http://www.makeupbykaty.com/
Email: katy@makeupbykaty.com
Blog: www.makeupbykaty.blogspot.com

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Supplier Saturday: Introducing The Bridal Jewellery Boutique

The soon to be launched Bridal Jewellery Boutique has one of the most exquisite collections of wedding jewellery and bridal headbands online.

Owned by mumpreneur Kerry Brearley. Kerry’s focus is to provide her customers with a speedy and efficient service and as such all items of jewellery are held “in stock” and ready for immediate despatch.

This is what sets The Bridal Jewellery Boutique apart from most other online wedding jewellery suppliers who require between two to four weeks notice for handcrafted pieces. Kerry is aware that modern brides often lead very busy lives and don’t always have the luxury of choosing their jewellery months in advance of their special day.


The Bridal Jewellery Boutique provide luxury couture wedding jewellery and accessories for the modern, fashion conscious bride with the focus being on vintage inspired designs and simple sophistication. Our beautiful range includes sparkling Swarovski headbands, elegant pearl pendants and much more.

They also provide a range of bridal accessories such as handbags, garters, and handcrafted ring cushions and a selection of gifts and jewellery for the best man, bridesmaids and flower girls. All items are gift wrapped in luxury branded packaging for that extra special touch.

Kerry recommends that you choose your accessories after choosing your dress rather than vice versa.

“If you opt for a Cinderella style ball gown that is adorned with sparkling crystals or one that has a busy vintage lace pattern, it would be wise to go for very simple, contemporary accessories. Maybe a delicate crystal or pearl necklace and simple headband or comb in your hair. To go for anything more ostentatious would be overkill and would detract from the beautiful presence of your dress”

“On the other hand, if you opt for a classic, simple style then you can really go to town on your accessories from choosing the biggest, sparkling tiara you can find to an extravagant statement choker or cuff bracelet”.

Contact Kerry Via
Website: sales@Bridaljewelleryboutique.co.uk
Email:    sales@Bridaljewelleryboutique.co.uk
Tel:        01253 507302

Post:       We do not have shop at this location and this address is provided for the purpose of
               correspondence

The Bridal Jewellery Boutique,
Kildare Road,
Bispham,
Blackpool,
FY2 0LR

Friday, 6 August 2010

Its Nice to Say Thank You!

I think its nice to say Thank You when someone does something for you.

Whether you were expecting it or not.

But I have found something that brightens up any day...

And thats when someone says Thank You to You.


I was utterly delighted to recieve a Thank You Card from Zoe and John from when I did their Wedding Photographs on 3rd July 2010.


Any Thank You I get, whether from a Bride, Groom, Mum, Auntie....the list goes on - is special to me. Someone has taken their time out to say it.

Whether its an Email, Phone Call, Text or Card...its so nice to be appreciated - and know our Hard Work wasnt in Vain.


"To Adele

Thank You for being so amazing, right from the start you've gone way beyond your job title. You have made our day so special.

Lots of Love

John and Zoe

xx

x"


When was the last time someone said Thank You to you?

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Top 100 UK Wedding Tweeters

Since we have been using Twitter more here at Blue Lights Photography, we heard about the Top 100 UK Wedding Tweeters, and decided it was our aim to try and get on the Top 100 List.

The list is updated weekly, and suppliers are ranked by influence rather than the amount of followers they have.

Blue Lights Photography is currently at No 35 out of 100! After debuting last week at No 49!

It is on http://www.easyweddingsearch.com/ which is a UK wedding services directory. You can search over 3500 local and national wedding services to find all you need for your wedding and much more.

I wonder where we'll be next week.....Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Something Borrowed....Something Blue....

Something old
Something new
Something borrowed
Something blue


We all know the tradition above.


Something borrowed is to represent to the bride that her family and friends will be there for her throughout her day and the future.

“Borrowing” has to come from a happily married woman, or so tradition says.

It’s normal to borrow jewellery as long as it’s returned afterwards.

However one of my brides went borrowing in a different way – and borrowed her wedding dress.

And why not?

There seems to be a mixed review on whether or not to borrow or buy.

Borrow – make sure you are the same size as the bridal dress you are borrowing as most brides won’t allow their dress to be altered.

Buy – many alterations can be costly and you want something in style. What suits your friend may not suit you. Buy a dress to suit you!

You have to decide if you would borrow a dress, and know that it comes from a happy wedding couple – you wouldn’t want to borrow a dress from someone who divorced 6 months later.

If borrowing is not for you and you’re on a budget – why not remember that many places do “off the rack” wedding dresses such as BHS, and Debenhams to name a couple.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Wedding Shoes



"Stiletto, I look at it more as an attidue as opposed to a high-heeled shoe" - Lita Ford


One thing that seems to be equal to my love of Photography is my love of shoes. And this means when I'm photographing the bride getting ready I get to woo over the shoes with the bride - rather than wonder why she's spent a ridiculous amount on shoes she'll probably only wear once.


When i photographed Donna & Carl's Wedding, I instantly fell in love with her Wedding Shoes. Even more so because they were my size. Believe me pretty size 8 shoes are hard to find. And if you need them to compliment an outfit then its nigh on impossible.


I however definately know where I should go to borrow shoes. I could start a new trend of the photographer breaking in the brides shoes! Not sure many of the male photographers would appreciate it though.

Donna made the mistake many brides do. Gorgeous shoes hardly anyone see's and higher than you normally wear. This means your feet really hurt on one of the most important days of your life.
Its not a good place to be so check out these handy hints...
  • Buy your shoes early on: This means you can take them to dress fittings, meaning less alternations.
  • Buy your shoes in an afternoon: This is when your feet are normally their most swollen. If they're comfy like this - they will be on the day.
  • Break in your shoes: Try several minutes a day upto several hours. Even in the house will help you get used to how they will feel on the day.
  • Matching Colour or Complete Contrast? Are you having a long dress? Is anyone going to see your shoes? Do they really need to match? If not then let them be your something blue.
  • Do you wear heels on a daily basis? This is your comfort heel height - try and get your Wedding Shoes like this - you'll find it easier on your feet in the long run.
  • A Spare Pair: If you plan on having flat "dancing shoes" to change into or will "kick off" during the speeches. Remember this will alter your dress length and how it falls.
  • Consider your grooms height: If you always wear heels and are always taller than him then fine - if not - consider him when buying your shoes.
  • Have plasters to hand! At Blue Lights Photography we always have plaster to hand. It helps to have a female photographer who comes prepared with her emergency "save the day" bag.


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Wedding Suppliers: Do You Visit Clients?

They had seen me at a Wedding Fayre I had stood in Doncaster, and I do make sure if they cannot come to me, then I will go to them. This is if they have small children, commitments etc., and sometimes reasons that visiting the supplier is just not viable.

After chatting for a little while, and towards the end of the meeting, I was little shocked to hear that not one of the other vendors that they had been looking at – had offered to pay them a visit to their own, each time stating their opening hours that they could visit in.

So the question is – do you visit your clients? If not – why not?

I have office premises which are set out with a little seating area, and is informal and the ability to sit and chat with people and for them to view my work, and everything is to hand.

If they ask me something that I don’t quickly have to hand I can generally have it to hand within moments. This however doesn’t mean that I won’t visit clients in their own homes that ask me to, it just takes a little more preparation as to when I visit them.

And I have to agree not everyone wants to be visited in their homes, they don’t want to feel that they have to have a “tidy” home and play the hostess to someone that they may not decide is right to share their special day with them – but to not even offer this choice – is it bad customer service?

Friday, 25 June 2010

Welcome to Our Hoos!






hoos is an Anglo-Scandinavian company based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. They bring you the best quality and modern designs from Scandinavia.

hoos aim to supply designer pieces for all aspects of your life. These are brought to you by some of the best designers and design led businesses in Scandinavia.


You no longer have to search different shops to find what you want; it's all here under the hoos roof.


Gitte one half of hoos, explains why hoos was born.


'Living in Denmark you are spoilt with the availability, quality and diversity
that is on offer in regards to Danish designer home wares, and with hoos,
we can increase the selection of products and brands available to people in the UK”


hoos offers a quality service with a pleasant shopping experience and competitive prices. You won’t find on the high street what hoos has to offer.


And now hoos are also offering you the chance to make your own gift list for when you get married.

Having been trialled – hoos are aiming to launch their online gift list for July.


With their official launch planned for 26th September at the Craiglands Hotel Wedding Fayre. Why not check out their website and find out why you should decorate your home with their products.



So what makes the hoos Wedding Gift List different to most…


Well hoos are to make their gift list password protected; only you and your guests have access to your list. Some large companies don’t offer this but with hoos you can guarantee that the entire world isn’t going to know what you want.


It’s so simple. You just register for the gift list – and information pack is sent to you. Not one thing is hidden; it’s all about bringing a personal service to you and your Wedding List.


Have the designer products that you want, for prices that family and friends can afford – you won’t be disappointed.


Check out hoos today and find out why when you hear of Scandinavian products theirs is the only name you should remember.

hoos | Scandinavian Design For Life

Find them on facebook



Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Maternity Photography - Laura

Photography of Pregnant Women is becoming more and more popular as the months go by. There is something about Maternity Photographs that you cannot get back, it is that special moment, when you know things are going to happen, your body is going through changes, and now is the time to blossom and bloom.


Now Maternity Portraits in Barnsley are becoming more popular, and I have shot quite a few. I think with the offer of the Bumps to Babies Package from myself at Blue Lights Photography, then it is a next step and something special to keep for First Time Mums and of course, even if you are expecting your second, or third child.


Have you ever seen the picture of the foot in the pregnant belly? Now there has been a lot of speculation on whether or not it is a hoax or could it really happen.


When I shot Laura’s Pregnancy Portrait I was highly surprised to get this one thing pointed out to me. Is it a shadow? The babies Spine….One Photograph it was there, One Photograph it was gone…

It even spooked me a little bit….and her too.


So if you’re looking for a Maternity Photographer in Barnsley then look no further. Being only one of the few Female Barnsley Photographer’s it is always nice to have someone local and someone to trust.

Call us on 01226 630 090 to organise your shoot today.

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