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....


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

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

She'd love to hear from you.

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

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

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
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