Thursday, 31 March 2011

{Top Tip Thursday} Emergency Pack




Make sure you're prepared for emergencies on your big day.
Take along a purse or bag containing items such as:
plasters, 
clear nail polish, 
needle and thread, 
asprin, 
an extra pair of tights.
Give them to a bridesmaid to keep for you.



Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk

Thursday, 24 March 2011

{Top Tip Thursday} Out of Town Guests



When planning a wedding and you have a lot of guests coming
from out of town it's a nice idea to make up a little kit for each one. This can contain a local map, suggestions for restaurants, etc.
This will make them feel more welcome and make their stay a little easier.



Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk

Thursday, 17 March 2011

{Top Tip Thursday} Ask Photography Questions




Asking questions is an important part of selecting a wedding photographer,
and also the type of wedding photography you want to capture your wedding.
Whether dealing with vendors, individual photographers or venues,
ask to see albums of their wedding photography and
request references from past clients.



Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk

Monday, 14 March 2011

{Monday Mayhem} Wedding Invitations under £1.50

Wedding Invitations. Make them stand out. Make them Unique. Make them to your theme. Make them personal. Make them YOU.

Here I show some of my favourite designs for under £1.50 each.



Butterfly Wishes
Pocket Fold Invitations


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, 12 March 2011

{Supplier Spotlight} Cat's Whiskers Cake Design


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

I’m Helen Finney and I own and run Cat’s Whiskers Cake Design. We’re a family run bespoke cake business. We work from home and believe we offer high quality (great tasting!) products with a design that is unique to you.

2. When did you set Cat's Whiskers Cake Design up?
The business was set up in 2005 and I ran the business part time alongside my day job in Finance until 2009 when I was made redundant. We’ve been full time for 16 months now and absolutely love it!


3. How did Cat's Whiskers Cake Design Start? Cake decorating has always been around for me – my mum did classes when I was little so she always made fabulous cakes for our birthdays. When my brother got married I helped her with his wedding cake and it really sparked an interest for me. I took classes at night school and learned all the basic skills and then more advance skills such as sugar flower-making. I just loved it!


4. Why did you set up Cat's Whiskers Cake Design?
I worked hard to gain my qualifications as a Chartered Accountant but knew I was suppressing my creative side. Just after I started my night school course I found out I was expecting our first child and my priorities also shifted towards work that would fit in with childcare responsibilities. It took a few years and a bit of luck but we got there in the end. I now work from home and am able to do the school run and look after my pre-schooler too.



5. How many employee?s are there in your business and who are they?
There’s just me and my mum – she works with me providing a valuable extra pair of hands for icing large cakes and feeding small children!
6. How did you decide on your business name?
We have an elderly cat so the idea started with him. The phrase ‘the cat’s whiskers’ kept popping into my head when I was trying to think of something that conveyed that we were high quality. We thought it would be a good name that stood out a bit

7. What?s the best thing about your business?
One of the best things about our business is that we are home based (this also provides it’s own challenges though too!). Without the overheads of premises to cover we can keep our prices very competitive and provide a relaxed environment to discuss designs with our customers. It also means that we can offer flexibility with consultation and collection times, and that I can keep working on a design at any time of the day (or night!) to take advantage of when that flash of inspiration strikes.
8. What do you find most challenging about your business?
As we work from home we don’t have a shop-front. This can be a challenge as customers don’t drive past us every day meaning we don’t pick up passing trade. We get a lot of business through our website and via word of mouth recommendation. We’ve worked hard to get involved with the local business community too and this has helped us to raise our profile locally.

9. What have been some of the greatest rewards from your business?
I love seeing the reaction of clients when they see their cakes! We had one lady cry when she collected her daughter’s christening cake because she loved it so much! We also recently had a couple who were getting married and didn’t think they could afford a bespoke designed wedding cake – then they met us at a wedding fair. We worked with them and created a design they loved that was within their budget. Being part of such a special celebration is wonderful.
10. What's the best thing Cat's Whiskers Cake Design give to its customers?
We offer a very personal design experience – you visit our home and drink tea with us, eat the cake we have made in our kitchen and then create a design with us that is unique to you. Especially for a wedding, we take on all the details of your celebration and how you want the whole day to feel and we incorporate all your ideas into a design that is perfect for you, be that a simple design or sugar flowers to co-ordinate with your bouquet or masses of sparkly cake jewellery! We handmade everything ourselves and our aim is for you to have a totally unique cake that you love.
11. Do you have any top tips for choosing a Cake Maker?
Have a look at their previous work on their website and then get in touch to discuss your ideas. If you’re looking for a wedding cake then go and meet them at a fair and look at their stand. Talk to them and basically go with your gut feeling! If you like the person and the kind of designs they’ve done before then it’s highly likely that you will be able to create a design you love. Oh and don’t forget to taste their cake….a cake that tastes fabulous is just as important as one that looks incredible!
12. What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to run their own business?
- don’t underestimate the amount of time and effort that you need to put in to making it a success! I’m working harder now than I ever have!
- be brave – if you believe in your product and your business then you will succeed but you have to be prepared to put on your sales and marketing hat and sell yourself (no matter how excruciating you may find it!)
- treat your customers with respect – as a small business your reputation is everything and a happy customer will tell everyone how great you are….but an unhappy customer will do that too.



13. Where can I find out more about Cat's Whiskers Cake Design?
We have a website http://www.catswhiskerscakedesign.co.uk/and also a page on Facebook  and we’re on Twitter too @whiskerscakes

Thursday, 10 March 2011

{Top Tip Thursday} Cut down on Bridesmaids

 

If you're on a tight budget, try to limit the number of attendants.
It will reduce your flower bill (bridesmaid's bouquets can be very expensive),
the number of bridal party gifts that you'll have to purchase and
the the cost of a bridesmaid dinner and the rehearsal dinner.


Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

{Wedding Wednesday} Choosing your Wedding Hymns




I always find that people struggle when they are trying to
choose or find Wedding Hymns.

So i came across this website I was in awe!

It has lots of tips from Seven Steps for your Church Wedding

Also find out how you can have different types of music at your Wedding

You can go to the website and listen to the list of hymns below.

Jerusalem 
O Worship the King
Morning Has Broken
Come To A Wedding
Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven
Praise To The Lord, The Almighty
The Lord’s My Shepherd
O Praise Ye The Lord!
Give Me Joy In My Heart
God In The Planning And Purpose Of Life
All Things Bright And Beautiful
At Cana’s Wedding Long Ago
That Human Life Might Richer Be
Lord And Lover Of Creation
Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
We Pledge To One Another
The Grace Of Life Is Theirs
Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord
Amazing Grace
One More Step Along The World I Go
Lord Of The Dance
Lead us Heavenly Father
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
For The Beauty Of The Earth
Love Divine All Loves Excelling
Lord Of All Hopefulness
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
As Man And Woman We Were Made
Tell out my Soul


You can also check out their Online Ceremony Planner
Very good if your having a Church Wedding and dont
know what to expect.


Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk

Monday, 7 March 2011

{Monday Mayhem} Wedding Invitations under £2

Wedding Invitations. Make them stand out. Make them Unique. Make them to your theme. Make them personal. Make them YOU.

Here I show some of my favourite designs for under £2 each.


Carnival Day Invitation by CardsBySophie
Butterfly Invitation by Cavania
Gig Ticket Invitation


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, 5 March 2011

{Supplier Spotlight} Knots & Kisses Wedding Stationery



1. In just a few sentences, could you describe your business? Knots & Kisses Wedding Stationery provides unique handmade wedding stationery for couples who want their wedding to stand out from the crowd! We offer both 'off the peg' ranges and a bespoke service, giving clients the opportunity to have a personal consultation to discuss their wedding stationery. Our products include invitations, menu cards, order of service and we also offer handpainted table plans to match your stationery.

2. When did you set Knots & Kisses up?
Knots & Kisses as a full time business started about 2 years ago.
3. How did Knots & Kisses Start?
It all started really with my sister's wedding in 2005! She asked me to help her design and style her wedding and, as I had always been involved in the artistic field, make her stationery. We ended up producing a country themed wedding with touches of lavender, thistles and corn .. and I also handpainted pebbles for her place cards. After that a couple of work colleagues asked me to do their stationery. I finally decided to set up properly as a business in 2009 after helping another friend with the stationery and table plans for their art deco themed wedding.



4. Why did you set up Knots & Kisses?After many years of working as a visual merchandiser I decided that it was time I acheived my dream of owning my own business. I always loved stationery and wedding design so it seemed the obvious choice! After long talks with my partner I decided to give up my full time job and become Self - Employed .. and I haven't looked back!

5. How many employee?s are there in your business and who are they?
Really at the moment its just me .. although I have a huge amount of help from my partner, both financially and with orders when needed. I also have a couple of helpers who occasionally make things like bunting if a couple require it to match their stationery.

6. How did you decide on your business name?
Quite embarrasingly my partner actually came up with the name .. I'd been throwing various ideas around for a while and he just came up with it on the spot and it just seemed perfect! People sometimes ask me why Knots & Kisses .... it just seems to sum up what wedding are all about for me, tying the knot with the person you want to spend the rest of your life kissing!



7. What's the best thing about your business?
I love meeting couples and sharing their passion for the design of their wedding. Finding that you are totally on their wavelength with the style they want for their stationery is amazing. I also love those fantastic thank you letters afterwards and the pictures people often send so you feel like you've been a really important part of their day... its the best feeling ever!

8. What do you find most challenging about your business?
I have to say ... saying no! I decided when I set up the business that I wanted to produce 100% handmade personalised wedding stationery and not preprinted ... and sometimes this means saying no to a couple if you're already completely booked for that month.




9. What have been some of the greatest rewards from your business?
I honestly have to say other people saying they love your stationery is the best reward! Not just from clients .. but I've had some amazing feedback form the rest of the industry on twitter and various blogs. When I launched my new English Eccentrics range in January the response was amazing!

10. What's the best thing Knots & Kisses gives to its customers?
I have to say its the personal service. I firmly believe that a bride and groom should be able to ring me up comfortably, without hesitation and ask me questions about their stationery and request any changes. I don't want to be just a website to my clients! I often get completely caught up in peoples weddings and I want customers to feel that someone else is really excited about their wedding! My main aim as a business is to provide stationery that is perfectly suited to that persons wedding.

11. Do you have any top tips for choosing your Wedding Stationery?
1. Start thinking about the design and theme of your invitations and reception stationery as soon as possible. Apart from booking the venue its one of the first things you will have to do. You can always ring us for a consultation ... we can help clarify your ideas even if you don't want to order for a few months.
2. Make sure you order your stationery well in advance if you can. Ideally you need to send out your stationery 3 months prior to the wedding ... longer for overseas weddings. So start the consultation and booking process at least 2 months prior to that so we have time to hand make your stationery.
3. Many people make the mistake of ordering one invitation per person. Remember families and couples only need one invitation!
4. Orders of Service can also often be shared between 2 people if you are looking to save money.
5. Remember to order a couple of extra blank invitations, even if you are ordering stationery with pre-printed guest names, just in case any of your original guest list can't come and you want to send an invitation to someone else.
6. Many handmade stationery companies can only take so many orders every month to ensure the highest quality stationery. If you have a particular range of stationery or supplier in mind book early!
7. If you are on a strict budget ... let your stationery company know from the start. We can then work tightly to your budget, adapt invitations to suit it and always make suggestions to save you money! There is nothing worse as a stationer than working with a couple and creating a bespoke design for them and then they say its out of their price range.



12. What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to run their own business?
- Be prepared for hard work! Running your own business is not 9-5 .. I work 7 days a week.
- Make the most of Social Media Marketing ... twitter and facebook have had an amazing effect on my business!
- Take some time out for yourself occasionally ... its so easy to work constantly .. you need a night out occasionally!

13. Where can I find out more about Knots and Kisses?You can find all our current ranges and details of what we offer on our website http://www.knotsandkisses.co.uk/

I also write a regular blog featuring all my inspirations, advice and fabulous fellow suppliers http://knotsandkisses.blogspot.com/

You can also keep in contact on twitter @knotsandkisses and on facebook - Knots & Kisses Wedding Stationery

Friday, 4 March 2011

{Foto Friday} The Studio....First Week

This Week we've had our first week in the new studio, we're really still "moving in and settling" but everything is in, its just getting everything in the right place, as soon as its all done we shall be showing pictures of that!

But for now, this is some of the work we have done in the Studio












If you would like a shoot in our studio you can contact us via email to adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk
or on 07825 444 953

Thursday, 3 March 2011

{Yorkshire Wedding Fayres} Sunday 6th March

{Yorkshire Wedding Fayres} Sunday 6th March

Kenwood Hall
11am - 3pm

Ramada Hull
12pm - 3pm

Alder House Hotel
11am - 3pm

Hilton Leeds City Hotel
11am - 4pm

Holiday Inn Brighouse
11am - 3:30pm

Rogerthorpe Manor
11am - 3:30pm

We are happy to be exhibiting at Rogerthorpe Manor along with some other fabulous suppliers.

Come along and see us!

Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk





{Top Tip Thursday} Trimming your Cake budget




If your cake budget is tight, consider eliminating some or all of the following:
(which usually add to the expense of the cake)
Fruit fillings,
Fondant icing,
Handmade sugar flowers,
Deep (rather than pastel) colours,
Unique shapes.


Adele
www.bluelightsphotography.co.uk
adele@bluelightsphotography.co.uk

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

{Guest Blog} Designer Weekend Event at Wedding Belles of Otley!

Melita by Alan Hannah


Wedding Belles of Otley will be holding an Alan Hannah Designer Weekend
event on Friday 4th, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2011

All Alan Hannah gowns are designed and hand crafted at their London studio,
the stunning designer couture wedding gowns from multi-award winner
Alan Hannah feature exquisitely made corseted bodices, classic lines and have the classic couture cut and fit synonymous with the designer.

Marguerite Hannah has been the designer for the Alan Hannah label since 1990. Her inspiration for the individual flowers on Melita, which are stylised Gerbera daisies, were the daisies from her childhood memories of “he loves me, he loves me not”. Of course, with Melita it is definitely a case of “he loves you”, so it’s a little bit of a dream come true. Every petal is designed and hand crafted at the Alan Hannah studio, before being sewn on individually.

The Alan Hannah collection at Wedding Belles of Otley contains a wonderful selection of both full and slim line bridal gowns, all of which are in the most sumptuous silks, satins and organza’s. With a choice of beautiful fabrics and colours, and an array of trimmings and special finishing touches, you really can have the wedding dress of your dreams.

The Alan Hannah Designer weekend is being held at Wedding Belles of Otley from Friday 4th March to Sunday 6th March. Come along and view Alan’s full collection of beautiful, stunning gowns.

All brides to be will receive *10% OFF* Alan Hannah gowns ordered during this event, an offer not to be missed.

We only have a few appointments still available so please secure your appointment by contacting us as soon as possible.

Wedding Belles of Otley
5 New Inn Court
Otley, LS21 3AJ

Tel: 01943 465222

Blog  Facebook Website

Thank you for telling us about this Event Kellie!

{Wedding Wednesday} Wedding Stationery - Fonts & Colour Choices

Here we have Sophie again from www.cardsbysophie.com telling us about Fonts and Colour Choices for Wedding Stationery.

Choosing your Wedding Stationery – Fonts and colour choices



Your stationery can set the scene for your wedding, and it is often the first thing that your guests will see that will give them a hint about the big day.

The invitations are the first key step to setting the tone and the first glimpse into the wedding day for your guests, so you need to decide whether you’re going for something traditional or modern, and the colours involved.

Think about the sort of clothes you love, your ideal d├ęcor, and the place where you are getting married.  Many of my brides have chosen ribbon colours to match the bridesmaids’ dresses by sending a swatch of fabric in, some examples are below.

The fonts you use on your stationery can also set the scene really well, we offer a choice of fonts from a modern ‘Century Gothic’ to a traditional ‘Edwardian Script’.  We also have some non standard fonts available, in fact we’ve got a big new list for 2011!

Look at how the difference in colours and fonts can completely alter the design – these table plans are using the same Pearl design!



Remember your ‘on the day’ stationery (these are items to be used on the wedding day e.g. menus) can match in with your invitations, so you may wish to use the same colours and fonts again here.

You could be alternative like one of my couples, they chose the Allure design, but had three different combinations of their cream, dark purple and lilac colour scheme. They apparently had so many comments on the day about how alternative this was and how lovely it all looked! See what they did below.




Colours that have been particularly popular in 2010 for us are hot pink, deep purple and monochrome. There are so many different shades out there, one of the ribbon manufacturers we use has 52 colours alone, so why not try us out to match a shade for you?

I had a recent request for a Wedgwood blue ribbon – and managed to match it!


Contact Sophie at www.cardsbysophie.com




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