Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Don't sweat the Wedmin!

I'm going to be brutally honest here and say...I planned my wedding without Pinterest!!!

Not that I wouldn't have been all over it if it had existed when we were making those important floral design decisions back in the day.

And if I'm going to go the whole hog, and be painfully, brutally honest (yes it does hurt, quite a lot), we planned our wedding before people were really using the internet. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, very few mobile phones, and at the time I worked in an office where client details were kept in a box full of hand-written index cards! I know!

My point is this...

Planning a wedding, or 'wedmin' as it was cutely known for a time recently, will always require a certain amount of legwork. You'll always want to visit prospective wedding and reception venues, get close up and personal with wedding gowns and flowers, speak over the phone to entertainers, caterers, and car hire companies, and all of those things eat into your free weekends and evenings (it needs to be said that though, that those things are also really exciting things to do!). But, in this day and age, the magic of the internet makes a lot of your wedding research and purchases so very, very much quicker, simpler and easier.

Specifically, the advent of selling sites stocked by small UK businesses selling everything from stationery to cake toppers, wedding accessories to confetti, table decor to favours, garters to wedding shoes, all in the one place, mean that in just a single evening, if you get yourself organised with a list and a budget, you can rattle through a big chunk of your 'wedmin' in the time that it would take to catch up on your backlog of Game of Thrones (never watched a single episode...another guilty secret of mine!)

The selling sites I'm most familiar with, mainly because I stock them myself, are And So to Shop, and Love & Lilah. Here you can shop by theme, colour, or product, and even have the sites automatically throw up suggestions for other things you might not have thought about.

Nalina Hair Comb by Glorious by Heidi

Watercolour Wilderness by Nina Thomas Studio

I really do wish sites like this had been around when I was flailing around trying to plan a wedding, whilst also working full time in a busy photographic studio, trying to have a semblance of a social life, and occasionally get a good night's sleep.

On these sites you can while away an evening, shopping by theme, product, colour, and even have a few ideas suggested to you that you might not have thought of.

The sites are run by small teams keen to make a big success of what they're doing, and only stocked by equally small, independent, UK businesses, many of whom handcraft their products to unique designs, so you know that the customer service and 'hands on' approach is going to be first class.

With some suppliers offering free postage, samples, discounts and personalisation, what's not to love about modern day wedding planning?! 

Pour yourself a glass, get your PJ's on, put the mobile away, and get wedding planning the easy way.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Five of the best wedding photographers in the North West

Having been involved the wedding industry as an accessory designer for four years now (that went fast!) I've had the pleasure of meeting, and working alongside, many of the best wedding industry suppliers in the North West of England.

After a recent accessory consultation with a bride, she asked me if I could recommend a local photographer, and since we are blessed in this region with some varied, and talented photographers, I actually recommended my favourite 5. She then asked if I could recommend a hair and make-up artist, again, aware of how quickly my hair and make-up friends book up, I recommended 5. A florist? Again, 5...

You see what's happening here?!

My 'Top 5' series starts today with wedding photographers.

My top 5, North West based wedding photographers

I first 'met' Chelsea when she kindly allowed me to publish one of her images of one of my brides wearing a Glorious hair accessory on her wedding day.

Since that moment, I've been involved in a couple of styled shoots, conceived and captured by Chelsea, and have enjoyed tea & chat with her on a number of occasions.

Chelsea is always thoughtful, adores her craft, is a calming presence, continually strives to improve her skill, and captures her subjects with simple clarity.

I worked with Stephen on a styled wedding shoot conceived by Edith and Winston Bridalwear (they'll pop up in one of my future 5 of the best...). I was struck by the ease which Stephen interacted with a room full of strong women, his permanently happy demeanour, and impressed with his photographic skill capturing moving objects, birds and beautiful brides.

I met Philip Eagland, the principal photographer at Zap Image, at a Cheshire wedding fair, and loved the uniqueness of his images.

Since then I've worked on a styled wedding shoot with Philip where his enthusiasm for the concept, and the way he framed the subjects, has me very excited to see the final edit!

I always love seeing images of my brides wearing their Glorious accessories on their wedding day, and was particularly delighted to be sent Clare Basiuk's joyous photos of bride Laura (top), wearing her Sofia headpiece.

Clare's photography shows an unfailing ability to capture the fun and warmth of a wedding day, and I can't wait to meet and work with her very soon.

Her gorgeous saturated colour and vibrant images caught my eye after receiving these wonderful images through from Glorious bride Hannah. 

I haven't yet worked with photographer Teresa C, but would love to one day!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Finished today, for a photo shoot tomorrow

I love designing pieces for styled photo shoots. These accessories aren't designed for anyone in particular, so it's my chance to design with freedom, and really push the boat out with new techniques.

I knew that I wanted a particularly opulent piece for an up and coming styled wedding shoot at a Cheshire period country house, and had been building mood boards of patterns, and mosaics, like those found in the temples my husband and I visited when on an extended honeymoon through India, Nepal, Malaysia and Indonesia some years ago! I also wanted a piece that would catch the light in the same way that those mirrored mosaics do.

Sketching, tracing, placing and hand stitching for the finished piece, was a slow, but magical process, as I watched the design come to life, and I can't wait to share pictures from the styled wedding shoot, with our 'bride' wearing this headpiece.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A happy coincidence in my Cheshire studio today as I completed four Sofia Swarovski crystal hair pins, for four lucky bridesmaids, at the exact moment that the rare February sun broke through the clouds and started to shine through my window.

I couldn't bear to waste the moment, so took this short footage of the bridesmaid's hair pins bouncing the light around!

Monday, 14 November 2016

North West Wedding Accessory Designer 2017!

I won!!!

And I haven't stopped smiling since the announcement was made at a glittering awards event at Mitton Hall in Lancashire on Tuesday November 8th!

As usual, The Wedding Industry Awards pulled out all the stops for their annual awards bash...

Mitton Hall was awash with wedding loveliness, as the industry's finest turned out, resplendent in gorgeous gowns, and sassy suits, to enjoy cocktails, canapes, and wedding chat, ahead of the nerve wracking awards announcements.

Each category was hotly contested, with the region's best battling it out for those coveted Wedding Industry Awards pins and trophies.

The unveiling of the winners was met with whoops, high fives, tears, hugs, and exuberant on stage antics (yes, that's you Fun Time Frankies - winner of the Best Wedding Band).

This award means A LOT, being as it is, one of the few that is awarded on the basis of specific feedback from brides who have used your service in the last 12 months. And having won my category in 2016, I really felt that it was a high bar that I needed to reach to do the same again this year.

The rush of excitement, and emotion I felt when the winner of North West Wedding Industry Awards, Wedding Accessory Designer of 2017 was announced as Glorious Tiaras, meant I don't really remember going up on to the stage to collect my award, but the pictures show that I did!!!

I really am so very grateful to all the Glorious brides who voted for me. It's now on to the national Wedding Industry Awards ceremony in London on January 12th 2017, where one amazing accessory designer will be crowned the best in the land, but for now, I've got some Glorious accessories to make for next year's brides...

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Rossetti bridal hair accessory collection

It is with great pride that on September 1st 2016, I launch the brand new, 16 piece, Rossetti collection of bridal hair accessories from Glorious Tiaras!

Inspired by the art of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, the Rossetti bridal accessory collection features key themes from the art movement - those of nature, and women as Goddesses.

Celeste Hair Comb

Whilst most elements of a bride's day need to be fixed a considerable length of time before the big day, a hair accessory is one of the few items that can have a certain amount of flexibility to it, and if chosen carefully, can be worn to embellish everything from a relaxed 'undone' wedding day hairstyle, to perfect plaits, a chic chignon, to a classic pleat, with or without veil, and even worn again after the wedding day.

With this increased demand for versatility in mind, the Rossetti collection has been designed to feature combs, hair vines, and pins, that can be worn through the hair, along a plait, around a chignon, at the back of the head, to the side, on their own, or as a collection for greater impact.

Each piece within the collection harnesses the fluid lines found in our natural environment, and features dramatic, sweeping diamante headpieces that frame the face to perfection, alongside romantic, flowing hair vines embellished with French beaded feathers, flowers, and fresh water pearls. The delicate hair pins can be worn by the bride or as a complimentary piece, by her bridesmaids, and the classic vintage Vogue style fascinator looks amazing worn by the bride, or if designed using a bolder colour, by the mother of the bride or groom.

The Rossetti collection works equally for brides looking to choose pretty accessories that work in a relaxed boho styled wedding day, or those looking for a hair accessory that embellishes a more dramatic, goddess like look.

And, as with all of my designs, the Rossetti bridal hair accessory collection uses high-end components such as Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and silver lined seed beads, and an attention to detail that my inspiration, Dante Rossetti, used to such greatly admired, and timeless effect in his art work.

Pieces start from £30 for an individual pin, to £190.00 for the large headpieces.

Hair and make up for the accessory photo shoot are by Hair by Amy at Hush Lounge and Gemma at Dollface Makeup Studio in Cheshire.

Photography is by Richard Buck Photography, Cheshire

Dress is by Ellis Bridals, and was supplied for the photo shoot by Isaac Charles Bridal in Cheshire.

Our model is the beautiful Holly Cartlidge.

The divine, dove grey, armchair was provided by Deja Vu, Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Celeste Hair Pin

Aveline Hair Vine

Aveline Hair Vine

Greta Hair Vine

Greta Hair Vine

Greta Hair Vine

Monday, 29 August 2016

A wonderful woodland wedding shoot

I love being involved in a styled wedding shoot, especially when all I have to do is turn up on the day, meet lots of nice wedding industry people, and do a few refreshment runs!

So, I was delighted to be asked by Becca, of Knutsford plus size bridal boutique Edith & Winston, to provide some of my Glorious hair accessories for her Heaton House Farm shoot.

I've admired Edith & Winston's product shoots featuring the uber glamorous model, Georgina Horne, for a few months, and am very proud to be a Heaton House Farm recommended supplier, so this shoot was set up to be a joy before I'd even boxed up the accessories.

On the day, the hits just kept coming....

Super talented photographer Stephen McGowan, also turned out to be a good laugh (always a bonus),  make up artist Kerry Baker, was a riot! And models Nancy Whittington-Coates and Nic Pollard were top lasses to talk tattoos and hair pieces with.

The shoot made the most of the beautiful natural environment, including the lush English woodland and breath taking Peak District views that surround Heaton House Farm; complimented by beautiful floral arrangements from Knutsford Bloom and strings of romantic festoon lights from Love Lights the Way

AND we had an owl!!! Can't believe how chilled out Eric the owl was, surrounded by lights, lenses, dresses & models, but he was just like "meh, wedding shoot, medding shoot..."!

I cannot wait to see the final edit for this shoot, but if recent form is anything to go by - Stephen McGowan Photography has just been voted as the 15th best wedding photographer in the UK by Your Perfect Wedding Photographer, whilst a stunning collaboration between Stephen McGowan and Edith & Winston has been featured on the cover of Pretty Pear Bride magazine - the results are going to be well worth waiting for.