Thursday, 19 May 2011

Hats & Hens with Katherine Elizabeth

Despite the impending chaos bulldosing its way at an alarming rate towards us (we call this wedding season in the industry!) a few of us wedding planners managed to find a little time to get together last week. Invited by fellow planner Helen Carter who co-organised the evening with top class milliner Katherine Elizabeth, we were treated to champagne and canapes at Clerkenwell restaurant Portal and put through our paces making fascinators with Katherine's excellent tuition.

Katherine and her team have teamed together with Benefit Cosmetics hosting millinery workshops for hen parties, a sophisticated alternative to the rather out-dated 'L' plates, booze and stripper option. Brides and hens can be confident in the knowledge that mothers, aunts and grans won't feel at all out of place at a party such as this-you can sip on some bubbly, enjoy the atmosphere and of course relax whilst you create the perfect piece for your wedding outfit.

The table was beautifully laden with bright and colourful curiosities, from jewels to feathers, buttons and sequins and we were all very eager to get started. Katherine began by starting us off with a quick demonstration in feather moulding and off we went! I'll let the rest of these fabulous photos speak for themselves, kindly taken by Fanni Williams of Fubumedia who also redesigned my branding last month for our 4th birthday...

And here is my finished piece, created by pleating and stitching a piece of satin ribbon across the centre. Rather understated and very 'me'. Don't you just love the little love birds nestled on top of those buttons?

Special thanks to Helen and the staff at Portal for making us all feel so relaxed and welcome!

Images ©Fubumedia

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Hopelessly In Love With: Jane & Marilyn

I can't begin to tell you how relieved I was when I first received an email from two of the loveliest of ladies, life long friends since early school days, Jane and Marilyn who recently launched their online vintage dress company of the same name back in February. At last! I thought, authentic vintage style for ALL shapes and ALL ages, something really sexy and feminine for the mother of the bride rather than (and no offence to Her Majesty) the dodgy out-dated lemon yellow two piece, something that would work for bridesmaids too. Jane and Marilyn describe their collection as "forever fashion", pieces that are made well and can be worn year in year out, providing "grown-up glamour for real women". And they're not wrong...

As you'll see from my previous post covering the Most Curious Wedding Fair we exhibited at in April, I put them to the test and wore the uber sexy yet professional Ava dress. I felt wonderful in this 1950s style creation. The craftmanship is second to none, it pulls you in in all the right places, flatters those curves makes you feel really confident which, seven months after having my son I've not been feeling of late when faced with a brand new body shape. The fabric felt really luxurious too and would clearly last the test of time.
The dress arrived in a chic black box tied with hot pink ribbon-it was a joy to open and oh it fitted like a glove!

The collection is comprised of 10 designs, ranging from jewel colours to neutrals in sizes 8 to 16 and produced in the UK using fabrics created in the UK. The dresses are made in pure wool, silk or cotton and fully lined in pure silk. Best of all, they're designed to emphasise the waist and fall below the knee so if you're not comfortable with these areas I can't recommend them enough. Designs can also be tailored if you'd like a different colour or fabric, alterations or even a completely bespoke look and prices range from £595.00 to £845.00.

All the women modelling in the images you see here are real women, with busy day to day lives and I think they really appeal to mothers of the bride who want to look glamorous on their daughter's wedding day and look their age rather than 20 years their senior. I would happily wear any one of these every day, they're so beautifully made.

Thank you so much to Jane and Marilyn for allowing me to enjoy wearing Ava for the day and be sure to swing by their website for a further look.

You can follow Jane and Marilyn on Twitter too!

Grant-Riley Weddings