Thursday, 30 January 2014

Roses are Red: WIN a St Valentine Wedding Treat

"Roses are red - now it's up to you, what 3 lines would you write, to WIN a wedding treat or two?"


#BeOurValentineRhyme

Bespoke Dreams has teamed up with some fabulous local wedding suppliers to offer all brides and grooms-to-be the chance to WIN a mini bridal package!

You may’ve noticed on my earlier post that BRIDES by Natalie are celebrating one year since their launch.  And as we’re celebrating over the St Valentine’s weekend, one lucky bride or groom could win a mini-bridal package put together by the exhibitors at the BRIDES by Natalie celebratory event in store on Saturday 15th February 2014!

What Bespoken Dreams is offering

For Better or Verse  - telling your beautiful love story in rhyme! One poem worth £100, bespoke special occasion poetry perfect for speeches, gifts or favours.  Eloquent, heartfelt, sincere speeches with a dose of humour! 

For more information on all the prizes please tweet @BRIDESbyNatalie

To enter

All you have to do is complete the 'Roses are Red' rhyme with the remainder three lines.  All entries will be judged by the Brides by Natalie team with the winner being selected on Monday 17th February 2014.

Simply email natalie@bridesbynatalie.co.uk and leave your name, contact number and date of your wedding.

Entry closes at 3.30pm on Saturday 15th February 2014

Good Luck!

bdx

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

BRIDES by Natalie celebrate one year since launch

First year anniversaries are special, aren’t they?  A time to reflect on a year of team work, hard graft and, (mostly!), very-good-times.   And yes, a time of celebration! 


On Saturday 15th February 2014, the five ‘brains’ behind the exquisite bridal boutique, BRIDES by Natalie, local business ladies and dream (dress) team, Natalie, Sharon, Jan, Diane and Helen, will be doing just that - opening their doors once again to celebrate in style with the brides-to-be of Liverpool.


The celebratory event, hosted 9.30am to 3pm, will welcome brides and their entourages, past and present, to the purpose-built store over St. Valentine’s weekend, to raise and glass of bubbly and peruse the select services of local high-end wedding suppliers in the industry.

Exactly one year prior, BRIDES by Natalie burst onto the wedding scene launching in the leafy village of West Derby, Liverpool.  But with decades collectively behind them in the wedding industry, the five business ladies are hardly newcomers.

Having worked together as a team for several years before deciding to branch out into their own enterprise, the team includes three experienced seamstresses offering a bespoke and exclusive design service.  With dazzling designer gowns from all corners of the world draped throughout the boutique, BRIDES by Natalie also offer bespoke services including Dressing on the Day  and Sew by Natalie, a basic 10 week sewing course for DIY brides wanting to get more involved.  BRIDES by Natalie certainly offer the discerning brides of the North West that je ne sai quois.

Natalie Coleman, co-owner and managing director, said: “The five of us have all worked together before and are really good friends outside of work.  We remain friends with many of our past brides too. 

“Choosing your wedding dress is one of the most important choices in a woman’s life. We understand this, and that’s why we go that extra mile; to build a relationship with each bride and ensure everything is perfect for all our customers.”

As a past bride who received impeccable service from Natalie in 2009, it’s easy to see how the ‘BRIDES by Natalie’ friendly and welcoming approach has customers trusting them dearly with one of the most important purchases of their lives. .   

Exhibiting on the day:

Brides By Natalie main ground floor; Forever in a Day Photography main ground floor; Lou's Lovelies Cakes first floor landing; Dutch Flower Shop first floor landing; Red Carpet Makeup and Saints Hairdressing first floor room; The Huyton Civic Suite first floor room, For Better or Verse Special Occasion Poetry 

A wedding car supplier will also be exhibiting outside of the store.

To join in with the first anniversary celebrations of the purpose-built store on 125 Eaton Road, West Derby, Liverpool L12 1LU, please call 0151 291 7746 or email natalie@bridesbynatalie.co.uk to reserve your place on the guest list!


Be Our Valentine Rhyme!
Fancy getting your hands on a mini bridal package?  Watch this space for more news on how to win a bridal package from the above suppliers...Good Luck!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Wedding suppliers pucker up for International Kissing Day

Mwah, mwah, well hello my lovelies!   

Today, you may be aware, the humble kiss is celebrated globally across the world.  Yes, it's International Kissing Day; a day that my wedding colleagues and I couldn't let pass without us appreciating a kiss in it's own right.




 Let me explain.  I was initially approached by makeup artist and hair stylist Vicky King from Glamorama and photographers William Lee and Patrick Donnelly of Forever in a Day to help coordinate a wedding inspired photo shoot.  After some thought, we decided to theme it to International Kissing Day; the objective being for us to go back to the beginning of a love story, starting with a first kiss; to show how we really do care about our clients and see each couple with their own unique story to tell.




A kiss can represent many things in society; a warm greeting, a kiss goodbye, a passionate kiss or a first kiss.  Being in the wedding world, we hear a lot about first kisses.  Not in great detail might I add, but we get to be privy to some really romantic love stories of how our couples have met.  And that got myself and a group of local wedding suppliers thinking on how we could promote professionalism in our industry with an International Kissing Day wedding inspired photo shoot.  To show the engaged couples of the North West how we all share the same ethos of offering a bespoke and professional service to all our bride and grooms.





 We know couples are feeling the pinch of adverse financial pressures without adding pressures from wedding suppliers too.  I’ve met so many brides who were dissatisfied with suppliers who’d forgotten details, lost notes, didn’t listen to their requirements and were generally disinterested.  We wanted to show that as suppliers we never lose sight of this being the most important day of their lives and how we strive to understand how each couple ticks to offer a personalised service as possible. 

But not only that, we wanted to showcase how collaborative partnership working within the industry is a win-win for everyone.

So we contacted likeminded friends in the industry who were only too keen to join forces and celebrate the humble kiss!





So our first stop, a venue.  Straight away we agreed on the historic (and former gentleman's club) The Racquet Club in Liverpool's city centre.  A special venue housed in a Victorian gem of a building constructed in the form of a Venetian Palazzo by a wealthy Liverpool merchant in 1857.  Wow!



So who to complement the ornate and vintage backdrop for our photo shoot?  Brides by Natalie was launched earlier this year in Liverpool and is housed in a purpose-built luxurious bridal boutique over two stunning levels.  I dealt with Managing Director Natalie over 4 years ago purchasing my own wedding gown, and she made the whole experience a dream.  So we just had to get Natalie and her team on board! 


Again, having dealt with Groom Hire Liverpool for our very own wedding, we contacted Collette who was only too happy to help out.  Groom Hire Liverpool sits humbly on the ground floor of the The Wedding House, the iconic gothic building home to over 30 wedding businesses.  It really is a must for newly engaged couples taking the plunge into the wide world of wedding planning.




And so our shoot was gathering momentum!  Victoria Rose Vintage Crockery Hire fitted in perfectly with the elegant theme and we managed to pinch some of her precious (not to mention scrumdiddlyumptious) baking time to join us on the shoot.  Victoria's vintage crockery, decor, furniture and props provide an elegant way to celebrate any wedding or occasion, and they certainly complemented the beautiful reception rooms of the Racquet Club, perfectly.







Miss Bouquets (also a business and friend of the Wedding House) agreed to the International Kissing Day Team (IKDT) using her beautiful bespoke floral silk arrangements; bouquets, posies, corsages, button holes and table displays. Local lovelies Louise and Jess of Jessie's Jewels were very kind in loaning their gorgeous costume jewellery for the shoot too.




Well, we were pleased as punch with the results (models Emma and Jake were born for this!) and you can read more about 'Behind the Scenes' of the actual day soon.






S.W.A.L.K
 With many thanks to:

CREDITS

·         Venue – The Racquet Club

·         Photographers – Forever in a Day

·         Hair and Makeup- Glamorama

·         Wedding PR and Coordinator – Bespoken Dreams

·         Bridal wear – Brides by Natalie

·         Groomswear – Groom Hire Liverpool

·         Vintage crockery and cakes – Victoria Rose Vintage Crockery Hire

·         Flowers and table décor  – Miss Bouquets

·         Jewellery – Jessie's Jewels

·         Models - Emma Harrison and Jake Bowness

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

You're Invited to Sip for Stroke: A Decadent High Tea Affair!






There are a few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”

You are cordially invited to

A DECADENT HIGH TEA AFFAIR!

in aid of


the Stroke Association Registered Charity in England & Wales (No 211015)

Date Sunday 30th September 2012

Time 3pm - 6pm

Venue The 'Fifth' | London Carriage Works | Hope Street Hotel | Liverpool

Champagne High Cream Tea | Entertainment | Luxury Raffle

£30.00 per person to be purchased here

RSVP



Bespoken Dreams would like to thank the following confirmed sponsors for their kind generosity, it is very much appreciated:

Tracey Bell 
Tribeca Liverpool
Victoria Rose Vintage Hire
White Haus Hair and Makeup
Martisan Photography
Riverside Entertainments Agency
Strangecase Collective


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bride and Tested: A White Aisle Wedding

Last year I was super lucky enough to be asked to help partially plan one of my best friend's wedding in the White party Isle that is Ibiza.  Being a UK wedding planner (and a somewhat previous party girl) I jumped at the chance to help plan this destination wedding.  And what a destination it was! 



 

So dancing shoes packed we flew out 2nd June for a week long HAG do before the day of all days, Friday 8th June 2012. 

We stayed in the picturesque Santa Eularia, close by to the stunning harbour adorned with trendy eateries and bars.  Our days were spent milling round here or frequenting the luxurious Aquas de Ibiza; a 5 star hotel with a gorgeous roof terrace bar and pool.  Cocktail chic at its best.  Muy bien!



The actual wedding day was breathtaking; the setting, the atmosphere, and of course the newlyweds themselves!  50 guests, all close family and friends helped celebrate their day in true Ibizan style, very chic and very chilled. 



Arriving at the Amante Beach Club near Santa Eularia des Riu at 4pm for delicious cocktails, guests oohed and aahed at the spectacular setting before waiting for the bride's arrival at 5pm (and true to a bride's prerogative, Charlotte was fashionably late).  The very Princess of Pop Kylie had previously hosted a bash here so we were very lucky, lucky lucky (sorry) to have celebrated our friends wedding in such stylish and beautiful surroundings. 

The ceremony itself was on the edge of a cliff top and was performed by the lovely Terry Freeth of  Blessing on Ibiza.
Charlotte looked an absolute vision in her Jenny Packham gown and accessories, a real Balearic Beauty!  And Groom Andrew looked very dashing too.



Bride arriving with her big cousin Stephen, who made a very humorous and sincere speech

The photographer was the very talented Ana Lui.  The snaps that you see on here were taken on an iPhone so I can't WAIT to see Ana's magical shots. 

The Bride's and Bridesmaids' hair and makeup was done by the lovely ladies at Smack Ibiza and it's got to be said they all looked like supermodels. 

Only thing missing?  The Ok! magazine...
Best Friends Forever!
The lovely Lauren Kaycee, Ibiza Wedding Singer and her guitarist entertained us during the champagne reception following the ceremony.  They were amazing and really set the scene.  Lauren is a local Liverpool lovely who lives in Ibiza!


waiting for bubbles!

The cake created by Eileen of Ibiza Cakes was perfect and complemented Charlotte's theme beautifully, cascading roses and sparkly cupcakes in purple and cream.


Escort cards and fun favours!



So after a wonderful wedding breakfast, a lot of belly laughs and some tiny tears, we all hit the dancefloor until our feet could take no more!

Flowers supplied by Mireya Estevez and arranged by the super talented Veronica Loftus Bennett



A Big Up to Zeta at Amante who has the best job in the world! 



keeping the ladies cool!
But the biggest thanks goes to Charlotte and Andrew for hosting a beautiful week, one that all your family and friends shall never forget.  Here's to love, laughter, and your happy ever after.


Much Love bdx

Friday, 22 June 2012

We're Loved by Boho!

Last autumn 2011, wedding planner and blogger Kelly from Boho Weddings and Events launched the Boho Blog Readers Survey to her loyal lovelies, offering an amazing prize draw of £4,000 worth of wedding wonders to those bride and grooms who participated.
Wedding Blog - Boho
Bespoken Dreams were honoured to donate our For Better or Verse service to 2nd prize winners Charlotte and James. Both bride and groom to be Charlotte and James were delighted with their bespoke poem telling their beautiful story in rhyme saying, “Thank you very much for the poem. It made us laugh a lot!”
Charlotte and James’ big day is July 2012 so I cannot share any of the poem with you just yet!
Bespoken Dreams is delighted to wear our Boho Badge with pride.

Much Love bd x

Friday, 30 March 2012

BLOGGED: What Do Wedding Planners Do?

This week I was super kindly invited to contribute to the 'UK's Best Bridal Mini-Mag' -the Wedding Ideas blog.  An offer I couldn't refuse!  I LOVE the herd at Wedding ideas for their inspirational advice and real life weddings, so to be asked to share my insights into the wonderful world of wedding planning was a great honour.  Enjoy! bd x

What do wedding planners do?

What do wedding planners do? Newly engaged couples can often find the wonderful world of weddings a little daunting, so look to the guidance and creativity of a wedding planner. Busy couples with hectic family, work and social commitments use planners to save time, and savvy couples to save money! But what exactly do we do to help you get hitched without a hitch? Helen Burns from Bespoken Dreams gives us the ins and outs of what wedding planners actually do!

Helen Burns from Bespoken dreams
Helen Burns from Bespoken Dreams


Dial M for Marriage
Planners listen. To your ideas, dreams, aspirations, loves, hates, hobbies and interests to understand your unique style and flair, throughout the whole of the planning process. We’re your speed dial magic number…

Numbers!
Budget planning and admin is essential. We can crunch your numbers to ensure you stay in line with budget and get the very best deals for you.

Research Your Dream Venue
Your reception is your biggest splurge; we eliminate venues out of budget and investigate those that have facilities featuring most highly on your wanted list. Barn to Boutique, Castle to Country House, Historical to Heritage!

Friends in High Place
Planners aren’t just for celebs or blingy budgets. We each have our own ‘little white book’ of reputable, inspiring suppliers to negotiate prices on your behalf, saving you money in the process.

We’re En Vogue
Our job is to make sure we’re ahead of the style stakes in order to give you as many options as possible to create the dream day you’re both visualising.

We’re Niche
Planners have their own niche so we’ll never try to put a square (marquee) peg in a round hole! Like your betrothed, you’ll know if you’ve found the right planner.

We’re Impartial
Representing style-savvy couples staying true to their personal flair, we give honest, impartial and expert advice to guarantee complete Bridal Idol. We won’t let any friend, family or foe stress you out!

Designing a Theme
We create visual mood boards of inspiring colours, textures and even smells! Text, photographs, magazines, images, swatches and samples will bring your potential theme to life. Delicate, significant touches to the sublime!

It’s Your Choice
How involved we get with your planning is entirely up to you. Planners offer a full coordination or can also break this service down into amuse-bouche bites. Planning as smooth as the silk dress you’re possibly wearing!

Searching for the Cream of the Crop!
Planners have an extensive circle of vetted suppliers, big or small, from the award winning to the hidden gems, all sharing the same ethos of creating your oh-so special celebration.

Thank you Wedding Ideas for featuring me on your beautiful blog! x

Monday, 5 March 2012

Have the Time of Your Life Thinking Pink!

Cocktails & Dirty Dancing - Saturday 10th March at the Bubble Room/Woolton Picturehouse, Liverpool

And Help Put Breast Cancer in the Corner...

Dirty Dancing is THE ultimate chick flick.  As enthralled 80's spectators we worshiped every word, marvelled every move and LOVED the legendary line 'Nobody puts Baby in the corner'.  And we just don't tire of it!
So, grab your girlies this weekend and relive your favourite movie this Saturday 10th March at the the Woolton Picture House, Liverpool, all in the aid of the  Breast Cancer Campaign. 



 
Regional Volunteer Clare Worthington has put on a show stopping afternoon, starting at 2pm with arrival canapes and cocktails (Watermelon Martini and Sexy Swayze) at the Bubble Room, Woolton followed by a pink carpet arrival and a private screening from 4pm till 6pm at the cinema hidden gem, a traditional art deco auditorium, directly opposite the Bubble Room.  Tickets are priced at £15 pp, with all proceeds going to the charity.  You can also pay on the door on the day. 

How better to while away a Saturday afternoon with your chicks, sipping cocktails, thinking pink?

For more information contact Clare on 07590 619 331.

Be Part of the Cure, much love xxx

Top Tips on Selecting your Wedding Dream Venue

Last week I was asked to comment in the local press on handy tips for brides and grooms sourcing their dream venue.  And let me tell you, after jotting notes for some 5 minutes the pen was smoking - there's quite a bit to look into!  Now, my intention is not to scare you (far from it) but to simply emphasise the importance of reseaching your venue properly to ensure it creates the right ambience and memories for your oh-so-special day.

If you keep these tips in the back of your mind, you'll be ticking the top of your wedding to do list off, pronto.  

But most importantly, go with your instincts. Just like your betrothed, you will know when you’ve found the right one....


What to Think About  

Number crunch
With the average wedding costing £21k, and of course a raging recession to think about, it’s important to sit down and discuss your budget as soon as possible.  It sounds obvious, but eliminate venues that are out of your budget immediately, venues very rarely move on price.  If a venue is reluctant to provide costs when you initially enquire, tell them of your budget before arranging a meeting.  This will save you time, effort and heartbreak!

The guest list
Decide on a first draft of numbers and draw up a list (perhaps with both sets of parents).  Of course this won’t be the final cut, but you will need a rough indication before you can research and confirm your venue.  Capacity at a particular venue will dictate whether you host dinner for 80 or an evening cocktail reception for 120.  Many venues insist on minimum numbers to guarantee profit; meaning you have to pay for the shortfall.

Location
Again, it sounds obvious, but if your wedding ceremony is at a separate venue, take into account the logistics.  Is transport required for guests, will the route be busier on the day of your wedding, are there any local events on the day of your event that could obstruct traffic.  Check the signage on the roads is suitable too.  Also consider your evening guests; if your venue is a hidden gem tucked away then you should consider transport for them too.

Availability
If you have your heart set on a fashionable venue, book it yesterday!  Think about seasons.  If it’s more popular in summer then why not consider a winter wedding?  Also think about topical events; FA Cup finals, the forthcoming Olympics, they all have knock on effects on cost and availability.  If you don’t have a venue in mind, shortlist your own venue menu and visit 3-5 until you find your perfect location that reflects the day that you’re both visualising. 

Go For Sunday Lunch!
The best way to suss out a venue is to ‘mystery shop’ on a particularly busy day like Sunday lunchtime.  Here you can sample the food, service, cleanliness and toilets without any of the hard sell.

 



What to Look For

Accessibility
Note if the reception, bar, dance floor and toilet facilities are on the same level or same room.  Are there lifts available for elderly guests?

Accommodation
If the venue does not have on site accommodation, suss out local hotels as an alternative to guests.  Ask about a ‘bridal dressing area’ to allow the bride and groom to freshen up throughout the day.  If accommodation is available, enquire whether group bookings for guests can be discounted and ask about check in and out times.

Backdrop
Photographs are the keepsake memories of your day to treasure forever.  Does the venue have an attractive backdrop for photographs?  Whether it’s a sweeping staircase or magnificent grounds, bear this in mind when viewing.  Don’t bank on it being a dry, sunny day if your dream shots are outside.  Always have a Plan B! 

Décor
If you have a colour scheme or design in mind for the day, be mindful of the venue’s décor.  Clashing colours are a no-no!


Questions to Ask

Preferred Suppliers
Some venues have a list of preferred suppliers meaning you can’t use any you’ve sourced yourself.  Sometimes this is for safety or insurance purposes (fireworks, entertainment, catering), or because the venue receives commission from the supplier.

Exclusivity
Enquire whether your wedding will be the only one on that day.  Some venues offer exclusivity at an additional cost, so be aware.

No Dancing!
Historic floors in country properties need protecting from dancing feet, especially in 4 inch heels!  Some venues may stipulate a no dancing rule which means you would have to hire a marquee for the evening reception.

Carriages
And if you are planning on leading the Love Train into the wee hours, check beforehand what time the venue closes.  Venues in residential areas may have an early finish of 11pm, and if there is a wedding on the next day, the venue may wish to set up the night before.

Read the Small Print
You love the venue and have deemed it ‘the one’.  Before signing any contracts, read the small print to ensure you have any unwelcome surprises boxed off.  Hidden costs or quotes exclusive of VAT discovered after the ink is dry will alter your budget and could be the difference between champagne and cava!  



Much Love x