Tuesday, 28 February 2017

2017 Wedding dress bookings, timescales & info

It's already the last day of February! Where has that time gone? I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year!

I thought I'd start this year's (delayed) blog post with some talk about 'time'. It fits in with several practical notes I want to discuss with you about my service. I hope you find this helpful if you're thinking of getting in touch or commissioning a custom made dress. It's a bit stream of conciousness, but hey, that's how things are around here!

I am incredibly busy in the studio making dresses for 2017 weddings, and am already almost booked up for this year! This is great on many levels and yet not so great having to turn away potential customers. So I'm sorry if I couldn't book you in this year, I hate turning away brides, but I have to be realistic about what can be done and loyal to the brides already booked.

This is a constant battle that I have. I'm sure many of you are managing 'time'. There's just never enough of it in my opinion. If I could get hold of Hermione Granger's time turner, that would be useful at times. Sometimes just to double the amount of hours in a day.... not everyday....just when needed.

For your info, as I type, I have space for weddings with a date from September onward this year, so if you're interested, please don't leave it too long to get in touch. I only take on what I can effectively manage and when I'm full up, that's it. Realistically this is going to be about 4 bookings remaining for 2017, but it could be more, or it could be less, depending on what the bookings turn out to be. That's the beauty of this work - I don't know what someone is going to request next!

Going back to turning people away. I feel quite a lot of guilt about this sometimes and beat myself up about not running a 'proper' business. In other words I feel a pressure from myself to expand the business. But on the other hand, this small business is what, from feedback, my clients seem to like, and what I can currently cope with. It wouldn't be what it is, if it were a bigger enterprise.

Making the dresses as I do takes many hours. I do have some help, but it's mainly me, making patterns, toiles, fitting and sewing for you. So the dresses (or outfits) I make are made here. Many people would like to know about prices beforehand. I can only give a huge price range because it depends on what you require, but almost all the wedding dresses I make fall somewhere between £1000-£3000. A few are more, a few are less than this, it just depends on the design. The best thing is to ask.

So as I'm busy creating, I'm a nightmare when it comes to answering the phone. I'm sorry about this, I am trying to balance making very labour intensive items with endless junk and sales calls, interspersed with the odd genuine enquiry. Due to the delicate and intricate nature of making some parts of the dresses, sometimes I literally cannot put down what I'm working on without having to redo part of it when I pick it up again. I'm not a shop - I am a design/sewing studio, so we're actually making what we sell. This is part of the service. If you leave me a message I will call back - just please don't forget to leave your phone number, your name and what your enquiry is about! If you keep ringing and not leaving a message, I will assume you're a junk call. Better still - send me an e-mail! You'll get a much quicker response from me that way, and your information is written down for me. It's a win/win situation!

So now you have this information, what do you do next? Send me an email enquiry (or ring, leave a message and I'll call back) with as much information on it as possible about what you think you'd like and when your wedding is. Information about your average dress size and height is also useful if you want me to give you a price. The earlier the better. I'm happy to give price estimates for ideas. Please don't be scared to ask. I will give you a final precise quote when we have met and discussed ideas in detail.

Phew! I think that's all for today. I will aim to compile some more FAQs, when time allows! :-) xx

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Guides for Brides Nomination

Eeep!!! I've been nominated for the Guides for Brides Customer Service Awards 2017! Thank you whoever did this for me! I feel honoured because it's more often than not only little old me with my nose to the grindstone (sewing machine/laptop/pattern table) most of the time and I try so hard to do my best for all my brides. It really is personal and I care very much about you and the work I do for you, I'm always genuinely pleased and flattered that you have chosen me to make your dress, or have taken the trouble to enquire.

Anyhoo. I will put this badge on the sidebar if you want to vote for me, but in the meantime, past, present and future brides, please vote for me by clicking on the badge above.

Voting closes Jan 31st 2017. Thank you in anticipation. xxx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Real Wedding: Romantic boho-vintage style bride's dress for a wedding in France

I'm all out of sync with the blog, but rather than trying to catch up with my Facebook page, I thought I'd just get on with showing you these gorgeous photos of one of my brides from earlier this year.

This is Laura, who married Freddie, at a chateau in France in the late spring.

I remember posting a photo of Laura in her final fitting (close up so no-one knew it was her of course) and now I'm so happy to see these pictures of what looks like a wonderful wedding day with a gorgeous bride and groom!

The photos are by Warren James Palmer

Laura's dress was a Bespoke gown, she came with an idea of what she liked and the ideas evolved  as we chatted during our first meeting.

The body of Laura's dress is a heavy silk crepe with a silk chiffon over-layer.

Laura was certain that she wanted an unusual lace with a vintage look. As there are so many laces available, I gave her some website addresses and she had a look herself. I often advise that brides do this, and next time we meet they have ordered a few samples, or ask me to order them. Laura turned up at her next fitting with a bulging folder of lace samples! There must've been at least 30 in there! (I want to say 50, but I'm trying to be realistic - there were a lot!!!)

After much discussion and pinning on the stand to have a look, she chose this heavily beaded lace for the sleeves/cape area.

Thanks for the pictures Laura & Freddie, and best wishes for a happy marriage! :) xx

Saturday, 27 August 2016

New Collection Wedding Dress - Margot

This is the first of my new wedding dress designs to show you. It's called Margot. You can also see it in my banner above. I hope you like it?

Margot wedding dress is made from silk Dupion, this version is an Oyster colour, but it can be made in many, many different colours, including the traditional ivory.

When I was making the sample, I was originally intending to use a lace waistband, but when it came down to it, I preferred the simple double bow effect.

Margot is a made to measure design, so you can come and try it on and order it as it is, but made to fit you perfectly. Or you can alter aspects of it if you prefer. I'm open to suggestion. It would be gorgeous made as a full length gown too I think...

*Margot's current made to measure order price is £1650.00 made as the sample, at today's date. (Aug 2016.) This price can change depending on alterations to the design or changes to pricing of labour and fabrics* Due to the way my service works, you could have the design made in a different type of fabric and the price could vary up or down. Just ask if you're interested.

These images were taken by the talented wedding photographer Sarah Brookes. The hair was by Thairapy Freelance, make up by Flash Kate and flowers by Florae Foray.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Wedding dresses at a summer photoshoot

As usual, it's been a busy summer! But I managed to squeeze in a photo-shoot of some of my dresses. I'm waiting for all the shots to arrive, but in the meantime here's a couple of behind the scenes action-shots of the day!

Sarah Brookes is the photographer, hair by Thairapy Freelance, make up by Flashkate Bridal Make Up and flowers by Florae Foray.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Bohemian Dreams Bo Show Wedding Festival

Well, we braved the arctic temperatures of the morning and happily the sun shone in the afternoon at the Bohemian Dreams Bo Show Wedding Festival last Sunday!

It turned out to be a great day of chatting with brides-to-be about their forthcoming wedding ideas, getting to know other wedding suppliers, and revisiting old friends. All of us had something in common, which is that we offer something a bit different, and that felt very good I must say!

I was helped on the day by Lindsay and Michelle, and my ever faithful 'Logistics Manager' (Dan, my husband!) Thanks all for your help guys. Xxx Thanks too to the organisers whose idea it was to host this new style wedding festival. :-)

L-R: Elsa wedding dress, Alexia wedding dress, (Lindsay setting up) & Beatrix wedding dress by Rachel Lamb
Back view of Sylvie wedding dress by Rachel Lamb 

Elsa wedding dress by Rachel Lamb
Florence wedding dress back view by Rachel Lamb

Tooley wedding dress by Rachel Lamb
Tooley wedding dress by Rachel Lamb

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Burwash Secret Garden Wedding Open Day & a wedding dress...

At the end of last month I exhibited at Burwash Secret Garden Wedding Open Day, which is a lovely wedding venue on the edge of Cambridge. 

We had a great day, chatting to brides to be, other suppliers and generally having fun!

Above is lovely Florence wearing her namesake dress.

Some gorgeous flowers by The Manor Florist who are based at Burwash

Below the most amazing (I know because I tried some) meringue cake by biscotti di debora, also based at Burwash.

And to finish, some spring blossom, which is always cheering and very 'frothily-weddingy', and a reminder of the Florence dress.