January 6th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Brand new Brides Up North readers (well, hello there!) will soon find out that as well as bringing you a double daily dose of wedding inspiration and wedding gown eye candy, we also work hard to showcase the very best wedding industry suppliers in your region (see our Directory for the evidence, or browse back through our posts with the category "Featured Supplier"). Leaving you more time for shoe shopping and, er, going down the pub.
Today we meet Brides Up North Featured Supplier Karen of Ruby’s Tea Party, a pretty styling outfit based in the North East. Karen’s got a special New Year’s discount just for Brides Up North readers up her sleeve, and wants a challenge: to make your wedding day as perfect as possible. I’ve know Karen for quite a while after meeting at one of my Brides Up North Tweet Ups back in 2012, and it’s time for you to meet her…
Karen is offering a 10% discount on the hire catalogue for any new bookings confirmed by 28th February 2014. Please quote Brides Up North upon enquiry.
When and why did Ruby’s Tea Party begin?
I set up Ruby’s Tea Party in the summer of 2011 because I spotted an opportunity to help brides and grooms with their special day. I noticed the trend towards serving afternoon tea was growing in popularity and I already had a small collection of vintage pieces at home so all I had to do was start collecting more!
Tell us about yourself?
My first ever job was working in the restaurant of a local pub at weekends. I got a real buzz from making sure people were happier when they left than when they arrived and so I went on to study Hospitality Management specialising in events. I worked for top end restaurants owned by celebrity chefs and a 5* hotel to perfect my craft and just fell in love with all things wedding.
What services does Ruby’s Tea Party offer?
Ruby’s Tea Party began as a vintage china hire company and has grown from there. My hire collection includes all the vintage china you could ever need to serve afternoon tea as well as cutlery and linens. Over time I’ve found my collection growing and now I offer various props and decor items to help create an overall look in a venue. I finally left the ‘day job’ earlier this year to focus on Ruby’s Tea Party and since then I’m able to more involved and offer a venue dressing service or work with couples on a full venue styling package.
Tell us about your crockery collection and hire service?
The collection is really eclectic. There is naturally a lot of chintz and floral designs but I’m really particular with choosing new items, I won’t add anything I don’t like myself. The response I get when people see the crockery is fantastic. Everyone recognises a design that reminds them of someone special. I can provide everything needed for afternoon tea for up to 300 people as well as a range of decor items including vases, jam jars, vintage bottles, candelabra, rose bowls and bunting. The hire service includes delivery and collection within the Newcastle area but I can, and regularly do, travel further afield. Every client is different and so there’s no such thing as a standard package – even the washing up is optional!
Tell us about your bespoke styling service?
I mainly work with couples looking for a modern vintage feel but my styling service is not limited to this at all. It’s my job to take the image in your head and make it into a reality in your venue. This bespoke service is designed to help you reflect your individuality as a couple and can include helping you with ideas, sourcing props and table decor and setting everything up on the day.
For couples that already have the styling organised I offer my venue dressing service. I’ll come along and set everything up on the big day so that you can relax and know that everything is taken care of and will be in the right place. It’s easy to underestimate just how long it takes to set up so let me do that for you.
Can you arrange other styling extras too?
Yes, please do challenge me to find unique props! If I don’t have it in my hire collection I’m still happy to look at sourcing it and building it in to a bespoke package. Let your imagination run wild and let’s see what we can come up with.
Why should Brides Up North use Ruby’s Tea Party?
I’m really passionate about helping people to have the best day possible. An idea of how to make something extra special, how to create a big impact on a budget, taking the stress out of setting everything up or just recommending a trusted supplier can make all the difference to brides and grooms. I’m always on my clients’ side and looking to create only the very best for them.
Who would be your dream client, why, and how would you style their wedding?
My dream clients are couples that want to give their special day a unique look that reflects their personalities. Anyone who wants to add a personal touch to the venue and create the wow factor for their big day.
Any particularly memorable weddings that you have worked on?
Over the years I’ve worked on many that stand out in my mind. The one that was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary, the one with a circus theme and one with a celebrity groom! Earlier this year a couple had a steam punk themed wedding and they had afternoon tea served within Beamish Museum. It was really cool because the bridal party really committed to the theme and the costumes were phenomenal!
Can you give us an idea on price?
I always strive to make sure my services are accessible in terms of price while helping to create an aspirational vision. To hire china for afternoon tea the prices can start at just £2.50 per guest and go from there.
Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?
I’d love to offer a 10% discount on the hire catalogue for any new bookings confirmed by 28th February 2014. Please quote Brides Up North upon enquiry.
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?
Brides Up North can visit my website at www.rubysteaparty.co.uk
They can contact me via email: Karen@rubysteaparty.co.uk or call me on 07879647035. They can also follow me on Twitter: @rubys_teaparty or Facebook
Anything else we should know?
The hire collection is expanding for 2014 and I’m adding lots of delightful things like 3 tier cake stands made from vinyl records – perfect for music lovers, lace chair sashes that add a touch of romance to any venue chair and retro lawn games to keep your guests entertained!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…
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