Brides Up North

Simply Successful! Supplier Showcase: Simply Bows & Chair Covers

May 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Back in 2010 when I launched Brides Up North, there were a just handful of wedding industry supporters who really understood what I was trying to achieve (the Northern Revolution y’all) – and helped me to champion my cause until everyone else understood it too.  The road has been long and full of late nights and hard, hard work, but I will always to be grateful to that first brave band of Brides Up North Featured Suppliers who took a chance on a rooky blogger and wedding enthusiast.

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Sarah Pittendrigh of Simply Bows & Chair Covers was one of those fabulous people and I am proud to have worked alongside her for almost three years.  Whilst Brides Up North has grown, Sarah hasn’t exactly been resting on her laurels either.  A true North East success story, Sarah now has a trophy cabinet to rival Manchester United’s and an ever expanding empire.  She’s even (whisper it!) going South.

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Simply Bows and Chair Covers

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This week Sarah launches her weekly column in the Newcastle Journal – every Thursday – where she will be sharing her experience from starting a business from scratch as a single mum, right through to franchising it and now having 12 multi award winning offices across the UK. Sarah says:  I hope my column will inspire budding entrepreneurs and offer support to existing companies. I would also be happy to try and answer any questions on business people may have.

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Sarah Pittendrigh established Simply Bows & Chair Covers in 2008 after being made bankrupt when the national events company she worked for suffered the effects of the economic downturn. Whilst helping to organise her brother’s wedding, Sarah found a gap in the market for stylish, high-quality chair covers and linen and launched her business across the North East area. Since then, Simply Bows & Chair Covers has grown rapidly and Sarah opted to launch the franchise operation in 2010 as customer demand for her unique service grew quickly all over the UK.

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Simply Bows and Chair Covers

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Simply Bows & Chair Covers are now a multi-award winning company, with award winning franchisees. They manufacture high quality chair covers and accessories for you to hire, for your special event.  They are a professional team of event and wedding specialists with over 20 years experience in the industry, working on many weddings and high profile corporate gatherings in some of the most prestigious venues in the UK.

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Sarah says:  We pride ourselves in the high quality product that we deliver supported by excellent customer service. On the back of this we receive many letters of thanks and referrals from our satisfied clients.

We hold in stock many different sized chair covers, and prior to your event we ensure our chair covers are the perfect fit for your venue. Your chair covers will be fully fitted on the day of your event by our professionally trained staff, this way we can guarantee you an exceptional standard of delivery.

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Simply Bows and Chair Covers

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Simply Bows & Chair Covers encourage all of their clients to create a theme for their big day that reflects their own style and differentiates them from their friends. They have a huge selection of chair covers, to include coloured chair covers with matching coloured table linen and also hold in stock organza sashes for chair bows, diamante chair bands and chair treatments in hundreds of different colours, that they can use to match with wedding flowers/bridesmaids dresses or corporate branding.

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The company has has seen demand for its services increase dramatically in the last year and now has franchises in locations such as Aberdeen, Cumbria, Lancashire, Berkshire and around the North East and Yorkshire. At the end of 2012, the business was named Most Promising New Business by the British Chamber of Commerce.

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Simply Bows and Chair Covers

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Speaking about her latest business growth, Sarah says: “Expanding across the South of England is a really important step in the business’s growth. I get lots of enquiries from this region and it’s very exciting to now have Kimberley in Essex on board who has such a lot of experience and ideas for the company. And North Northumberland is a really vibrant region for our business and our new franchisee Janine brings with her such passion and a great wealth of experience in both the wedding sector and events’ industry.

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Janine says: I really love the business and what it does- and how it fits into my lifestyle. It’s great to be part of an exciting, growing business with such an enthusiastic team.

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Simply Bows and Chair Covers

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Visit the Simply Bows & Chair Covers website or email enquires@simplybowsandchaircovers.co.uk to see how they can help you to dress your beautiful big day. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Simply Bows & Chair Covers

Simply Bows & Chair Covers is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier 

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Best Laid Plans! Supplier Showcase: TLB events

October 29th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Evening all.  I’m having a night in with the hubby tonight, recuperating after a busy day chatting with brides to be about all things pretty as a guest of The UK Wedding Shows in Manchester.  I’ll be at Manchester Central bright and early again tomorrow to do it all again.  I can’t wait!  Click here to get your complimentary ticket and I’ll see you there!

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Right now on the wedding blog, it’s another type of event in the spotlight – your own!  I chat to wedding and party supremos TLB Events about how they can get the champagne corks popping on your big day plus some practical hints and tips if you are doing it yourself.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: TLB Events

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How did TLB Events begin? 

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Tracy, owner of TLB Events, trained and worked operationally in all departments of hotels and venues up to being a general manager. This included arranging and overseeing over 120 wedding receptions a year within some of the hotels.  TLB Events was set up to offer a more personal service, manage the events and book events all over the UK in any venue.  We organise wedding receptions, birthday parties, marquee and corporate events. 

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Tell us about your wedding planning services?

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We offer a full service from booking the venue and location through to arranging all the suppliers. Its better to get us on board straight away, as the earlier you do the more savings we will make for you! If you are thinking of getting married abroad, then a bit more time is needed for site visits.  We offer various packages depending on what the client wants as we can tailor our services to suit.  We are located in Wilmslow, Cheshire but travel all over the UK & Europe.  You can get in touch with us at www.TLBevents.co.uk

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: TLB Events   Brides Up North Wedding Blog: TLB Events

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Why should Brides Up North hire a wedding planner?

No matter how much you think you are saving, you will never save or get the same service as we can get for you as we have the inside knowledge having worked in venues.  We have trusted suppliers and also take the worry and strain off you and your families on the most important day of your life.  With TLB Events you can expect a fun, caring and professional service. 

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What sets TLB Events apart from other wedding and events planners?

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We have operational experience from having trained and worked in award winning venues for 18 years.  We also offer an all inclusive service, high level of quality and will work all hours until we achieve the results that you want.

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What trends for weddings do you predict for 2012?

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A return to understated sophistication.  This year has seen a lot of black and white, all white and vintage style weddings. 

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What celebrity couple would you most like to plan a wedding for and why?

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Christine Bleakly & Frank Lampard.  As I am Irish too, I love doing weddings there and would pull out all the stops to make it more than perfect !

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: TLB Events

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What are your top five tips for any Bride to Be organising their own wedding?

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HEARTBook a wedding planner – we really can save you money and stress!

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HEARTSet your budget & stick to it as much as possible

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HEARTIf on a budget, always spend more on good food & music

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HEARTCheck testimonials for any suppliers that you book direct yourself

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HEARTKeep some spare cash flow for any last minute items you forgot

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Any no nos?

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HEARTDon’t sign contracts until you have read all the terms & conditions

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HEARTDon’t book music until you have heard or seen them

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HEARTDon’t book items from the internet unless they have a secure site

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HEARTDon’t leave anything till the last minute as may not be available when you want it

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HEARTDon’t pay for anything without an invoice or receipt

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: TLB Events

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: TLB Events

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  – Images © 2011 TLB Events

TLB Events is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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The Geordies Have Landed! All The Photos From The #BUNtweetup North East…

September 29th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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It’s the moment the North East Wedding Industry has been waiting for…

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Or maybe not!  Without further sneak peeking, teasing or ado, I give you the official images from the Brides Up North Tweet Up North East 2011 with Wedding Ideas Magazine, a wedding industry networking event organised by little old me and photographed by the lovely Karen McGowran Photography

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To see all the gorgeous styling details and to find out who was involved behind the scenes, click here.

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To see the images from the Brides Up North Tweet Ups in the North West and Yorkshire, or to pre-register for the next set of Brides Up North Tweet Ups in 2012 click here

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All images by Karen McGowran Photography, polaroid pictures seen in images by Sean Elliott Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

{Me, with my lovely Mum}

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Shout outs to some attendees on the night:

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Heaven Sent Cupcakes; Karen McGowran Photography; Sean Elliott Photography; Claire De Lune Florist; By Wendy; Popcake Kitchen; Little Town Bakery; What A Do Weddings; AMV Live Music; Perfect Days Vintage; Vintage Twee; House Of Mooshki; The Black Horse; Floral Quarter; Hasy Daisy Florist; Angel Cakes; Cheekie Sweete; Celebration Cakes Peterlee; Wedding Tales; Xtra Ordinary Photography; Becky Mitchell Photography; Open Door Events; Mark Deeks; Lorraine Wight Photography; Sally Thurrell Photography; Perfection Nail and Beauty; Kat Timmins Photography; What Katy Did Next; Bex Rooms; Make Up By Jo; Tees Valley Weddings; Tux &Tales Photography; Baroque Bags; Imagic Moment; Your Personal Touch; Stan Seaton Photography; Matt Ethan PhotographyMia Sposa Bridal & Menswear; Wedding Flowers For You; Durham Events; Close House Hotel; Dirk Van Der Werff; Fyzal Photography; Simply Bows & Chair Covers; By Gina; Emerson Photography; Flower Fever; Beckwith Events; Vicky Trainor; Nick Unwin Photography; Might Fine Events; Aime Watson; Squeak Unique; Kids Deserve The Best; Rubys Tea Party; Daisychain Events; A Grand Day; Katie Byram Photography; Euphoria Boutique 

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If I have missed you from the list or have been unable to link to your website, drop me a line julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk to let me know and I will add you in.  Please feel free to leave a comment on this post to tell my readers all about your business too. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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SAVE-THE-DATE1

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Oh, and forgive me while I have a captive audience… have you saved the date for the Brides Up North SUPER SHOWCASE Grand Wedding Exhibition at Ramside Hall Hotel on Sunday March 4th 2012 from 12pm – 4pm?!  Brides to be – this means you! 

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The region’s top wedding suppliers will be out in force at this MASSIVE, not to be missed bridal event.  With two professional fashion shows, oodles of wedding inspiration, on the day discounts, amazing giveaways and surprises galore this is a must do date for any North East Bride To Be.  Watch this space for more details of how to pre register as a Brides Up North VIP Bride To Be.

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EXHIBITOR BOOKINGS: email julia@bridesupnorth.co.uk for details.  Suppliers are strictly limited by category. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Click on through to see the rest…

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A Fairy-lit Fiesta! – The #BUNtweetup North East

September 28th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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The fairy lights were strung, the champagne was on ice and a gazillion candles had been lit.  It was time for the third and final Brides Up North Tweet Up 2011 with Wedding Ideas Magazine, and it was set to be a very twinkly one…

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Each host venue chosen for the Brides Up North Tweet Ups (see all the images here) was handpicked for a reason – Didsbury House for its girly gorgeousness,  The Mansion, Roundhay for its quality and style and this venue, The Black Horse, Beamish, for its intimate, chocolate box charm. 

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Although the decor for each and every Tweet Up featured brilliant blooms, pearls, crystals, a whole lot of sugar and admittedly, a lot of pink, each had it’s own unique styling and special added extras. 

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To enhance the cosy countryside feel of the North East venue, I let there be light.  And lots of it.  Candles and fairy lights covered every surface, beam, wagon wheel and wishing tree!  TOP TIP: brides to be on a budget – if you can’t spend much on flowers, consider festooning your venue with fairy lights to create a stunning visual effect for less.  String them generously, add some candles and turn the main lights low.  Instant Disneyland, and pure romance. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Once again, I couldn’t have pulled this off singlehandedly. HUGE HUGE thanks and love to these fabulous wedding industry greats, who provided so much help, support and general hand holding:

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Karen McGowran Photography, for her amazing images, bubbly personality and hard work; Sean Elliott Photography for being a proper mate and supporting me at not one but two Tweet Ups with his awesome banter and fantabulous camera skills; The girls at Claire De Lune Florist  for their unique and brilliant floral displays, their pretty candy cart and for making sure I ate something when nerves where getting the better of me; By Wendy for lending me her gorgeous white wishing tree whilst she was sunning herself in Florida; Popcake Kitchen for bringing the cutest BUN popcakes and Heaven Sent Cupcakes for baking a job lot of perfect Brides Up North cookies; Little Town Bakery for her fabulous Twitter bird cake and matching cupcake tower – a work of art!; What A Do Weddings for being an absolute star and creating the amazing hand printed goody bags that went down a storm once again; Andy from AMV Live Music on keyboards and the gorgeous Karen of Livewire on vocals for stunning my guests with your brilliant and beautiful music; Perfect Days Vintage and Vintage Twee for entrusting me with your super styling details for one more night…; House Of Mooshki for dressing this to the nines; The team at The Black Horse for being absolute superstars; Hitched Magazine for adding your glossy pages to my goody bags; Wedding Ideas Magazine for being a constant support through this whole process and last but not least my wonderful Mum, Dad and my best mate Jane for turning up to surprise me on the night.  I love you!

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It seems I don’t get out of bed in the morning without a fabulous team behind me these days!

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Enjoy the details…

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All images by Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Karen McGowran Photography

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Petal Power! Supplier Showcase: Laurel Weddings PLUS An Exclusive Discount For Brides Up North Readers

September 24th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Its the weeeeeeeeeeeeeekend!  How are you spending yours?  If you are a Yorkshire bride to be, pop into the UK Wedding Show at the Harrogate International Centre today – I’ve been invited along to meet all you lovely ladies and your grooms, so please do stop to say hello. Click here for a complimentary ticket on me.

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Before you hit the road though girls, check out the pretty petals on the wedding blog this morning as I chat to Laura of Laurel Weddings about all things flora. 

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Lorna Roberts Photography

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How did Laurel Weddings begin? 

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For as long as I can remember I have always loved creating pretty things. After first studying Art & Design, I actually stumbled across a course in Floristry and absolutely fell in love with it! I then went on to gain qualifications in Advanced Floristry and Contemporary Floral design, and I was asked to take over teaching the courses for the following year which was a great experience.

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Alongside my teaching I worked in a florist shop for about 6 years, which was fantastic and very hard to leave but I decided it was time to branch out on my own and concentrate on what I love… weddings! So Laurel Weddings was born in May 2010 and it’s been amazing. I’ve met so many lovely couples already and worked at such gorgeous venues, there’s been a few late nights here and there but definitely well worth it!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

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What services does Laurel Weddings provide?

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Laurel Weddings offer a bespoke wedding design and styling service, using only the highest quality materials I will work with you to create the perfect accessories for your special day. Whether you are looking simply for your bridal bouquet and a few buttonholes, or full venue styling with large floral arrangements, table centre pieces and chair covers, each item will be tailored to suit your theme and colour scheme. At Laurel Weddings we have a whole range of glassware, table mirrors and stunning silver candelabras available to hire, along with lots of other accessories such as a large table plan tree, bird cages and aisle runners to name just a few!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Jonny Draper Photography

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Tell Brides Up North about your silk flowers.  Why are these popular for weddings?

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As well as using beautiful fresh flowers I also specialize in creating unique silk wedding flowers, including teardrop and hand tied bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, floral circlets and table centre pieces. All my items are made to order especially for each client, so you can have gorgeous, bespoke designs to co-ordinate with your colour scheme.

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Silk wedding flowers have become very popular in the last few years, mainly due to the fantastic quality and variety of flowers that are now available. Lots of couples are deciding to go for silk flowers rather than fresh, and one of the main reasons seems to be because they can keep them forever as a memento of their special day. They are also a popular choice for couples getting married abroad, as it takes away the hassle of trying to organize your flowers over there, and the worry of fresh flowers possibly wilting in very warm climates.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

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What floristry and event styling trends are popular for weddings in 2011?

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Vintage themed weddings have been a very popular trend this year, with lots of brides going for natural hand tied bouquets, featuring delicate pearl and lace details. For wedding flowers I would say peonies, roses, lily of the valley and hydrangea have been most popular, especially throughout spring and summer. There has been a high demand for bird cages and candelabras for venue decorations, along with urn arrangements, our popular floral cupcakes and cute willow hearts.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

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Tell Brides Up North a bit about your bridal accessories? 

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I was approached a few years ago by a dress designer who asked if I could create bespoke floral head pieces to co-ordinate with her wedding gowns for a cat-walk show. After the event I received several requests from brides to create a unique piece for their wedding day. Since then I have been designing a variety of different head dresses, tiaras and other accessories. Examples of these can all be seen on my website. The designs aren’t available to order directly from the website because each item is unique and made to each clients specifications, so it is best to email me your ideas and I will design your perfect accessories.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

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Any really gorgeous weddings that you have styled?

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I have done so many beautiful weddings at a lot of amazing locations that it’s hard to choose! There was a particularly gorgeous wedding this year at the fabulous Stylal Lodge wedding venue that was fantastic to work on. The colour theme for the wedding was ivory, pale blue and silver. The brides favourite flower was hydrangea, so I sourced some beautiful two-tone, blue and creamy hydrangea for her which we teamed with ivory calla lilies, lily of the valley and soft blue delphinium. For the table centre pieces bride and groom wanted something with the wow factor. For this WOW factor we used stunning silver candelabras full of hydrangea and tall calla lilies, adorned with crystals and pearls. As well as the tables, I dressed the windows with ivory ribbons decorated with pearls and hydrangea and hung silver containers filled with flowers from the beams.  For the ceremony area I decorated the aisle with an ivory floral patterned runner, silk petals and small silver containers with hydrangea.  It was such a pleasure to work on this beautiful wedding and for such a lovely couple.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Jonny Draper Photography

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What is your favourite wedding “look”?

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I love pretty pastel colours, so I think my favourite wedding look would have to be an English country garden style. Using lots of sweet peas, roses and hydrangea, mixed with lengths of bunting, teacups, cupcakes, floral centre pieces with lots of scented candles, scattered rose petals and crystals for a little bit of sparkle.

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What celebrity wedding would you most like to have styled and what would you have suggested?

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I would have loved to style Reese Witherspoon’s wedding, her Monique Lhuillier dress was beautiful. I would have suggested a simple and elegant hand tied bouquet of blush pink Sweet Avalanche roses and white peonies, bound in a coffee coloured satin ribbon to match the sash on her gown. Then for the reception they wanted a “rustic romantic” feel, so I would be thinking of large foliage branches with fairy lights  decorating beams in a country barn, with lots of lanterns. Table centre pieces featuring roses, phlox, lilac and scented stocks in shades of ivory, pale pink and peach, arranged as a relaxed hand tied displayed in glass cube vases. Other decorations could include natural raffia bows on the chairs or trailing pink and coffee coloured ribbons, trees with hanging tea lights at the entrance and scattered rose petals on the tables.

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What can a bride who books your service expect?

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When I set up Laurel Weddings I chose to focus solely on weddings, so I could offer the best service possible for my brides. It is a very personal thing to me and I feel very honoured when brides choose to book me for their special day. I always provide a friendly, professional service and use only the highest quality materials available.

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Laurel Weddings only take one booking per day so my brides know I am completely focused on their wedding. I also offer a full “On the day” service option, which means I am on hand throughout the day to pin buttonholes on for the guests, move arrangements from one place to another, look after the bouquets and arrange them in vases at your reception and to help pack your flowers away safely for you at the end of the evening.

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Once clients have booked I am always available to discuss other ideas or make any changes that may have cropped up. On the morning of the wedding I deliver all the flowers to where they need to be so you don’t have any running around to do while you should be getting ready and sipping champagne!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Lisa Gardner Photography

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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I have a full guide price list available to view on my website, but here are a few average wedding flower prices to give you a rough idea:

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Bride’s hand tied bouquet, £70

Bridesmaid hand tied bouquet, £30

Rose buttonhole, £4

Large pedestal arrangements, £80

Table centre piece, £25

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The prices vary greatly depending on the flowers and designs you choose so I am always happy to give advice on different options to suit your theme and budget.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Lisa Gardner Photography

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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Laurel Weddings is offering 5% off for Brides Up North readers on all 2011-2012 orders. Just quote “Brides Up North” when you contact me.

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Why do you read Brides Up North?

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I love reading Brides Up North, there are so many great posts showcasing the latest bridal fashion and real life weddings with stunning photography.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Jonny Draper Photography

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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My studio is based in the North West, in Cheshire, where I have lots of samples of bouquets, table centre pieces and accessories on display. For wedding flowers and venue styling I work mainly in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire but will travel further a field.  And for silk flowers and bridal accessories, these can be delivered throughout the UK.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Laurel Weddings

Image by Lorna Roberts Photography

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see some examples of your work/ find out more?

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To see more examples of my work please check out the website, www.laurelweddings.com, and also take a look on my facebook page.

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If you would like more information or to discuss your ideas you can contact me by email: laura.laurelweddings@gmail.com or phone: 07950 227 094

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I offer a free, no obligation consultation so please get in touch if you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss ideas for your special day.

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  – Images © 2011 Laurel Weddings or as credited

Laurel Weddings is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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