Luxury Wedding Fairs With Top UK Wedding Blog 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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Posted in Chair Covers, Event Styling, Featured Supplier, North East Wedding | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

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

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HEART Set your budget & stick to it as much as possible

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HEART If on a budget, always spend more on good food & music

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HEART Check testimonials for any suppliers that you book direct yourself

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HEART Keep some spare cash flow for any last minute items you forgot

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Any no nos?

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

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HEART Don’t book music until you have heard or seen them

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

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

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HEART Don’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

Posted in Event Styling, Featured Supplier, Wedding Planning | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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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Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BUN Tweet Ups, Event Styling, Events, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Blogger, Wedding Showcases | Filed Under | 11 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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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Posted in BUN Tweet Ups, Event Styling, Events, Twitter, UK Wedding Blog, Wedding Blogger | Filed Under | 5 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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

Posted in Event Styling, Featured Supplier, Wedding Flowers | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

The Upcycle Challenge – Meet Team Daisy!

September 13th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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You all adored the Love My Wedding entry for All Wrapped Up Events’ Upcycle Challenge so much that I thought I would let you see another today.  A totally different take on the brief debuts on the wedding blog today, with some cute and quirky results.  It looks like picking a winner is going to be tough.

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Today’s entry comes from Team Daisy – and Kelly from Daisychain Events talks us through it:

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It was way back in July whilst browsing Brides Up North that I came across the charity Upcycle challenge dreamed up by Colette and Kelly (who I then met at the Love My Dress summer soiree and they were lovely!).  I must admit there was a little frisson of excitement as I love nothing better than a rummage around a charity shop or car boot sale! I also immediately knew which amazing suppliers I wanted to get on the team.  I emailed “my team” straight away to see if they were interested in tagging along. They were all keen and within a couple of days we were Team Daisy!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Upcycle Challenge

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Meet the team…..

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Firstly there’s me, Kerry from Daisychain Events. Our talented photographers are Chris and Sean Ord from Xtraordinary Photography. In charge of hair accessories is Victoria Trumble from Sugar Plum Creations. Stationery and flowers were down to Poppy from Papaver Designs. Bunting was created by Emma from Little Bundles Bunting. Hair and make up was expertly styled and applied by Leeanne Bennett from LAB Makeup. And finally our gorgeous models are Sarah Wakinshaw from Your Wedding Unveiled and my beautiful daughter Lucy.

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Being a frequenter of charity shops and car boot sales, I had some awareness of what sort of items we would be able to find easily. Going down the vintage tea party route was a bit obvious and we wanted to create something a bit different which people could hopefully draw bits of inspiration from. So the retro 1980’s wedding theme emerged!

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I made a list of ideas and it just kind of evolved from there depending on items I came across. Everything we used was either purchased from a charity shop or car boot sale (except the bottles of coke and the straws!). Whilst the rules required us to style a table with elements such as a centrepiece, two place settings and stationery, the brief was wide open.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Upcycle Challenge

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Wanting to create a centrepiece which didn’t include flowers or candles, I took inspiration from the charity shop shelves. There were many children’s games so I thought “why not”! As a kid I loved Buckaroo so I was excited to find that very game (the original too!) for £1.99! On the shelf below I saw some kids annuals and instantly thought that a stack of them would make a great way to display the game as the centrepiece. This started a region wide hunt (within a 25 mile radius) for 80’s annuals!

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The shops were filled with crockery so that was really easy. Using the old LP’s for place mats was a no brainer too as this is something we are doing for a wedding party this month too. I also started collecting strings of pearls and brooches (as did Victoria) to wear as jewellery al a 80’s Madonna style and also for Victoria to deconstruct and transform into hair accessories for the bride and bridesmaid. I’m sure you’ll agree that the hair accessories look fabulous and as if they could have come straight from the shelves of a stylish boutique rather than recycled charity shop brooches and beads! We originally also thought that she would make a brooch bouquet but this was going to prove quite expensive. Step in Poppy with her idea to make a paper flower bouquet! OMG I could not have been more chuffed with the outcome of that bouquet! Poppy is quite simply amazing with paper! As if her table number lanterns and place cards weren’t enough, she blew us away with flowers made entirely from the pages of kids annuals. She even threw in a cute little corsage for the bridesmaid too!

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Choosing wedding favours was easy. Iconic 80’s toys such as My Little Pony and Rubik’s cube were the order of the day. The tricky part was finding them! I did actually manage to get both on the same day at a car boot fair for the bargain price of £2.50!  Poppy also made cute tags for them too.

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By this point I was starting to panic about the dresses. This was proving more difficult than I thought. I drew inspiration from my youth and felt that a puffball dress would be fitting. I found a gorgeous brown taffeta dress in a local charity shop for £4.99. It was too big for Lucy but a few pins took care of that. Sarah’s dress took slightly more finding. However, literally a few days before the shoot I found a cream satin halter neck dress in my local charity shop. This one was slightly more expensive at £8.00. We had the same problem in that it was about 4 sizes too big for Sarah but we just got the pins out again!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Upcycle Challenge

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So the piece de resistance was the bunting… I knew I wanted some of Emma’s bunting in the shoot and wanted something quite eye catching and colourful. I found a single Spiderman duvet which I gave to Emma and expected her to just cut out some triangles and sew them. How wrong I was! This lady is so creative and talented it is untrue! Four days later she rocked up at the shoot with the most amazing bunting ever! Check out the pictures for the amazing details… using inspiration from one of my blog posts on super hero themed weddings she looked for words she could create using the letters from SPIDERMAN and realised that she could spell out Mr and Mrs… interesting. Even down to making some of Spiderman’s hands clutch at knots of web to symbolise tying the knot!

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On the day of the shoot we were generously loaned the use of The Photography Studio in Hebburn by Chris Davison of Photography Courses UK. Everyone was super excited to meet (some of the team for the first time despite conversing for weeks via Twitter and email!). Leeanne had researched 80’s hair and make up style and was a whizz with the blue eye shadow! The girls looked stunning. I couldn’t wait to see how it would all come together and I must admit there were more than a few wobbly moments where I thought the whole thing might just end up looking like someone dumped a charity donation box onto a table!

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: Upcycle Challenge

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Well I need not have worried! The shots look amazing and we had such a fantastic time doing it that we all want to get together and do it again! (Despite on the day me being ridiculed for being the only one in the team who was actually old enough to remember the 80’s!).

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The total cost of the items for the shoot was £102.90. I can’t believe how amazing everything turned out and I hope you agree. We have some amazing talent in the North!

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Hear hear!

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To find out more about the Upcycle Challenge and how you can enter (you don’t have to be a wedding industry professional either!) click here or visit the All Wrapped Up Events website. 

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Brides Up North – Images © 2011 Team Daisy

All Wrapped Up Events is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier 

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Posted in Event Styling, Featured Supplier, Styled Shoot | Filed Under | 2 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Can YOU Upcycle? The All Wrapped Up Events Charity Challenge

July 11th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Didn’t you just love the gorgeous images from the Summer Of Love photo shoot organised by the gals at All Wrapped Up Events?  If you missed them check them out here:

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Its The Summer Of Love

Love Lace

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: PbArtWorks

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Moving on from all that loveliness… do you fancy a challenge?  Don’t worry though, “upcycling” is not the latest fitness trend (no trainers required), it’s a fun and fabulous bridal styling charity competition brought to you by wedding blog Featured Supplier, All Wrapped Up Events

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UpCycle

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All Wrapped Up Events tells Brides Up North more: We are looking for teams of wedding industry professionals to get together and create a range of upcycled bride & bridesmaid looks plus a “themed table” with only a few rules…

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All items must come from a LOCAL charity shops or second hand stores (within 25 miles of where you live).  This includes all clothes and all accessories.  The themed table must include centrepiece or display, table names or numbers, two table settings plus place cards etc… everything you would expect to see at a real wedding!  Tables & chairs can be your own but everything else must be upcycled. 

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Any flowers used in the display must be free (and owning a florist and using your own does not count) so they must be home grown where possible.

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Any jewellery on the bride and bridesmaids must be made from charity shop finds although you are allowed to de-construct any jewellery bought and make it into something else.

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So what’s the plan?

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You have until the end of July to get your “team” together which might consist of a photographer, stationer, florist, jewellery maker, hair and makeup artist, venue dresser, wedding planner, maybe a clever bridal store owner who is a wiz with a sewing machine and someone to model the looks… anyone can have a go!

However, if you are not a wedding industry professional and just fancy getting creative, then that’s perfect too!

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Throughout August you should start to collect your items between you and then in September your photo shoot should take place.

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We post the results online and the winner will be chosen by Brides Up North.

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The winner’s  will receive a very trendy upcycle challenge trophy and their winning looks will be featured on Brides Up North and the All Wrapped Up Events Blog.

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: PbArtWorks

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Entry costs just £10 per team payable in September when you enter your photo’s which will be donated to St Ann’s Hospice Registered Charity number 258085 (for information on the charity please see  http://www.sah.org.uk/)

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If you want to take part please contact info@allwrappedupevents.co.uk for more information.

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Upcycle

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Pb ArtWorks

All Wrapped Up Events is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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Posted in Charity, Event Styling, Featured Supplier, Styled Shoot | Filed Under | 8 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Star Quality: Supplier Showcase: Figs Catering Co

May 23rd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Wedding dieters beware!  This interview with Brides Up North Featured Supplier will whet your taste buds.  Introducing Figs Catering Co, for a wedding breakfast with starry credentials…

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Figs Catering 1

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How did Figs Catering Co begin? 

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I worked in the music industry for 20 years cooking for bands and artists like of Michael Jackson (I served Elizabeth Taylor Sunday dinner in Singapore while on Tour), Prince, The Spice Girls (I went on to be Melanie C’s personal chef and travelled all over the world with her), Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Pavrarotti, REM, Morrissey and The Beautiful South.   I also cooked at the Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th Birthday at Windsor Castle,  the Queen’s Golden Jubilee at Buckingham Palace, the Thomas Cook Awards at Clivedon at which Princess Diana was in attendance, to name few!  I was based in London when I met my now husband, fell pregnant and was told by a very good friend to move as close to my parents as possible

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What catering services do you provide?

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Anything and everything.

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FIGS Catering Co specialises in tailored menus to suit your individual needs and tastes. We take the elements that the customer describes and turn it into a special occasion: whether a business luncheon, wedding for 300 or a celebration. We cater for all events small or large. 

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We can also provide:

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Celebration cakes: Wedding, Birthday, Retirement, you name it.
Silver cake stand hire and cake knife
Crockery and cutlery hire
Vintage china hire
Glass hire
Linen hire
Bar staff and drinks
Waitressing staff
Master of ceremonies
Flowers
Entertainment   

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I hear you provide event planning services too? 

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If you are having a party and need anything organising from design to drapery, catering to booze, garden party or soiree, venue or marquee, we do it all.  Weddings, product launches, award ceremonies. corporate parties – we can sort it out!

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What size of events can you cater for?

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We cater for an intimate dinner hamper for 4 to a wedding/ corporate event for 300. 

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What sort of food can you provide? 

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You name it, we can do it.  We try to source as locally as possible.  We use our local farm shop and our meat, fruit and vegetables are as local as they can be in season.  Rapeseed oil, flavoured vinegars, flours, cheeses and chutneys are as local as they can be – we have a wealth of local produce on our doorstep.     

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  Figs Catering Co    Figs Catering Co

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Figs Catering Co    Figs Catering Co

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What are the most popular wedding breakfast choices?  

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This changes from year to year but this year afternoon tea on our vintage china is very popular as well as a selection of handmade canapes, locally sourced meat and fish and a platter of mini desserts

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What canapés prove most popular with wedding guests?

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Mini beef wellingtons with a mustard dip;
Scallops with ginger and sherry vinegar; or
Figs wrapped in parma ham with goats cheese. 

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Can you provide bar services too?

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We have fully trained bar staff

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Where is Figs Catering Co based and how far can you travel?

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We are based Nr Northallerton, North Yorkshire, and will travel an hour from our base or further if the job pays. 

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Figs Catering Co    Figs Catering Co

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Figs Catering Co    Figs Catering Co

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Our wedding breakfast prices are negotiable but for:

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3 course meal £36 per head
BBQ wedding breakfast from £24 per head
Afternoon tea wedding from £18 per head.

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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If a reader quotes Brides Up North we would offer favours at the end of the meal or a cheese board to a certain value.

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I hear you run cookery courses – can you tell Brides Up North a bit about them?

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We do: Italian Pasta, Entertaining,  Desserts, Canapes, Men in the Kitchen, Thai…

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Ask and if we can we can!

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Any really memorable weddings that you have catered for?

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We have had weddings where the bride and groom arrive by helicopter and a wedding where the horse and carriage has run off with the bridal party…

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Why choose Figs Catering Co over other suppliers?

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We are very friendly and our aim is to please from the beginning. We offer more than most competitors and you only have to ask.  We love food and enjoy helping people whether they have a large or small budget.

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ find out more?

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Visit our web site at  www.figscatering.co.uk

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Figs Catering Co

Figs Catering Co is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Posted in Event Styling, Events, Featured Supplier, Table Dressing, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Catering, Wedding Flowers | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Life Is Rosy, Supplier Showcase: Alwena Rose

May 8th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Perfect for a relaxed Sunday evening, Brides Up North pours herself a cold glass of rose and talks all things chic and lovely with event stylist Lisa Huxley of Alwena Rose.  This is the life!

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Alwena Rose

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How did Alwena Rose begin?

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As with many businesses in the wedding industry, the idea for Alwena Rose started when planning my own wedding.

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John and I had a beautiful ‘shabby chic’ themed wedding in a rustic barn on Bodmin Moor in August, 2010. As someone who absolutely loves anything rustic, country and pretty, our wedding was filled with lots of lovely little touches like a vintage candy bar, twig hearts, lanterns and bird cages. However, I was frustrated that we were unable to hire the items and that we had the expense of buying everything.  And so the idea for Alwena Rose was born. 

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Where did the name Alwena Rose come from?

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The ‘Alwena’ part came from my name – Lisa Alwena Huxley. I wanted the business name to be unique, have heritage and to convey that it is a family run business. ‘Alwena’ did all those things. I also wanted the business name to incorporate something symbolic to weddings and feel that there is nothing more beautiful and symbolic of a wedding than a ‘Rose’.

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What services does Alwena Rose provide?

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Alwena Rose provides beautiful and unique venue styling across North Wales, Shropshire and the North West. Our stunning hire collection offers everything for a truly beautiful wedding day, including chair covers, candelabras, rustic bird cages, candy bars and twig hearts.

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Alwena Rose

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Alwena Rose

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What event styling trends are popular for weddings in 2011?

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Given the range of shabby chic hire items we provide, the vintage / rustic look continues to be a popular styling trend for 2011. In terms of colours, couples are keeping it classic with ivory and pastels for spring and summer weddings; and reds for winter weddings.

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Tell Brides Up North a bit about your styling accessories – what can you provide?

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Our styling accessories all have a shabby chic / rustic theme. Items include distressed vintage style wooden blocks which feature the word LOVE, lanterns, twig hearts, metal wedding signs and beautiful wooden bunting.

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Alwena Rose

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Any really memorable/ gorgeous weddings that you have styled?

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I would say my wedding….but that would be biased!!

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That is actually really difficult! I honestly do think all the weddings I have styled have been memorable and gorgeous in their own way, so I would find it hard to choose one. However, I am particularly looking forward to a wedding I am styling this July: the couple are sitting on bales of hay for the ceremony and are hiring our cream jugs to fill with sweet peas grown on their own farm in North Wales. I really can’t wait!

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Alwena Rose

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What is your favourite wedding “look”?

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Anything rustic or country chic.

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Alwena Rose

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Tell Brides Up North a little about your own wedding day…

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John and I had an intimate wedding on 2nd August, 2010 at Trevenna, a collection of converted barns in beautiful, rural countryside on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. After our honeymoon, we celebrated by throwing a big party near our home for all our friends and family at Carden Park, Nr Chester.

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I wore an Italian lace fishtail dress and cathedral length veil, with a vintage side comb in my hair. We went for an elegant shabby chic theme with lots of rustic flowers, twig hearts, candles and bird cages. We had a harpist for the ceremony and drinks reception followed by a jazz band in the evening. Guests were kept entertained with a vintage candy bar and a post dancing portion of fish and chips!

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[Note: You can see Lisa & John’s Real Wedding photographs coming up very shortly on Brides Up North.]

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

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A recent celebrity wedding caught my eye actually – Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth. They were married at her ranch in California in March. Their theme was rustic, farm-style. The outdoor styling included lanterns and chandeliers hanging from trees, mismatched antique chairs and distressed benches, a wood plank dance floor, antique leather sofas, antique rugs, wagon wheels and Turkish textile pillows. The table decorations included different arrangements of white, blush and lavender flowers in mason jars, fish catcher lanterns and antique pots.

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Reese Witherspoon Wedding Alwena Rose

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It sounded like the perfect wedding to me and I would have loved to have been involved in the styling.
What would I have suggested? I think some wooden heart bunting to hang between the trees and twig hearts for the end of the benches would have looked really sweet and matched in with the theme perfectly.

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What can a bride who books your service expect?

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A personal and professional service at all times. At Alwena Rose we personally deliver, set up and collect all hire items.

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Alwena Rose

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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As we appreciate that some brides want to be more hands on than others, our wedding decorations are available to hire either as item only (Simply Rose) or decorated (Rose Plus). Prices range depending on the hire item chosen. For example, our cream metal jugs are £6.50 each on their own or £8.00 each decorated. This compares to our candelabras that are £16.00 each on their own or £18.00 decorated.
Our candy bar is priced at £2 per guest and includes sweets of the couple’s choice, traditional glass sweet jars, silver scoops, traditional candy bags, decorations to match the colour scheme as well as delivery, set up and collection.

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Our chair covers are available from £2.50 per chair.         

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Alwena Rose

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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Yes – I can offer 5% discount if a couple mention that they came through Brides Up North.

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Why do you read Brides Up North?

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I love anything wedding and the blog keeps me up to date with trends. Plus, it allows me to find local suppliers that I can let my couples know about.

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Anything else that Brides Up North should know?

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At Alwena Rose, we absolutely know how important it is to have everything perfect for a couple’s wedding day and pride ourselves on our huge attention to detail. We also appreciate that each wedding style is uniquely individual and we work with our brides and grooms to create their dream wedding day.
All our chair covers are made from the best quality fabrics and are professionally laundered and pressed to ensure immaculate presentation. Available in white, ivory or black, our chair covers can be complimented with a delicate organza or sumptuous taffeta sash, chosen from our wide range of colours.

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We don’t use ‘one size fits all’ or ‘stretchy’ chair covers. We have a large stock of high quality chair covers in various shapes and sizes. We will always contact the venue to ascertain the best chair cover for the chairs – ensuring a perfect fit every time.

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Alwena Rose

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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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Couples can email me on info@alwenarose.com. My website has an online gallery that shows examples of my work and I also keep my wedding fayre page up to date on the website with local wedding fayres I am attending.

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Alwena Rose is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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Posted in Chair Covers, Event Styling, Events, Featured Supplier, Wedding Decorations | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

It’s a (Wedding) Jungle Out There! Supplier Showcase: Real Oasis

May 3rd, 2011 | Julia Braime

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After Wills and Kate lined the aisle at Westminster Abbey with real trees, it seems that bringing the outside in may just be en vogue.  Stay ahead of the trend with Real Oasis.

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Fancy a countryside wedding in the heart of the city or a jungle in your back garden?  Real Oasis can bring nature to you when saying I do! Brides Up North chats to this Featured Supplier about topiary, all things flora and breaking with tradition…

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Real Oasis

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What services does Real Oasis offer?

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Greenery hire for special events, i.e. Palm trees, bamboos, olive trees, topiary, artificial grass, shrubs, floral displays, wedding arches, trees…the list is endless. From providing a pair of matched topiary lollipops through to creating a wedding jungle.

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Real Oasis

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What is your favourite "look" that Real Oasis has created and why?

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Wow, that’s a difficult one. From a personal point of view I always like the challenges when someone says “We’d like to do X or how can we achieve Y?”! Creating the first wedding jungle was exciting – two hours to get 400 plants into place and no time to snag and twiddle but it went really well. Another memorable one was creating a circle of large birch trees with fairy lights in them as a meeting spot at midnight, the photos we were sent were all blurred but you could tell it was a special time with everyone sitting, chatting and laughing, it looked like it went on until dawn.

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What are the plant trends for weddings in 2011?

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“Experimental” seems to be this years growing trend. Topiary is always in demand for weddings but we are seeing more and more people are starting to experiment with the look of their weddings, especially for couples over 30. Creating a themed wedding using plants is on the rise and people are definitely getting more experimental with what they can achieve.

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Real Oasis

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What "themes" can you cater for and how would this work?

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If it’s greenery related we can probably do it. In the past we have done jungles, bamboo forests, tree walkways and bespoke creations like using greenery to create a certain effect. This area is probably the most interesting from Real Oasis’s point-of-view because we get to be creative, rather than just placing specimen plants.

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Are plants and flowers really that important at a wedding?  Why?

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Not at all. Plants and flowers have to mean something to the individuals concerned, just because having flowers at a wedding is a tradition that does not mean that a wedding has to have them. We hate it when the bride or groom calls and they are obviously not particularly interested but are just going through the motions.

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On the other hand, when the couple are excited about what is possible and want to achieve something special that’s great and it makes working towards their event a pleasure.

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Real Oasis

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What sets your service apart from other similar companies?

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There are only three companies in the UK doing what we do. The other two are based near London, one of them specialises in film work rather than weddings.  However, there are quite a few companies that supply topiary.

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When we compare ourselves to these competitors I think we come out pretty well. We constantly strive to come up with new ideas and products, we don’t just supply topiary. We are always experimenting in order to make a real impact.

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On the floral side, we work with a number of fantastic floral companies and individual florists. In addition, we refer work on if a client is not having any plants.  This arrangement works well as the florists tend to reciprocate when they need plants.

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Real Oasis

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What flowers or plants would you choose for your own wedding?

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Cheeky, I’m already married. ;)

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I think a lot would depend on the venue we booked. I might have to get married quite a few times to have all the different options that are available, that would be expensive but it would be fun.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on prices for your services?

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Every event we do is bespoke, no two weddings are the same and everyone has a different vision of what they would like to achieve. Price wise our plants range from cheap and cheerful items like small table top lavenders or olive plants at around £5 through to seriously large palm trees and bamboos some costing hundreds.

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Real Oasis

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

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Most people find us through referrals or the website www.realoasis.com and get in touch to chat through their requirements. If anyone wants to visit, they are welcome but they must make an appointment, as the plants are located on a number of working nurseries.

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Real Oasis

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Any thing else that Brides Up North should know?

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There’s more secret sauce!

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At this point, we are not giving much away apart from saying that we are calling it the ultimate wedding arch. It’s a fantastic product, which hotels, marquee companies, wedding planners, everyone in the wedding industry whom we have discussed the idea with has been very enthusiastic about. The ultimate wedding arch will go live in June 2011.

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We think there will be a huge demand for weddings and will not only look great but will also solve a number of problems for weddings using outdoor spaces.

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We also offer a design service which is free of charge, especially useful for clients that are not used to working with plants as inexperience can lead to hiring completely the wrong type or size of plants.

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Real Oasis

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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We think our prices are very fair, but we do offer a discount based on quantity. We also have trade accounts for wedding professionals.

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Why do you read and like Brides Up North?

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Huh? Doesn’t everyone? ;)

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The approach is really fresh, passionate and very exciting.

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Real Oasis is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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Posted in Event Styling, Featured Supplier, Topiary, Wedding Flowers | Filed Under | 4 COMMENTS so far, click here to join the discussion! »

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