August 7th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Viewing shopping for wedding rings as so much more than another task on the ‘big day to-do list’, our wonderful Sponsor Lister Horsfall is keen to make the experience a truly special occasion for couples who visit their Ilkley or Halifax stores.
As such, brides- and grooms-to-be are treated to expert advice, complimentary fizz and a fabulous choice of options, whether picking a brand design or a totally bespoke piece.
But it’s not just the bands they can assist with. Housing a spectacular range of jewellery collections, the experienced team can also advise brides on the accessories for their day, plus help to pick out memorable gifts for those within the wedding party who deserve an extra special thank you.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, the generous team are offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous offer up until 30th November 2018: buy a wedding ring set from Lister Horsfall and receive a free pair of pearl earrings worth £100. Simply mention this Brides Up North blog post and offer in-store when visiting*.
To tell us more, we welcome General Manager Gemma Moody, to the blog.
Images provided by Lister Horsfall.
Can you give us a brief overview of Lister Horsfall?
gemma says: Lister Horsfall opened his Halifax jewellers back in 1902 – our proudly family-run Yorkshire business is still one of the crown jewels of the county’s top-end shopping experiences over 116 years later – and it’s this heritage, knowledge and experience passed on through generations, that brings customers to us when they want to mark a special moment in time with jewellery.
You can find us in Halifax and Ilkley, and both stores offer our customers an inviting and comfortable environment in which to explore collections. Our Halifax branch also houses our luxurious Bridal Suite, giving grooms and brides-to-be the perfect place to choose their engagement and wedding rings whilst enjoying complimentary drinks from our in-store bar.
We stock a range of jewellery from the likes of FOPE, Mikimoto, Furrer Jacot, Messika, Ponte Vecchio, Brown & Newirth, FEU Diamonds, Diamond by Appointment and CARAT. These brands offer stunning ranges and if you’re looking for bridal jewellery, bridesmaids’ gifts or even something special for the mother-of-the-bride, you’ll find the perfect choice.
In addition, we hold watches by Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Breitling, Tag Hauer, Longines and more, both new and pre-owned – which make for the perfect ‘for him’ gift if you want to mark an engagement or wedding with something memorable.
How far in advance of the wedding should couples start to shop for their wedding rings?
On average, couples start to choose their wedding rings about three months before the wedding. However, if you would like a bespoke set making, we’d advise starting the process about six months before – although we do cater for those quick turnaround moments where couples don’t want to wait before tying the knot, so we work with all kinds of timelines!
What elements should couples take into account when shopping for their rings?
We apply the same principles as shopping for an engagement ring when advising customers – agree your budget and perhaps have some thoughts on the styles you prefer. After all, we want our customers to enjoy such a special moment and feel comfortable with what they have spent so it doesn’t impact on their budget for the big day.
As you will be shopping together, you may want to consider whether your bands will be plain or set with diamonds, or whether you’ll want them engraving. Other considerations are the durability of the metal you choose, and how it fits with your lifestyle. Equally, make sure that the wedding band will sit well with your engagement ring and not wear it away.
As well as varying metals, what other choices do couples have in terms of the design of the ring?
Wherever you shop there’s an array of choices on offer, wedding ring designs have come a long way in recent years and we’ve moved on from choosing between just plain bands or diamond set.
You can choose between polished, matt and brushed effects, in a variety of metals, or select rings with mixed metals. And, if you want to go further on the finish, you could choose a more patterned ring, from a hammered effect or flat top, to a bevel or grooved one or even one with millgrain edges. In terms of diamond set, there are rings available that also incorporate patterned metals in addition to plain, so the choice is endless.
Regarding width and depth of rings, often this is led by the shape of the engagement ring as we advise on selecting a ring that will fit well with it. For gents, it’s all down to personal taste and style, we haven’t spotted a trend preference in that area.
Of course, some rings can bear an inscription that is personal to you, and our team can guide you through the ranges that offer this complimentary service.
The other thing to note is that, despite the vast choice on offer, sometimes our couples want rings creating that are unique and personal to them, which is why we offer a bespoke design service. We make a lot of wedding rings and love working with couples to get the design that is perfect for them.
Ultimately, whatever style, design or finish you choose, the only thing we say is to remember that you’ll be wearing it every day for the rest of your life!
What style of wedding rings are proving popular with couples currently?
We’ve seen a rise in rose gold styles and mixed metals, which is probably because so many couples are looking for something a little different and more individual to them within their peer groups.
As ever though, platinum and palladian are popular, and we’d recommend choosing platinum due to its brightness in colour and as it is a hardier metal.
What type of service can couples expect when shopping for their wedding rings at Lister Horsfall?
Every customer is treated with the same respect and care here at Lister Horsfall, whether you are someone who has shopped with us before or it’s your first visit to us. We understand that it’s both an emotional and exciting time when someone is about to propose or get married, so we make sure that couples get the best experience to help them make their day as perfect as possible. We don’t see ring shopping as a ‘job to be done’, we believe it’s an occasion in its own right in the run up to a wedding or civil partnership and treat it as such.
It’s why we created the bridal areas that we have in our stores – intimate settings where you can explore and try on the different ranges, seek advice and ring recommendations from our down-to-earth and experienced team, whilst relaxing and soaking up this special moment with complimentary champagne.
In addition, all our customers benefit from the Lister Horsfall promise, meaning that every piece of jewellery that you buy from us is entitled to a lifetime of clean, re-size and polish, and free valuations in the future. And, if you buy an engagement ring from us, you also receive 10% off wedding rings.
How can you assist a bride-to-be in selecting the right jewellery for her big day?
When a bride comes to us to select jewellery for her wedding day, we will talk about the colour and style of the dress, be it traditional, vintage, city-driven or boho-chic for example. This gives us a lead on the style of jewellery we would recommend to the bride, whilst also taking in to account her personal taste.
The devil really is in the detail though, so we also take in to consideration the finer elements such as the neckline, sleeve length and bridal hairstyling, as this gives us guidance as to what we’d recommend for lengths of the necklace, weight of a bracelet or even whether to go for studs or drop earrings.
From our experience, we know that pairing the right jewellery with a bridal outfit really does enhance the overall look and helps make the bride feel extra fabulous on one of the most important days of her life.
April 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime
Through our pretty pages we’ve often promoted The Biscuit Factory as a cool urban choice of venue for North East wedding couples, though it can be of service to brides and grooms in more ways than one.
Beyond its fabulous function spaces, The Biscuit Factory houses the UK’s largest independent contemporary art, craft and design gallery, featuring impressive work by both local and national artists with pieces ranging from paintings, prints and ceramics to furniture, homewares and jewellery.
Not only is the art showcased and admired through exhibitions, but numerous items are also available to buy at the Newcastle-based gallery or online. For wedding couples with an appreciation of art this means the option of setting up a gift account in the gallery, for a wedding present wish list with a difference.
Furthermore, through its impressive jewellery collections, brides and grooms can also source beautifully bespoke gifts for one another and their bridal party, and can even have wedding and engagement rings specially commissioned by jewellers based at the gallery.
We’ll now hand over the blog to The Biscuit Factory’s jewellery curator, Megan Collier, to tell us more about the options, including the latest Botanical Collection of jewellery with stunning handmade pieces inspired by the natural world.
Can you give us a brief overview of the jewellery collections that The Biscuit Factory houses?
megan says: The Biscuit Factory houses one of the largest collections of contemporary handmade jewellery in the North of England. Our pieces are carefully curated each season and are all handmade, original and unique. From affordable statement pieces to high-value wedding bands – we stock a variety of jewellery from the UK’s most talented designers and makers.
How do you choose the designers that you stock/exhibit and do these change from season to season?
We have a few makers who are firm favourites in the gallery and have been with us for years, such as Jessica Briggs, Fran Stunt and Jill Stewart. Their work never fails to be popular with our audiences! Aside from that, I try to bring in a selection of new jewellers for each seasonal show to make sure the collection is fresh and exciting. I tend to find these through hunting online or looking at other galleries and trade fairs. Instagram has a wealth of new and exciting designers to discover so is always a good place to start! I try to look for designers who are doing something a little different or innovative with their work, so the collections at The Biscuit Factory are always giving our audience something new to discover.
Can you tell us about the current Botanical Jewellery collection?
The spring show seemed like the perfect time to explore the world of botanical jewellery, putting the spotlight on artists who take inspiration from the natural world at the time of year when everything is starting to bloom and flourish.
Botanics is a theme explored by many jewellers in many different ways, and our new collection perfectly showcases the diverse range of styles, materials and techniques that makers have used to interpret this theme, each coming up with entirely unique results. Some of the collections have even been specially created just for The Biscuit Factory, too.
From Sue Gregor, who uses real plants in her bright bold acrylic jewellery, to Farrah Al-Dujaili’s Oddical collection made from cutting-edge 3D printing – the jewellers in this show experiment with their craft and break from traditional methods of jewellery making. For this reason, the Botanical Collection appeals to a wide audience.
There are subtle, floral pieces like Yuki Kokai or Lisa Rothwell-Young’s collections, for those who like their jewellery elegant and understated, but there is also bold, statement jewellery, such as Lauren Bell Brown’s Grimms fairy-tale inspired collection, created using handcrafted wax carvings and cuttlefish castings combined with needlepoint embellishment.
Award-winning jeweller John Moore, meanwhile, captures the essence of feathers and the repeating patterns of fish and plants in his decorative Flight and Elytra pieces; and Nettie Birch of nbNg makes fold formed jewellery using aluminium, copper and Sterling silver to create beautiful flowing organic shapes.
Couples have been known to have wedding and engagement rings commissioned at The Biscuit Factory. Can you tell us a little more about this option and what the process involves?
There are a number of jewellers who we work with who can create specially commissioned wedding pieces for us. We have a selection of their work in the gallery that couples can try on and explore for inspiration. We can then order directly from the artist in the right size and desired materials. It’s a great place to find your engagement and wedding rings as it ensures they will be truly unique and handmade by an artist. I think this makes them extra special!
Brides and grooms have also sourced wedding gifts for loved ones and each other from designers at The Biscuit Factory. What types of items have they bought and what would you suggest from the current collections that would make lovely wedding gifts?
There’s plenty to choose from in the way of wedding gifts from our collections. Handmade, unique cufflinks are always a popular choice when buying gifts for the groom or groomsmen. We also have very affordable and pretty silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings made with semi-precious stones and molten metals which could make perfect bridesmaid gifts.
March 30th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Far more than a pretty piece of jewellery, engagement and wedding rings represent the commitments a couple make to one other and therefore it’s important that they last a lifetime.
To ensure top quality as well as a design that’s perfect for you and your partner, we’d always advise spending time discussing all the various options with a professional; with varying metals, jewels and settings to choose from, not to mention the 4Cs of diamond quality.
Fortunately for you, we have a gem of an expert taking over the blog today to explain all the considerations of ring buying while telling us about his personal and professional jewellery business – welcome Gareth Graham, managing director of Luv Olivia.
Covering the North West and Central England, including the Midlands, Luv Olivia offers a bespoke wedding, engagement and eternity ring design service with quality and value at the core of its business ethos.
Bringing a stunning collection of rings direct to the homes of its customers, Gareth and his team go above and beyond in the journey to designing rings which are perfect and unique to each couple. The Luv Olivia team also regularly attend our Luxury Wedding Fairs, sharing their fabulous knowledge and showcasing their stunning collections direct to visiting bride and grooms-to-be!
Can you tell us a little about your background and how Luv Olivia came to fruition?
gareth says: Luv Olivia Jewellery was born in September 2016 out of a desire to combine my wealth of expertise in the jewellery industry with providing a quality customer-centric design service. I fell in love with selling jewellery early on whilst managing a team at Goldsmiths. I developed a passion for sourcing the perfect piece for customers to mark the most memorable occasions in their lives. The company has great values, many of which are instilled in my business today.
However, after eight years it was time to push boundaries and I began building relationships within the trade side of the industry. I worked for a company selling diamonds and for a bespoke wedding jeweller, thus sparking my inspiration to launch Luv Olivia. I have always had an eye for design and coupled with my ability to connect with customers I knew this was the beginning of an exciting and successful venture.
I started by carefully selecting suppliers who I deemed highly skilled, ethical and reputable. After 30 years in the industry I trust that they can produce exceptional quality jewellery.
What does Luv Olivia offer to couples?
The main objective of the business is to be able to offer customers unique rings which are value for money whilst maintaining the quality of the product. The item is most likely a lifetime purchase and it is essential the craftsmanship is of high calibre and durable.
Luv Olivia is so confident in our product that we offer a lifetime manufacturer guarantee as long as the ring is brought back to be checked at least once a year!
Where did the name for the business come from?
The name Luv Olivia is very special to me. Family is the most important part of my life and is the ultimate motivation for success. Olivia is the name of my daughter who amazes me every day with her boldness and determination. She represents the strength behind the brand and evokes a spirit of ingenuity and innovation. The term “Luv” reflects the eternal love between couples forever imprinted in the rings they wear to symbolise their unity.
Can you give us an overview of the rings you stock and how you pick collections for Luv Olivia?
The rings I bring to an appointment are selected from the most popular collections in the UK and Europe. There are more than 100 styles of ladies wedding rings, 80 gents’ rings and 80 engagement rings of different widths and diamond weights. The styles range from plain to very sparkly with diamond sets. There are also options of various shaped wedding bands to fit around all types of engagement ring settings.
How do you advise couples on the right ring(s) for them?
I always advise that the style of wedding ring should enhance the beauty of their engagement ring as that is the pièce de résistance. The rest is decided by the client. I guide them through my collection to ensure that they have seen enough options to make a decision.
What elements should couples think about when picking their wedding rings?
The main elements are the width of the engagement ring band and style of shoulders. It is also important for a couple to decide if they would like an eternity ring in the future. This will affect the width of the wedding band to ensure there is enough room for another ring.
You also offer a bespoke service. Can you tell us a little about this process?
Every ring is made specifically to the bride’s tastes. Although I bring my collection it is only used as a guide for styles, settings and size. Each ring is designed by taking a 3D scan of their engagement ring for the most accurate detail. Then the wedding ring is made to complement both the width and the depth of the engagement ring as I know all too well stock rings can vary in all these aspects.
I come to the comfort of their own home at a time that suits them. This allows for a relaxed environment with no time restraints. I offer advice and educate couples on all of the C’s and which metals are suitable for them.
I am available after the high street stores close and am always on hand to answer any questions. The entire process takes three months to make the perfect wedding ring.
March 8th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
As something special that stays with you long beyond the wedding day, the engagement and wedding rings are without doubt one of the most important purchases on the big day list.
We therefore feel it’s an important area to do your homework in, and to entrust to professionals that have a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping couples to find their perfect bands. Our wonderful Sponsor Lister Horsfall, which has two beautiful Yorkshire stores, is one such professional that can assist.
Having opened its first store back in 1902, the family-run firm has built a glowing reputation over the past century for their personal and efficient service, and now boast stores in both Halifax and Ilkley.
Keen to make the ring-buying experience enjoyable and memorable, the Halifax store houses a luxurious Bridal Suite, giving grooms- and brides-to-be the perfect place to choose their engagement and wedding rings, while receiving expert advice and complimentary drinks.
In addition, all customers benefit from the Lister Horsfall promise, meaning that every piece of jewellery purchased is entitled to a lifetime of clean, re-size and polish. And, if couples buy an engagement ring from Lister Horsfall, they also receive 10% off wedding rings. Plus, up until the end of March Lister Horsfall are offering a pair of 6.5mm cultured pearls worth £100 with every wedding ring set purchased in store.
So, let’s waste no time in handing over to General Manager Gemma Moody, to tell us more about the jeweller’s dazzling offering…
Can you tell us a little about Lister Horsfall’s history and its experience in wedding and engagement rings?
gemma says: Lister Horsfall opened his Halifax jewellers back in 1902, a year after Queen Victoria died – and our proudly family-run Yorkshire business is still one of the crown jewels of the county’s top-end shopping experiences over 115 years later.
It’s this experience, passed on through the generations, that brings customers to us – we understand that it’s both an emotional and exciting time when someone is about to propose or get married, so we make sure that couples get the best experience to help them make their day as perfect as possible.
We stock a range of styles to suit all manner of tastes, and at the heart of that is our commitment to providing our customers with exceptional quality. We pride ourselves on enabling our diamond customers to know exactly what they are buying, which is why all our diamonds are certified through the GIA’s Diamond Grading System. We only stock what we consider to be the best in Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight, carrying certified diamonds at the top of the scale, from D to G.
Whether it’s help choosing the right ring, working to a specific budget or even designing a bespoke piece, all our customers receive a personal service that’s second to none.
Where are Lister Horsfall’s showrooms located and can you tell us a little about them and the jewellery stocked?
You can find us in Ilkley and Halifax; both stores have undergone huge refurbishments in recent years. Pre-Christmas, our Ilkley store was completely refurbished, it looks amazing and the feedback from customers has been fantastic.
Our Halifax branch also houses our luxurious Bridal Suite, giving grooms and brides-to-be the perfect place to choose their engagement and wedding rings.
We stock a range of jewellery from the likes of Mikimoto, Furrer Jacot, Messika, Ponte Vecchio and CARAT. These brands offer stunning ranges and if you’re looking for bridal jewellery, bridesmaids’ gifts or even something special for the mother-of-the-bride, you’ll find the perfect choice.
In addition, we hold watches by Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Breitling, Tag Hauer, Longines and more, both new and pre-owned.
The Halifax showroom has a dedicated engagement & bridal suite, can you tell us about this and the experience it provides for couples?
We have a traditional commitment to a high-quality, personal service, which is why the wedding showroom was a must for us.
Couples can sit down and relax in comfort and privacy, as it’s to the side of the main store floor. Our in-store bar is where you’ll be treated to complimentary drinks whilst you mull over your options for engagement and wedding rings and beyond.
And, if you’re not sure exactly what style you’re looking for, our experienced and down-to-earth team will assist you in finding just the right style for you. It’s a buying experience that treats such a significant life-moment with all the ceremony and care that it deserves.
Can you tell us about the choice of wedding and engagement rings that you stock?
We have an array of exquisite engagement rings from Diamonds by Appointment, true specialists in the field. We are also proud to be one of the few jewellers to stock the UK’s own Brown and Newirth, a wonderful brand that offers customers a wide variety of styles.
Both companies have an absolute commitment to high-quality workmanship, which is why we love working with them.
Do you also offer a bespoke service and, if so, can you tell us about the process of having a ring especially designed and made at Lister Horsfall?
We do, and it’s a very popular service! Customers often bring in images from magazines or drawings they’ve made as initial inspiration for the design. They’ll sit down with Darren, our working jeweller, who will work hand in hand with them to bring their ideas to life. From that, we will produce CAD designs to show what the finished piece will look like and then, once approved, we’ll go ahead and make the ring itself.
It’s a very personal experience that takes about six to eight weeks, and at the end of it you have a truly unique piece of jewellery.
October 27th, 2017 | Julia Braime
It’s all you need, after all!
Extra Fine ‘Love’ Necklace, £126, Alex Monroe
August 11th, 2017 | Julia Braime
B is for bride-to-be.
Just in case you needed reminding.
Diamond Alphabet Pendant In Rose Gold, £150, Monica Vinader.
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