Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

friday night is party night: introducing mini-epic!

May 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime


Mini-Epic from Mini-Epic on Vimeo.

Planning a hen party should be fun, but sometimes you find you’re just drowning in the admin of it all.  Where to go, what to do, whether to choose a wild night or a chilled celebration… it can be a mind boggling and spreadsheet heavy task.  Add to that making sure that everyone is invited and has RSVP’d in a way that comes across as more bubbly than bossy, whilst setting the tone for the fun ahead and even the keenest of hens might want to hang up their high heels.  It’s an L plate strewn minefield.

Here at Brides Up North we’ve found the answer, courtesy of a cool new service that launches today. The online invite has been long overdue a 21st Century makeover. And it looks like the guys at Brides Up North Sponsor Mini-Epic have done just that!

Super cute, very tongue in cheek and loads of fun… whilst being very practical too.  Hey, do Mini-Epic want to be a bridesmaid too?

mini-epic say: Our online hen party invites are fun, totally personalised and add a little bit of excitement to the planning process. It’s a perfect way to get everyone excited for all the amazing things you have planned! As well as setting the perfect tone for your hen party, our range of invitations also collect your guest’s RSVPs, in a simple back-end system that is totally easy to manage and organise. No chasing of emails, or messaging group threads necessary…. it’s all taken care of.

There are loads of templates to choose from too, with a video and animation to suit everyone and every type of party. Think of this as your own personal ‘movie trailer’ to the most amazing night of your life (so far!).

A few examples you can see below, so let us know what you think and which you would choose. The invites are packed with personality and originality, and put your guests in the mood to party with an invitation they won’t forget.

After all, when you go to all the effort of organising a party, you want it to start in the best possible way right?

The Perfect Cocktail: Hen Party from Mini-Epic on Vimeo.

Hey Girls!: Hen Party from Mini-Epic on Vimeo.

It’s Time! : Hen Party from Mini-Epic on Vimeo.

You can find Mini-Epic online at mini-epic.com, and their invitations are available now to purchase and create. 

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Passion For Pants! Supplier Showcase: Top Drawer Diva PLUS 10% Discount For Wedding Blog Readers

May 13th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Top Drawer Diva

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Big, big thanks to all our amazing exhibitors, beautiful brides, gorgeous grooms and our stunning host for a lovely first Brides Up North event at brand new venue Thorp Perrow yesterday. Some images from the day are coming soon, but in the meantime I wanted to say how very privileged I feel to work alongside such inspirational people and to meet so many new friends yesterday too.  Thank you for your support.

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Top Drawer DivaThis morning, we meet one of the fabulous Brides Up North Featured Suppliers whose sponsorship makes the wedding blog and indeed events like yesterday’s lovely exhibition possible – the dynamic duo behind knicker making maestro Top Drawer Diva.  These girls have a passion for pants, and want to make your hen party an occasion to remember.  Get ready to be frilled! 

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How and when did Top Drawer Diva begin?

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In July 2010, we realized there was a gap in the market for hen party activities for the more crafty hens who wanted something different so we created a unique business celebrating the trend for all things crafty and combined this with our in depth knowledge of lingerie and textiles.  Hey presto: our knicker-making master class was born!

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Who makes up the team and what is your background?

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Clare and Vicky are the ladies behind Top Drawer Diva.  Clare Booth is a fabric technologist for a large UK lingerie brand with a degree in BSc (Hons) in Textiles from Heriot-Watt University and Vicki Williams is a lingerie designer for several UK high street retailers and brands with a BA (Hons) in Contour Fashion from De Montfort University.

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Top Drawer Diva

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Tell us about your Folksy shop and commission services?

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We create beautiful bespoke garters and sell these mainly at wedding fairs but also have a selection on Folksy for brides to be to browse. All the garters are individually designed and made using European laces and embroideries sourced from contacts we made during our time in the lingerie industry. We prefer to receive commission work and love creating a product to the person’s individual’s style.

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We have just finished making a peg bag as a wedding gift at someone’s request; this combined a mix of vintage fabrics, embroideries plus a cheeky reference to pants with his and her underwear appliquéd on the reverse. Personalised embroidery of names, dates and times completes the ensemble.

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If you have an idea for a gift or garter please get in touch as we are happy to work with any project.

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Tell us about your knicker making parties?  How do they usually work?

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We like to break the ice with a round of knicker bingo before cracking open the pink fizz and retro sweets to get everyone in the party mood. We then reveal the diva kit that contains every variety of coloured ribbon, laces, trims and sequins you can imagine ensuring every hen can craft an item to suit their style and personality. Examples of mood boards and inspiration knickers are shown to ward off any creative concerns.

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Parties usually last about three hours with a photo shoot showcasing everyone’s creations and the bride gets to choose her favourite pair and award the much coveted prize of ‘Prettiest Pants’. The hens then present the bride to be with two garters they have sneakily made during the party – one for the hen night and a more traditional cream one that can be worn on the big day. With hen parties in particular there is always a brilliant atmosphere and the great thing is that anybody from 19-90 can come along and enjoy them.

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Top Drawer Diva

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Top Drawer Diva

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Top Drawer Diva

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Tell us about your workshops and the different types that you offer?

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We do offer beginner workshops and a few of them are specifically related to lingerie with our frilly knicker and waspie workshops being very popular.  These are not the run on mill type of workshops and we believe give us that quirky edge.  The knicker-making master classes for hen parties are keeping us so busy that we are only taking private bookings for other workshops.  Please get in touch for details.  

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What sets your business apart from your competitors?

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It’s our passion for pants that puts us on top!

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Top Drawer Diva

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Who would be your dream client and why?

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Jessica Ennis because first and foremost she is a Northerner, a national gem and hugely inspirational. We believe that behind the cute girl next door image lies a diva that could create a pair of knickers that is worthy of a gold medal.

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Are there any really memorable parties that you have worked on and why?

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All are very memorable in their own way as we see fantastic designs, but generally the parties where the bride to be has no idea what to expect are hilarious. We like to get them guessing the activity ahead and one bride to be thought she was in for some housewife training as the diva kit includes an iron and ironing board, sewing machine and so on… a fantastic alternative side-line for the business but we don’t think the Mr Diva’s would agree!

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Top Drawer Diva

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Top Drawer Diva

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Have you got any parties or events coming up that you are really excited about?

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We do love showing at wedding fairs and explaining our concept to the brides (mainly to great amusement of the groom).  We have also just been booked for a Women’s Institute presentation in Lincoln to do a ‘frilly knicker’ demonstration as part of their of 2014 upcoming events.

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What else is going on at Top Drawer Diva? Tell us about Stitch Club?

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For mini designers aged 9-12 we run afterschool and holiday stitch clubs. We hope to inspire the next generation with our knowledge and love of craft to learn traditional and modern skills of creating things from scratch. We find that the children are really enthusiastic and love learning and creating. We help them to make things like bunting and Ipod covers so they are fusing old techniques with new trends.  Stitch Club also offer party packages for budding designers and their friends.

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Top Drawer Diva

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Top Drawer Diva

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How far in advance should Brides Up North get in touch with you to book a party or workshop?

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The more advance the enquiry the better to ensure availability of dates, sometimes we can even accommodate two parties in one day (location dependant).

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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Usually prices are around £28-£30 per person and this includes all materials and equipment plus glass off pink fizz and a retro sweet fix, knicker themed party games, two garters are made for the bride to be by the hens on the day as an extra keepsake, photo shoot to showcase everyone’s creations and Prettiest Pants award judged by the main Diva (bride to be). 

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We prefer at least 10 people or a minimum party fee of £200, and can cater for large group bookings of 20+

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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If you quote Brides Up North in your initial enquiry we will offer a 10% discount.

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Top Drawer Diva

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Where are you located, what areas do you cover and can you travel?

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We are based on the Lincolnshire coast and cover a huge area of the North of and Midlands – it’s best to see our map by clicking here. Locations outside our boundaries are considered so please get in touch if you require a price.

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How can Brides Up North find out more?

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You can visit our website, Facebook or Twitter pages, and contact us by clicking here or on 07739 960568. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 supplied by Top Drawer Diva

Top Drawer Diva is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

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

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Wedding Blog WINNER! Knicker Making Masterclass With Top Drawer Diva

December 1st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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It must be getting close to Christmas.  It’s giveaways galore here on the wedding blog!

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Top Drawer Diva were offering one Brides Up North reader the chance to win a Hen Party activity with a twist:  a FREE Knicker Making Masterclass for you and nine friends in any of the locations that they cover.

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Top Drawer Diva

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog: Top Drawer Diva

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And the winner is…

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Jo

November 14, 2011 | I’d love to spend my hen do making pants, we’d put ‘em on and do the knicker dance!

Hope whoever wins has a fab time – it sounds great!

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Congratulations Jo!  Your hen party certainly won’t be pants! Smile

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Contact me to claim your prize. 

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Top Drawer Diva

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Top Drawer Diva

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For more information on Top Drawer Diva’s Knicker Making Masterclasses email topdrawerdiva@hotmail.co.uk or call Vicki on 07739 960 568. 

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*Winner drawn at random.  No cash alternative.  Prize must be taken in one of the locations covered by Top Drawer Diva – Leeds, Manchester, York, Sheffield, Lincoln, Nottingham, Hull, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Grimsby and anywhere in between. 

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2011 Top Drawer Diva

This is a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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A Girl Named Kate: Trends for 2011: Kate Aspen Favours

March 1st, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Susan at Kate Aspen tells Brides Up North all about hot favour trends for the coming year.

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Kate Comes to Brides Up North!

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Kate Aspen

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No, not that Kate. I’m talking about Kate Aspen, an internationally recognised wedding favour designer with a new retail site created exclusively for the UK! The first thing you’ll notice about Kate Aspen wedding favours is their imaginative gift-ready packaging, and inside are some of the most creative favour designs you’ll ever see, many of which can personalised.

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With hundreds of favours in the collection, it’s impossible to show you all of them, so I’ve picked a few of my favourites. After you see these, I’m sure you’ll want to browse the site yourself! Let’s start with wedding favours trending for 2011.

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Rolling with Royalty

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Now we’ll talk about the other Kate. Her marriage to Prince William is already The Wedding of the New Millennium (to date, at least!), and the event is bringing glamour, elegance and the notion of a traditional wedding to brides-to-be everywhere. The trick for wedding favour designers is to marry a contemporary touch with those concepts.

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Kate Aspen Chandelier Mirrored Coasters   Kate Aspen White baroque frame

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Kate Aspen does it magically and gives you choices like the Chandelier Mirrored Glass Coasters, the “White Baroque” Photo Frame, “Check Mate!” King and Queen Place Card/Photo Holder (speaking of royalty!), and the “Golden Brocade” Glass Photo Coasters.

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Kate Aspen Check Mate Place Card Holders   Kate Aspen Golden Brocade Photo Coasters

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Welcome to Our World

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Kate Aspen Eiffel Tower Place Card Holder   Kate Aspen La Tour Eiffel BS

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Another hot trend–thanking guests with light-hearted favours that showcase places the couple have travelled together or where they will honeymoon. France? Italy? Exotic Asia? Kate has you covered with a French-themed collection that includes “La Tour Eiffel” Chrome Bottle Stopper (for your French wine, if there’s any left!), the “Evening in Paris” Eiffel Tower Place Card Holder, and several favours that feature the fleur-de-lis, long a symbol of royalty and elegance. Among them are the “Fleur-de-Lis” Bookmark, photo coasters, a chrome spreader and deliciously scented soap!

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Kate Aspen Fleur de Lis Bookmark   Kate Aspen Fleur de Lis Spreader

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Honeymooning in the Far East or other parts of Asia? Let family and friends know at your reception with beautifully detailed favours! One of my favourites is the “Lucky Elephant” Tea Light/Place Card Holder, and I also love the “Cherry Blossoms” Candle and the Luminous Black Mini Lantern Tea Light Holder (which, when lit, becomes extraordinary table décor!) If you’re looking for eco-friendly Asian favours, how about the “Breezy Bamboo” Photo Frame and the “Tastefully Yours” Heart-Shaped Bamboo Cheese Board and Spreader? And I’m really into the jewel tones in the “Imperial” Exquisite Glass Photo Coasters! Namaste!

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Kate Aspen Lucky Elephant Tea Light Holder   Kate Aspen Cherry Blossom Candle

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Kate Aspen Black Mini Lantern

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Kate Aspen Bamboo Cheese Board   Kate Aspen Bamboo Frame

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That’s Entertainment!

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What else is hot? You’ll be happy to know the art of good times—entertaining at home or a favourite “hot spot”—has inspired a new wave of favours ideal for bridal showers and hen parties. Check out the “Oh, So Cosmopolitan” Reversible Recipe Coaster, “Martinis & Manicures” Four-Piece Manicure Kit, the “Traveltini” Martini Luggage Tag and the “Cosmopolitan” Cocktail Mix, just one of Kate Aspen’s yummy edible favours!

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Kate Aspen Cosmopolitan Cocktail Mix   Kate Aspen Martini Manicure Set

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Kate Aspen Martini Luggage Tag   Kate Aspen Cosmopolitan Recipe Coaster

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Bridesmaids’ Bounty

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When you’re shopping for your bridesmaids, you’re shopping for chic! Here are some bridesmaid gifts from two awesome collections—The Kensington and The Cosmopolitan. Feast your eyes on “The Kensington” Ruffled Apron and Oven Mitt, and there’s also a cosmetic travel bag and a roomy, reversible tote. Classic chic, right? And for playful chic, pick from “The Cosmopolitan” collection, beautifully represented by this jazzy jewelry travel pouch. Everything in “The Cosmopolitan” collection is personalised with the bridesmaid’s initial! Fun, right?

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Kate Aspen Kensington Apron and Mitt   Kate Aspen CosmopolitanJewelryPouchHiRes

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Baby Shower Favours

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When the time comes, you’ll know just where to direct your baby shower host for the most delightful baby shower favours! A theme makes it easier to plan a baby shower, and some of Kate Aspen’s favours inspire adorable themes, like “Cute as a Button”, “Born to Be Wild!” and “About to Hatch!”

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Kate Aspen Born to Be Wild Animal Candles Kate Aspen Cute as a Button Photo Frame

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By the way, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Be sure to invite Kate Aspen—your guests will be thrilled!

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Susan Hawkins is a writer for The Shops at 24 Seven and Kate Aspen UK. Internationally recognised wedding favour designer Kate Aspen offers unique wedding favours, bridal shower favours, elegant favours, whimsical favours, personalised favours, and reception-table décor on a website dedicated to UK brides who want the very best. Be inspired! Please visit the Kate Aspen UK blog, too!

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Kate Aspen is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

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