When we’re not busy working, us Brides Up North girls are happy to admit that we love nothing more than a good reality TV binge; whether it be Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or checking up on the latest scandals in Chelsea and Essex.
A little closer to home, we’ve also become totally hooked on The Real Housewives of Cheshire – not only for the amazing hit of gossip and glamour– but also because the North West has become a real Brides Up North hotspot, with our Luxury Wedding Exhibitions taking place at some of the finest venues in the county.
And so when an invite landed in our inbox to the launch event of Real Housewife Tanya Bardo’s new bridal jewellery collection, there was no hesitation as we RSVP’d. Taking place at none other than co-star Dawn Ward’s house, we were given the opportunity to view the gorgeous jewellery collection for ourselves and even got to model and few pieces for a little shoot too, with hair by Alison Pearson Salon, makeup by Second Glance and dresses provided our friends at Dotty Taylor Bridal.
Having struggled to find jewellery for her own wedding to professional footballer Phil Bardsley two years ago, Tanya was keen to create a luxurious yet affordable bridal jewellery range that could be worn by brides, with options for bridesmaids and flower girls as well.
Following the same theme as her already popular Dreams to Reality jewellery collection, the handmade bridal designs feature a dainty angel wings charm and also incorporate pretty Swarovski pearls and sparkling crystals, making them a perfect addition for a bride and her wedding party.
To chat more about the designs (whilst trying to get the latest RHWC gossip), we caught up with the beautiful and straight-talking Tanya, who is expecting a baby anytime around now – so if he’s arrived, congratulations Tanya and Phil!
What first made you want to launch a jewellery range?
tanya says: I’d been working as a life coach and had also written a self-help coaching book, one of the areas which you focus on is looking at what your dreams/goals are. It’s important to write these down, but then it is also easy to forget about them when getting caught up in your daily living. When I was a single mum with no money I used to keep a little pebble in my pocket, every time I put my hand in my pocket and felt it there it’d prompt me to visualise my dreams.
So with the jewellery range I wanted to create something beautiful which acts as a daily reminder, so every time you see your piece of jewellery it triggers a little thought in your mind to make sure you’re doing something towards making your dream become reality.
What do you enjoy about the process of designing and creating the jewellery?
I feel grateful every day for all the amazing things I have going on in my life; the jewellery range is one of my dreams which has become reality. The whole design process is loads of fun, I scribble a little design of what I want and then give this idea to jewellery designer Emma Hedley she goes away and makes up some samples and then we tweak them here and there. When we started out we only had three bracelets so it’s so exciting to see how much the range has grown.
Each piece of jewellery comes with a little set of coaching instructions, this is for the wearer to fill in. They write down their dream and then write down five actions they’re going to take towards making their dream become reality. Before putting on the piece of jewellery the wearer needs to get themself into a positive mind space and visualise their dream coming true.
What led you to launch your bridal jewellery range and where is it available from?
Phil and I have just celebrated our second wedding anniversary and being pregnant with our fourth child I think I’ve been feeling all sentimental. It just seemed to make sense to offer some lovely meaningful jewellery for brides to wear on one of the most important days of their lives.
The designs are currently available on my website www.tanyabardo.com and we have lots of shops keen to stock them so we are just getting that all sorted now. Dotty Taylor Bridal in Holmfirth, will be one of the first bridal boutiques to stock the collection.
Where did you get your inspiration from for the designs and what metals/details does the collection feature?
I love angels and always like to think that my guardian angel is looking after me and watching over my family, so the angel wings in the shape of a heart are a main feature in the collection.
The jewellery is cast in solid sterling silver and then plated in 18ct rose or yellow gold, we’ve also used Swarovski pearls and crystals to accompany these, which gives it more of a bridal feel.
Do you have a favourite piece from the bridal collection?
I love all of it, I don’t want to make anything which I wouldn’t wear myself. The only problem is every time I’m out and about I normally end up giving most the stuff I’m wearing away as people always comment that they like it.
We’ve had loads of ideas of how the range can be extended so this is only the beginning. It’s nice when you get to chat to women getting married and hear some of their ideas as well, it just generates more and more options for the range, which is very exciting!
What type of bride do you think the jewellery will appeal to?
I think there’s something for everyone so there’s quite a broad appeal. We also have little chain necklaces which are ideal for bridesmaids and flower girls as well.
You’ve just celebrated your second wedding anniversary. Can you tell us a little about your wedding day…
We had the most amazing fairy tale wedding at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire. My dress was gorgeous, very fitted with a fishtail with loads of sparkly detail. The only downside to this style, which I’m not sure people actually tell you when you buy them is it’s a flipping nightmare when it comes to going to the loo, I had to take a friend with me and get completely naked every time!
The venue is amazing, it makes you feel like you’re a princess. We also had an incredibly talented lady singing and playing piano as I walked up the isle to Whitney Houston’s If I Don’t Have You, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
What jewellery did you wear on your wedding day and why would you say such finishing touches are important to a bride’s overall look?
I just had a tiara, diamond earrings and a little sky blue silk cord Dreams to Reality bracelet (that was my something blue and it also matched with the bridesmaids).
I think it’s nice when you get a special piece of jewellery it just adds a nice finishing touch to your outfit and also makes you feel good.
Looking back is there anything you would change about your wedding day and would you consider renewing your vows in the future so you could do it all again?
I wouldn’t change a thing, apart from maybe having it over two days as the time just goes so quickly and then it’s all over. I definitely think about renewing my vows in the future, any excuse for another celebration! Not sure what Phil thinks about this though.
For us Real Housewives of Cheshire fans can you tell us when the next series will hit our screens and give us any gossip on what’s coming up?
We’re in the process of filming the next series now and it should hit the screens in September. Can’t give too much away but there’s plenty to look forward to. Spoiler alert – I’ll be having a baby in this one!
And so will you be taking a little time out once the baby arrives?
Eeeeeek! It’s getting so close now, I can’t wait until he arrives! I’ll maybe get a day off after he’s born, but as I’m filming a reality TV show, people are going to want to see him so I’ll still be working until this series is finished. Time off after that for a little bit maybe?!