Wednesday, 30 December 2009

I'm In Print!!

(Please note image is the February 2010 Perfect wedding current issue)

The next time you are walking past your local WH Smiths, call in and (if you're planning a wedding) pick up a copy of Perfect Wedding.It's a wonderful little handbag-sized magazine full of wedding hints and tips and fabulous dresses, many of which are inspired by real-life brides.
Among the features of the February 2010 edition, I receive a mention from one of the very real-life brides, Nadia.

I had the pleasure of working with Nadia making her wedding dress for her September 6th wedding this year; a beautiful vintage inspired gown made from 100% Thai silk dupion (supplied by Harrington Fabric and Lace) and a gorgeous Point Esprit tulle (supplied by Bridal Laces and Fabrics). The look was completed with a pre-tied over-sized bow.

Just Married!

Dancing the night away.

Layers of lace-edge petticoat.

Of her dress, Nadia said I'd created her perfect style. She felt fantastic in it.

Well, Nadia, you looked fantastic and a very big thank you for the plug!!

For an extensive look into Nadia's big day please visit

Photographs by kind permission of Rob Booker.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I can't believe it's been a year since we opened our doors and entered the wedding/occasion business. My husband, Carl, has been a massive support to me over this past year, so thank you darling for your encouragement. I couldn't have done this without you.
Bookings are already being taken for 2010 and I have all but closed my diary for August with a staggering amount of dresses for this month alone.
Here's to 2010.
Happy New Year!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Merry Christmas.

Well, what can I say? I have finally finished for the year and festive season and what a year it has been. Dresses at No. 9 has finished on a high with bookings being taken for well into next year. So, may I take the opportunity to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all my friends, old and new, and past and present clients. Without you I couldn't be celebrating such a success.
We've helped make dreams come true and changed disasters into transformations.
This past few weeks have been exceptionally busy gearing up for Christmas and the party season and helping in the final preparations for a winter wedding.
This is what I've been doing.
Red silk dupion shot with black to create a gown with a bustle effect back.

Matching scrunch-knot cravats with an adjustable fastening for a comfortable and snug fit for the men.

And finally a red net petticoat to be worn beneath an ivory wedding gown for a flash of christmas colour.

So, once again may I thank everyone for helping and supporting Dresses at No. 9 on it's sucess in such an uncertain year.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Happy Birthday son.

Completely non wedding related but a celebration nevertheless. Today is my son's 20th birthday and much like all but 1 of his 20 birthdays, we have been blessed with glorious weather. Crisp, but sunny and dry.

Today, apart from having a few sewing related jobs, I am devoting my time by preparing tonight's birthday meal. An avid Levi Roots lover, Sam has requested ital carrot and sweet potato soup to start, Martinique coconut chicken curry for mains and ginger, pecan and rum chocolate brownies. Also (by request) a chocolate gateaux-style cake with green icing. I always make the childrens birthday cakes just as I did for his 18th. He requested a three-tier cheescake. Not the hard cheese type nice with crackers, but the pudding type. A challenge as each tier was stabalized by dowels to stop them from sinking. The whole thing was drizzled with chocolate and topped off with mandarin orange segments. (tinned)
So, I hope you enjoy your day son and I just wanted to take the opportunity of saying how very, very proud of you I am.
Happy Birthday. x

Sunday, 11 October 2009

When a customer says, "Thank you."

It's always a pleasure to see a client over the moon with their dress and even more so when you get those extra thank you's. The above flowers were fom a recent client, Nadia who said of her dress below. "I know I've already said thanks a few times!!! But just wanted to say a huge dress was perfect. Love looking at photos of it!!!


From Natalie, a client who I've never met. "Oh Linda! It's so beautiful I have goosebumps and I'm crying!!!! I absolutely love it and it fits perfectly!I LOVE the beading on it too! I shall be printing the construction photos all off and keeping them in my wedding box. Not many brides get to see pictures of their dress in all stages of construction so thank you for that also!Thank you so much firstly for your offer to make the dress and secondly for being so helpful and making the whole process extremely easy!"

"Hi Linda I'm not sure I agree that it's been a pleasure working with me -, but I can definately say the reverse is true. Thank you for all your help, and for being so patient while I have got the colours right. Everything looks fabulous - I am extremely happy and excited to get the kids to try things on. I will be sure to send you a photo of them modelling your work!
Thanks again! Mel."

"You're doing such a magnificent job!!..I couldn't have asked for a better dressmaker!!..they're more perfect then i'd ever imagined!!" Hazel.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Congratulations Hazel and Craig.

The recent bout of depressing October weather gave way today offering a window of sunshine for the wedding of Hazel and Craig at St. Bartholomews Church, Colne.

Hazel took the opportunity of my personal dressing service and I arrived at her home armed with my iron, essential emergency kit (which came in handy when one of the flower girls got mascara over her dress) and began pressing the brides gown, flower girls dresses and the adult bridesmaids outfits which Hazel had comissioned me to make.
An autumnal colour theme mixing orange gerberas with red berries, ivory roses and a deep green foliage was chosen to match the gold silk dupion Hazel had picked for the bridesmaids. Originally opting for stoles, I suggested she consider the trendy shrug jackets which were welcomed by all three girls.
After dressing the flowergirls and lacing up all three bridesmaid outfits, I helped Hazel step into her gown. With her hair dressed, tiara and veil attached, I never recommend a wedding gown going over someones head. I then helped with her petticoat, shoes and made final adjustments before the final moments on leaving the house.

Zoe with her wonderful bouquet.

Two of the three flower girls dressed in gold organza with faux fur jackets available from BHS.

Final moments before entering the church.

With one last flick of Hazel's train, we hugged and after I wished her all the very best, she entered the church to join Craig.

My personal wedding dressing service is available to anyone wishing to relieve some stress on their big day. If this is a service that could be of interest to you, please enquire for further details.

Monday, 5 October 2009

She wears it well.

I always tell my daughter, the art of great make-up application is to look like you're not wearing any. Natural and radiant, to enhance your features and not change your appearance.
The key to your bridal make-up lies in shade choices and the application technique making it feel weightless and comfortable so it will last all day and is especially photo friendly.
I met Audrey at the Ramada Hotel Wetherby on Sunday at a wedding fair.
Audrey is a Virgin Vie consultant and was approached by the company to become a cosmetic consultant. But in my opinion, Audrey is much more than a competent make-up artist. She has been a Cosmetic Camouflage Practitioner for five years running a camouflage clinic at a local hospital. She covers many types of skin imperfections from scars, birthmarks and even Tattoos. When Virgin Vie approached her Audrey saw it as an ideal opportunity to utilize the skills she has acquired and apply it to bridal make-up.
"I really love the buzz of seeing people feeling much happier and confident about their appearance." She said.

Image supplied by kind permission of Audrey McCartney.

Audrey McCartney is an independent consultant
and belongs to the British Association of Skin Camouflage Practitioners
Tel:07963 415 917

Consultation fee £10 per person.
Bride- £50
Mother of the Bride/Groom -£50
Bridesmaids £15-£30 (Dependent
on age and amount of makeup required)

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Choosing your veil length and style.

Client wearing a 59" veil.

It may seem obvious, but the best piece of advice is to choose your dress before your accessories.
When I worked for Pronuptia, it was the tiara and veil that transformed the beautiful bride into a stunning vision of perfection and maintaining that perfection means to have a balance where no one piece should overwhelm the other. That remains today. It was also the ability to know which one particular piece worked well with certain styles of wedding gowns.

A plain veil works perfectly with a detailed or elaborate wedding dress. Choose a short veil to end above the detail or a long one to end below, and if there is no train, try to allow your veil to end at the skirt hemline or a little beyond. And, just as a plain veil works with an ornate gown
an ornate or decorated veil such as lace or beading will add some instant glamour to the simplistic of dresses.

Many customers would avoid trying a veil, adament they didn't want one, especially if there was no intention to wear it over the face. But, the veil can act as the essential missing piece so I would encourage anyone to at least try (afterall, you only get to wear a veil once) so use it as an accessory.

Likewise, if mum really wants to see her little girl in the complete ensemble, don't feel pressured into wearing something if you really don't want to. An ornate headpiece alone can be just as stunning.

Veil lengths.

39" veil - often referred to as shoulder length
47" veil - often referred to as elbow length.
59" veil - often referred to as waist length.
72" veil - often referred to as fingertip length.

98" veil often referred to as floor length.
126" veil often referred to as chapel length
144" size veil often referred to as cathedral length.

Of course, a veil can be made to any length or style you require, so just as your wedding gown can be designed, it can be complimented with a bespoke silk or synthetic tulle veil.
Images of selected wedding lengths can be found at

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Let's talk Bra's, Corsets and Internal Scaffolding.

Or in other words, your wedding day underwear.
I think it's safe to assume most brides want to look their absolute best for their man on their wedding day. This means if they can have more of a nipped in waist with the use of a corset, they will do.
In order to look and feel your best on your wedding day getting your wedding underwear right is very important. The last thing you want is to be stood at the altar with bad corsetry digging into you, or the cheese wire of your thong disapearing exactly where you don't want it to.
Quite often, once you have chosen your wedding dress the next step is to purchase your underwear. Your wedding dress cannot be fitted correctly without it (this goes for shoes because you need them for the hem/length)

I would argue that it is essential to have the correct underwear to take with you when trying dresses on or, if you are having bespoke/made to measure, it is important to wear the appropriate underwear for the first measurment. I say this because if you opt for a waist reducing corset, you could save the expence of side alterations to your gown and so order a dress which fits you perfectly.
Let's look at the pro's of a seperate corset against the internal scaffolding of the major designer dresses.
In built corsetry won't pull you in as much as a seperate corset, but will give you more of a defind waistline. Many of the big name dresses are very heavily boned which, although give excellent hanger appeal, can often result in the dress wearing the bride rather than the other way around.
Many of these gowns have a lace up back closure, but there is an optimum lacing position so the dress fits snuggly under the arm and shows just the right amount of lacing. What many brides think, especially those who have their gowns made in China, is if a gown is a fraction too big the lacing can be pulled tighter for a better fit. This can result in puckers, wrinkles and sometimes the dreaded back fat spilling over the back of the gown. The fact is, the gown should still have the relevent alterations to the sides or bust to keep the back lacing in proportion.
Buying a corset is an important decision and not always best to go cheap. Corsets (as opposed to modern underwear) alter not only your shape, but your stance, depending on the style, so your beloved dress may not even fit at all if you try to stick a corset under it. (Another good reason to buy the undies first!!)
The steel boned corsets on ebay are (usually) made in China and can be cheap and nasty! The only way to get a good fit on a steel boned corset is to have one made (and fitted) for you. Factory made corsets worn as underwear with the aim of reducing size will be terribly uncomfortable as they are made to standard sizes. (The ones I have seen on ebay seem to be aimed at the 'alternative' market and not designed to be worn as underwear). If wearing under a wedding dress, then it is best to buy a dress with an incorporated corselet, or opt for a proper underwear basque, althought this will not reduce size. A proper corset for the modern figure will give a better sillouhette by reducing waist size but not necessarily decrease overall size in order to fit into a smaller dress! All that will happen is the '6 boob factor' where the corset pushes everything up (and over!) .. not very attractive.
Suggestions that you can buy a corset from e bay with the promise of reducing your waist by 6 or 8 inches is possible. But without years of wearing corsets and working up to reducing your waist size (as the lady in the above image did) could actually prove damaging.
An underbust corset or a waist cincher may be the answer, but again, best to buy one from a proper underwear retailer. The other thing would be to have a corset design incorporated into the dress itself.
So, on that note the morel of this story is. Your wedding gown and your body shape is only as good as your foundation. Much like house building!
I would like to thank Clare, Julia B and Tuppence from TSF for their expertese.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The wedding of Nadia. 6th September 2009

When I first met Nadia in early June 2009, she was very specific of the style of wedding dress she was after.
Armed with sketches and images she told me she definately wanted a short dress and a layered petticoat edged with lace. "I really want the huge bow at the back," she said. "And I'd also like a spot fabric over the top."
So, it was on to my fabric supplier, Margaret at Harrington fabrics to source a beautiful, ivory Thai silk dupion and a Point Esprit tulle .
For her sister, Sophia, Nadia's only bridesmaid, she opted for a tea-length strapless dress in matte satin with a draped bodice and matching inset midriff in hot pink. The bouquets and floral arrangements were made by Sophia who is owner of Ivy Florist in Pudsey, Leeds.

The completed gown.

Nadia and her husband were married at St. Michaels and All Angels church, Haworth and afterwards held their reception at The Alma Inn, Laneshawbridge a wonderful venue nestled in Pendle's magnificent countryside, on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border. They delighted guests and kept the vintage theme by serving dessert from a vintage ice-cream van.

Rob Booker photography

Rob Booker Photography

Rob booker photography

Rob Booker Photography
May I take this opportunity to thank Nadia for allowing me to be part of her day. It's been a pleasure working for you.

Photographs by Rob Booker

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Top tips from a Mrs to a Miss.

After spending the last year planning her wedding and receiving advice including choosing relevent readings in Church to Chinese Wish Lanterns, one of the regular posters in the forum delighted us today with her wonderful wedding photographs and top tips for all brides to be.

"If you can book more than two days off work before the wedding, then do so," she said. "I had the Thursday and Friday off which I thought would be enough time - but I didn't stop on those two days, and wished I had booked at least three."
Have a friend or two with you the night before. My friends were a complete Godsend. They helped with all the little things like tidying up, airing my dress etc, so that I didn't have to stress about those.
If you have a camcorder - allocate a friend to use that informally during the day. I did this and have some wonderful footage that I could take on honeymoon to relive the day until the official DVD came in.
If you're umming and ahhing about an official DVD - get it!!! I always wanted one, but my husband-to-be was adamant it was a waste of money. Anyway, we hardly noticed the videographer on the day, and we both love the DVD that came last week. Even my husband now admits it was a good idea as we can watch whenever we want.

My bouquet was gorgeous! I wanted to follow in tradition and throw it, but I didn't want to ruin mine because I wanted to keep it. So we made up a fake bouquet from the flowers and trimmings that were left over and wrapped it with ribbon. This allowed me to throw it, and not care if it got all battered (which it did after the scuffle), all the while keeping my gorgeous one.
Take some time out on the day. From the moment we walked out of the church it was manic. On the way to the venue, our driver detoured and took us to the pub. Whilst I didn't get out of the car (My dear husband brought drinks to me), it was a good way to celebrate our marriage just the two of us! This was the only time of the day we had to ourselves.
And finally...
Most of all ENJOY THE DAY!!!!!!!! Don't stress about little things - I know everyone says it - but it really doesn't matter. Your friends and family are there because they love you - not to comment on what colour the tablecloths are!

Friday, 11 September 2009

2-Piece or not 2-Piece?

The style of your dress is the single most important factor in creating your overall look on your wedding day. Dresses can range from sleek and simple to grand and elaborate. It depends on your taste and how dramatic you wish to be on your big day. The outline of you in your wedding dress is the first image that your groom will see when you begin your walk down the aisle, so it's important to make sure that your first impression will be a lasting one.
There is no golden rule to chosing your dress, so be adventurous when tying on gowns. You won't know what you look like in certain styles if you don't try them on. Quite often the style that you think would look the worst on your body type might just be the one you end up choosing.
A 2-piece gown offers a less traditional look. It also allows for a bride to choose two different sizes for the top or bottom.
There are two different approaches to this style. A simple bustier could be the perfect topper to a full or ornate skirt while a simple long skirt could elegantly showcase a delicately embroidered bustier.
Keep the colours the same such as ivory for that traditional look. But, team the ivory corset with a coloured skirt and the gown suddenly becomes dramatic and individual.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Is Wedding Gown Shopping a Challenge?

According to a question I asked in a bridal forum recently, wedding gown shopping appears to be more of a challenge than an enjoyable experience.

One member said. "I explained in the shops exactly what I didn't want (i.e. frills, lace .sparkly bits and strapless design.) This fairly limits your choices."

Another commented."My daughter wanted proper straps, shoulders or sleeves, so that narrowed her choice dramatically - one shop had nothing whatsoever except strapless!"

And many went on to agree."Some of the shops offered little shoestring straps to add to the strapless dresses...but that seems such a cheap afterthought for a gown that would cost several hundred pounds.Would be great if designers started to offer a bit of choice! We went into one shop where every dress was a variation on a theme, strapless, pleated, crystals. I'm talking wall to wall! We came out feeling very frustrated."
So, are brides requirements really being met?
To answer the question, unless you have something custom made, you are in the hands of the designer. When one introduces a new style, the others follow suit so if pleats and gathers aint your thing, you're kind of stuck, especially when the retailer is the person who has chosen to stock the dresses wall to wall.
I still prefer the traditional gowns, Hollywood Dreams being one of my absolute favourites. But, it would be lovely to see a little more choice regarding straps, less pleating and and definately lighten up on the bling!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Congratulations Melanie and Gary

Many congratulations to you both.
Melanie and Gary married today at the Conniston Hotel, Skipton.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Congratulations Marlene.

Marlene and John.
30th August 2009

I was approached by a member of a bridal forum to ask if I could make her a coloured petticoat to support the skirt of her wedding gown. Marlene is marrying on Sunday in a beautiful gown (unfortunately not created by myself although it is always an honor to be involved in any part of a wedding, however small)

So, I would just like to take the opportunity of congratulating Marlene and John on their day tomorrow. I hope the weather stays kind and the day is simply perfect.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Forthcoming Wedding fairs.

Wedding & Lifestyle show 2009
The Great Yorkshire Showground
26th 27th September 2009
Book your tickets on line at
Elegant Creations announce their 2009/10 Wedding Fairs at the following locations.
6th September 2009
The Old Swan Hotel,
Swan Rd
Ramada Parkway
Otley Road
LS16 8AG
13th September 2009
Guide Post
Low Moor
BD12 0ST
Ramada Leeds North
Ring Road
Leeds LS14 5QS
20th September 2009
Bradford and Bingley Sports Club
Wagon Lane
BD16 1LT
4th October 2009
Village Hotel South Leeds
LS27 0TS
Ramada Wetherby
Leeds Road
LS22 5HE
11th October 2009
Gomersal Park Hotel
Moor Lane
Gomersal nr. Bradford
BD19 4LJ
18th October 2009
Holiday Inn Leeds/Bradford
Tong Village
Nr. Bradford BD4 0RP
25th October 2009
The Whitcliffe Hotel
nr. Bradford
BD19 3HD
The Courtyard
Harewood House
LS17 9LS
1st November 2009
York Fairfield Manor
Shipton Rd
YO30 1XW
10th January 2010
Berties Banqueting Rooms at Elland
17th January 2010
Weetwood Hall Hotel
Otley Road
LS16 5PS
31st January 2010
Gomersal Park Hotel
Moor Lane
BD19 4LJ
Telegraph and Argus Wedding fairs 2009
Sunday 6th September
Cedar Court Hotel
Mayo Avenue
Fashion shows at 12noon &2pm
Craven Herald & Pioneer
Sunday 27th September
The Rendevouz Hotel
Keighley Road
Ilkley gazette
Sunday 11th October
Denton Hall

Friday, 24 July 2009

Planning your Big Day?

Many people think wedding planners are a luxury for the wealthy and those with unlimited amounts of money to spend. But in fact anyone can experience the proficiency of a planner regardless of their budget.
According to a recent magazine well over half of couples who married in 1999 used the services of wedding planners and over subsequent years this figure continues to rise.
Brides who have planned their own wedding will more than likely tell you it's like having another full time job. So much to do, so much to learn and so little time to do it all in. The harsh reality is that few couples have enough time in their busy schedule to successfully plan, manage and execute their wedding effectively until it's too late. Buy this time the wedding vision has crumbled into disappointment.

Ask anyone about their wedding day and many will tell you by the time the wedding was over, they wanted to hit the rewind button and go back to do it all again. So, will it be more beneficial and bring in a professional to do the work, so you can simply enjoy the day and the memory of being the bride?

Denise Meredith at Sponsalis (covering Birmingham and the Midlands) has many years organising and planning weddings, offering a range of services to inspire and assist you in all aspects of your very special occasion.
Read more about the service Denise can offer you at
Also, Lisa Hilliard (covering Derbyshire and the North) at

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Here's One I Made Earlier.

I'd always left the Prince Charming and dropping down on one knee proposals to chick flicks and romance novels until one day whilst shopping in Leeds it happened to me.
While he was looking at watches in a jewellers, to relieve the boredom I was looking at rings. (as you do!) He suddenly took me by the hand and led me inside where he went down on one knee and said. "I love you. Let's set a date!"

Like all future brides, my body shape was going to determine what style wedding dress I should go for, except for me this was going to be a little more of a challenge. I was going to be one of societies biggest taboo brides. The one with a baby bump!
Maternity dresses are specially tailored to accomodate a growing bump and I needed to estimate how much of a bump I would have by the time the big day arrived. So, I opted for a wonderful gold shimmer satin fabric and cut the dress on the bias allowing it to fall naturally over my curves. A gold organza stole completed the outfit.

My husband to be chose a soft, grey suit from Jeff Banks and teamed it with a black shirt and burgundy tie to co ordinate with the chosen colour scheme.

I'd always wanted a pair of expensive beaded shoes and found this wonderful backless pair from Bombay Stores in Bradford. Except they weren't expensive. At £30 they cost more than my dress!!
I made the tiara by twisting together some thin gold wire and crystal beads. I'm a believer in if I can make it myself I will. I also made the bouquets and buttonholes from flowers purchased at the local supermarket and ivy pinched (well, not really as it was hanging over the wall) from a neighbours garden. I then bunched it together and tied organza bows around the stems.

The Red Lion at Burnsell, our wedding venue, is in the heart of Calander Girl country. Infact, the scene in the movie where they are eating the Marks and Spencer cake on a bench is where we stood to have our photographs taken. (All on a budget of course where our guests took the pictures and passed them on to us on a disc.)

The tables were sprinkled with glitter and dried rose and pansy petals. Small tea-light candles were arranged along the tables in little frosted glasses.
The menu was a selection of locally produced meats, game and vegetables. It was a little luxury we were happy to spend however saving on the pudding we were alowed to bring in our own dessert cakes we'd bought from Asda!

We entered the room to Louis Armstrong "What a wonderful world" and then toasted our new life with our close friends. We didn't have the politics of relations and family to contend with.

With a light dusting of snow on the Yorkshire Dales our day could not have been more perfect.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Have Your Cake.

Your wedding day deserves a very special cake and one that will reflect your style or theme.In modern Western culture, it is usually a large cake, multi-layered or tiered, and heavily decorated with icing, occasionally over a layer of marzipan or fondant, topped with a small statue representing the couple. Afterwards, a portion may be stored, and eaten by the couple at their first wedding anniversary, or at the christening of their first child. Sometimes this portion is the top tier, and sometimes a portion of the piece from which the bride and groom fed each other, depending on the local customs.
Wedding cakes now come in all shapes and sizes and working it's way into the reception is the new "must have" chocolate fountain. Alongside chocolate wedding cakes and for brides on a budget these can double up as dessert. A tasty, affordable but luxurious chocolate treat.
Personal Ice are my local cake designers and they make your wedding very special by not only putting the icing on your cake, but on your day.

Serving many areas of West Yorkshire and beyond, Personal Ice create wedding cakes of one tier or several, made of fruit or sponge, or out of the finest Belgian chocolate, for all wedding occasions both formal and civil.
Personal Ice will also deliver the cake to your venue within the delivery area, your guarantee that it will be on time, in perfect condition and just the way you expect it to be.
A large public car park at the rear of the shop means you can also pop in to pick the cake up yourself.
Personal Ice
Unit 9 Cavendish CourtKeighleyWest YorkshireBD21 3DY

Congratulations, Natalie- 21st July 2009

I would like to congratulate Natalie and her new husband-to-be on their big day today. They are to marry at the Town House, Kirkcaldy, Fife and then on to a reception at The
Bay Hotel, Kinghorn.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Natalie for allowing me to make her gown and to say it was an absolute pleasure working for her over the past few weeks.
I hope your day is everything you've wished for!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Bespoke and Individual Style.

From wings to shoes.

I received a lovely email yesterday from Chey Black of Faeryclan, the company who make the fairy wings I mentioned yesterday. Like me, they love fairies and wingmaking is their favourite thing in the world to do!
Below is a pair of custom wings they have made not yet on their website and they have allowed me to use the photo, so thank you Chey.

There is something rather special about having something made specifically for you. A custom order that no-one else in the world will have. A complete original. It was considered only for the very wealthy at one time but has now increasingly popular especially in the wedding sector.

Bespoke Big Day are an online company producing some fabulous shoes with a perfect height heel. They range from flats to 5" heels with an extensive choice of colours suitable for bride, bridesmaids or for that perfect occasion.

Rachel at Bespoke Big Day has a variety of styles from vintage to shoes studded with Swarovski crystals.

So, if you can't find your perfect shoe contact Rachel at Bespoke Big Day.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Dressing For Your Day.

Do you remember when Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson married? They were lucky to have their dress designers help them dress and arrange their gown moments before entering the church, making sure they looked their most beautiful.
Getting ready for your wedding day is probably the scariest due to the need for perfection. Here are a few pointers to make sure everything runs smoothly.
When having hair and make up done, wear a button-through shirt. (Dads old one is perfect) I don't know how many ladies slip on a t-shirt to then discover they have to pull it off over their head. Goodbye lovely hair do.
Don't be inclined to wear your dress while having these beauty treatments. 1. you'll be sitting around in your dress for a long time potentially creasing it. 2. Should the make-up artist dust you with a nice blusher, chances are, could dust your gown with a lovely shade of bronze too!
The problem with leaving your gown to the last is this. When putting on your wedding dress, you should step into it by placing a clean sheet on the floor, place your gown onto the sheet and then step into the opening. A bridesmaid or mum laces/buttons you up. Try fastening buttons with shaky hands. You then need to put on your hoop. You cannot put this on first as you will find it impossible to step into the gown with a crinoline hoop with a circumference bigger than the dress opening! There is an alternative. You can place the hoop under the dress and lift everything together.
This is where a professional dresser can relieve some stress. It leaves mums, attendants etc to concentrate on themselves. After all, they want to look their very best too.
So, the dresser will come to your home. She will steam your wedding gown and veil if required to make sure your outfit is crease fee. She will steam attendants, flower girls and mum's outfit to make sure they are crease free too.
She will help you into your dress, fasten it, help with the hoop and help you put on shoes. Finally, she will meet you at the church or wedding venue where she will make sure you look like you've just stepped out of a bridal magazine, ready to meet your groom.
Just like I do for my clients who request this service.
Happy wedding day!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Why Have a Web Site?

After relaunching Dresses at No.9 this year, not having a website would have been a complete disaster. A web site is a key part of any business and customers expect you to have one. It's open to the world 24 hours a day 365 days a year and potential customers visit it at a time convenient to them, which hopefully leads to business.
Unlike brochures, websites can be updated at anytime, something I look at, at least once a week. I can provide as much information as possible thus decreasing time wasting calls for both the client and myself. They also help keep up with the competition, again something I look at regularly.
A short while ago I was helping a lady source a dressmaker local to her. I came across a company and the moment I opened her web page I freaked. The whole concept from colour to font was practically identical to my own. So, I set about changing fonts, colours, layouts etc to make my website stand out from hers.
I had another look at the competition today to find she has dramatically updated hers including testimonials.

So, how do I choose testimonials and stand out from the crowd? There are a few key ingredients to look for that make the difference between an ineffective testimonial and one that sells.
"I love my outfit and I'll definitely be coming back should I need another!"
What could be wrong with that? It sounds like a happy customer. But what does this testimonial really tell my visitors? Does it prove my service works, or explain exactly how my customer benefited? While the feedback is definitely positive, the testimonial doesn't provide enough detail to have any real impact on any prospective client.
A good testimonial substantiates claims. How much money did my customer save by using my services? How much time did they save? How did it solve their problems or improve their lives?

A good testimonial is comparative. Have my customers tried another service that didn't work before they found mine? I want my visitors to know what my service can do that others can't, that set my service apart from my competition.
Now that I know what I'm looking for in a testimonial, I'm off to my in box!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Melancholy Moments.

Today I am feeling a little sad. Silly really as there is no need. Business is great and I have my health.

A short while ago, I was approached by a lady in Scotland who asked if I would make her wedding gown. I sent her samples and in return she sent me her measurement form. With many brides now opting for overseas companies to make their gowns on a custom make basis, I have to thank her for placing her trust in me.

Choosing a good dressmaker takes skill. There’s more involved than running a finger through the phone directory, choosing a name, and calling to ask, “How much does it cost to have my Dream Gown made?” That’s like asking someone “How long is string?” So to have someone request I make their gown after never meeting is an especially huge honour.

So, the reason I am sad is because when I work with a client they become more than a name or a face, their dress is something I have worked on with love and attention to detail and then when it's finished, it's gone. Sometimes it's like losing a good friend. Silly really, but there it is.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

When The Good Goes Bad.

The above image is of an offshore produced wedding dress that is in dire need of attention. (This is before the happy event has taken place) With my dressmakers hat on, the modesty panel is oversized, the boning is inadequate and the loops are to big for the lacing. I hazard a guess that the fabric isn't much to write home about either.
A friend of mine bought her dress offshore via ebay. She isn't a dressmaker. She was excited to say the least and after mailing me the picture I can't say I didn't blame her. The dress looked beautiful. Not long after it's arrival and a short time later, she informed me she'd bought another one. Whilst passing a bridal shop, her husband-to-be saw a gown and suggested she try it on. She did and fell in love with it.
Now, why 2 dresses you may ask?
She told me, although ebay some times have some very pretty pictures the end product was shoddy. "Take the black victorian wedding dress i ordered from Loughborough (?) or Macau as its otherwise hems just overlocking, all sequins and embrodiery loose and flowers that disintergrated on contact, the fabric was also of very low quality like lining wasnt cheap either, but i guess you gets what ya pays for. i chucked it in the bin. I got a full refund though but they didnt want it back..."

Friday, 3 July 2009

Not Quite Claridges.

Thursday evening saw the event of my very posh do. It wasn't quite Claridges, in fact it was a small golf club on the outskirts of Leeds.

I got to wear my completed posh frock and feeling a little over dressed, (even though I had been told the dress code was evening wear) my wonderful husband assured me I looked beautiful and he was going to be proud having me on his arm.
So, we arrived at the club on the warm evening and I watched several ladies emerging from cars in, yes you guessed it, linen trousers teamed with casual blouses and light summer dresses. There wasn't a hint of an evening gown in sight. Except me.
The evening was lovely, however I spent most of it seated at the table not wanting to wander among the linen trousers and casual blouses and light summer dresses, preferring to remain inconspicuous at the table.
It's funny how interpretations of evening wear are different.