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.