Creatives We Love - The Wild Bunch

It all started with a panicked search to find a florist for a photoshoot last January. Tina came to the rescue, unfazed by the random ideas I had, she set about creating and transforming - bringing the outdoors in. The Wild Bunch is her company and today we ask her all about her inspiration.

Who is your bride?

Our bride is someone with a strong sense of style and a fairly good idea of the feel they want for their wedding. They aren’t necessarily flower lovers or “inspired by nature” but they are increasingly influenced by trends, especially from Australia and the US, for organic, natural designs, and more dramatic focal points for their wedding; whether a ceremony backdrop, an elaborate entrance, or a large hanging installation over the reception tables. They are open to ideas and are less concerned about formulas or set ways of doing things. They want something different from the norm, designed for that venue, that season, their wedding.

And they are the loveliest! I’ve heard all the stories, but we’ve never had anything even close to a “bridezilla”! (am I allowed say that?!)

When do feel most creative?

The first spark or idea always comes from nature, from the landscape. The shapes, the colours, the “mood” of each season, each month. How dependant that is on the location, the weather. My first aim is always to capture that mood, because it’s that connection to the natural world that stirs something in all of us.

After that, from a lot of places. Any form of art really; paintings, photography, sculpture, interiors, metalwork, textiles. Anything that looks good. Kilkenny’s craft scene is brilliant, and I could spend hours just looking at other people’s work. I like to get a feel for a piece, and then try to figure what makes it feel that way; is it the colour, the lines, the form, the weight or texture? I try to imagine the process; how the piece started in the designer’s head, the dreaming, then the practicalities, the trials and tweaking (in so far as my knowledge of that craft allows!) I find the whole process fascinating. Then I have to quench my sudden desire to become a silversmith, or a furniture maker, or a photographer!

Workshops are an essential way of developing your own style and are my weakness; I’ve been known to blow the budget on workshops! There are so many amazing and inspiring florists in Ireland and in the UK and the opportunity to learn from them is invaluable.

Finally I get involved in any photoshoots I can. It’s a fantastic way to get creative, and there is a real energy when different artists get together, working together and feeding off each other’s ideas.

How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?

Honestly, it’s the best part! I love meeting couples, talking to people, hearing their plans and their stories… and absolutely cherish seeing them again on the day. I delude myself that I’m part of the family (I know how sad that sounds.) It’s just such a fantastic time, so full of emotion and excitement. I love flowers but could never work with them without the “people” part.

Once we’re chatting I find that lots of brides will make a point of telling me that they “don’t know much about flowers” but they don’t need to. They just need to have an idea of the style they want for the day and then we can translate that together, in context of the season and the venue. I tell my brides to send me any photos they‘ve come across and liked; regardless of the flowers or the season or the actual arrangement; just to get an idea of their aesthetic, the style and colours they are drawn to.

Many of our couples live abroad and we don’t get to meet before the day. It’s surprisingly easy to arrange everything by email, exchanging photos and ideas to and fro.

What do you like to hear from a bride? The best question they could ask you?

I love when a bride understands the importance of the season; that when the flowers are part of that bigger picture outside the window, it makes them so much more than when they are in an isolated little wedding “bubble”. That doesn’t mean lists of available or unavailable flowers, it comes back to capturing the “mood” of the season, through colours, textures, form.

But the best thing to hear from a bride is “I trust you”. All of our loveliest work comes about when we have some freedom to design the flowers the way we think best, and freedom on the day to “go with it” and add creative touches. It’s not about me just doing my own thing, it’s entirely based on the bride’s own style, her colours, the season, the venue, but in the best way possible.

How did you find your calling?

The idea came about 12 years ago when we’d just bought our house in Kilkenny. The garden was huge and being slight hippies we were determined to do something productive with it. We’d both been working in horticulture in various guises for some time and when I came across a piece in a gardening magazine about a similar grower-florist in England, it made perfect sense. That winter we ploughed up the whole garden and got planting.

In the first few years there were almost no other grower-florists in Ireland. There was none of the community or support that there is today for newcomers, and we really had to find our own way. On the other hand I suppose we were fairly unique at the time in what we offered; home grown natural, seasonal flowers, and we were surprised by how quickly things took off. We certainly had to learn on our feet in the early years but I think that has stood to us; we've learned to carve our own niche which is so important in an industry that changes all the time.

Want to see more of Tina’s work?

Check out her Instagram account wild_bunch_flowers

Facebook WildBunchWeddingFlowers

Website www.thewildbunch.ie

Our Summer In Pictures

I am back at the computer finally this week after a hectic summer season of creating one of dresses for our one of a kind brides. Finishing August off in style with the arrival of my new baby son Conor. So in between new born cuddles I have some new exciting posts coming this way. First up, my favourite pictures of the summer in studio. 

It was a summer of accessories. Along with our custom made gowns we designed some of the most fun capes, veils, cover ups and our show stopper gold wedding dress. Creating our own embellishments is what makes us unique - it is also my favourite part of the whole process.

To finish of the summer as a finalist at the Wedding Journal Reader Awards and getting the hubby into a tux was an added bonus.

So whats to come in the following months? Well our summer brides are sending in their stunning images so watch this space for more bridal muse interviews and chats with our favourite wedding suppliers.

Ask the designer - what questions have you about choosing your dress? What can you not get your head around? I have a couple of ask the designer pieces coming up on the blog so drop me an email with your dilemma - info@sarahfoycouture.com

Finally, I will share one last picture of my little treasures as you can imagine this was my highlight of the summer

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Ask The Designer - Cover Ups

You have the most stunning backless creation, had it fitted to perfection. Your hair, make up and accessories that you thought hard about are exactly as you imagined. As you get set to head to your ceremony you realise it’s 2 degrees out side and you are likely to spend the next couple of hours trying to keep the shivering at bay! It is well worth taking a little time to thing about a coverup that will compliment your over all look for the day

 Our bride Melissa in a dramatic wool crepe cape

Our bride Melissa in a dramatic wool crepe cape

There was a time when your only option was a fur shawl or cashmere wrap, thrown over the shoulder - all perfectly fine but today the options are endless and fun. Brides are making a statement with their cover up, adding their drama to this rather then their dress. So today I give you tips to consider when looking for your cover up

Your need for a cover up will help you decided on what to go for. If it’s warmth you need for those snowy winter weddings then picking a heavier fabric like velvet or wool will keep you cosy. You may need a lighter coverage in the warmer months for church weddings or unpredictable Irish weather - silk chiffon’s and organza are beautifully sheer, light and flow beautifully.

 Our Bride Naomi in a Wool Cape creation

Our Bride Naomi in a Wool Cape creation

Think about the elements of your dress that you wish to highlight or hide for the early part of the day. For example, some brides like to cover the back detail to reveal later at the reception. How would you like it to sit with the dress, completely covering your bodice or just hanging from your shoulders to show off the front detail. Do you want to add a little drama to your simple dress, by adding a train for the ceremony ? These are all really excellent questions to ask before deciding on what will work for you.

As I always say to brides it is about everything working together not just the dress. So it is really important to look at all your elements, accessories, headpiece and veil, make sure your cover up design blends perfectly with your overall look for the day.

Finally don’t be afraid to mix it up. Invest in a beautiful wool cape that you can wear well past the wedding date. A beautiful tailored jacket that can be worn for special occasions. Also colour can really inject something very special into your outfit so don’t shy away from it !

 

 

Easy going January - Our month in pictures

Having eased myself into the first few weeks of the New Year I had time to step back think review and plan the future for Sarah Foy Couture. Lots of fun projects ahead including new collections of my new accessories line and a new dress line. I loved working on the blog in 2017 and want to give brides to be more and more. So watch this space as I start answering all those questions about your dress.

 Dreaming and planning my next collaboration with  Butterfly Photography.

Dreaming and planning my next collaboration with Butterfly Photography.

Here is a collection of pictures that sum up January 2018 in the studio

  1. Instagram love from @elishaclarkephotography of our bride Sarah's grey simmer dress
  2. Our stunning bride @aislingmkeenan still dreaming of her wedding dress
  3. Pattern work begins on our new projects 
  4. Finishing touches to our summer 2018 brides begin
  5. Excitement as new fabrics start arriving in the studio
  6. Teaming up with the ladies in One Fab Day to give away a custom made accessory for a luck bride
  7. Colour hits the studio - 2018 brides rocking strong colour gowns
  8. Dramatic custom made cape for our December bride 

Timeless pieces, handcrafted with passion.

I have been very lucky to have inherited some beautiful jewellry from my great grand mother - a seamstress and my own much loved nana. Two simple rings, beautifully crafted pieces that I cherish dearly. I have come to see them as part of my history, something to pass to my daughter that will tell her a story, connecting her with these amazing women.

 Captured by Paul from Moat Hill Photography 

Captured by Paul from Moat Hill Photography 

Somewhere in those first hazy months of new mother hood a spark of an idea came. I dreamt of designing a collection of very special pieces. Garments that would become heirlooms. Irish designed and crafted, that would be worn again and again. Wearing them would bring back memories of a special day, a moment in time to be cherished.

This spark grew into my first accessories collection. I have designed accessories for my brides over the years but this gave me the opportunity to explore new ideas and create something to treasure. These statement pieces are designed to complete a brides wedding look whether to highlight their dress or add the finishing detail. But also to be worn again and again.

So it may have taken longer then expected - thank you baby Niamh for keeping me busy. But 2 years later I finally launched the first of my accessory collections. Each piece will be made to order through our online shop, hand crafted with passion and loved well past the wedding day.

 Amazing picture of our Super Star Cape by Johanna King Photography 

Amazing picture of our Super Star Cape by Johanna King Photography 

Smock Alley

What better way to spend a November Monday morning in Dublin then in the beautiful Smock Alley Theatre. This was the scene for a day long creative shoot with the best of the best wedding suppliers in Ireland last week.

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Starting nice and early at EF Studios for hair and makeup transformation. Super talented early birds Emma Farrell and a Michelle O’Halloran whipped model Katelyn into shape for the day ahead. But the star of the show was Sean Emma's beau!

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Frog Prince Events supplied the beautiful flowers and table wear. 

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Paul from Moat Hill Photography capturing every bit of light through those spectacular stain glass windows of Smock Alleys Banquet Room.

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Jen and Jay from Cupcakes and Counting helping us out as well as delivering the stunning wedding cake 

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Karen from The Parlour Press designed the most beautiful wedding stationary to add the finishing touch to our bridal shoot 

Want to check out more behind the scenes from the day here are The Dream Teams instagram handles  

Wedding Gowns @sfoycouture. 

photography @moathillphotography

Forals and events @frogprinceevents

Venue @smockalleytheatre

Hair @moh_hairdesign

Make up @efcstudios

cake @cupcakesandcounting

stationary @parlourpressweddings

model @primamodels @katelyncass

 

More to come next week on what we where photographing on this shoot- exciting news!

Holiday Inspiration

It was a week of daydreaming of my holidays and catching up on work. The blue skies and warm weather becoming a distant memory. Looking through my pictures I may have been a little obsessed with Portuguese tiles.

We are back on Monday with a very personal Bridal Muse and a dress that I love deeply

Pinterest Fun

I love Pinterest. It is heaven for a creative like me, composing mood boards and dreaming big. While I loved cutting and sticking old style mood boards this more high tech approach is spectacular and fun.

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To be clear this is not a how to use Pinterest guide! This is a helping hand on how to find clarity when starting the search for your dream wedding dress. Pinterest is the ultimate tool to help you navigate you wedding dress hunt but it can get overwhelming when starting out. With so many options out there how does a bride-to-be begin?

Step one - Secret boards

You are starting this board purely to explore what you like and dislike. There will be plenty of time to add people you trust to it later. Keeping it closed at first will help to free your mind and worry only about what you like.

Step two - Pin, Pin, Pin

Explore Pinterest, start by pinning anything and everything. It could be just a simple detail on a sleeve or a back silhouette that you are drawn too. Try not to over think what you are pinning, the idea is to collect images, ideas to inspire your wedding dress shopping.

Step three - Follow

Now you need to get more specific. Narrow down and explore designers you like and have similar tastes. Find their boards on Pinterest or pin from their website

Below are some must follows for wedding inspiration to get you started.

Step four - Not just wedding dresses

Don't limit yourself to searching "wedding dresses". If for example you love deep v-necks -search through evening wear , day wear even lingerie you never know what may spark of an idea.

Step five - Curate

After loosing yourself in Pinterest for a few days pinning anything you are drawn too. It's time to curate. Go back through your board. Are you seeing any patterns? For example are all your back details pictures low cut or are you captivated by beading ? As you start looking for your dress, narrowing down you style and silhouette keep curating your board. It will help you be clear on what you love.

Above all else enjoy exploring, let yourself be inspired by Pinterest and stay away from overwhelm. Pop over to my Pinterest page to see what inspires me. Have you found a must follow person on Pinterest, let us know in the comments below.

Creatives at work

It was back in 2016 at my first Glitter studio appearance that I meet the lovely Jen. Full of energy and creativity, I could not help but be captivated by Cupcakes and Counting. So this week we chat to Jen about how CupCakes and Counting came to be, about inspiration and the ideal bride. 

Who is your bride?

My bride is anyone who loves stunning floral display. I have a deep affection for flowers and beautiful botanicals these are the main inspiration for my wedding cakes. I love decorating our wedding cakes with handmade, delicate sugar sculptures. I like to recreate nature’s blooms and turn them into edible art. 

When do you feel most creative?

It’s when the brides (and grooms, sometimes) tell me about their love story. How they met, their favourite story about each other,  a memorable holiday together. All these contribute to how I design their wedding cake. This is when the boost of inspiration and creativity just flows freely and allows me to create wedding cakes that uniquely and specifically suit my couple.

How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?

I am always full of butterflies before I meet a new bride-to-be but I am very, very excited at the same time. I cannot help but imagine that I might be the one making their wedding cake. You see, it’s not just business for me. Given the opportunity to make their wedding cake, it is wonderful to think that you become part of their fairytale, of their romance, of their happy ever after.

What do you like to hear from a bride? 

Each bride is unique and may come up with questions that are relevant to her and not so for others.  What’s important for me is that they are able to tell me what they actually want i.e. how her wedding cake should look like. A bride well equipped with a set of questions during cake tasting/consultation is always a pleasure to work with.

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How did you find your calling? 
Back in 2013, a very powerful typhoon had hit my husband’s hometown in the Philippines. The damage was so severe that the city was left with no power, no food, no clean water, and no proper shelter.  Our family survived the onslaught, however, the number of casualties raised to alarming heights. My husband and I decided to hold a bake sale to raise funds for our neighbours who got severely affected by the calamity. We sold cupcakes and we were able to send a considerable amount of monetary assistance to our neighbours who have been displaced and needing support. Our fundraising had finished but the orders didn’t. People were still asking for our cupcakes long after our bake sale ended. This is how Cupcakes and Counting was born.

Thank you do much to Jen and Jay for sharing their beginnings and photography's with us today. I can say that not only do their cakes look incredible they are delicious.

Check out www.cupcakesandcounting.com and their Instagram Account rocks

Share with us today your wedding cake questions

My Inspiration - V&A

While in London in December for a friends tropical themed birthday party - yes you are reading that correctly. I managed to sneak off for an hour to take a trip to the Victor and Albert Museum. They never fail to have a exhibition that I want and have to see.

I found the Undressed. Brief History of Underwear and was intrigued

Now before I found my calling as a wedding designer I had worked as a lingerie designer for a company based in Dublin, so this was of particularly interest to me.

Beautiful silk and lace detailing . They showed how underwear had evolved through the ages and how modern lives and fashion changed how underwear was designed.

There was for me two stand out pieces that made the exhibition.

The modern day evening wear that was inspired by underwear. As a big fan of Elie Saab, to see his lilac creation up close was fantastic and humbling, the hand work detail amazing. Layers of silk and lace carefully placed to create the most beautiful silhouette . So inspiring to see

 Elie Saab

Elie Saab

Secondly the video piece - The "Babydoll" slip by Carina Gilson. This video showed the process of making a silk slip. Still even to me a designer that works to create in cloth daily I found this mesmerising. They used a method called cut away that I had seen done before many years ago in lingerie .

So how does this help me to design dresses . Well there is something very inspiring to see how fashion has evolved, moved with the times and needs of its world. It is quiet amazing to think I am part of that. Will my daughter look back at what I am creating today and think how much we have moved, changed, evolved?

What inspires you? What motivates you and excites you? We would love to hear more in our comments below.

My Inspiration

 It is around this time of year when our summer brides are just having final touches done to their dresses that I start to think of a new collection. So this week I am taking a little break from the norm and giving an insight to where I find my inspiration and how I start the process of designing new dresses.

Time out from my studio is usually a great opportunity for me to relax and let my mind escape. This week I took a trip to Killarney for some family time and I came back buzzing with excitement. What a beautiful country we have at our finger tips. The colours all around us, lush greens, pink sky's and vibrant floral shades. 

Taking my new found inspiration and my chilled out mind I couldn't help but create 2015's mood board when I landed back in the studio on Thursday (thank you to my hard working assistant Molly for indulging me). This is always just a starting point for me to get a feeling, a mood of how the next year will be. It is from here that I will in the coming weeks start to design the next collection.

I will now gather together fabrics, laces and embellishments that I wish to use in the coming year. I will do samples of beading and fabric manipulation that I would like to incorporate into the collection. With hopefully the final sketches coming together in the coming weeks. Follow my progress on Instagram @sfoydesign.

So if you are just starting out and struggling to get ideas for your wedding. Take a deep breath, a glass of wine and hit Pinterest to create your own mood board. It doesn't have to be wedding related images that you pin, just what you are drawn too. This will help you to get an idea of what you love, hate and adore.

With passion 

Sarah

Ps I have two new boards up on Pinterest to show you for 2015's inspiration so check us out Pinterest @Sarah Foy design

 2015 mood board 

2015 mood board