Our Bridal Muse - Claire

This dress has it all - stunning lace , high low hem, separates and a matching lace floral crown. I love that my job is to make a brides vision come through and Claire trusted me with that task. Isn’t she stunning.

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What is your best memory of your wedding day?

We got married in No. 5 South Leinster Street at the National Gallery. It was a small wedding with just family and close friends, 28 guests in total. So my best memory is walking into that room with my dad, towards Dermot, surrounded by all the people I love most in the world. The emotion of it all just hit me like a tonne of bricks! It was lovely and I’ll never forget it.

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What is your advice to a bride to be?

My advice is to make the day as personal to you and your partner as you can. Don’t feel pressure to do things because you are “supposed to” or someone tells you that you “have to”. The only things you really “have to” do are the legal bits! We had a humanist ceremony and our celebrant, Eithne Dempsey, was amazing. Instead of readings during the ceremony, we had each of our dads sing a song which was really special. We included our mammy’s in a sand ceremony. We were lucky to have extremely talented friends to take part, one performing beautiful acoustic guitar and one to take amazing photos. It all felt truly personal to us.

Also, don’t sweat the small stuff! It’s a happy day and everybody is there to celebrate with you. It doesn’t matter if things don’t go exactly to plan, just go with the flow! We had a small reception at the Gallery with some nibbles and drinks before a dinner reservation in Eden Bar and Grill. However the nibbles ran out about an hour before the reservation so we just headed across the road to Lincoln’s Inn and had a drink in there. It was really relaxed and great fun with strangers coming up to congratulate us and offer best wishes.

 

What was your biggest worry about getting your dress made?

My biggest worry was that people would think my dress was odd! I had a few definite ideas about what I wanted – separates, one high-low skirt and two tops, one for the ceremony day and one for the party on the following day. Whether or not they would work together I had no idea. But I could not have been in safer hands with Sarah. Sarah took my disjointed ideas and made them whole, she created a look better than I could have imagined and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result.

What part of the process was most fun for you?

Having your dress made means you are there for every part of it. Getting the sketches at the very beginning, picking the fabrics and lace, and seeing it all come together through each fitting. It was all fun and exciting. And because you are there for each step, you can see earlier on if something works or not. I bought a flower crown to wear on the day and brought it with me to a fitting. As soon as I had it on with the dress, we knew it wasn’t right. Luckily for me, Sarah was able to create a beautiful flower crown that worked perfectly.

 

How relaxed and comfortable does Claire look? One big tip for finding the dress, be sure to be comfortable - you need to wear the dress not the dress wear you.




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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Ethical Bridal Choices

Is it possible to shop ethically for your wedding dress? Is it even something you have thought about? As we start to see customers and designers taking a more thoughtful approach to purchasing and designing, can we shop ethically for our wedding attire? Today I’m giving you some ideas to approach your dress shopping with an ethical eye.

There are bridal designers out there that are paving the way in ethical sustainable bridal wear with out compromising on design . www.sanyuktashrestha.com is one such designer along with Minna http://www.minna.co.uk/ and company’s like reformation https://www.thereformation.com. Although the lovely Little White dress shop stocks sanyuktashrestha gowns you will have to do some research into designer and stockists or travel to the Uk to find your dress

Ask- when starting out on your dress hunt don’t be afraid to ask and research designers you like for information on there ethical practices. The ethical bridal industry is young and you may find it hard to find a 100% perfect company but any move towards a conscious purchase is good in my book.

 www.butterflyphotography.ie

www.butterflyphotography.ie

Upstyling a wedding dress is a lovely thoughtful and sustainable way to find your dress. A heirloom gown or second hand dress can be reworked and made exclusively yours with the help of a good dress maker or designer. Taking a preloved dress either from a family member or wonderful sites like Once Wed can be the answer to both a budget and style conscious bride

Picking an Irish designer to produce an exclusive dress for you with ethically fabrics and sustainable practice in mind is another very good option for a conscious bridal. You would not only meet your ethical goals but have some input into the style and design you wish to have for your dream dress. Of course that would be a product I would happily undertake here at Sarah Foy Couture. But a quick google check will find you other great Irish designers that would happily help you create your dream dress

 http://www.johannakingphotography.com/

http://www.johannakingphotography.com/

My own ethical journey has been sporadic at best on till this last 18 months. Between a house move and the onslaught of children’s toys into the house I turned firstly to a great podcast The Minimalists, which started me on a series journey to change my purchasing habits. Over the last year I have read and watched some great resources that really help me understand more clearly the effect fast fashion is having on the world. Still far from perfect, I have certainly had a big change in my attitude to everything I purchase. That mind set certainly doesn’t change when I think and purchase for my brides. As all of our dresses are designed and made in my home studio they are certainly ethically produced. However, the move to more sustainable fabrics may take a while longer I now have a select of organic silks options for brides to be and on the hunt for new and exciting alternatives for our fabrics.

As other aspects of our business evolve, I hope to continue to think and purchase as ethically as possible from our packaging to stationary. I also firmly believe that supporting other Irish businesses is essential to staying sustainable and ethical within Sarah Foy Couture.

 

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 !

 

 

Creatives at work - Moat Hill Photography

The importance of capturing moments, snippets of our life, freezing a moment in time really rings through to me. As the year flash’s before my eyes I can’t help feeling that I will miss something if I don’t take care to capture, freeze time and revile in life a little. This brings me to our creative at work Paul from Moat Hill photography. Finding a photographer that will capture the atmosphere, the mood of the day is so important and I think a deeply personal choice. Paul shares with us his inspiration and why he does what he does so well.

Who is your bride?

That is a kind of hard question to answer, like who is your favourite singer or whats your favourite movie.

We never really set out to target a particular type of person. I always feel our work reflects the personality of the person. So if you’re romantic then we’ll read that and your images will have that sort of feel.. if you laugh a lot then lets laugh. I think our work doesn’t impose itself on people rather we try to capture the personality of the people in our work. So when you ask who is our bride.. its everyone and anyone that can trust us to capture their wedding honestly and authentically

When do you feel most creative?

A wedding day is a full on affair. You have to be at 100% every time, you can’t have a bad day or a day feeling off. So gathering inspiration is something that learn as you shoot more and more. Photography has always inspired me and music too.. Fellow photographer friends can push you and compete with you to inspire you. But again its back to the people for me.. the conversations you have, the atmosphere on a wedding day and the people in it all provide the inspiration. The challenge of capturing that and doing the best job for each of our clients is inspirational. So on the day working to capture that is when I feel most inspired in this Job

How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?

I’ve always enjoyed meeting people and chatting with them. I love to show them our work and hear what they’re about and hopefully find a link or spark so we both know that we’re right for them and they’re right for us.

I think it’s as important that we choose the right people as much as they choose us, to be sure that we all fit and so when we produce what we do it’s what they’re expecting.

Fundamentally we try to keep our style candid and relaxed, how we like it but from time to time a couple might ask if we can do something a little outside or scope and that’s fine with us.

What do you like to hear from a bride?

Can we book... its the biggest compliment we could get.. they like our work, like what we do and want us to be part of one of the biggest days of their lives so far... what more can I tell ya!

How did you find your calling? Get started in your industry?

I’ve always loved music and photography but worked as an Engineer for 12 years. Finally in 2006 I decided that I wanted to go back to college at night and study photography. I loved the film aspect of photography but being a techie sort of person I was really interested in the move to digital that was happening at the time. After 2 years in Griffith College I was asked to shoot a friends wedding. It was nerve wracking but from the start I knew I wanted to shoot it in a very relaxed and candid way. I didn’t really like the idea of setting things up. I never mind doing the family photos and a few portraits, I think they’re important to the couple but always felt the rest of the day should be a flow or narrative of images.

After that I started to get a few more weddings here and there and eventually setup a website and having the background in tech helped.

A year on from that we decided to go full time as things really took off and we haven’t really looked back since. We’ve been doing this now for 10 years and have shot and met hundreds of great people looking forward to many more!

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A big thank you to Moat Hill for sharing insights into their business and work. Check out more of their wonderful work and see the passion that is injected into their images.

 

Website : www.mhphoto.ie

Instagram : Moathillphotography

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Moathillphoto/

Twitter : Moathillphoto

Tumblr : moathill.tumblr

Travelling With The Dress

Bright blue skies, golden beaches and beautiful scenic views. There are a list of reasons why we love a wedding abroad - weather being number one on that list. So if you are dreaming of your french chateau wedding or a cosy winter adventure I have put together what you need to know for transporting your dress.

 Photo by Butterfly Photography

Photo by Butterfly Photography

Ask the designer

You can transport your dress two ways. A bridal garment bag which would usually be provided to you when you pick your dress up. I always scellotape the hanging loops of the dress to the hanger if I know a bride is traveling, this stops the dress from falling off. Be sure the hanger is strong and that the garment bag has a loop at the bottom. This way the bag can fold in half to make it easier to move around.

Your second option would be to pack the dress into a carry on suitcase. This works for simpler styles. Line the suit case with a bed sheet or tissue paper. Then fold the dress hem first into the case. Ideally you want to pack your carry on with anything you can’t replace for the wedding - dress, shoes, underwear.

When you arrive at your destination find a place to hang your dress up high. Take the train out of the bag. Most dresses will crease a little and simply need to hang for 24hours and they will drop out. You can let steam at your dress say from a shower or bath for any stubborn creases.

Plan ahead a little if you feel the dress will need a press before the big day. Ask your wedding planner or hotel to recommendation a dry cleaners and arrange to have it steamed on arrival

Ask the wedding planner

Rosie from weddingplanner.ie has kindly past on her advice for traveling with your dress. Having planned over 200 weddings abroad in over 20 countries is she most definitely an expert.

-Check with your airline about carrying your dress onboard as hand luggage. 
-Don't pack it in as checked in luggage in case your bag gets lost.
-Check with your hotel if they have a steaming service to get any creases out when you arrive or can they recommend a dry cleaners that can do it. 
-If you are having a Catholic Church wedding, keep in mind they can be stricter abroad about attire. So no bare shoulders or low backs or cleavage showing for the bride, bridesmaids and guests. A veil can sometimes do or get your dress maker to make a light bolero which can be removed after the ceremony

Ask the airlines

The policy for airlines change all the time and I often find that I need to email them every summer to get the most up to date information for my brides. So this is relevant for 2017 but I would double check before booking your flight and again before traveling.

Aerlingus

We do allow guests to carry wedding dresses on board dresses as cabin baggage. https://www.aerlingus.com/travel-information/baggage-information/special-items/
Please note we don’t have a specific area on board to stow these but we advise guests to speak a member of our cabin crew once they board the flight and they will assist as best they can.

Paula Donaghy, Consumer PR Specialist

Ryanair

If your wedding dress fits within our cabin baggage dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weighs up to 10kg you can take it into the cabin with you.
Please note that we do not have any storage facilities on board to hang or store your dress, it will be treated as cabin baggage and placed in our overhead lockers.
If your wedding dress does not fit within the cabin baggage dimensions, then you can check it in as part of your checked baggage allowance.
Alternatively, you can purchase an extra seat for the carriage of your wedding dress in the cabin.
To book an extra seat for your wedding dress:
  •   Go to www.ryanair.com and select 2 passengers when booking your flight.
  •   Don't forget to reserve the seats beside each other.
  •   The first seat should be booked in your name.
  •   The other seat should be ITEM SEAT as the Last Name and EXTRA as the First Name  
  •   The name EXTRA ITEM SEAT will then be displayed on the online boarding pass.
Adrienn
Ryanair Customer Service

Other Helpful Links

Traveling by boat

https://www.irishferries.com/ie-en/terms-and-conditions/#Luggage

Other airlines

https://www.britishairways.com/en-ie/information/baggage-essentials/packing-tips

http://www.etihad.com/en-ie/before-you-fly/baggage-information/allowances/

http://www.lufthansa.com/ie/en/Baggage-overview

 

I sign off dreaming of warmer weather. Share with us where are you planning your destination wedding? 

 

Bridal Muse

Today I am sharing a very special Bridal Muse. My beautiful sister Karen, who a year ago married her soul mate. 

 All of the pictures today are from the amazing  Moat Hill Photography

All of the pictures today are from the amazing Moat Hill Photography

There is no doubt that designing a dress for a bride is a big responsibility. So when your sister asks you to create her gown, you know you have to design something very special. When I design for my brides I believe that a dress should reflect their personality and style. Lucky for me I have known Karen for quiet some time! So today she is sharing her experiences and advice for your wedding day.

What is your best memory of your wedding day? 

I loved the entire day, I would do it again tomorrow and not change a thing about the day. Having travelled home to Ireland for our wedding I really enjoyed the wedding morning with my family and bridesmaids. I went for an early refreshing beach walk first thing with my sister and baby niece before the preparation began. It was so lovely and unforgettable.

My best memory is probably the ceremony, myself and Brian couldn’t stop smiling and giggling with each other. We had done a rehearsal the afternoon before to banish nerves which meant we got to enjoy the readings and music that we had personally chosen. It was our parish, our town where we both grew up and our people. It was just lovely pledging our love to each other surrounded by our favorite people from home and abroad on our turf.

What is your advice to a bride to be? 

Don’t let the planning take over your life in the run up, take time to have fun and don’t lose sight of why you are getting married and that it is about your future together and not the actual wedding day! We really wanted our day to reflect us as a couple but we also had a cut off point and decided if it’s not done by this date ….. it’s not important and not getting done. I would advise others to do the same as this meant we really enjoyed the days leading up to the wedding with the people we loved.

The biggest piece of advice I can give and that was given to me was to make time for you and your new hubby. The way we planned the day meant that we went for photographs (just the two of us) before we travelled to the venue for the official family ones. This gave us two hours together directly after we said “I Do” and it was amazing. We had so many laughs and moments of silliness before celebrating the night away with everyone else. On reflection, it helped that we loved our photographers and official driver (my favorite brother in law) which meant we just had the banter and soaked it all up.

Last piece of advice is to make sure you gel with the suppliers you book and that they get you and what you want. It’s so important, I’m sure it would have a massive impact on your day as you spend a lot of time with your photographers, your hair stylist and make up artist etc– trust your instinct on this.

What was your biggest worry about getting your dress made?

That I’d give my sister a nervous breakdown because I’m so indecisive, married with the fact that I don’t live in the same country as her.  Despite having grown up literally surrounded by Sarah Foy wedding dresses, I never really thought about what my own would look like. Luckily Sarah was paying attention over the years and had a better idea. She travelled over to me (any excuse for a get together) to try on assorted styles in the UK and we designed it from there. I was very lucky as I had 100% faith in her.

What part of the process of having your dress made was most fun for you?

Probably, when we sourced the most amazing pink guipure lace. We had a vision of this almost impossible fabric, something very subtly but delicate and to be honest we didn’t think we would find it…Sarah rose to the challenge and sourced the most amazing fabric exceeding my expectations and we both fell in love with it. From there she took all the elements of different dresses I loved and made them work together. I ABSOLUTLEY loved it and still do! I felt so comfortable, happy and special in the dress that my sister had designed and handmade just for me, it’s an indescribable feeling. At the end of the evening it suddenly dawned on me that I’d have to take it off and never wear it again, it was such a devastating moment but luckily I had another fabulous Sarah Foy dress for the following day….I am one lucky sister.

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Thank you Karen for sharing your memories of the day. It was certainly a day I will always remember. It is an honour to be your sister and personal designer!

The Dream Team

Photographer - www.mhphoto.ie

Venue - www.rathsallagh.com

Hair - www.michelleohalloran.com

Make up - Helen Henry 0876167607

Dress - www.sarahfoycouture.com

 

 

 

Ask The Designer - The Final Fitting

April always marks the beginning of our busy wedding season. A time when sketches and patterns become wedding dresses. When our brides start to have their final fittings and we get super busy in studio pressing and finishing our gowns.

So what are final fittings all about? What can you expect from yours? and what should you be doing to get the most out of these fittings?

I love to see the whole look for the day. So I encourage our brides to bring everything for the final fitting- Jewlery, underwear, veil and headpiece. To do your hair and make up similar to how you want it to look on the day or even better arrange your trial for the same day. This is a great opportunity for you to see how everything looks together. I would even try out your nail polish!

Plan your transportation and storage - at your final fitting you will be arranging to pick up your gown so a little forward planning will be needed. Will you be storing the dress at home? Do you have a safe place to store the dress away from prying eyes? How will you transport it home? If you are heading aboard, have you checked with your airline about carrying the dress on board? What options have you for storing and pressing when you arrive at your venue?

All along you have had someone help you into your dress and may not have taken note of how it was done. Bring along a bridesmaid or friend to the final fitting so they can see how the dress should go on. Is there any catches to keep your underwear in place. Is there an option to tie up your train ? Are there elements to your dress that need to be attached separately?

And finally double check everything . Are you comfortable in the dress? Can you walk easily or does the hem need adjusting ? Can you see your underwear ? Are you 100% happy with how you look and feel in the dress?

I hope this helps you plan your very important final fittings. If you have a question for Ask the Designer be sure to drop me an email

Ask The Designer

It is ask the designer time at SFoy HQ and this week it is all about time scale.

 Image by Paul Kelly Photography

Image by Paul Kelly Photography

"How much time do you need to have a design made? I'm worried I haven't left enough time to pick my dress and feeling under pressure to make decisions now!" - This is the most commonly asked question and statement to pass through my inbox, so today we give you all the information on time scale and when best to get started

Every designer works differently and every bridal store will have their own order policy. However, I like to have 6 to 8 months to design and complete a gown. So how does this break down for you the bride? The first appointment with us is a simple chat to get to know you and the ideas you have in mind for your wedding, two weeks after that you will have received sketches from me detailing ideas for your wedding dress. When you have had time to look over them we have a follow up consultation to help finalise the details. This whole process can take between 4 to 6 weeks.

Next step is to custom make your pattern and create your mock up. We book you in to check size and fit. Allowing you to get a look at the style and shape. Now it's order time, we calculate how much fabric will be needed. Ordering in your beads and embellishment. When everything arrives we cut and make your dress. We will now see you every 3 to 4 weeks. At these fittings we will be concentrating on getting everything fitting beautifully, then we add the little details particularly embellishments .

At the final stages we help you to get the overall look, encouraging you to try out different hairstyles, nail polish, lipstick and of course a veil or head piece. Most brides have their final fitting about 2 weeks before pick up day. This fitting is usually just to double check that you are 100% happy.

Every bride, every dress, every day is different. We often do commissions 18 months in advance or in off peak season a dress can be completed sooner but the general rule we give our clients is 6 to 8 months.

Have you a question about your dress you need answered. Email me today and we will tackle it on our next Ask The Designer blog piece .

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.

Screenshot 2017-03-14 21.55.22.png

 

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.

DSC_0021-7.jpg

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

Sparkling Fun Weekend

We are in recovery mode in Sarah Foy Studio this week after an epic weekend at The Glitter Studio.

One Fab Day curated another wonderful wedding event for brides-to-be. Thoughtfully put together with magical installations and hand picked vendors. I love meeting new brides, chatting style and trends for 2017/2018. I have come away inspired again to create and to really bring the best designs and service to our new brides.

I also had a blast meeting up with vendors to see what they are creating. So inspiring to see Irish companies bring such amazing quality and creativity to the world. So here are some suppliers I think you need to check out and some great pictures of our weekend.

Keeping us supplied wth essential salted caramel cupcakes all weekend. Jen is a sculpture of cakes www.cupcakesandcounting.com

Not one but two amazing make-up artists rocked all weekend. Meeting new brides and styling our models for the fashion showcase - alannawallace@gmail.com and efcreativestudios.com

Hair styled beautifully by roller.ie and Claire Barry Hair.

Horetown House , Co.Wexford who convinced me to drink gin - lots of arm twisting went on there. 

Frog Prince for putting some serious style into the weekend.

Did you make it to The Glitter Studio? Would love to hear what you thought? If you didn't get a chance to chat to me, please drop us an email info@sarahfoycouture.com with any questions you may have. 

 

Creatives at Work

Camelia from Austen Flowers

Picture an empty room with exposed stone work walls, wooden floors and a large cable window. The first time I worked with Camelia was at a photoshoot at the Old Deanary in Ferns, Co. Wexford. She was let loose on this room for an hour and transformed it into wedding bliss. Delicate winter flowers on the table dressing and creeping vines along the walls to bring the surrounding nature into the room - that is talent. So where does Camelia draw her inspiration from and how does she go about finding the right combination for your wedding

 Photo by Butterfly Photography

Photo by Butterfly Photography

Who is your bride?

Being based in the picturesque Wicklow countryside and with a background in horticulture, my floral style is natural, loose, organic, full of textural foliage and architectural twigs and other foraged finds, so my bride is a nature loving person, adventurous, stylish, travelled, hunts unusual floral designs and is not afraid to be ‘different’.

When do you feel most inspired?

The more quirky and unusual the brief, the more exiting the project becomes. Each wedding is approached as a blank canvas: we start with a mood board of images (not necessary of flowers) and develop a theme. The next step is choosing the perfect seasonal flowers for the designs (I insist on seasonal, both from an environmental and cost view).

I feel very lucky to work in an ever changing environment and the inspiration can come from the most unexpected places: the pattern of a scarf, the icing of a cake, the colours of a comic, and the texture of a feather…

How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?

The flowers are such a new and unknown subject for many of my brides. Our consultations are a flutter of ideas, images, mood boards, fresh flowers – we start from ‘I have a vague idea of what I want’ and finish with ‘I know that you will bring my vision to life’. My relation with most of my brides starts as a client and ends as a friend. The process of designing the wedding flowers involves a long conversation (in a virtual medium most of the time) that, by the time I deliver the bridal flowers, I fell that we have known each other for a lifetime.

What do you like to hear from a bride?

I’ll keep it simple: ‘I trust your artistic flair and I am happy to leave the whole creative process in your hands.’‘ Is there anything you can’t do?’ because the answer would be that, in floral terms, the impossible doesn’t exist (I just love a challenge!)

How did you find your calling? 

I suppose I had a love of nature since I can remember. I use to spend my holidays with my Granny in the countryside and her love of gardening and outdoors was my greatest inspiration. From there followed a 5 year degree in Horticulture and a Masters in Plant Protection. After a short stint in my mother’s ‘Louise Austen Catering’ company in Wicklow and several experiences both with creative freelance floral designers and florist shops in Dublin and Wicklow, I established my creative venture, Austen Flowers, and, as they say, I never looked back.

 

Thank you Camelia for share insight into you passion. Check out Austen Flowers

www.austenflowers.ie
https://www.facebook.com/austenflowers/
https://www.instagram.com/austenflowers/
 

Flowers are such a beautiful tradition for weddings. From a simple bouquet to a grand top table display. Are flowers top of your wedding list wants? Or are you overwhelmed with the choices and combinations out there. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and see if we can help

Creatives At Work

Hair stylist Lorraine Browne

On a busy Saturday morning for Lorraine I popped up to her private studio in Clontarf to talk all about weddings - one wedding lover to another.

I have been lucky enough to collaborate with Lorraine on inspirational shoots over the years and have seen first hand her magical touch. However, I was looking forward to hearing a little more about what inspires her and how she became wedding obsessed.

How did you find your calling ?

I’ve been looking after Brides for years and years….. too many too mention. Lorraine Browne Hair Stylist all started way back when my parents had a wedding car business. My job was to hoover the car's on a Saturday morning and then to dress in my sailor jacket and spruce up my mullet haircut (it was the 80’s) and to be a little helper on the day…Hold umbrellas, open doors, pop champagne.

Whilst in high school I was a Saturday girl in a large salon group in my home town of Cheshire. Being a junior to a session stylist in the salon I went as an assistant on weddings, shoots and shows, I just loved it. I have been a Salon stylist, Salon Manager, Trainer for Wella - Proctor and Gamble and session stylist for shoots, shows and films. But I have always kept up my bridal work, it is my passion.

I have a great job that feeds my addiction to beautiful gowns, venues, food and the soppy romance I couldn’t be better suited to what I do …..I’m obsessed with Weddings.

Who is your Bride?

I don't have a particular type of bride. I'm very adaptable which is what I like about being a bridal hair stylist. One day I could be working on a vintage up style using techniques that I have been trained in for years and the next I'll be looking after a boho bride where the look is finished by your eye and personal style.

When do you feel most creative?

Inspirational photo shoots are a great way for me to get creative. I enjoy creating the story behind the look and finding great venues and locations. Teaming up with other wedding suppliers, we pool our talents to create something special

But for my brides it's different. I love seeing the whole look together and I think that's the same for the bride. The wedding morning is the only time the hair, make up, gown and accessories are all seen together for the first time and that inspires me.

How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?

Most of my Brides I have already met before they got engaged, they are usually a bridesmaid or a family member/friend of one of my previous brides.

I usually build up all the details I need via emails and Pinterest boards before the trial so when we meet in real life we already know each other very well. I'm a bit of a romantic and really love hearing how couples meet.

Whats the best questions a bride could ask me?

Communication is very important when a bride is choosing her hair stylist. Firstly, it has to be someone they feel comfortable with. That they can say what they like and more important what they don't like. Hair and make up is so personal sometimes you just don't know until you see it, so a trial is essential. I do a 90min/2hour trial, it is important to me that my bride can see a few options. I love when a bride has a family heirloom, veil or brooch that they would like to incorporate into their hairstyle. Those finishing touches are what I'm all about

A bride should also ask if her hair stylist is fully insured. That they are well experienced, so check any reviews and follow their work on social media.

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. The super talented Lorraine while chatting away to me, she managed to wrestle my crazy locks into a beautiful hair style - that is serious multitasking and serious talent. A big thank you to Lorraine for taking time out to share a little insight to her business.

if you have a hair or wedding inspiration questions for me or Lorraine comment below we love to get your feedback

 

Website www.lorrainebrownehair.com

Email lorrainehair@gmail.com

Phone +353 872438814

twitter @lorraine_hair

facebook lorrainebrownehair

instagram browne_lorraine

 

Bridal Muse Julie

When I began last year to plan 2017's blog I really wanted to do something a little different.  I reached out to my 2016 brides to ask them what they took away from their wedding day? What could they advice our readers? And from this evolved Bridal Muse , where a collection of brides tell us how they created their wedding day.

Fast forward to January and I am introducing you to our first Bridal Muse Julie. You need only glance at her stunning wedding pictures to see what a beautiful, amazing day she had, beaming from head to toe. Julie has very kindly shared her memories and knowledge here today. So grab a cuppa and let her day inspire you. 

What is your best memory of your wedding day? 

It is hard to pick a favourite part but the ceremony was incredibly special. The vows, music & poetry coming to life was amazing and each one was very personal to us.

Is there a moment that stands out for you? 

A moment that stands out is walking up the aisle and seeing Tim a little emotional when he saw me in my dress for the first time. You imagine how those moments might feel but when they are happening, in front of all of your nearest and dearest, it is something you can't really put into words. It is probably all of those cliches people talk about - and I'm trying not to be too cliched!

What is your advice to a bride to be? 

My advice is to go with your gut. Everyone's experience is so different - just go with what feels is the right decision for the two of you. Your family & friends might have very different ideas/expectations of what they think is the right venue/dress/band/flowers/guests budget. Whether you go for a full traditional affair or something really intimate, just try to remember it is about the two of you making that commitment to each other.

Our wedding was the day before St. Patrick's day so that really helped shape the day in terms of little touches and decisions we made about colours/invites/entertainment etc. We also had the experience of attending dozens of previous weddings so we had a very clear idea of what what we had in mind for ours. The support we had from our families and friends was unbelievable - I will be forever grateful to some of them for the help they gave in whatever big/small way they were able to.

What was your biggest worry about getting your dress made?

Again, through previous experience (my sister had her dress made with Sarah) I had a good idea about the process involved. That being said though, it is slightly daunting not knowing what it will look like as a finished product! Sarah made me feel at ease from our first meeting and goes through all the questions you might have about getting it made and what you have in mind. It was very much a collaboration of what I had in my head and what she was able to do with her magic needle and thread!

What part of the process of having your dress made was most fun for you?

I did do my research and had tried on a few dresses and looked up a good few designers by the time I contacted Sarah. I just couldn't find what I was looking for; that didn't cost a ridiculous amount of money and that I felt really comfortable in. They were my my main priorities for the dress - I put all of the ideas of the dream dress I had in my head and sent Sarah pictures and worked with her on what colours, fabrics etc. that suited the look I had in mind. Looking through samples can be a bit overwhelming but I was very much guided by her for this part and went with her professional opinion on what she thought would work best for some of those decisions. It was a really fun, creative process that I can genuinely say, was a pleasure from start to finish.

Thank you to the beautiful Julie for taking time to be our Bridal Muse and sharing your day with us.

www.markgriffinphoto.com

www.deborahleonardmakeup.com

Lorraine Edwards Hair 0834491687

 

www.bellinghamestate.ie

www.bellinghamcastle.ie

I would love to hear what you think of our new series and what tips you may want to share. Comment below, I always want to hear more.

  

My job is to bring dresses to life. Julie, like a lot of my brides have a clear idea of what they want for their wedding dress. We just help to fill in the gaps and create something unique for them. You are welcome to email me if you need a dress brought to life. 

Underwear Changes Everything

No matter your shape or style the right underwear can transform your figure and transform your wedding dress. I can't emphasis enough the important of getting the correct undergarments. This is not a last minute rush to M&S job, you must take some time to try on and find the perfect fit.

Bras

For me smooth no lace, nude bras with an excellent shape are the way to go. There is only one way to pick a bra and that is to try on, try on, try on. Then ask yourself does it feel comfortable, does it give a flattering shape or create lumps I don't need?

You also have to look at you dress. Do you need strapless? Will the back need to be lower? Does the front need to plunge? Ask your designer to help you out, she can give you measurements on how far down the strap needs to go to compliment the dress and what other elements you may need to consider before you purchase.

Knickers

Fancy lace thongs don't always do the job to flatter your shape. It's the smooth nude rule again for knicker purchases. Whither your dress is slinky or ball-gown style you need to be sure the knickers are creating a smooth shape and don't cast a shadow through the dress. Doesn't mean you can't buy a fancy French knicker for later when all the pictures have been taken.

Shape wear

Nearly all my brides the last two years have worn some sort of shape wear. These are all fabulous ladies of all shapes and sizes. My one recommendation for shape wear is please make sure you are comfortable and that you won't get to hot in them. Not to be crude but think about how you can manoeuvre out of said shape-wear for the call of nature!!

Ask the experts

Over the years we have sent hundreds of brides out to find the complimentary underwear for their dresses. Peaches and Cream in the Westbury Mall in Dublin have been a big winner with our brides. Also Brown Thomas and Arnotts for getting measured for a great shaping bra. 

So once you have your dress purchased get underwear shopping, don't leave it till the last minute.

As always have fun

With passion

Sarah  

 Brendan Lyon photography 

Brendan Lyon photography