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.

 

Our month in pictures - April

We are heading towards brighter, longer days and feeling the energy rising in the studio. New fresh designs along with exciting plans developing this month.

Shot! The amazing talented team from  Waterlily Weddings  caught this blue beauty at  Markree Castle . Can't wait to see all the final pictures from this amazing shoot.

Shot! The amazing talented team from Waterlily Weddings caught this blue beauty at Markree Castle. Can't wait to see all the final pictures from this amazing shoot.

April saw a short much needed break in Royal Lemington Spa. Hanging out with my best girl and checking out the new Hotel De Vin opening today in Shakespeare home, Strafford.

Lots of hand finishing and embellishment this month. Truly my favourite part of creating our dresses. Along with new designs for photoshoots with the most talented wedding suppliers of Ireland in great locations such as Slane Castle and Markree Castle. Watch this space for the pictures to come.

Finally a great photo by Moat Hill Photography who kindly took part in our Creatives at Work series on the blog this month.

Our month in pictures - March

Snow days hit the studio this month again but spring is starting to appear day by day. The rails are at busting point in the studio which signals summer wedding season is on the way.

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Our Month In Picture - February

As snow falls around the country we have come to the end of another month - it was a fast busy one for us here as we make are way towards spring.

Photographer   Aoife O'Sullivan  Makeup and hair  @efcreativestudios   

Photographer  Aoife O'Sullivan
Makeup and hair @efcreativestudios
 

This is what went on in the studio this month

  • The top pictures are our design in progress for our lovely client Caroline Grace Cassidy. Walking the red carpet of the IFTA'S in a spring yellow creation.
  • February was website refresh time for me in studio. Lots of new images and plans for the website. Image of me at work by the super Johanna King Photography.
  • Spending a wonderful sunny day at Horetown House snapping our new photoshoot with Butterfly Photography.
  • A great interview with Michelle O'Halloran hairstylist graced the blog this month.
  • Feather detail hitting the studio as we finish up our latest dresses.

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 

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

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