A year in pictures

For me pictures speak volumes - I’m a visual girl so what better way to sum up my year.  

Wishing you all a wonderful 2019  

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.

 

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.

File 14-05-2017, 11 33 02.jpeg

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

 

 

 

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

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 .

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. 

 

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.

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. 

Revived

Welcome to our little piece of wedding heaven.

Photography by Tara Aherne

Photography by Tara Aherne

This week we are reviving our blog for 2017 and here is just a taste of what we have planned for you.

I want to introduce you to the best creative suppliers in the wedding industry. For you to get a snap shot of how they work, the passion they have for their work. How invested they are in your wedding? How their love of their business will make them your best asset.

The best insight and advice comes from those that go before you. So I bring you a lovely new series where our brides look back on their day and their plans. The big memory they took away from their day... have a handkerchief handy it is emotional stuff.

I am here to inspire you to be creative with your wedding plans. I want to help our DIY brides out there with new exciting video tutorials. Helping you to create those personal touches. I want to bring you behind the scene of our business. Show you how I design and create your gowns. I want to show you what inspires me, what gets my creative juices flowing.

As the year goes on I want to hear your feed back. What you would like to see and what has inspired you on your wedding planning journey

Join us, pass the word around this week and see the new and exciting path for Sarah Foy Couture.