Friday, 5 July 2013

Friday Finds

Morning PiP peeps,
I hope you have had a good week. It's been a busy one here. 50 new products are almost ready to go live on the site but first we need to make some room so we currently have a SALE on!

Check out our hair accessories for 50% off some of the pieces!

I spotted the beautiful Jenny Packham Eden dress on RMW blog this week. It is still one of my favourites. Photo by Philippa James Photography

A beautiful bouquet featured in a styled shoot on 100 Layer Cake this week. I love the brights. 

and finally a sneak peek at what will be available on Poppy in Pearls very soon!

Have a wonderful weekend folks, the forecast is good so hope you are able to get out and enjoy it. We are off to treat my pa to a belated big birthday lunch on the coast, cannot wait. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Real Bride talks....venue shopping

This morning we are back with Real Bride Alex who is chatting us through their search for the perfect relaxed wedding venue. I love hearing how this kind of search evolves.

This was probably the hardest part of the wedding planning so far! The original plan was to hire a big holiday house by the coast and have the celebrations in the garden. I liked the idea of making a weekend of it and most importantly being able to completely personalise our day without having to buy into a tailor-made package. We found a couple of places that were perfect, Polhawn Fort and Studland Bay House to name just two, however for various reasons none of them worked out. 

After 6 months of searching and numerous weekends down at the coast (a big perk), Dave suggested trying a little closer to home as September 2013 (our chosen time to get married) was creeping up on us quickly. So with 9 months to go we decided to jam pack a Saturday with 9 venue viewings. We tried everything, converted barns, stately homes, tudor houses with marquees, modern hotels, farmers fields! the lot….all of which were beautiful and would have made an incredible wedding venues. The big problem remained, they nearly all had packages and mega hire charges (apart from the farmers field which seemed one challenge too far)! 

After our busy day we ended up not far from home in Henley-on-Thames in The Little Angel pub to discuss our options over a much needed glass of wine……….
As we got talking we thought how amazing it would be if this lovely pub, in its beautiful location was full of our family and friends. It would have a relaxed and fun vibe, something that we both really want from our wedding day. Whilst we were there we spoke to the landlord who was lovely and basically said the pub was ours to do whatever we wanted. Pretty much everything we asked for was instantly a “yes”, and if he didn’t have it, he’d sort it. Within 30 minutes it was booked! BOOM…..We have a wedding date Saturday 7 September 2013!

We both knew it was perfect! All of the other venues were absolutely stunning and would be incredible but just didn’t feel very us. We felt like we were putting on a play as we walked into these grand entrances, in the pub however we felt right at home.

And the best thing of all, there is no hire charge, no set menu or wine package and no closing time! Hurray!  We aren’t able to get into the pub until later in the day so have chartered a boat on the river Thames for a drinks reception after the ceremony. We used to live up the river in Maidenhead and owned a little day boat when we lived there, so it all is all very fitting and very us. I love it when a plan comes together.

Now to start looking for ‘the dress’!

Thanks Alex, it sounds like it will be a really wonderful day cannot wait to hear about the dress experience!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday Finds

Morning PiP Peeps,
I hope you have had a good week, eating strawberries and watching the tennis perhaps?

Our lovely Real Bride Caroline did a great post over on her blog about the final countdown to the big day with tons of inspiring images. Take a peek for more from her.

Some of the inspiration behind PiP Real Bride's French wedding.

Caroline mentioned to me she was off to the Amalfi Coast for her Honeymoon. I am such a huge fan of Italy having lived in Sicily for nine months and the Amalfi coast is a personal favourite of mine. I thought I would use this as an excuse to revisit a couple of posts we did last year when Real Bride Sarah B jetted off to Italy with the help of Mr and Mrs Smith

Bellevue Syrene

And don't forget the honeymoon packing post 

On my rounds online this week I spotted this gorgeous cake on the Rock My Wedding Blog  shot by the talented Albert Palmer. This beautiful wedding was hosted at The Gallivant Hotel in Camber Sands where my hubby whisked me away earlier this year for a gorgeous birthday mini-break.

I love the simplicity of the flowers in the jam jars too. 

Also, what a wonderfully simple yet effective table plan! I love it. 

I came across this article on picking a classic wedding dress. What do you think folks, should you go classic or should you rock a very 'in vogue' dress on the one day you can wear anything you like that makes you look amazing. Does it matter if it dates the photos? Have any of you had super high fashion dresses that you have regretted or did you go classic and wish you'd been more adventurous? I'd love to hear....

Beautiful and Classic Tallulah by Sassi Holford.

Have a wonderful weekend peeps, we will be catching up with various friends and trying to get our house a little more organised. Fingers crossed we have sunshine for icecream breaks in the sun!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Real Bride talks...details

Good morning PiP peeps, this is the final instalment from Caroline of Patchwork Harmony as her wedding is just around the corner! Today she chats about the homemade details that are going to make her destination wedding truly unique. 

Well, I don’t know where the time has gone since my last post on finding my wedding dress! As always, life takes over I guess, and have had some big changes in terms of my career, so I have been busy with that… but now, here we are, only 4 weeks away from our big day, and I don’t know how its crept up so fast!

Charlotte Love designed their invitation suites 

I imagine the stress is about to kick in in the last few weeks, but to be honest I’ve found the whole process relatively stress free. Of course I don’t want to jinx things at this late stage, but I found as the planning was spread over quite a few months, that it was easy to do bits here and there. I’ve made a lot of things myself, with a little help from my mum. I’ve made tissue pom poms, some bunting, the favours, napkins, name tags, table plans and gifts for my bridesmaids. I also painted jars for our flowers and I made fans for our guests as the wedding is in the South of France so will (hopefully!) be warm.
I used Pinterest as my central place for gathering all my ideas, and constantly referred to the boards – there are so many fabulous ideas and themes out there, but I found you just need to refine what you really love and what will work together. I still worry whether everything is going to look right together on the day, seeing as you don’t get a chance to try it all out beforehand! But at the same time, I do not want an overly ‘matchy-matchy’ wedding, so will be happy if everything is a little mismatched and quirky, as that’s my style!

Pinterest inspired Caroline to try fabric bunting

It has definitely saved us money making lots of things ourselves. eBay and Etsy are great resources for craft supplies, especially when you need them in large quantities.  I also scoured car boot sales and markets for fabric we could make pretty napkins from, and I am also incorporating some of this leftover fabric into my table plan. It’s really worth doing your research online to find the best prices for things too, and it’s always advisable to ask for a discount if you are ordering in bulk. And of course look out for discount codes for your favourite online shops too. I bought lots of things from Pipii – but waited until they had a special offer on to order what I wanted. If you are organised you should have time to wait for this kind of thing.

Lavender confetti would be perfect for her French Destination Wedding

I found keeping a ‘wedding notebook’ is essential too. Mine is basically just a series of lists that I’ve ticked off as I’ve gone along. I also set up a separate email address which I used for wedding related things only. This seems slightly excessive, but it was great as it meant I could easily find the emails and info I needed, rather than trawling through all my work/personal email accounts.

We’ve only have one major hiccup so far – we encountered some problems with our marquee hire company as since February we were unable to contact them which was a great concern to us considering we had paid over £500 in deposit. We made the decision to change companies about 6 weeks before the wedding, as we felt it was too big a risk to rely on the company who had appeared to have gone AWOL.
We have just this week been promised the return of our deposit, so fingers crossed! But if you are looking for a reliable marquee hire company in the Dordogne we have decided to go with these guys, who also have a vintage package including a vintage bike to use in your photos, vintage teacups etc. We were so lucky to find them at the last minute and that they were available on our wedding day!

So overall, I think I’ve been a reasonably laid back bride to be! We shall see if that is still the case a few days before the big day! I will be sure to pop back to Poppy in Pearls with a few photos from the day! You never know, I might even share some sneak peeks on my instagram feed!

PiP is wondering if yummy French macaroons will feature at the wedding...

Caroline, we wish you a wonderful wedding! It sounds fabulous and I cannot wait to hear all about it and see the pictures! Don't forget PiP is on Pinterest if you want some inspiration for your own big day. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

Boutique Delights... The Mews

We've had a break but I want to revisit the boutique delights series we started with this year.
One of the boutiques I was most excited to visit was the ever popular The Mews in Clifton Village, Bristol.

During the pop-up shop last summer many of the brides visiting had been to try on at The Mews and the feedback was always super positive. I would while away many hair appointments grilling my hairdresser Clare about her dress as she too was a 'Mews bride'.

So it was with an excited heart I took two buses and a train to visit Gail and her team one frosty December morning. 

The Mews started off as a bijou boutique in Clifton Village a few years ago when Gail decided to go for her dreams and open a wedding boutique, with room for just 20 dresses she quickly grew out of the space and moved to the current home at no. 30.

The glamorous two storey boutique offers dresses by Suzanne ('Queen of corsetry') Neville, Stephanie Allin, Jenny Packham, Alice Temperley, Amanda Wakely and new to the Mews ethical designer Sanyukta Shrestha - who offers dresses in hemp and bamboo cotton - one of the softest materials I've touched. As well as accessories by Polly Edwards and Jenny Packham and shoes by PiP favourite Rachel Simpson.

Sanyukta Shrestha' Alice. Such lovely detail on the collar and cuffs.

Dresses range from £1800 to £4000 with the majority costing between £2000 and £2500, The Mews bride is generally a stylish professional woman who is looking for that dream dress and with over 50 dresses to choose from you will inevitably find it here. PiP is a big fan of The Mews as all their designers are British and with such a friendly knowledgable team behind the appointments you will have a truly wonderful experience.
The Mews don't let you down on their details either, with little touches like dress bags scented with a fragrance they use in the shop, to remind you of when you 'found the one' as well as little blue bows stitched into each dresses to cover your 'something blue'. 

Wallis by Sanyukta Shrestha

Vintage elegance at it's best in Wallis, Sanyukta Shrestha
The Mews is open Tuesday to Saturday check their website for Designer Days with Suzanne Neville, Jenny Packham and Stephanie Allin. 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Introducing....Real Bride

Well folks we are back and I'd like to introduce you all to our new Real Bride, Alex. 

The beginning.
    Dave and I met through mutual friends at a house party back in 2007. When we met he was still in the army so only around at weekends which meant we got to know each other slowly, going on odd dates here and there. You will quickly realise throughout my pieces for PiP that I don’t like to rush big decisions, so this suited me perfectly. (Something I know I will have to overcome over the coming months!).  Luckily however Dave is the complete opposite and loves jumping in with both feet. After 6 months together we went on a backpacking holiday around Thailand, I think it was then that I realised that he was a keeper!
    2012 was always going to be an exciting year. We started the new year having just sold the flat we had shared together for three and half years, so January was spent busy looking for our first ‘home’ together. In February we made an offer on a house and in March we moved in! The house needed lots of work but we both instantly fell in love with it. We were ready for the challenge and excited about making this house our home.

The engagement
    I had always freaked out at the idea of getting married, I knew one day it would happen and I knew it would be with Dave but it felt so very grown up, and something I hadn’t quite got my head around. I loved seeing my friends and sisters get married, but the time wasn’t right for me…… yet. Buying the house together made these feelings change; suddenly it felt like I wanted to get married, and I wanted to get married NOW! Dave is quite used to my irrational mind and found it quite amusing that I had spent years saying don’t propose to me… me saying I want to get married now (usually after a few glasses of wine)!
     Despite all of my hints the engagement was a surprise. It was the opening night of the London 2012 Olympic Games. I was completely swept up in Olympic fever having spent years working on projects in the build up to it, so I was desperate to get to our friends house to watch the Opening Ceremony. After a four hour drive heading down to Devon you can imagine my frustration when I thought Dave had taken a wrong turn, we were on the sea front in Sidmouth (not where our friends live)! Unbeknown to me he had booked a surprise night away. The suspicions started when we had champagne in our room, but I went along with it (feeling a little bit giddy with excitement). We headed down for dinner in the hotel restaurant, and then ventured out to find a bar. As we walked along the beach picking up pebbles and shells Dave bent down to pick something up, as I walked over to see what he had found, his pebble turned out to be an engagement ring. Yay! It was my turn at last! Needless to say his was forgiven for planning this all on the Opening Ceremony night, I like to think the fire work display in London was arranged for me!

And there’s more!
    If that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, Saturday night was spent celebrating our friends 30th birthday and then on the Sunday we had already arranged to see a dog in Plymouth that needed re- homing. We went to see him and fell in love. Driving home that evening felt quite surreal, me in the back of the car admiring my shiny new bling and Baxter our new black Labrador sitting in the front with Dave. If Carlsberg made weekends, this would be mine! 

The gorgeous Baxter

 What a fabulous engagement story, a surprise night away, champagne, beaches and a beautiful dog! We cannot wait to hear the next instalment from Alex!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

PiP is back!

Hello folks,
We are back. SO sorry for the hiatus, it has been a very busy few months. A house move and a lot of freelance work have meant PiP has been a little quiet but panic not we are back and excited for a summer of weddings and new products coming soon to the website.

This week we will hear from new PiP Real Bride Alex and stay tuned for a boutique delight from the amazing The Mews in Clifton, Bristol.

By way of apology for the quietness here on the blog we'd like to offer PiP fans 10% off online. Just use voucher code 'pipjune' at checkout for your saving. Happy shopping!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday Finds...

This Friday will find me mostly devouring pancakes that look like birthday cakes! As yes, ssshhh it might be a big one this year and this is the only way to cope!

 Have a wonderful weekend PiP peeps xx

See you next week for more boutique sneak peeks!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Real Bride talks dresses

I thought we'd take a pause from the boutique reports this week and let PiP's Real Bride Caroline of Patchwork Harmony tell us about her dress shopping experience. 

At the beginning of our engagement I was adamant that I would not spend ridiculous amounts of money on my wedding dress. I thought, I can sniff out a bargain and there is no need for that excess. I went to some small wedding fairs initially and tried on a few dresses, which were affordable, and I thought, yeah I can do this on a budget! But of course, you start looking around don’t you?! I found myself trawling Pinterest and the masses of wedding blogs online and soon my eyes were opened to the many stunning options available.  I decided to book an appointment at Mirror Mirror in London, and while my mum and I sipped champagne at 10am in the morning, I tried on some of the most beautiful dresses. It was so much more of an experience and it helps when they pin the dress to your figure, which I hadn’t had at any of the wedding fairs. I soon realised that I was going to spend much more than I first thought!

And hey, why restrict your wedding dress quest to just one city?! So I decided in August to meet my three bridesmaids in Paris for a day of ‘oohing’, ‘aahing’ and ‘oh my gods’!
We visited three boutiques.  The first, Delphine Manviet, turned out not to suit me at all, despite their bohemian, whimsical style, which I thought was right up my street.

Delphine Manivet

The 2nd appointment was with Laure de Sagazan, an independent Parisian designer, and the main reason I wanted to go to Paris! In a warehouse style space in a back street, Laure’s delicate designs hang, and are truly stunning. Sadly down to some of my own personal body hang up’s the dresses weren’t quite right for me, but I felt privileged to have tried them on nonetheless.

Laure de Sagazan

Laure de Sagazan

The 3rd and final stop on our Paris trip was a designer whose dresses I’d already tried on in London and it turned out that was where I found ‘the one’! And would you believe, it was the very first dress I tried on with my mum! It’s definitely true you shouldn’t buy the first dress you see, but sometimes it transpires that that was in fact the one for you all along! As I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my guests who might read this, I am going to keep the chosen one a secret for now I’m afraid!

I loved searching for my dress, and while a shopping trip to Paris may seem a tad extravagant, really it was only a Eurostar ticket and one night in a budget hotel.  In fact you wouldn’t necessarily need to stay the night, first train out and last train back would be fine.  I just knew if I didn’t try on Laure’s dresses I would always have wondered if I would have found ‘the one’ there, so it was worth it. Plus it was a nice way for my three bridesmaids to meet each other.

At the start I remember being slightly daunted about dress shopping – I knew nothing about wedding dress designers, but these days we are so lucky to have so many fantastic blogs, magazines and online resources to help you with your research.
Personally I think it helps to work out what style you want – as in bohemian, vintage, contemporary, classic etc, and then try on as many as you can in that style.  

And remember you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find ‘the one’. Or, realise it was waiting for you all along.  Appropriate theory for both men and wedding dresses it seems! 

Don't forget to check out PiPs advice on that all important (and exciting) first trip to a Bridal boutique. And if you are after some inspiration you can take a peek at PiP's Pinterest

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday Finds

Happy Friday peeps, I hope none of you are snowed in!

I thought I would start this Friday Finds with some of Jayne's favourite dresses from the Rookery Manor Bridal shop in Bath 

Pronovias ULA

Pronovias PETUNIA

Most popular in the shop is Pronovias PERGOLA

Maggie Sottero BELIZE

What do you think folks? Which would you be queuing up to try on?

In case you missed it here is a link to the Wedding Dress Shopping tips I picked up as I visited the different boutiques. 

Also, have you seen PiP is on Pinterest? Do you follow us? If not, get on there now folks!

And finally, in January Joy news this week has seen me: 

  • Painting my nails for Monday's Mani
  • Reading the new Style Me Pretty Wedding book from American blogger Abby Larson 

What about you folks, have you been taking part in Florence Finds' January Joy tasks this week?