Supplier Spotlight…HF Couture

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I think every wedding dress needs a little something extra, whether its a set of pearls or a diamond necklace, accessories can take it to the next level, and the following collections from HF Couture certainly do that. Fabulous cuffs, necklaces, headpieces and so much more from a very talented Yorkshire designer.




Name: Jane Hardman-Ferris
Twitter: @HFCouture
Website: http://www.hfcouture.co.uk/

Biography: Where to start? Hmmm ‘A life well lived’…thus far…. Born in London, brought up in Fulham and surrounded by Bohemian types..well it was
the late 60s/70s – lots of hippies, thesps, Buddhist monks and the odd R1 DJ like Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman who was a lodger at my friend Fionas Mums house. Life was very conventional on one hand yet quite mad bonkers on another like dinner being delivered by the waiters from Bentleys Oyster Bar (in a taxi) because Mum was out with Aunty Grace (Lady Grace Bentley wife of Derek Bentley the owner) My Nanna and Aunty Grace had wonderful jewellery which is I believe where my love of all things bling started…





Life changed somewhat on our move to Leeds in 1974. We were aliens from another planet up here back then. However the arts were encouraged by my family everything from Ballet to Art Galleries and stately homes were our weekend diets – other kids played out with their mates. Read a very ‘normal’ subject at degree level though as I wanted a very ‘proper’ job…so off I toddled and studied Social Policy (yawn) then ended up working in Admissions for Leeds Met University – made some wonderful friends sadly had to work for some people who would make Peppa Pig look intellectual.





I refused to pay ridiculous money for headdresses when I was getting hitched so I made my own and it dawned I was fairly good. Realised after a major life changing episode* and having married a wonderful man that life most definitely had more to offer so enrolled on a Millinery course and ran away from exceedingly well paid job to relative pauperism 4 years ago. Now? I adore my job we can eat and well and I have created pieces for television and celebrities and hoping to utilise my historical knowledge to break into period pieces for theatre, film and television very soon.


Suppliers
: Everywhere from the UK to the USA to Japan and France and Italy for the
silk I use.

My Favourite Piece:
At the moment it’s the Haskell inspired collection which I have started
with a headdress, cuff and necklace and the Clementine necklace again inspired by Miriam Haskell and named after Clemmie Churchill wife of Sir Winston. My mother worked for Harvey Nicks in London and was the member of staff who looked after her when she shopped at the store.

Inspiration:
I love and have always loved the fashions from the 20th Century
everything from the Art Nouveau movement through to Erte and the designs for Diaghlievs Ballets Russe through the Art Deco Period and Chanel to Diors New Look and the House of Worth, Hardy Amies to Belville Sassoon, to Vivienne Westwood to Galliano. My favourite bridal designers are Elizabeth Emanuel and Terry Fox. I can find inspiration anywhere though in a leaf to a piece of sculpture…

A Quick Q & A

Colour: Purple – sinful but restful and possibly very naughty….




Film: Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Historically bunkum but the costumes are wow





Song: Hazel O Connor ‘Stay Now’





Month: June and I can run away to Scotland!





Drink: Rioja or a really good Cava





Food: Oysters as they are no faffing around with them!





Word: Mellifluous someone I once adored said I had a mellifluous voice….sigh





Perfume: Penhaligons Cornubia





Book: The Golden Age of Couture and another book simply called ‘Tiaras’ all designers porn!






All of Jane’s beautiful pieces can be found on www.hfcouture.co.uk, a wonderful lady and fantastically talented.


(I dont know why this post wont align properly? Any help welcome!)

A Whimsical Woodland Wedding

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
With the advent of spring just around the corner, I am turning my attention to a spring wedding. With mossy, spring greens and rich woodland browns, little animals, sparkling glass and twinkling lights, its all very ‘a midsummer nights dream’


From the invites and favours to the food and decor, bring out your inner fairy with floaty peach, pinks and lavender coloured fabrics. Sumptuously splendid and one up on the English tea party theme. So do you fancy being Oberon and Titania?



A Very Royal Blue Christmas List

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I know I have featured blue and peacocks before (here and here) but its a specific shade of blue, so completely different and totally relevant.


After tracking down Kate Middleton’s beautiful blue engagement announcement dress I remember how much I adore the colour! I was initially going to have my bridesmaids in a deep, warm blue but they turned it down at our first wedding meeting.


Pictured is THE dress, designed by Issa. It has been out of stock on net a porter since the announcement. So, I thought perhaps Father Christmas could buy me something else? And not the Tesco “Kate” dress nor the replica ring (here and here)…why oh why?! This colour would look wonderful on bridesmaids, with the bride carrying this peacock feather bouquet. Non?

Coming up on my blog, I feature three beautiful brides to be. And as I set out into the wedding business world, I look at some of Yorkshire’s finest wedding suppliers.


PS – I know it isn’t blue, but I also want one for christmas. Forgive me.


Dress, earrings – www.netaporter.com
Rings – www.tiffany.com
Handbag – www.harrods.com

The Finale

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Well. This is it. I couldn’t believe that it went so quickly. I tried to take a few minutes every once in a while to just realise what was going on. Whether it was at the church, in the car, sat at top table or drinking mulled wine I was grateful for every second.


It was the best day of my life. I married the man that dreams are made of (well mine anyway) and I got to spend it with friends and family. It was perfect and I could not have asked for anything more. You can do all the planning in the world, but its the people that make you day extraordinary not the fact you have a candy buffet or a magician. Think about this when planning.


I want to share with you a link to a video that one of Michaels friends did. It was taken on his iphone4 as a little gift to us. You can watch it HERE. Its quite lengthy. You can skip to the 23min mark to watch my first dance.

Im sad its all over, but I still have little things to look forward to, such as getting back all the photos, our gift list goodies arriving and decorating our first proper home in all the photos and treasured memories from that day.

Thank you so much for taking the time to indulge me by reading this, it means a lot. And a thank you to Miss Pickering. Not only was she my florist, she helped in times of nervousness, stressfulness and general wedding guidance and I am gutted I wont be able to see her as much now that the wedding is over.

Enjoy!

Introducing Mr And Mrs…

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We were introduced for the first time as Mr and Mrs (I was still smiling) there were more cheers, camera flashes, more tears (namely by my father) and we were then seated at top table behind the beautiful flowers Miss Pickering had done. We ate, we drank, we enjoyed speeches, I had my photo taken more times than I care to remember but I started to realise that it was all going too quickly.


Before I knew it, it was 17.30 and my wedding breakfast was over, I had a little wobble. All the time planning, the little stresses, the bickering, all the effort was all zooming by. Technically it wasn’t nearly over as we had from 17.30 till carriages at midnight, but it was going too quickly and I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to take off my dress, ever, and I wanted little girls to keep calling me a princess in hotel toilets. The way Michael had looked at me all day made my heart skip a beat, my father was crying at any mention of “proud,beautiful, wedding” and in a few hours it was all going to be over. I dwelled for at least 30 minutes…naughty bride.

I was then ushered up to my honeymoon suite where my bridesmaids and I cracked open some more champagne (can I just point out, I was continually drinking but never got drunk – thank you biology). I kicked off my wedding shoes, hoiked my dress over my knees and sat cross-legged on the bed with my four closest girl friends. Any blues I was having had disappeared, we were already reminiscing about the beautiful ceremony and the guests who travelled so far to be there, we laughed, drank, they tried on my veil and I was back in my wedding bubble. We touched up our make-up, spritzed, groomed, brushed and we were good to go. Evening guests would be arriving and the second flood of compliments were about to commence. Crap. That meant it was nearly time for my first “dance”.

Nothing had gone wrong, and nothing did go wrong. But the moment I was dreading was about to appear. I am no elegant swan and Michael is definitely not a lordly lion (Harry Potter quote, enjoy). AND. It was captured on film. Which I will of course share with you.


A Very Vintage Bauble

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I met Joanne from VintageTwee on Twitter (@VintageTwee). She saved my life just before my wedding, providing me with some beautiful shades of ribbon and luggage tags. She was cool, calm, collected and was very helpful. When I saw that she had some VintageTwee baubles I was beside myself.


It arrived in the post literally 20 minutes ago. And here it is! It came in a beautiful pink polka dot box, and snuggled inside was this beauty! Follow this link to win your own bauble.

Please have a look at her website. You will find beautiful hand crafted, vintage inspired table decor for any occasion. I am just sorry I met her after I had already bought all of my decor because I would have loved more VintageTwee at my wedding.


Before The Gin Set In

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We were in the Bentley. We were married and it was all so surreal. We had to take a little tour around Stamford to give the guests and photographer time to reach our venue. I was sat in the car in my wedding dress, next to my husband, driving down roads which I used to walk along when I was younger. I can’t remember what we spoke about in the car but I do remember tuning up to the venue and spotting the champagne, ready and waiting.


Before getting out of the car Michael gave my hand a little squeeze, I think he realised I was starting to get a little flappy and nervous, thinking “here we go again”. I elegantly clambered out of the wedding car, clutching dress and bouquet in one hand I took the aforementioned champagne and savoured every bubble (it was at this point that I remembered I didn’t eat breakfast and it would go straight to my head) I smiled at Michael , took his arm and walked to where we were going to have all our photos done.

Nearly a cold two hours and some mulled wine later it was time to be announced in to the dining room…Everything had gone perfectly so far. Surely something was going to go wrong?

The Moment of Relief

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The moment I heard the opening chords to Jerusalem (greatest hymn ever written by the way) I knew we were now on cruise control. Michael and I walked up to the altar where we kneeled, said the Lord’s Prayer then went into a smaller part of the church to sign the register. The rest of the wedding party followed and Michael and I finally got a chance to talk. I couldn’t really say anything of worth, just that he looked wonderful and that my foot was hurting. I felt so relieved. The serious parts were over and now we could go on to the more social and appealing part of the day.


We then linked arms and started to walk down the aisle as man and wife. I couldn’t stop smiling and I had never seen so many flashing cameras directed my way before. We doubled back up the church for some more photos by the altar. Then it was time. The moment every girl waits for. The church exit as depicted in multiple romantic films. I got little giddy tummy jumps as we approached the ancient archway.

Everyone was lined up in the very small (very slippy) graveyard. Clasping on to Michael for stability, I put an ivory cladded shoe onto the first step and strode into the dimming light, we were bombarded with confetti, met with cheers, whoops and of course sobs. It was perfect. And I was still smiling.


We precariously made our way to the bottom of a few steps then posed for photos with the rest of my entourage. The car pulled up, we had a few more photos then we got in the soft leather seated wedding car as a married couple. As man and wife. The fun was about to begin...

The Arrival of Moi

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Arriving at the church is my most treasured memory of the wedding day. The ceremony it self still is somewhat of a blur up until the signing of the register.
I gracefully got in to the car after having a few photos leaving the house. (It wasn’t graceful, more of a clamber). Dad sat next to me and asked me if I wanted a mint, (I never travel without them) he had hidden a stash in his sporran. The journey we were about to embark upon should have taken 3-4 minutes. On this Saturday, it took 20. A nerve racking 20. We stopped at every light. There was gridlock in town and two ambulances (ambulanci?!) attempted to get through the small cobbled lanes of Stamford. The church was within view and I was now a dramatic 10 minutes late. As we drove around the cobbles near the graveyard outside the church I got another little pang of nerves, hot flash and a tummy jump. I thought it could have resulted in a minor panic attack but then I saw her.
With a backdrop of a grey and miserable Stamford, she stood there in her taupe bridesmaids dress, fur coat and a beautiful bouquet. She had a concerned look on her face till we locked eyes and she smiled. A small crowd had now gathered at the entrance of the church, none of which I knew and it was so nice to see someone so familiar. My best friend of 19 years, my chief bridesmaid Katie. I “gracefully” got out of the car, had some photos with my dad, hugged Katie and made my way into towards the seemingly huge archway of the church.
I was greeted by two of Michael’s ushers who I hadn’t seen in years and the rest of my bridesmaids and flower-girls. My veil was now over my face, I could hear Rachmaninoff,Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini playing, and the Reverend was ushering me into the church. Deep breath. Quick glance at my Dad (who at this point was crying and continued to do so for the rest of the day) we linked arms and started to walk down the aisle. It was the most amazing and indescribable feeling, I could see Michael standing by the altar, there was a lot of camera flashing by my friends and family, then I was stood there. With a nod from my Daddy. I was nearly a wife. And I could not stop smiling.

 

My Wedding Eve | uk wedding blog

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Miss Pickering and friends photos.

The Thursday before my wedding, all was calm. I had two days to go. I had a variety of appointments all day, from a meeting with the florist to getting every inch of me waxed. My best friend and chief bridesmaid arrived, Michael was now staying too. It was fine. Then I woke up on Friday.

I always wondered how I would feel the day before my wedding, and in all honesty I was still not nervous and only marginally teetering on excitement. It was market day in town and we had numerous errands to run, from dropping off our favours to picking up Americans from the station. I was still mentally occupied with little tasks that I had almost forgotten why everyone was here.

We then had a church rehearsal at 6pm. (I advise all brides to do this the night before) Miss Pickering had put all of the flowers in place and they looked absolutely stunning. We went through what was going to happen, I messed up all the lines and stood in the wrong place but I felt better knowing what the general order would be. Then it hit me. Hot flash and slight wooziness followed. I was getting married in less than 24 hours. Crap, the nerves had hit.
I then had arranged for everyone that had travelled to Stamford to meet in a bar. Slowly it filled with all of our family and friends…this made it worse. I was now officially, for lack of a better word, bricking it. My mother had given me a curfew of 9pm. We arrived home. I had a bath and she made me some toast. I of course didn’t sleep, it was one of those nights where I heard the bells chime every hour on the hour.
Saturday the 20th of November arrived with grey skies and a mighty chill. I woke at 7.30 for hair and make up, and as my beautiful bridesmaids arrived, I realised they were just as nervous, I calmed down and the nerves turned into the most overwhelming excitement. By the time I had got into the car (in the attempted manner of Grace Kelly) I was completely serene. And I was on my way to becoming a wife.
Next installment…what it felt like to arrive at the church.