Thursday, 28 July 2011

A Taste Of Lancashire: MDL Fireworks

Elaine Robb is a director at MDL Fireworks Ltd. MDl Fireworks specialise in supplying stunning firework displays for weddings. "Our displays are bespoke to each client & venue.  We work all over the North West of England but have travelled as far afield as Stornoway, Newcastle, Birmingham, Wales.  We have worked at some of the most prestigious venues in the area.  We have been trading now for six years although both myself and my partner have been in the firework industry for many years we have over 45 years combined experience."

Here at Lancashire Bride we know that a lot of venues are very particular about having fireworks due to the noise and strict safety procedures that have to be adhered to.  MDL fireworks are able to combat this by offering a very low noise range of products that still give visual impact to the display but has minimum noise disruption. 

"Safety is paramount at every display we do, before agreeing to do a display we will visit the venue to do a full risk assessment on the site to ensure that it is safe to use fireworks on, if we do not think it’s safe ie has enough safety distances we will say so and will not do the display. I have had brides change their venue because they really wanted fireworks but the venue was not suitable. We are also fully insured for our displays." As Elaine pointed out to us it is very important that you make sure your supplier has full insurance cover and a lot of venues will ask for a copy of their insurance certificate.

"We are fully insured and our professionally trained pyrotechnician’s will make sure that your special day ends in a spectacular blaze of colour. We can provide a host of effects that can be designed especially for you both, including your initials in fireworks, waterfall effects (site permitting) aerial shells that burst in the shape of love hearts in the sky and Champagne bottles with a froth of silver. Just tell us what you would like and we can design it."

One of their busiest times of year, is of course, Bonfire Night, which always books up quickly, but the rest of 2011 is looking equally as busy for MDL Fireworks. 

You can see their website at or view our wedding DVD on YouTube or email Elaine at

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A Taste Of Lancashire: My Fair Vintage

My Fair Vintage offers an extensive range of beautiful handpicked vintage crockery and accessories that are available to hire for any event, covering Lancashire and Yorkshire. They also offer a bespoke venue styling service for weddings and country events. This can cover styling the whole venue or purely assisting with the table settings.

Lancashire Bride spoke to Sally from My Fair Vintage to discover why the business was set up. "I started the business through a love of styling and vintage china. Whenever we entertain at home I thoroughly enjoy styling the table, choosing the flowers, picking out the linens and china. I have always had a keen interest in interiors as my family are interior designers and I have been a fashion stylist plus wedding photographer’s assistant in the past. Weddings are always such a happy event and it is so lovely to be able to work within this industry."

"After doing some research I decided to get out there and start adding to my vintage china collection which has now grown considerably. The reason why I think vintage china is so popular now is that not only does it look so fabulous but it is also a way for the host to show their appreciation to their guests for sharing their special day with them.  It’s the detail that makes the day truly memorable."

As a regular blog reader Sally says she gets her inspiration from all over the workd.  "There are so many ways to work the vintage look. A traditional English country garden party theme can be achieved by using vintage table linen, bunting, vintage tea cups and cake stands full of beautiful cup cakes, tea pots filled with country flowers, bon bon dishes full to the brim with sweets. Or elegant, Hollywood vintage can be achieved using glass candlesticks, etched champagne glasses, silver cutlery, monochrome floral displays.  Additionally the vintage look can be perfectly mixed with a more modern look by simply using a few key pieces."

With Sally carefully handpicking each piece herself and with her knowledge and enthusiasm for decor, we are sure that My Fair Vintage are going to be a huge hit!  

A full price list is available at and Sally will be 
exhibiting at Samlesbury Hall Wedding Fair Sunday 4th September and at the Spread Eagle at Sawley Wedding Fair October 2nd.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Taste Of Lancashire: Kerry Blu

I have a very special supplier on the blog today, an award winner nonetheless!

Based in Blackpool, Kerry Blu  is one of UK’s leading costume jewellery online retailers. Specialising in bridal jewellery and tiaras, they have handpicked a stunning mix of designs featuring beautiful handcrafted and ready-to-wear jewellery and tiaras ranging from vintage inspired statement pieces to more delicate designs. They also have a range of lovely finishing touches to make your wedding that extra bit special.

"What our customers love about our jewellery and accessories is that there is something for everyone. From our elite range to our budget range you will find your perfect piece of gorgeousness amongst our boutique! We also offer a semi-bespoke service, so even if you don’t see exactly what you want amongst our collection we can tailor our handcrafted items to suit your colour scheme or preferred finish."
Their boutique collection of headpieces and jewellery can be found at Blush Bridal Boutique in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire and they are currently looking for more Lancashire stockists.
 These gorgeous peices also secured Kerry Blu the County Brides Award for Best Accessories.
"In 2011 we were thrilled to be nominated for an award by County Brides Magazine for best bridal accessories in the North West. Our customers and brides-to-be had been voting for us online in the weeks leading up to the awards. The lavish black tie charity awards ceremony took place on 24th June where we were one of four finalists in our category for best accessories. We were absolutely delighted to win the award. All proceeds from the event were donated to Breast Cancer Care and Christies Hospital."
For more information on Kerry Blue please see

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Taste Of Lancashire: Love Bouquets

I am very excited to feature this little Lancashire beauty today.  And I think the reason why speaks for itself...

I love these beautiful, sparkly and unique alternatives to the traditional flower bouquets, and can see why Natalie from Love Bouquet is kept very busy!
Love Bouquets provide vintage and modern crystal and brooch bouquets.  The company began when Natalie began making her own bouquet for her wedding, she then posted pics on a forum only to receive a huge response. And a business was born!

Natalies very own bouquet

Since starting the business Natalie has become super busy. ' We believe its because we offer the highest quality but at an affordable price, we also offer great customer service and most of our brides turn into friends after the wedding as we work so closely with them to create there dream bouquet.  Inspiration comes from antique jewellery. I find that if I have alot of art deco brooches it encourages me to design a bouquet based on the era. We also try to design things to fit in with current trends so if blue is next years colour we will create a bouquet to fit, when it was the royal wedding we created a bouquet themed around the union jack.' 

Love Bouquets most popular bouquet is a 10x10" round crystal posy.  It is very large for a crystal bouquet but also very pretty and can be tweaked to suit themes, colours and we usually add pictures of loved ones.  And its also very good value for money.   'Sarah’s Teardrop is my favourite design, we created it for a dear friend of mine who has cancer and we are currently raffling it off to raise money for Macmillan nurses(its currently raised over £1000.) its an elegant design and is very wow.'

Sarah's bouquet

Its not just bridal bouquets that Natalie offers.  Other products include bridesmaid and flower girl posys and buttonholes.  The posies make a brilliant gift and keepsakes for your bridesmaids too.

Love Bouquet are based in Bury, Lancashire but will ship their bouquets all over the world.   "They travel really well, all our bouquets are sent special delivery insured."  Make sure you check out their website for more gorgeous pics.  And if you want to contact Natalie to discuss your bouquet please email

Saturday, 16 July 2011

My First Networking Experience

So as some of you may know, I had my first networking experience on Thursday at Wyrebank Banqueting Suite in Garstang, Lancashire. 

Networking is something that I've been advised to take part in to progress my business and to make some great contacts, however, as a novice, even the thought of it sent shivers down my back! So the day before I was tweeting and googling for advice.  I was told by my close friends and family that I had a great product so just hold my head up high and talk about what I know! Google on the other hand scared me senseless.  Tips included not to talk too much about yourself, to have a set of questions ready to fire out and to get there early to distribute my business cards.  Was making business contacts really going to be so prescribed?

So I set an action plan to be slightly early to scope out the formality of the situation and to play it by ear from there.  I arrived and was given my badge by Sarah from Black Zest Solutions who was hosting the event along with Stuart at The Wyrebank and then came the scary bit... what to do next? I bit the bullet and jumped straight in, marching over to another early arrival and started chatting away (but trying not to talk too much about myself at the same time!).

I needn't have worried, there were some great people there and I finally got to meet Jonathan from Bean Photo after all the help he has given me with the blog! The event was ideal for me to attend as a beginner, before I head off to my next hardcore networking event where I have to stand up and introduce myself and the business (gulp!).  I also felt very priviliged to meet and listen to Nikki Hesford from Miss Fit Uk.  Being an active user of social media I have heard quite a bit about Nikki in twitter world and she certainly lived up to her reputation.  Her talk on social netowkring was both eye opening and enlightening and will certainly change the way I use Twitter.

Stuart had even put on a fancy afternoon tea complete with fruit kebabs, dainty sandwiches and cakes of all kinds. However, I was quickly informed that normally its just tea and biscuits at other events so not to get used to it!
I left Wyrebank feeling elated and happy that a) it had gone really well from a business point of view and b) i had done it on a personal level! Now I can't wait for my next event and for the Brides Up North Tweet Up to meet more like minded people!

Tweet Ups

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Taste of Lancashire: Bean Photography

Hi Jonathan, please introduce yourself and what you do.

Jonathan Bean Photography (or 'Beanphoto' to keep it short) is pretty much me. I like to photograph things, weddings in particular – I mean how great to be given the opportunity to follow people around all day, dressed up in their finest, all happy to the hilt in the company of their family and friends and to take all the pictures I want – how cool is that! And an honour too, being trusted with the responsibility of capturing  a couple's greatest day.

             How did you get into photography?

I did my degree in photography, but then sidetracked and worked in bookshops for 15 years! About 6 years ago I realised that I really missed it, and started up again. I could not have made a better decision – it's the best job ever!

    Glad to hear that! So where can we find you and what areas/venues do you cover?

I'm based in Lancaster, so I mostly cover Lancashire and the South Lakes, but I'm available to go farther afield too. We have some great wedding venues in Lancashire, including two amazing places right on my doorstep, The Midland Hotel in Morecambe and The Ashton Memorial in Lancaster, both of which are stunning and hard venues to beat.

 I offer a variety of packages to suit the variety of weddings, big, small, intimate, grand. I always offer a disc of the images for people to print at home, along with options for albums or mounted prints, even boxed prints, together with an online gallery where guests can view and buy pictures too.

Can you tell our readers how you will work on their wedding day?

A full days photography will start with the bridal preparations, still one of my favourite parts of the day. I guess it's all that bottled up anticipation and excitement, and I'm a bit of a big girl at heart (so my wife says!). From there it'll be off to find the groom and his friends to spend some time with them before the guests start to arrive and the service starts. For the service, I like to work quietly and discreetly, no flash photography, one eye on the couple and the other looking out for mum wiping tears away, the father of the bride swelling up with pride, or the flower girl pulling petals from her posy.

My favourite part of the day is just after the service, when it's smiles all round and I get a chance to kick back, put on the longer lens and capture the candid shots of the individual guests, before the group shots and then the wedding breakfast. Shooting the  speeches is such fun, and a great opportunity again for individual shots of guests (often in fits of laughter and tears of embarrassment). Inbetween I'll be on the lookout for the little details of the day that make it all so personal – the table decorations, the dress and the shoes, the rings, the buttonholes and the flowers, and of course the cake. I'll sometimes stay on to get the dancing into the evening too, then a sandwich in the car and a drive home.

 What's your photography style?

I like to work very informally and candidly, I suppose my ideal instruction from clients would be “just do your thing”, and thankfully that's exactly what many of them say – it's a great feeling of trust. I'll still do the group shots of course – it keeps grandma happy!  It's important that I get on with my couples so they can feel relaxed and at ease with me around. That's why we'll always meet up before the day to chat about things and we'll keep in touch on email or Facebook.

People say my pictures have a great sense of fun in them, I love that, it's like “Yes! Job done” when people say that! I love to search out the emotions of the day, all the fun, joy, nervousness, laughter, pride, and of course love! I was brought up in darkrooms, processing my own films and prints, and I still love black and white photography, but now with digital, I can offer far more choice to couples.

Your blog is fantastic.  Do you think this helps bride understand how you work?

Keeping the blog up to date with new weddings, shoots and other work is crucial to my business. I hear from brides all the time that they love looking through my blog, picking up ideas and inspiration, or just for the pretty, sometimes even long after their own wedding! There's almost no excuse for not having a blog these days, brides demand to see new work, and it keeps me on my toes too! These days most of my clients find me through my blog, that or Facebook, so it's vital I keep it up to date. The blog is also a chance for me to express myself a little, have a bit of fun, be a little playful, and just let my personality come through  bit more than is possible on my website.

So have u had any unusual requests?

There have been  a few unusual requests like the one some years back where the groom asked me if I could do the 'arse shot' – all of the groomsmen were in kilts, so I'm sure you can guess what he meant!

 Can you give us an idea of prices? 

 My prices start at about £500 but a full price list is available on my website (

    Where can our readers meet you?
I can be found in various places including...
My website can be found at and my blog at

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Wyrebank Banqueting Suite

Nestling on the river bank in Garstang (Preston), Wyrebank Banqueting Centre is a far away cry from the big city hotels.  Away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it offers the perfect location for a relaxed wedding in a unique setting.  The pictures really do not do it justice, the location has to be seen to be believed.  As a relatively new building Wyrebank benefits from the natural views and wildlife of the Canal.  Team this with their reputation for their meticulous attention to detail and outstanding customer service,Wyrebank offers a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere that they hope makes your event truly memorable.

Wyrebank can cater for upto 120 seated guests and work withseeral local suppliers to offer you several wedding packages to suit all budgets (bronze, silver and gold).  Please see their wedding brochures for more information.  They are also licensed to hold civil ceremonies.

Their delicious dishes are served and created by Michelin accredited chefs at outside caterers Borough of Lancaster.   "At the Borough we made a promise to all of our customers that the food we provide will be of the best possible quality and always sourced locally from Lancashire and Cumbria, and we extend this promise to our Hog Roast catering service."

"At the core of our business is our promise to you to serve local produce and, wherever possible, purchase from local suppliers directly. We firmly believe in supporting our nearest and dearest, all our chicken and eggs are free range; our beef is 45 day aged from local farms in the surrounding hills and valleys. We try, wherever possible, to use local and independent suppliers, keeping our carbon footprint low and our local economy buzzing."

 To discuss having your big day at The Wyrebank please call Stuart on 01995 605455 or email stuart@wyrebank-functions.couk.  Alternatively they are holding a Wedding Fayre on Sunday 25th September 2011 from 12pm.

And don't forget their 'Social Networking Event' is being held on Thursday, book you place now!

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Financially Savvy Bride

Now I am not going to try and brainwash you with a guide to cutting down your wedding and compromising the important things.  We all know that this is the biggest day of your life and we all deserve the best.  So instead of asking yourself if you really need that fourth course of Cheese & Biscuits just be vigilent and start thinking of other ways to save and make money.  Here is my top guide on how to be financially savvy, so if you want those diamond encrusted Louboutins then go ahead and get them!

1. Credit Cards
Some would say they are the root of all evil but use them properly and they do have their uses.  If you pay for items costing between £100- £30,000 then you are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.  This means that if your honeymoon airline goes bust or the florist that you booked and paid a deposit for months in advance goes under that you can claim back these costs from the credit card company.  Just make sure you pay the credit card off at the end of the month before you start incurring charges!

Some credit cards also give you money back as you spend, such as the American Express Platinum Cashback card which offers customers a top 5% cashback rate for the first 3 months spending of upto £2000. Giving you extra spends for your wedding, just make sure you pay it off at the end of the month or the cashback will be completely pointless.  The Ryanair Credit Card allows you at earn upto 5 'bonus flights.'  This relies on the matter that you spend a certain amount of money within a certain timespan, but use it properly and pay it of monthly and you could get free honeymoon flights.  However, these bonus flights are for european destinations only and there is also red tape so check the t's & c's before you commit.

2. Stoozing
Stoozing is the affectionate name given by the chaps at Money Saving Expert to making free money of 0% Credit Cards.  Read Martin Lewis' guide to find out more  WARNING this is only for the very financial confident ladies out there.

3. Tesco Clubcard
Tesco Clubcard points can be exchanged for 3 times their value with certain partners.  Why not use them at Goldsmiths to purchase your wedding rings or they also have a very good holiday section for your honeymoon/hen do.

4.  ISAS
Cash ISAs allow every adult in the UK to put £5340 in savings, tax free.  Use an ISA with a good interest rate and this will give you a healthy return.  Just make sure you get one with good accessibility as you dont want to be waiting for your money for 2 months!

5.  Mystery Shopping
Mystery shopping will not make you a lot of money but be clever about it and it could contribute towards your wedding.  As a former member of mystery shopping group I was often offered jobs for overnight stays which could be tied in with hen/stag dos.  Many high street stores also use retail eyes meaning that the little bits and peices that you need could potentially be free with a little payment on the side too. 

6.  Wedding Fayres (see our Wedding Fayre calendar for whats on)
Get smart when it comes to the fayres.  Do your research and find out whose attending what fayre and when.  If theres a certain supplier you want to book or an item you want, find out what fayres they will be at.  Chances are that they will be running some sort of special offer, which will only run on the day of the fayre so be prepared and take your chequebook!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Moodboard: Lancashires Red Rose

A red rose themed moodboard to inspire the romantic brides out there.
Credits: Martha Stuart Weddings, Simply Bows and Chair Covers,,  

How cute are the red velvet cakes by the way? Although their orginally from an American based recipe, it is such an unusual yet striking cake and could be the talking point of any wedding.  And believe me, they taste good too!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Fit For A Princess

In the aftermath of the Royal Wedding, a very unexpected high street shop has bowed down to the wishes from future brides to be with a lookalike of the Sarah Burton for McQueen wedding gown that our very own Duchess of Cambridge wore on her wedding day a few months ago.

Peacocks (yes, you heard me right) have created this limited edition fifties style gown complete with sweetheart neckline and lace sleeves.  Peacocks head of ladieswear, Antonella Bettley, had this to say about the dress,  "Catherine's dress had elements that translated well for our customers, the classic neckline with the overlay of lace, and full skirt, were not only classically beautiful but also flattering for a womanly figure."  The dress would be perfect for a low key wedding or as a second dress for your evening reception and compliments the fifites glamour theme perfectly.

The dress will go on sale exclusively online on August 7th and will cost a mere £60!

And I will be first in that virtual queue!

And now, from the real life princess to the make believe... 

Proving that fairytales really do come true, Disney have teamed up with wedding dress designer Alfred Angelo to create series of gowns inspired by all the Disney princesses we grew up with.

Liam Gallagher, Director of Fashion and Home for The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland, stated: 'All brides want to feel like a princess on their special day and we look forward to bringing a little Disney magic to weddings across the country with this new collection of stylish Disney Princess-inspired wedding gowns with Alfred Angelo.' 




Snow White

Whilst the Ariel boasts a fitted basque with a fishtail skirt, the Jasmin is more exotic in style with a bold bejewled halter neck to bring in the Eastern influences from the film.  The Cinderella very much replicas the blue gown (apart from the colour!) from the film with a full bodied skirt of tulle, glitter and taffeta.  Similar in style is the Belle dress, which offers a detachable shrug to bring it inline with the famous gold dress from Beauty and The Beast.  The Snow White features a lace bodice of organza apple blossoms with shimmering rhinestone and crystal centers, making it very fitting for the modern day princess. The Tiana and Rapunzel dresses are also available.

We have one problem though, how will we ever choose just one?