Saturday, 31 March 2012

Simply Summer Weddings: A Simply Bows and Chair Covers Real Life Bride marries at Langley Castle

What are your first names?
Fiona and Steven

Where and when did you get engaged?
We got engaged on 14th February 2009. After meeting at high school, we had been together almost 10 years when Steven proposed. Steven had it all planned and believe it or not I was completely surprised. He gave me a valentine’s card on the morning of Valentine’s Day 2009 and inside was a handmade ‘invitation’. The invitation said that I was invited to a ‘romantic evening out’ and that I was to ‘dress up’ I wasn’t allowed to ask any questions like ‘where are we going?’ or ‘what are we going to do?’ but I had to be ready for 7pm. So I began planning my outfit and doing my nails etc... 7pm came and as did the taxi that took us into Newcastle. We had a drink in ‘the pitcher and piano’ and Steven suggested that we start walking to the restaurant as we’d never been to this particular one. So we started walking along the quayside (but in the wrong direction of most of the pubs and bars in Newcastle!!) I was chatting away completely oblivious that Steven had another surprise (in his sock of all places!) he turned me around so that I had an incredible view of both the ‘millennium’ and ‘Tyne’ bridges lit up on a clear February night. He said that he had a present for me and handed me another valentines card I opened it and in big black letters he’d written ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME?’ when I looked up he was on one knee with my beautiful ‘brilliant cut’ platinum diamond ring. I was ecstatic and immediately said ‘yes!’. Later he had planned for us to have a meal in ‘SIX’ the restaurant at the top of the’ Baltic Art Gallery’. He had secretly ordered a bottle of rose champagne for arrival at our table... and we immediately began planning our big day...

What was your wedding date?
Saturday 30th July 2011

Where did you get married?
We got married on a beautiful summer’s day in July, the weather was glorious! Our ceremony took place at ‘Our Lady and St Edmunds RC Church’ in Backworth, North Tyneside. This church was special to me (Fiona) as it was my parish church but my parents were also married there many years ago. Our reception took place at the beautiful ‘Langley Castle’ in Hexham, Northumberland.

Why did you choose your venue?
After visiting a few of the popular wedding venues in Northumberland we had come across ‘Langley Castle’ on the internet and arranged an appointment to visit. 
On arrival, driving up the drive way and seeing the castle first hand, Steven and I both got the ‘feeling’ that this place was truly special. We were greeted by ‘Anton’ from the Management team and we offered complimentary coffee and a look around the castle. We were blown away by the beautiful rooms and the professionalism of the staff. We knew as soon as we left the castle that this was the place that we wanted to have our ‘big day’ and promptly paid our deposit to hold our wedding there in two years time was just the wait and the planning to do!

Did you have a “theme”?
We wanted a very traditional ‘classic’ wedding theme, pretty colours with a hint of ‘sparkle’. We wanted to have a bit of fun with the table names and so chose a ‘Harry Potter Theme’ for our table names. We’ve both read the books and watched the films together and so called our tables things such as ‘Gryffindor’, ‘The Leaky Cauldron’, ‘Hogwarts’ and so on...
As the Castle was so traditional we thought that dinner by candle light would be very atmospheric and romantic and so hired silver candelabras decorated by our florist (Fleurt in Monkseaton).

What was your wedding colour scheme?
Our colour scheme was ‘aqua blue’ for our bridesmaids and accessories and our flowers were contrasting summer pinks.

Why did you choose Simply Bows and Chair Covers and what were they like to work with?
I chose simply Bows and Chair Covers after reading a wedding magazine called ‘Hitched’ that I believe, I got for free from a local wedding fayre. I saw a feature in there and noticed that they didn’t just do chair covers with simple bows, they also has little features such as ‘crystal ties’ or ‘butterflies’ ..I thought that they were really pretty. I looked on the website and got in touch with Kristy who works in the ‘Hexham’ area. She invited me to her office to look at colour choices. I showed her a ‘swatch’ of the bridesmaids dresses and she immediately knew what to do to ‘match the colour’. She tied a Light Blue organza with a Turquoise organza and the blend of the two made a perfect match for my ‘aqua’ colour scheme. Once again I knew I’d made a great choice and on the day my chairs and napkins (which were also tied with aqua ribbon) looked fantastic.

What sort of dress did you choose and where from?
My Dress was called ‘Christina’ by Maggie Sottero. It was Full A-line gown with corset closure it has a medallion beaded motif at the centre front it had a soft shimmer satin skirt and an asymmetrical train. I chose the colour ‘alabaster’ which is a light ivory.  I also wore a full length veil and diamante tiara all of which were purchased from ‘Wedding Essentials’ in Newcastle. My light ivory shoes were from dune and featured a diamante clasp over the ‘peep toe’.

What did your bridesmaids wear? 
My four bridesmaids wore a full length satin dress in ‘aqua’ satin with a sash coming around their waist and down the back of the dress. They were purchased form ‘Brides Dream’ in Walker.

Who was your photographer?
My Photographer was Ken MacMillan who has a photography studio in Whitley Bay.

What “special touches” did you add to your day?
Steven and I had our first dance to ‘Everything I do’ by Bryan Adams and my father and I (and Steven and his mum) shared a dance to ‘I loved her First’ by Heartland. We booked a local band for our reception called ‘DIABLO’ and they really got the party started. They opened with ‘White Wedding’ and the dance floor was full to bursting for the rest of the evening our guests later commented that they’d never been to a wedding where there had been a ‘mosh pit!’ 
My parents had organised a spectacular fireworks display (by reaction fireworks) to finish off the celebrations. They had arranged a 15 minute show culminating with mine and Steven’s initials on fire with a heart in the middle ...a truly unforgettable end to a perfect day.

What was your favourite part of the day?
There are so many favourite parts of the day but the highlight has to be saying ‘I do’ in front of our closest friends and family. Our day was perfect in every way and we will treasure the memory of it always.

Where did you go on honeymoon?
We spend 3 glorious weeks in Mombasa, Kenya. We spent 3 nights on safari and saw Kenya’s breath taking scenery such as ‘Mount Kilimanjaro’ and of course the amazing animals; monkeys, zebras, elephant, giraffe, lions and cheetahs to name a few! The ‘lodges’ we stayed in on safari were beautiful (I expected to be in a kind of tent! But they were anything but!) After safari we spend the remaining days at the ‘baobab beach resort and spa’ on Mombasa beach. We had an amazing time it was a very special place to spend our first few weeks of married life together.

What would be your top tip for another bride to be? 
My top tip would be to choose what ‘you’ want, of course take ‘advice’ from others but make sure that it is ‘your’ day. Go with the gut feeling that you get when visiting a venue for the first time or trying on that dress’s true what they say you just ‘know’ when it’s ‘The One’.
 Also just be plain organised! Get a file and keep everything together and plan as far in advance as possible, it makes everything so much easier and more stress free!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Simply Sandy! Sneak peek at our recent 'Beach Themed Shoot'

Here is a sneak peek at a recent beach themed shoot we were recently involved in organised by Katie Byram Photography.

This divine little video was shot (without any of us knowing!) by the lovely Sally T Photography...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Simply fabulous: A day in the life of a Simply Bows and Chair Covers Area Director

This week Joanne who heads up of our Lancashire office shares with you an insight into the varied and wonderful life as a Simply Bows and Chair Covers Area Director......

Working as part of Simply Bows and Chair Covers means that no two days are the same.  One day I could be in Blackburn providing chair covers for a wedding and the next I could be exhibiting at a wedding fayre in Preston.  But imagine my surprise when I got a phone call from the Two Four Production team, the team behind The Hotel Inspector.

After getting over my initial shock that they wanted me to appear on one of their shows, it turns out that Alex Polizzi wanted local brides and businesses in the wedding industry to be her guests as she surprised a local hotel manager in Wigan.  The team had been filming there for several weeks but Alex wanted us to give our opinions on the 2 Bridal Suites, the wedding packages and the reception rooms.

So last Thursday, my best friend and bride-to-be Becca, got all glammed off and off we trotted to The Bellingham in Wigan.  I have to confess that I have never watched the show before, so when Alex walked into the room I only knew it was her by the large gasp from Becca!  Alex was very happy to answer our questions and talked business to us for about half an hour before we started filming.  This woman knows it all and was extremely inspiring!

Next came the filming- eek! We were filmed pulling upto the hotel in a stretch hummer limo as we sprung our visit onto the manager, not such a surprise though as it took 3 takes for us to get it right!  We were then shown the 2 bridal suits- you'll have to wait till the show airs to see our comments on these but what I will say is that the first room is a seventies shocker! Last but not least was the reception room.  A large airy space but with no character to it.  Four tables had been set up in a reception style with a top table.  We all agreed that if the manager was to show brides around, the venue should be dressed with chair covers, flowers  and a bit of colour, as the room as it was certainly didn't make me feel like I wanted to have my wedding there.  To make things worse, the table linen they had used looked like it had been screwn up into a ball and then put straight back onto a table! An expert venue dresser was definitely needed in this hotel!

I don't want to give to much away, so to see our thoughts on the hotel and the changes that Alex provides, you 'll have to tune in when the new series airs in August/September".

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Simply Growing! Berkshire Office; Opens tomorrow!

We are thrilled to announce that due to a high volume of enquiries in the south of England we are opening a Berkshire office. This office will be headed up by Michaela Minton.

Michaela is a naturally creative person passionate about both events and fashion trends. Both passions blend perfectly, creating a fabulous skill set for Simply Bows and Chair Covers.

Whilst researching her daughters wedding looking for not only a high quality chair cover supplier with an equally superior service she came across Simply Bows and Chair Covers and was bowled over by our range of products on offer and the professional service she received both by phone and email. There was one problem however... there was not an office in the Berkshire area.

And so.... an office was born! Michaela made contact with Simply Bows and Chair Covers Head Office and several months later we are delighted to confirm that Michaela has now joined our team of dedicated event dressers and she cannot wait to get started! Our Berkshire office opens tomorrow!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Simply Award Winning: We won!

Whoop! We are so thrilled to have just won Newcomer of the year (open to companies in the region who have been in operation for a maximum of 3 years as of Jan 1st 2012) at The NE Business Awards 2012!

The judges assessed entrants on the following:
  • The company’s business plan and indications of how it has been pursued so far.
  • What differentiates the company’s products/services from their competitors?
  • Managerial and financial performance, with evidence.
  • The background of the directors.
  • Notable achievements to date.
  • Potential for growth.
  • Evidence of commitment and imagination in the product or service.
Knowing the amazing calibre of applicants, we were thrilled to be shortlisted but to win was amazing! We love what we do and pride ourselves at being at the top of our game but to be recognised for this by our peers and a whole host of business specialists was fabulous!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Simply Stylish: Bridal Hair Styling

We are delighted to introduce Pure Elegance to you. Kristy discovered this North East gem when she wanted a stylist to create a unique 'up do' to attend Simply Bows and Chair Covers MD Sarah's wedding earlier this year. We wanted to share some inspiration with you courtesy of Faz at Pure Elegance through a special interview and sneak peek into some of her work....

What is your line of business?

We specialise in bridal hair (especially dressing long hair), we can create any type of bridal hairstyle to best suite any individual.
 I also give Professional and Expert Advice to all the Brides-to-be on, on how to choose the correct hairstyles which compliment their gown. It's important to strike a balance between the dress they are wearing and their wedding hairstyle for an ultimately beautiful, overall look.

I started the company because I realised in Teeside there weren't any salons that specialised in Bridal hair and there was certainly the demand for it. They also tended to stick to very simple styles and I like to make each of my brides feel special and give them a hairstyle specially tailored to them, their style, their wedding style and their own personal features. And so, Pure Elegance was born!

Why do Brides come to you?

 Brides come to us as we can create tailor-made hair designs to suite their individuality and style and transform them with a look that will make them feel amazingly glamourous!
        All the hairstyles are intricate and look unique which are designed for individuals with different types and lengths of hair.  The right hair styles can accentuate your best facial features while down playing any flaws, redefining the way you look, and allowing your personal style to shine through.
        Only the hairstyle that suites your personal features can it show off your unique beauty.  Your hairstyle should not only look good during the day but also convey your looks long into the night.  You will be on the move continuously on your wedding day and your hairstyle should withstand the movements of the dance floor all these activities without looking run down. 
     We organise a consultation with the Bride-to-be and on the consultation IT IS ALL ABOUT THE BRIDE, correct hairstyle for her, whether it compliments her gown and if the wedding hairstyle complements her headpiece. 

      It's important that I meet the bride-to-be before her wedding - This helps me to build a rapport and start a maintenance program for her hair to ensure she feels comfortable with her decision and that her hair is the right length and colour for her chosen style. So early consultation is imperative and important to achieve the final results for the big day.

What is your favourite design and why?
My favourite Bridal Hair Design is Half up & Half down with loose curls pinned up to one side and a bouffant at the front which gives height and volume.  This hairstyle creates an Elegant & Elaborate looks for any wedding hair

 What is the most popular item you supply and why?
The most popular item we supply are tiaras and small hair accessories such as fascinators, hatinators and diamante clips all of which are great value and are an important dress item which complete the hairstyle

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from my Beautiful Brides who always praise me and give me encouragement and recommend me to other potential brides-to-be

 What is in store for you in 2012

Due to the introduction of our successful bridal hairstyles we may potentially be looking to expand and find a base so that brides can come and view our unique hairstyles on display.

Who would be your dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them?
I do not have any dream clients I treat every client with great respect whether you are a celebratory or a normal person I would offer the same service to everyone. As for the hair design this would depend on what the client would best suite also the style would have to match the special occasion.

Where are you based and where can you supply?

     Based in Middlesbrough Pure Elegance aims to meet your needs by ensuring that all my beautiful Brides-to-be look picture-perfect on the most important day of their life! AS MY BRIDES ARE IMPORTANT TO ME!

 How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?

We can be contacted on via at website http:// through our face book page ‘Faz Pureelegance’ or simply giving us a call on 07809690416

Why do you like to work with Simply Bows and Chair Covers?
It goes without saying Simply Bows is an established business which specialises in what they do; they supply high quality excellent materials along with a personalised service.

By working with and alongside a well respected and well thought of organisation which gives me inspiration to follow an outstanding high achieving company

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Simply Scrumtious! Love Lily Cakes

We are delighted to introduce you to the fabulous Love Lily Cakes.... here is a unique interview with the lovely Gemma who runs it with some drooltastic images of just some of her amazing cake designs...

What is company name?
Love Lily Cakes

What is your line of business?
Wedding Cakes, Favours and Candy Buffets

How and why the company begin?
Growing up I spent most weekends with my Nana Lily and loved our baking days. We would spend all day baking pies, cakes and other tasty treats for the rest of the family.  Love Lily Cakes was established in 2009 after I decided to turn a lifelong passion of baking and cake decorating into a career with the encouragement of friends and family.

I work in HR and when the recession hit I decided to bake more in my spare time as an outlet and something enjoyable to do to take my mind off the day to day stresses at work having to make staff redundant and cut peoples hours and wages.  In 2009 I started off attending craft fairs where I sold cupcakes, my first few fairs were brilliant as I was the only cupcake stall but by August cupcakes companies were becoming more popular and I found myself attending a fair where there was also anther cupcake company and by the end of the day we were both left with stock which we couldn’t sell.
From then on I decided I wanted to take my business in a different direction so I moved into the market for made to order cakes.  I attended my first wedding fair in September 2009 and I’ve never looked back, I’m so pleased I made the move into the wedding cake market!  The design and decoration are my favourite part of my work which I didn’t really get that chance to do making just cupcakes.
Why do brides come to you?
I think brides come to me because I can offer something a bit different, not dis similar to Simply Bows and Chair Covers.  Brides can have whatever they want.  They can choose from my portfolio or I can design a completely bespoke design for their wedding.  I specialise in vintage designs but also bold modern designs and my newest 2012 wedding cake collection features a lot of hand painted detail on cakes which other suppliers in the north east don’t offer.

I also offer 14 delicious cake choices for their fillings.  They can go traditional and have fruit, lemon or vanilla or if they would like to offer their guests something a  little different they can chose from Love Lily Cakes signature range which offers delicious tastes such as white chocolate and passion fruit, cherry and almond, coconut and lime, pistachio and praline to name a few.

What is your favourite design and why (if applicable)?
My new hand painted collection if definitely my favourite especially the bird and floral which was inspired by a table runner provided by Charlotte at Simply bows.

What is the most popular item you supply?

My most popular cake is a white chocolate one blocked with fresh roses which was made to imitate the brides dress and her bouquet.  It tied in perfectly with her wedding and since then so many brides have loved it and wanted to achieve the same idea.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere!  Sometimes brides come and speak to me with the theme for their wedding and we base their design on that, stationary and the brides dress are also popular choices to base the wedding cake design around.  I love vintage so do lots of detailed hand piped work with pearls and lace.  I also love my bright colours and take lots of inspiration from nature such as birds and flowers as well as home textiles and wallpaper designs.

What is in store for you in 2012
Big things hopefully!  I’m getting a new van this month because I’ve totally outgrown my car with my workload ahead.  I’m also in very exciting talks at the moment which must remain confidential (for now) to partner up with a very well established business.

Who would be your dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them?
Oh this is a tough one.  I don’t think it would be a celebrity.  It would be a bride who comes to me with so many ideas and inspirations who is looking for something completely different and we design her cake together.  One of my brides this year has had a brilliant idea for her cake.  She loves Battenberg cake so we’ve worked together and I’ve produced some new flavours specifically for her.  From the outside her cake will look as a wedding cake but when she cuts into it and the guests are serves the checkerboard design inside will be a complete surprise.

What would be your top tips for brides when searching for a supplier in your industry? 
Recommendations!  Definitely recommendations.  There are a lot of suppliers out there and it can be very difficult to choose.  Find a good supplier, who you feel happy with and comfortable to talk to and then ask their advice.  After all they attend all the wedding fairs and often cross paths with other suppliers at venues as well as gain feedback from past and present clients.

 Where are you based and where can you supply?
I’m based in Sunderland and open by appointment.  With regards to weddings I tend to cover the whole north east but I have ventured as far as Grasmere in the Lake District in the past for a bride.
 How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?
Please feel free to contact me via email or phone initially to book an appointments and then we can meet for a consultation and cake tasting.  I also liaise with many clients on an email and telephone only basis if they live abroad or further afield and don’t have the time to come for an appointment prior to their wedding day.

Why do you like to work with Simply Bows and Chair Covers?

Because I’m always excited to see their products at wedding fairs and weddings when I go and set up the cakes.  Simply bows and Chair Covers offer such a massive range of designs, textures and finished that other chair cover companies simply can’t compete with.  If I was to get married I would definitely use Simply Bows and Chair Covers and I recommend them to all my clients who are looking for something a bit more different than a simple voile tie.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Simply on the hunt.... Is this you?

Simply Bows and Chair Covers MD Sarah Pittendrigh has been approached by a national radio station to be interviewed on her recent marriage to her ex husband!

They are also on the hunt for one more couple who have also remarried each other after divorcing several years earlier...

If this is you please get in touch via

Friday, 9 March 2012

Simply Hitched! ....Again!

  Last week Simply Bows and Chair Covers Managing Director got hitched... again... to her husband... again! Yes that's right! Last week Sarah Pittendrigh married her ex husband for the second time!

Read more in this months Hitched Magazine...

Keep an eye out on our blog for fabulous photo's to follow!

Image by Karen McGowran Photography

Friday, 2 March 2012

Simply Stunning: We launch our Spring 2012 Range

This March we are thrilled to launch our new Spring Range for 2012 and are delighted to share some images with you from a recent photoshoot at Rockliffe Hall. The images were taken by Karen McGowran Phtotography and the floral arrangements were designed by Adam Prest Flowers .....

First up was our Pintuck Taffeta Gunmetal Silver Collection...

Pintuck Chair Backs were added to a matching Pintuck Table Runner to create a simple yet effortlessly stylish table

We then introduced our Cadbury's Purple Luxury Collection

A Velvet Cadbury's Purple Runner with a rich ruched trim was finished with a beaded edging and teamed up with organza side tied bows creating an opulent effect without breaking the budget.

Next up was our Black and Gold Opulent Collection....

Black Table Linen and Chair Covers were dressed with a combination of Gold Bands with Diamante Buckles, Black Damask Chair Backs and Black Chair Caps with a luxurious Gold Trim. The table was dressed with a Gold Pintuck Runner topped with a Black Damask Runner and finished with Gold and Black Silk Napkins with Black Diamante Napkin Holders.

We then introduced our Elegant Champagne and Gold Collection....

Champagne Jacquard Chair Covers were complimented by a Butter Table Cloth and accessories in a range of Cream, Champagnes and soft Golds. We used Gold Bands on the chairs perfectly complimented with a Gold Pintuck Runner on the table topped with a Champagne Damask Runner and Gold Napkins.

And finally we introduce our Asian Inspired Pink and Black Damask Collection....

Black Table Linen was dressed with an opulent Pink Velvet Runner with a luxurious Gold trim, topped with a Black Damask Runner and Black Napkins. Black chair covers were dressed with Gold Fringed Pink Velvet Chair Caps alternated with Black Damask Chair Backs to create a stunning effect.

We hope you enjoyed seeing the images of our Spring 2012 Range as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.. here's to a fabulous year of weddings ahead....