Sunday, 24 June 2012

Simply Bows Real Life Bride: Vicki... and her beautiful wedding at Slaley Hall

Introducing Roy and Vicki....

Where did you get engaged?

Roy surprised me with a holiday to Meeru Island in the Maldives. On our second night there (18th November 2010) he had secretly arranged a candlelit dinner on the beach where we had a gorgeous 5 course meal. After the meal we went for a stroll by the water and he got on one knee and proposed with a giant flower ring with the plan of picking a diamond ring together. I was completely shocked and ecstatic! I couldn’t stop crying with happiness especially after he told me he had been to ask my dad's  permission a while before. We celebrated with champagne until 4am. The holiday was fantastic, the island was like paradise.

When and where did you tie the knot?

We got married on 4th May 2012 or as Roy would say ‘may the fourth be with you’...Star Wars day.

We got married at Holy Trinity and St. Constantine’s Church in Wetheral near Carlisle and had our reception at Slaley Hall near Hexham.

We chose to view Slaley Hall after looking for venues that held over 250 guests. When we visited Slaley we fell in love with the ambience of the hotel. The Edwardian mansion section of the hotel is very elegant and the decor is plush and dramatic. We loved the old world grandeur with a modern twist and it felt like the perfect place for us. The grounds of the hotel are fantastic for photo opportunities and as it turns out for fire work displays too. We had a number of room options for different parts of our day. Our drinks and canapé reception was held in a beautiful bar, the wedding breakfast in a room overlooking the golf course and our evening reception in the grand ballroom that held up to 350 guests. An added bonus for us was that we hadn't known anyone else that had held wedding here so it felt more unique.

What was your wedding theme?

Our theme was vintage Dior glamour. Our original inspiration for the colour scheme was lavender hydrangeas, I fell in love with these flowers and we added a hint of sparkle to match the diamonds in my engagement ring. Brenda Dowding from Gardenalia did a fabulous job of designing our flowers and decorations for the wedding party, the church and the venue. The flowers were a mix of hydrangea, peonies and other blousy flowers in smudgy lavender, pink and cream. The table centre’s comprised of large arrangements in a number of silver containers including trumpet vases, candelabra’s, birdcages, cake stands and a few other amazing designs surrounded by hundreds of candles to give the rooms a midsummer’s nights dream feel about them. It was magical. The bridesmaids wore lavender and the heather coloured bows on the chairs finished the room off gorgeously.

      We saw Simply Bows and Chair Covers at a wedding fare and were so impressed by the mixture of designs, the choice of colours and loved that they looked at the whole picture rather than just the chairs. We chose to hire silver charger plates for our wedding breakfast and we felt that this finished off our tables perfectly. Meeting Kristy at her office, near Slaley Hall at a time that was convenient for us made things so much easier and the meeting was relaxed and fun. We enjoyed having a play around with our options and felt that our room looked more unique after choosing to display our bows hand tied to the side. The chair covers looked fabulous on the day!

Tell us about your dress and your bridesmaid's dresses....

     I chose a glamorous Ian Stuart design and Marrime in Kendal ordered the dress in for me to try. The dress was called Vanderbilt and was a figure hugging fishtail dress made from ivory silk taffeta with heavy diamante detailing along the sweetheart neckline with a huge bow on the back. I fell in love with this dress and after trying a number of other dresses I realised that nothing else compared to it. It was the one and we thought it was made for me. I made a couple for changes to the original design which made it more unique. The girls at Marrime were an amazing help and made every trip to the boutique feel special. I paired the dress with a cathedral length veil that was sprinkled with diamantes. My headdress was a beautiful sparkly design by Ivory and Co. Roy bought me a fabulous pair of sparkly Jimmy Choo’s and matching handbag to wear on our big day. Although I had picked out jewelry for the wedding I was given a beautiful diamond necklace from my parents and a diamond tennis bracelet off Roy on the wedding day that were even more perfect with my dress.

Our 6 adult bridesmaids wore full length one shoulder Dessy dresses in lavender chiffon and the baby bridesmaid wore an ivory dress from Monsoon.

Tell us more...

Paul Mortimer was our photographer. He did a fantastic job with the photographs despite the rain at Slaley hall.  He was a great help with keeping the day running smoothly.

We wanted to make our day as personal and special as possible. We surprised our guests with a gospel choir in the church. The Manchester Sing Out Choir sang a number of songs throughout the service and my favorite was Eva Cassidy song bird as I walked down the aisle. We gave our female guests Cath Kidston Soaps, bath melts and breast cancer badges in a white organza bag and cigars to the men. Brenda Dowding designed us a sweetie buffet on an old fashioned flower cart, it was beyond my expectations and the sweeties went down really well with our guests. Instead of having a guest book we booked an old fashioned photo booth from photorazzi that comes with a fancy dress box. Our guests get pictures taken in the booth and got to take one strip of photos with them as a souvenirs and the other went into a book where they could leave us a messages. The photo booth was so much fun and we get to keep the message book as a memory of our day. 

The band hip operation entertained our guests at the evening do and had everyone on the dance floor all night. 

As well as a hog roast by blue rare we served pastel coloured French macaroons and had a huge 6 tear wedding cake with purple hydrangea in four delicious flavours from Helen Doyle at Café 21 in Newcastle. Everyone commented how scrummy the cake was especially the carrot cake! Yum!

What was your favourite part of the day?

        It is hard to pick a favourite part of the day because it was all so perfect. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the church ceremony; I thought I would be really nervous having such a large audience but I surprised myself that I was so calm all day and enjoyed every second. We even had a little dance to the gospel choir. All the speeches were excellent and we all had a good laugh and a good cry. I also loved the fireworks that Roy surprised me with, everyone was singing along to ‘you’ve got the love’ and it finished the day off perfectly.

The day after the wedding we had a BBQ for our gusts to give us a chance to catch up with everyone. We went on honeymoon the following day for 4 nights in New York followed by 7 nights at the El Dorado Royal Casita Suites in the Riviera Maya, Mexico and finished it off with 4 nights at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. We had a fantastic honeymoon and loved every part of it.

We loved every second of the planning of our wedding. We had a lot of fun with it. Our tip other brides would be to give yourself plenty of time to plan your wedding and enjoy every second. A lot of time goes into the planning. I was really lucky that my Mum helped us with every step, she loved the planning as much as us. We had a year and a half to plan and we did a little bit at a time from the very start and it helped prevent any stress at the last minute. We were never stressed throughout the process because we felt organized and it meant that we enjoyed ourselves and I think that is important as the actual day goes so fast. We would also recommend getting a videographer. I was reluctant to have the wedding filmed as no one likes watching themselves back but it was one of the best things we did. The day went so fast and it was excellent getting to watch it back and see everything that we missed. Jesse Knibbs from Trigger happy entertainment did a wonderful job with our video and although he captured everything I didn’t notice him being around on the day.

What more could we have asked for!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Simply Traditional! Bride marries in same dress as her mother and grandmother...

Last week blushing bride Sarah Clark from North Yorkshire tied the knot in a dress worn not only by her mother when she married but also by her grandmother in 1959 when she married Sarah's grandfather!

Sarah and Jonathan
Not only did the happy couple follow family tradition by choosing to wear the family heirloom but they also married on exactly the same day that both the bride's parents and grandparents had done!

Sarah's parents

Sarah's grandparents
'Not many people can say they have their wedding dress from 1959. I was a bit dubious as to whether it would still be a dress and hadn't disintegrated. There's a bit of blue confetti that got stuck and has been there since mum and dad got married - I will consider it my lucky charm' said Sarah.

Awww what a lovely story! :)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Simply WOW Factor Dress: 2 Mile Train!

Last week Italian bridal dress designer Gianna Milaro showcased his silk and tulle creation on the steps of Rome's Trinita Dei Monti to celebrate the opening of Milaro's new workshop and hosted an incredible TWO MILE TRAIN!

The dress and amazing train was worn by Milaro's bride Elena De Angelis for her wedding last year in the Naples village of Casal di Princice last September. The train is over 28 times the length of Old Trafford's football pitch! Wowzer!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Simply Shap! Venue Spotlight; Shap Wells Hotel


What is your venue name, industry rating and where is your venue located?
Best Western Shap Wells Hotel (3*)
Nr Penrith
CA10 3QU

What facilities does your venue boast?

100 Guest bedroom accommodation
3 Bar Areas
3 Dining rooms – main dining room The Birkbeck Restaurant
Two Lounge areas with fireplaces
7 Conference rooms
Caters for Wedding breakfasts & Evening Receptions from 10 to 350 guests and for civil ceremonies for up to 150 guests
Bathhouse Accommodation Annex that caters for guests with Dogs
30 acres of grounds
Complimentary WIFI throughout hotel

Complimentary Parking for up to 120

Does your hotel cater for weddings?  If so, what numbers can you accommodate and what packages do you offer?

Your wedding day is one of the most important events in your life and at Best Western Shap Wells Hotel you will be receiving service of the highest professional quality and will benefit from our long and vast experience of catering for specialised events such as weddings.

You will see that we offer a variety of venues for both Civil Ceremonies and Celebration Parties, with the flexibility, unique to Cumbria, to cater for receptions from 10 to 350 guests, and for Civil Ceremonies for up to 150 guests. We also have the availability of 100 bedrooms for wedding guests.

Inclusive Celebration Packages include the following:

©       Use of function suite
©       Red Carpet Welcome
©       Honeymoon night accommodation for the happy couple
©       Reduced room and breakfast tariffs for your guests
©       Use of cake stand and knife
©       A reception drink for your guests
©       Three course celebration meal
©       Wine with meal
©       A glass of sparkling wine for toasts
©       Non alcoholic/low alcoholic drinks availability
©       Linen napkins
©       Floral decorations – bud vases with flowers of our choice
©       Evening buffet receptions
We also have an all inclusive Wedding Packages (£2012 in 2012 £2013 in 2013) and include the
Full Wedding Day Package
Wedding Breakfast for up to 50 guests
Evening Function for up to 80 guests
In our Lodge Howe Room or Birkbeck Suite

©       Red carpet welcome
©       Drinks reception
©       Three course wedding breakfast
©       Glass of wine with meal
©       Celebratory toast drink
©       Table menu cards
©       Ivory or White linen napkins
©       Toastmaster
©       Cake stand and knife
©       Evening Finger Buffet
©       Complimentary room for wedding breakfast & evening reception
©       Complimentary room for civil ceremonies
©       Complimentary honeymoon suite for Brides and Bridegroom
©       Discounted accommodation rates for your guests (subject to availability)
©       Additional guests will be charged at our standard wedding rate

What about events, both large and small, what numbers can you accommodate?

We can cater for events and conferences from 2 to 350 and we also have accommodation availability of 100 bedrooms.

Can guests stay over at your venue?  What accommodation is on offer?
We have 100 bedrooms at Shap Wells.

Tell us about your food/ menus/ wines...
Best Western Shap Wells Hotel prides itself on creating a special dining experience that will be remembered and will make you want to return to visit us again. The Birkbeck Suite consists of two dining room experiences, the Birkbeck Restaurant and Lonsdale Room. The Birkbeck Restaurant is our principal dining area and will seat up to 300 guests. The room is air-conditioned and enjoys stunning views over the Birkbeck River and surrounding fells. The Lonsdale Room is a more intimate room that allows guests the opportunity to host smaller dining parties that suit their own dining needs, it is also utilised when the Birkbeck is booked for private functions.
Our Head Chef has created an extensive menu in keeping with the hotel surroundings and current season. Dine from our 3 course Table D’hôte menu or choose from our À la Carte menu. Our Carvery lunches are served every Wednesday and Sunday from 12.15pm until 2pm. A comprehensive wine list is accessible to compliment your dining experience. Vegetarian options are available and both dining areas are fully accessible to diners with disabilities.
The Riverside Lounge and Bar is well placed next to the hotel’s principal dining room "the Birkbeck Restaurant" and provides the perfect setting to relax and unwind before and after dining with us. The Riverside Lounge and Bar itself is a stylish art deco room with panoramic views over the Birkbeck and the fells beyond. Our Riverside Lounge and Bar menu offers a range of appetising food to suit all tastes of our guests from light and refreshing snacks to traditional meals. Bar meals are available from 11am to 10pm. Entertainment takes place here most nights of the week throughout the year (subject to availability).
The Salterwath and Fell Bar Lounges are ideal for guests looking for the opportunity to relax and unwind in more intimate setting away from the hotel principal dining and lounge area. These lounge areas offer two intimate rooms that provide soft lighting and library theme which creates a warm and inviting environment and also provides a small ‘snug’ bar atmosphere with adjoining area for guests to relax in front of a warm log fire. The Fell Lounge has a 50” LCD flat screen TV for guests who are avid TV watchers and the hotel also boasts a friendly foyer lounge area with a welcoming log fire in the winter months.

Do you have any leisure facilities on site?

With 30 acres of wooded grounds, surrounded by moorland, Best Western Shap Wells Hotel is an ideal place to relax. There are miles of quiet paths and bridle ways for recreational walking and other similar activities in the area. We offer written guides for small and medium walks within Best Western Shap Wells grounds and outlying areas. Our games room offers free a full-size snooker table, pool table, darts, table tennis and small aerobic gymnasium.
We also cater for individuals or groups of guests who are interested in long or short term breaks that will allow them to enjoy partaking in leisure pursuits that Best Western Shap Wells Hotel grounds and outlying areas provide such as wildlife enthusiasts e.g. Red Squirrels and birdlife, fell climbers, high and low level walkers, train enthusiasts e.g. Virgin mainline trains and from Appleby the Carlisle to Settle line, using us for a base or stop off for classic, vintage, veteran car and motorbike enthusiasts and university students to study the historical (Romano-British) and geological aspects of Cumbria. We have outside our hotel gate a site of special scientific interest and the remains of a Romano-British Iron Age village settlement. We also cater for the guests who wish to at their leisure visit the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales including visiting Scotland as we are a short drive away from the Scottish borders.

What sets your venue apart from others?
Situated in a secluded, wooded valley, high in the Shap Fells and surrounded by mountain streams yet only minutes from the M6 (Junction 39) and the A6. Best Western Shap Wells Hotel is the ideal place from which to explore the Lakes, Dales and the English and Scottish Border Counties.
We are ideally situated for both leisure and business, easily accessible from the M6 motorway making us the perfect location for business events and conferences. The hotel has seven conference rooms that all benefit from having natural daylight.
For leisure guests we are located close to the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Scottish Borders, surrounded by open and wooded countryside, red deer, red squirrels and other wildlife within the grounds of the hotel and beyond. Whether you are visiting us for a leisurely break, a conference, wedding celebration or simply breaking your journey on route to the North or South we are the perfect destination for you.
Many of our rooms having breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and fells, offering a true taste of the English countryside, the hotel has retained many of its original features over the years and much time has been taken to retain the true character of the building.
Free WiFi is available throughout the entire hotel including all public areas, conference rooms and guest accommodation. Complimentary parking is available at the front and rear of the hotel.

Anything special that we should know about the venue?

We are the largest family owned hotel in Cumbria. Shap Wells Hotel has been an established hotel for 180 years and was opened for business in 1833. One of the most interesting chapters of the hotels history is occurred during the Second World War, when it became a prisoner of war camp for German Naval and Luftwaffe Officers.

For many years people came to Shap Wells Hotel to bathe in or drink the water of the Spa Well. The waters were in fact, very similar to those of Leamington and Harrogate. The Well is no longer in use, though water may still be obtained from the spring on the river bank by any who may to risk it...

We have a thriving colony of Red Squirrels...and many of our guests love going to watch them feed and play in their own environment within our hotel grounds...

Where can we get more information/ read more/ contact the venue? (web address and contact details)

For more detailed information regarding our hotel please contact using the following formats:

Telephone: 01931 716628
Fax: 01931 716377

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Simply Jubilee Wedding Weekend!

  As her majesty the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in spectacular fashion this weekend the Simply Bows and Chair Covers team were out in force dressing almost 30 weddings across the UK. Here are just a handful of them....

Navy Blue and Red Organza Bows on White Chair Covers at Redworth Hall, Durham

Royal Blue Organza Bows on White Chair Covers at Swinton Park, North Yorkshire

Gold Flock Ties on White Chair Covers at Dissington Hall, Northumberland

Teal Organza Bows on White Chair Covers, Harrogate

Ruby Red Organza Bows at Langley Castle, Northumberland

Champagne Flock Ties at Heather Glen, Cumbria

Midnight Blue Organza Sashes on White Chair Covers at Langley Castle, Northumberland

Raspberry Organza Sashes on White Made to Measure Chair Covers, Doxford Hall, Northumberland