Monday, 27 May 2013

Simply Bows and Chair Covers Real Wedding: Anna and Stuart and their Christmas wedding!

What are your first names?

Anna & Stuart   


Where and when did you get engaged?

We got engaged on May 5th, 2012 in Dundee on the back doorstep of the shared house we met in and got to know each other. There was a whole new group of people living there, so when Stuart proposed, they all had their noses pressed to the window to see what was going on!

What was your wedding date?

December 28th, 2012.

Where did you get married?

Cults Parish Church, with the reception at Maryculter House Hotel.

Why did you choose your venue?

I (Anna) grew up near Maryculter and always loved the venue. It’s very Scottish and traditional too and Stuart liked the history behind the place. It’s a beautiful setting, on the River Dee so we got some amazing picturesque photographs. The interior of the hotel is very cosy with log fires which was perfect for a chilly winter wedding. 

Did you have a “theme”?

Our theme was really already made for us. Being at Christmas, the church was full of Christmas trees and lights and there was still the Christmas decorations on display at Maryculter, so we had a festive theme going quite easily. 

What was your wedding colour scheme?

We went for warm deep reds for the flowers, bridesmaids’ dresses, wedding stationery and chair bows keep the festive theme going. 

Why did you choose Simply Bows and Chair Covers and what were they like to work with?

Simply Bows and Chair Covers were recommended to me by Lianne McGregor, the owner of Vivi Paperie, who produced our beautiful wedding stationery. Claire from Simply Bows was very professional and did a great job getting all the chairs looking beautiful. It finished off the room perfectly and we didn’t have to worry about anything to do with this – everything was taken care of. It was well worth the money as it completed the festive look we were trying to achieve. 

What sort of dress did you choose and where from?

I had a gorgeous layered lace dress from designer Annasul Y that I found in the amazing Perth bridal boutique Ivory Whites. It was a bit different, but I fell in love with it. I tried a lot of dresses on before this one, but when I tried it on, I just knew I’d found my dress.

What did your bridesmaids wear?

They wore ruby Dessy dresses. I wanted my bridesmaids to be able to pick their own style of dress and I knew that with Dessy they could do that and still be exactly the same colour. It worked out really well. My flower girl, Jessica, had an ivory dress from Dessy, but had a ruby sash around her waist to match the bridesmaids. Jessica’s shoes were dyed ruby by Arabesque in Perth to match the bridesmaids too which worked out really well. 

Who was your photographer?

Kirstie Abbey was our photographer and from start to finish she was brilliant. We got to know her ahead of the day with a pre-wedding photo shoot which was a great way to get used to having our photos taken. We were totally thrilled with our photographs at the end too – they were very natural and fun which is what we wanted.  The images in this blog have kindly been supplied by her.

What “special touches” did you add to your day?

As it was Christmas, we put the children’s favours under the Christmas tree. They were delighted to be getting another present after Christmas day! We gave them our favourite toys from when we were kids - Lego for the boys and Sylvanian families for the girls. Stuart plays the pipes and has piped at loads of our friends and family’s weddings, so it seemed fitting for him to have a blast of them on his own wedding day, so we surprised everyone by Stuart piping his bride into the meal. We also had dancing shoes available for all the ladies so they didn’t have to worry about their shoes nipping their feet.

What was your favourite part of the day?

For both of us it was having all our family and friends together like that. It’s not something that happens very often at all, if ever so that was extra special. 

Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to Barbados, which was something else and really beautiful. We are obsessed with rum punch now!  

What would be your top tip for another bride to be?

It’s worth being really organised in the run up to the wedding so you can relax and enjoy everything on the day and in the days immediately before. I was hyper organised and was glad in hindsight I’d done that as I had completely chilled out by the day before and was able to just enjoy it. Don’t let yourself be stressed – it’s your day and you should both enjoy it more than anyone else. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Simply Inspirational: Sarah is now available to hire!

The Speakers Agency offer a range of specialists who talk expertly about their specific subjects and hugely successful entrepreneurs who demonstrate how to succeed as well as inspirational and motivational speakers who leave a lasting and positive impression on their audiences. Did you know that our MD Sarah Pittendrigh now features on as one of their esteemed inspirational speakers available to book to speak at your event?

Sarah knows what it’s like to have to bounce back. Four years ago, she was a single Mum to a 9 year old son on Income Support. However, as founder of Simply Bows and Chair Covers, Sarah is now a nationally-acclaimed businesswoman, offering an insight into what it’s like to go from bankruptcy to be one of Britain’s brightest business stars - quote from The Speakers Agency.

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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Simply Bows and Chair Covers Venue Spotlight: The Caledonian Hotel, Aberdeen

What is your venue name, industry rating and where is your venue located? 
The Caledonian, by Thistle Hotel; 10-14 Union Terrace, Aberdeen, AB10 1WE. We are a 4* hotel.
 What facilities does your venue boast? 

The Caledonian Hotel is an elegant Victorian hotel overlooking Union Terrace Gardens in central Aberdeen. Located close to the city centre, it is opposite the railway station and handy for the airport and heliport, making it an ideal venue for business meetings or enjoying a city break.

With its contemporary comforts, The Caledonian Hotel is the perfect base for enjoying Aberdeen’s wealth of parks and gardens, museums, galleries and other attractions. And when not out and about, you can unwind in the CafĂ© Bar Caley which, along with a varied menu, offers an extensive cellar of classic and New World wines, as well as a wide selection of the finest local whiskies.

The Caledonian Hotel, Aberdeen at a glance:

• Located in Aberdeen city centre, close to the station, heliport and Aberdeen Airport
• 83 bedrooms, plus four function rooms
• Private parking available on site

Does your hotel cater for weddings?  If so, what numbers can you accommodate and what packages do you offer? 
At The Caledonian we provide a completely bespoke wedding service, in which every aspect of your day, from the roo layout to the wine list, food to flower attangements, is yours to choose. Decorated in neutral colours, the Terrace Suite is a beautiful room overlooking Union Terrace Gardens, with high ceilings, ornate chandeliers, a lounge area and its own bar. An attractive, welcoming roo with plenty of natural daylight, the Terrace Suite is suitable for parties of up to 60 day guest and 100 evening guests. 

What about events, both large and small, what numbers can you accommodate? 
We have 4 meeting / function rooms hosting events from 4-100 people.

Can guests stay over at your venue?  What accommodation is on offer? 
The Caledonian has 83 bedrooms, including Deluxe rooms and Suites. In conjunction with events and weddings, we offer reduced accommodation rates. 

Tell us about your food/ menus/ wines... 
We offer a varied menu, as well as an extensive cellar of classic and New World wines, as well as a wide selection of the finest local whiskies. Our menus are reviewed on a seasonal basis, please contact the hotel direct for our most recent selections.

Do you have any sporting/ spa/ golf facilities on site? 
We do not have any leisure facilities on site, however we do have investment plans to introduce an in-house beautician in the future. 

What sets your venue apart from others? 
The Caledonian is 120 years old and is one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen. With a £6.4m investment, we have retained many of the Hotel’s original features adding to the beauty and originality of the building.

Where can we get more information/ read more/ contact the venue? 
You can contact the Meetings & Events department at The Caledonian on 01224 640233 or email Alternatively visit our

We also have a facebook page!/Caley.Aberdeen

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Simply delighted! Simply Bows and Chair Covers MD launches weekly column in The Journal

We are thrilled to share with you that Simply Bows and Chair Covers Managing Director Sarah Pittendrigh has been asked to host a weekly column in the Newcastle Journal, every Thursday starting next week.
She will be sharing her experience from starting a business from scratch as a single mum, right through to franchising it and now having 12 multi award winning offices across the UK. Sarah says 'I hope my column will inspire budding entrepreneurs and offer support to existing companies. I would also be happy to try and answer any questions on business people may have'.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Simply Bows and Chair Covers Supplier Spotlight: Berkshire Based Steven Etheridge Wedding Photography

 What is your company name?           

Steven Etheridge Wedding Photography

What is your line of business?
Wedding Photography

  How and why the company begin? 
I have worked as a photographer since leaving school.  I began by working in a photography studio and shadowing the professionals there when they photographed weddings and portraits, being promoted after a few months to assistant photographer.  I then used the training and experience that I had gained to start up my own business 15 years ago and I haven’t looked back since!

Tell us a little about your wedding....
I married my wife, Elaine, in June 2010.  Because we spend nearly every weekend at weddings (in a photographic capacity!), we kept our day relatively low-key and relaxed.  It took place at Mannings Heath Hotel with around 50 close friends and family.  We had a Caribbean steel band playing on the sun terrace overlooking the lake and kept the traditional wedding formalities to a minimum - deciding against the conventional speeches and first dance.  Our evening disco (FoxRox Discos) was fantastic and kept people dancing well into the night!

Why do brides come to you?    
I believe it is important that the bride and groom feel relaxed around their photographer because this will obviously result in much more natural, flattering photographs on the wedding day.  I always aim to put potential wedding couples at ease during the initial meetings and really try to get to know them in order to create a more relaxed atmosphere on the day.  I also think that our photography packages represent genuinely good value.  Unlike some photographers, we are fully transparent on the price of our photography and exactly what is included in each package.

What is your favourite design and why?
My favourite type of album which we produce are our “deluxe storybook” albums.  These are top of the range, hand-bound coffee table books produced in Italy.  They are available with a range of photographic covers including solid alloy and a beautiful crystal finish.  They are presented in a high quality personalised wooden box printed with your choice of photograph.  I believe that these albums really offer the best format to show off your wedding photos!

What is the most popular item you supply and why?
The deluxe storybook albums described above are our most popular album, but our wedding couples tell us that their favourite item is the preview prints which we include in our packages.  Every single image from the wedding day is printed off to A5 size and presented in boxed ivory preview albums.  There are no watermarks or “proof” text on these images and they are yours to keep.  We also present all of these images on a high-resolution CD which is printable and free from any copyright protection.  The preview prints, high-resolution CD and your choice of finished album are all included in the price.  Our wedding couples seem to like the fact that they end up with a full set of “real” photographs as well as the digital images on a CD for emailing or uploading to photo-sharing websites etc.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My wedding couples themselves often unknowingly give me inspiration for new ideas - seeing the way different couples behave towards one another and interact together gives me ideas for new romantic poses to try out.  In terms of artistic and reportage photographs, it is really a case of having a keen eye and seeing the day “through a lens” in order to instinctively know the right angles, composition etc to create beautiful photographs of the wedding couple plus all the tiny decorative details that will have been organised.  But a large amount of our photography is unposed.  Capturing those spontaneous moments (be it a stolen kiss between the happy couple, little flowergirls playing with confetti or a joke shared between groups of guests) is what we pride ourselves on.  These types of photographs are almost always the favourites of our wedding couples, as they give a real impression of the atmosphere and emotion of the day.

What is in store for you in 2013/14?
2012 was a bumper year for us in terms of bookings and 2013 is already going the same way.  Most of our wedding couples book us around a year in advance, but there are generally a few late notice bookings to fill any remaining gaps in the diary!  Many of our bookings come from recommendations or are the friends and family members of couples that we have already photographed.  This is especially nice when we photograph the weddings of several brothers and sisters plus their friends for example, and you really get to know the family well.  I am also often called upon by my previous wedding couples to offer portrait shoots in my studio when they go on to have children.  This is obviously really lovely to see, so I look forward to a few more jobs like this in 2013!

Who would be your dream client, and what sort of design would you envisage for them?
Anyone who enjoyed having their photograph taken and was willing to experiment with some more artistic, creative shots!

What would be your top tips for brides when searching for a supplier in your industry?
I have prepared a free download containing some top tips for anyone looking to book their wedding photographer - it can be found at

Tell us something super interesting about you or your business that we wouldn’t already know…?
I enjoy performance car track days and I am a keen scuba diver.

Where are you based and where can you supply?
I am based in Loxwood, just on the border of Surrey and West Sussex in the centre of Farnham, Guildford and Horsham.  We cover weddings all over the UK and internationally, so there really is no limit on where we can supply!

How can I get in touch to discuss my requirements or place an order?
Please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation chat, on either 01403 753775 or 07748 066972.  Alternatively, my email address is  Full details of my services can be found at

Why do you like to work with Simply Bows and Chair Covers?
Simply Bows & Chair Covers always go above and beyond to make the space being dressed look absolutely amazing.  Our most recent wedding with them was at Farnham House Hotel and we have never seen the ceremony or reception rooms look so stunning.  The chair covers, sashes and table runners had a much higher “quality” look to them than other similar products that we see at weddings, and the finishing touches were impeccable.  A first-rate company.