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  1. Bespoke is great - you get something made for you, and it is just for you. Normally, I prefer to take time on bespoke items, but it doesn't always work out like that, and sometimes (often!) brides need a little bit of urgent turnaround for that extra little something.

    Bridesmaids sashesHere are two great examples with totally different timelines. One was ordered 2 days prior to the wedding and hand delivered. The other was ordered 3 months before the wedding and travelled 9,500miles across the world. With the latter, a pair of similar berry-coloured sashes for twin flower girls, I had time to shop for materials that matched the colour theme of the wedding, time to make the items, and time to post the item with delivery a few weeks before the wedding date. This is great for a relaxed bride, and relaxed me! 

    But if you're short of time, bespoke is not necessarily out of the picture. 

    Corsage and Boutonniere This beautiful set of matching corsage and boutonniere was done and delivered in 48 hours. The brief thankfully was simple: nothing big and elaborate, and something that goes with a white dress to be worn at the registry. And the bride had a quick look at the internet for some inspiration and shared what she liked with me - great to get a good understanding of size and design preferences. I used materials that I already had in stock, with the bride's agreement on colour, and used a simple flower design that was quick to make but still looked lovely. 

    So here's my realistic rundown about last-minute bespoke:

    1) Don't expect something that looks very elaborate to be turned around in short time. If you are short on time, you can still get great simple bespoke designs made, without complex features that add time. Be flexible about the design you are looking for. 

    2) Factor in delivery - don't go for a supplier who is half way around the world, unless you are prepared to pay for very expensive international couriers. Unfortunately I have refused work in the past because the cost of delivery would just be ridiculous to meet the deadline. You also need to remember that every delivery always carries a small element of risk, even if you're paying massive amounts of money, something out of everyone's control could still go wrong with the courier.

    3) Consider picking up the item when it's ready - whether by yourself (not ideal if there are a thousand other things you need to do), preferably by well meaning members of the wedding party or bridesmaids party. This immediately shaves off a day lost in postage if it is within the same country. 

     

    4) It's great to have a few pictures of what you like to share, but be aware that any decent designer / maker will refuse to copy a design for you. You can request a similar style,or similar features, but not an exact copy. 

     

    5) Be very clear about your must-have requirements, especially dimensions - how wide, how long, how deep, how thick, etc. You don't need to specify every single detail if you can't but the important ones will be needed, especially if it is something that need to fit.   

    6) Don't be scared to contact a supplier even if it is last minute, particularly if they're local to you. They may say no but if you don't ask you don't get. But make sure they know it is a rush order so they can quote realistically. 

    7) Finally, in today's world of emails and online communications, don't forget that phone and even text is probably faster than online, so if you have a telephone number, don't hesitate to pick up the phone. Much better than send a message and wait a day before getting a response. 

  2. Autumn Leaves Tulle Headband and HairpinsAutumn Leaves Headband and Birdcage

    Launching here first: the Autumn Leaves Bridal Hair Accessories Mini-Collection

    Inspired by the falling leaves and in anticipation of snow and the cold weather, this small collection of bridal hair accessories brings together ivory fabric roses, sheer chiffon leaves, lace and beads and freshwater pearls into a handmade visual feast. 

    The flowers and leaves, delicately assembled, can be worn as a hand-tied soft tulle headband - for a relaxed boho style, great with long flowy hair. They can also be worn as a birdcage with a skinny headband for a vintage effect, perfect with a short dress or short hair. Or simply as a standard skinny headband, versatile for different hairstyles and a range of dress types. Each item is totally unique, although matching in style and theme.

    The headbands are supplemented by simply beautiful hairpins of roses and leaves - perfect for scattering a few flowers in an updo. Custom designs in this style can also be made, and attached onto various other hair accessories, such as combs or clips. 

    "For this collection, I wanted to create size without heaviness, and the sheer chiffon leaves provide just the type of lightness I was after while the roses provide the stability of the hair piece. As with all previous collections, this one will also be limited edition or one-of-a-kind." 

    The collection will be made available on Etsy in the next few days, but if you would like to make an enquiry before they are listed, please contact me.  

  3. Planning a wedding is a giant task! There is so much to think of and it can get quite daunting, but should also be very fun. Above all, other than making sure your guests will have food, entertainment, sit in pretty surroundings, have enough drinks, you need to think about yourself and how amazing you will look. There's a lot to think there too - hair, make-up, dress, shoes, underwear, and other accessories. So, here are my five top tips on choosing your wedding accessories: 
     
    1. Make sure you have your dress first, and your shoes too
    In the majority of cases, your dress defines the whole look, so if you haven't got one yet, it's probably too early to pick your hair accessories or other accessories - however, it's never too early or too late to browse! 
     
    2. Be clear on your style 
    Whether it is boho, vintage, modern, classic - if you know the style you are looking to achieve, it is easier to find a supplier that makes accessories in your chosen theme. And if your dress fits the style, don't stray - nothing is worst than bad mixing of different styles! 
     
    3. Pinterest is your friend
    And Google of course. For inspiration, keep a scrapbook of accessories that you like - or if you are an online person - pin the ideas you like on a board to come back to. 
     
    4. Unusual items are mostly online
    Most standard wedding stores have lovely bridal accessories, but they tend to be very similar from shop to shop. If you want something unusual - steampunk, gothic, themed, handmade or anything that you fancy that is not standard, your best bet are online, including selling platforms such as Etsy, Folksy, Not on the High Street
     
    5. Don't be scared to ask for bespoke
    It is your day, and may be the only time you ever get married, so having something designed and made for you is totally justifiable! Don't be scared of starting the conversation with a designer - it costs nothing and could lead to your ideal piece. 
     
    Hope these tips can help!