Gioia Mia loves: Flossy and Dossy

Hallo everyone!

I was really delighted when Wendy, of Flossy and Dossy, asked me to contribute some jewellery and accessories for a photo shoot she was organising for her new collection.

I was even more excited when she agreed to let me feature her collection and the shoot on my blog. And here it is – a perfectly-formed collection of the most beautiful dresses, made with lace, tulle, sequins, silks and satins. Pretty details abound: illusion lace and polka dot overlays; capped sleeves; scalloped trims and satin-bound edges; large silk bows; delicately beaded sashes and motifs. Which one’s your favourite?!

 

 

Flossy and Dossy Bridal Shoot Struve Photography Gioia Mia

Marina

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Marina

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Ruby

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Cora

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Cora

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Lucie

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Lucie

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Gisele

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Flossy and Dossy, wedding dress, Struve Photography, Gioia Mia

Gisele and Jane

 

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Do drop Wendy a line if you’re looking for a dress for your big day. Her designs are so elegant and feminine, the materials she uses so beautiful, and they are so exquisitely made, that you couldn’t help but feel very fabulous in one!

Oh, and if you’ve subscribed to my newsletter, there will be a special ‘Birthday Treat’ in the next one from Wendy. If you’d like to receive a copy, drop me a line with your email address and I’ll make sure that you get one.

 

 

Flossy and Dossy Online

Flossy and Dossy Website

Flossy and Dossy on Facebook

Flossy and Dossy on Twitter

 

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Shoot Contributors

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Photography

Struve Photography

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Dress Designer-Maker

Flossy and Dossy

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Makeup Artist

Theresa Glasgow

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Hair Stylist

Alison Campbell

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Jewellery, Headpieces and Accessories

Gioia Mia

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Hats and Additional Headpieces

Modiste

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Florist

Lavender Blue

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Venue

Sloan’s Ballroom

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Models

Rosie and Dawn

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Previous Gioia Mia Loves Posts

Pamper and Polish

Samantha Whitehead-Young Wedding Design

Flossy and Dossy

Hill Wedding Stationery

Struve Photography

 

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia Etsy shop

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

Gioia Mia on Instagram

 

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Gioia Mia loves: Pamper and Polish

Hallo everyone!

I’ve always loved watching makeup artists and hair stylists at work: they have such an incredible eye for choosing and blending just the right colours, and for the most flattering styles; they work so quickly and precisely; and the very best have the loveliest, easiest manner with people.

I really enjoyed watching Lesley, of Pamper and Polish, at work and absolutely loved the different looks she created for our model, Eilidh. I thought that it might be interesting to ask Lesley how she created Eilidh’s look, what products she used, and why she picked certain colours or products.

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Over to Lesley:

I use Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics because the full range of make up is kind to the skin – it’s also referred to as the ‘skincare make-up’. It is free from oils, talc, FD&C dyes, synthetic preservatives, parabens and synthetic fragrances. It is water resistant, long lasting and allows your skin to breathe, therefore lovely to wear!

My model Eilidh had lovely, flawless skin. I decided to keep her make up natural to enhance her own natural beauty as she was modelling delicate, handmade pieces of jewellery.

I applied some primer to the skin to increase the luminosity of the skin, followed by an application of ‘Liquid Minerals’ foundation. This foundation is light reflecting with the mineral spheres suspended in aloe vera gel and lavender flower water, so very refreshing to wear on your skin. 

No sharp contouring or concealers were applied. I used a soft peach blusher with a little highlighter above the brow bone.

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Handmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By Light Photography

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I chose peach and a mid grey/brown (‘Crushed Ice’) eyeshadow colour to accentuate Eilidh’s eye colour, followed by a soft brown eye liner and black mascara. 

A brow powder was used to sculpt and enhance the brows naturally, which also helps to accentuate the eye area. Soft gold points at the inner corner created a wide-eyed look.

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Handmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By Light Photography


Lipgloss completed the make up look with one of the new colours available, ‘Sangria’.

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Handmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By Light Photography


Lastly, I used a light spritz of D2O hydration spray all over the face which sets the minerals, hydrates and plumps the skin.

The jewellery and hair pieces are delicate pieces and light to wear, so I decided to keep Eilidh’s shoulder-length hair soft and natural so that the hairstyles wouldn’t distract your eyes away from the head pieces.

I put a soft curl into Eilidh’s hair by sectioning the hair into small sections and curled it using a medium sized curling wand.

I then ran my fingers through the curls using a little Schwarzkopf serum called ‘Osis’. You only need a tiny bit of this. By doing this, I was able to pull out and soften the curls to then create my styles.

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Handmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By Light Photography

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I finished and set the styles using Paul Mitchell fast drying sculpting spray which holds really well, but also brushes out easily.

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Handmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry,  comb, hairpins, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By Light Photography

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Handmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry,  comb, hairpins, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By Light Photography

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GiHandmade, bridal, wedding, jewellery, jewelry,  comb, hairpins, earrings, necklace, sterling silver, Swarovski pearl, Swarovski crystal, headband, tiara, bride, bridesmaid, Gioia Mia

Image courtesy of Bound By LIght Photography

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These Gioia Mia head pieces are versatile and can be worn in different positions on the head and within different hairstyles, which is shown in this shoot.

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Thank you so much Lesley, for sharing your skill and expertise. And if you’re looking for a hair and makeup artist for your big day, I can wholeheartedly recommend Pamper and Polish!

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Pamper and Polish Online

Pamper and Polish website

Pamper and Polish on Facebook

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Shoot Contributors

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Photography

Bound By Light Photography

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Hair and Makeup Artist

Pamper and Polish

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Dress Designer-Maker

Flossy and Dossy

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Jewellery and Accessories

Gioia Mia

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Model

Eilidh

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Venue

Many Studios

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See More From The Shoot

The ‘Arco’ Collection

Jewellery

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Previous Gioia Mia Loves Posts

Samantha Whitehead-Young Wedding Design

Flossy and Dossy

Hill Wedding Stationery

Struve Photography

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia Etsy shop

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

Gioia Mia on Instagram

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Good customer service – what is it and what does it feel like? Part 2

Hallo everyone!

This is the second of my posts looking into what good customer service is, how it feels and the benefits it brings (both from the perspective of a customer and from that of a business person too). You can read the previous post here.

On our last day on holiday in New Zealand earlier this year, we took the ferry over from Auckland to Waiheke Island. The island is well known for its vibrant creative scene, for its delicious local produce, and for the very dedicated community of winegrowers based there.

We decided to go to a wine tasting and after asking a few locals for advice, we ended up in the beautiful Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant. Set high up on the island, with the most incredible views, we enjoyed a leisurely tasting of some of the wines produced and sold by the vineyard.

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Our host was extremely informative, very knowledgeable about the different wines that they produced (and about wines in general), and obviously took great pride in the different wines he was pouring for us.

We had been planning on staying for dinner at Mudbrick, having heard a number of people recommend it, but the restaurant was closing for a wedding that evening. So we left after our wine tasting – and just as the first guests were starting to arrive. We walked back through the beautiful vineyards and along the dusty road, back down towards Oneroa, as more and more guests passed us in the opposite direction.

I had loved my experience so much, and the whole atmosphere at Mudbrick, that I dropped them a line after we got back to Scotland to ask them about their philosophy, and this is what Imogen of their sales and marketing department wrote:

‘For all of us at Mudbrick good customer service is about clear communication, consistency, understanding of the product and education of our guests; a desire to help and enjoyment in helping guests have a great experience, but above all listening to them and understanding their needs and wants.’

We take a pride in our community, our business and the products we create. We want to be able to showcase all of these elements but without the pretence and arrogance often associated with fine-dining establishments.

Like all businesses, we have great days and not so good days but with every encounter whether it be with guests or suppliers we endeavour to be helpful, clear, concise and take all feedback into serious consideration.

We appreciate people’s time and that there are many other choices for our guests out there – in Auckland and on the Island, a choice which you can never take for granted so when guests arrive we like to make them feel special and show our appreciation for the time and support they have given to our business. We think, if you appreciate each guests’ personal time and interest in your business it really shows, through repeat business and reviews. After all, nothing is as great for a business, as personal references and viral marketing.

Any business will do well if they put time and effort into creating not only a fantastic, high-quality product but also a great sales and customer service team. Or in our case, bookings team and floor staff.’

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I asked Imogen what were the aspects of good customer service that she enjoys the most, both as a business person and from the perspective of a customer. She told me:

‘…a warm welcome, a smile is a must, knowledge, a touch of humour, manners of course and calm, cool, collected personalities that are decisive when action needs to be taken and, again, an appreciation for giving and receiving business. There is nothing worse than a supplier or waitperson who has an attitude and comes across like they don’t want to be at work let alone give a damn about your business, don’t listen to you and have no desire to help you. It is the most frustrating thing.

We really do try to work with our staff to guide them through processes of good customer service and teach them that not only is it the key to praise from customers, continued business (and great tips) but also great practise for ones’ personal life as well. The same principles I have mentioned above can easily be applied to personal interactions and really do help you to live a calm, successful life.’

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What truly inspiring words to live by. Imogen sums so eloquently what good customer service is all about, and also everything that I loved about New Zealand: how very welcoming everyone was – which I noticed from the first moment that I stepped onto the Air New Zealand flight to take me from Hong Kong to Auckland, and which remained so throughout our whole holiday; and the enormous, at many times unspoken, common sense of pride in the natural beauty of their own country and what is has to offer.

And do visit Mudbrick if you’re over in New Zealand – I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we did!

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You can read the first post in this series here.

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Mudbrick Vineyard

126 Church Bay Road,

Oneroa, Waiheke Island

Auckland, New Zealand

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Online

Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant

Mudbrick on Facebook

Mudbrick on Twitter

Mudbrick Weddings Blog

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Good customer service – what is it and what does it feel like?

Hallo everyone!

Some of you already know that I was lucky to have had the most amazing holiday with my husband in New Zealand earlier this year.

We were in Auckland for a week, and then we spent the next week and a bit travelling around Northland, which is (perhaps unsurprisingly) the northernmost region of New Zealand.

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Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

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Seaweed on Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

Seaweed on Piha Beach, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

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Sunset at Pukenui. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

Sunset at Pukenui, New Zealand. Image (c) Sonia Macrae

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New Zealand, as you can see, is an incredibly beautiful country. The sense of space, particularly of large stretches of uninhabited space, and of being close to nature is very familiar for anyone who has travelled around Scotland. As is the contrast between two very different cultures, one modern and one with much more ancient roots.

On our last day, we took the ferry from Auckland to Waiheke Island. We spent a few hours lying on Oneroa beach in the late summer sunshine, then visited a nearby vineyard for a wine tasting before heading back to Oneroa for dinner.

After spending some time wandering around, peering into various restaurants and scrutinising the different menus, we eventually decided on the Oyster Inn as we loved the location (it overlooks the beach), and the menu seemed delicious.

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Exterior

Image courtesy of The Oyster Inn

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We were given a warm welcome in a restaurant that was obviously the pride and joy of the owner and of everyone who worked there. We were offered our choice of tables: inside the restaurant, or outside on the first floor balcony.

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Restaurant Looking East-1

Image courtesy of The Oyster Inn

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The Deck

Image courtesy of The Oyster Inn

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Our dinner was wonderful! The wine we drank came from one of the local vineyards on Waiheke Island (a merlot named ‘Faithful’ from Stonyridge Vineyard); and our waiter enjoyed taking the time to explain that the wine had been named after the vineyard’s much-loved black Labrador. Our food was delicious, cooked to perfection, beautifully presented, and showcased some fabulous local ingredients. We left feeling full, slightly tipsy, happy, feeling that we had been well looked after and that our custom had been very much appreciated.

Andrew, from the Oyster Inn, explains their philosophy: ‘Excellent customer service has to come from the heart. It requires personal touches and going the extra mile. It means being well-informed to the customer, knowledgeable, helpful. A warm smile is integral to good customer service; even the smallest of mistakes can be solved with an apology and a warm smile.’

So there it is, in a nutshell: the best customer service requires heart and soul, expertise, meticulous attention to detail, consistency, imagination and creativity, pride in what you have created and a willingness, and openness, to share all of this with others.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the Oyster Inn has just been included in Cuisine Magazine ‘Best Restaurant 2013’ list and Travel and Leisure has included the small boutique hotel there as one of the best new hotels of 2013.

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The Oyster Inn

124 Ocean View Road

Oneroa, Waiheke Island

Auckland, New Zealand

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Online

The Oyster Inn

The Oyster Inn on Facebook

The Oyster Inn on Twitter

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Gioia Mia loves Samantha Whitehead-Young Wedding Design

Hallo everyone!

 

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is getting to know some very talented and fabulous peeps. As soon as I started chatting with Sam, I knew that she would be incredibly good at what she does. I’m really delighted to feature her work on my blog. Over to Sam!

 

 

 

Can you tell me a bit about your business?

 

I started my career co-ordinating many exciting and innovative weddings in the hospitality industry as a wedding and events manager. It was through this that my passion for weddings grew and Samantha Whitehead-Young Wedding Design was established in 2003. That passion has not faded over all these years and every wedding is different which makes for an exciting and interesting life.

 

 

 

 

We offer couples many services to assist in the planning of their wedding from an hour consultation to full wedding planning. We are a supplier-independent therefore we are not tied to any specific allegiances or interests allowing us to create the perfect occasion without compromise. We have however over the years built a lot of relationships with local and national suppliers to help save you money. We negotiate the best prices possible and pass on all discounts and benefits to our clients through our clear accounting system. In fact, these cost savings quite often negate the cost of our fees altogether.

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

We understand that it is the couples wedding day, and follow their wishes to the letter creating the day that they dreamed of without all the stress that is inevitably involved.

 

 

 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

 

I love working with the couples and their ideas, as mentioned before each couple and wedding is different and it makes for a working life where one day is never the same.

 

The whole process is enjoyable from the day that you realise their design dream via an inspiration board to providing the dream wedding within budget.

 

 

 

 

 

However, the finale of the wedding day itself is where it all comes together and having the pleasure of experiencing everything from the look on the groom’s face when he first glimpses his bride, the emotion of family and friends throughout the day and the ever increasingly interesting first dances!

 

 

 

 
 
 

 
 

 

I enjoy the end of this day not because I am glad it is over, but because they have had the day they have been dreaming of so long and will remember with their friends and family forevermore.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

What plans do you have for your business for the future?

 

Our future plans consist of many more SWY couples having the wedding of their dreams!

 

 

 

 

 

Kind words

 

Dewson Entertainments

 

‘All the work for The SERIOUS Hat Band and [the top hat band] comes from word of mouth. We think this is because we’re obsessed with making sure our clients are nothing less than delighted with our performance on and off stage. Clients tell us that our meticulous and efficient organisation means they have complete confidence that we’ve thought of everything. And fortunately, we’ve been around long enough not to have to work with anyone who doesn’t take the same approach. We’re proud to be picky and we can count the number of agents, party organisers and wedding planners with whom we work, on the fingers of one hand. We’re delighted to include Samantha on that list and even more delighted to be included on her list of trusted suppliers. All her events run like clockwork and her calm and capable organisation makes for a perfect event every time.’

 

 

 

Howard Keith Wedding Photography

 

‘We have only had the opportunity of working with Samantha a couple of times and in that time we have found her approach to wedding planning extremely refreshing. She is courteous, efficient and amiable. Above all, she loves what she does.

 

Wedding planning is more than just organising people around a set of times, it’s knowing the couple’s aspirations and understanding every variable at a wedding…and there are many! I hope we have an opportunity to work with Samantha in the very near future.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah & Lee

 

‘Just a line to say thank you so much for our wedding day. I know perfect days like that do not happen without a lot of hard work and effort.’

 

 

Helen & David

 

‘Samantha is incredibly dedicated to what she does and has a great passion for weddings. Throughout the planning process and through the day itself I was incredibly relaxed, knowing that Samantha had everything in control.’

 
 
 
 
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Gioia Mia Loves Hill Wedding Stationery

 

Hallo everyone!

 

One of the great pleasures of working on a photo shoot is the chance to collaborate with other industry creatives, and to be able to gain a bit of an insight into their own processes.

 

I was very excited to have Caroline Hill, from Hill Wedding Stationery, design and make all the stationery for our shoot. I wanted to give her the chance to tell me a little more about her business, and about her design process.

 

 

Can you tell me about your business?

 

The business was set up in 2006 whilst planning and researching my own wedding. I found sourcing the stationery very difficult, as I couldn’t find any inspirational designs, so I utilized my own fashion and design background to venture into the wedding stationery field.

 

 

I like to think we offer invitations with a creative flair which give a feel of the whole wedding style, we also offer a bespoke service so can work with the bride and groom closely to achieve the desired look and feel.

 

 

 

What did you make for the shoot?

 

I supplied stationery for the shoot, I wanted to give inspiration and to show that the stationery can be linked to the whole wedding styling such as dress, venue, flowers etc.

 

 

Can you tell me a little about the design process? What was your inspiration? How did you decide on on the colours and the details?

I began researching the fashion and style of the 1930’s and the 1950’s, which were the eras which I knew the whole shoot wanted to portray.

 

The 1930s are thought of as glamorous and sensuous, so I tried to depict the elegance in the invitations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the 1950’s influence invitations I used vintage style typewriter keys and a quirky red 50’s telephone. I wanted to show the pretty retro styling of this time.

 

 

 

 

The colours were matched to the Flossy and Dossy dress colours which were to be featured in the shoot. I wanted to use the same palette to co-ordinate well with the whole image.

 

 

What did you enjoy most about the shoot?

 

I loved collaborating with other professionals and being involved in the whole process and of course seeing the final fantastic images!

What are you working on next?

I’m looking into the spring fashion trends and will be designing new collections based around these very soon. I also hope to be involved in more photo shoots with this fabulous team.

 



 

 
See More From The Shoot
 
 
 
 
Hill Wedding Stationery
 
 
 
 

Shoot Contributors
 
 
Photography
 
 
Make-up Artist
 
Hair Stylist
 
Dress Designer-Maker
 
 
Jewellery and Accessories
 
 
Menswear
 
 
Flowers
 
 
Stationery
 
Car
 
Gramophone
 
 
Venue

 

 

 
 
Models
Emily Morton
Caeley Elcock
Jamie Hillen
Omar Zingaro Bhatia