Photoshoots: Kirsty Stroma Photography

Hallo everyone!

I was really excited when model Nicole Abbott got in touch with me to see if I wanted to work with her on a shoot. I’ve worked with Nicole a couple of times now, and really love her energy – she always brings great shoot teams together too. 

Makeup artist Laura Cameron had wanted to explore the idea of doing a photoshoot with flowers and in water. Nicole brought some lingerie in muted colours along with her; Laura created a beautiful soft, feminine look; and hairstylist Sam Storie kept the hair very natural.

I picked some jewellery and accessories to co-ordinate with the colours of Nicole’s lingerie and the delicate feel of the whole look (the Semplice Swarovski crystal headband and earrings in a muted, vintage rose colour). And here are the finished images…aren’t they beautiful?!

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Kirsty Stroma Photography i

Image courtesy of Kirsty Stroma Photography

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Kirsty Stroma Photography iii

Image courtesy of Kirsty Stroma Photography

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Kirsty Stroma Photography iv

Image courtesy of Kirsty Stroma Photography

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Kirsty Stroma Photography v

Image courtesy of Kirsty Stroma Photography

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Credits

Kirsty Stroma Photography

Nicole Abbott

Laura Cameron

Sam J Storie

Gioia Mia

Channings Hotel, Edinburgh

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Previous Photoshoots

Seona Earle Misumi Photography

A House For An Art Lover: Part One

A House For An Art Lover: Part Two

Bridesmaid Revisited: Part One

Bridesmaid Revisited: Part Two

Gean House: Part One

Gean House: Part Two

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

Gioia Mia on Instagram

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Real brides: Lesley

Hallo everyone!

I’m really delighted to feature another of the beautiful brides that I have made jewellery and accessories for. I met Lesley at a wedding fair late last year, and enjoyed chatting and hearing her ideas from the moment she first stopped by and tried some pieces on.

Over to Lesley to talk a little more about how she decided on what jewellery and accessories to wear on her wedding day:

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At what stage in the whole wedding planning process did you start thinking about your jewellery and accessories?

To be honest, my jewellery was one of the last things I thought about! I wanted to be sure of the dress before deciding what would go with it.

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How did you decide what accessories to wear?

The dress decided for me. It was very plain and simple so that was the type of accessories I weas looking for. I didn’t want anything to take away from the elegance of the dress.

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Lesley’s dress was  a beautiful Lyn Ashworth dress. It suited her perfectly, as it was very elegant and understated, and feminine too. 

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Swarovski pearl bridal headband, earrings and bracelet

Image courtesy of John Carrol Photography

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Is there any advice about jewellery and accessories that you would give a bride to be? 

The advice I would give would be to browse the wedding fairs and try on different styles and designs, even those you don’t think you would consider. I didn’t ever imaging I would pick pearls and was originally looking for something sparkly. I walked past the Gioia Mia stand at a wedding fair and the headband I picked for the day was on display. I couldn’t resist trying it on. Despite trying on loads of sparkly headbands, the pearl one stuck in my mind and nothing came close to being suitable for the dress.

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After trying on her headband at the fair, Lesley made an appointment to pop round and see me in the studio.

We had a lovely chat about the jewellery she was thinking of commissioning to go with her dress and the headband she liked. Because of the neckline on her dress she had already decided against a necklace, but loved the thought of some earrings and a bracelet.

We kept the design of her jewellery extremely understated: just some simple drop earrings and a delicate line of pearls around her wrist, using some of the same kinds of pearls that featured in her headband. 

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What did you enjoy most about having your jewellery and accessories designed and made for you?

 I enjoyed meeting Sonia and hearing her ideas of what would suit the style of the dress I had picked. Having pieces made specifically for me made them even more special, made sure they were unique and made me feel extra special on the day.

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Swarovski pearl bridal headband

Image courtesy of John Carrol Photography

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What did you enjoy most about your big day? 

 Everything! I didn’t stop smiling from start to finish.

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What are you enjoying most about married life? 

I think the thing I’m enjoying most about married life is being able to call Campbell my husband after fifteen years of being together. It’s still feeling a bit strange though!

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Thank you so much Lesley, for taking the time to share your  thoughts and experiences with everyone. I really loved meeting you and hearing all your ideas, and it was amazing to be part of your big day!

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Credits

Photography

Thank you to John Carrol for his beautiful images of  Lesley and Campbell on their wedding day.

You can see John’s website here.

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More Gioia Mia Real Brides

Stacy’s necklace, earrings and hairpins

Jen’s comb and earrings

Alison’s comb, jewellery and bridesmaid’s jewellery and accessories

Charlotte’s earrings

Lianne’s earrings

Lynne’s tiara, jewellery and bridesmaid’s jewellery

Shona’s headband, jewellery and flower girl’s headbands

Lee-Anne’s headband

Rachel’s comb, bridesmaid’s jewellery and accessories

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

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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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Featured on: Under The Vintage Veil

 

Hallo everyone! 

I’m really delighted to be sponsoring Sara’s lovely blog, Under The Vintage Veil, for a short time. You can read my welcome post here.

Look out for a special offer for Under The Vintage Veil readers…coming soon! 

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Previous Featured On Posts

Featured on Cards By Sophie

Featured on Knots and Kisses

Featured on Love My Dress

Featured on Sprae PR

Featured on West End Girl

 

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Gioia Mia Online

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 at the Glasgow Girls Wedding Guide fair. Parklands Country Club

Hallo everyone!

I was very excited to take part in my second Glasgow Girls Wedding Guide fair recently. The fair took part in the Parklands Country Club, over on the south side of Glasgow, and photographed by the very talented Chantal, of Chantal Lachance-Gibson Photography:

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There were some fantastic goody bags for the first brides through the door:

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I had a lovely (and very busy) afternoon, meeting and chatting with lots of brides and all the friends and family that they had brought with them. I always enjoy hearing what ideas and plans brides have for their big day and seeing them try on my pieces. After spending many hours designing and making in the studio, it’s always very exciting to see them come to life when someone tries them on!

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Firm favourites were vintage-inspired headbands, with some rhinestone detail over to one side:w

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Delicate jewellery (such as the ‘Trio’ necklace and earring set above, and the ‘Rococo’ earrings below) were popular with both brides and their maids alike:

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Brides looking for a more understated look loved the different Swarovski pearl and rhinestone headbands that I had brought with me:

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And the lovely ‘Semplice’ headbands and stud earrings (which are available in a whole range of Swarovski pearl and crystal colours, as well as the ones shown below) were a very popular choice for bridesmaids and flower girls:

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Do drop me a line if you’d like to find out what other wedding fairs I’m taking part in, or if you’d like to arrange a private consultation to try on some of the pieces I had with me at the fair – you’re most welcome to come and visit me at my Glasgow city-centre studio!

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A very big thank you to the Glasgow Girls Wedding Guide for all their hard work in organising another fantastic fair, and to Chantal for taking these beautiful images of my display and of my work.

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Chantal is a fabulous photographer, specialising in weddings. She is based in Glasgow and works both in the UK and internationally, shooting destination weddings. I’ve included links to her website and to her Facebook page in the ‘Online’ section below, so you can have more of a look at her work. If you’re looking for a photographer for your big day, I can wholeheartedly recommend Chantal! 

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Previous Gioia Mia Events

The Glasgow Girls Wedding Guide fair. Pollokshields Burgh Hall, Glasgow

The Scottish Wedding Directory, Styling Event, The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh

Wedding Open Day, City Chambers, Edinburgh

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Online

Chantal Lachance-Gibson Photography

Chantal Lachance-Gibson Photography on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Facebook

The Glasgow Girls Wedding Guide

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Real brides: Stacy

Hallo everyone! 

I’m really delighted to bring you another post in the ‘Real Brides’ series that I’ve been running. These interviews feature some of the beautiful brides, maids and flower girls for whom I’ve made pieces, and provide an insight into the design process and how I work.

Over to Stacy to talk about how she decided on what jewellery and accessories to wear on her big day:hite

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At what stage in the whole wedding planning process did you start thinking about your jewellery and accessories?

I think it was about half way through the planning process before I started thinking about my jewellery. Once I had my dress I really started to put some thought into it.

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How did you decide what accessories to wear?

Again my dress helped me decide what jewellery I wanted. I knew I wanted something simple but elegant just like my dress.ite

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Stacy made an appointment and came round to see me in my studio one evening. She told me she was thinking of commissioning a necklace, a pair of earrings and a set of hairpins. 

We had a look through some sample Swarovski crystals and gemstones, and she picked a very delicate – and at the same time unusual – selection of colours that complemented her skin tone perfectly. 

She then described the neckline of her dress to me, and I suggested a short necklace, sitting just above her collar bone, that would also subtly emphasise her long neck.

We finished off her look with very understated earrings and hairpins in one of the Swarovski crystal colours she had picked out, so as not to detract too much attention from her necklace.

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What did you enjoy most about having your jewellery and accessories designed and made for you?

The thing I enjoyed most about having my jewellery and accessories designed for me was that I knew they would be original and the thought of having something made just for me helped make the big day a little bit more special.

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Is there any advice about jewellery and accessories that you would give a bride to be? 

Most people are willing to spend a little bit more on wedding jewellery than any other type so I would advise that if you are going to spend that little bit more to do so by getting a piece of jewellery designed for you.

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Thank you so much, Stacy, for taking the time share your thoughts and insights with other brides to be. I really loved working with you and making your pieces for you!

If you’re thinking about what jewellery and accessories to wear for your own big day, you’re most welcome to drop me a line to arrange a time to come and have a chat. I’d love to hear what you have in mind.

 

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Credits

Photography

Thank you to Stephanie Gibson for allowing me to use her images of Stacy on her wedding day.

You can see Stephanie’s website here.

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More Gioia Mia Real Brides

Jen’s comb and earrings

Alison’s comb, jewellery and bridesmaid’s jewellery and accessories

Charlotte’s earrings

Lianne’s earrings

Lynne’s tiara, jewellery and bridesmaid’s jewellery

Shona’s headband, jewellery and flower girl’s headbands

Lee-Anne’s headband

Rachel’s comb, bridesmaid’s jewellery and accessorieshite

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

 

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Flossy and Dossy on bridal trends for 2013

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I’m delighted to welcome Wendy from Flossy and Dossy to my blog today. Wendy is a Glasgow based, bridal dress designer-maker, specialising in vintage-style dresses, all tailor made to your requirements.

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Over to Wendy to talk about what brides are asking her for so far this year:

‘Most of the dresses I’ve been asked for are corded lace, tea length with cap or full sleeves. I’ve also had a few enquiries for Audrey Hepburn style dresses with three-quarter length sleeves and some cuff detail (like beading or lace). So all in all, I think that 2013 seems to be the year of the demure bride!’

How fabulous! I really love this style and these materials – they’re so elegant and feminine. And having worked with Wendy on a number of photoshoots now, I know how much care and attention she puts into every single piece that she designs and makes. Do have a look at her website for more of her beautiful work, and be sure to like her Facebook page to hear all her latest news. 

Online 

Flossy and Dossy

Flossy and Dossy on Etsy

Flossy and Dossy on Facebook

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See more of Flossy and Dossy on the blog

Gioia Mia loves: Flossy and Dossy

A ‘House For An Art Lover’ shoot part one

A ‘House For An Art Lover’ shoot part two

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Previous Bridal Trends 2013 posts
 

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

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Photoshoots: Seona Earle Misumi Photography

Hallo everyone!

One of the most exciting aspects of what I do, is the chance to collaborate with other creatives on photoshoots. There’s the opportunity of making new connections within the industry, of working together and gaining some understanding and appreciation of different creative practises and processes, of seeing your work in a different light.

So when Seona, of Seona Earle Misumi Photography, asked if I would be interested in contributing some pieces to a shoot she was organising, I was both delighted and very curious to see the final images. 

Seona emailed me the images a couple of days ago, and I absolutely love them! The styling and the attention to detail are incredibly beautiful. hite

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Huge thanks to Seona for bringing together such a fabulous shoot team, and to the team for all their hard work!

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As always, you’re most welcome to drop me a line to arrange a time to come and have a look at these pieces, or to have a chat about your own pieces – I’d love to hear what you have in mind!

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Credits

Seona Earle Misumi Photography

Helen McEwan

Lola Mimallone

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Gioia Mia Online

Gioia Mia website

Gioia Mia on Facebook

Gioia Mia on Twitter

Gioia Mia on Pinterest

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Real brides: Jen

Hallo everyone!

I hope you’re all keeping well, and enjoying your wedding planning – for those of you that are tying the knot.

I’m really delighted to bring you another in the series of interviews featuring brides who have commissioned jewellery and accessories for their wedding day from me.

Jen commissioned a comb and a pair of earrings. Over to Jen to talk about how she decided what jewellery and accessories to wear, and about the commission process:

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At what stage in the whole wedding planning process did you start thinking about your jewellery and accessories?

When I tried on dresses. There was jewellery in the shop and it seemed like they made me try on every tiara, necklace and veil!

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How did you decide what accessories to wear?

I already knew I wanted to wear a pearl bracelet of my mum’s I’ve always loved. I think deep down I also know I wanted a tiara, I didn’t give it much thought – when else do you get a chance to wear one? I decided I didn’t want a veil as soon as I tried one on in the bridal shop. I love them on other people but I just though it looked ridiculous on me! They kept putting one on me and I kept taking it off.*white

How did you hear about Gioia Mia?

A friend had her wedding jewellery made by Gioia Mia and was in love with the process and the jewellery.

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Shona is Jen’s friend. You can read about her commission, and see pictures from her beautiful wedding, here.

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What did you enjoy most about having your jewellery and accessories designed and made for you?

I loved that it was one of the least stressful parts of organising my wedding. I didn’t have to run around trying on loads of different pieces and struggle to choose, my tiara just sort of grew on my head! I had a meeting with Sonia and she asked me about what I like and showed me different things, and went from there. Later I had another meeting with her to see how it was going and if I was happy with it, which I was.

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Jen popped up to my studio and she told me about the ideas she already had. She tried on different samples I had, and decided she preferred a comb rather than a headband.

She picked out the most beautiful selection of  Swarovski crystals and pearls, in muted champagne tones, which looked just beautiful against the colour of her hair. 

For Jen’s design, I took inspiration from her dress: the overall shape of her comb echoing the sweet heart neckline of her dress, and the simple, elegant lines of her piece echoing the lines in the pleating on the bodice. 

When Jen came back to see me, she also ordered a pair of sterling silver and Swarovski crystal earrings, in one of the crystal colours she had picked for her comb. 

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Image courtesy of Alasdair Stephen

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Is there any advice about jewellery and accessories that you would give a bride to be? 

There’s a lot of jewellery and accessory options, so don’t feel like you have to have a particular thing to look like a bride. Pick things you love.

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You can see the pieces I made for Jen on my website in the ‘Real Brides’ section, as well as lots of other images of beautiful Gioia Mia brides and their commissions on their wedding day.

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And of course, you’re most welcome to drop me a line to arrange a time to come and have a chat about your own pieces. I’d love to hear what you have in mind!

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Credits

Photography

Thank you to Alastair Stephen for his beautiful image of Jen.

You can see his website here.

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Makeup

Jen’s makeup artist was Karen Bowen.

You can see her website here.

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More Gioia Mia Real Brides

Alison’s comb, jewellery and bridesmaid’s jewellery and accessories

Charlotte’s earrings

Lianne’s earrings

Lynne’s tiara, jewellery and bridesmaid’s jewellery

Shona’s headband, jewellery and flower girl’s headbands

Lee-Anne’s headband

Rachel’s comb, bridesmaid’s jewellery and accessories