My Wedding Day and What I’d do Differently!

So it is our two-year wedding anniversary, I know it’s only two years but it has gone in so quickly and of course the best two years of my life (I have to say that)! I got married though in a world before Facebook Pages, before Pinterest and before wedding blogs (well before they’d hit little old Northern Ireland), a world were you only had word of mouth and wedding magazines to give you all your hints and tips. Do I wish I’d got married this year, of course not, I love being married, but would I change a few things if I’d to do it again, definitely! I loved my wedding day, but for me it just flew in, so here are the things I’d do differently.


The morning of your wedding…

Sit down with a cuppa tea, your bridesmaids and your family all around you and have a good old laugh. I was in organise mode, I had planned our wedding in 10 months, along with doing my finals and buying a repossessed house that needed a whole lot of work done, that I had forgotten to switch off. The morning of my wedding, what was I doing, packing for our honeymoon, which was three whole days away. Also in the run up to your wedding, make sure you are in bed before midnight, this was a piece of advice I was given and which I adhered to. As a lot of brides are so busy doing the last minute touches, that they get little sleep, the days goes by in a flash and on honeymoon they just conk out and miss a good part of the honeymoon, which is probably the best holiday you will have in your whole life!



Probably one of the most precious things to a lot of brides, as they hold the memories of the one day you’ll ever get to spend with all your friends and family. SO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PHOTO LIST. If your photographer doesn’t ask for one, make one yourself and give it to your photographer, also give one to your groomsman, just in case the photographer forgets (which happens!) Sit down and think of who all you would like to have photographs with, girlfriends, school friends, uni friends, sisters, grandparents, may be even one of just you and your mum or you and your dad. I didn’t have a photo list, and although I know it’s not the end of the world, I would have loved to have photos with my mum and sister, with my grandparents, with school friends etc. Also, if there are a few photos that are really important to you, highlight them, tell your photographers so that they don’t present photographs to you after your wedding and people have their eyes closed (which also happens!)


Although I know they’re expensive, and sometimes an expense, which is easy to rule out, I would push the budget and try to get one. It’s nice just to have to show family, children, grandchildren, great-great grandchildren (you get the point!)



This is always a tricky one, how do you get your Best man, groomsman, dad, father-in-law, and if you open the floor to all, to keep their speeches to less than 5 minutes… impossible! Yet, all your evening guests are waiting to come in, the band is waiting to start and you (the bride) are waiting to get the first dance over!  So try!

My speeches were great, apart from my husband starting his speech with, “ I was wondering why Pete (the Best man) was growling at all the guests as he walked up the aisle… until I realised he was the ring barer” For those of you who haven’t got it yet, as I didn’t get it, nor did our guests… it’s supposed to be a play on ‘ring bear’! The rest of it was good though, and the groomsmen were great even doing a video and singing a song. If you don’t trust what your husband might say though, may be ask him to practice with you, not the stuff about you, but the thanking his parents, your parents, anyone who helped and then tell him to just say how in love he is, why he loves you and some funny stories to fill in the part about you… you can’t go wrong!

I actually wish I had said a speech, I know this isn’t for everyone, but I wish I’d stood up to thank my parents, brother, sister, those who had really influenced my life and of course my husband. I’ll get to do this though at a birthday party or anniversary in the future.


Have breakfast the morning after…

One thing I really wish I had done was have breakfast with my guests the morning after our wedding, or for those who can afford it have a wedding-weekend. We had so many guests from so many different countries, South Africa, New York, Germany, England, Canada, America to name a few and I felt like I hardly got to speak to them. I got a quick chance during dinner and that was about it. I wish I had arranged to meet up with them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper the next day to have a real catch up before jetting off on honeymoon. That’s what a wedding is really about, getting time to celebrate your marriage with loved ones.


Don’t get precious about your wedding…

I know this is a difficult one, as when you’re getting married you want everything to be perfect and a surprise, I know that best as I love surprises, more than I really should and wanted to surprise my wedding guests, I’m not talking operatic singers pretending to be chefs and guests and then bursting into song. I just mean, I wanted the colours of the bridesmaids to be a surprise, the décor, and now I realise it doesn’t really matter. I know for a lot of people it does, and you get caught up in wedding hysteria but when you get married, you will look back and realise it doesn’t, no guest is discussing the colour of your bridesmaid and how it might look. Don’t get me wrong, DO keep your wedding dress a surprise but don’t feel the need to lie. If someone asks who designs it, or where you bought it, just say “Ooo it’s a surprise, it’s the one part of my wedding I want to keep a surprise, but I’m happy to chat about bridesmaids, décor, venue etc.”


A wedding is having the day of your life with your closest family and friends, the man of your dreams, eating good food and dancing the night away.

 “A wedding is a party, not a performance.
If at the end of the day you are married to
the one you love, then everything went perfectly!”

Filled Under : Blog , Inspiration

We are Cruisers!

So I’m home from a sneaky holiday, which is the first in a year, I know that’s not unusual, however I’ve only had Christmas Day / Boxing Day and 1 other day since August. In between times it was crazy hours setting up Ivory & Pearl, so I hope we deserved it. Deserved it or not… We are cruisers! They say cruises are like marmite and we loved them! We did a 7 day cruise to – Naples, Toulon, Rome, Nice, Pisa, Barcelona, and it was amazing! 

I did forget my camera though, which was like forgetting a limb and my hair drier (which cruises don’t supply you with) and a hair brush – much to my hubby’s dismay this gave me an excuse to stay in hoodies and jogging bottoms basically the whole trip, I think that’s why he bought me a few new clothes (it’s a good way to hint ladies!)  It was fab just to sit back, relax, enjoy the sights and eat as much food as possible!

We went on Liberty of the Seas by Royal Caribbean – we heard they were the best with the best food (most importantly) so thought we’d try them as our taster! They had a flo rider, climbing wall, basketball court, volleyball, ice rink, theatre, table tennis, arcade… not bad for a cruise ship! If I would describe a cruise, I would say it’s like a Las Vegas Hotel on water, but the rooms are all like mini caravans all lined up side by side – with nearly 4000 guests and over 2000 crew members – they would need to be mini! It is by far the cleanest holiday I have EVER been on, there were crew members constantly cleaning the toilets, rooms, dining area!

There is great entertainment, a ‘piano man’ singing songs all night, night club, a theatre (we saw Saturday Night Fever), karaoke, swimming pool competitions (like the best belly flopper- thankfully Chris didn’t have an urge to participate!!!), quizzes and also great child minding facilities. The food is also amazing! It’s actually so nice to be able to eat when you want, without having to research and think what restaurant would be nice to eat in and then usually be disappointed in a foreign country. There are two options – a buffet style or a sit down meal where you chose of the menu and you’re served – which is really like what it looks like on the Titanic, the dining room even looks like the Titanic! When dinner is over at 9:30pm, don’t worry though as you can have free buns, tea, coffee and pizza slices until 3am! 

If you’re thinking of doing one, I’d definitively recommend it! Although they’re reasonably priced, they do try to catch you out in other ways – for example – cocktails are $12.15, digital photos (the ones they take of you as you go on the cruise, stop for excursions etc) were.. Wait for it… $199, excursions can then be up to $500 each and for families that’s a whole lotta money! However, if you’re willing to get about yourself – completely doable! Check out Tripadvisors new app, which you download before you go on hols, then you can access it without wifi and it tells you all the top sights and restaurants to see in each City! Stick to tea, coffee, lemonade, hot chocolate, ice tea, pure orange and apple juice, use your own camera, O and don’t get sucked into their evening deals.. Watches where $89.99 now $19.99 … Which Chris did get sucked into! Then you’re going to have a holiday at a bargain!! We used Planet Cruise to book, we got a great deal – but also heard its possible to play the cruise companies off each other to get an even better deal! We also booked our flights separately as it was quite a bit cheaper, however that meant if the flight was cancelled we weren’t Atol protected but thankfully it worked out okay for us! 

I hope everyone has a few days away this Summer to sit back and relax, ours is over, but hopefully a break at Christmas will be on the agenda!!

Love Kate


Filled Under : Blog


What happens in Vegas stays in…


Okay not really considering I went with my whole family! Yes, my mum, dad, brother, sister and my husband, who (bless his socks) endured the in-laws! This was our last big family holiday, which we were supposed to go on last year for my mum and dad’s 25th Wedding Anniversary and both their 50th’s (don’t tell them I told you!) but I got married! I had an absolutely amazing time… 3 and a half weeks with family, sun, sand and sea.. how could I not!!! A couple of people have asked if I had any recommendations, so I thought I would jot down a few things I wish I had known before I went to America. If you have any more questions though, just fire them my way!



I used expedia to book our whole trip, including flights, hotels and some activities! Before booking, I googled ‘expedia discount vouchers’ and found a code that gave me 10% off everything I booked! I also booked it through Quidco (if you have not been introduced to Quidco, acquaint yourself … quickly! It’s a cashback co-operative which you can earn money through when you buy anything online just for booking through them (Google it!) By using Quidco, I got another 10% cash back!) I also used Trip Advisor for reviews of hotels and activities. Lastly, try to fly with BA, not American Airlines. We had separate flights, in which, BA provide you with individual TV’s to watch all the latest movies, good food, eye mask, socks, blanket etc and American Airlines provide you with one TV to share between 20 people and no little luxuries!



Don’t forget your adapters, a sat nav (we would have been lost (literally!) without it!), a FairFX card is great for bringing dollars (check it out.. safer than carrying all your money and can be topped up when you’re in America on one of the best rates!), P20 (Wear sunscreen.. I learnt my lesson)!


Time allocation

For anyone going away for three weeks, I would go to San Francisco for 3 nights (as by the time you arrive you’ll sleep the first day), Yosemite 4 nights (so beautiful and relaxing!), Santa Barbara 3 nights, LA 4 nights (if doing all the activities, such as Universal/ Six Flags/ tour/ etc you need 4 nights if not then 2 nights is plenty), San Diego (we used San Diego as our time to chill and stayed in a resort, however, if you’re only doing the sights then a couple of nights is plenty) , Las Vegas 3 nights. I would also recommend going off peak, as there won’t be as many people!


San Francisco

San Francisco is beautiful, I think it’s the new ‘Windy City’ though, so make sure you bring a cardie! The main tourist area is Fisherman’s Wharf (along the front) and Union Square is where all the shops are! You’ll find that the carparks in the centre are a lot cheaper at the weekends, as companies use them on weekdays. If you are going to Fisherman’s Wharf, opposite Pier 33 (where Alcatraz is), on Francisco Road there is a car park which is $12 for the whole day! You can also walk (a long walk) to Union Square from here! There is also an iHop along the front (ask for directions as it’s behind a car park, which I would recommend having breakfast in.

Activities I did:

Golden Gate Bridge (The views are beautiful)

Cable cars (Ours was jammed packed so we didn’t get full enjoyment, but it’s an experience!)

Shopping (There’s a nice shopping centre, 2 blocks behind Macy’s. If you want to get to it, ask where Abercrombie and Fitch is)

Fishermans wharf

Painted ladies victorian houses

Cheesecake Factory in Macy’s (yummy!)

The tram

Alcatraz (need to book 6 weeks in advance!)

Movie Tours: (If you love your movies, this is great as shows you where movies, such as, Sister Act/Mrs Doubtfire etc were filmed around San Francisco .. I wasn’t but it was still a good way to see around San Francisco as we didn’t do a tour!)


Other activities that got good reviews on Tripadvisor:

Crooks tour of various scandals:–.html $30 same

Segway Tour around San Francisco: $70

Cycle over Golden Gate Bridge: £40


I loved Yosemite, it’s so idyllic, and relaxing and the views are spectacular! I would recommend camping in Yosemite though, as it adds to the whole experience (have to lock your food up from bears etc), you definitely need to book this well in advance as it books up fast! When you are in Yosemite, go to Glacier Point, we also swam in one of the lakes but just be careful, as water in Yosemite can be very deceiving! Try to fill up as much petrol in bigger cities, as more expensive in Yosemite! Your pass in is also valid for a week if you do stay outside Yosemite, definitely try to get in more than one day!


Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is beautiful, palm tree lined streets, and there are no billboards at all, not as commericalised as other areas of America. There is not much to do in Santa Barbara to be honest, but I loved it as it’s so relaxing, it reminded me of a European tourist town.


Things to do:

Walk along the pier

Hire the 5 seater bicycle (good fun!)

We did the bus/boat tour (It’s a short tour!)

Lovely Mexican restaurants in Santa Barbara

There’s a strip of shops and restaurants which I loved!



Although LA isn’t a particularly nice place, as it’s very busy. There are lots of activities to do to keep you busy!! I would definitely recommend doing the Beverley Hills/Hollywood tour, as trying to go to the Walk of Fame etc yourself, it’s nearly impossible to find a parking space! This way, you get to see all the sights and get to spend 30 minutes, at Rodeo Drive/Walk of Fame and Hollywood Sign! On the tour we did, we also saw celebirty houses, hospital Michael Jackson was brought to, court where Lyndsay Lohan had to go to, shopping centre Wyona Ryder stole from… … random things… as well as the main sights.. Book to go and see a TV show, such as Wheel of Fortune // Ellen // Dr Phil if you book in advance the chances are high!


Activities I did:

Griffith Observatory & park: Free. Good views of Hollywood Sign.

Universal Studios: As well as having rides, it also shows you how movies are created.. you also see sets from movies/TV shows like Desperate Housewives.. I absolutely loved it!! As soon as you arrive, look at times of the shows you want to see, such as the dolphin show and special effects (worth seeing) as by the time you go round the park, you may have missed the last showing! Also go in the ‘single ride’ line as you often get in the same ride as your family/friends and get through in 5-10 mins instead of 40-50 mins!!

Walk of Fame

Holywood Sign


Other activities that got good reviews on Tripadvisor:

Tour of Celebrities houses: Adult $38/ Child $28

The Dodger Baseball game: $25-$40Groundlings- check shows closer to the time:

Mary Poppins Musical: $40-$62

Venice Beach

Napels Canals

Six Flags: If you’ve never done six flags before, this one is great!

LA Galaxy


Laguna Beach

We just stopped off here for food on the way to San Diego, it’s a very, very popular beach and very beautiful!


San Diego

We stayed three nights in the Gas Lamp Area and three nights in a resort, if I was to do it again I would spend the whole six nights in the resort, as everything is very handy!


Activities I did:

San Diego Zoo: Go in the evening (when we were there it closed at 9pm, so if you went at 5pm that would still give you four hours) as it’s very very hot! Also bring water!

San Diego Sea World: I didn’t like Sea World as much as Universal Studios, but we bought our tickets as part of a package, which you can buy in Universal Studios. It’s great for young children.. again check show times to make sure you get to see them all!

For shopping, there’s a good mall called Fashion Mall, also Mission Valley Mall is right beside it.

The Melting Pot.. I absolutely loved this restaurant! You cook your own food in a pot in the middle of your table, so you have melted cheese with dippings for starter, salad, vegetables and meat in your pot for main and then a fondue (I had white chocolate with melted marshmallow and cinnamon and then all the dips such as marshmallows, bananas etc came with it!!!)


Other activities that got good reviews on Tripadvisor:

San Diego Botanic Gardens : Trolly Tour:

San Diego Segway Tour:

Whale Watching:

San Diego Chargers (Baseball):

Cornado Beach


Las Vegas

Las Vegas is amazing for couples, not so much for families. If I was to go again, I would stay in a nice hotel in the middle of the Strip, I would also do a show every night (if I won the lottery!) I found it very, very busy (busier than LA), allow plenty of time to go anywhere, as the traffic is crazy, the amount of people is crazy and you just feel as if you are queuing forever. Also try and book a few things to do before you arrive in Las Vegas, or organise your activities the first day, as it takes longer to get things organised than you think and then you can just relax and enjoy the show(s)!


Activities I did:

Grand Canyon by helicopter! You will find millions of companies offer this, there are ones where you can fly over the Canyon and the Strip, land in the Canyon and go down the river, land on the Sky Walk! We did the one were you drive to Hoover Dam, see Lake Meade, and then stop at a ranch, go horseriding and then fly over the Canyon (It picked us up and returned us to our hotel, it was $279 inc taxes to give you an idea of costs when you are comparing! We booked this one in CVS).

Wedding Chapel (Just to see!)

Watch the shows outside hotels, such as, Bellagio Fountains, Mirage light show and Treasure Island!

Cirque de Soleil: We did the ‘Ka’ show and it was absolutely amazing!!!!!

Carrot Top Comedy: Hmm… really funny first half, not so funny second half. My husband loved it though, but I would recommend putting the money towards another Cirque de Soleil or the Blue Man Group!!

Shopping: The shopping centre in the middle is fantastic, also the Outlet about 20 minutes away is also fantastic!!


Other activities that got good reviews on Tripadvisor:

The Blue Man Group (to be amazing!)

O’ Cirque de Soleil (Also supposed to be amazing!!)

Mac King Comedy

Absinthe Show

Digthis: Las Vegas Dinner Show:

Shoot a gun: FlightLinez Zip Line: Tussauds: (If you haven’t done

Madame Tussauds before, this is worth a juke!)


Guinness World of Records Museum


Love Kate


Filled Under : Blog

A new Wedding Dress Collection at Ivory & Pearl

Saturday night and I’m sitting in front of the T.V watching Alan Carr:Chatty Man, still working away! We had a really busy day today, meeting lots of new brides, I think there might just be one or two brides-to-be dreaming of wedding dresses tonight!! ;0) To be honest, I dream of them most nights!!! 

Last week I had a fantastic trip in London, my mum (AKA my Buyer), my aunt (AKA my Accountant) and I headed over to London to see the 2014 collections. As Ivory & Pearl is only open, I was really only going over to be nosey! I was very relieved to see though, that we already do have the nicest wedding dresses of each of our bridal collections, I know I am biased, but I promise we do! I bought a few new wedding dresses, it’s so hard not to, which will be with us in September!

It was nice being the one visiting though, as it made me realise how different some dresses look when you try them on in comparison to seeing them on the hanger! This means that I might torture more brides in to trying completely different wedding dresses on to what they had imagined, as dresses really do look better on than they do hanging (and sometimes vice versa). It also made me realise how nice it is to get a cuppa when you arrive, I do always try to offer a cup of tea or coffee when anyone visits, if you do come and I don’t.. just ask. I sometimes just get caught up chatting about weddings and forget, or I’ve simply just ran out of milk (but Tescos in just across the road)!!

*New Wedding Dresses*

I am very, very excited though to be receiving NEW wedding dresses next month from Caroline Atelier, Caroline is based in Cork and her dresses are going to be stocked exclusively in Ivory & Pearl in Northern Ireland. Caroline Atelier have appeared in You and Your Wedding Magazine, Brides Magazine, the Wedding Journal Magazine and also won numerous awards for their wedding dresses! If you are looking for a vintage wedding dress, Caroline’s wedding dresses are perfect! Here is a sneak peek at one fabulous dress, which is completely different, called Sienna. Check out the photo below!! There is also a beautiful tulle wedding dress, and a fab high neck wedding dress, and.. you get the point 🙂 I can’t wait to show our brides the new dresses!

I am off to finish a little bit of work, before my hubby and I head off to the Radisson Roe for Bank Holiday Monday, thanks to my lovely mother-in-law 🙂 Of course I will be contactable via phone and e-mail (I never switch off!) 

PS- If you’re ever in Limavady… eat in The Classic!!

ivory & pearl Wedding Dresses

Filled Under : Blog , Dresses

The world of Ivory & Pearl


I hope you’re all keeping well!!!

Everything is going really well, with me and Ivory & Pearl. We have sold over 10 wedding dresses now, and every single one of them has been different, which I absolutely love! I am loving that brides are choosing different styles, and also a little relieved that you are liking my taste in dresses! I know I said before, but that is far more than I expected, so thank-you! It also means that I have convinced my husband to buy more dresses, yippee!! Bless him, instead of enjoying himself, I’m telling him we need to save to buy more pretty wedding dresses, and in a man’s world it just doesn’t seem fair!! 

However, he shouldn’t really complain (right ladies?), as after working 2 years in Cork, he has been transferred to Belfast and he has me to wake up to every morning. Although, he gets up and I roll over to go back to sleep for another 2 hours, that doesn’t really seem fair either, but I suppose life isn’t fair! Honestly though, having him home has been amazing! Chris (my hubby) got offered a great job over 2 years ago, the only down side was that it was in Dublin and Cork, at the time it felt like the right decision, and we got through it surprisingly well, despite a few tears, and a quite a few lonely nights, we both threw ourselves into work. I spent most of my evenings, researching wedding dresses and Chris built up a career in property. He’s now been transferred though, and it has been amazing having him home as Chris and I have the best laugh together, life is a whole lot of fun with him around and having him around more, I now know I could never do the long distance thing again! I am also regretting a little that we’ve been apart for 2 years, on one hand, I am so (so!) glad we did it, as we both have jobs we absolutely love, which is a big plus, but I also feel like we missed out on lots, like the anniversaries, birthdays that we spent apart, even the silly anniversaries like, ‘our first date’, ‘when we got engaged’. I feel very blessed though, that we did it, that he’s home now and I’m really enjoying the time we have together.. Crazy Tuesdays tonight I think!

Anyway, less about me and more about the wedding dresses! So a lot has been going on, mainly me trying to organise Bridal Fairs, Sample Sales, Designer Weekends and a trip to see the 2014 collections, which I am very excited about! I have shortened it all and highlighted the main things…. enjoy!

2014 Collection
This weekend, I am going to check out some new wedding dresses for 2014 in London! I have had a few sneaks peeks and they are looking delicious, stunning back details, with sheer illusion necklines, which I love! I am very excited to see them in real life, and not only will I be looking at the new collections from my current designers, but also a few potential designers to bring into Ivory & Pearl! So keep an eye out on our Facebook Page, for more updates and (more importantly) photos!!

As I will be bringing new stock in, I will also be having a mini-sample sale, this means that I will be selling around a quarter of my stock for up to 60% off, so this is definitely an opportunity to grab a bargain!! This will be on the 7th and 8th June.. I have popped up a Sample Sale album on Facebook with photos of the dresses that will be included, I’m adding to it daily… check it out! To book an appointment, call 02891871135 or e-mail:

Naomi Neoh Designer Weekend
I am also hoping to have a designer weekend on 5th-7th July 2013 for Naomi Neoh, this simply means more of Naomi Neoh’s dresses in for just one weekend, as well as 15% off all her wedding dresses! I am just confirming dates with Naomi Neoh at the moment, but 5-7th July is looking gooood!! 

So my hubby and I are getting away on a mini-break in June (whoopeee!) I am going to close the boutique as it’s only for 7 days, but we will still be open for action on all Saturdays, as they’re so busy and you will all be in very capable and friendly hands when I am away!! I will still be contactable via e-mail, so to book an appointment, just e-mail me and I’ll get straight back to you! 

Opening Hours
I absolutely L.O.V.E running Ivory & Pearl, I have had the best few months E.V.E.R! Like any job, there is one down side, and mine is that I’m not busy enough, it sounds crazy but going from working full time and setting Ivory & Pearl up in my spare time to just working normal hours has taken a lot of getting used to! Understandably I am super busy evenings, Fridays and Saturdays and quiet during the day mid-week as everyone is working! Some days I wants girls just to come in and try on dresses, even if they’re not getting married.. just to give me a bit of craic! So I have decided to close Mondays, and start a little later Wednesdays and Thursday’s. This does not mean that you can’t book appointments on Mondays, Wednesday or Thursday mornings, as you ABSOLUTELY can… PLEASE do!! It just means that I won’t be in the boutique unless an appointment has been arranged. I always say it’s best to make an appointment any way, as I am doing a little bit of work on other projects, such as Sprinkles of Love (my other little business) and a little bit of consultancy, so sometimes I am out of the boutique, but I am always contactable on e-mail and my mobile (07828719131).

Have a lovely week!

Kate xxx

Filled Under : Blog

« 11121415

1st Floor, The Georgian House, 14 The Square, Comber, Co. Down, BT23 5DT, N. Ireland