Why I set up Ivory & Pearl (and a sneaky wedding dress pic!)

Soo.. Ivory & Pearl has now officially been open for over a month, some beautiful brides have found THEE dress, and it is all very exciting!

There are a few recurring questions I get asked about myself and the boutique, so I thought I would put some of the answers up here…

1.0 How long have I been married?

I got married two years ago this summer, on a dry but windy day on the 12th August 2011 at Lissanoure Castle. I had a fantastic day, with all of my family and friends, eating some amazing food by Jane’s Kitchen and dancing the night away with Haste to the Wedding. It just flew in, and if I could convince my husband to renew our vows… I totally would!

2.0 What was my wedding dress like?

My wedding dress was by Jenny Packham, it was the first high neck one I found (after searching very high, and very low)! When I try to describe it, I say it had roses around the neck and a big band around the middle. I don’t know what kind of image that conjures up though, so I thought I would add a picture, see picture below by Ten21 ivoryandpearlweddingdress 

3.0 What made me set up Ivory & Pearl Bridal Boutique?

Well.. from the age of 14 I have worked in every industry imaginable, from carrying my big red bag and delivering the Belfast Telegraph, to telesales, a beauticians, TV wholesalers, a shredding company, Next, Gap.. and so on. After school, I started doing a degree in Social Work, but during my summer job in the summer after the first year of university, the company I was working for, offered me a full time job if I changed my degree to Business Studies, so I swiftly changed! And it was one of the best decisions I ever made, as I learnt so much about business through my degree and work experience, I got exposure to a lot of situations I would have otherwise never have got! It was then that I knew I wanted to open my own business one day, I just didn’t know what!

Fast forward August 2011, after getting married myself, I set up Sprinkles of Love, where I did (and still do!) hire table decorations and make bespoke, shabby chic signs. I started this out as a hobbie alongside my full time job, as my husband had got a job in Dublin and I was home alone every week night. So more than anything, it was something to keep me busy in the evenings. I absolutely loved doing it though, I loved working with brides, thinking of new ideas and just looking at weddings in general. Through Sprinkles of Love, I got to learn a whole lot more about weddings, by going to bridal fairs, meeting other suppliers etc. It was then that I realised that the business I was going to set up, had to be something to do with weddings, because:

A) I was passionate about it!
B) I knew a lot about it!
C) I knew I could bring something different to Northern Ireland 😉

And I do want Ivory & Pearl to offer something different! I want us to have wedding dresses that are new to Northern Ireland, wedding dresses that are classy, elegant, vintage, different and perfect for the fashion forward bride. I am so pleased with some of our dresses, Claire Pettibone, Sarah Janks, Anna Maier, so many of our designers are exactly the style I wanted when I set up Ivory & Pearl and I am so glad that we have them! I also want Ivory & Pearl to offer a great customer service, for brides to enjoy the experience of visiting our boutique and of course for you to find the dress you love and look amazing in it! 

Lots of Love
Kate xxx



Filled Under : Blog

It’s not all about the presents… BUT!

I posted this a couple of months ago, just on my Sprinkles of Love facebook page, so now that I actually have a blog, I thought I would post it on here as well!

Sitting in Church a few Sunday mornings ago, my husband and I were chatting to a friend about Christmas, when I heard my darling, generous, kind husband …. say how he got a £100 restaurant voucher from a friend for Christmas. Which all sounds completely fine … unless … you knew he had given me that for Christmas as MY Christmas present and not said anything! Which is exactly what happened!! Chris didn’t stop at just giving me the voucher, he told me how it’s one of the best restaurants around, he had been looking at the menu, we’ll have to book in early as it’s really popular.. he went the whole hog!! (LOL)

This unfortunately isn’t the first bad present experience Chris has had though, as for my birthday 2 years ago he hadn’t got me anything and wanted to run into Belfast on my birth-day to get it, but the best bit was he had lost his debit card and asked if he could borrow mine! The year after… it wasn’t much better, he made me wait in the car as he ran into.. wait for it… Tesco to get my birthday present.. I swiftly brought that present back… and no I did not give him my debit card to buy the other present!

However, as funny as those presents may sound (upon reflection may I add!!) Chris has actually given me some amazing presents!! So I thought I would share some with you men to help with the inevitable birthdays/Christmases/valentines/anniversaries.. it’s not easy being a man!


Present Numero 1.0

Sitting in my living room one evening, about to watch TV.. the doorbell rang… and who appears? A mobile beautician, which Chris had arranged to give me a back massage and a facial! (This was such a nice surprise!)

Present Numero 2.0

I received a Moonpig card in the post, with three ladies in blue… he then wrote three clues inside for me to guess what the present was… and… he had booked the Dirty Dancing Musical in London for that weekend. It was one of the best trips ever!!!

Present Numero 3.0

The year after London.. Sitting watching TV with Chris, he turned off the TV, and said he had a surprise for my birthday. So off to Dublin we went, for a thai massage, dinner and a show. However, that night he said he had another surprise, which we had to get up really early for!! So at 5am we got up and went for a 45 minute drive to the middle of nowhere, I had no idea what we were going to do but then I saw it.. a Hot Air Balloon! Off we set, and half way through the journey, Chris pointed over the hills and my eyes dropped to a little red ribbon that was hanging outside the basket. I started pulling it, and came across little pieces of paper which he had attached little notes onto and at the bottom he had a Thornton’s bar of chocolate which said ‘Will’, just as I was about to ask what it meant, Chris was down on one knee and proposed!

I think I’ll end with a high, there have been lots more, such as, the personalised pillow to keep me company midweek, the news report on how he’d actually remembered my anniversary (written by him), trips away.. I just need to remember these times when I’m presented with the ‘restaurant-esque’ presents!



Filled Under : Blog

Exciting Times!

I am the kind of person who never switches off.. the person who is hoovering around your feet when you’ve just sat down with a cuppa, the one who has all the dishes washed from dinner… before you’ve even eaten your meal and who even replies to e-mails at 3am!

However, this weekend, I tried my best to chill! Chris got St. Patricks Day off, which also falls on his birthday, so I decided to take it off too. I think I was a lot more tired than I thought I would be getting accustomed to a new working life, and as I was in a car accident on my first day of work, it also took a lot out of me. However, as Chris currently has a broken foot, we thought we’d postpone his birthday celebrations, and relax instead.. and it was great! We had dinner at a friends, watched Saturday Night Take Away (gotta love Ant & Dec!) we went to church, went to my aunts for Sunday dinner, watched Got to Dance (also gotta love Ashley Banjo!) went to see Side Effects at the cinema(takes a little while to get into, but worth a watch) and the rest of the time, I sat down with a cuppa tea and read Me Before You.. definitely worth a read!

So now I feel refreshed and ready to start a new week! I’m excited to start working with Visionary Veils who are making Ivory & Pearl a few bespoke veils to match our wedding dress collection. I am having a meeting this week to discuss working with a new jewellery company (wait until you see their items!) Our dresses will be in Ulster Bride and the Wedding Journal this month! The rest of my Anna Maier collection is arriving (check out their Bianca gown)! One amazing photographer will be photographing some of our gowns in a Beach Boho photo shoot! We are running a small competition with Hastings Hotel, watch out on Facebook! And more…

I am really looking forward to seeing some of you this week in the boutique, that’s the part I love most about my job!

Have a lovely week!

I’m off back to my book… 

Lots of love



Filled Under : Blog

  • February 28, 2013
Hello and Welcome to Ivory & Pearl Bridal Boutique.

I am so excited to open Ivory & Pearl, after months of researching gowns, accessories, websites, furniture, rails, mannequins, hangers.. yes hangers (it’s amazing what you spend your Saturday nights researching!!) we are finally opening! And I hope our research has paid off, as we have a beautiful boutique, with a range of wedding gowns that are new to Northern Ireland, some are even new to Ireland and we have one amazing designer new to the UK. My appointment book is already nearly full for the first week of opening, which is amazing… thank-you! I couldn’t have opened Ivory & Pearl, without a few very special people though and so I would just like to thank them quickly!

Firstly, Philip, thank-you for your advice, help, time and support over the last six months, and for telling me I can do it! As Director of 2 companies, you will be glad to hear that if it all falls apart (which it won’t) you will still have a great career ahead of you as a PA! 

Charlie (my mother-in-law), after working long hours, I would come home and Charlie would have dinner sitting waiting for me on my front door step! Thank-you for being so considerate and doing so much for Chris & I! 

Dad, simply for believing in me at all times! I think if I said that I was running for Prime Minister you would be right behind me.. okay may be not, but no matter what you always had faith that I could open my own business!
Mum, despite working full time, having two other children, there you were to help me at Bridal Fairs (standing for over 20 hours one weekend, to get up at 7am on Monday morning for work), helping me clean the boutique, marching around London with me to see all the designers (you should have seen us, on tube, off tube, on bus, off bus, walking a mile, and that was only one designer… it’s not as glamorous as it all sounds!) and I know you would like everyone to know that you helped me pick all the wedding gowns!!!

Mark and Anna (brother and sister), life would definitely not be as fun without you both! Mark, thank-you for helping me move all the items in and out of the boutique, and Anna for assisting all the brides-to-be at the bridal fairs. I can’t wait for you to come into the boutique to answer the phone for Ivory & Pearl.

Chris (my husband), after travelling 3.5 hours each way to work and back, many would think that your weekends would be a nice relaxing time, but unfortunately- it has been trips to B&Q, fabric shops, sofa shops, interior shops, The Georgian House umpteen times.. and instead of dinner on the table Friday night it has been a conked out wife on the sofa! Things will definitely change, but putting the dinner on the slow cooker before I go to work.. will not be happening! Thank-you for being so patient, and putting all your time and energy into helping me set up!

I would also like to thank, Slater Design for designing the ‘Ivory&Pearl’ logo, they really captured what I wanted my bridal boutique to be, and I love all the marketing literature. Home Creations, for making 2 bare rooms into a fully functional Bridal Boutique, I couldn’t recommend them more! Carol, for helping me with all fabric choices, after standing in the Cotton Print nearly in tears with all the fabric samples, your direction has been fantastic! And Sara, for helping me at all the bridal fairs, I know if I ever go on holiday, Ivory & Pearl will be in good hands!

Well that is the “thank-yous” over, I hope if/when you come into the boutique you enjoy the whole experience and a visit to Ivory & Pearl is memorable 🙂
Lots of Love
Kate xxx



Filled Under : Blog

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