New Exclusive Stockists of Catherine Deane!

We are beyond excited to announce that Ivory & Pearl are the exclusive stockists of Catherine Deane in Ireland!

I absolutely love these gowns, and can’t wait to get them in for brides to try on! Here is a sneak peak of the wedding dresses we are receiving, with a few of them arriving next week! Eek!

Love Kate
xxx

The Catherine Deane bridal collection is an exquisite adaptation of time-honoured techniques combined with contemporary design elements.

Catherine is passionate about taking something from the past and making it relevant to today whilst appreciating its original beauty.

Initially taking inspiration from vintage textiles, French lace and long forgotten craft, Catherine explored the natural world which provides an endless source of influential ideas. From the delicate beaded backs, inspired by dew drops on spider’s webs to the three dimensional embroidered flowers, her bridal collection is awash with nature’s jewels.

Sumptuous and luxurious, European fabrics include gossamer silk tulles and delicate laces from France and opulent silk charmeuse. These fine fabrics are adorned with subtle pearl and diamante embellishments creating a unique yet elegant look which evokes a feeling of refined whimsicality.

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Filled Under : Blog , Dresses

Love and the Shoreline

Today I was involved in a photo shoot at Tullyveery House, with other amazing professionals within the bridal industry, honestly it blew my mind how spectacular everything looked, I cannot wait to share the entire shoot with you. However, in the mean time I thought I would share with you another shoot that Ivory & Pearl wedding dresses were used in last year! The photos are just outstanding by the extremely talented Paula O’Hara Photography! See all the other suppliers involved at the bottom <3

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Alise Taggart – Stylist
Cinematography – Story of Eve
Floral Earth – Florals, driftwood, hurricane vases,
Ursula Bamford – Headpieces,
Jennifer Ireland – Makeup
Lynette Murray – Hair
Ivory & Pearl – Wedding Dresses
Table 10 – Chivari chairs
Paperbark – Stationery
Ruta Mineikyte – Model
Piaras Smyth – Model
Cakes by James
J Bird Bakery – Macarons
Coppermoon – Rings
Innocent Chaos Jewellery – Feather bouquet

Filled Under : Blog

Wedding venues

I hope you all visited the Quirky Wedding Fair yesterday and got some great ideas for your wedding, as well as meeting some pretty cool people who run amazing wedding venues.

As wedding venues in Northern Ireland are like great, well kept secrets. When you type ‘wedding venues northern Ireland’ into google (I’m sure you’ve done it!) there you have some beautiful hotels, the ones in the centre of Belfast, the Hastings Group which have stunning hotels. If however, you want something a little different, not because you don’t like hotels, just because. Then I thought I’d help you a little, and provide you with a few I have come across in the last few months. I can assure you I didn’t know of any of these when I was getting married. I was like many newly engaged couples- I didn’t have a clue! It did help that I’d been bridesmaid a few times but when it came to venues, caterers, even my wedding dress it was down to a whole lot of research!! It however didn’t help that I got married before the days of Pinterest or Facebook pages or wedding blogs. I write that like it was many years ago, it was however only three years ago and it’s amazing how much things have moved on even since then! 

Lately I have stumbled across some beautiful venues, which I would definitely recommend checking out. When you’re choosing a venue, there’s a few things to consider.

Is it within your budget?

Can you have your ceremony there as well, is that included in the price?

How far is it from your ceremony, it’s hard enough finding somewhere half way between your families but if you can find somewhere close enough to the ceremony if they’ve already travelled it might help them a little. If you’ve found the perfect venue and you want to travel, it’s no biggy just ensure there’s time for photos.

What are the extra costs, such as hiring the kitchen (yes this is a cost), extra guests, is VAT included?

Is there somewhere for everyone to sit in between the ceremony and dinner, think of your grandparents.

Will you be providing tea/coffee/canapés, can these be bought if you’re not (for your hungry guests!)

Are there nice places to get photographs taken?

Are your caterers included, if not, I absolutely love Jane’s Kitchen and I can personally recommend their food. Another one which I’ve heard raving reports about are the Yellow Door, a little more expensive but for the real foodies.

Here are a few places to help you with your search (just click the name and it’ll bring you to their website):

Breckenhill
Ballyduggan Mill
Hillden Brewery
Larchfield
Limepark
Lisaanoure Castle
Riverdale Barn
The Carriage Rooms at Montalto
The Ulster Museum
Tullyveery House

And don’t forget Marquees !!

If you do choose a venue that is a little bit off the beaten track, make sure that you include directions either in your invitation or at the ceremony.. you don’t want people getting lost!

Love Kate
xxx

Filled Under : Blog

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!

 

Photographs…

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!)

Videographer…

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!)

 

Speeches…

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

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!

 

Booking

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!

 

Packing

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: http://www.zerve.com/SFMovieTours/BusTour (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: http://www.crookstour.com/Buy-Tickets-Now–.html $30 same

Segway Tour around San Francisco:http://www.sfelectrictour.com/segway/san_francisco_city_tours.html $70

Cycle over Golden Gate Bridge: http://www.viator.com/tours/San-Francisco/San-Francisco-Golden-Gate-Bridge-Bike-Tour/d651-3306ROCK £40


Yosemite

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!

 

LA

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:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g32655-d116887-Reviews-Griffith_Observatory-Los_Angeles_California.html Free. Good views of Hollywood Sign.

Universal Studios:  http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/ 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: http://www.starlinetours.com/los-angeles-tour-1.asp#BuyNow Adult $38/ Child $28

The Dodger Baseball game: http://mlb.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=la#y=2012&m=8&calendar=DEFAULT $25-$40Groundlings- check shows closer to the time: http://www.groundlings.com/shows/schedule.aspx?month=8

Mary Poppins Musical: http://www.musiccenter.org/cal/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=5689&year=2012&month=8 $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: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/ 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: http://www.seaworld.com/ 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 http://www.sdbgarden.org/ : Trolly Tour:http://www.trolleytours.com/san-diego/rates-and-reservations.asp

San Diego Segway Tour: http://anothersideofsandiegotours.com/i-366725-the-gaslamp-segway-tour.html

Whale Watching: http://www.sdwhalewatch.com/san-diego-whale-watching-ticket-prices/

San Diego Chargers (Baseball): http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0A00488B928A3A5F

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!!!!!http://www.mgmgrand.com/entertainment/ka-cirque-du-soleil-show.aspx

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: http://www.digthisvegas.com/online-booking-form Las Vegas Dinner Show:http://www.jeffcivillico.com/las-vegas-dinner-show/

Shoot a gun: http://www.discountfirearmsinc.com/rentals.html FlightLinez Zip Line:http://flightlinez.com/Madame Tussauds:http://www.madametussauds.com/LasVegas/BuyTickets/Default.aspx (If you haven’t done

Madame Tussauds before, this is worth a juke!)

Trampolining: http://flipnoutfun.com/

Guinness World of Records Museum

Enjoy!!

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