The Big Ones…

Hi again, lovely followers!

Another week! HOW HAS THAT HAPPENED AGAIN?

What has happened this week then? Well, it’s been busy for me…

Still getting my head around our risk assessment to make our large and eclectic studio “covid secure”. We think we will probably open for limited appointments in late June or early July. Since part of our unique selling point (USP) is our hands-on, close contact, very personal fitting and design process, we don’t feel it’s acceptable to open in a rush on the 15th  June – clients are advised not to try garments on and contact time must be limited which does not fit in with our philosophy.

We are looking at opening when it is deemed safe for nail technicians and hairdressers to open, as our business is similar in terms of the physical relationship we have with our customers. We will have all the safety procedures in place as regards sanitising, restricted guests,  quarantining gowns for 72 hours and so on. It’s been a real struggle to work out because it is so alien to the way we normally deliver our service. However, we are looking forward to tackling the challenge with our brides and utilising video calling and so on to allow them to share the experience with their loved ones whilst keeping everyone safe.

Also, I’m still chasing the local authority and my MP for help with a grant,  so scintillating stuff… But by no means the most interesting or important events of the week…

This week saw me turn 50 yesterday and my daughter is 16 today!

So my main challenge this week was to juggle all my business tasks – admin, the trials mentioned above, make my weekly  new designs as part of my lockdown challenge – and…

…get my head around the fact that my long-planned 50th birthday party was not happening and working out how I could make my daughter’s birthday special too!

A couple of weeks ago, it was my son’s 13th birthday. This was easy as, to be honest, if he had been asked what his perfect birthday was he would have said “bacon sandwiches, presents, hugs from Mum, Dad and Rhianna, cake, wearing my onesie all day, chatting with my friends on the computer and not having to go anywhere or do anything. “

SO THANK YOU LOCKDOWN,  you actually provided a silver lining for one 13 year old!🤣

It would also have been the birthday of my younger sister, Fleur Lombard QGM, on Wednesday,  the day before my birthday (this used to annoy me when I was young, that her birthday was first). She was killed at work in 1996 (she was a firefighter) when she was 21, so she has remained ever 21 in everyone’s hearts.

Me and Fleur

I wonder what she would have been like age 46. Would I have nephews  or nieces? I miss her so much. Last year she had a train named after her, and my parents, my children and I travelled to Bristol to see it named. We then went to Cornwall for a few days to visit her resting place.  This year I just had to make do with a socially-distanced hello to my parents, with no hugs 😢😢😢

I can’t begin to say how hard that was. But the sun was out and we got to say hello and they were able to see me – luckily we only live 20 mins apart and I’ve been doing their shopping anyway, so no 250 mile trips needed🤔. That reminds me – I do need to chase Specsavers for my new glasses. And did you know Chris and I got married at Barnard Castle before it was cool…

Me and Chris at the castle, 2009

So I managed to get through Rowan’s and Fleur’s birthdays as their needs were few!

However, my daughter and I are cut from very different cloth. We are both Gemini (yes, that is as fraught with emotion and battles as you would expect!) We LOVE to party, see our friends, get dressed up and go places.

So this pandemic posed a particular problem.  How do we do it? The obvious answer is you can’t ( well unless you are a government advisor who can go where you want if it’s your mam’s or your wife’s birthday – don’t get me started). So I was a bit gloomy for a while, pondering how rubbish this was. Then I had a brain wave. I would just ask a few local friends to drive by, or walk by, and I booked 45 min slots, bring your own drink and cup. I placed a chair several metres away from mine in my garden (the upgraded lockdown project from the previous week’s blog) .

I love (like, passionately) the beach, so Chris (the husband) and I dragged the kids to the beach first thing yesterday morning and, boy, was it glorious. We parked on a quiet lane and walked down, only saw another family in the distance, collected shells and sea glass and it was perfect.

My family on the beach near Hartlepool

We returned home after our walk and I went into my garden to await my first drive by. I was not disappointed! I had planned that my friends could drive down the back lane and park the car right on the edge of the garden, but Jacqui, my first guest, was thwarted by a scaffolding lorry so she called me and I told her that she would have to park on the main road and walk through the alley and yard to me. I got on with arranging the shells and sea glass from the beach . Suddenly I heard singing and I turned around and there she was singing “happy birthday”. I was so shocked – she had come dressed up! I always have fancy dress balls or masquerade parties for my big ones, 30th, 40th and had planned the same for my 50th.

So there I am, in my shorts and cami top, and Jacqui is wearing a forest green silk off-the-shoulder 1991 bridesmaid dress and a peacock fabric wrap. I stood there gobsmacked for a nanosecond before I felt such overwhelming happiness that I have people who love me so much that they will do crazy things like this.  It totally set the tone for the day! She had even made me a 50th card by recycling some of her own cards from her 50th.

Here she is, one of my  most eccentric friends x (We recently had a conversion where we were discussing that she was eccentric; afterwards she asked a work colleague if she was and got the response, “Of course you are, you are weird as f@@k)” 🤣 and I love her so much.

I cannot leave out the beautiful, amazing Marie,  my Assistant Manager, sidekick, keeper of my books and sanity.  My “bouncer off of ideas-er “. I miss working side by side with this trusted colleague and friend so much.

Marie, ideas mistress

I won’t spam you with the rest of the day’s attendees, who were all equally delightful in their own ways. I felt like a total queen on my throne (AKA garden bench) receiving guests. It was totally amazing. And all the other friends who could not travel or be fitted in, I cannot wait to see you all over the next year – I’m 50 for another 364 days after all…

So today my daughter Rhianna (our daughter, darling husband) is 16. We have a typical feisty relationship: 2 strong willed Geminis; what would you expect? But I could not be more proud of her, especially the way she has survived during lockdown, when (like me) she is sociable and needs her friends, so she has struggled with it like me.

Rhianna , photo by Corrina Atkinson,  check out this blog for the whole team and all the other gowns and girls on the beach, it’s one of my favourites.
https://unconventionalwedding.co.uk/bohemian-beach-wedding-inspiration-boho-bridal-look/

And before I forget! Here are my weekly lockdown designs:  a starry top and a matching veil. Slightly easier project than previous weeks, as I was time-restricted since I had so much to do… Must be getting slow in my old age 🤣🤣🤣.

So, until next week, I’ll love you and love you again. Am I older and wiser? Well definitely the former – not sure about the latter…

PS

I also want to quickly thank my wonderful husband who proof reads and corrects my blogs every week, and built my website, and is pretty much very useful. Love him loads. He has been a rock (as always) during this lockdown.  He might or might not add a little word or two here about me. He wrote me a wonderful card, but it’s as long as this blog or I would share it with you. Suffice to say he is awesome.

Chris adds: “Greater love hath no husband than this, that a husband spend 30 minutes of his day editing his wife’s blog.” Love you, Bex!

Bring the beach to me!

Hi again, lovely followers! How on earth has another week gone by?

I actually wondered whether or not to write a blog this week, as I was struggling to think of an interesting topic. So I did consider giving it a miss. Sadly for me, I have an unfortunate character trait… I’m stubborn!!

I set myself these weekly challenges at my virtual coffee morning attendance on Google Hangout every Friday with the lovely Linzi from Unconventional Wedding. It’s become a sort of ritual that I design something new and write a blog each week. This morning, I felt a sort of reluctance. I asked myself, what if I don’t bother… Who will care? What can I write about that’s engaging and interesting? What have I been up to that my followers might be even remotely interested in? And even if I can think of something, how can I make it a cohesive topic?

The fingers of my mind leafed though the last 7 days’ worth of events: socially distanced supermarket shopping, posting a veil to NYC, figuring out a way to ombre synthetic satin, arguing with my local council about my eligibility for a grant, trying to open a new business account to access a bounce-back loan (sorted now, thanks to my mate Helen the financial wizard), negotiating the minefield of BBLS, chasing my MP to petition parliament on behalf of small wedding businesses and the long reaching financial effects of Covid amongst many other tedious tasks.

Meanwhile, I’m trying not to let my brain explode into an emotional and physical meltdown at the ridiculously complex and exhausting process to risk-assess my 2500 sq feet 7 showroom studio to facilitate a Covid-secure shopping experience. This would be about as far away from the hands-on, personal, free, unrestricted, wild adventure into a crazy attic of wonderful treasures that we pride ourselves in offering as you could possibly imagine. BUT we will find a way, which is why we are not rushing to open on the 1st June!

To be honest the week has been an emotional and mental rollercoaster… a Coronacoaster for sure.

I thought “pivot” was my least favourite term of the epidemic, but now I think it’s “risk assessment” 😷😢😡.

On that topic, we now plan to open late June, early July. We will not sacrifice either our clients’ safety or our customer service. We will be announcing our “Covid secure guidelines” in due course.

So, as you can see, it’s been a frustrating week – not stuff that will scintillate you!

That said, I got to thinking about the pressures we feel, and put ourselves under, at times of stress – the expectations and responsibilities.

I feel very fortunate that none of my loved ones have become unwell so far. The friends and colleagues I know who have contracted Covid have all recovered. My husband is a teacher, so is being paid. I received a small business grant, so am not overdrawn. With careful juggling and a loan or two, Bexbrides will survive.

So, whilst I’m extremely stressed and juggling over 80 brides being moved to new dates, I’m working out the “new normal” going forward (whilst battling against it, as it goes against everything I love and stand for in the way of the shopping experience.)

I have also had wonderful moments of calm and joy this week. I’ll share 3 of them with you.

  • Etsy success
  • Satin ombre success
  • My beach garden sucess

ETSY ORDERS

I have long planned to spend more time on my Etsy shop and the items I sell on there, whilst in my bricks and mortar shop I try and satisfy all needs from traditional to contemporary to alternative, in order to survive in an extremely competitive market. On Etsy I can just sell things that are truly me: a beautiful vintage brooch or gown, upcycled retro numbers I have ombred, rainbow veils etc. Do you know my rainbow veils have sold to Australia, Canada, Los Angeles and Mississippi, but not to one single bride in the UK? Come on UK rainbow lovers – where are you?🌈🤔🤨

My first lockdown challenge – the “veil on a bike” project…

SATIN OMBRE

I have wanted for years to try my signature ombre on satin. The first time I tried I was not happy with it, so I decided it was not possible and have stuck to tulle, chiffon, organza and occasionally lace.

But last Friday, at the weekly coffee morning, I set myself the challenge to do it. After making a skirt and dip-dyeing it… every last speck of colour just rinsed away.

🤣🤣🤣

So I thought I’d try my normal method, that I had dismissed as unviable a few years ago. Maybe now I’ve been doing ombre for years, and am more practised at it, it might work…?

🤔🤨🤞

Yeay… it did!! I chose blue as it’s my favourite colour (the colour of the sea in Cornwall when the sky is a really cloudless blue, that deep fatherless blue…) Of course, I added a blue ombre veil, and could not resist teaming it will the new short version of the Linzistar cape in blue that I made a couple of weeks ago. Ooh, and a jacket which I’ve added sparkly stars to!

Here you go… it’s our beautiful model Molly the headless mannequin again, on location at sunny Costa del Carpark…

So, with mention of the sea (yes there is a relevance to the title of this week’s blog, I’m not just being random… well actually I am, so what’s new I hear you cry), what’s happening in the world outside of Bexbrides?

MY BEACH GARDEN SUCCESS

I mentioned at the beginning of this lockdown that I had been using the personal time suddenly available (a commodity that is usually extremely scarce for me) to work on my yard and garden. I have been obsessed with the sea (yes, yes, and peacocks of course…) since I was a tiny tot… the sea has always held me in its mystical timeless thrall. I just love it! I think in a previous life I must have been a mermaid (or maybe just a seagull…)

So I was already well known in the village as that bonkers woman with a beach hut in her back yard, even though I live a good 25 mins drive from the sea. But… close enough to have seagulls on my roof, so I can dream, right?

Omg, how I miss my late nights in here with a close friend and a bottle of beer😢

So I was very happy with my little beach hut in my yard, but beyond my back gates for over 4 years since we moved in I have been putting up with sitting in a scrubby wild patch of garden, with no time to sort it out. During lockdown, I have kept myself busy. If I was not in a supermarket queue, caring for brides with the stress of moving their weddings, arguing with the council or the bank or simply going on my #dailyexercise, I was to be found here, losing myself in simple toil, listening to endless audio books, or simply enjoying the cacophony of the surrounding birdsong.

I have felt a ridiculous amount of anxiety at what has seemed like a guilty pleasure . Whilst key workers are on the frontline and many folk don’t have a garden, or even a yard, I’ve been doing something which some might see as unnecessary. But it’s kept me sane and so for all that it’s been done on a shoestring budget, and even though my preparation skills would give a landscape gardener an apoplectic fit, I’m truly chuffed to bits.

It’s been a meandering journey and the design has changed along the way, but my key inspiration I think is the huge driftwood beam fastened to the entrance on the right of the garden,a treasured find my hubby hauled back to the car from the tideline on the first day we were allowed to travel by car to #dailyexercise beyond our home. my hubby whisked me off to the beach (if I’m honest I was a tad low that day, and he was concerned and prepared to tackle and police that might quiz us, arguing the case it was to protect my mental health). But we did only drive 25 mins each way, parked well away, and only saw 4 people in the distance. We did not drive from Leicester to Cornwall, go out in a canoe and call out the sea rescue, like some other Muppet, or Covidiot.

Since then, we have had 2 or 3 8am trips, avoiding people and scouring the beach for bits of wood, maybe from a far off tropical coast (or maybe just from Whitby – who knows, that’s the mystery of the sea!)

I didn’t take a fully “before” picture. This one was after I’d already done a lot of clearing. If I had known I’d be sharing it with you guys, I would have created a more insta-worthy starting shot!

The inspiration driftwood beam…

And a little sign that has been patiently waiting for over 4 years for me to make the garden a worthy place to hang it up!

The fake grass is a 50th birthday present to myself, paid for with etsy sales to the far away US of A…

So, with that, I’ll love you and leave you for another week. Next Friday I may have a hangover as next Thursday I have the big five 0 – yep, I’m 50 next week, on Thursday, and my daughter is 16 on Friday… what an absolute pain, neither of us is impressed, but it is what it is and as I’m 50 for a whole year I’m sure I’ll have a party (or 5) in when this all blows over.

Stay alert, stay safe, see you next week.

Bex and co.

Retro Recycling

Hello, lovely followers! As we come to the end of yet another week of lockdown, I thought I’d share with you my latest dress experiment.

One of the positives of lockdown is I’m finally having time to experiment with projects I had on the back burner of my brain, so to speak.

I am very well known for my hand-ombred-hem dresses, but less well known for my passion for upcycling and bringing new life to sad and forgotten gowns.

I am a hoarder!!

There, I said it!! I am the proud owner of over 250 vintage and retro gowns, all of which need either TLC or a blast of fresh air and creativity.

Usually the only time I get to do this is if I, or another creative colleague, has an idea for a photo shoot, in which case I rummage through my collection and select a likely candidate to be upgraded -given the Phoenix treatment – so it can rise from its ashes of neglect and have a new lease of life.

Sometimes it’s a radical makeover with dye, or pigment.

Sometimes it’s changing the sleeves (the 80s are best remembered for their awesome pop songs, and not their sleeves…)

Sometimes it’s changing a 1970s neckline that satisfied great aunt Mavis and her delicate views, but today’s bride would rather risk a raised eyebrow.

Sometimes it’s changing the hem length, or a combination of all of the above.

So this week I decided something, after my tie dye mother-daughter experience last week (which was great, and means all the fake tan-ruined tops can now be salvaged!)

Last weeks mother daughter experience…

I decided to try it out on a sadly forgotten 1990s silk 2 piece. It was a beautifully made piece, never worn, but just lacking that little bit of “wow”.

1990s silk two piece looking a little woeful

I decided to go all out and go for a vibrant pink! I had some fabulous pink floral applique I’d been itching to use… So I shot off to the most exotic location I could find – my studio car park!

Revitalised with bright pink tie dye and floral applique.
Plus of course we can add an ombre overskirt

So that was this week’s lockdown project … Cannot wait to see it on a bride who has a head and arms!

If you are a size 16-18 and love pink, check it out!

Here are a few 1970s dresses I have changed necklines on, removed sleeves, made into separates etc. over the last few years, that I have been meaning to blog about, and now I have the time to

Changed the neckline and waistline
Changed the neckline,  the back and made into seperates.

Here is another that I made into separates (can’t find the before image in the depths of my files…)

And with it ombred to grey.

With and without ombre

These are all 1970s dresses that were either really short or far too small a size for today’s bride. I made them separates and added fringing etc.  I’m always really excited when I find a 1970s  gown as the sleeves are usually epic.

Emma Ryan Photography
Emma Ryan Photography
Emma Ryan Photograpy

If you liked these you can (after you get to the end, don’t wander off yet…) check out this lovely feature on https://unconventionalwedding.co.uk/live-your-own-fairytale-wedding/

This dress has had a couple of outings on shoots with the sleeves cut back and the damaged and ridiculously small bodice opened at the back.

Helen Russell Photography

Only in the darkness can you see the stars

I thought this was a very apt title. As we approach week seven million and fifty three of lockdown,  is it just me that feels it’s been that long…?

There is something rather magical about the stars. I find it rather mind-blowing to get my head around the fact that many are so old and far away and it’s taken so long for their light to reach us that they have long burnt away. We are effectively looking at a memory. How magical is that? I love the moon as well, especially a full moon, when it hangs like a shiny ten pence in the sky. As a child, I felt I could just reach up and take in my hand.

Anyway, this blog is not just me rambling on about stars and moons and how long they have been there. I would like, however, to take this moment to digress and mention star signs. I am mightily peeved to reach the long awaited May 2020, which I had carefully orchestrated (OK – that’s a stretch – it was a fluke…)

    • My son Rowan would turn 13 on the 12th (yep, we await the switch to Kevin the teenager)
    • I would turn 50 (no I can’t believe it either!) on the 28th
    • My daughter Rhianna would turn 16 on the 29th!

An amazing month of celebration, with parties galore (also my Mum is 73 on the 11th and my late sister Fleur has her celestial party wherever she is for her 46th on the 27th) So, as you can imagine a certain party pooper called Covid was not on my list of favourite guests! We all have Amazon wish lists and I’m pretty damn sure a pandemic is not on there! But I’m going to be 50 until 27th May 2021 so i will have that party! Anyway I digress. On with the stars!

A couple of years ago I met a lovely bride to be called Linzi who was to marry her partner Graham. I have rarely met a more wonderful client, so full of joy. together, we designed an ombre dress,which was quite full and which was to have an ivory star topper. During the dress journey, Linzi’s health took a turn for the worse and she had to change her wedding plans. She knew she might possibly be in a wheelchair and would definitely have a stick. She wanted a more slimline dress that she could easily manage, but she refused to give up her stars and that little bit of extra! So, as if by magic, she found some starry fabric and, using that and a version of my Rhianna Cape, the Linzistar Cape was born! It’s become one of our bestsellers; celestial themed weddings have become really popular , which I’m really pleased about because I simply love stars! I used to doodle stars over everything when I was a child, so being able to source fabrics with stars is fabulous.

Here are Linzi and Graham on their big day captured by https://belleartphotography.co.uk/and featured in Rock n Rollbride Magazine.

We now do the Linzistar in many colours: ivory with silver and gold (when I can get the fabric as it’s like gold dust, or should that be stardust?), ivory with gold, champagne with gold, ivory with pink and lilac, pink with pink and lilac, midnight blue with silver and finally simple ivory on ivory for the more sedate star lovers.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/806128641/linzistar-cape-star-veil-embroidered

About a year ago a colleague of mine Nicola from Not so Average Wedding challenged me to make a star dress for the cover of her new magazine The Alternative Wedding Magazine and so the Rowan dress cosmic version was created, and modelled on one of my favourite places Marsden Beach. Photo by https://www.instagram.com/thewildloveclub/. You can buy this magazine here http://alternativeweddingmagazine.co.uk/shop

Every week I have a virtual coffee morning hosted by the wonderful Linzi Barford from http://unconventionalwedding.co.uk and I rashly make a promise to Linzi and the other virtual novelty mug tea drinking wedding suppliers who drop in and keep me sane, to make something each week. Last week brought you the Pink starry Andromeda dress, this week I bring you Starlight Rowan available on etsy. Looking fabulous in the sunlight, and in artificial light, so you can imagine what you would look like twinkling on your big day.

I managed an impromptu photo shoot on my own in the Studio carpark, and the mannequins were all well behaved and tried to social distance, but then remembered as they were all headless it was fine to cluster together for photos. I’m hoping I have a queue like this when I reopen 🤣

I’ve pulled together a selection of images of Linzistar and Rowan for you to enjoy. I’ve credited the photographer, BUT there is an awesome team behind every image.  I could not supply you with such beautiful images without all the amazing suppliers I have been privileged to work with. Please contact me if you like what you see and I can point you to the full team behind each image.🖤

Tonight, go outside with a rug, lie down and stare at the stars and the moon –  really stare. In a time of uncertainty like this its great to have something beautiful and timeless to gaze upon. If you live near the sea, even better…

Enjoy these images. Until next time, love from Bexbrides and Eclecticbrides team: Bex , Marie and Christine ( and behind the scenes Chris my hubby and tech support, Rhianna my often times model and Rowan my ginger tea maker…)Xxx

Love to you all

Bex (aged 49 and 49/52ths…)

These 2 images taken at Arnos Vale by https://www.leeshawilliamsphoto.com

These 4 photos at Northshire by https://www.paylorphotography.co.uk

The image below was taken just before lockdown at Camp Katur by https://www.paylorphotography.co.uk

This below was taken at Newcastle Castle by https://www.victoriaspongephotography.co.uk/

And finally a few more beauties from https://www.instagram.com/thewildloveclub/ at Marsden for http://alternativeweddingmagazine.co.uk

PEACOCK ON LOCKDOWN

Hi, my lovely followers! How are you all doing?

Have you learnt a new skill, become a home teacher, enjoyed your family time, made the most of the situation??

Hmmm?? Maybe? But probably if you are like me, you are just surviving, relishing the small victories: “OMG, a bag of flour!”; “ooh only 30 people in the supermarket queue”; “Yeay! Its sunny again…”

I’ve been juggling the other issues: bills to pay, mortgage and credit card holidays to arrange, checking the children are doing their school work… I’ve a son, Rowan, who will be 13 in a few days and he is quite happy with lockdown, apart from the school work is not interesting/ challenging enough and he is reluctantly dragged out on a walk every eve). I’ve also got a  daughter who will be 16 this month – the day after I turn 50 actually – she has no school work as her GCSEs were cancelled and (apart from her daily bike ride) she only leaves her room to eat… She is living up in her attic bedroom like a cross between Miss Havisham and the first Mrs Rochester, with her unworn prom dress for company. She has become fully nocturnal and her weird shrieks of laughter whilst connected with her friends via social media  keep me awake like some sort of weird bird of the night.

My husband is a teacher and is teaching online. Only half a dozen out of 30 kids turn up to each lesson he has painstakingly prepared, and the shifts he has covered in school, with 10 of the 1400 students who are still attending, have shown social distancing children is going to be a logistical challenge.

So whilst all this has been going on I’ve been still doing my #dailywalk, lost a few pounds, come to terms with the fact that my long planned girls trip to a fancy villa in Spain for my 50th (with my newly-16 year old daughter) will be cancelled, and there is little chance of finding a new holiday on a date in the next 12 months that all my friends are able to do. It is what it is. I’ve cried, they have cried, my travel agent must be drowning in tears and gin, I expect.

Meanwhile, I’ve been speaking to and keeping in touch with all my brides who are affected so far. I have agreed to move/ accommodate every single one.

My clients have been amazing and I cannot thank them enough for helping keep me sane, rather than cause me further distress.

I love you all!🖤🖤🖤

My bespoke clients are keeping to their original payment agreement dates, with me completing the gown to that date should restrictions be lifted, and if alterations are needed in the future, I’m doing them for free. If restrictions prohibit my completing the gown to the original date, then I’m accommodating fittings and completion closer to the new date.

For my alteration clients who either bought a dress from me or brought a dress to me to be altered, I have moved the payment, and the work/fittings closer to the new date (even thought this means me doubling my workload at peak season next year, and having a full tax year with zero wage potentially)😢

I am offering to store gowns for free for six months after original dates, and at a minimum fee after that. I have to increase my goods in trust insurance to cover this, but I want to continue to offer physical and financial protection to my clients for their dresses.🤗

Of course every week I am closed I am not selling any dresses or accessories to new brides, or being paid for any sewing, but I still have rent, insurance, marketing (which if you drop that ball you are stuffed) furloughed staff to pay, as the money is not paid back as yet (and I’m making up 20% voluntarily myself), stock package payments- yep sadly those beautiful 300+ vintage gowns and 250+ designer gowns you all get to look at and choose from to have a good choice, they all had to be paid for, some with built up funds from 10 years in business, and some are on finance. I was eligible for the small business grant -it covers my business for 16 weeks of outgoings- and so far I’ve been closed for 5/6 weeks, and as furlough is extended to end of June I’m assuming I’ll be closed at least 15 weeks. Then, who knows when weddings will start again, You can do the maths…

I know all my brides/couples are juggling an entire armada of suppliers, some in dingies, some in corporate yachts, some like myself who feel like they are in an inflatable flamingo from Home Bargains (OMG, that shop has kept me alive with almond milk, puncture repair kits and possibly the odd bottle of fruit cider 🤔)

As regards the monumental task of postponing your wedding, here is a fantastic article: see link, with great advice and resources. Oh, and can someone please deal with Martin Lewis, who appears to be trying to capsize some boats by sharing misleading information….

Sharing Perspectives on Wedding Postponements – What Couples, Venues & Suppliers Would Like Each Other To Know

 

SOON ( I hope!) we will have a back to business plan for the UK. Once we reopen I can sew again, and see current and future clients to do face to face consultations and fittings. I can not wait! Even if we are all in full PPE (be a challenge, but hey ho..)

However until the government are clear on plans for weddings in the future Bexbrides and all her lovely brides face an uncertain sea.

Many folk have said we are all in the same storm but in different boats; this is true, but shortly we are all going to be sailing into different winds, some will hit calm seas and some will have to navigate even worse storms.

I wake up in the night (usually woken by the strange teenage nocturnal screech creature mentioned above) and I lie there in the dark wondering how it will pan out. I think I’ve driven my poor husband crazy with my “what if this happens” and “what if that happens…”

He just calmly says, have any of your brides decided they are not getting married at all? I say No. He then says so it’s just a case of juggling then, and moving it around- it’s a challenge, you thrive on challenge Bex, its literally what powers you, I’ve never seen you be defeated by anything or anyone and I’ve known you since you were 7.

Yep, we met in 1977. He is my Han Solo and, yeah if I say I love you, or he says it to me, we do sometimes say “I know” in that infuriating tone. (BTW we just had an Episode 4 to 6 binge watch with our son Rowan, over last 3 days, which was great, though I think I’ll need another month of lockdown before I can face the Pants Menace…)

So I’ve tried to stay calm, keep my inner peacock slightly less crazy than it wanted to be, and keep it coaxed down from that far away tree it flew to in the initial stages.

I’ve set myself little goals each week.

The rainbow veil on a bike challenge, which ended up in insta stories on @unconventional_wedding, and @rocknrollbride .

RHIANNA ROCKING THE RAINBOW VEIL

Adding items to Etsy…

Peacock Tiara
Vintage crystal brooch
New champagne version of the Linzistar

And making new designs, as I currently have this strange thing called time…!

So I’ll leave you with an image of the new design, which I have asked for name suggestions for on my Facebook page, as I could not think of one. Now I have the problem of choosing one of the many amazing names suggested!

So in the spirit of the current times and learning ways to adapt and deal, I decided to pick several of the celestial themed names.

NOW I HAVE TO MAKE MORE DRESSES!

See, as usual, my brilliant followers and friends have helped me out.

I think I’m going to call this first one Andromeda (thank you Gem Stockdale)

And I’m going to come up with more starry designs for the other names. Keep the names coming as I’ll just keep designing …

ANDROMEDA named by Gem Stockdale xx