The Love My Dress Summer Soiree ~ The Dream Team Who Made It Happen…

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I'd like to dedicate this whole entire Sunday on my blog to the many people who helped make the Love My Dress Summer Soiree such a roaring success.  {Go see the preview photographs and preview film if you haven't already}.

This was a BIG team effort – everyone listed below worked their socks off and went to great lengths to transform a blank canvas room into the spectacular vision that awaited guests come 6.30pm – and most of this transformation occured in the final 3 hours.  Amazing! {if not mildly anxiety inducing!!}.

Whilst I will be 'doing a proper blog' about the event next week, I didn't want to leave it a second longer before thanking these people for creating so many beautiful memories of an amazing evening on 3rd August 2011 in the North East.

♥    ♥    ♥

Kim Groves – The Fine & Funky Event Company…
[email protected]
Twitter – @FineFunkyEvents

Owner of The Fine & Funky Events Company, Kim Groves, was my right hand lady.  That is she second from left below looking beautiful in her fancy Zeleb frock.

Kim is a beautiful person inside and out; she is calm, reliable on the ball and focused.  Which is a good job, because I nearly lost the plot on several occasions in the run-up to the event {genuine concern that barely anyone would turn up and we were also let down by one supplier at the very last minute}.  Kim has a great sense of humour and doesn't take herself too seriously and really knows how to work those vintage photobooth props to the max – and the sensible clipboard look too 😉 Thank you so much Kim for ordering me off the premises of the BALTIC at 3.30pm to go and get ready, I might have still been there faffing about detail and everything being right by 6.30pm otherwise……! 😉

Kim offers a fabulous wedding and event styling service – look her up now if you want your wedding day to look super gorgeous, chic and pretty with lots of beautiful vintage and vintage inspired props. I cannot thank Kim enough for the massive effort she put in to this event. It would not have happened wihtout her.

All Photography Coypright (c) 2011, Helen Russell,  unless otherwise stated.

IMG_43882011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree


Severin Hubert of 'Hepburn Collection'…
[email protected]
Twitter – @SeverinHubert

When I set out to make this event become a reality, the very first person I contacted with Severin Hubert of 'Hepburn Collection'.   Severin is a master hairstylist, top of his game – there IS no one more talented in my books. Being a French man, Severin trains in Paris with the very best hair stylists in the world. His passion for his craft is evident from the very first time you meet him.

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I would have not held the soiree on 3rd August had Severin not been available at that time. I adore Severin and his wonderful wife Roz,  his right-hand lady and Manager who accompanies him on all his commissions and I cannot recommend the services of Severin's 'Hepburn Collection' to ALL Brides looking to have their hair styled on their big day.

Sev styled the locks of seven ladies for the Summer Soiree and worked flat out from 11 am until 7.30pm doing it. He was amazing and I am so incredibly grateful to he and Roz for everything. High-Five Sev!!! 😉


Lisa Jones – Hair & Makeup Artist…
[email protected]

Massive thanks have to go to  North East Hair & Makeup Artist extraordinaire, who worked tirelessly all day to make about 10 of us look and feel glamorous and gorgeous.  This is the first time I've worked with  Lisa, and I am VERY impressed.  She is so much fun to be around, a little burst of energy and cute smiles. And she does a mean smokey eye!

IMG_34852011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree IMG_34882011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree


Katy Lunsford and Helen Russell – Official Photographers…                    
[email protected]           [email protected]
Twitter – @KatyLunsford           Twitter – @Helen__Little

Katy IMG_35842011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree

 That's Katy on the left there and Helen on the right 🙂 It was really important to me that I chose photographers based in the North to work with.  Katy Lunsford is a talented Manchester Wedding Photographer and Helen Russell is a Wedding Photographer based in Newcastle Upon Tyne.  I love them both for their passion, kindness and the wonderful enthusiasm they showed towards the Summer Soiree from the very start.  Big, big thanks to these two ladies.


Mintyslippers – Filmmakers…
[email protected]
Twitter – @mintyslippers

There was only one choice of film maker I had in mind from the off-set to work with – the brilliant Mintyslippers, who I first featured on Love My Dress back in January.  Thank goodness the lovely Danny and Julie said "yes please!" when I approached them to see if they might be interested in working with me 😉 I just love them both  – totally down to earth, funny, great sense of humour, AWESOME {sorry!} film makers.  Danny spent most of the day using his stealth techniques to stalk and film me preparing for my big day. I barely noticed him at all, even though he was carrying one mahoosive bit of kit!

I cannot recommend Mintyslippers highly enough for any couple looking to book a Wedding Filmmaker to document their special day.


I would also like to thank the extended Mintyslippers team of Gavin and Alex who came to assist in the cinematic magic on the day 😉 You can see the sneaky sneak preview here 🙂


By Appointment Only Design and Bel's Flowers                 
[email protected]          [email protected]
Twitter – @BAODesign                                  Twitter – @BelsFlowers

I had the complete pleasure of working with two amazing companies when it came to styling the BALTIC with flowers for the Summer Soiree; London based By Appointment Only Design travelled up with a van packed to the rafters with the most outrageously gorgeous roses and hydrangea.


Lovely Helen Mawson of Bel's Flowers was responsible for the floral decor on the Terrace, and Javier and Tony of By Appointment Only Design kitted out the main function room with their huge and impressive rose domes which sat proud on urns in the middle of the room.  Full floral glory will follow when I publish the official set of photographs 😉


AVA Event Styling and The Boutique Baking Company +
[email protected]
Twitter – @AVAEventStyling + @Boutique_Baking

Wow. Wow and WOW again!  Absolutely incredible styling from this gorgeous new company who specialise in venue styling, event theming and tablescapes.  AVA Event Styling is Vickie Pritchett, also of the The Boutique Baking Company {who provided all the simply divine & delicious sweet treats}, Amanda Plester of Bonne Fête Hire and Amy Grzegorzek of Little 'a'

AVA Event Styling, The Boutique Baking Company, Love My Dress Summer Soiree 2011

AVA Event Styling, The Boutique Baking Company, Love My Dress Summer Soiree 2011

The three ladies work together under AVA Event Styling to work their collective magic and believe me, magic it was.  A tremendous amount of effort went in to styling the gorgeous, vintage inspired dessert bar display, it was out of this world and a huge hit with guests. I cannot thank them enough for all their energy and passion they poured into the Summer Soiree. 


The Popcake Kitchen
[email protected]

Twitter – @PopcakeKitchen

For providing delicious goody bag contents, sweet treats around the venue for people to find and helping with setting up on the day… 🙂



Vintage Style Hire
[email protected]
Twitter – @VintageHire

Kate Fletcher of Vintage Style Hire pulled out all the stops with her beautiful vintage furniture that she brought up all the way from Essex to help fulfil my vision of a styled area – a vintage 'room' with interactive props that could be used as a photoshoot backdrop…

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Kate is just so wonderful and generous and should be consulted WITHOUT DELAY by any couple looking to hire in any gorgeous vintage items to help style their wedding….


Chic-Osity Vintage Prop Hire…
[email protected]
Chic-Osity on Facebook

Huge thanks to Georgie from Newcastle based Chic-Osity for providing more beautiful vintage props to style our venue – Georgie came on to help us at the very last minute, and was frankly amazing.  What a gorgeous collection of goodies she has {they included a delightful Edwardian sofa being perched on by that fine set of pins below}…

Love My Dress Summer Soiree 2011


Event Prop Hire
[email protected]
Event Prop Hire on Facebook

For at the very last minute, when another supplier let us down, providing the most beautiful Chaise Longues and Chesterfield and shabby chic/period style sofas for guests to be comfy on.

Event Prop Hire have a vast collection of props and styling items for your wedding or event and deliver nationwide. I received such excellent customer service from Event Prop Hire, I simply cannot recomend highly enough. You can just get a reflection of the lovely period sofas we had on loan in the mirror below there…

Love My Dress Summer Soiree 2011


 Photobooth Fun – Snaparazzi…
[email protected]

Twitter – @SnaparazziBooth

What can I say about Ross Kane who owns the wonderful Snaparazzi Photobooth hire company? He is ACE!

The Photobooth was a MASSIVE hit! Everyone had a go, except for me!! …I was too busy working my room to make sure I got to speak to as many guests as possible.  Next time Ross, next time!!! ;)))

The full set of photobooth snaps is available here 😉

Snaparazzi Photobooth at the Love My Dress Summer Soiree


The Paper Pretty – Natalie Moralee, of Purple Peacock & Sugalily…            
[email protected]         [email protected]
Twitter – @PurplePeacockUK       Twitter – @Sugalily

Natalie Moralee of Purple Peacock Stationery is a rising star within the UK wedding stationery scene and whilst she was poorly so could not attend on the evening, she was a key member of our Soiree team! She provided all the pretty paper bags used for the goody bags, and printed the cocktail menus and those gorgeous little name tags – that were designed by the brilliant Sugalily – thank you so much Abbey, we missed you but your name tag designs looked so fabulous on all of the guests and your contribution to this event is hugely appreciated…

IMG_35162011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree IMG_35272011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree

Vicky Butterfly, Burlesque Performance Artist…
Email via Vicky's Agent, Andrew Sutton, [email protected]

Twitter – @VickyButterfly

Wow, my beautiful and amazing surprise for everyone came in the guise of Vicky Butterfly, one of the UK's top burlesque performance artists… What an incredible display of sauciness!!!!

Vicky performed two pieces, 'Peacock Lament' and 'Swan Bride' and was a HUGE hit with guests…

Photography Coypright (c) 2011, Chris Hanley



F onix Music – Jazz Trio…
[email protected]
Twitter – @FonixMusic

We had a jazz trio {Sax, keyboards, double bass} who played two 45 minute sets, and they were utterly superb.  When you find out the band get to hang out and play for The Brand New Heavies and Corrine Bailey, you know they're going to be good, and they were better! Huge thanks to Katy Lunsford for the connection to Fonix Music. 

Photography Coypright (c) 2011, Chris Hanley



It's A Windup! Vintage 78 DJs…
[email protected]

Twitter – @ItsAWindup

I knew I simply could not have a vintage inspired glamorous networking evening without having these guys present, and Matt and Annabel did it again with a super couple of sets of their gorgeous old gramophone records.  So many people commented on what a fabulous atmosphere their tunes added ot the overall ambiance of the evening…


Charlotte Thomson Morley and Scarlett Daggers…        
[email protected]k         [email protected]
Twitter – @CharlotteArt                         Twitter – @ScarlettDaggers

My blog Illustrator, Charlotte Thomson-Morley, was present on the night along with colleague and Burlesque Dancer, Scarlett Daggers, who posed for Charlotte to paint live that evening. How fabulous! 😉

IMG_36682011.08.04-Love My Dress Soiree


Samantha Peach – Masquerade Masks
[email protected]
Twitter – @SamanthaPeach

Huge thanks to the gorgeous Samantha Peach for sending some simply exquisite masquerade masks for my guests to play with on the evening.  We were very lucky too – these masks were the brand new designs from Samantha's latest new collection that hasn't even gone on sale yet!  Only the very best for soiree guests! ;)  Those paper face masks below were fun left over from my own wedding day ;) 



You Snap! Instax / Polaroid Camera Hire…
[email protected]
Twitter – @You_Snap

You Snap provided 6 Instax / Polaroid Cameras, and boy, did we have fun with them!!! Huge thanks to  You Snap for their excellent customer service. Highly recommended – and a great idea for your wedding guests to entertain themselves at the evening reception 😉


Hauterfly Events, Vintage Teasets and LeLuxe Clothing…   &
[email protected]       [email protected]    
Twitter – @HauterflyEvents          Twitter – @VintageTeasets

Huge thanks to the gorgeous Carmel Hutchinson of Hauterfly for sourcing the 3 beautiful ladies who were our host girls for the evening, and for helping with initial planning and styling.

LeLuxe Clothing, Love My Dress Summer Soiree 2011

Even huger thanks to Vicky Rowe of Vintage Teasets, who has just become the UK reseller for American Company LeLuxe Clothing who specialise in replicating 1920's flapper girl dresses for the loan of these exquisite frocks. Don't the girls look beautiful? Styling by Severin Hubert and Lisa Jones


Fresh Element & the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art…
[email protected]

The team behind the catering, and event management at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts.  Particular thanks to Tara Robson for being such brilliant support.  The BALTIC is a beautiful venue for any wedding.  And don't be put off by the modern and contemporary setting if you are a vintage-lover – the preview photos prove the BALTIC can do vintage weddings to!


Paul Antonio – Master Calligrapher and Scribe…
[email protected]
Twitter – @PAScribe

Thank you to my very dear friend Paul Antonio for sharing his gorgeous calligraphy with guests on the evening.  I adore this man and his huge big heart and I am so grateful to him for travelling up from London during a busy period to charm soiree guests and my family alike.  Mesmerising and talented and a client list like you would not believe!!!  The best wedding calligrapher in the world.


Julie Chambers – Interior Stylist and Designer
[email protected]
Twitter – @JulieChambers

Julie couldn't make it on the night but she was critical in the early phases in providing styling and design ideas, as well as a whole lot of inspiration, encouragement and calming thoughts – thank you so so much Julie, you are AMAZING! 🙂


Amanda Buckingham Hearn – Stage Draping and Swagging…

  [email protected]

For providing the most beautiful stage draping and swagging in pretty pastel pale blue, to match my dress, of course ;)  She is equipped for any situation, I tell you. She brought her Domestic sewing machine and was sewing swagging into place on the afternoon itself!

Amanda is in the process of building up her event styling company website, but in the meantime, you can email her on the address above.  A brilliant and talented stylist/interiors designer. 


El Bucko – DJ

For spinning the decks from around 10pm until the wee {and rather intoxicated} hours. For encouraging David McNeil and Dani Barber to be the first to hit the dancefloor – David, you have some moves! 😉 


JM Pro Audio – Sound & Light…
[email protected]

My amazing new light and sound geek friend James Mounsey went WAY above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the Riverside Terrace Bar at the BALTIC looked delicous with light sprinkling from a giant disco ball, uplights that gently changed colour throught the evening (the colours used were programmed to match the pastel colour of the flowers/decor on the evening} and for making my vision of a black and white silent movie {Louise Brooks, Pandoras Box} playing as stage backdrop come to life.

Photography Coypright (c) 2011, Chris Hanley



Dana Bolton, Emmy Shoes, Kat Swank…

Once Upon a Time Design
[email protected]

Twitter – @DanaBolton
[email protected]

Twitter – @EmmyShoes
[email protected]
Twitter – @Kat_Swank

Last but not least, my outfit, my beautiful powder blue tulle bespoke creation by Dana Bolton of Once Upon a Time Design looked just amazing!   The wonderful Emmy Scarterfield of Emmy Shoes customised  a pair of heels with tiny blue crystals to match and Kat Swank produced a headpiece with original vintage elements and pieces of fabric from my dress – Kat is located in California and the headpiece arrived just 2 days before the event – Pheeeeeew! ;)) Absolutely HUGE thanks to each of these ladies for being so amazing…

Love My Dress Summer Soiree

Thanks also to Catherine Westwood, Editor of Wedding Magazine, for supporting me and giving a little speech to all my guests, for providing copies of 'Wedding Flowers' magazine and for really believing in my blog.  And huge amounts of love and thanks to my amazing family, who were present on the evening {yes my 2 little girls made an appearance in dresses that matched the colour of mine ;)} – my lovely Husband worked so hard on the day, assisting with staging, swagging and draping, moving furniture, driving vans to collect required props, positioning said props and generally being amazing! Is it any wonder he was starting by 1am?!?

Huge thanks to every single guest for taking time out of their busy schedules during wedding season to let their hair down for an evening. You are all the best, I am thrilled beyond words with how the night turned out and hugely appreciate all the efforts you made to join me – including you Emma Case 😉 Thank you so much 🙂

And of course all the many people who contributed to the goody bags – you know who you are, but special thanks to Vicky Trainor for going out of her way to create 120 bespoke and limited edition Love My Dress fabric bookmarks – what a delightful little gift for my guests.

Good people reading this post, please use the above mentioned links to help you with your wedding and/or event. They are the best in the business, a joy to work with and be around. I love them all  for the wonder they pulled out of the bag last Wednesday 😉

Big love and happy Sunday everyone 😉

Annabel xXx


Soiree Write-ups

(1)  This is soooooooo funny!!! Hehe!!! Sent in by Photographer's Chris & Dani Barber, who were the most entertaining guests on the evening… 

(2)  I adore this review of the evening by Aisling of the Any Other Wedding Blog – thanks so much Aisling! I loved partying on with you into the wee hours, you were a hoot 😉 xXx

(3)  Film makers Mintyslippers wrote about their experience documenting the whole evening {and day preparing} on film. By the way, you can see the teeny tiny teaser film here. The full film will be published soon )

(4)   I love this honest and fabulously written account of the evening from Miss Bush Bridalwear owner, Emma Meek… 

(5)  The gorgeous Michelle from Pocketful of Dreams wrote about the evening. Michelle is a regular contributor to Love My Dress and responsible for most of these pretty bridal inspiration boards.

(6)   One of my official photographer's Katy Lunsford looking simply divine

(7)  Blogger Anna And The Ring tells us who was wearing her favourite dress

(8)  Photographer Neda Larodi-Blake writes about her experience as a guest… 

(9)  Photographer Chris Hanley captured these stunning images 

(10)  The Archibald Photographer looked to have had lots of fun with Lindsay Fleming Couture 

(11)  The Snaparazzi photobooth images are online for all to see ;))) 

(12)  My amazing Illustrator Charlotte Thomson-Morley wrote about her road-trip up to Gateshead where she painted a live model, Burlesque dancer Scarlett Daggers, on the evening of the Soiree. Amazing!

(13)  Kate Fletcher from Vintage Style Hire whose gorgeous props helped decorate the evening, shares her photobooth images 😉

(14)  Dress designer Linda Davey of Dresses At No. 9 blogged about her time on the very glamorous Quayside that evening…

(15)    Charlie from the Fifties Weddings Blog talks about the fun had on the night – thanks Charlie! ;))

(16)     Blogger {and gorgeous Bride-to-be} 'Love Audrey' blogs about her evening – I am so glad I met this lady, she looked divine ;))

(17)      The gorgeous Elizabeth from wedding blog Bridal Musings shares her experience. Thank you Lizzy! 😉

(18)      Madison from The Pastel Pirate Wedding Blog also wrote about her excitement, what a delightful writeup, thanks so much! 😉

(19)  And one of my fave Bloggers Anna of Anna & the Ring blogged about THAT dress {no, it wasn't mine 😉 xXx}…

(20)  Love My Dress {and hair, and makeup} hehehe 🙂 Thank you Joanne Linder at Vintage Twee

(21)   A most fabulous glamorous make-over for the evening!

(22)    Mr & Mrs Lawson, along with Tobiah Tayo and his beautiful wife looking absolutley beautiful

(23)  Blogger 'Only Gorgeous Weddings' recounts her Cinderella Night 😉

(24)   I adore these photographs, espesh the ones of you Jay ;))))  Thank you, people of Blue Sky Photography! 😉

(25)    Photographer Paul Joseph describes his view of the evening – thanks Paul, I love those booth pics ;))

(26)   Accessories Designer Nicola from Silver Sixpence in her shoe wrote of the fun she had, and need to change to ballet flats by the end of the night 😉 {GOD I know that feeling!!}

(27)  Bride to be Becca, and Miss Pickering Protoge, spills the contents of her goodie bag…

(28)  Online wedding giftlist company Zankyou blogged about their visit

(29)  Stationery Elle of Elle is for Love wrote about the process of preparing to attend the Soiree – this is such a fun blog post!

(30)  Wedding Designer and Co-ordinator Andri of 'Always Andri' wrote about her experience….


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

20 thoughts on “The Love My Dress Summer Soiree ~ The Dream Team Who Made It Happen…

  1. Wow Bel, looks like you had a truly amazing evening xx can’t imagine the organisation that went into it all. Looks like it was a huge success – your star is truly rising xxx

  2. Annabel Thank you for all your wonderful comments,it was a genuine pleasure to make your dress, with your inspiration behind it.
    I think you could have a whole other career in Events Production!!! What an amazing crerative and unique production and it all looked so relaxed on the night. Congratulations.
    Dana x

  3. Annabel, you’re such a tease! I can’t wait to see more from the Soiree! The little snippets of pics and details are amazing and I’m already feeling inspired to get planning for my wedding next year!
    Well done to everyone who made the Soiree happen, can’t wait to see more over the next week x

  4. It’s like the bloomin’ A-Team of weddings and event organisation!
    “… Today, still wanted by brides-to-be, they survive as soldiers of glamour. If you have a wedding problem…if no one else can help…and if you can find them…maybe you can hire…The A- Team.

  5. Annabel, what can we say…YOU DID IT!!!!!! Such an awesome team of people on board this fantastic evening and we can’t wait for the VIDEO…no pressure there Danny boy, the French man has faith in you :)X

  6. After running around like a headless chicken booking train, hotel and all other tasks on my To Do List I had left the dress last. The one I had just wouldn’t do. I finally found one the night before.
    Hubby looked at our online bank statement and said ‘I guess I won’t be getting a playstation then’ I knew I owed him a few back rubs.
    It was well worth it all – amazing work by everyone x

  7. It all looks fabulous, can’t wait to see more pics! Had a quick look at your wonderful suppliers, cannot believe how much is on the event prop hire website, there’s a prop for absolutely everything, may be using them in the future! xx

  8. This was the party of the year, with an incredible bunch of exceptionally talented people pulling it all together.
    I am in awe.
    Well done to the whole team, an absolute triumph.

  9. It was great to be involved in such an amazing event. I don’t normally get to go to the weddings and events my props and furniture do, so it was great to see everyone enjoying them. Some great photographs. LOL xx

  10. How interesting to read about all those people involved in pulling off an event like this. I wasn’t able to attend ( i was one of the brides hoping to get an invite) but I have followed the tweets and facebook updates closely and by all accounts it sounded absolutely fantastic. Well done Annabel you should be very proud. Keeping fingers crossed there will be another before I am a married lady, and that I get an invite next time.
    Very best wishes,
    Leanne x

  11. Such a pleasure to be involved in the party of the century – THE most fabulous event I’ve ever been to, with the most beautiful and glamorous dresses I’ve ever seen in one room! A huge congratulations to all involved and expecially to Annabel who had the creative vision and determination to pull off such an amazing event! xxx

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