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Exhibitor Insights: Tulle & Blue

Here at Chosen Wedding fair we are super lucky to have such wonderful suppliers who attend our events. They are the cream of the crop and put themselves out to go that extra mile for their couples. Jane Goldman of Tulle & Blue is no exception and is a true diamond! Such a sweet lady who produces some absolutely wonderful accessories for the big day.

We cant get enough of her bespoke headdresses and are currently swooning over her ethereal capes!

So for todays Exhibitor Insights we sat down with Jane for a natter to find out what makes Jane tick and to tell us more about her process when it comes to designing your perfect look.

What do you do and why do you do it? What makes it so special to you?

I make a fabulous range of bespoke Bridal accessories - hair vines, veils, heirloom ring boxes, garters, ring pillows, fascinators, Bridal capes, skirts, tops and cover ups. I've been making things since I was a child and had great teachers, including my lovely Mum, who encouraged me to develop my skills. I did an amazing degree course in fashion and textiles which gave me the best grounding in every aspect of fashion design, fabric printing, weaving and surface decoration. I learnt millinery, leatherwork, pattern cutting, history of fashion, fashion drawing - most of these skills I now put into practice within my business. I have also always had rather a fascination for weddings and all things bridal. I think like a designer all the time - it's just what I am - a day without designing or creating is a day wasted. It's incredibly satisfying to make something truly unique from a pile of vintage lace, beads and some oddments of silk fabric. Everyday is different and I love that - I feel blessed to be able to spend each day doing what I love to do - it's very special!

What is your unique selling point? and why do you think brides and grooms find this so special?

My unique selling point is that each piece I design and make for a client is a one-of-a-kind piece. I think most of my brides come to me because they know that the special piece I make for them will be truly unique. My brides are a very big part of the design process because I want them to be absolutely thrilled with everything I make for them. In between appointments I send photos showing progress - I get great feedback on this because they feel involved know they have a veto if there is something they're not happy with. My aim is to build a trust and a close relationship with my clients - they absolutely know that nothing is too much trouble for me. Customer service is definitely my number one priority.

What are the big upcoming trends you are noticing within your specialism and what are your takes on these?

The wedding fashion industry is about a year behind mainstream fashion so upcoming trends take a little while to filter through. The big story this year is the Veil Cape - it started showing on catwalks a couple of years ago as a beautiful addition to couture evening gowns. They come in all different shapes and fabrics with so many different kinds of embellishment and provide a great alternative for a bride who doesn't want to wear a veil. I'm rather addicted to making these - I think they're gorgeous - in the process currently of running up another but I've made a couple already and have enquiries from brides who also love them. As with all of my pieces - my veil capes are delicate, light and airy and very romantic. I work with beautiful silk fabrics and my capes include vintage lace appliqué and hand beadwork. I have lots of ideas up my sleeve but it's all a bit hush-hush at the moment.

What sort of questions do you find that couples often ask you?

I think one of the most prominent questions I get asked is how long will it'll take. I think brides and grooms are feeling under a lot of pressure that they have to tick things off their to do lists.

And what do you tell them?

My job as a supplier is to reassure and keep them calm so although there are times of the year when I am very busy I am always incredibly accommodating. Some clients come to me 18 months ahead of the wedding and others six weeks ahead. Whatever the time schedule I assure them that they will have my best attention and it will be 100% happy with the accessories I make - I want the experience they have with me to be a very good one and be a positive and happy part of their wedding planning.

What do you find the most rewarding part of your job?

It's definitely that moment when the bride comes to collect her special pieces for her wedding day. Everything I make is packaged beautifully in keepsake boxes with a personal message and thank you for each bride. I just love that moment when my bride opens the box containing her accessories - I feel like taking a photograph to capture the moment - but I don't of course! That moment when she reacts to what's inside the box is definitely the most rewarding part - I just love to see the expression on her face and the oooh's and aaah's.

Tell us a little about the process you go through with couples - how do you start? why do you feel that makes for a great partnership?

Working closely with my brides is a major priority to me - usually we have met at a bridal fair so I already know them. They first come for an initial consultation which is complimentary and without obligation - brides usually bring a relative or best friend. At this point the bride will have chosen her wedding gown and will have planned the majority of the wedding details - I work with this information because it helps me with the design process to ensure that what I create will fit perfectly with the whole picture. During this consultation brides are invited to try on sample headpieces and look at other accessories, view my look book and of course we discuss the general wedding vibe. At this point I usually have a pretty clear idea of where we are going in terms of pieces and design so we move on to looking at beads, lace, silks and other materials which will go to make up the final piece. The bride has a huge input and is able to choose everything that will go to make up the accessories - they are very much an integral part of the design process. I sketch the piece and make notes and then I send an email quote so that my brides can have a think about what I can make for them and decide if I'm the right person for the job. So far 100% of the Brides who come for the initial consultation have gone on to make an order. Once the deposit is paid I start work on the accessories and keep the bride informed with photographs attached to an email on a regular basis. She is also welcome to visit in between to see the progress and of course some brides have to come for fittings if they are having a garment made. It's vital to keep the lines of communication open so that at the end of the day each client is completely happy with the accessories I make - building a bond of trust is vital and many of my brides remain friends after the big day.

Tell us some fun facts about you as a person that you would love others to know.

I love animals - especially dogs - I have three! I'm addicted to chocolate. I would love to join a Gospel choir and at heart I'm a Mowtown girl. I collect lots of things - white and cream china, vintage fabrics and lace, handbags and shoes, stationery and paper but mainly pretty boxes to put all my collections in I would love to go to lots of distant places but hate to travel so would like to get there via a time machine.

What do you think is the hardest part of planning a wedding?

Personally I think the hardest part of planning a wedding is to stay on budget. That is why it is very important right at the start to plan a budget and stick to it throughout - it's very easy to keep adding extras and before long your costs have spiralled out of control. My advice is to put your money into a good photographer - because your photographs will be the lasting memories of your big day. Although my work is bespoke I work with all budgets because I believe that every bride deserves to have special accessories for her wedding.

And finally…if you could give couples planning their wedding one piece of advice - what would it be?

Consolidate all the plans for the wedding right at the beginning. This doesn't mean you have to make every single choice but I think it's important that couples have a very clear plan in their heads (and on paper) right at the start. There is a huge difference between a carefully thought out eclectic mix of styles and a complete design disaster. So, set up your joint Pinterest board, buy your wedding planner and start filling it in and most of all create a portable mood board. This should show your colours, theme, styles, decor, flowers, photos of your venue, cake, stationery etc. Then you can show this mood board to each of your suppliers - this will ensure that every element complements everything else. Make up a separate mood board for your wedding gown, accessories and bridesmaids. Stick to your plan and don't be tempted by new trends at the last minute - I have been to so many weddings where the bride and groom have tried to include every single wedding trend in their big day.

You can catch Jane at the Bristol Chosen Wedding Fair on 20th October at Paintworks Event Space 11-3.30pm. Tickets on sale online now! See the event page for more details.

Photography Credits: Joanna Briggs Photography and Tulle & Blue