About Me

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Cupar, Fife, United Kingdom
Aliya Rose is an award-winning bridal shop in Fife, Scotland. We have always been proud of our commitment to customer service, and our excellent range of styles and sizes. But we're also quite fun, or at least we try.

Friday, 16 November 2012

We've gone Off-The-Rail at Aliya Rose!

'Emma', one of the fabulous dresses now
available off-the-rail at Aliya Rose
Over the past few years, we at Aliya Rose have noticed a lot of changes in the  wedding industry.  Delivery times have got longer, and prices have gone higher, but demand from our customers is for faster delivery and dresses at a lower cost, so we’ve decided it’s time to make some changes that let us meet your needs.  More brides than ever before are looking at buying gowns off-the-rail, instead of ordering in.  For the bride, it means peace of mind:
  • You know you have your gown, safe and sound, bought and paid for, with no ever-increasing delivery times or late arrivals to worry about.
  • You know it’s good quality, because you have had the opportunity to try on your actual gown before you buy it.
  • You know it fits (or if it doesn’t!) before you buy, and you know plenty of time in advance what alterations you need.  No need to worry at home while you wait for your dress to arrive in store!
  • You’re not going to end up in the same dress as lots of other brides, because in most cases we will only have one of each gown!
For us, it presents slightly more challenges – we physically can’t have every size and every colour available in every dress in an off the peg range for a start - but there are advantages from our point of view too!  We know you’re happy with your dress when you buy it, and we know we aren’t going to be subject to long delivery delays or quality issue when dresses arrive!

So what can you expect from Aliya Rose over the next wee while?  Well, as of November 17th, all of the gowns on our rails will be available as off-the-peg rather than to-order.  For a limited time, some reorders will be possible on some styles, but this will be phased out.  We will have new stock arriving over the next few weeks too, so you might need to bear with us while that happens!

And what about our prices?  Well, we are working to keep our prices as fabulous as we possibly can, without compromising on quality!  Our gowns are a mixture of sample and brand new dresses, from respected designers, and many of the samples will have a reduction of at least 25%, with some gowns as low as £199!  This of course means you are buying a designer gown at a price much lower than the RRP.

Our Accessory Zone will remain unchanged, and so you’ll still have the pick of our fabulous, UK-designed, and made, veils, jewellery and tiaras, made to your specifications, along with our expert advice of course!

One big change though, is that our bridesmaid range will be discontinued.  Bridesmaid collections have sadly been subject to the same long delivery times and price increases as many of the bridal ranges, and this has an even greater effect, as brides’ budgets and timescales for bridesmaids are so often tighter than for bridal gowns.  We’re very sad to say goodbye to our bridesmaid collection, which we have always taken great pride in, but  we will of course need to make room for our off-the-peg bridal collection, which we expect to expand a little...

The good news is that we’re having a MASSIVE bridesmaid, evening and cocktail gown sale, starting on Friday 23rd November at Midday!  Anyone who has visited us will know how large and diverse our collection is, with styles that are perfect for evening dos, Christmas parties, wedding guests, funky mums, cruises.... and if you only have one bridesmaid, you could be onto a budget saving winner with these one-off, reduced gowns!  Prices will start at just £25, and many dresses will have at least 50% off!

We’ve got lots of ideas too for accessorising your evening or party outfit, so feel free to pop in for a look around at the bargains on the rails and our fabulous sparkly accessories!


Thursday, 4 October 2012

It's SALE time at Aliya Rose!

Grab this gown for less than half price!
Time to pick up a bargain!  Friday 12th October, Noon till Midnight, we are having a one day sale, with bridal gowns from £99, party and occasion dresses from £25, and accessories from £5.  Everything will have at least 50% off, in fact... can you afford to miss it?

Sale events at Aliya Rose can be super fun, but they can also be busy and a little hectic, so it can be a good idea to come prepared for what to expect.  Here's some advice and FAQs....

What items will be in the sale?
We will have sample bridal gowns,  all with at least 50% off, and some reduced right down to £99.  Some have been cleaned and reconditioned if necessary as well.   Some are discontinued styles, others are simply being sold to make way for new collections arriving soon.
We will also have one-off bridesmaid/party/evening dresses from a miniscule £25.  These are well worth a look even if you already have everything you need for your wedding - they make fantastic Christmas party frocks, or guest dresses for friends' weddings, or something special to wear on your hen night!
AND we'll have a selection of beautiful accessories from just £5 - not just bridal either - some make great pressies or bridesmaid gifts.
Will the full price gowns from the main collection be available to try on?
In a word, no.  These will be removed from the shop for the event to make sure that we have plenty of space for our sale and for people to try things on.  If you want to try dresses from the main collection we suggest you make an appointment for a different time!
Will there be bridesmaid dresses in the sale?
Yes, but only one of each style, so if you need more than one of the same dress, then you'll need to come and see our main full price collection and order from those I'm afraid.  Don't be afraid to bring your girls along for some girly shopping anyway though - remember that we will have party frocks and occasion dresses as well as super-sparkly accessories!
What sizes will you have?
We will have a variety of sizes in the sale, and the only way to know exactly what will be available in your size is to come in and see!  Bridal sizes can be different from high street sizes so if you want advice on which sizes to look at when you get there, we will be on hand to help you.
What if I like a dress that someone else is trying on?
Dresses will be sold on a first come, first served basis.  If you like a dress someone else has on, make a note of it and as long as that person hasn't bought it first, you'll get to try it on too!  We try to make sure all the dresses stay on the rails unless they are being tried on, so you should get to see everything that is available.  We simply ask you not to fight over dresses (anyone remember that episode of 'Friends' at the bridal sale?' :)   
We are quite organised with these events, and we will ask you to note down any dresses you would like to try rather than you having to grab them all off the rail and take them with you to the changing room.  If you have ever heard of The Running of the Brides in Boston, you'll know the chaos we are trying to avoid!!
Will you hold a dress for me?
Unfortunately we can't do this.  The only way we can make a dress unavailable to anyone else is if you buy it!  It will definitely help if you come in a decisive frame of mind and ready to buy!
I've seen a dress on your website/facebook page that I love, how do I know if it's going to be in the sale?
If you have any questions about specific dresses, please feel free to get in touch with the team, either on the phone (01334 655303), by email info@aliyarose.co.uk, or via our facebook page.  It might help if you have your measurements to hand so we can check whether the size we have might be suitable.
What should I bring with me?
You might want to bring someone else for a second opinion if that's going to help you decide which dress to go for, and if you have a strapless bra that might be helpful to bring (but is not compulsory!)
But first and foremost, bring your wallet!  All our sale items are priced to go, and we expect them to do just that!  So don't miss out on the perfect dress at an incredible price.  Come prepared to buy on the night - and you could end up with a fab dress for a fab price (and more money in the budget to spend elsewhere... the honeymoon perhaps?)
Does that mean I'll be put under pressure to buy?
Absolutely NOT!  We still don't do pressure sales, even at sale events.  You'll have help from a member of staff while you are trying on, who might be able to suggest a different dress for you if the ones you picked haven't worked for you, and will be able to offer lots of advice, but they absolutely won't guilt-trip you into buying!  However it is very important to bear in mind that the dress you are trying on may not be available at all after the sale event is finished.  Even if a dress doesn't sell there and then, we can't necessarily keep it in store.
I'm not ready to buy now, I'm just looking for ideas.
If you're after 'the full experience' of dress shopping in a quiet, relaxed, private appointment with a cup of coffee , with the full range of current collection dresses available to you, then a sale event might not be for you.   There is no point in coming along on a sale night if you have no intention of buying yet, because the dresses you are trying on may well not be available AT ALL after the sale event.  However, if you think there's a chance you might find something, please feel free to come anyway!  Even if you don't find your dream wedding dress at a fraction of its original price, you might find a party dress or jewellery set that is just right for another occasion!
We can't wait to see you there!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Daring to be Different

Today I've been inspired to write about being individual, and not be afraid to do so.  The inspiration came (as so often it does!) from one of our lovely brides, who has a very difficult decision to make between two dresses.  One is a classic, traditional, ivory gown, with a bit of lace, and a bit of sparkle.  She herself described it as 'safe', but it is really lovely and suited her figure perfectly.  The other gown is something quite different; still unmistakeably bridal in the layers of taffeta and tulle and its long train, but with a print fabric and a very distinctive, and not traditionally bridal, look - quite a statement, but an incredibly beautiful one.
So this bride is faced with a dilemma - does she go for the 'safe', traditional bridal option, which everyone will expect, and which she knows she will feel comfortable and unselfconscious in on the day, but then perhaps regret not buying the really different dress that she can't stop thinking about?   Or does she go for the different dress that she really loves, and worry about feeling over-the-top on the day, and wish she had gone for the 'safe' option?  There is no right answer here - the only person who can make that decision is the bride herself, and I'm pretty sure she will make the right decision in the end.
I wonder if this sort of decision's made all the harder by the idea that a bridal gown has to conform to certain 'standards'.  That a bridal gown should be plain ivory or white, with some detail on, and apparently  that this is what every girl dreams of.  Of course we are bombarded in the wedding media by pictures of pure ivory gowns on every page, and row upon row of the same in bridal shops.  Now, that is, in my experience, what most girls want (and if you do fancy the traditional 'big white dress', then you should embrace that single chance to wear it with every ounce of enthusiasm!)
But I also know, from my own experience, that it's not what every bride wants.  Because it's not what I wanted.  My own gown was bridal in its own way, but it certainly wasn't all ivory or white, and I think it turned a few heads on the day.   I set out on my dress shopping experience knowing one thing - that I didn't want a traditional bridal gown. This was long before I owned a bridal store, and I can tell you that  it was not easy to find!  At every turn I was met by women who wanted to persuade me into increasingly meringue-like dresses, because that was their image of what-a-girl-should-get-married-in.  I stuck to my guns and ended up with something I loved, with not a pavlova in sight, but I had to stick to those guns pretty hard.
For girls who aren't as bolshi as me, I think it can be a pretty tough thing.  Society, the media, and your friends and family will all have a tendency to make you question your decision to go with a 'different' dress.  When you are surrounded by images of what a bridal gown 'ought' to be, and well-meaning friends and relations are suggesting to you that you might regret not going down the traditional route, it can be hard to stand up and say that no, your image of a bridal gown doesn't have to be like that.  And it can make you worry that your guests or loved ones might even be disappointed with your choice of gown if you don't play it safe with the traditional option.
My advice is always, always, to stick to what feels right for you.  Let your personality shine though, and remember: It's Your Decision.
If you've always dreamt of a short dress, or a coloured dress, or just something a bit different - if that screams 'MY wedding gown' to you, then please stay true to what you love and don't be swayed by what other people like.   I know how this feels, and I know that it can feel a little unsettling to have people question your choice, but often it's just because other people can't imagine not wanting the traditional gown.
If, on the other hand, you've thrown yourself a complete curveball by ending up liking something quite different when you thought you'd go traditional, you might have a slightly harder decision to make.  Try to build up a picture of the whole wedding, rather than just a picture of you in the dress.  Think about your bridesmaids, colours, decor, flowers, stationery, and how everything ties together.  That can really help to cement which sort of dress is going to work best for you - and could rule one dress out entirely.  And ultimately, if you think the 'different' dress is the one, be brave!  Remember that the only people who really truly matter on the day are you and your fiancĂ©.  If you love your dress, you'll look fabulous in it, which will mean that he will love it too.

Monday, 27 August 2012

It Costs How Much??

For those of us who build our wardrobe with clothes that are bought from high street stores (mine personally has everything from Primark to Calvin Klein in it) the price of a wedding dress can prove a bit hard to swallow.  Wedding dresses can cost anything between £400 and £4000 (and upwards!) – depending on what you’re buying and where you’re buying it from.  In these budget conscious times it not uncommon ask questions about the cost of a wedding dress. It's not helped by crafty counterfeiters whose work is all over the internet, and who try to make brides think they're getting ripped off by the bricks and mortar shops.
So why the heck do they cost what they cost?  Lets break it down…
The Designer
Do you get paid for your work?  Well so does the person who designs your wedding dress.  These are very skilled and creative people who studied hard to learn their craft and get paid accordingly.  The best dresses are designed to flatter real people - and making a dress do that is a craft in itself.
When you run your hand down the exquisite material of a wedding dress or you admire its beading or lace you are admiring the work of the person who sources all the materials for the designer.  This person hunts high and low for the best silk, the best diamante and crystals, at the best price to make your dress.
Pattern cutter
A true craft, once the designer has completed their piece, a pattern to bring their dress to life has to be created, and cut.  Not just in one size but perhaps in sizes 6 to 32 (depending on the designer).  Different sizes will need slightly different attention - it's not just a case of making the pattern bigger.
Marketing the dress
So once the designer has designed, and the pattern has been cut, a couple of the dresses are made and taken to a large exhibition to show different shops what they can buy.  Exhibitions cost a lot of money as do the marketing materials such as the photographs you see in bridal magazines.   But these are an essential tool both for the retailer, and for you, the bride, in helping you to make the right choice for your wedding day.
The costs of the Bridal shop
Buying the sample:  As a bridal retailer we have buy all of the sample dresses that we have in our shop.  Contrary to popular belief, we don't get discounts for these, we have to pay full whack. But without the samples, what would you try on?  This is an absolutely vital part of the shopping experience for you - we can't imagine how you'd make your choice without them!
Rent:  To be a bridal retailer who carries legitimate designs (i.e Maggie Sottero, Benjamin Roberts, Romantica of Devon, etc) you have to have a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop, that brides can visit to try on the designs.  So we do, we have a shop that costs us rent, electricity, heating, council rates, insurance - the list goes on and on, and sadly all that costs money too.
Staff:  We also hire and train skilled staff who are able to help and advice customers in their shopping.  This is a fairly obvious and visible part of what we do, of course, but once a bride buys a dress we then complete all the administration to send the order to the designer, which is more time consuming than you might think.  There is a huge amount of 'behind the scenes' work that goes into your order.
Ordering your dress from the Designer
The orders department at the designer will process the dress order, they will enter this into the production system (accurately – a mistake here could see the wrong dress arrive, or the wrong size of dress!)
The Factory
The factory receive the order and allocate it to the work load of its staff.  This has to be done to ensure the right product in the right size and colour is made by the required deadline for shipping.  There is no room for error, so Designers don't tend just to pick the cheapest factory - it's more important to get things right.
The machinist / fabric cutter / finishing
These are the skilled people who bring the fabric and materials together to actually make the dress.  They measure and cut the fabric, they sew it together, insert linings, facings, boning, sew on embroidery, beads and applique.  To create a single gown, hundreds of pieces need to be cut, draped, stitched, beaded, appliqued....
Quality control / packaging / shipping
So once the product is finished it will be checked for quality, it will then be packaged up and then shipped to the UK (usually from the far East – its an expensive journey).
Arriving with the designer
After a long journey your dress then arrives with the Designer at their distribution warehouse.  Here it will be checked again, steamed, re-packaged and then sent out for dispatch to the bridal shop where you bought it from.
Your dress is couriered from the designer to the bridal shop where you bought it.  No one can risk gowns going missing, so they have to be fully trackable packages, sent by couriers, often overnight, and this can be quite costly in itself.
Arriving at the shop
So finally your dress has arrived at the shop!  It is opened and checked over by a member of staff, time is set aside to steam / press the dress (this cannot be done when customers are in the shop so either we can’t take any appointments or it is done out of hours).   Once we are happy you are contacted and invited back into the shop for an appointment to try on the dress and make sure you are completely happy.
To be honest when I see what goes into making a wedding dress I’m often surprised that they don’t cost more.  They aren’t manufactured in the same way that New Look make jeans – there is no bulk buying power as dresses are only made to order.  Everybody in that chain is doing a job, and receives a wage for the job that they do, the transport costs, the buildings that cost money to run, it all adds up.
BUT what it adds up to is a process that provides you with a beautiful, well designed and well made dress that goes through several quality checks, all FOR YOU.  When it is your wedding day would you want to wear a dress that goes through anything less?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Does My Bum Look Big In This?

The selections can be overwhelming, so you'll want helpful advice
Does my bum look big in this? 

When the time arrives to go shopping for a wedding dress most brides will gather together their nearest and dearest and those they trust and set out on a shopping expedition.  Appointments will be made and lunch will be organised (hopefully somewhere nice and with a glass of wine thrown in for good measure).

So when you put together the invitation list for shopping who immediately springs to mind?  Your Mum?  Best friend?  Bridesmaids?  The mother-in-law to be? Aunties, cousins, grannies?  From experience this list could go on.  Truth be told I imagine giving out the invitations to the dress shopping must be up there with the battle that can rage over the invitations to the wedding itself. The apprehension over offending Aunty Marg by not inviting her can cause stress and tension.  Just what you need when planning a wedding and preparing for an exciting shopping trip for your dress!

It can be tough deciding who to bring, but I’ve pulled together a list of people who I would generally say to avoid (unless of course you really, really love them and want them there.  Just be prepared.)

The ‘Poker Guest’
Why have I called them the ‘Poker Guest’?  Because they are totally unaware of body language and unable to read if somebody is happy or otherwise – you could win a fortune from them in a poker game!

‘Poker Guests’ are amazingly happy to be with you on your day shopping but somehow seem not to know you at all.  You will be in the changing room starting to beam as the lacing is done up, next will come shoes and accessories by which time you will be positively glowing.  The sales assistant who has known you for all of 45 minutes by this point knows that you like what you are wearing, they know it makes you feel amazing and that you are mentally wondering if this is ‘the one’.

As you step out of the changing room, grinning from ear to ear, ‘Poker Guest’ will remain completely oblivious to your obvious joy and immediately dismiss the dress out of hand and declare it “awful”.  Your smile fades and you’re left wondering if you are brave enough to wear a dress that somebody who is close to you so strongly dislikes.

‘Poker Guests’ tend to pride themselves on giving honest opinions (this will not be limited to wedding dresses) and consider themselves the family member who has to get things sorted.

Only bring a ‘Poker Guest’ if you are strong enough to do what you want and you want and able to dismiss their opinion when it is not the same as your own.

The Projectionist

So called because they continuously project their taste onto you - the dresses they pull out on the rail, the accessories, the veil, the bridesmaid dresses, EVERYTHING!

Now this might not be a problem if you share really similar tastes with this person, however if you are looking for something elegantly vintage whilst ‘The Projectionist’ believes that no bride is complete without a huge gown and 3 tier veil then you might have a problem.

A skilled sales assistant will help you avoid the overwhelming layers of satin and tulle that ‘The Projectionist’ wants you to try on but depending on how vocal they are with their vision you may find that you have to relent (this usually comes from our wanting not to offend people – I mean how do you tell your treasured guest that, quite frankly, their taste wouldn’t be out of place on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding?).

So you emerge from the changing room, resplendent in acres of fabric and sparkles, a million miles from the image that you had in mind for your big day, and ‘The Projectionist’ jumps up with a squeal of utter delight, a small clap of her hands and a declaration that it is totally “gorgeous” and is absolutely “the one!”

How do you get out of that one?  Again you have to remain strong to your own image and find a way to politely say thanks but no thanks.  However, be warned, this may become the dress that she compares everything else to and her opinion on anything else from this point on becomes slightly redundant.

‘The Projectionist’ is likely to be your friend who decides where you should go on a Friday night out and buys you birthday presents that aren’t really to your taste but you saw her admiring in the shop window only a couple of months ago.

The Comparison Guest
We suspect you won't want your wedding
compared to anyone else's
This is likely to be a friend who has been married in the past couple of years, and is so named because everything you do in your wedding planning is compared to her experience.

The day will be peppered with phrases such as:
“When I went shopping...”

“When I tried on dresses...”
“Oh I tried that one on!”
“Remember on my wedding day...”

They have miraculously forgotten all the stress of organising a wedding and believe themselves to be experts in everything bridal by virtue of having been a bride themselves.

These guests can make things confusing, especially when the information they so freely give you conflicts with the information you are getting from your wedding supplier (this is not exclusive to wedding dresses, it includes cakes, photographers, florists, etc).

Of course not all recent brides fall into this category, but if you start to become overwhelmed with the level of ‘sharing’ and comparisons it might be best to edit the amount of information that you share with this person.

So who do you take shopping with you? 

Remember first of all that a good bridal sales assistant will listen to what you want, and will, in the most diplomatic way, help you fight your corner, and actually find the right thing for you.

To compliment that, you ideally want to bring somebody who is honest, diplomatic and who understands that it is nothing to do with their own personal taste!

Your taste, and what you want in your wedding dress, is the most important thing and your guests should recognise this.  What you want is somebody who will reply honestly when you ask “does my bum look big in this?” not the person who is too busy thinking about whether they would wear that dress themselves!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Get the Platinum Service

Arrive at your wedding picture perfect
This week we have a great promotion on Aliya Rose Platinum Service - upgrade by 19th May and you'll get it for just £45!

This is an upgraded service package for your Aliya Rose wedding gown, which is available to all our brides, whether your dress is on order, in your possession already, or even if you bought a dress in our sale.  You can order at any time, even if your wedding is only a week away.

Here's what's included:
  • Having your dress steam pressed by the professionals at Aliya Rose just before your wedding, to make sure you arrive at your wedding looking spot on.  This is worth at least £40 on its own!
  • Having 'Something Blue' sewn into your gown for luck.  (You could even choose something of sentimental value to you instead - one of our lovely brides requested that a special locket of hers with photos of her grandparents inside be sewn in - such a lovely idea!)
  • A 10% discount voucher to use against any future accessory purchases from Aliya Rose.  If you're buying one of our bestselling lace edged veils this could save you around £35 instantly!
  • A special satin keepsake hanger to keep your dress on
  • A thank you gift from us when you collect your gown
This service has been really popular and will give you extra peace of mind just to know that you don't need to worry about ironing or pressing your dress just before the wedding.

If you'd like to find out more, or if you want to upgrade to Platinum Service, call Aliya Rose on 01334 655303 or email us on info@aliyarose.co.uk.  If you want to take advantage of the special discounted price of £45, make sure you upgrade by 19th May 2012!

Monday, 7 May 2012

A VERY Proud, Award-Winning Moment for Aliya Rose

British Bridal Retailer Of the Month Award
Last week we were absolutely delighted to find out that Aliya Rose had been named as the first ever Bridal Retailer of the Month by the British Bridal Retailers' Association!  This is a particularly special award to receive, as it was voted for by customers. 

As a Scottish retailer in a small town, we were up against competition from the length and breadth of the UK: shops in much more densely populated areas, with much larger customer bases, and with the ability to fit in much larger numbers of customers!  This makes it an immensely meaningful award to receive.

We would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us - it means a huge amount!

We always work hard to maintain a high standard of service at Aliya Rose, and we hope this is a sign we are doing things right.  But it will also serve as an inspiration to do even better!

Aliya Rose is now shortlisted as Retailer of the Year by the BBRA, but we will have to wait a long number of months to find out the result!

The BBRA is an organisation that brings together independent bridal retailers across the UK.  We each adhere to a code of conduct, and as members are able to offer fantastic services such as free wedding attire insurance to our customers, and a bridesmaid measuring service, which is great if you have bridesmaids scattered all over the place!

BBRA British Bridal Retailers Association Award

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Carphin Photoshoot - behind the scenes

Carphin House is a beautiful private venue
nestling in the rolling hills of Fife
May for Aliya Rose started with a brilliant photoshoot at Carphin House.  It was rather a special one, not least because of the beautiful venue, of course, which has only just become available for weddings.

We will, of course, blog the official photos from this shoot. In the meantime you will have to be content with these behind the scenes pics I snapped on my iPhone!

We were delighted with the choice of model, Michelle.  She made a very beautiful bride, and was so excited to be involved in such a lovely day, that we are sure these photos are going to be absolutely spot on. She was a really refreshing change from some of the stick-thin 6 footers that a lot of the designers tend to use.  At Aliya Rose we have always believed that wedding gowns should be designed for real people, not models, and we are very excited to have some shots in the pipeline that really show that.  Thank you Michelle.

We had a really great team of people working on this shoot too.  The hair was done by April Allan at Spoiled Hairdressing in Cupar.  This is a salon we've been fans of since they opened - their approach is to treat every customer like a VIP, and their creative flair is apparent as soon as you walk through the door.  April created a style that suited the bride, the gown and the accessories perfectly.

Flowers were by County Fayre Florists in Cupar.  Carole created beautiful traditional ivory arrangements that looked fantastic in Carphin and suited the gown so well - a definite 1950s nod here.

The car was a 1947 white Cadillac, and even I can appreciate that this is something a bit special.  This is a fairly well kept secret, but call Jim, on 01337 831130 if you're interested in booking this incredible car for your wedding.

Cheryl from Blue Murder Events was also there, to get some shots for their superb murder mystery events, but was also an incredible help on the day, with styling and helping cart the bride's train all over the grounds!  As it was her 8th Wedding Anniversay that day, we think she was having lots of fun remembering her big day and wishing she could do it all over again.  Thanks Cheryl and happy anniversary!

Last but by no means least, we have to mention the extremely dedicated and hardworking photographer, Sam Rigby, who came all the way from St Helens in Lancashire to do this shoot.  She had been working the previous evening at Carphin, and had begun shooting at 7am on the day we were there.  She never stopped smiling.  Thanks Sam, it was lovely to meet you and we cannot wait to see the results of this shoot!!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Carphin by St Andrews - Bit of a Wow Venue

Carphin by St Andrews
Carphin House
Last weekend I was lucky enough to view a new wedding venue in Fife, Carphin House.  I say 'new', it is, in fact, a very old house, built in the 1790s.  But it has only recently become available as a venue for your wedding.  And honestly, this is one to go and see.
Location-wise, this is fabulous.  It's just outside the village of Luthrie, in a part of Fife that my husband fondly refers to as 'The Shire' because of its lush green rolling hills.  The house itself is beautiful, and whilst it boasts all mod cons and has a lovely plush, up-to-date feel, it has retained oodles of charm with beautiful antique furniture, period colours and no shortage of character.  Great photo opportunities outside in the lovely grounds, but should the slightly unreliable Scottish weather not be quite so wonderful, you are guaranteed some great shots anyway, because the interiors are really lovely.

Highland Tipis
Interior of Highland Tipi. Wowzers.
You and your bridal party can stay here, in the 7, incredibly luxurious, en-suite bedrooms.  For small wedding parties you could have the whole thing inside the house, or for larger numbers you can have a Tipi or Marquee in the beautiful grounds.  The Tipi from Highland Tipis that was on display there at the weekend may not have looked big from the outside, but it took my breath away when I stepped inside.  I didn't realise it was possible to have such luxury and glamour under canvas.... I'm an absolute HATER of camping, but even I could manage to stay in one of these.

But the real beauty of this venue is the amazingly flexible approach of the team.  You won't be met with a set schedule or set way of doing things here.  If you've got ideas about how you'd like to do things, they want to hear them, and from what I can gather, they want to help make them happen.  This is why it's right up my street.  I love a flexible approach and I really believe that the more personal you keep your wedding, the more you and your guests will enjoy it.

Stay posted, we hope to have some more pictures of this venue soon...
Carphin by St Andrews
The Drawing Room

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Birthdays!

This month at Aliya Rose we are wishing ourselves a very Happy 5th Birthday!

We can’t believe that it is 5 years… in some ways it feels like yesterday that we were opening our doors for the first time, and in others it feels like forever. I, for one, can’t imagine a life without Aliya Rose!

Accessory Zone

To celebrate, we have lots of things planned, mostly themed around the number 5. You may already know that if you book a dress appointment in February or March, you will be entered into a big prize draw. Five lucky brides will win £50 worth of Aliya Rose gift vouchers. Perfect for spending in the Accessory Zone.  And not to be sniffed at! More details can be found at www.aliyarose.co.uk

Starstruck Designs
'Aliya' Side tiara

Not only this but there will be a programme of events at the shop to help us celebrate. More details will follow, but we are planning a really special Accessories Evening next month, where you can pop in to view our beautiful range of jewellery, tiaras, headbands, veils and jackets, including the fabulous new, UK designed and made,Starstruck Designs range. There will be special offers on the night, and of course a celebratory glass of fizz! Stay tuned for more details.

Ellis 11286

One of our fantastic suppliers, Ellis Bridals, is also celebrating a birthday this year… only they have been going a little longer than us! Ellis Bridals is a very healthy 100 years old! They are one of the longest established bridal manufacturers in the country, and they are still a family-run business, based in Britain.

Their 100 years of experience has certainly taught them how to create perfect bridal gowns. Their latest collection is aptly named the Centenary Collection, and we are very proud to stock it at Aliya Rose. It’s full of really beautiful designs, including this one, which is an absolute cracker – a classic fairytale beauty with such a romantic look, guaranteed to make your waist look tiny!

And lastly, I’d also like to wish my son, Drew, a happy birthday too. He turns 9 this week. He often advises me on dresses he thinks look good, and is very VERY honest about dresses he doesn’t think much of. And he is scarily good at it. So it seems appropriate to give him a mention here too!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Hot Style 2012 Part 2: Bridesmaids

So you’ve got your wedding gown sorted. Now it’s onto the bridesmaids. With so many styles and colours to choose from, where do you start?!!

This year we are seeing lots of girls opt for soft, floaty fabrics like chiffon. Satin and taffeta are still popular, but chiffon seems to be the big winner for 2012.

You think floaty, you think ‘Grecian’, and Dessy has a fantastic range of Grecian style gowns to choose from, (such as style 6623, pictured left) with empire line and natural-waisted styles. These are light and comfortable to wear.

 But if you think Grecian is the limit of what chiffon can do, think again! You can go for the slightly more sculpted look that is created by Truebride’s M521 - pictured right - (possibly the hottest bridesmaid style this year!), with its cowl back and button detail. We think this is a little bit inspired by Pippa Middleton’s dress at the Royal Wedding, but far FAR easier for normal sized women to wear, with the soft pleats across the tummy and the cowl at the back.  This is so cleverly cut that you can even wear a normal bra underneath - great for when your bridesmaids are running around looking after you!

If you want something a little more formal and traditional looking, then how about the M974C (pictured left)? This is cut more like a satin or taffeta dress, and even has a lace up back, but is made from soft chiffon fabric which gives it a really romantic look. Underneath that soft ruching is a fantastic structure with the same boning you’d expect in a dress made of heavier fabric… the result is a fab figure, smooth lines, and a strapless dress that stays put all day.

Necklines are changing too, with more and more brides choosing straps or high necklines for their bridesmaids. It’s not always about matching the necklines exactly with the bridal gowns any more either, and there are so many choices of dresses in the same fabric, you can even put each of your bridesmaids in a different dress!

As for colours... well that might end up warranting a whole separate blog post, but Cobalt Blue is proving to be a massive hit.  Purple is big this year, and hot pink is making a splash too.  Lots of strong colours, but charcoals, taupes, golds, and ivory, are all colours that are bang on trend for your bridesmaids too.  Add in a splash of colour with your flowers and you'll have a beautiful, soft, vintage palette to work with.

We are actually rather excited at Aliya Rose about helping to style bridesmaids this year.  So far it's proving really rather lovely and interesting.  Can't wait to advise you on yours!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hot Style 2012 Part 1: Bridal Looks

Every year we sit and make predictions about what will be our top selling dress styles. Then we sit back and wait to see what happens in the New Year. Sometimes we are surprised, and sometimes we feel we’ve got it spot-on.

This January, I am struck by the fact that brides are more often than not looking for something a bit different. They still want to look like a bride. But they don’t want the same as everyone else, and the dresses they are choosing often have something unique about them.

Take the Ellis 11127 (left). We’ve never seen anything quite like it from any other designer. The back of this dress is breathtaking, and whilst it still has a traditional, bridal look, the lace train really adds something different.

Then there’s the Ella 5497 (right). The optional shoulder covering on this dress is proving a real hit as brides look for an alternative to what seemed to be the endlessly popular strapless gown.

Benjamin Roberts 2251 (below) has the lace and vintage styling that are so much en vogue right now, but the dark beaded embellishment and splash of subtle colour are going down a storm – not once have we been asked ‘does it come in all-ivory?’

Of course, how you accessorise your dress will also give it your own personal touch. One of our favourite look-changing accessories at the moment is a full length beaded lace-edged veil. It’s incredible, and can turn a lovely gown into a goose-bump inducing, jaw-dropping bridal look! The right accessory can totally make the outfit.

I haven’t even touched upon the customised option yet. Take a plainer bridal gown, and use a bit of imagination and creativity… a brooch, a jacket, add straps, or a one shoulder covering, maybe a belt… and you have a look that is entirely your own.

We are loving helping brides to create a look that’s really unique. But ultimately our advice never changes: stay true to yourself and find a gown and a look that you feel really comfortable in. If you feel great on the day, then you will look great.