Monday, 20 October 2014


Monday, 12 May 2014

This is NOT the most important day of your life!

A Brides letter to herself:

She says "I wrote this as a little something to remind myself what it's REALLY about… and make me laugh at myself when I get too stressed.!

More of the article on the Offbeat Bride site can be read here: 

Why not write a letter to yourself... and share in the comments below :-)

Monday, 18 November 2013


It saddens me that Brides (and Grooms) get ripped off... especially on one of the most important days of their lives. Every now and again I have to post a reference to one of the worst cases of scamming I have ever come across... which I blogged about here. Kayleigh's was one of the first cases of scamming I had ever heard about.... but her's wasn't the last! I could fill my posts up with at least 1 a month and they are only the ones I hear about personally! 

But... no matter how many warnings are posted on the internet... still the scams pour in!

The Wedding Wire put out THIS POST about Chinese Knockoff - My actual DH Gate Trash the Dress Dress vs. what's advertised 

Morilee have had to put up a HUGE list of fake websites offering to supply their dresses at a greatly reduced price! And I have to admit I was totally shocked by the crazy amount of fake websites... here....

And the problem doesn't end with Wedding Dresses.... even stationery can be a scam! I had a Bride come to me, who had not only been scammed with her dress... but her wedding stationery bought from 'Light In The Box'  I wrote about Kayleighs horrendous experience HERE

Ollievision Photography have been having their own problems with a scammer that used their Photographs to promote his business. Their article 

Steve Jackson Photography – A statement from Ollievision regarding Steve Jackson’s unauthorised use of images taken from my portfolio tells the full horrific story. 

And believe it or not... these are only the tip of the ice-berg! 

Thanks to Social Media, we are now starting to see Facebook pages emerge warning Brides of what they can expect if they order from the internet from unscrupulous companies.

There are hundreds (I'm not kidding either!)
of people who have been caught out
and left out of pocket.
Their only crime is to try and save a few quid at a very expensive time!


Brides Beware!

My advise to Brides on the whole is 


Or.... if you do... protect yourself as much as possible
and be prepared to throw away your hard earned cash 
and have to buy the item again somewhere else. 

I personally, can't believe how many young Brides (and some older ones too) will trust what they are seeing on Facebook and eBay and in fact, the internet in general as being totally genuine. 

FACEBOOK pages can be closed down and deleted at the click of a button!

EBAY - Many eBay sites nowadays state that the seller is from the UK... NOT TRUE!  I myself bought a really large sheepskin rug from a company in London. It took 8 weeks to get here, it was unwashed, came from Morocco and was only large enough to cover my Springer Spaniel! (See even I get scammed!).

WEBSITES - No matter how professional and dapper the website looks... DO NOT TRUST what you see! Just because the URL states or .com means nothing!

Truthfully... the safest way not to get scammed
IS TO BUY LOCAL! And buy from a company that has some history and feedback. Not just a company that has just started up, no matter how well intentioned they are... many companies fail within the first 2 years of trading! And if the company is local, make sure they have a valid business address on their website! And a land line telephone number... not some mobile number that can be switched off in a heartbeat!

BEFORE ordering ANYTHING off the internet 
(and I mean ANYTHING!)

Check out the website 
 by going to SCAM ADVISOR .COM
and entering the websites URL! 

Above all remember:
If it sounds TOO GOOD to be true,
it generally is!

And you'll be hard pushed to get your money back! 

If you have been scammed... get in touch with your local
Trading Standards Office

Have you ever been scammed?
Leave a comment and warn others!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Are you in?

Well.... as I said earlier..."I'm just a one-man band"  and I'm making this website by myself... with no help from anyone. In some ways that makes things easier, but as I have my own business to run, the posts at first will be sketchy.

The point of this website, for me, is to help to get some traffic going to suppliers websites and hopefully some business from it.

From the Bride and Groom point of view, it's a one stop directory of local and trusted businesses and as they haven't paid me a penny, it's an impartial listing (wherever possible). I refuse however to add people and businesses if I hear any bad press about them, as this tarnishes everyone!

I'm intending to send out emails to all those listed so I can run profile days where I can feature a local business and you, other businesses and couples can get to know people more.


I need interaction for YOU!

Whether you are a business
or a couple,
I need your interaction on this 

Please talk to me! ....
Both suppliers and Couples,
I need your interaction! 


Businesses need to know about their clients,
without knowing what people want and what issues they have
then businesses can't offer the best service!


I need to know
what problems and issues YOU face,
so I and the others can help you.!

At the end of the day....
the more you interact,
the more you will get out of it!

I've paid for only 1 year for this domain to continue
and I am prepared to put in most of the work...
but I need help and support to do this.

Are you in???

Either leave a comment below
or comment on our FB page...
if you are too shy for either...
then email me at

Friday, 25 October 2013

Wedding Awards - What do they mean?

I am on an eternal mission it seem to try and protect my regular Bride and Groom readers.
This week it's about


So... the item  or service you need has a flashy website.
Proudly on their site or blog they are proudly displaying a badge stating that the y were
some sort of Wedding Industry Finalist or Winner. Great news! you think to yourself.

  • Here's s site that can be trusted!
  • I mean, it's won an award for gods-sake!
  • So they must be really good?
  • Highly recommended? 
  • They are actually Industry experts! So they can be trusted on many levels.

If you are thinking all the above is true.... then you need to read on and see what I found out!

For the last couple of years and certainly within the last 6 months, I've seen award after award pop up and more and more websites and blogs proudly displaying everything from Wedding Magazine Awards to so called Wedding Industry Expert Awards. The awards are given out almost willy nilly and most are nothing more than a marketing ploy!

MOST and I use that word wisely MOST of these awards involve some or all of the following:

  • The supplier of good and or services pays a fee to enter (£50 is not uncommon)
  • A view of the award giving site looks pretty dapper and rather posh! (Remember... it's designed to get money from those who enter!)
  • The participant goes wild on Facebook to get everyone to place a vote for them. Please note, this is not directly proportional to the number of CLIENTS they have dealt with and who have been satisfied with their work. In fact... Joe Blogs can enter himself as an Expert, without even taking a photo! It's as easy as setting up a website, buying a few stock photos from the many companies out there, paying a fee and getting people to vote! In reality, that person can win an award by hiking up their votes through friends, family and other social networking places and/or have very little competition in their local area that have entered.... Therefore WINNING by default! 
  • They offer little or nothing in the way of Prizes... other than a certificate.
  • Finalist (everyone that entered)  is invited to their Award Giving ceremony... but entrants have to pay 'Big Bucks' to attend. (Which they do because they think they are in with a serious chance of actually winning!).

Lately, I was inundated with businesses in the Wedding Industry pleading with me to VOTE FOR THEM. I looked on the website to find that this Award company was actually based in the US! The competition was to be decided by so called Industry Experts (to be frank, I googled their names and websites and some of them need some serious help if they really ARE experts!). Then 2 days later I see that Everyone I know who entered actually had displayed on their Facebook pages, blogs and websites that they were Wedding Industry Experts Winners 2013! The results were out just a couple of days after the award had ended and was awarded on VOTES! No need to have experts adjudicate in the first place then? To be honest... I was sick and tired of the request from people who have just started out in the business and have very little if any, experience, never mind wanting to call themselves EXPERTS! 

At best, these awards are no more than a popularity contest. Yes... they may get more hits to their websites.... but hits and sales are completely different statistics!


From the Brides point of view:

I am seriously concerned that Brides and Grooms seeing these badges on a website, gives them false hope of quality of goods or services. 

The award is NO MEASURE of how good the company is.
How long they have been in business.
Whether they can be trusted
or even if they are actually GOOD at what they do!

From the Wedding Suppliers point of view:

I am concerned that it's mostly NEW or very YOUNG businesses that get swept up in these so called Awards. They pay out money to enter, some even have to pay for a certificate if they actually get to the finals (which of course they do!). They somehow 'believe' that having this award will bring in more business... It WON'T! Brides haven't a clue what the award is for and to be honest, most working on a tight budget could be terrified of anyone displaying the word EXPERT on their site as been far too expensive and out of their league.

To Brides: Most Industry Experts.... don't need a worthless award to prove they are good in their field. Most of us are far too busy with work, not to even care about these awards.
Take these awards with a pinch of salt! Ask to see your suppliers portfolio of work they have done for past clients. 

To Businesses: BE CAREFUL! You have to think like an advertiser and marketing expert. You can be sure.... there's a LOT in it for these people and VERY LITTLE if anything in it for you! .... except perhaps for less money in your bank account. 

The only REAL way to build up your business and gain trust from Brides and Grooms is to actually offer the best service possible and have the recommend you to friends. Give value for money, go out of your way to LISTEN to your clients..... Your business will prove your success in your field, not some award which was gained by how many clicks you managed to get! :-)

What are your feelings on this?

Brides: What do you think of these so called AWARD BADGES?

Businesses: Have you been fooled in this way?  

Has this made you think about these awards in a different way? 

Award Company Givers: I am open to discussion for you to agree or deny these observations. So pleas FEEL FREE to leave a comment or contact me direct

(c) Sue Simpson

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

When to send out Wedding Invites

Question from Bride:
"When do I send out Wedding Invitations?"

Well, not so very long ago, the standard answer would have been 6-8 weeks before the Wedding, but times have changed. 

Other factors to take into account these days are: 

Work and Lifestyle: People have busy lives and are usually planning what little time they have off, months in advance.

Hotels: Many weddings take place in locations now rather than in Churches  and many of these locations offer a package deal. Hotels in particular are keen to know final numbers, well before the Wedding date.

Distant Families: Many family's no longer live close by and are spread right across the country. If the Wedding is to be held at location not close to family and especially during holiday times, there may be a problem with accommodation. 

Stationery: For those Brides who want something that extra special, rather than 'Off the Peg' Stationery, you need to know that many of us are booked up well in advance, not only with Wedding Invitations but 'On the Day' items as well. I myself, took 13 Wedding Orders in January and as you can imagine there are only so many hours in a day and so many weeks in a Month. So getting your order in as early as possible is imperative if you find stationery you particularly like. 

So.... my answer to this would be:
As soon as possible! Especially if your 
Wedding is during busy, holiday periods.

I suggest 6 months is a good idea.

Also.... the sooner you get them out,
the sooner you have one less thing to think about 
and can get on with the rest of your planning. 

In my experience, the sooner you get them out,
the more time you will have for chasing up 
the people who lag at replying to your invite. 

What do you think?

How soon before the Wedding 
did YOU send out your cards?

If you are not already married, 
when are you planning 
to send out your cards?

It will be interesting to know what others think 
Add a comment below or email me 

(c) Sue Simpson

Monday, 21 October 2013


I should have titled my this post 'How saving money can cost you more!'. If you haven't already read it, I suggest you pop over there and do so now. It really is a case of Buyer BEWARE!.

I've got a bee in my bonnet and I'm out to save the world, although that's how it seems right now! I joined the Bridal Forum to find out, what Brides of today are looking for in their suppliers as well as getting an insight into my own industry.
As I stated in my last post, nearly ALL the Brides start their question off with
"I'm on a very tight budget, can anyone tell me where is the cheapest I can get (insert Brides particular need here)"

I've seen them ask for everything, 
Can anyone recommend a cheap photographer?...

Does anyone know anyone 
who can supply cheap wedding stationery?

Where can I get cheap Wedding Cakes made?

What more than worries me slightly here is the fact that they are not asking for 'good' or 'Quality'. Does this mean that any photographer will do? If so.... you could ask your uncle George.... he's just bought a new camera and he's took some lovely pictures of his holiday in Cornwall...Now I'm not saying Uncle Jack wouldn't take a few good snaps, but if he falls short of capturing your 'Special Day', there's no resitting and certainly no room for error. This is one area I wouldn't scrimp on. BTW - If you live in North Yorkshire I can highly recommend Mark Johnson Photography he's both affordable and good! 

Anyone know of anywhere I can get cheap Wedding Stationery?...... Well my stationery starts at 75p per invite. I use only quality products and I wouldn't say that that was out of this world. However if you wanted folded cards as opposed to postcard type we are looking at around £2 each. 
The advantage I can offer over others, apart from the quality of card stock and materials is that you get a personal one-to-one service and we can design something around you and your colour scheme... oh yes and all our stationery is personalised and foiled. Could I do them cheaper? Yes.... of course.... I could print them out on photocopying paper in plain black ink and using computer font not calligraphy.... I 'could' but I won't! I want to be happy to put my name on my work and I want you to be happy too.

And what about cakes (or any other product or service) Do you really want CHEAP.... or do you want GOOD. Good can still be affordable, you just have to compromise a little.

At the same time... paying a fortune doesn't always mean good either. Advertising in some of the larger branded products is designed to make you 'exclusive' club. The one where you believe that if you don't have it then you are not worth the air that you breathe and are just not up to speed.

There really has to be a happy medium here. You can buy good, quality, items and services, but go for CHEAP at your peril. There are bargains to be had out there, but go off recommendations.... better still SHOP LOCAL. This way you can be sure of meeting the person face to face, seeing if you actually 'like them', asking any questions and having time to think about your choice before making a decision and potentially loosing money. 

Can I just say..... that 99% of the email request I get start with...
"How much"
It's  sometimes a really hard question to answer as it depends on so many things. Mostly I have to email back with a list of questions, so that I can establish what my client actually NEEDS from me. It's all part of the job! And never forget... YOU are the one in charge.  It's your hard earned cash! Be careful when ordering ANYTHING off the internet or Facebook.
Meet the supplier a few times if you are unsure... better to be safe than sorry and a professional supplier would not mind how many times you have to meet and what questions they need to answer. YOU pay our wages :-) 

I'll write another blog soon about this with some helpful guidelines to help you along the way.

What would the first question be, 
when you approach as supplier 
about their gods or services? 

(c) Sue Simpson

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