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By modefor, Jul 16 2018 09:37AM

Back in cold and snowy March this year, I was invited to join the creative team at Sheffield Carnival as part of a group of local artists who would be designing and creating vibrant and larger than life costumes for the long anticipated re launch of Sheffield Carnival. The theme was 'The Rise of the Phoenix' depicting a rebirth of the carnival vibe on our streets, as it rises from the ashes after a 20 year break.


The aim was to bring carnival back to Sheffield big style!


I was thrilled to discover I would be working under the direction of talented designer Clary Salandy, the woman behind the spectacular Notting Hill costume parade and one of the UK's leading designers in Carnival arts.


After meeting Clary, I realised this was going to be a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience in this field. I really admired her passion for carnival, the arts, her high standards and expertise. She was very supportive and I had so much to learn from her. It was also a chance to finally put my qualifications in Design and Theatre to good use too. From then on, I embraced every second of Clary's invaluable teaching and carefully observed every aspect of her design process.


During the past few months I've learnt that carnival is so much more than feathers, bikinis and sequins. It's a theatrical, visual and dynamic art, an expression of culture and heritage, that means so much to many people. It brings people together and has a varied and diverse culture input whilst maintaining a sense of community. Not only that it's SO MUCH FUN!


The next three months felt like a chaotic whirlwind of workshops, designing, sketching, creating, painting and making. With only a couple of weeks to go I had the opportunity to visit Clary's Carnival Arts studio in London.


Her bustling three storey studio is full to bursting with a huge collection of larger than life colourful costumes, everywhere you look a feast for the eyes, no nook or cranny left empty, a room jam packed with dazzling colours, shapes, fabrics and dizzying designs. I felt like a kid in a sweet shop and I felt at home.


I spent the day with members of Clary's team and under Clary's guidance I created a prototype for my phoeonix dress design which was going to be worn by ten ladies in a section of the parade in Sheffield.

Back in Sheffield, it was hard to see how it was all going to come together in time, hundreds of costumes, hours and hours of hard work, a great deal of sweat, blood and tears but it did and in spectacular style thanks to the amazing hard working team at Sheffield Carnival.


The final costumes were simply out of this world. Seeing my designs come to life was one of the best feelings ever. Ten sassy women all strutting their stuff wearing my design, as we all danced together without a care in the world. The big parade saw hundreds of people dancing in the street, reflecting Sheffield's diverse range of international culture, all partying together as one big community with great multicultural spirit.


It seems that carnival is well and truly back on the streets of Sheffield and this pheonix bird has well and truly risen.


Have fun this summer peeps and make sure you find time to feel that carnival vibe, believe me it's addictive!


Love from,


Karen xx


For a BBC story on the carnival go here:


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-37194414/notting-hill-carnival-clary-salandy-s-guide-to-costume-making


Photo credits:

Tim Denell

#sheffieldcarnival2018

www.sheffieldcarnival.org





By modefor, Jul 2 2018 08:34AM


On Saturday the 9th of June we celebrated the wedding of Amanda and Graham at our stunning industrial wedding venue, The Arches at Dean Clough.


It was a wonderfully relaxed day for a wonderfully relaxed and happy couple. The balmy summer sunshine flooded through the windows filling The Arches wih soft light and warmth.


However, it was groom Graham's creative flair and talent that shone through on the day with his carefully designed and handcrafted photobooth, an impressive supersized Mr and Mrs sign and a beautifully designed wooden heart centre piece adorned with flowers and fairy lights which proudly displayed heart warming photographs of the bride and groom's parents on their own wedding day.

A wooden archway, also hand made by the groom provided a romantic centre piece for the ceremony itself, candlelit lanterns and simple arrangements of carefully selected pink and purple blooms added softness to the industrial feel with place cards on the tables beautifully handwritten by one of the smallest family members adding that personal touch.


As family and friends eagerly awaited elegant and relaxed bride Amanda's arrival, her four bridesmaids couldn't contain their excitement with the youngest girls wearing pretty chiffon, tutu style dresses, accessorized with sparkly shoes and magical flower wands, a creative alternative to the traditional hand held flower posies.


The relaxed vibe continued after the ceremony with a scrumptious sit down meal from the in house caterers Eat me Drink me. The sound track for the day was a super chilled and laidback play list which set the tone perfectly as guests chatted, relaxed and enjoyed each others company before dancing the night away to some fabulous music from a live, top notch band.


What a privilege it was to work with such a relaxed, happy and talented couple at my first solo wedding with Mode For....thank you!


Congratulations Mr and Mrs Ross!


Lots of Mode For love,


Karen x


For the full album of our behind the scenes pictures, click HERE



By modefor, Jun 27 2018 08:00AM

Photo (c) Capture the Love
Photo (c) Capture the Love

It’s so overwhelming…

I don’t know where to start…

Everyone has an opinion about how our wedding should be…

I just want to elope and leave everyone behind…

I’m not even looking forward to my wedding anymore…

I don’t want my family there…

I’m scared of everyone looking at me and being centre of attention…


Any of these statements ring true with you?


These are real statements I’ve heard from brides and grooms who are trying to plan their own wedding and I find it heart-breaking that anyone should feel that way (though I do like the sound and idea of a romantic elopement!).


Planning a wedding should be something that brings happiness; where you can enjoy the process as much as the end result.


The whole planning process should be filled with fun, happiness, inspiration, creativity and discovery. But I know it’s sometimes so hard to overcome the ‘overwhelm.’


Feeling overwhelmed can happen to any of us; it’s an emotion that can very easily take a grasp of us and invite its friends, anxiety, misery and even sometimes depression to the party. So, remember you’re the host of both parties… the one in your head with all your emotions and your wedding. Did you watch that movie ‘Inside Out?’ You need to choose to override ‘overwhelm.’


My advice is to take it step by step. First of all, make a point to be strong in your stance that the wedding is about you and your partner, no-one else; it should be a privilege for anyone else to be involved, not a done deal that parents, Grandparents, family of friends take control, irrespective of who is footing the bill. This is about you as a couple and you only; end of.


Decide things together as a couple; close your eyes and imagine your day, how it feels, sounds, tastes and looks and keep this visualisation strong when you’re planning. Visualise yourself at your wedding looking and feeling happy and when wedding planning starts to overwhelm take a moment to bring this visualisation to the forefront of your memory. This is a great technique for not only coping with overwhelm but deciding on elements of your special day. Don’t just rely on Pinterest and magazines, use the power of visualisation to bring your own wedding to life.


If you can bring the visualisation along with its friends creativity, excitement and happiness to the party in your head, you are going to start to love the wedding planning process.


I’ll be focussing more on controlling anxiety, nerves and overwhelm over a series of blogs and articles dedicated to the Calm Bride and in my group #theweddingfixer at www.facebook.com/groups/theweddingfixer so why not join me and share your experiences.


Much Love

Tabby xxx


AKA #theweddingfixer



By modefor, Jun 20 2018 08:28AM

It’s always important to work with the best suppliers you can for your wedding and most of all, compatibility is key.


But where do you find fabulous businesses? For me, I put a lot of weight on recommendation. If someone I trust, love and respect trusts a business enough to recommend them then I think this means a lot.


I’m always very careful of the businesses I recommend to people too and I have to have worked with them, seen them in action and seen them deliver top quality customer service and value to my clients.

With that in mind, here are five top Yorkshire wedding businesses.


Photography by Kathryn Widdowson

Not only are Kathryn’s photos amazing, she is one of the most delightful people I know and is fabulous to not only work with, but her calming and relaxed nature with couples is truly outstanding and this trust and rapport she builds is what makes her photos all the more special.


The Volkswagen Wedding Co

Herman the photobooth is my favourite! He’s quirky, fun and never fails to grab attention at weddings and events. The service and value that the Volkswagen Wedding Co. offers is also second to none. Efficient, professional and always with a smile and fun; that’s why we love them.


Carly & The Kicks

Every party needs entertainment and Carly Wood and her fabulous band are absolutely superb. Whether it’s an acoustic set or the full band, this girl knows how to get your party going and what’s more, honestly and truly one of the loveliest and most fun people I’ve ever met.


The Arches @ Dean Clough

Yes, no shame, I’m totally biased as we at Mode for… are the exclusive wedding co-ordinators (don’t worry, I’m not shameless enough to put Mode for… in my top 5 wedding businesses, but you know we are outright the best for relaxed, calm, mindful, professional, happy and fun wedding planning and co-ordination, don’t you?!) but this venue is the absolute bee’s knees. Industrial, perfect, stunning and as relaxed as they come with amazing catering from Eat Me – Drink Me and a great team of staff to make your wedding truly memorable.


Eat Me – Drink Me

Because now we’ve got the venue, music, photographer and fun we need some amazing food. Eat Me – Drink Me are superb event caterers wherever your wedding is being held and whether it’s a tipi in a field, a barn, industrial venue or country house they have the perfect menu, stunning food and excellent team of staff to deliver your perfect wedding food. Their passion is catering for very important dates, and your wedding is truly important to them.


So, there’s my quick round up of why these five make it into the top five. Go and check them out.


Much Love

Tabby xxx


#theweddingfixer

Join my free wedding planning group at: www.facebook.com/groups/theweddingfixer



By modefor, Jun 18 2018 07:22AM

Last Saturday we finally celebrated the wedding of Hannah and Spencer at Hargate Hall and it was totally worth the wait...


Hannah and Spencer were originally planning to get married earlier this year, but the ‘Beast from the East’ storm had other ideas.


Two days before the wedding all roads to the venue were completely blocked with snow, cutting off the nearest town and making it impossible for anyone to get to the venue. With family and friends travelling from as far as Australia our beautiful couple had to make the brave and heartbreaking decision to postpone the wedding.


Fast forward a few months... with the wedding rescheduled and new plans in place, we supported our couple through the whole process. And here at Mode For… we believe everything happens for a reason and it all works out for the best, in the end.


Things couldn't have worked out better last Saturday, the sun shone all day, it was beautiful blue skies and everyone was relaxed with smiles all round. The most wonderful wedding day.


Hannah and Spencer are huge music fans and the marquee at Hargate Hall was decorated and personalised to reflect their love of music festivals and bands.


The wedding meal was perfectly relaxed and our incredible Mode For... picnic baskets looked amazing as centre pieces on each table. This unique wedding breakfast was a hit with all the families at the wedding. Imagine... delicious deli meats, Italian inspired antipasti, traditional sausages rolls, rustic crusty bread, cheeseboards, just to name a few of the things tucked away and waiting to be unpacked in our beautiful picnic baskets.


The fun continued into the afternoon with garden games, an open bar, homemade cocktails and never ending sunshine. Hannah and Spencer’s wedding is exactly what Hargate Hall is all about - family, friends and a personalised bespoke weekend wedding.


Hannah and Spencer's wedding was my first working with Mode For... and l loved every single minute of it. I felt so privileged to be a part of their special day. Spending time with the couples extended family and friends was amazing. I love how everyone pulls together, working hard to bring months worth of planning to life during the 'pre-wedding set up'. I love the anticipation and build up for the big the day. But mostly, I love seeing how people travel across the country to see their friends say their vows and start their happily every after together.


At Mode For… we would love to help solve any of your wedding problems or help you make your dream wedding come true. Please get in touch with us, we could talk about weddings all day!


Laura xxx



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