Ley Fest – A Ripley Hen Do How To


Imagine if you had a really sweet tooth and you went to work in a sweet shop. You would probably eat enough sweets to give you Type 2 Diabetes and/or put you off candy for life. Team Bush all love wedding dresses, yet for some unfathomable reason we all seem immune to their delights for ourselves. Too much silk for too long? Lace overdose? Whatever the reason hardly any of us our married (one person!!) and only one person is engaged. Step forward Leyla.

Leyla will marry Sam in October and to celebrate this and have a fabulous sunny Bush Bash we today are having Leyfest. Not Leyla’s official hen do but a chance for the Miss Bush team to get together and celebrate that someone actually wants to marry one of our number!

To keep things simple, especially as it is peak season & the sewing & fitting staff can only drop in an out of various events we are staying local. Have a look at our ideas for how to have fun in Ripley, could this rival Marbella as the new hen capital of Europe? Probably not but we do intend to pamper and partyyyyyy

Pampering at seven beauty


Image - Seven Beauty

The day will start slowly with mini treatments and pampering at the cute as a button Seven Beauty almost opposite The Chapel. Brownies and coffeewill be delivered by Nest Home and Cafe while we start our day of treats, crafting and carousing.

Pottery Painting with rainbow celebrations


Back to The Chapel for a spot of pottery painting. Leyla has rejected a gift list and why have Emma Bridgewater when you can have Emma Meek eh? Pinnocks are proving lunch, stacks of goodies on teetering towers while we craft.

Lunch DElivered by pinnocks cofee house

pinnocks coffee surrey

Image – The Guide 2 Surrey

Then we are going on a nature trail with Gayle from Bloomingayles where we shall be gathering/public pruning weeds and wonders to make floral crowns. More crafting will then follow with our T Shirt customising. Beofre we mix some cocktails for the obligatory Penis Pinata.  Basically I couldn’t resist lowering the tone a touch.

Floral Crowns with bloomingayles


Image – Eddie Judd

Dinner will be a vaguely Jordanian inspired BBQ, lots of Middle Eastern flavours to reflect Leyla’s heritage before we move on to the ‘festival’.


plain jane

Image – Plain Jane

I have drafted my daughter Georgia & my great friend Billy to put together two hours of live music. Our festival style will feature glow sticks, camping, short shorts and wellies. Perhaps a few willy themed items may still be present ;-)

If you fancy following our exploits today please look for hashtag #leyfest or #leyhen on Instagram Twitter and Facebook

Billy Irvine

Billy Irvine Music

Emma xxx

Emma Meek, MD of Miss Bush Bridalwear
Miss Bush Bridalwear is Surrey’s leading designer bridal shop

Real Bride – Lucinda in Suzanne Neville


Experiential marketing is not the future, it’s the now. With increasing online competition  those of us working within contemporary bridal shops need more than good dresses. Our interiors need to say more, be more. It is not enough to have one jaunty baroque mirror leant against some wallpaper reflecting a  chain store chandelier. There needs to be a story behind a brand that clients can engage with and shopping needs to become ‘retailtainment.

Michael Wyrley-Birch, managing director, TRO Group writes in Marketing Week  “the new stars will be the retailers that become a destination and offer a social experience which is pleasurable and entertaining. This is where experiential marketing comes to the fore by bringing the brand personality to life and using sensory techniques to connect with people on an emotional level. We can call this ‘retailtainment’.”

The move to The Chapel and charging for Saturday appointments providing a unique and stylish space and taking the frantic pace out of the weekends has been designed for the pure pleasure of our brides. Luxury & expertise are easy to buy and , to quote the ever relevant Oscar Wilde, ‘experience is the one thing you can’t get for nothing’.

Luci’s thank you emails were, frankly, a gift of the marketing variety and shall from a cornerstone of my staff training.

“I’m such a fussy shopper – constantly walking out of the shop if the assistant is taking too long or god forbid, I have to go up or down stairs…  It’s so lovely when shopping is an experience as opposed to a chore and you surpassed my expectations!  “


Luci is wearing Suzanne Neville’s Lady with a custom Helen Pollington lace jacket over the top. Lady is an exquisite silk zibeline dress with Suzanne’s peerless corset structure that makes the dress look like it is poured out of molten fabric. The boat neck is the epitome of elegance and the sharp box-pleated skirt makes the full skirt graceful & perfect for some sweeping staircase shots.


Part of me knows that I shouldn’t simply cut and paste lavish praise of Miss Bush from brides emails. It makes me feel I am copying someone elses’  homework. It also flies in  the face of my tendency to be self-effacing. This quote gets under the radar because the praise is for my Mum and for Suzanne herself.

 Oh, how I miss Miss Bush! I had such a lovely time in your shop and really felt I got to know you and the dress so well before the big day! It was so refreshing how you let me just ‘hang out’ in the dress and I really think this helped to envisage how things would come together on the day. It really was a magical experience – one that left me on Cloud 9 and in no doubt that I really had chosen the right dress for me. Your Mum is also amazing and really made the whole experience one we will never forget.
The Suzanne Neville Designer Evening was one of the best nights of my life – such an honour to meet Suzanne and to be made a fuss of without someone telling me I looked like a princess.


It gives me so much pleasure to receive emails & photos like Luci’s. Luci has had a dress from one of the best British designers, custom design from Helen but the praise for the experience is what motivates and moves me. The team at Miss Bush are professional but the relationship between our brides and us should be intensely personal too.


View the full gallery

Like a ‘proper’ wedding blog I asked Luci if she wanted to name check her favourite suppliers. fabulous endorsements were forth coming so I definitely recommend checking a few of the links below

“Feel free to blog away and share the love. I can’t really recommend the venue highly enough – no corkage and we were left to our own devices (as in no staff watching us) for 4 whole days. We had completely exclusive use and  we could choose whatever we wanted when it came to suppliers. ”


Photography: Allister Freeman
The Dress: Suzanne Neville at Miss Bush Bridalwear
Venue: North Cadbury Court
Hair and Make Up: Claire Nicole
Flowers: Emma at Green Parlour
Cake: Katherine Cunningham Cakes
Magic man: Guy Portlock
Piano: Mark Fowler
Choir: Cheddar Male Choir
Band: Brightsparks


Emma xxx

Emma Meek, MD of Miss Bush Bridalwear
Miss Bush Bridalwear is Surrey’s leading designer bridal shop

Real Bride – Jenna in JLM Blush

Real bride Jenna in JLM Blush bridal from Miss Bush Bridalwear (13)

Sometimes you just want what you want. Sometimes you just won’t settle for a compromise. Never is this ever more apparent when you are choosing your wedding dress. I didn’t see Jenna for her original appointments at Miss Bush but was called in to troubleshoot a set of odd requests.

Jenna loved the idea of a JLM Couture dress by Tara Keely – a style 2210 that features a lace mini dress with a fabulous tulle over skirt.However she preferred the lace dress of a JLM Blush dress, style 1202. To add a little more capriciousness the tulle skirt she really, really loved was from the dress 1156 as seen on this epic Miss Bush shoot here on Rock My Wedding

Real bride Jenna in JLM Blush bridal from Miss Bush Bridalwear (16)

Saying no to a bride can often be hazardous! Only joking… My job in this scenario is work out the how, we, Miss Bush are going to fulfil the Jenna’s dreams and keep an eye on the budget. A call to JLM europe’s most wonderful customer service team enabled to borrow the tiny press sample of the lace dress. Naturally svelte, Jenna was able to rock the extreme plunge back supported by angular spaghetti straps *sigh*. As a girl who is bra-less at bath and bed time only I am girl crushing…

Real bride Jenna in JLM Blush bridal from Miss Bush Bridalwear (19)

The skirt was the next issue. Another call to JLM to ask whether th US production team could make a skirt like the 1156. Even  their usual ‘can-do’ answer became a ‘sorry-can’t’. The next conversations are a combination of a lightbulb moment and a grovel to Janet, our ever fabulous production manager.

Real bride Jenna in JLM Blush bridal from Miss Bush Bridalwear (37)

Could we sell Jenna the sample of 1156, remove the bodice and reconstruct the bottom half as a skirt on a gorgeous sash waistband? This is clearly not as easy as it sounds, I was given ‘the look’. I like to think my winning smile & engaging personality won the day for Jenna. It actually was that sales/production axis that exists in any company -  ‘I said we could do it so you have to make it work.’ I apologise on behalf of all sales people everywhere for the Herculean tasks we set you clever sticks. But doesn’t it look bloody gorgeous?

Jenna married in  a unique, bespoke piece; a real one-off dress that channelled this years trends last year. A daringly low back dress and a skirt that could be Olivia Palermo’s. I do love it when bride wants what she wants & I do too ;-)

I have  loved looking through the photos from Florence, the Fiat 500 and the postcard images. Everything is so stylish but inspirational and achievable, go and have a look

“…it was an amazing day. Thanks for an amazing dress!” Jenna x

Real bride Jenna in JLM Blush bridal from Miss Bush Bridalwear (2)

View the full gallery


Photography: tbc
The Dress: JLM Blush at Miss Bush Bridalwear

Emma xxx

Emma Meek, MD of Miss Bush Bridalwear
Miss Bush Bridalwear is Surrey’s leading designer bridal shop