Monday 31 May 2010

Real Wedding: Julie & Mark

How much do I love this wedding? *THIS* much. Julie and Mark celebrated their big day in super-style, and on the sunniest day England has ever seen! I've fallen for their Julie's gorgous gathered dress and her sweet sparkly tiara, plus her fantastic pink-soled shoes, sent all the way from the States. Also loving the lily bouquets, and the modern look of the grass looping in and out of the blooms. A great take on a classic look! The groomsmen are looking pretty impressive as well, with their fabulous grey morning suits, matching cravats and buttonholes. If you're wondering about the amazing venue, Julie and Mark chose Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hatfield Heath for their reception - love the pillars! Huge thanks to Celine Chaplin for her gorgeous photographs. Don't miss her blog, if you're choosing a photographer for your own wedding.

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Sunday 30 May 2010

Flower Power

Don't you wish you were five again? Those were the days when you could wear ruffles, polka dots and flowers all at the same time, and no one would point and stare. The great thing about weddings is that you can channel that inner child, and dress up your little bridesmaids in gorgeous girly-girl dresses. Sweet Plume is one of those boutiques guaranteed to make you go aah. Brittany and Brianne handmake each outfit and are happy to take custom orders. Don't miss their Etsy shop and check our their blog for some super "sweet" discounts. My favourites have to be the feather dresses, do you think they come in adult sizes? And I know the cupcake dress isn't exactly your standard wedding fare, but it is the best outfit I've ever seen!

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Saturday 29 May 2010

My Wedding - Engagement

It's taken me a while to come round to writing about my own wedding. I'm not sure why. I'm not naturally shy, but I'm determined not to become one of those 'it's all about ME' brides. Bridezilla. Bride of Frankenstein. You get my gist. But considering I'm out there gathering ideas from all these other lovely brides, I think it's only fair I share my own planning. So with exactly a year to go, here's my story....

The Boy and I met 'officially' in 2006. We'd actually bumped into each other years before, through his best friend Kiran, but neither of us really remember it. Apparently it was in the Nando's on Upper Street in Islington - dead romantic! Our first date was at a Japanese restaurant called Koi's, near Kensington Park - I'd recommend it, because you have to take your shoes off, and it's good to check out a guy's socks before you consider him as a future husband. So one thing led to another, we bought a flat together, went travelling for a year, and by the time I turned 30 in February last year, I was pretty much ring obsessed. In fact I started Before the Big Day four months before we got engaged. Talk about a hint!

The Boy asked me to marry him on 4th January in the mountains in France. We were skiing, and I'd headed home early for a bath, and while I was tucked up in my dressing gown, The Boy wrote 'will you marry me in the snow'. He went down on one knee, and read out an extract from The Great Gatsby {below}, and I said yes. And cried a bit, and he might have too, but he's too macho to admit it.

I had to wait till we got home before I got my proper diamond ring. I always thought we'd choose the engagement ring together, but The Boy had taken matters into his own hands, and picked one for me. It's a solitaire diamond, and it's perfect.

We decided we wanted to get married abroad for lots of reasons. First of all we really want a wedding in the sunshine, and in the UK you can pretty much guarantee rain. Secondly, friends of ours had celebrated their big day in Carpri the year before, and we'd had such a riot that we wanted to recreate the mood.

So we picked the South of France, specifically Provence, because we spent our first summer holiday there, and we'd fallen in love with the food and wine, olive trees and lavender. Also, it was close enough to the UK to keep flights cheap, but far enough away to be sunny. Also, I can speak French, or at least, I think I can! In the next installment, I'll show you my inspiration boards, which I'm using to give my suppliers a sense of our wedding style. Do leave me comments and tell me about your engagement stories!

Friday 28 May 2010

That Friday Feeling ♥ 5

It's been such a week of sunshine and showers, brides getting married this weekend must be so stressed out about the weather. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the forecast rain won't come, but if it does, don't miss the ideas below for cool umbrellas and wellies. It's been a particularly inspired week on the wedding blogs, so check out these gorgeous links for all the best ideas.

♥  Take heart from this really rainy wedding found on Cup Of Jo
This wedding is why I went into blogging - it just melts my heart to see the happiness of this gorgeous bride and groom via Rock My Wedding
♥ A stunning hand-made crocheted wedding dress via 100 Layer Cake - believe me, it's amazing!
Fabulous brollies for a rainy-day wedding, spotted on Love My Dress
♥ Succulent inspired wedding stationery and bouquet on Unruly Things
♥ Zinging brightly-coloured wedding featured Rock n' Roll Wedding
♥ Introducing a fabulous new British stationer - Miss Emma Ruth, discovered via Little Miss Wedding
♥ How come I didn't find Emmy Shoes first! {see the pics above} Kudos to Rock My Wedding for a genius discovery!
♥ These June Petals lampshades would make any venue look romantic, spotted on Little Miss Wedding
♥ Add some sole to your shoes with these fantastic ideas from London Bride
♥ I love the candy-coloured nails in this picture {below, thanks to Love Letters & Sky Paints}

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Cup of Tea?

I love a good cup of tea, and there's nothing nicer than a lovely victoria sponge served with Earl Grey. With fashion moving towards all things traditional and vintage this year, it's not surprising that brides and grooms choosing to serve their guests a wedding tea rather than dinner. It's often cheaper than a three course meal, and it's a great excuse for to treat your friends and family to a huge variety of cakes. You could even ask your bridesmaids to each make a cake, or have a baking-day as part of your hen celebrations. Decorate your reception with traditional bunting and doilies, and hire vintage china from a company like Eclectic Bliss. They have all the bits and bobs needed to enjoy afternoon tea the old fashioned way, from cups and saucers, to sugar tongs and cake stands. Owner Lydia picks each piece for its charm and elegance, and can help with styling your wedding, so it looks just right. Check out some of her favourites below!

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Thursday 27 May 2010

BBD Theme: Tennis

Wimbledon kicks off on 21st June, and the tennis tournament at Queen's starts on 7th, so I'm already day-dreaming about sunny afternoons drinking Pimms. But how about a wedding inspired by tennis? It's not such a crazy idea, after all you play doubles, the first score is Love, and green plus yellow makes for a gorgeous colour theme. Dress your bridesmaids in cute tennis dresses and your groomsmen in cool white trainers for a perfect match {sorry!}, and put little nets across the tables at your reception. You'll want to serve strawberries and cream and deuce-juice, and you could have a fancy dress box of tennis accessories to entertain your guests. Such a fun idea - don't miss the details below of special offers for Before the Big Day readers.

Product Credits {from top left} - 1. Beau-coup, 2. Brown Pigeon, 3. Raw Art Letter Press {middle} Adidas by Stella McCartney, {from bottom left} 1. Candice n' Katie's Art, 2. Here and There Vintage 3. QA Create

We ♥ Offers
Brown Pigeon are offering 10% off their custom stamps
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Real Wedding: Joanna & Yuri

Cakes aren't normally the first thing that catch my eye as I'm flicking through wedding pics {I'm more of a stationery obsessive}, but check out the beauty from Joanna and Yuri's wedding. Isn't it gorgeous? Also loving the fun blooms they picked for their florals - tulips and sunflowers are such cheerful colours, and they set the mood for a stunning spring wedding. Other stealworthy ideas include the lovely Fulham Palace venue, the traditional London transport, the red bands of colour on the tables, and the Yuri's cool floral tie. Huge thanks to Ken Buist for his gorgeous pictures, don't miss his website.

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Tuesday 25 May 2010

Flower Fairy

There's something uniquely romantic about wearing flowers in your hair, and that's why I've fallen for these gorgeous hair pieces by Which Goose. They remind me of the fairies in A Midsummer's Night Dream, or some other sylvan tale. The crowns are made from a base of dried natural vines, stripped, woven and decorated with artificial flowers. Match them with a pair of shoes or clutch bag for the full flower fairy effect! Perfect for a rural wedding, or to add a touch of countryside to an urban affair.

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Real Wedding: Punam & Chirag {2}

It's a wedding of two halves! As promised, here are the reception shots from Punam and Chirag's wedding. I'm completely blown away by the florals and the desert table, both are examples of luxurious excess done with extreme style. To recreate the table displays, use blooms of one colour, and arrange each variety on its own. Throw in vases of different shapes and sizes, and you'll be well on your way to a dramatic look. Don't miss the gorgeous green flock detailing on the stationery and the monogrammed cocktail sticks. Also loving how Punam and Chirag chose to sit at a table-for-two at their reception - so romantic! Gorgeous photographs with thanks to the team at Our Labour of Love.

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Monday 24 May 2010

Real Wedding: Punam & Chirag

To avoid inspirational overload, I've had to split this fabulous Indian/American wedding into two different postings. Believe me, it's that good! Poonam and Chirag celebrated their big day in the neon sunshine of Los Angeles, but drew on their heritage for for inspiration. And man were they inspired! With a wedding party wearing traditional saris, an elegant white horse, a scattering of rose petals and a very fetching red and gold parasol, the photographs are a feast of colour. I'm loving Poonam's jewellery and the henna drawings on her hands and feet, plus her stunning wedding outfit. And I'm jealous of her long eyelashes - no fakes needed for this wedding day. Don't miss the next installment, where I'll featue the pictures of their reception. Huge thanks to Our Labour of Love for their fabulous pictures.

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Friday 21 May 2010

That Friday Feeling ♥ 5

There's a British theme to this week's Friday Feeling. Wedding blogs first started in the US, but us Brits are fast catching up, and there's some gorgeous sites out there, that are overflowing with inspirational ideas. So here's a heads-up to some of the best features from this week.

♥ I'm so jealous that Rock My Wedding found fabulous Fraser and Parsley stationers first. Their work is amazing. I'm in love.
A simply stunning Scottish wedding with a black and purple theme - wow!
♥ Looking for an unusual way to say I Do? Try one of the Ten Most Haunted Wedding Venues, via the groom experts over at I Am Staggered.
♥ Is there anything more beautiful than a hand-painted wedding cake by SugarSugar, as seen on OMG I'm Getting Married?
♥ Possibly the coolest alternative bride, ever! Via Rock 'n Roll Bride.
♥ You'll want it to rain at your wedding after you've seen these Weddington Boots on Little White Book Wedding.
♥ Looking for an original idea, why not use vegetables in your bouquet, instead of flowers? Fab idea via The Budget Savvy Bride
♥ Win an exquisite Caroline Castigliano wedding dress via Love My Dress
♥ Affordable wedding shoes {don't all click at once} via the lovely Astrid at Brides magazine

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