Saturday 31 July 2010

An Amazing Offer

There's something hugely appealing about jewellery inspired by nature. Maybe its because flowers themselves are so ephemeral, as is the glint of sunlight on a bee's fast-flickering wing. Designer of the Year 2008, Alex Monroe, exquisitely captures the essence of the British country garden with his gorgeous pieces, and he's offering an amazing 10% off to all readers of Before the Big Day. All you need to do is type in Big Day at the online check out. Perfect for presents for your bridesmaids.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Real Wedding - Vicky & Tom

Christmas couldn't seem further away, but summer is key planning time for winter brides, so here's a gorgeous chilly wedding for their inspiration-delectation. Winter weddings have a special feeling to them. The twinkling fairy lights, the snug atmosphere, and if you are really lucky, a light covering of snowflakes! Vicky and Tom celebrated their wedding earlier this year, on a stunning snowy but sunny day, which made for the most fabulous pictures. Vicky looks like an ice-princess in her jewel-studded gown and cosy snug, and I love how the red roses of her bouquet stands out against the white. Meanwhile, Tom's berry buttonhole looks seriously dapper, and perfectly matches the lining of his suit. The happy couple chose Windsor Guildhall for their ceremony, followed by an intimate reception in the River House Restaurant. From start to finish it looks like the most romantic of days, beautifully pictured by Segerius Bruce.

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Wednesday 28 July 2010

Pretty Romantic

Elegant, feminine, whimsical and very pretty, I've fallen truly, madly, deeply for Fleur Avenue. Designed by Brenda in her Singapore studio, these pieces capture the essence of romance, making them perfect for a wedding. My particular favourite is the key necklace, but I also love the feather comb as a chic look for your bridesmaids.

 If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS and click here for more jewellery ideas.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Cutting the wedding cake is such a huge landmark in any wedding, that it's essential the cake lives up to expectations. Apart from the bride and groom, the cake may well feature in more photographs than anyone or anything else, so you'll want a good-looking specimen. Two of my favourite boutique bakers are Restoration Cakes {pictures below} and The Little Cake Parlour {pictures further down}.

Charlotte at Restoration Cakes is known for her spectacular vegan, wheat-free and dairy free cakes, all of which look and taste just as good as normal cakes. Meanwhile The Little Cake Parlour has the cutest, quirky cakes, in every flavour you can imagine, including my favourite, the Red Velvet. {Mmmmm, moment of mouthwatering day-dream}. I simply love their designs, just check out the Popcorn Mini Cup-Cakes and Topsy-Turvy Alice in Wonderland cake below for starters {or pudding, if you get what I mean}.

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Loving Antz

I'm not a huge fan of insects - who is? But for some reason this ant jewellery has really caught my eye. It's designed by Jezebel, and available from my favourite online shop Cat & Bird. I love the intricacy of the little leggies and antenae.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS and click here for more jewellery ideas.

Monday 26 July 2010

Real Wedding: Kerry & Chris

The best weddings are those that reflect the couple, their shared passions and their individual quirks. Don't be shy to let your personality come through, it'll make your big day stand out from the crowd. For a fantastic example take a look at Kerry and Chris' fabulous wedding at Wokefield Park. They're both complete chocoholics, and as a consequence chose Cadbury's purple and yellow for their colour theme. I've never heard of a chocolate bar inspiring a wedding palette, but isn't it a genius idea? Imagine a Skittles-themed wedding, or a chic After Eight affair, of an Ambassador's Reception inspired by Ferrero Rocher! Other stealworthy ideas include the youngest bridesmaid's in-theme Converse sneakers (very sensible for dancing), the spectacular sparkler cake-cutting and the hilarious Photo Wall - a clever idea by talented photographers Lily & Frank.

Sunday 25 July 2010

BBD Theme: Blushing Bride

Baby pink is a huge favourite among this season's brides, with rosy details turning up at nearly every wedding. An exciting twist as we head into autumn is the trend towards pastel dresses. Choose pink if you worry that white washes out your complexion and ivory is too old-fashioned, and if you're keen to challenge tradition and surprise your guests. Then throw in some of my detail discoveries for a perfectly-pulled-together pink wedding style. Plus, don't miss the special offers from the vendors, listed below.

Product Credits - {from top left} 1. CR Boggs Designs, 2. Little White Dresser, 3. Helenes Dreams, 4. Minty Fresh Fusions {from top left} 1. Arete, 2. Minty Fresh Fusions, 3. La Camelot, 4. Bellina Bridal (from bottom left) 1. Something Jeweled, 2. Hopelessly Devoted, 3. Fatale Femme

Product Credits - {from top left} 1. Kemba Celebrations, 2. Jillianns, 3. Andie Specialty Sweets {from middle left} 1. Sweet Petal Bakery, 2. Imeon Design (from bottom left) 1. Sunshine Bakes, 2. Ivandy 27, 3. Vintage Twee

We ♥ Offers - just mention Before the Big Day at check-out to get your discount.
Bellina Bridal are offering 10% off all orders.

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Friday 23 July 2010

Grace & Tailor

Struggling with the styling of your wedding? {I feel your pain!} Have you considered calling in the experts? Look no further than Grace & Tailor. Lovely ladies Lucy and Louisa will harness their visionary talent to design your perfect big day, and add the perfect props to finish it off. Just check out the inspirational vintage wedding they created, and don't miss the French-themed pics at the end. I'm loving the old-fashioned lampshades and cute crystal centre-pieces, plus the faded Union Jack canvas pictures. They'd make the perfect momento to hang on your walls after your big day.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS and click here for more vintage ideas.

Thursday 22 July 2010

My Wedding - The Theme

This is where I tell you all about planning my own wedding. After all, if I'm publishing all these Real Weddings, it's only fair I share my trials and tribulations. Read the rest of my wedding diary here.

In my last posting, I was getting very excited about stationery, but it all came to a halt when I realised that I actually needed to start making decisions. Now I'm sure loads of brides make their theme choices on the hoof, and in the end, the bits and pieces all come together perfectly, but I'm not that kind of bride. I like order. Order makes me feel in safe {!}, and as I don't have a great deal of confidence in my style, I'm keen to get it sorted well in advance. My inspiration boards helped, but I needed to narrow them down, and as I'm a wordy type of person, my ultimate mood board was a list of adjectives. And here they are!

Colours: sage green, soft grey, dusky pink and silver
Mood: light-hearted, relaxed, organic, garden wedding, large lawn, the scent of flowers at dusk, warm air, light breeze, laughter
Decorations: burlap and linen, giant tissue pompoms, fairy lights, huge white balloons, lanterns, bubble guns, thick luxurious ribbons, parasol, blackboard signs, brown string, rosemary sprigs, lavender sprigs, twine, sage, honey, olive oil, lavender bags, brown paper bags

Now all I needed to do was settle on a motif. I knew that I wanted to pick one symbol to hold everything together, and my list included Provencial images like a sprig of lavender or an olive tree, plus a vintage key or a monogram of our initials. Also, when The Boy proposed, he read out an exerpt from The Great Gatsby, with the line "a tuning fork against a star", which made me wonder about having a star motif. Ulimately, finding the venue helped me make up my mind. You have to go through two arches and a grand gate to get into the Chateau grounds. Add that to my love of gardens and literature, and you have a Secret Garden theme with a vintage key motif. To celebrate my decision, I went straight onto Etsy and bought a whole bunch of vintage keys, plus a vintage stamp - yippee! I was finally one my way to designing my wedding!

What motif did you choose for your wedding, and how did you come to your decision? Do leave a comment below!

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Splendid Stationery

Lace is going to be a huge trend next season, in particular at winter weddings, as the delicate patterns mimic snowflakes. And the good news? It's a seriously easy trend to follow. From dresses to cakes, you'll love the femininity of this fashion. Click here for my previous feature about how to use doilies in your decorations, and check out these heavenly invitations from Hummingbird Cards. The vintage effect is created with a beautiful technique of laser cutting, allowing the artwork to be burnt away from the card leaving a delicate lace-like structure. Stunning!

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS or click here for more stationery ideas.

We ♥ J Crew

For American girls, J Crew is the wedding shop du jour. Renowned for it's cheap but chic dresses, dreamy accessories and brand new New York boutique, it's fast dominating the bridal market. But what if you're a UK bride? Well with dresses starting at $400 it's almost worth picking up a cheap flight to NYC, but if that doesn't appeal, then help is at hand thanks to Net-a-Porter. Their lovely buyers have cottoned on to what we want, and their new collection includes several J Crew gowns - woohoo!

If you enjoyed this post, click here for more dress ideas.

Monday 19 July 2010

Top Tip Week ♥7

If you're looking to save a few pennies for your honeymoon, then check out all of Before the Big Day's Top Tips. There's helpful moneysaving tips for everything from your flowers to your favours.

Top Tip ♥7
With fees for experienced snappers hitting £5000 a day, you might be tempted to forego a photographer altogether. Whatever you do, don't ask a friend to take the pics for you. They'll never do as good as job as a professional, and they won't enjoy your big day, because they'll be running around trying to get the 'perfect' shot. Instead, choose a short package from a local photographer, and ask them to come just for the ceremony and the start of the reception. Then set up a self-portrait area in the corner of your reception, complete with a dressing up box and a couple of empty frames, and encourage your guests to take hilarious pics of themselves. Use a clean white sheet or funky fabric as the background, and set up your digital camera on a tripod, and use the self-timer. You'll get a fantastic album of posed shots, rather than lots of slightly dodgy pics of people looking sweaty on the dance floor. Buy silly accessories like fake moustaches from online shop Whisker Works.

Get more fabulous wedding advice by clicking here.

Sunday 18 July 2010

Top Tip Week ♥6

Of course, you don’t have to give your guests favours, but it’s a sweet touch and it leaves your guests with fond memories of your big day. Also they don’t have to be too pricey, particularly if you’re good in the kitchen. Jam, biscuits, truffles and sloe gin - all can be handmade and packaged up a tag saying ‘Love is sweet’. Domestifluff will help you with recipes.

Get more fabulous wedding advice by clicking here.

Friday 16 July 2010

Real Wedding: Elissa & Lee

If you're planning an autumn wedding, then look no further than this gorgeous event. Elissa and Lee chose a berry-stained colour palette for their big day, and it led to a lush and luxurious wedding style. I've fallen for Elissa's bridesmaids dresses, and her gorgeous Badgley Mishka shoes. The florals are just to die for, a fabulous mix of orchids, peonies and burgundy roses, all wrapped in satin ribbon. And I haven't even got started on the reception! Striking branches added height and drama to the decorations, and the elegant stationery created a seriously classy affair. I love the contrast of rich purples and reds against the simple white table cloths, and any wedding that ends with cupcakes is, in my view, a winner! Simply stunning photographs published with thanks to the lovely Stephanie Williams.

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