Sunday, 31 January 2010

Lavender & Honey

The French definitely know their food and drink, and they're a pretty stylish bunch, but I'd recommend looking further than gay Paris for inspiration. Just north of the Cote D'Azur is gorgeous Provence, the land of lavender, olives, sage, rosemary and honey. Check these mood boards out for a veritable feast of stealworthy ideas.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Keeping it Green

Favours have become one of the major cards to play for a couple looking to make their big day stand out from the crowd. There are millions of ideas out there, and I'd recommend a virtual stroll through Etsy if you fancy a few ideas. That's exactly what I just did, and I stumbled across Ormolu who isn't just massively talented, she's also super-eco-friendly, as her favours are professionally printed on recycled papers with soy inks using wind-power. That's a whole level of green that I didn't even know existed! Each of the 26 alphabet tags have their own particular sentiment... my favourites are "D is for delight", "J is for joy", "R is for remember" and "U is for us".

Friday, 29 January 2010

We ♥ Competitions

One way to keep down costs for your big day is to win competitions. It's a long-shot, but someone's got to win them. Try these links on for luck!

♥ Win your honeymoon, and Italian reception, and a gorgeous corset plus much more at You and Your Wedding (registration required).
♥ Win an amazing honeymoon in Malaysia at Brides Magazine

♥ Want a two night stay at the super luxe Taj Hotel in Boston’s fashionable Newbury Street? Enter the competition on the Elegala site by telling them your unique, buzzworthy, wedding idea.
♥ Win Helen Carter's Wedding Planner software worth £75 through the Wedding magazine.
Win a Pixcellence Digital Wedding Photography Package worth £1250

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Lets Hear it for Wood

**Trend Alert**  This summer, weddings are going to be all about wood. "???"  Stay with me here, it'll make sense in a sec. As we all get greener and more eco-friendly, our moods are turning towards natural products, and that's coming out in the number of woody products on the market. Don't believe me? Well check out all the stationery products below - don't you know, paper is soooo passé!

Product Credits (from the top): Love Tags: Perch Papiers, I love you Wood Cards: Palomas Nest, Bird Cards: Cabin, Wood Wedding Invitations & RSVP Card: Baumbirdy, Eco-Friendly Log Card Kit: Co Design, Faux Bois Cards: Paper Pumpkin, Wood Gift Tags & Placemarkers: Emililies, Printed Wood Cards: Night Owl Paper Goods

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Snippet & Ink Mood Board ♥1

There's a fabulous wedding blog in the States called Snippet & Ink, and I've long admired author Kathryn's gorgeous mood boards. Here's her latest, entitled Juliet & Blue, which just makes me long for a summer garden wedding. Check out her site for all the picture credits. Meanwhile if you're keen to create your own board, click here for the magical Colour Palette Generator - it's amazing.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Something Borrowed

Every now and then someone comes along with a truly genius idea. And it's often so simple, you can't believe you didn't come up with it first. Josephine Sharp from Your Something Borrowed has had one of those eureka moments, and created a gorgeous archive of handmade jewellery and hair accessories. It's a boutique, but not as you know it, as every piece can either be bought, or borrowed, depending on your budget or desire. But it gets even better than that, because the collection itself is gorgeous! Sitting somewhere between 1920’s Paris and 1950’s Hollywood, you can pick up everything from a lustrous multi-strand pearl and marcasite necklace to a glittering tiered Deco tiara. Yum!! Josephine is offering 10% off to Before the Big Day readers, just use the code Big Day when you check out.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

♥ Real Weddings ♥

Before the Big Day has now featured over fifty real weddings, all for your inspiration-delectation! Don't miss a single idea, click here to see them all, or check out the theme list. A huge thank you to all the photographers, brides and grooms, who have happily let me publish their pictures! If you'd like your wedding to be featured on Before the Big Day, then please in touch here.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Get into Caricature

Want to make your wedding stand out from the rest? Why not try an usual entertainer to keep your guests giggling during the reception? Josie Camus is a fabulous caricature artist - on the spot, she'll sketch anyone, and give them the picture to take away. How's that for a fantastic, personalised favour? And if you're hiring her for your big day, you could even ask her for a portrait of you and your husband to add to the invitations, or have made into a stamp to decorate paper goods like napkins. The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Great British Stationers

It's tends to be the first wedding decision you make, and therefore, it's often the hardest. But picking the stationer to design your big day invitations just got easier! Check out these two great British companies and their fabulous templates, which you can adapt to suit your colour palette and theme. The first set of pics are from Ever After Designs, who are currently offering a Before the Big Day readers a10% discount on all orders, plus one free sample per customer. The second and third sets of pics show invitations from Entwine Design. They offer bespoke invitations, plus these fantastic table plan designs, which are just the bomb!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Credit Crunch Bride

Some of the gorgeous stationery out there is way over the budget of any credit crunch bride. When invitations are coming in at over £5 a pop, something's got to give. But it doesn't need to be your invites, you just need to get creative! Making your own stationery can be cinch if you're willing to do some printing, stamping and sticking of your own.What's more, it'll really make your big day your own.

The secret is to find a template. Thanks to the huge generosity of graphic designers out there in the web-world, there are simply hundreds of patterns out there that you can use. Check out The Wedding Chicks for a whole selection of templates (including those pictured above) and I Do It Yourself, one of my best web finds for while!

And it's not just stationery! Check out this template (pictured above) created by Rachel from Benign Objects. Originally designed for Christmas, Rachel very kindly altered it for The Wedding Chicks, so you can now use it to make your own personalised pillow boxes, CD cases and labels. Perfect for favours! Rachel also created the most amazing Save the Date hankerchiefs for her own wedding, click here for more.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Beautcamp Brides & Grooms

It's the New Year, so everyone and their dog has an excercise resolution, and none more than the bride and groom planning a summer wedding. The countdown has begun, and if you're planning to shed a couple of pounds before the final suit and dress fitting, then you'll be wanting to get started. Here are a few recommendations.....

If you live in London, then look no further than Beautcamp Pilates. Straight from LA, the latest fitness craze promises a Hollywood body, thanks to its revolutionary technique incorporating the famous Systeme Dinamique (nope, me either). It's hard work, but they swear you'll have a new body within ten sessions, and that's the type of promise I like!

If you don't mind someone shouting at you, then try British Military Fitness. Whatever your level, they'll get you enrolled on an outdoor class run by serving or former members of the armed forces with recognised fitness training qualifications. They promise to motivate you back into fitness, and they even offer a free first class.

If you're more of the independent type, then try I Am SuperChick (admittedly more for the girls!). They offer women online personal training programmes, guaranteed to fit around your lifestyle, while their virtual locker-room will help you count calories and track your progress. If you have a weakness for mid-afternoon treats - this site will keep you trim.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Real Wedding: Pooja & Harsh

Palm trees, the scent of crushed rose petals underfoot and a sea breeze to cool the air. Could this be the perfect destination wedding? Pooja and Harsh celebrated their big day in the Dominican Republic in a flurry of stunning saris and sequins. Only an Indian wedding could combine bright pinks, reds and oranges, and carry it off in style. Both Pooja and Harsh's outfits are exquisite, and I love the traditional margiold garlands. Fans a brilliant idea for favours if you're celebrating in the heat - they come in every colour, so you can match them to your theme. Huge thanks to Karen Wise for her gorgeous photographs.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Real Wedding: Kristen & Toshi

Loving the bright details and irreverant style of this gorgeous big day shot by the fab Christine Chang. She's totally caught the personalities for bride and groom, Kristen and Toshi. I'm particularly impressed with how the pink and orange of the bridesmaid's bouquets are reflected in the cute cupcakes, and the way the colours pop against the wedding party's dark blue outfits. Add in the candy bar and the goodbye sparklers, plus the hilarious cake-topper - and it's well on the way to being one of my favourite ever real weddings!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Real Wedding: Erica & Chet

This gorgeous urban wedding shows city-dwelling brides and grooms how to make the most of their venue. Erica and Chet celebrate their big day in a fabulous warehouse space, which they softened with a recurring bird motif, including hundreds of soaring silhouettes suspended from the ceiling. Check out how they've used a designer birdhouse as a container for their wedding wishes, and even the pencils are personalised with 'Erica & Chet Tie the Knot'. I also love the shade of blue they've chosen for their colour palette, along with the tiny red accents. Altogether a fabulous clean, modern look to balance the rough edges of the background brick. Stunning photos as ever from the team at Our Labour of Love.