Sunday, 31 July 2011

Colourful Flower Garlands For Your Flower Girls

Flower girls are a must. They add a delicious dollop of cuteness to your wedding day, and if you send them up the aisle first, everyone will be smiling by the time you take your turn. If you're feeling nervous, they're a great way to take a bit of the focus off the bride, and if you team them with page-boys then you'll be lucky if anyone takes a picture of you and your groom! When it comes to dressing your flower girls, it's all about whimsical romance, and these fabric flower garlands from Pretty Swell totally work that look. They come in every colour you can imagine, and they're full adjustable for big and little people.

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Saturday, 30 July 2011

That Friday Feeling Wedding Web Links ♥18

So it's summer, and wedding season is in full swing. We've been to six so far this year already! I wonder how many brides who've been reading this wedding blog are getting married in the next month? If it's you, here's to the best day of your life. If I had one trademarked piece of advice, it would be Eat Breakfast. Believe me, I had two weddings, so I got to practice. The first felt slightly fraught, and involved me shouting at my mother and husband about helium balloons about an hour before we walked down the aisle. Ironically, said balloons spelt LOVE. The other wedding was totally relaxed and blissful. And the difference was breakfast. So eat it.  For all of you not getting married today, Saturday 30th July, here are some gorgeous wedding web links to keep your wedding inspiration running all weekend. P.S. It's going to be sunny - woohoo!

♥ Make your own wedding wine labels - this also works for dinner parties.

♥  My new super-cute Facebook page, complete with clever landing page to welcome you. Please Like Me!

♥ How much would you love a Cupcake Campervan to turn up at your wedding?

♥ Seriously sexy bikinis for your honeymoon - trust me, this one will blow your husband's mind!

♥ Lovely DIY wedding picnic ideas - everyone loves a picnic right?

♥ Buy these nude pumps from Steve Madden - I did, and they go with everything.

♥ Stylish glitter-nails - fun for your bridesmaids fingers.

♥ A Tuscan wedding where you wish you'd been a guest, and worn a red dress.

♥ Inspiration for when you want even the envelope of your wedding invitation to look gorgeous.

♥ Make your own DIY raspberry favours.

♥ I wanted a camel at my wedding, but they don't have them in France.

♥ And the bridesmaids wore brown??? Trust me - with these dresses, they'd love you.

Plus my favourite features from Before the Big Day this week
♥ Why I love Heal's
Wedding ring advice your future husband needs to read
♥ A ribbon-themed wedding idea

Have a great weekend xx

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Real Sunshine Yellow Wedding - Marchelle & Iain

Some brides really know how to rock their wedding look. I'm sure I looked lovely on my wedding day, thanks to a heavenly Delphine Manivet wedding dress and my French hairdresser Joel, but I didn't come anywhere near the fierce, fabulous awesomeness of Marchelle on her big day. Just check our her hot red lips, her skyscraper Christian Louboutin heels, and her beautiful blonde bangs. Other fabulous details include the cluster of sunshine-clad bridesmaids and their luxurious rose bouquets, tied with turquoise ribbon. I'm loving the contrast of the two colours - such an easy wedding idea to replicate. Stunning pictures published with thanks to Our Labour of Love.

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Friday, 29 July 2011

Honeymoon-Perfect Bikinis

Anyone else hate shopping for bikinis in the shops? There's something uniquely horrible about the lighting, and they never have the size you want. That's why I bought my honeymoon bikinis online, so that I could try them on in my own bedroom, without banging my elbows into the mirror. Have I mentioned I'm incredibly clumsy? Well I'm the first to fall over when I'm putting one leg through a pair of bikini bottoms. Try Simply Beach - you can sort in size, colour, brand and price. I've just bought a lovely striped number for my next holiday.

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Your Wedding Flowers for Less

Wedding flowers can blow your budget. They certainly blew mine, and that's despite me knowing all the secret tips. Unfortunately most of my wedding tips didn't translate into French for my wedding, but if you're getting married in the UK, then this advice on wedding flowers is going to save you a fortune. If you're looking for super-high end designer flowers, then this is not the feature for you - but right now, most of us are trying to save a few pennies on our wedding budget, and I'm all about cheap and chic. To get you in the mood, here are a few pictures of my own wedding flowers, taken by the lovely Chloé from Caught the Light. We couldn't DIY all our wedding flowers, because we needed to hire the vases from the florist, and it worked out as more economical to keep him on-side. But we saved a fortune by buying clouds and clouds of baby's breath from a local market. Our wedding planner Kerry Bracken collected it on the night before the wedding and it stayed lovely and fresh. Our Provencal florist, Stéphane, was wonderful - I'd recommend him to any bride planning to get married in France.

Before the Big Day Tips - Your Wedding Flowers for Less

1. Keep it seasonal. For a list of what flowers are in season for your wedding, click here.

2. Consider using plants rather than cut flowers for your table displays. Some garden centres will rent you plants, but even if you need to buy them, you can give them away as lovely presents after your wedding. You could even grow your own plants, whereas growing enough flowers is a mammoth task.

3. Keep it simple. Single blooms in lots of vases take a lot less time to arrange, and that means the florist will charge you less for their time. This isn't going to give you a luxury look, but elegant simplicity is very in right now!

4. Choose a cheap variety of flower, and buy tonnes of it for a dramatic effect. For example, I used baby's breath - a flower I hate when mixed with roses, but adore on its own. Carnations have the same effect. They're dreadful dotted in bouquets, but when you mass loads of them together, the effect completely changes, from awful to awesome.

5. Buy direct from a flower market and ask a friendly florist to moonlight on your behalf. This probably only works if you have a friend or a friend-of-a-friend who's a florist, but it's worth asking around. They could do your wedding flowers instead of giving you a wedding present.

6. DIY. Now I say this with huge caution. If you're doing simple single blooms as suggested in Hint 3, then you're not going to find this too traumatic. If, however, you're thinking luxurious mixed and hand-tied bunches, then you're not going to be able to produce the effect you want. Plus it takes hours, and it has to be done really near the wedding. You do not want to be arranging flowers the morning of you wedding. Really, trust me, you don't.

7. Don't DIY your buttonholes. They're harder to produce than you think, and they're going to be in every photography. Ditto for your wedding bouquet. Even if your budget is tiny, splash out.

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Monday, 25 July 2011

DIY Signature Wedding Cocktail

One of the easiest way to add your own personal twist to your wedding day is to come up with a signature cocktail, complete with a snappy name. We chose the Georgia Peach Bellini, because my name is Georgia, and I love bellinis. Simple, sweet and yummy. Plus it saved us money, because you don't need to use posh champagne when you're mixing it with peach purée - Prosecco or crémant will do just the job for less than half the price. Why not create an old-fashioned lemonade bar, with a choice of pink lemonade or traditional, plus a bootleg lemonade for the grown-ups? I'm loving this DIY wedding stationery, with print-your-own details from Etsy seller La Belle Parties {top} and Blush Printables {bottom}. Which signature wedding cocktail will you choose?

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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Real Eco Wedding: Stephanie & Brian

When wedding flowers get this jaw-dropping, it's hard to imagine how us normal folk could creative such an incredible vision. The good news is that Stephanie is a professional florist, and she certainly played to her strengths. With hundreds of succulents, stacks of moss and gorgeous giant poppy heads, the flowers look like something out of a fairytale. Even Stephanie's giant bouquet was a work of art. Other wedding details to steal include the wooden invitations, little button favours, green lanterns and vintage wooden typewriter for personal notes. Plus, I'm seriously loving Stephanie's green shoes, and is that Vera Wang dress I spy? Heaven! Stunning pictures published with thanks to the lovely Kristin from Kristin Spencer Photography.

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Friday, 22 July 2011

Our Wedding List - Big Up for Heal's

The Boy and I have been living together for four years, so when we decided to tie the knot, we knew we didn't need all the basics. We have towels and a toaster, plus all the basic cutlery and crockery. However, everyone still recommended we should provide a wedding list, as otherwise you can end up getting duplicates of the same thing. Not so much of a problem when it's an identical duvet cover, but if it's an engraved chopping board, you can't exchange it for something else! So we decided to place our list with designer interior store Heal's, rather than the traditional John Lewis. We tried Selfridges first, but we found their online search engine impossible to navigate, so we switched. The Heal's Gift List online function isn't idea either, but if you go into the store, you can just go round with a notepad writing down what you want, and they add it to a list for you. You can then change it or add to it online whenever you want. Our presents all arrived on Tuesday, and it was like Christmas x 100. We've never felt so spoilt and so lucky as when 8 enormous boxes arrived, plus the bed that our guests had helped us to buy. The service was amazing - and I'd like to give a big up to Heal's and the wedding present team for all their help. Here are just a few of our fabulous presents!

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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Real Rainy Wedding - Wim & Endri

With all this wet weather, thousands of British brides are having to come to terms with rainy weddings. Last Saturday was a complete washout, and with rain forecast for this weekend, I wanted to cheer up couples getting married this Saturday with pictures of a rainy wedding that still went with a bang. Trust me - I've been to dozens of wet weddings, and it's never made the slightest bit of difference. Wim and Endri celebrated their big day in South Africa at Endri's family home, with the ceremony in a eucalyptus forest and the reception at the farmhouse. I'm loving all of their wedding details, including {not pictured} their email wedding invitation - a super-cute printable invitation that included a video with instructions as to how it into an origami bird. Other stealworthy wedding ideas include the rustic handmade signs, the mismatched bunting, the covered strawbales and the handmade foody favours. Pâté and pesto - yum! Gorgeous pictures published with thanks to We Love Pictures (Too).

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Engagement Rings Advice

It's surprising how many of my male friends say they don't want to get married because they're worried about the cost of an engagement ring. If only they knew that their girlfriend would be happy with a Hula Hoop, if only they'd propose! But there's no doubt that the boys do get the more expensive end of the deal, and many of them are nervous about going into jewellery shops, and getting laughed out the room because of their puny budget. Or course they don't need to worry, because engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes, and in all budgets. From solitaire diamond rings to multi-jewelled knuckle dusters, there's something out there for everyone. Here are a few of my hints and tips on how to buy wedding jewellery....leave this page open on your laptop, so they can 'accidentally' read it! Plus if you've got any advice, please do add it to the Comments section below.

{Photo Credit} Stephanie Williams Photography

1. Traditionally a wedding ring should cost two month's salary before tax. I've heard some US jewellers suggest it should be three months!! But there in the UK it's definitely supposed to be two.

2. Lots of little diamonds give a really dramatic effect, but don't cost nearly as much as solitaire diamonds.

3. Coloured stones are often a cheaper option, but remember that diamonds match everything, and your bride is going to want to wear her engagement ring every day of her life.

4. If the clarity isn't perfect, don't worry. If the flaw can't be seen by the naked eye, then who cares!

5. Why not buy a smaller solitaire diamond ring for your proposal, and promise to replace it with a bigger rock when you've saved up the money? Your bride will be thrilled to be engaged - she won't care about the size of the rock.

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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Real Vintage Wedding with DIY Details: Marisa & Stephen

If you're feeling stressed with your wedding planning right now, take heart in this amazing vintage wedding, planned by bride Marisa in only five weeks! Find out more about how she did it in the Before the Big Day Brides Questionnaire below - she even managed several wedding DIY projects. Clearly a super-bride. My favourite details are the baby's breath bouquets and the I Do stickers on the soles of her shoes {mainly because I had both at my wedding!}. Other stealworthy ideas are the doily confetti cones, the rosemary in Marisa's bouquet and the vintage cups and saucers used as place markers. Even the Order of Service was DIY'd. Stunning pictures published with thanks to Eddie Judd Photography.

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A - Marisa was kind enough to fill in our bridal questionnaire, aimed at helping other brides with their planning process. Feast your eyes on her answers for helpful hints and tips from someone on the other side of her big day!

Where and when did you get married?
On Friday 15th April at St Mary Magdalen Church in Ripley, Surrey.

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
Somewhere close to the church and intimate. We chose The Toby Cottage Restaurant in Ripley as that’s our local restaurant, the staff are so friendly & the food is always wonderful. Our guests had menus, and could choose the most amazing food. We wanted to spend the day enjoying good food and wine with our family and closest friends ……with just our marriage beforehand!

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
Vintage, green and earthy.

How did you choose your stationery, and who made it?
I love shopping at antique fairs, and I found some beautiful 1920's greetings cards with ribbon, and we used these as invitations.

Who made your wedding outfit, and how did you come to that decision?
My friend recommended Amante Bride in Reigate where lovely Liz showed me my beautiful dress, Pandora by Jenny Packham as soon as I walked in. I had explained to her on the phone what I was looking for and she knew just what I was after. My headdress was also Jenny Packham - the Acacia II which I loved, as it added a bit of old style glamour. My snakeskin shoes were bought from LK Bennett.

I found a vintage snakeskin bag and chinchilla fur jacket from Kempton and Ardingly Antiques Market. I wore diamond encrusted bird earrings that had turquoise eyes {my favourite stones} and my wedding ring was a gold eternity ring filled with demantoid garnets, all beautifully handmade by B.E.S.T Designs in Mayfair. My jewellery were all surprise gifts from Stephen! Lucky eh!

What about your husband’s outfit? Where was it from?
Stephen wore a slim fitting suit by Gucci in olive green/brown from Matches in Wimbledon Village. His shoes were Paul Smith with matching olive/green brown laces.

And what about your bridesmaids dresses? Where did they come from and how did you choose them?
I didn't have bridesmaids as I wanted our wedding to be for Stephen, me and our son Archie. My son walked me down the aisle, and he rocked his look in cream trousers with braces, white grandad shirt and cream linen jacket with elbow patches, all from Zara. He wore soft brown leather moccasins from Petit Bateau. Archie was also Stephen's best man; he was so well behaved and didn't lose the rings!! We were very proud of him.

What type of cake did you go for, and how did you come to that decision? Who made it?
We didn't want a traditional wedding and we chose not to have a wedding cake as such. Instead we had an amazing sweet trolley stacked full of amazing deserts like panacotta, cheesecake, chocolate cake, banofee pie, profiteroles, fruit terrine, sherry trifle and tiramisu.

Did you have any favours? What were they? Was there any particular reason why you picked them?
I love collecting old pretty mismatched crockery and I thought that look would also suit our venue choice. For the ladies I found vintage coffee cups and saucers, and the gents had egg cups, which I thought was quite apt as we were getting married at Easter. The children had birds nests that I filled with mini eggs. My Mum and I made the name flags and filled the cups and eggs with moss so they made the most wonderful name settings too!

What florist and flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
I wanted green with a bit of white, and I love hydrangeas, snowball viburnums and the smell of eucalyptus and rosemary. My nans favourite flower was freesia and my grandads was rose, so I chose the large green-ish avalanche rose. The ranunculus finished it off perfectly all tied with raffia. Tina at Richardsons in Ripley created my bouquet and the buttonholes for my husband and son. They also filled my hotchpotch collection of vases, mugs and teapots with flowers. The dear ladies from St Marys Church made up displays for inside the church and also the gypsophelia pew ends and arch.

Did you have any entertainment at your wedding (DJ / Band / Magician)?
I wasn't going to but after much pestering from one of my friends I gave in. It was a great night and we danced to disco and 80’s music. We love the old school tunes!!

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
Eddie Judd was our wonderful photographer. I have known her for a few years as our children went to school together and I have always admired her stunning, vivid colour photographs, and great atmospheric shots. She was the only photographer I called. Eddie put us at ease, was really organised and captured the day so perfectly. They're memories I can enjoy forever.

Did you enjoy planning your wedding?
Yes, I loved planning it – can you believe that we actually only decided to marry 5 weeks before the big day {after being together for 10 years!}. So it really was a busy time but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I am too much of a perfectionist, and if I had had more time I would have changed my mind constantly on every single detail. Looking back I wouldn’t have changed anything – well maybe one thing, to start the day earlier….it went so quickly.

Did you do any DIY projects? What were they? How did they go?
Just a few. The inside of my invitations and the name flags for the favours. I was going to make the Order of Service but my sister kindly made them - printing and binding them with brown garden string as I ran out of time. I made the confetti cones from paper doilies and bought the 'enchanted woods' confetti from Shropshire Petals. It's made out of dried green hydrangea and white delphinium petals with a sprinkle of gold dust!

What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
You will have the day of your life so enjoy every moment girlfriend! {So don’t stress as it will give you frown lines!}.

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