Monday, 22 December 2014

The Wedding Food Revolution

In the last few years there's been something of a wedding food revolution. Sit-down wedding dinners and buffets are being replaced by a much more dynamic style of dining, in the shape of mobile food trucks. Much more glamorous than your local hotdog trailer, these vintage-style caravans come in all shapes and sizes. Pick a cupcake or ice-cream van as a fun wedding detail, or select several to cater for your entire wedding. Your guests will have the fun of choosing what they'd prefer to eat, there'll be less waste, and it'll slim your wedding budget. Plus you get a big dollop of vintage heavenliness at your wedding.

Enjoy Cupcakes have just added Coral to their collection of cute caravans. Unfortunately she lives in the US. {Picture Credit: Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty}

Vintage Scoops is the brainchild of Mrs Scoops, who owns Bettty, very cool retro ice cream van
{Photo Credit: Paul Wilkinson Photography}

The Splitscreen Ice-Cream Co. serves mouth-watering, organic award-winning ice cream from a seriously cool and iconic vintage Volkswagen van.

The Flying Ducks offer a retro dining experience from a vintage caravan. It really is a thing of wonder!

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Exquisite Whimsical Wedding Veils

These wedding veils are just exquisite. I can't tell you how excited I was when I stumbled upon SIBO Designs' Etsy shop. I'm a strong believer in the veil - until I tried mine on, I didn't feel like a proper bride! My Delphine Manivet wedding dress was very simple, so I needed a cathedral length, lace veil to add interest. And when Delphine kindly gave me one of her handmade veils, edged with lace from the famous designers in Calais - I couldn't have been more thrilled. SIBO Designs' veils are just as beautiful, but considerably cheaper - leaving you more money to spend on wedding day jewellery!

{I want this!} Gorgeous wedding veils by SIBO Designs

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Sparkly Wedding Cocktail Accessories

Everything looks better with a bit of sparkle. So why not add these cheeky drink stirrers to your wedding cocktails? Even a simple G&T would look flare with these tinselled marvels, but I'd recommend choosing your own signature cocktail, and coming up with a fabulous name. Available in gold or silver, they'd look pretty fabulous at a Christmas party as well. DIY or buy them from Em for Marvelous {cool name for a shop!}.

{I want this!} Tinsel drink stirrers £47.14 for 100 by Em for Marvelous

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Pretty Paper Wedding Garlands

Flowers are the traditional go-to wedding decoration, but what can you do if your budget doesn't stretch to billions of blooms? I'm a huge fan of that unsung hero: paper. Create pompom peonies out of tissue paper for a tenth of the price, string the ceilings with paper chains, and add LED's to dozens of paper lanterns for romantic low lighting. Or take inspiration from the gorgeous paper garlands created by Maisy & Alice. I love these strings of stars, but there's a huge range of geometric fabulousness on their website, including stunning 3D heart garlands.

{I want this!} Star Garland, £8.24 for 9 feet {& upwards} by Maisy & Alice

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Pretty Rainbow Wedding Journals

Planning your wedding? These pretty leather-bound journals from Jackdaw Bindery are the perfect way to record your creative musings and inspirational wedding ideas. I love the rainbow pages, but you could choose your signature wedding colour instead, and add a monogram or motif. I'm ordering one for a friend to use as a pregnancy diary, and they'd make lovely presents for your bridesmaids. Each journal is handmade in Chichester by Louise Knight-Richardson, who's a professional book-binder by trade - I love how romantic and Victorian that sounds!

{I want this!} Leather-bound journals, from £19 by Jackdaw Bindery

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Monday, 8 December 2014

My New Favourite Wedding Florist

Finding a florist for your wedding can be a complete minefield. There's a lot of generic designers out there who'll do a great job, but if you're looking for something a bit different, a bit quirky and unique, then you'll love Rose & Wolf Flowers. It's run by a friend of a friend of mine called Georgina Agutter, and I've been following her work on Instagram for the last few months. I love the slightly haphazard style of her romantic wedding bouquets, and the clean precision of her more formal work. Take a look at her Facebook site for her latest wedding designs - I love the pop of colour in this whimsical bouquet.

{Picture Credit} Rose & Wolf Flowers - email here

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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Before the Big Day Feeling Popular on Twitter

Goodness me - how did this happen! Thank you to all my new followers - I hope I'm interesting enough!!! Have you found me on Twitter and/or Facebook? Why not join in the conversation? {Or ready my mad ramblings about crab sticks!}

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Friday, 5 December 2014

Beautiful Wedding Jewellery for the Budget Conscious Bride

When I was planning my wedding, I was all about trying to create a luxe look on a budget. But that's easier to do with wedding decorations and stationery.....when it comes to your wedding gown and jewellery, it's much harder. I splashed out and bought a designer gown, but I paired with realistic, but fake diamond jewellery {apart from my engagement ring!}. So I was thrilled to discover these pretty perfect pearl drop earrings by Olivier Laudus. They're made out of cubic zirconia, but only you need to know that! If anyone asks, I'd say they're a vintage find from this little boutique you found in London!

{I want this!} Pearl drop earrings, £39.99 by Olivier Laudus

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Perfect Unnecessary Wedding Detail

Aren't these gorgeous?! Sometimes it's the simplest of wedding details that really gets me going. And anything to do with stationery really rocks my world. These rustic stickers by Ohhh So Darling make me want to start writing letters, just so I can use them to seal the envelopes. They'd be the perfect way to brand your wedding. Stick them to your napkins and invitations, wrap them around paper straws, or use them on your confetti sachets as pictured. So many fabulous DIY ideas, and at only £7 for 100, you can afford to go sticker-crazy!

{I want this!} Rustic Personlised Stickers, £7 for 100 by Ohhh So Darling
Buy glassine bags like these from eBay seller Tilly Mint

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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Big Wedding Bunting Love

Back when I first started Before the Big Day {four years ago - eek!}, it was really difficult to find bespoke wedding details. The USA was miles ahead of us in terms of creativity. But now, brides in the UK who want unique wedding decorations can find loads of individual boutique sellers. One of my favourite resources is Etsy. If you've never heard of it, you've missed out - take a look! This morning I found a brilliant shop called BaloolahBunting, which sells romantic lacy bunting. The pretty laser-cut flags create a stunning effect - perfect for wedding decorations. I can imagine them fluttering in a summer's breeze, or adding light in barn wedding venue. Baloolah have also branched out into other wedding accessories, including ring pillows and table decorations - all of it gorgeous!

{I want this!} Laser Cut Bunting, £42 by BaloolahBunting

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

How To DIY Your Wedding Cake - Butterfly Theme

Take one simple white wedding cake, add a flock of butterflies, and caboom! you've got an incredible, dramatic work of art. Just goes to show what a touch of DIY can do. Each butterfly is handmade, complete with antennae {!}, and they come in a variety of species and colours. Buy your beautiful bugs from Butterfly Bazaar, and learn how to decorate your cake in a special tutorial here. For plain white wedding cakes, you can't do better than good old Marks & Spencer.

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Whimsical Hand-Embroidered Wedding Heirlooms

These are so whimsical and old fashioned, that they're the very essence of romance. Instead of carving your names into a tree, Jessica from Minature Rhino {I know, interesting name!} will do it for you, in her own inimitable style. Each item is carefully embroidered by hand, and they're heirlooms of the future. They'd look great on a sweetheart table, or you could simply send one to your future husband on the morning of your wedding. Alternatively, you could ask Jessica to create a custom design for your bridesmaids. Don't miss her website, for a feast of inspirational ideas.

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Sunshine Yellow Romantic Wedding Inspiration

Brides looking for sunshine on their big day should definitely choose a yellow theme. That way, even if the sun doesn't shine, your wedding will still be bright and cheerful! You're going to love this latest {and final} feature from the romantic wedding shoot by Annie Beedy of Mim & Honey, featuring flowers by Riley Messina of Erba Floral Design and wedding cakes by Cambria Goodwin of Butter. Exquisite blooms, combined with quirky vintage details create the perfect wedding style - I'm loving the holiday momento plate, the humours cake-toppers, and the flowers that look like brussel sprouts!! Complete gorgeousness!

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Pale & Romantic, Peach & Pink Wedding Inspiration

Brides looking for a romantic theme to their wedding day are going to love my next three wedding inspiration features. They're all part of the same pale and romantic styled shoot, shot by Annie Beedy of Mim & Honey, featuring flowers by Riley Messina of Erba Floral Design and wedding cakes by Cambria Goodwin of Butter. Annie's long been one of my favourite photographers - her pictures were some of the first I ever featured on Before the Big Day. So when she emailed me offering these exquisite shots, I jumped at the start. In this pink and peach-themed shoot, I'm loving the luxury of the multi-layered roses, the pink sponge interior to the wedding cake, and the simplicity of the plain white candles planted in old wine bottles. Ask your wedding cake designer to texture the icing for a similar rustic look, and add old keys, antlers and vintage crocheted mats to your wedding tables to recreate the rustic-chic look. Incredible!

♥ Want more peach-themed weddings? ♥ Or how about wedding cake ideas? ♥
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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Real Spanish Flamenco-Style Wedding

Cherries and a flamenco-style wedding dress = me in heaven. This incredible Basque country wedding took place in San Sebastian, home of more Michelin starred restaurants per capita than Paris. So not only is it an incredibly beautiful town, but the food is amazing. The happy couple chose wedding dream-team Lisa Vorce {planner}, Mindy Rice {florist} and photographer {Aaron Delesie} to create their perfect wedding, and didn't they do a fabulous job! I'm loving the beautiful old-fashioned stationery in grey, the French lavender and kumquat tree table decorations, and the traditional dancers outside the church. It's always wonderful when you include local traditions in your wedding. And have you spotted the fantastic welcome bag in the last picture? It looks so tempting - and presents are a great way to welcome your guests, particularly if they've travelled a long way.

My DIY Wedding Ceremony & Advice

Before I got engaged, I presumed that the type of couple that wrote their own wedding ceremony were either massive hippy-types, or hugely arrogant of their own writing skills and a bit sappy. As we're neither, I'm not sure how we ended up writing our French wedding ceremony. It was partly thanks to our friends {The Ducks}, who hosted their own fabulous Caribbean-themed wedding with their own inspiring ceremony, and partly because we don't believe in God. With a church wedding firmly off the cards, and the civil ceremony so depressingly meh, we weren't left with many options. I did buy the Humanist wedding ceremony guide, but deary me, that booklet knows how to take the romance out of vows. So we wrote threw caution to the wind, and using the Church of England ceremony as a template {minus God}, we came up with our own. And now you can read it, and hopefully see that it wasn't a naff sludge-fest, but actually quite meaningful and dead romantic {my Boy's terms}. Hopefully it should still act as a decent template, should you be looking for one! Click here to take a look. You'll notice from the gorgeous Caught the Light pictures below, that we said our vows in a churchy-looking place. We were very lucky that our venue had an unconsecrated chapel, so we had the beauty of an historic building, without the religious obligations.

{Photo Credit} Our wedding by Caught the Light

Remember that to legally get married you have to either have a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony of some kind. We had our civil ceremony in London, so strictly speaking the French wedding didn't count. Although for us, it was our wedding day, and the 28th May is what's engraved in The Boy's wedding ring {mine is too narrow}.

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Original Vintage-style Wedding Stationery

Yippee! Boutique British graphic designers are finally getting in on the wedding stationery scene. I'm all about using independent wedding suppliers, and Vintage Designs are a humdinger! The lovely Andrew works from his home in Oxfordshire with trusty partner in crime, Alfie the Labrador. I think Alfie probably does most of the work, but Andrew insists that he studied design and photography at university, and that's one of the reasons why his work is so beautiful. I'm obsessed with the old-skool style typography and illustrations in his invitations, with my favourite design of all the one with the peas. Which is yours?

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Friday, 19 September 2014

Wedding Beauty Preparation: Do’s and Don’ts

{Posting by Julia Bowden, Before the Big Day's Hair & Make-up Expert} Any wedding lead up is stressful. How's yours ticking along? So many things to remember, and I bet you have lists coming out of your ears. That's why this week I thought I'd take one task off your hands and create your very own Wedding Beauty Do's and Don'ts Check List. It's sure to keep you on the straight and narrow as you prepare to walk up the aisle.

{Photo Credit} Julia's make-up brushes!

Have lots of make-up trials at beauty counters. Whether you’re doing your own wedding make-up or hiring a professional, this will freshen up your product knowledge, and help you understand what looks and feels right and wrong. Why not get a trial at MAC, Bobbi Brown, Estée Lauder, Lancôme or Laura Mercier? Often you can redeem the cost of your wedding make-over against product purchases.

Use products on your wedding morning that you haven't practiced or trialled first. You're risking allergy, colour, and comfort issues on your wedding day.

Get a wedding make-up trial {if you’re going with a professional}, as close to your wedding day as you can. There's no point having a trial a year in advance, as the look won't be fresh in your mind. You want to be able to discuss any last minute changes with your wedding make-up artist with confidence.

Try a crazy new make-up look for your wedding day. It's great to experiment, but make sure you feel comfortable with the look you have chosen. On their wedding day, brides should look like a more polished and shiny version of themselves, NOT like someone completely different.

Experiment with professional brow shaping and lash implants two to three months before your big day. This means you'l have time for re-growth or tweaking if anything doesn't go to plan first time.

Get a fake tan a few days before for your wedding day. As with brows and lashes – experiment a few months in advance so you know exactly how you look, with fake sun-kissed skin.

{Photo Credit} Wedding Hair & wedding make-up by Julia Bowden Weddings

Leave plenty of time on your wedding morning. Your make-up artist should plan this with you, but if you're doing your own wedding make-up you can never underestimate how quickly time passes on a wedding morning. Allow 2 hours for your hair and make-up, and an hour each for mothers and bridesmaids. This way you are bound to have some contingency time. Always aim to be ready and in your dress 30 minutes before you are meant to leave for the ceremony.

Worry if you feel caked in make-up and you're not used to it! No-one is going to be studying your face up close, it's all about the overall look – and you need those extra touches to make you stand out in photos.

Think about the time of year and the setting. Summer or winter, indoor or outdoor – make-up can be tailormade to suit. For example, a candlelit wedding would suit a more dramatic sparkling look, whereas bright summer sunshine requires softer wedding make-up.

Squeeze any spots, or go for facials a few days before the wedding. Your wedding make-up artist will be very experienced in covering blemishes, so leave it to the expert. Facials are great but can drag out the impurities, so you may end up making your skin temporarily worse.

Create your very own bridal beauty scrap book. Once you start it'll become addictive, and you’ll soon learn exactly the kind of wedding make-up and wedding hair you like. This will also helpyour wedding make-up artists at the trial stages. Take a look at Pinterest – it's an online scrapbook with thousands of wedding ideas.

{Photo Credit} Funky Photographers

Get a touch up kit for the day - foundation, cover up, powder, anti-shine, mascara, liner, lips and blush – they're an absolute must…just get your bridesmaid to carry it for you on your wedding day!

Analyse your skin a few months before your wedding day so you have time to address any issues you may have. There are plenty of solutions out there, from a brilliant moisturiser to a quick trip to the doctor – whatever it is, get it sorted and under control in advance!

Get a reputable professional on board to do your make-up if you want a wedding make-up artist on the day. Love Hair is a fantastic agency providing an excellent wedding service for bridal hair and make-up. Make sure you take lots of pictures once you are happy with the end result, and ask your stylist for a list of products they used so you can pick them up for your touch up kit. You may end up with me on the day, as I'm one of their wedding make-up artists. Alternatively, you can book me direct - do get in touch.

Good luck! JB x

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Enchanting South African Garden Wedding with DIY Details

Celebrating your wedding in your parents' garden has got to be one of the best ways to say I do. Personal, meaningful and a lot less pricey than a hired venue, you can start your preparations months before your big day. And when your parents' garden happens to be a gorgeous jungly South African affair, like Louis and Nadine's, then you'd be crazy to do it anywhere else! I'm loving all their sweet wedding details, including the simple gingham ribbon decorations and napkins, the ceramic hanging altar-area, and the speech bubble table plans. We need more speech bubbles at weddings! Also loving the tulip garden decorations, streamer confetti and cool safari-style tent marquee. Most of all I love how happy Louis and Nadine look to be a Mr and Mrs. Fabulous photographs published with thanks to the hugely talented We Love Pictures - our favourite South African photographers.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Pretty Pastel Wedding with a Vera Wang Gown

A wedding in paradise is a pretty good start to married life! This heavenly Hawaiian wedding has made me wish for warmer climes and a beachside big day. I'm loving the breezy blue-grey bridesmaid dresses {by Jenny Yoo}, bride Tracy's stunning ruffled Vera Wang gown and the fabulous outdoor ceremony. Add the white peony bouquets, and orchids in Tracy's hair, and this wedding ticks every one of my boxes. Fabulous pictures published with thanks to the lovely Jen Huang Photography.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Vintage-Style Wedding Drinks Dispenser

One of my favourite details at our wedding in Provence, was our signature cocktail. We actually had two - a Georgia Peach Bellini {because I love bellinis} and a Moscow Mule, because they're refreshing and my husband's favourite cocktail. We served the peach bellinis during the day reception, and saved the mules {accessorised with striped straws and mint} for the dancing in the evening. We had waiting staff, but I love the idea of making your signature cocktail self-service with these fab vintage-style wedding drinks dispensers from Papermash. Just add some of their geometric paper cups in your wedding colour palette, and some pretty striped straws or DIY flag drinks' stirrers, and you'll have the prettiest cocktails in the world! Do check out Papermash's Sale - it's on now, and its a good 'un!

{I want this!} 1. Wedding Drinks Dispenser, £50 | 2. Paper Cups, £3.95 for 8, both from Papermash

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Introducing Linus Moran Wedding Photography

There are so many brides and grooms who hate having their photograph taken! It must make the job of a wedding photographer seriously difficult - after all, the more relaxed a subject, the better they look. If you're awkward in front of the camera, then I recommend a reportage-style photographer like Linus Moran Photography. Linus is based in Dorset, and he's known for his natural, candid style. You'll hardly notice he's there, and that's how he gets the best shots of his subjects - when they least expect it! Equally, if you want the formal group photographs and detail pictures, he's just as skilled. Linus uses mostly natural light, to avoid those 'caught in the flashlight' moments, and his albums document the whole of your big day in all its beauty. I'm a massive fan, and I'm sure you will be too - just take a look at these gorgeous shots, and of course his blog. Linus' packages start from £995, and he's happy to travel across the UK and abroad.



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