Friday, 28 March 2014

Before the Big Day on BBC Radio 4's PM Programme

On the eve of the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK, I was thrilled to be invited onto BBC Radio 4's PM programme to discuss the popularity of weddings. I headed down to famous Broadcasting House in central London, and up to the studios, where I met presenter Eddie Mair and my lovely discussion partner, Gareth McLean. As the red on-air light came on, I was more than a little nervous, as you can probably hear in my voice - but I soon settled down, and had a fantastic time! Have a listen by clicking the link below!

{Picture Credit} Lovely pastel radio picture by Simply Hue Designs

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Real Detail-Filled Pastel-Themed Wedding with Bunting & Rosettes

There's nothing I love more than a wedding with tonnes of stealworthy ideas. This gorgeous affair was planned by Michelle of Blissd Events, and you can tell it's a professional job, because every detail is brilliantly put together. Certain things, like the pastel colours and the repetition off a flag motif and little cartoons of the happy couple are repeated through the wedding, and that's what creates to 'together' feel. I'm loving the vintage details, from the old window frame and the car, plus the stationery details - including the Just Married flags, rosette buttonholes and bunting. Incredible flowers by Nancy Lui Chin, and the pictures are by the wedding blogger's favourite, Jose Villa.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Make Mine a Tiara: Incredible Wedding Hair Accessories

My excitement for all things wedding runs pretty high, by my pulse leapt an extra few beats a minute when I rediscovered the fabulousness which is the Ban.Do website. I first found them way back in 2010, when I fell in love with these glittery heart shoe-clips, but now they do so much more! Just take a look at these incredible bridal hair accessories. They each have cute names, my favourite being the Empress Tiara - oh yes! Which one would you choose?

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Real Peaches & Cream English Wedding with a South African Theme

Some of us blushing brides really get into the whole wedding 'thang'. For some, it's just the special day when they married their gorgeous man, but for others, it becomes something of an obsession, and then a hobby, and then even a career. That's exactly what my wedding became for me, as I started this wedding blog a couple of months before I got engaged {it's a long story involving a very long-suffering boyfriend who eventually got the hint!}. Gorgeous bride, Clare, had a very similar experience. She enjoyed planning her wedding so much, that she started her own company, The Beautiful Wedding Company, which ingeniously combines planning with bridal beauty. You can see her work in the fabulous details in her own peaches and cream wedding. From her exquisite wedding gown, to her gorgeous colour-popping bridesmaids' dresses, every detail is perfectly matched, right down to the ushers' ties. I'm also loving the countryside chic of the barn venue - one of my closest friends celebrated her wedding at Loseley Park, and it's a gorgeous venue. Huge thanks to PR Photography for these beautiful pictures.

We celebrated our wedding at Loseley Park, Guildford on June 18th. The venue is breathtaking, a stunning old manor, surrounded by rolling English countryside, a rose garden, tithe barn and even a Tudor hall. We wanted a venue that was magnificent, English and yet intimate. Loseley Park is also in-between our parents' homes, making it ideal for both bride and groom’s parties!

My dress was aptly called 'Summer' by Maggie Sottero. I tried on tonnes of dresses as I had no idea what I wanted to wear or what would suit me. The wonderful sales assistants at Miss Bush Bridalwear, in Ripley, made sure I tried on everything from the big 'Grace Kelly' style dresses, Grecian styles, full laced dresses…..every style going! 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Fruity vs Floral Wedding Cakes

Decorating your own wedding cake is a great way to keep costs down. Obviously there's nothing better than designer cake, but you don't want to be stuck with a thousand pound debt just because you went for an amazing confection from Choccywoccydoodah! Budget-savy brides buy their cake tiers from a high-street supermarket like M&S, and add their own decorations. Flowers have been in fashion for years, but recently I've seen a fabulous move towards fruity decor. Which do you prefer? Of course, you could go completely off-piste, and accessorise your wedding cake with macaroons {like this Before the Big Day bride}, or oreo biscuits! Don't miss my fabulous Wedding Cakes inspiration board on Pinterest.

{Photo Credits} 1. Jennifer Van Elk, more from this wedding on Budget Savvy Bride, 2. Sarah Falugo, more from this wedding on Style Me Pretty3. Unknown

{Photo Credits} 1. Aaron Delesie, more from this wedding on Snippet & Ink2. Unknown, 3. Annie McElwain, more from this wedding on Green Wedding Shoes

{Photo Credits} 1. Bret Cole Photography, more from this wedding on Elizabeth Anne Designs2. Unknown, 3. Unknown

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Whimsical Wishbone Bracelet for Your Bridesmaids

I'm always on the hunt for the perfect present for a girlfriend. One of my best friends is just amazing at gifts {for my birthday she gave me a stunning star necklace from Liberty}, and I'm always playing catch-up! So when I spotted these whimsical wishbone bracelets, I knew I had to share. Not only are they a great little birthday present, they'd work perfectly as bridesmaids gifts. Weddings are all about wishing for a fabulous future, and with your bridesmaids wearing these little charms, nothing could go wrong on your big day! I'd even tie one to my bouquet!

{I want this!} Wishbone bracelets, £12.45 by Sea and Cake

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Brides the Show - This Weekend

Super-glam, and a great day out, if you're free this weekend, you won't want to miss Brides the Show. Taking place in London's Battersea Park, it's a brilliant opportunity to immerse yourself in all things bridal - play with make-up looks, try on gorgeous wedding gowns and create your own wedding day details in our Imagination Room. There's live demonstrations, daily catwalk shows, and tonnes of brilliant vendors, all packed with wedding ideas and inspiration. I'm a huge fan of wedding fairs - they're best enjoyed with a couple of girlfriends and/or your mum. Just make sure you enjoy a cream tea {plus a glass of fizz} half-way through the day, to keep you sugar-levels up! Tickets are available on the door, and it runs until Sunday afternoon at 6pm

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

A Summer Barn Wedding with a Music Theme - The Reception

With a music theme, several naked wedding cakes and a stunning barn wedding venue, this has got to be one of my favourite big days from last summer. Katy and Mark chose the stunning countryside of West Sussex for their wedding, and added tonnes of inspirational details to their reception. My faves have to be the personalised, CD wedding favours {entitled 'Do Me A Favour', the simple but sweet menu cards and the picture-perfect bunting. Even the wedding portraits are gorgeous - I love Katy's pretty parasol {buy similar here} - a great photo prop that could come in handy in a shower! Big love to Kelly from Lola Rose Photography for her beautiful wedding photographs.

We celebrated our wedding on 17th August with a ceremony at St Andrews Church in Steyning, followed by our reception at Bartholomew Barn, Kirdford, West Sussex.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A Summer Barn Wedding with a Music Theme

This beautiful church wedding has got me dreaming about summer! Lovely bride and groom, Katy and Mark celebrated their big day in August, with a music themed, barn reception. I love the put-together look of their wedding - Katy chose a stunning blue for her colour palette, and her bridesmaids look gorgeous in their House of Brides gowns, teamed with frothy lilac hydrangea bouquets. Hydrangeas may well be my favourite bouquet blooms of all time! They're so pretty, and they take up so much space, that they may well save your budget. The ushers all looked fab in their matching River Island suits, plus blue cravats to match the bridesmaids. Other stealworthy ideas include Katy's glam Bridget Bardot-style half-up do, her fabulous Alfred Sung wedding gown, and their brilliant vintage-style wedding invitations {designed by a very talented friend!}. Huge thanks to the lovely Kelly from Lola Rose Photography for capturing every detail - I've got more from their Bartholomew Barn coming soon!

We celebrated our wedding on 17th August with a ceremony at St Andrews Church in Steyning, followed by our reception at Bartholomew Barn, Kirdford, West Sussex.

My sister's friend Becky designed our brilliant wedding invitations, which were in the style of a vintage theatre poster.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Wear a Crown on Your Wedding Day - and why not!

It's time to come clean. Most of us want to feel like a princess on our wedding day, and there's no shame in it. After all, it's only for one day! On all the other days of your life, you can be powerful, forthright, successful women, but on your wedding day, why not give into the fairytale romance of childhood stories. So why not go the whole hog, and wear a little crown? I've fallen for this lovely creation by Erica Elizabeth Designs. Created out of filigree ornaments, freshwater pearls and brilliant rhinestones, it glitters like it's made out of diamonds. Heaven! Erica has dozens of stunning bridal accessories in her Etsy shop - take a look and see which you'd choose - this bridal cap is divine!

{I want this!} Bridal Wedding Crown, £324 by Erica Elizabeth Designs

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Monday, 17 March 2014

A Rustic Garden Wedding with a Festival Feel & Tonnes of DIY Details

Everything about this wedding is enchanting - it's like something from a traditional Welsh faery story! Loveday and Nathan celebrated their big day with a church service, followed by their wedding reception in Loveday's parent's garden. From the handmade yurts {created by the bride's brother!}, to the traditional wedding cake, pretty floral favours and jam jar vases, everything was DIY'd by Loveday and Nathan's friends and family. It just goes to show what an amazing effect you can create yourself! The wedding had a festival vibe, with a warming fire-pit, boho decorations {by Verdigris Venue Dressing}, deckchairs, and floral arches. I'm also super-impressed that Loveday bought her wedding dress from a charity shop, and had it re-modelled with the help of a local dressmaker. No detail was too small - she even changed the buttons to pastel pretties, to fit in with their colour scheme. Enjoy these lovely pictures by Adam Cove, and Loveday's inspirational answers to the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire!

We celebrated our wedding on Saturday 31st August 2013 in the chapel of St David at the University of Wales in Lampeter, where Nathan and I first met as students.Our reception was lovingly created at my parent's home, on a hill above the town. My brother, Morgan, made us two beautiful yurts, and all our friends and family worked hard helping to get the place ready, from mowing the lawns and tending the flower garden. We even spent our wedding night in another little yurt, tucked away amongst some willows near the stream. 

I wanted a simple quite classic wedding dress, but with a personal touch. After a lot of looking I finally bought my dress second hand from a charity shop in Cardiff. It was then re-modelled by a local dress maker called Rhiannon J Limited. We worked together on the design and I was able to add unique buttons and decorations. It was a simple silk gown with a modest puddle train, individual colourful buttons down the back, ruching across the waste and a small flower decoration on the left hip. Rhiannon also made my veil for me.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Boho-Style Wallet Friendly Wedding Dresses from Minna

I need to start this article with something of a disclaimer. Despite all my {strong} feelings against the necessity of spending a fortune on your wedding dress, I ended up buying my gown from Delphine Manivet for over £2k. I loved it, and I felt beyond amazing on my wedding day, but I felt sooooo guilty about the cost. It just seemed such a crazy sum to spend on one dress and one day. To make up for it, I'm always on the hunt for beautiful wedding gowns, and one of my favourite designers is Minna. Her stunning boho gowns feature intricate lace, pretty florals, cute pom-pom edging and even bunting {!}, but most of them come in at under £600. Her headpieces and veils are super-reasonable, and they even stock adorable flower girls dress, like this stunning Alexa dress. When I recommended Minna to my wedding planner, Kerry Bracken of Lavender & Rose Weddings, she bought three - one for each stage of her wedding! Take a look at them in action in my features on her wedding. ** P.S. I just checked out Minna's Facebook page, and discovered details for their up-coming Trunk Sale. Save even more from 11th April until 3rd May! **

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Fresh, Fun, DIY Wedding Favours

Is there anything cuter than a mini plant in a little pot? Wedding favour and table decoration in one, they're my favourite wedding detail for spring, and the best thing is, they're super easy to DIY. All you need is a good supply of sweet little terracotta pots {try these}, or old tin cans, for an industrial look, or tea-cups for a vintage style wedding. Then add soil, and a seasonal plant. For spring, a narcissus or hyacinth bulb will add a lovely scent to your wedding reception, for summer you could try herbs like basil and mint, autumn suits impossible-to-kill cacti and succulents, and winter, a little Christmas tree or air plant. More ideas on my Plant Pot Wedding Favours Pinterest page.

{Photo Credit} 1. Dominique Bader - more from this wedding on Love My Dress | 2. Unknown

Monday, 10 March 2014

An Elegant London Wedding with Sparkly Vintage Details - The Reception

Possibly the hardest job for any wedding photographer is to get the perfect portrait shots of the bride and groom. Only a truly talented tog can tread the narrow line between romantic and cutesy, loving and lovey-dovey. These gorgeous shots by Cotton Candy Wedding Photography are a lesson in how to do it well! It helps that the fabulous Lennie and Geraint are comfortable in front of the camera, and clearly super loved up! But aren't they fabulous? I'm also seriously obsessed with Lennie's fantastic wedding reception details. From the hand-painted wedding stationery {by one of her bridesmaids}, to the champagne cork place markers and mercury glass vases, every detail is elegant and perfectly placed. Huge kudos to Lennie for using {handmade!} tumbling white macaroons as decorations for the naked wedding cake - it's the first time I've seen them used as decorations, and it's SO effective. Enjoy the pictures, and don't miss Lennie's answers to the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire, including her clever idea for a wedding guest book!

We got married on the 2nd November 2013 in our little church, St Mary Magdalen's in Mortlake, followed by our reception in the wonderful Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, London.

St Mary Magdalen's was a no-brainer it is a beautiful church in our parish. Also we live locally to Richmond Park, and spend a lot of time either wandering through on a wintery Sunday afternoon, or picnicking in the summer, so Pembroke Lodge was ideal. 

An Elegant London Wedding with Sparkly Vintage Details

I've long been a massive fan of winter weddings. They're a brilliant first step to making your wedding stand out from the crowd - after all most couples chose to celebrate their big day in the summer. With a winter wedding, you're more likely to get your guests to accept {no summer holidays}, and you can have so much fun with cosy wedding details - I'm thinking spiced cider and hot chocolate for your drinks reception, gloves and blankets for wedding favours, and a roaring fire in the middle of your reception venue. Lennie and Geraint chose Fireworks Night for their wedding day, and Pembroke Lodge as an inspired wedding venue. The Lodge looks over the the Thames Valley, so they had an amazing view of all the local firework displays - for free! Lennie and Geraint chose a London and Paris theme for their big day, to reflect the cities where they met, and romanced. They added jewel colours for their palette, including bright purple and teal blue - perfect shades to pop on a dull November day. I love Lennie's dramatic United Nude shoe-boots, her berry-filled bouquet, and snug fur coat - the whole wedding party look so glamorous! More gorgeous wedding details to come in the reception photographs - huge thanks to Gem and Phil from Cotton Candy Wedding Photography for these lovely shots!

We got married on the 2nd November 2013 in our little church, St Mary Magdalen's in Mortlake, followed by our reception in the wonderful Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, London.

After trying on a lot of dresses in a lot of styles the Marylise Sofia dress felt right. It was understated, and made me feel elegant and beautiful, without any lace or sparkles - which is what I thought I would end up with! It also made a bridesmaid cry and my mum speechless which meant it was the one!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Romantic Fluffy Wedding-Day Petticoats

It only took once glance for me to fall in love with these incredible petticoats from Doris Designs. They're just so pfoofy!! Brides looking for a unique look could add them to their wedding gown, or why not enhance the shape of your bridesmaids' dresses with a bit of bounce? You could choose matching or contrasting colours to suit your wedding theme. Doris designs and sells the petticoats for adults and children, and I've completely fallen for the skirts in toddler sizes. SO cute!

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Monday, 3 March 2014

Fun Wedding Lawn Games

It seems impossible to me that anyone got bored during our wedding reception. It all passed in a flash - we walked out of the chapel into a swirl of confetti, dashed around chatting to as many people as we could, had our portrait pictures taken, and then before I knew it, we were sitting down to dinner. Two hours gone in a matter of minutes! However it's quite possible that time might drag slightly for your guests, particularly if they don't all know each other that well. One way to break the ice, is to provide fun wedding lawn games, and to ask your ushers to get the guests involved. This works particularly well with families, as children of nearly all ages can get involved as well. The lawn games also make fantastic photo-props for your wedding photographs. If, like me, you're not completely comfortable in front of the camera, doing something fun and a little silly will make you relax, and appear more natural in your wedding pictures. Take a look at these fabulous photographs for inspiration. P.S. We bought boules from eBay for our French wedding, and the competition got pretty fierce amongst the ushers!

{Photo Credit} Kristyn Hogan via Elizabeth Anne Designs

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