Friday 29 May 2015

My Secret Garden Wedding in a Provence Chateau - The Reception

Our wedding reception passed in a flash! I think every bride and groom feels that their big day passes too quickly, partly because you have to step away at one stage for your wedding photographs. We were thrilled with our portraits by Chloé from Caught the Light, and it's definitely worth making time for your photographer. You'll see in this blog post, all the little extras that I added to personalise our big day. We chose a Secret Garden theme, as we hosted our reception in an historic walled garden. Our colour palette was soft grey, pink and sage green, and I chose a key motif, which appeared on all the stationery, place-markers and we gave each guest a vintage key as a wedding favour. I bought grey and white striped straws, and made little drinks flags to go in our signature cocktails. Looking back - I can't believe how many details I managed to squeeze into one day! These are the reception pictures, you can see the ceremony pictures here.

We celebrated our wedding on 28th May 2011 in a tiny French village called Puyricard, just outside Aix-en-Provence. We hired a private house called Château Grimaldi for three days.

The walled gardens inspired me to choose a secret garden theme, with a key motif. Our colour palette was soft grey, dusky pink and sage green.

Thursday 28 May 2015

My Secret Garden Wedding in a Provence Chateau - The Ceremony

As promised, I'm marking our fourth wedding anniversary by republishing our photographs from our French wedding. It's crazy how quickly the time has gone! Although this wasn't our legal wedding, it's the one that felt most real. We invited ninety of our closest friends and family out to Provence for a three day party, and I loved every minute. As a wedding blogger, I spent many days agonising over which theme to choose. In the end our stunning venue, with its walled grounds, led me to pick a Secret Garden theme, and a colour palette of soft grey, dusky pink and sage green. We had a key motif which appeared on all the invitations, place markers, programmes and pashmina favour tags. There were endless wedding details, all captured perfectly by our brilliant wedding photographer Chloé from Caught the Light and my friend Jemma Harding Photography. Four years on, it's true what they say - your pictures are the lasting memories of your wedding day, so it's worth hiring the best.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Ten Quirky Original Wedding Place-Setting Ideas

You can really let your imagination run wild with your place-settings. Why settle for a simple card, when you could give your guests the welcome they deserve? Combine it with a wedding favour, pretty present or sweet treat, or build anticipation for the speeches, party and dancing {I'm thinking glow-sticks, fake moustaches and sparklers}. I'm all about delighting your guests at every turn - we had old-fashioned fortune tellers and vintage keys at our wedding. What will you choose? More ideas on my Pinterest board.

Monday 25 May 2015

Wedding Trends for 2015 - Edible Flowers

Hosting a truly original wedding means surprising your guests at every turn, and that's why I love this micro trend for 2015. Edible flowers have been around for years, but it's only now that wedding caterers are getting in on the act. It's partly down to the growth {sorry!} of suppliers in the UK - you can buy your flowers direct from First Leaf and Greens of Devon, or even buy seeds to grow your own! Ask your caterer, or DIY your own edible flower creations. I'm loving these creative ideas {below} for signature wedding cocktails, deserts and cheeses, and how about edible confetti?!

Thursday 21 May 2015

Affordable Wedding Dress Series - Monsoon

One of my best friends from university got married in a wedding dress from Monsoon, and it completely opened my eyes to the brilliance of the British high street. We have the best shops in the world in the UK, and every season they translate {ahem...copy!} the catwalk into affordable garments. And the wedding catwalk is no different! I'll often see stunning gowns I think are Jenny Packham or Temperley London, and actually they turn out to be high street honeys. Here are a few of my favourites from Monsoon - I love the 1920s feel to many of the gowns - they feel like they could have come straight from The Great Gatsby. Don't miss their flower-girl and bridesmaids dresses and their truly fabulous wedding shoe department.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Affordable Wedding Dress Series - Reformation

You've got to love Pinterest. I was scrolling through the wedding pictures looking for inspiration, when all of a sudden I found this dress. A little bit of research and a couple of clicks later, and I'd discovered The Reformation, a boutique brand based in Los Angeles. All their wedding gowns are guaranteed eco friendly, they all cost under £500, and they even offer free shipping worldwide. Many of the gowns below also come in different colours and patterns, so even if The One isn't there for you - why not treat your bridesmaids?

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Affordable Wedding Dress Series - Rowan Joy

Bride's looking for a vintage look are going to fall head-over-heels for these gorgeous gowns by Rowan Joy. Her designs are heavily influenced by the decadence of 1920's and grace of the 1930's, with a flattering cut and flowing skirts. Each dress is made-to-order, so she needs three months notice, but this means your gown will be made-to-measure for under a thousand pounds! Take a look at the designs below - more from different eras on her website.

Monday 18 May 2015

Affordable Wedding Dress Series - Grace Loves Lace

This morning I am mostly loving these beautiful boutique dress by Australian designer Grace Loves Lace. At Grace, they personally create stunning ready-to-wear wedding dresses from the French laces and silks, to create a fabulous boho, vintage gowns you'll love. The dresses all have a pretty nostalgic charm and rather wonderful price tags, starting from only £500! Amazing!

{I want this!} 1. Boho Lace Wedding Dress, £950 | 2. Long Lace Sleeve Wedding Dress, £764

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Sunday 17 May 2015

Affordable Wedding Dress Series

My nanny's getting married, and she's looking for a wedding dress for under £1000. Probably well under £1k, but you'd be astonished how difficult it is to get under that magic number. I'm ashamed to admit that at first, I was no help at all. As a wedding blogger, I find that most of my posts are about dream wedding gowns, rather than the nitty, gritty practicals of actually paying for one. I did write a couple of posts about how to buy a designer wedding gown for less, but in the three years since I've been writing this blog, I've only featured a few reasonable designers - Minna and some great Etsy sellers like Truvelle & Rowan Joy. But now that's all set to change, as I've been doing my research, and coming up with a great selection of wedding dress designers in the UK who don't try and rip you off at every turn. Stay tuned for the amazing Before the Big Day Affordable Wedding Dress Series!

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Thursday 14 May 2015

A Boho Dreamcatcher Wedding Theme

An old hippy favourite, dreamcatchers are being reimagined for the twenty-first century in a kaleidoscope of colours and designs. I love them as the basis for a wedding theme - they represent all the hopes and dreams of the traditional marriage ceremony, but in a boho style. Use them as wedding decorations, favours and as a motif on your wedding stationery. You could even create a wedding altar out of a giant catcher. More ideas on my Boho Wedding Pinterest page, including lots of Etsy sellers and DIY wedding ideas.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

A English Country Garden Wedding with Pretty Vintage Details - Part 2

A vintage tractor, bridesmaids in wellington boots, and military men in uniform - just a few of my favourite things about this quirky big day. Andy and Catherine planned their spring wedding with only four months to spare, and personalised every detail, thanks to the help of their friends and family. In the build-up to their big day, they held craft evenings to cut and sew the bunting, put covers on homemade jam jar wedding favours, and design the wedding stationery. They even prepared an Easter Egg hunt for their guests. Enjoy these fantastic pictures by Sarah Relf at Lawless Rose Photography, and don't miss my favourite wedding detail - the fabulous cake by Dippy Design.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

A English Country Garden Wedding with Pretty Vintage Details

There's something uniquely romantic about a military wedding - they have the weight of history behind them, and everyone loves a man in uniform! Groom Andy is a captain in the army, so when he and Catherine left the church, they walked under a fabulous guard of honour, complete with shiny swords. Stunning! The happy couple planned their wedding in only four and a half months, but didn't scrimp on details - this big day is packed with stunning ideas. I love the English country garden theme, the vintage crockery, the gorgeous bridesmaids in sage green, and the beautiful barn venue. Don't miss the fantastic reception pictures in Part 2 - huge thanks to Sarah Relf at Lawless Rose Photography for capturing every detail.

Monday 11 May 2015

A Lily-of-the-Valley Wedding Theme

Have you heard of lily-of-the-valley? It's the most exquisite flower, with tiny little white bells, and the sweetest scent. It's one of my favourite flowers, and luckily came into bloom just in time for my London wedding in early May. My mother picked it from her garden, and DIY'd my beautiful bouquet. It's a notoriously hard plant to force into flower, so if you want it at your wedding day, you'll have to be lucky! It's even got the royal seal of approval - Kate Middleton chose it for her wedding, and Grace Kelly carried a small bouquet of lily-of-the-valley on her big day. Once you see it, you'll fall in love - take a look at these wedding ideas, and check out my Pinterest page for more.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Wonderful Wedding Blog Links

How can it be May already? This month sees my fourth wedding anniversary, and if you've been following the blog, you'll have spotted I've already republished my London wedding pictures, by the fabulous Caught the Light. You'll have to wait a few more weeks for more of my French wedding shots, unless you're sneaky, and click on this link. The month of May sees the start of the wedding season in earnest, so if you're an upcoming bride reading this post, be sure to send me your wedding pictures so I can blog them {email me}! I've had a bit of time this week to explore the wonderful world of weddings online, so you'll love these links - they're packed full for wed-spiration.

{Photo Credit} Marianne Taylor Photography, Source.

♥  A colourful artist's wedding
♥  A wonderful woodland wedding with animal masks
♥  A cake competition wedding
♥  This eccentric British wedding venue will blow you away!
♥  A French inspired wedding with something blue
♥  The simplest & chicest of London weddings
♥  A festival-themed wedding with a happy boho bride
♥  When only a French chateau wedding will do
♥  The biggest bouquet of peonies I've ever seen!
♥  Gotta love a groom in a floral shirt
♥  Botanical wedding inspiration you can't fault
♥  A bride in leather and lace
♥  Colourful & cute - a trendy east London wedding

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Friday 8 May 2015

Jenny Packham's New Bridal Collection for 2016

Fashion is a crazy world. Can you believe the designers have already released their collections for 2016? One of my favourite wedding dress designers of all time, Jenny Packham showed her 2016 Bridal Collection at New York Bridal Fashion Week. As ever, the collection is d-i-v-i-n-e! Inspired by Shakespeare's fairy realm and the characters of A Midsummer Night's Dream, it features celestial silk tulles, romantically sculpted corsetry and cascading silk chiffon. Add in a few appliqué organza blooms, ostrich feathers, crystal foliage motifs and delicate floral lace, and you've got a very happy wedding blogger. The collection will be available internationally from July, so autumn and winter brides - this is all about you! And the big question - will you pick one of the mint gowns?

Thursday 7 May 2015

Glamorous Golden Tattoos for Your Wedding Day

There's a huge trend at the moment for golden body art. Personally I wouldn't ever want a tattoo, but these temporary stencils are super-glamorous. They've got the feel of a wild summer holiday, and would look gorgeous on a boho bride. Keep it simple - less is more...... you could always surprise your husband with one stuck on somewhere under your wedding dress! California-based store Creative Swirls Shop will even create a bespoke design for you, but a simple love tattoo set is only £7. London stockists include Karizma and Awsm.Tattoo.

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Wednesday 6 May 2015

My Secret London Wedding Anniversary - Part 2

So here we go ladies, Part 2 of my vintage tea-party themed wedding. After our quicky wedding ceremony in Hackney Town Hall {our local}, we headed to Victoria Park for our pictures, where {joy of joys} we found the best photo-prop ever. An ice-cream van! I'd really recommend trying to organise a few photo props - it makes for much more natural portraits, particularly if you're feeling a bit stressed on your wedding day. After our pictures we headed home for our vintage tea party reception. We decorated our Shoreditch flat with handmade white pompoms, white bunting bought from eBay, and a dozens of roses bought from Columbia Road Flower Market on the cheap! Stunning photographs published with thanks to Caught the Light, and I've filled in my own Before the Big Day Bridal Questionnaire, so check out my answers below for all my suppliers and wedding DIY projects.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

My Secret London Wedding - Our 4th Anniversary

Four years ago today, we celebrated our secret wedding in London. Why secret? Well our 'real' wedding was in Provence, but legally we had to get married in the UK first. At first we thought we'd just sneak off on a Tuesday afternoon and get married privately with just two witnesses. But then our parents wanted in. And then we realised that the grandparents weren't going to make it out to France, so they snaffled invitations. And then, being a wedding blogger, I got all excited about a vintage tea-party wedding theme, and Chloe from Caught the Light offered to do our pictures. So before we knew it, we were planning two weddings. That's two ceremonies, two themes, two dresses {lucky me!}, and double the details! Take a look, and see what you think!

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