Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Fierce Tropical Wedding Shoot

Hot off the press, this incredible high fashion wedding shoot brought together a fab group of wedding suppliers in Chelmsford. Inspired by Writtle College's tropical greenhouse, Grace of Photography by Grace Hill, Kelly of Miss Fleur Floral Design, and dress designer Lucy Can't Dance chose a rainforest theme. The look is totally original and seriously fierce - a great choice for bold brides looking for a distinctive style. I love Lucy's dip-dye Ziggy Stardust gown, and the intricate bodice on her Heart of Glass wedding dress. Purple lipstick and orange eyeshadow complete the boho rock chick look. And take a look at those blooms - even the shyest of brides could kick-start her look with a bright bouquet of luscious tropical orchids and palm leaves. Enjoy the pictures - they're packed with wedding inspiration - and don't miss the details of all the suppliers at the end.



Monday, 26 June 2017

Top Three Bridal Trends for the New Season

One of the best things about being a wedding blogger is being the first to see all the latest trends. Stationery and decorations are my favourite wedding details, but I know for a lot of you it's all about the dress. One of the most popular US gown designers is BHLDN. They're owned by the same company as whimsical lifestyle store Anthropologie, and they never disappoint. UK brides can easily buy their wedding dresses and accessories online, and it's always worth looking out for their sales, which are awesome. BHLDN have spotted three big trends for Autumn/Winter brides, and all of them are fab....take a look....



Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Real DIY Heart-Themed Wedding: Margaux and Max

Details, details! This wedding is ALL about the details! Margaux and Max hired the amazing Ashley Meaders to help design their big day, and her work has completely blown my mind. Just check out the vintage plates, kooky welcome table, to dessert table, cake topper, hand-stitched hearts....I could go on and on! A gorgeous fabric installation was created over the entryway to make a big impact as people walked in. It was made of braided fabric, hand-sewn garland, fabric strips, and lights. Guests wrote messages to the Max and Margaux on strips of fabric and then hung them up on baker's twine with miniature clothespeg. Ashely even made Margaux a swing out of fabrics, and created hundreds of fabric hearts to decorate the back-garden. Just goes to show how even the simplist of venues can be made special. Gorogeous pictures as ever from the team at Our Labour of Love.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Real Rustic Cherry-Inspired Wedding: Cathleen & Eric

Thsi is one of those to-die-for weddings, where you want to copy every detail, but worry that even if you did, your wedding wouldn't look half as good. I love everything about it - the setting, the antique furniture, the rustic but chic napkins, the strawbale seats and the heavenly, heavenly cherries. So many stealworthy ideas, from writing the names of your guests on the paper table cloth, using fruit as decoration and favour, and the whole concept of bringing the indoors outdoors. I'm totally blissed out. Cathleen and Eric's wedding team included designer Rebecca, of Duet Weddings and the hugely talented photographer, Jose Villa.


Monday, 19 June 2017

Vintage-Style Wedding Stationery Seals

When it comes to wedding details nothing is too small. Take the back of your wedding stationery envelopes for example. Aren't they just crying out for a vintage-style wax seal? Fab shop, Back to Zero has tonnes of different motifs to choose from, including Fleur de Lys, monograms, anchors, crowns, and even a squirrel for the nature-loving. Then all you have to do is pick a wax that matches your wedding colour palette, and a second seal for your Thank You letters. It's the easiest wedding DIY idea in the world!




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Saturday, 17 June 2017

My Top Three Winter Wedding Invitations

As I write this, it's 28 degrees outside and a beautiful summer day. But if you're planning a winter wedding, you've only got 6 months to go, and your thoughts must be turning to invitations. I'm a huge stationery geek, and I spent easily 70% of my wedding planning, scanning the internet for wedding invitation suites. I fell in love with graphic designers from Australia to LA, and eventually settled on designing my own. Remember your wedding invitation will get your guests excited about your big day - it really sets the tone - so choose wisely. Here are three of my current favourites for winter weddings - all from brilliant British designers.


{I want this!} Starry Night by Blush & Gold


{I want this!} Chalk Board & Stag Wedding Invitation Bundle by norma & dorothy


{I want this!} Highland Wedding Suite by Julia Eastwood

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Discussion: Should a Bride smoke on her Wedding Day?

As a non-smoker, it was never an issue for me, but what do you think about brides smoking on their wedding day? There's something about the elegance of the occasion, and the pageantry of the beautiful white dress and veil, that makes cigarettes uncomfortable bedfellows to a blushing bride. What do you think? I'd love to hear your views!

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Real Rural DIY Wedding: Catherine & Matt - Wedding Reception

After the beautiful getting ready pictures, and perfect portrait shots, are you ready for la pièce de résistance? Yup, it's time for the stunning reception details. Catherine and Matt chose their local village hall for their wedding reception, and added unique rustic vintage touches with the help of stylists Add a Little Sparkle. I love the mix of fresh and dried flower arrangements, the bark vases and mini-log place marker stands {made by Catherine's dad}, and the cute animal familiars on each table. Catherine also DIY'd all the favour crackers out of handmade paper, snappers from eBay and flowers grown in her own garden. Even the bird wedding toppers were hand-sewn and embroidered by the bride - you can buy similar from her Etsy shop. Huge thanks to Lily Sawyer Photography for her beautiful pictures - she really captured every wedding detail!



Real Rural DIY Wedding: Catherine & Matt - Portrait Pictures

Dreamy wedding portrait sessions don't get much better than this! Take golden light, a beautiful bride, and a perfect poppy field, and I'm wedding heaven. Matt and Catherine celebrated their wedding near Canterbury, in the Kent countryside, and photographer, Lily Sawyer, took full advantage of the beautiful landscape. En-route to their wedding reception, she stopped with the bride and groom by a field, where they had to climb over barbed wire to get in! Matt came well-prepared with a thick curtain ready to lay on the wires, so Catherine could climb over without ruining her stunning wedding dress. It was worth the effort - just take a look at these gorgeous, golden pictures.



Real Rural DIY Wedding: Catherine and Matt

With more DIY wedding details than you can shake a stick at, this is easily one of my favourite weddings of all time, not least because the bride is a regular reader of Before the Big Day! Lovely Catherine is a textile designer, and you can see her creative talent in every element of her and Matt's beautiful rural wedding. They chose Canterbury in Kent as the location for their big day, and celebrated their wedding ceremony in a village church, surrounded by poppy fields and rolling hills, followed by their wedding reception in the village hall. Catherine designed and handmade many of her wedding details, including the stunning floral bridesmaids' dresses, her hand-printed wedding stationery, and she even altered her second-hand wedding dress - an amazing Enzoani Diana gown she found on eBay! You'll love all the rural vintage touches, enjoy these gorgeous pictures by Lily Sawyer Photography - I'll be posting the poppy field portrait pictures and reception shots later today!




Sunday, 11 June 2017

Possibly the Best Wedding Prank ever?

Be kind to your ushers, because you never know when they're going to strike.... Picture c/o Simply Bloom Photography, from the lovely wedding of Skyler and Kristian. The groom had no idea they'd decorated the soles of his shoes. Don't miss more pictures from this lovely sparkly themed wedding with a mismatched cake.


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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

British Seaside Wedding Ideas

If you love the traditional British world of bunting, bathing huts and camper vans, you're going to instantly fall for the wedding shop I've just discovered on Etsy. Something New Stationery is the brainchild of Jenni Bryan, and I'm enchanted by her cute take on the British seaside. Just take a look at her lovely designs below! Her shop also stocks a huge range of colourful baking twine, at a reasonable price of £5 per spool. What's not to love?


Holiday Beach Huts Wedding Seating Plan, £45

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Real English Seaside Teepee Wedding: Pip & Nik

Some of my favourite emails I recieve as a wedding blogger, are those from happily married brides, asking me to feature their weddings on Before the Big Day. Organising your wedding can take months, and I remember how thrilled I was by my own wedding pictures by Caught the Light, I couldn't wait to share them with everone! So when the lovely Pip got in touch with me a couple of months ago with her stunning wedding photographs by Victoria Phipps, I wanted to share them with you immediately. I'm loving Pip's elegant 'Claire' dress by Jenny Packham, the Nik's stunning paper buttonhole rose by Petal Products and their gorgeous teepee-style marquee. Other stealworthy deatils include the floral vintage china, the beautiful vintage car, and the lovely beachside portrait pictures. It's such a good idea to get away for a few minutes, for your wedding pictures together. I know I found it hard to leave my guests, but they make such fabulous memories. For more fantastic details about this beautiful wedding, as written by Pip, don't miss the feature on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. Huge thanks to Victoria Phipps Photography for these lovely pictures.



Friday, 2 June 2017

How To Keep Children Happy At Weddings

What are you planning to do about children at your wedding? It's a hugely sticky subject, particularly if not many of your friends have children, and you're getting pressure from your relatives to let them bring theirs along. Personally I'm not keen on toddlers at weddings, although I completely understand the need for breastfeeding babies to attend, as long as they aren't allowed to wail through the ceremony. On the other hand, I know that some people see weddings as a family affair, and love the idea of the little nippers running around, and adding to the energy of a big day. Whichever side you fall, you're going to want to keep the little ones occupied during the meal, so their parents can enjoy the reception and speeches. Children's activity packs are the way forward, and I'm super-impressed by the fun selection offered by Yoyo Me. You can choose from personalised boxes, activity bags and doodle-pads, depending on your budget. They're all wedding themed, and educational as well us fun!





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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Real Vintage South African Wedding: Marzaan & Joe

This vintage wedding comes all the way from South Africa. Marzaan and Joe celebrated their wedding in the wine region of the Western Cape, in a cute village called Fraanschhoek. Marzaan had two heavenly dresses, and wore a gorgeous garland of flowers instead of a veil. I'm loving her garter and her lovely laid-back hair-style. It rained all day, but who cares when you've got a stunning gallery-style venue. My favourite details? The pairing of a modern setting with vintage detailing - check out the lovely antique silver candlesticks and flower containers, plus the old books and monochrome ribbon. Throw in a blackboard menu, and a pile of fancy-dress for the photobooth, and you've got a wedding made in heaven. Huge thanks to the team at We Love Pictures for their fantastic photographs from the day.


Monday, 29 May 2017

Ushers & Groomsmen Gift Ideas

Are you planning to hand out presents on your wedding day? Traditionally the groom gives the bridesmaids a little something, and possibly even the ushers get a look-in. As a couple, we completely failed on this front at our wedding. We'd run out of money and time, and apart from our wedding favours, no one received any presents, and I still feel slightly guilty about it! If I had my time again, I'd love to create bespoke cosmetic sets for my bridesmaids, and for the ushers....well, how about DIY-ing cocktail sets like these, according to their favourite tipple?

{Photo Credit} 1. Bourbon drink set by Victor Sizemore Photography, 2. Cocktail Drink Set, picture by Autumn Wilson Photography, view entire wedding on Style Me Pretty


{Photo Credit} 1. Hip Flasks by Captured Photography by Jenny, view entire wedding on Style Me Pretty



{Photo Credit} 1. Old-fashioned Shaving Set by Aravaggio Photography, view entire wedding on Style Me Pretty

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Your Rainbow Wedding Diet

{Posting by Alice Cowen of Fitness DNA, Before the Big Day's Personal Trainer & Nutritionist} If you're finding it hard to focus on your wedding diet, here's a fun, simple and easy way to eat more healthily. I call it The Rainbow Diet. Not only is it super-slimming to eat more vegetables and fruit, but if you eat a multi-coloured diet, you'll be getting a mixture of antioxidants, which are the clever substances believed to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and memory loss. Different colours contain different kinds of antioxidants, hence a rainbow diet gives you the best all round nutritious diet. Each day try and eat something from each of the colours of the rainbow!


{Photo Credit} David Malan

Red such as tomatoes, red grapes, red onions, beetroot, peppers, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, radish, watermelon.

Orange such as squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, tangerines.

Yellow such as yellow squash, turmeric, mustard, yellow pepper, banana, sweetcorn.

Green such as spinach, asparagus, avocado, artichoke, broccoli, peas, beans, apples, grapes, kale, sprouts.

Blue such as blueberries

Purple
such as grapes, aubergine, purple carrots, plums.

Try it and see how you feel after a couple of weeks.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Wedding Favours with a Touch of Whimsy

This one wedding blog post could save you fortune - I've found the perfect website for wedding favours - and some of them work out as 50p each! Take a look at the amazing Wedding in a Teacup Etsy shop and start getting excited. My favourites are the cute personalised paper favour bags containing wild-flower or forget-me-not seeds. They'll add a pretty touch to your wedding table, and send everyone home with lasting memory of your big day. Love them? Well you'll like their hangover kit favour bags even more!



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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

How to Save Money on Your Wedding at Ikea

When we picked our wedding venue in France, one of the first things I researched, was the nearest Ikea! Luckily there was one only an hour away, as I knew that I didn't want to have to ship out all the amazing wedding accessories I'd spotted for our big day. Candles, canapé serviettes, French-style napkins and lanterns - we picked them all up super-cheap, and none of our wedding guests knew the difference. At one stage we even considered buying glasses, as they worked out as cheaper to buy from Ikea than rent, but in the end our caterer provided them for free. Take a look at my latest Ikea wedding finds - from blanket favours in case your guests feel chilly, to pretty lace-style plant pots, water bottles, wine carafes, orchid table decorations, and even giant artificial potted plants to decorate your marquee. It's a veritable treasure trove!



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Monday, 6 February 2017

'Pencil us in' - Wedding Save the Dates

This is such a brilliant idea, I can't believe I haven't stumbled upon it before! Gorgeous laser-engraved Save the Date pencils!! Designed and made by the lovely people at CamDeco in England, these cute little golf pencils can be customised with any message you want. They're perfect as Save the Dates, or sweet little favours. Don't miss CamDeco's fab shop - they've got lots of rustic-style wedding favour, invitation and decoration ideas you'll love.



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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Vintage Carnival Wedding Decorations

Deep down, I'm a just a stationery geek at heart. Fonts are my current obsession, which goes some way to explain why I've fallen hook-line-and-sinker for these incredible vintage carnival-style marquee lights from Lamplight Design Co in the UK. They'd look amazing in any wedding venue - just place them near the dance floor for the best photo prop ever! Here's a few of the designs they've got in stock, but you can always contact them for a bespoke design.


{I want this!} LOVE Marquee Light Sign, £450



{I want this!} Marquee Curved Arrow Light, £60



{I want this!} Vintage Boardwalk Heart Marquee Light, £90

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Friday, 3 February 2017

Easy Valentine's Day Wedding Crafting

DIY brides are going to love this easy project. All you need is some ink and these pretty stamps. The options are endless - decorate cards, invitations, favour bags, place-card, page boys.....before you know it, you'll be wanting to put your mark on anything that moves.


{I want this!} 1. Little Stamp Store, £4 / 2. Little Stamp Store, £6 / 3. Little Stamp Store, £7


{I want this!} 1. Clarise Stamps, £ 8/ 2. Jolyon Yates, £12.95 / 3. Little Stamp Store, £7.75

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Vintage-Themed Village Hall Summer Wedding

Struggling to find the perfect venue for your big day? Then you're going to fall head-over-heels for this clever village hall wedding. Lovely couple Kerry and Dave didn't like the interior of the building, so they decorated it with fabric, making it look and feel exactly like an elegant marquee. And what a transformation! No drafts, no need to hire loos, and a brilliant reception venue right next to the church. So clever! Kerry and Dave wanted a relaxed and family orientated big day, so there was no grand design - just plenty of lovely details to inspire you. My favourites? Kerry's elegant half-up hair-style, her sweet-smelling bouquet by  {I spy freesias}, the gorgeous vintage American-style car, and the celebratory strawberry themed afternoon tea. Huge thanks to the lovely Lisa Webb Photography for submitting her beautiful pictures of the wedding - I'm hoping to feature much more of her work!





Monday, 16 January 2017

Planning Your Wedding: Day 1 of Wedmin

Did you know? More people get engaged on New Year's Eve than any other date bar Valentine's Day. And with one recently gone, and the other fast approaching, it's fair to say there's a lot of newly engaged girls walking around, admiring their sparklers. In my family alone, I've got two new brides-to-be, and I'm getting crazy-excited about potential dates, themes and photographers. So if you're feeling butterflies-in-the stomach happy, or indeed nervous about wedmin (wedding + admin = blogger-speak), here's one word of advice......Pinterest. Any ideas you might have, pictures you might like, photographers you spot - just save them onto Pinterest. It's the easiest way to save and share ideas. Check out my Before the Big Day Pinterest page to get you started, or for those of you who like to old-skool style stationery, here are a few of my favourite planners.



Sunday, 15 January 2017

Happy New Year!

I'm back! After a long hiatus of blogging, a country-move and two babies - 2017 will see my return to wedding blogging. It's been nearly seven years since I first started writing Before the Big Day, and it's always been a project close to my heart. I actually started the blog 6 months before I got engaged - much to the hilarity of my husband's friends, who could see the hint from a mile off. Blogging helped me plan my weddings {yes, I managed to swing two of them!}, and I hope the wedding inspiration and ideas you find on these pages, will help you plan your perfect big day!


{Photo Credit} Scott Lawrence Studios {Source} Style Me Pretty

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