Sunday, 6 June 2010

Touching Love

Do you ever fiddle with your rings? I do, all the time. Wouldn't it be wonderful if, as your fingers traced the band, the dots read Love in braille? For me that falls in to the seriously romantic category, up there with turrets and princely frogs and magic forests. Made by Maap Studio in their Cambridgeshire workshop, these gorgeous rings are handmade from white porcelain clay, and then hand-painted. You can choose the colour of your dots, and as Maap also take bespoke orders, you could also change the message to something more personal. Take a look at their online shop here.

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Saturday, 5 June 2010

My Wedding - 1st Steps

This is where I tell you all about planning my own wedding. After all, if I'm publishing all these Real Weddings, it's only fair I share my trials and tribulations. Read the rest of my wedding diary here.

Setting the date for our wedding was fairly simple. We wanted a sunshine wedding, rather than a winter one, and The Boy has a year long job interview ending in July, which meant this summer was out. I certainly didn't want to be asking him what he thought about buttonholes and balloons, when he was stressed about work. So we looked ahead to 2011 and settled on the bank holiday weekend, so that our friends and family could come out to France for the full three day stretch. The Big Day will be 28th May 2011, but the plan is to have a whole weekend of activities....if our budget holds out!

Speaking of the budget, that was the next step. Initially I thought we should set a budget of £20k, and then I did one of those questionnaires in a wedding magazine, and realised that realistically our budget would need to be a bit higher. Gulp! £20k is a serious amount of cash, and I think one of the crazy things about the wedding industry is how much things cost. If anyone has worked out a way to do it for cheaper....please, get in touch! I'm determined to DIY as much as I can, but if we're making everyone come out to France, I think the least we can do is throw them a decent party, and decent means good food and wine, at the very least.

The budget trauma lasted me a good few months, and there was also a fair amount of parental pressure to go for a UK wedding. My mum has a lovely house in Dorset, with a big lawn, so there was nothing stopping us from having a lovely countryside, marquee wedding. We even have a family church! But, but, but....we really wanted to get married in France, and despite resistance, The Boy and I decided it was our big day, and stuck to our guns. It wasn't easy though, and I definitely had a few moments when I worried I was being a bit bridezilla. I think it helped that we were going to be paying for quite a lot of the wedding ourselves - I imagine if your parents are footing the whole bill, it must be harder to put your foot down.

{Guest List}
Can I let you into a secret? I wrote the guest list for my wedding six months before we got engaged. Like I said in my first posting, The Boy has had to take a serious amount of pressure on the marriage front. I'm amazed he held out for so long! The good news is that I have a small family, and we have a pretty tight-knit group of friends, so we've managed to get the list under 150. Throw in a few people declining on account of distance and/or age, and I reckon we're around 120. Manageable.....I hope!

So we had a budget, a location and a list of 120 guests. Now we needed to settle our wedding style. One of first things a bride should do once she gets engaged is create her inspiration boards. Not only does it help your suppliers {florist, stationer, dress designer, etc}, but it is SUCH fun! Needless to say, I'd been saving pictures for months, and I churned out these boards pretty fast.

If you're newly engaged, and looking to do the same, there's several computer programmes that you can download for free. I use the collage function on Picasa, but there's also Picnik. Alternatively you can use the Style Circle function on US site Style Me Pretty. I tend to save pictures as I go {right click, save a copy}, picking my favs from wedding blogs, and then I put them altogether in a collage. If you're not web savvy and have access to a colour printer, then print away, and you can always tear out pictures from bridal magazines.

What do you think of my boards? Have you already created your own? Send them over to me at, and I'll post them up on the site!

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Real Wedding: Claire & Dominic

Sometimes it's all about the venue, and when said venue is a castle, you're talking some serious romantic fantasy. Leeds Castle was Claire and Dominic's choice for their big day, and doesn't it look gorgeous. I'm loving the regal purple they chose for their signature colour - Claire's Louboutin shoes are to die for and I love the luxurious ribbons on their cake. Secret hint for you; big fat silky ribbons make everything look expensive! Don't miss the detail in Claire's bouquet. I spy mint and rosemary, which must have made for a gorgeous fresh, spring scent on a winter's day. Lovely matching morning suits for the ushers, and the cutest pageboy ever - I love his little bow tie. Fantastic photographs as ever from the lovely David Fenwick.

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Friday, 4 June 2010

That Friday Feeling ♥ 6

Another amazing week of wed-spiration for you on this gorgeous sunny Friday. I'm off to visit my mum in Dorset, and I'm hoping the weather will follow me there. Have a wonderful weekend all of you, and if you're getting married this Saturday - aren't you the lucky ones! P.S. If you like the look of the burlap items below, check out the last Friday Feeling link.....

This is the best hen weekend ever. I can't imagine anything topping it! Discovered on Rock My Wedding.
♥ Hands up who wants a neon pink veil!! Thanks to Rock 'n Roll Bride for this gem.
♥ Or what about a peach wedding dress? We're all about colour thanks to 100 Layer Cake, plus one of the most creative weddings we've ever seen, and we've seen a lot!
♥ Loving the modern look of these table plans from Clear Elegance
♥ An extraordinary proposal via Dog N' Bird Artful Wedding
♥ Want a rustic, chic, wedding? Check out my new discovery. Introducing Sparkle & Hay! And don't miss an extraordinary Save the Date design.
♥ Did you miss this fab yellow-themed wedding from Before the Big Day a few weeks ago? No? How about Eco Chic Week?

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Bee Mine

Is there anything sweeter than this honeycomb heart? I'm hugely passionate about paper cuts - there's something uniquely romantic about an individual, handmade piece of art. Made by Louveteau in her Idaho studio, you can choose whether you'd like this heart mounted on white card, or left as a stand alone curio for your mantlepiece. I reckon they'd make the perfect every-day Valentine present. Bee Mine?

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Honeymoon Nightwear

Knickers! I'm ALL about gorgeous underwear, believing you can look drab on the outside and still feel sexy, safe in the knowlege your knickers would blow their mind. Nightware falls into much the same category, and that's why there's two reasons why I'm loving this collection from Mulmulstore. Named after a fine cotton muslin from India, mulmul is the epitome of femininity. Soft, delicate and ethereal, it is often referred to as the “wonder gossamer or woven wind. Sounds perfect for a honeymoon to me! Check out their website here.

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Real Wedding: Jen & Dom

A beautiful destination wedding for this gorgeous sunny day. Jen and Dom collected their friends from around the world to The Hilton Hotel in the Maldives for an unconventional, super-cool celebration. Jen dressed her bridesmaids in casual summer dresses, and gave them parasols instead of bouquets, plus gorgeous pedicures in the place of shoes. They wore flowers in their hair and big smiles all day! I'm also loving the coconut-style woven cocktails, and the live band that walked the bride down the aisle. Don't miss the pics of the turquoise detailing and the seaside-themed table accessories, plus Jen's starfish bracelet. There's no picture of a wedding cake, because Jen and Dom chose a bottle of Tequilla instead, and all the guests had a shot instead of a slice. Just goes to show that if you do your wedding your way, it makes for a truly special day. Jen's dress was designed by David Fielden, and the lucky photographers were Segerius Bruce, who get to work at all the best destination weddings!

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Great British High Street

Budget not all that big? Looking for a dress for under £300? Look no further than the great British high street. I took a lovely online browse over the weekend, and stumbled on these gorgeous dresses from none other than Karen Millen . The longer dresses are gorgeous, and one of the shorter dresses would be a great option if you're planning to change later in the evening. I've always found mini-skirts easier for dancing the night away!

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