Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Cat that got the Cream

I'm all about simple, elegant jewellery, and when I stumbled across NYC boutique Cat Bird, I got an excited feeling that I haven't had since Christmas Eve 1984 {when I was five}. The shop is actually in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, which happens to be the coolest neighbourhood in the world right now, but don't despair, because you can buy online. The best thing about them is that they don't just do jewellery, they unearth new and exciting items from all over the globe, including terrariums, candlesticks, tooth fairy boxes and compasses. Check out their site here, but first, give your credit cards to your boss, and tell them not to give them back till after payday. Don't say I didn't warn you!

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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Dreamy Dresses

If you're looking for a great British wedding gown, you can't do better than Charlotte Balbier. The glamorous dress designer is renowned for combining fairytale femininity with a modern twist, and her 2010 collection is just fab! Her signature style includes an asymmetric look, with beautiful detailing on the shoulder, either in the form of ruffles or corsages. I'm also loving the subtle tones of her dresses - no longer does a wedding gown have to be white - thanks to Charlotte, you can be a blushing bride in pink or vintage gold.

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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Clearly Fantastic

If you're fed up with boring paper stationery and looking for something a bit different, try these acrylic invitations. Clear, modern and stand-out cool, they'll build anticipation for your big day. Alternatively try these acrylic placemarkers and table plans. Longer-lasting than their paper equivalents, they'll make great momentoes for your guests.

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Monday, 7 June 2010


Do you remember transfers from your school days? Those pictures that you'd rub with a penny, to decorate your exercise books? Just think how cool it would be to bring that old-skool fun to your wedding invitations. Well now you can. The fabulous Park Studio created these amazing invitations for an anniversary celebration, and I'm totally in awe of their coolness! Graphic designer, Linda, creates and produces bespoke invitations from her London studio, and depending on your budget, she's happy to use all the latest technology, including foil-blocking, embossing and thermography {nope, me either, but it sounds impressive!}.

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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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