Friday, 10 February 2012

Real Bollywood-Themed Wedding: Reena & John

Original wedding ideas and quirky details are what you need for a truly memorable wedding. But what if you're stumped for inspiration? Wedding blogs can provide tonnes of wedding ideas, but if you're looking for a wedding theme that's unique, then you need to have a really good think about what's important to you as a couple. What hobbies do you do together? Where did you meet? What's your favourite food? Have a think and you're sure to come to the perfect wedding theme. The gorgeous couple in this wedding, Reena and Jon created a fabulous wedding surprise for their guests, all thanks to Reena's cultural heritage. After a traditional church wedding, plus a helicopter ride to the reception venue {cue some seriously dramatic pictures}, they changed into Indian costumes, and arranged for a performance by Bollywood dancers! Such a fantastic idea, and I'm loving all of Reena's other wedding details, including the vibrant purple theme, and stunning floral displays. The beautiful cake was DIY'd by one of her bridesmaids! Reena's kindly filled in the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire, so do take a look at her answers for hints and tips on how she put together her wedding. She thought of every detail! Huge thanks to Kelly Green from Lola Rose Photography for her gorgeous pictures.

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A - Reena was kind enough to fill in our bridal questionnaire, aimed at helping other brides with their planning process. Feast your eyes on her answers for helpful hints and tips from someone on the other side of her big day!

Where and when did you get married?
We got married at St. Lawrence Church in West Wycombe on 29th May 2011, and hosted our reception at the Crowne Plaza in Marlow

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
The Church had sentimental value to us as Jon’s parents were married there over 35 years ago which made the wedding service feel extra special. We had just over 200 guests at our wedding, so we needed a reception venue that was large enough to cater for everyone. We really liked the contemporary feel of the Crowne Plaza, with its beautiful grounds and picturesque lake.

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
The theme of the wedding was LOVE with a symbol of interlinked hearts. Our tables were named ‘LOVE’ but spelt in all different languages.We also had heart shaped confetti on the tables and even our cake topper was heart shaped! The interlinked hearts also appeared on all our wedding stationery. I wanted to use a bright and vibrant colour theme for our day as I feel weddings are such a happy occasion and bright colours reflect this perfectly. I used bright purple organza chair sashes and lisianthus in our HUGE table centre pieces contrasting with the classic white table linen and white roses which really worked well.

Who made your wedding outfit (dress, veil, shoes and accessories), and how did you come to that decision?
I was very lucky and had two amazing wedding dresses as I felt that it was still important to reflect my Indian heritage on our day. My white wedding dress was an ivory Maggie Midgley dress which had a sweet heart neck line and a swarovski crystal bodice and a long cathedral train. I wore this with a long veil that had a subtle diamond edging. I wore elegant ivory earrings and matching bracelet and my bridal shoes were from Dune.

My Indian wedding dress was flown in from India was a contemporary couture outfit that I designed myself with help from the Mona Vora design team. The stunning outfit was made from pure silk and had amazing detailed embroidery on the red skirt and ivory bodice top. I wore gold accessories which complimented the look. It was so much fun designing this wedding outfit and knowing that there isn't another one like it anywhere!

What about your husband’s outfit? Where was it from?
My husband also had two wedding outfits. His classic grey morning suite was hired from Moss Bros, with ivory waist coat and matching cravat. He also wore his great grandfather’s tie pin which has been passed down through the family. Jon also had a bespoke contemporary Indian wedding suit hand made from black and gold silk which he couldn't wait to put on.

And how about your bridesmaids’ outfits?
I had 4 bridesmaids who all wore (two-toned purple) Adrianna Papell dresses. I went for contemporary bridesmaid dresses and the girls all looked stunning. They all wore the same gold and purple sparkling hair grip, gold earrings, gold bracelets and gold shoes. My 3 flower girls wore ivory dresses with ivory ballet pumps. 

And your ushers?
The 7 ushers all wore morning suites hired from Moss Bros with their waist coats and cravats all complimenting the purple colour theme. The 2 page boys aged 2 and 4 years old had mini versions of Jon’s morning suit and looked so cute.

What type of cake did you go for, and how did you come to that decision?
One of my bridesmaids made our wedding cake, which was absolutely superb. She made us a huge 5 tier fruit cake with white icing and purple and gold ribbon tied around each tier.

Did you have any favours? What were they? Was there any particular reason why you picked them?
For our favours we had lilac and white heart shaped chocolate dragees and placed 5 of them in bright purple organza favour bags. We hand tied each bag with a personalized ivory and gold ribbon which had our names and wedding date printed on it. This was a team operation as we had over 200 favours = 1000 dragees! We also got bubbles for the kids which kept them entertained.

Who was your florist, what flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
We used Eden Floral Design in Marlow – they were brilliant. My bridal bouquet was a large tear-drop shape of ivory calla lily, purple lisianthus, ivory roses and sweet peas with tasteful looped gold bear-grass with just a touch of light summer foliage. 

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
We chose Lola Rose Photography as we had a personal recommendation and were delighted with the pictures Kelly took of our special day. We also chose Visa-a-video to film our Wedding and between both they have managed to capture such amazing memories!

Did you enjoy planning your Wedding?
Our wedding took 16 months to organise and it was so much fun. St Lawrence Church was absolutely beautiful and we hired a 1949 Rolls Royce Silver Wreath which took me and my father to the church. Our surprise journey, courtesy of my father, to our reception venue was truly spectacular as we arrived by helicopter and landed on the lawn in front of our stunned guests. We wanted to incorporate both cultures equally into our special day, whilst keeping our ‘Love’ theme throughout.

Lizz Lipscombe our amazing violinist performed various sets at our canapé and champagne reception. Our Wedding breakfast consisted of modern Asian fusion cuisine. We had Bollywood dancers for our evening entertainment along with Dhol Drummers and a confetti cannon for our first dance.

What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
I would advise all brides to savour every single moment of their big day as it goes so quickly!

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Thursday, 9 February 2012

Shopbop's UK Wedding Boutique

Huge excitement all round. Shopbop is now available to UK buyers! If you've not discovered this super-cool online boutique, you're in for a treat. It's a bit like ASOS, but with all your favourite US designers, plus a fabulous wedding boutique. I've lusted it over it for yonks, but never been able to flex my credit card muscles, but now they deliver for free to the UK for orders over $100. Finally I can buy my Splendid Tees and Eberjey knickers, without having to fly to New York - woohoo! Pick some up for your honeymoon, or Valentine's Day.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Beautiful Black Wedding Dress

Would you wear a black wedding dress? For most of us, the white dress is {ahem} representative of a bride's traditional innocence, so there's no real necessity to wear one. My sister-in-law wore red, and looked fabulous. I chose to wear white, because I found it hard enough to decide on a white wedding dress, without throwing more variables, like colours, into the mix. I think for an urban wedding, a black wedding dress could look super-sophisticated. What do you think? Gorgeous pictures by Jen Huang.

{Product Credits} Dress: Angel Sanchez; Makeup: Kerry Crawford; Design: Bellafare; Venue: Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall; w/ QuatreCoeur, East Six, A Simple Cake, Angie Garcia, Once Upon A Bride, Lexie Davies {modelling}.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Winners of Tickets to the National Wedding Shows!

Congratulations to ten lucky Before the Big Day readers! They've won a pair of tickets each to the National Wedding Show London or Birmingham. This year's show is going to be a real humdinger, with a brand new vintage area, with tonnes of gorgeous design and décor ideas. The London show runs from 24-26th February, and the Birmingham one is 16-18th March. Keep an eye on your inbox, to see if you've won!

{Product Credits} Cakes by Cotton & Crumbs, Dress: The Vintage Wedding Dress Company at White Mischief on the National Wedding Show catwalk.

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Monday, 6 February 2012

Fabulous Crafting Hen-Night Ideas

When it comes to hen nights, the old-fashioned idea of one big night out on the town wearing L plates and a feather boa has come to an end. Now it's all about up-market hen weekends away in the countryside, with tonnes of fun activities, and an opportunity to really bond with your girlfriends. One of the big wedding trends for 2012 is crafting - whether it's DIYing your wedding details, printing your wedding invitations at home, or making your own wedding dress {only for the truly talented!}. When it comes to hen-nights, this translates to learning a new skill, and my favourite is baking! There's a serious ulterior motive to this, because the best thing about getting your girlfriends to learn how to bake, is that they can then each make you a wedding cake, saving money on the big day. Some brides even have a competition on their wedding day, with a prize for the bridesmaid who baked the best! So in preparation for your hen weekend, keep an eye out for your favourite cake recipes and cupcake recipes, and get your girls baking.

{Picture Credit} Incredible wedding cakes by Magpie's Cakes

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Saturday, 4 February 2012

Let It Snow

Are you enjoying the snow? Just spotted this gorgeous photograph on a fab blog hosted by Maida Vale Invitations, a modern stationery studio based in Seattle. Imagine saying your vows as the snow gently falls around you, super-romantic, if a little chilly!

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Friday, 3 February 2012

Before the Big Day Theme: Let it Snow

Inspired by the photo above? Well then why not add a bit of snowy loveliness to your big day, thanks to the gorgeous items below?

Product Credits (from top left corner) - Lace Cuff: Jess James Jake, Feather Hair Accessory: One Little Dove, Vintage Lace Dress: Timeless Vixen Vintage, White Blossoms Ring Cushion: AAlicia Wedding, Satin & Tulle Strapless A-Line Gown: Bridal Bliss Designs, (from middle left) White Takes Flight Feather Comb: Boring Sidney, 14k Nena Stacker Ring with Acquamarine: Michelle Lenae, Ping & Jing Wedding Hat: Boring Sidney, Frozen Crystals Tiara: Which Goose, (from bottom left) White Orchid Shrug: Toccata, White Felt & Gold Earrings: 3 Fun, Pearl Studs: Toccata, Lace Gloves: Malam

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Thursday, 2 February 2012

We ♥ Vintage Wedding Dress Sample Sales

Massively exciting news! The Vintage Wedding Dress Company is holding a trunk sale next weekend. They'll be showcasing over 200 vintage dresses on 10th, 11th and 12th February (viewing by appointment only) at their central London showroom. This gorgeous boutique is renowned for its heavenly gowns, both vintage and vintage-style, and this is your opportunity to get your hands on some amazing never-seen-before dresses at discounted prices. Also on offer will be a selection of gorgeous vintage accessories, jewellery, shoes and veils plus samples from their exclusive Decades Collection. Shopping is strictly by private appointment only, and the central London location remains secret until you've registered online at their website. Definitely a date for the diary!

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