Tuesday 29 May 2012

DIY Bride - Homemade Spray Painted Vases

Tempted by the sunshine and a spray-can of gold paint, I felt inspired to try an easy DIY wedding project yesterday. I've seen tonnes of spray-paint DIY projects on Pinterest, and I figure it couldn't be that difficult. So out came an old jar, tonnes of newspaper and a lovely bunch of ranunculus. Three minutes later, I had the perfect gold vase - it couldn't have been easier! Take a look at the instructions below and please excuse my dreadful pictures - I'm definitely not a budding photographer. P.S. This would work just as well with pastel paints, or whatever colour suits your wedding style.

1. Prepare your work space by spreading out tonnes of newspaper, cleaning any old labels of the jam-jars and shaking up your spray-paint. I bought my spray-paint locally, but you can pick up every colour in the rainbow for £3.20 each from GraffCity.

2. Don't do this on a windy day. The paint has a tendency to drift in the breeze.

3. Pick the jar up by spreading your fingers wide in the brim, so you're not touching the outside of the jar.

4. Evenly spray on the paint, from a distance of about 12cm. The secret is in keeping it even. Too much and you'll get dribble marks, which can look quite cool, but I wanted a matt effect. Twist the jar around so you can spray every side.

5. Leave to dry for much longer than you want. I didn't do the bottom of the jar, so I left it sitting on the newspaper in the sunshine.

6. And now you're done! I hardly used any paint, so it's a seriously cheap and easy wedding DIY project.

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Monday 28 May 2012

My Wedding Anniversary

Today is my wedding anniversary! We actually celebrated over the weekend, because both of us are working tonight. We had glamorous Victorian-themed cocktails at the Whistling Stop followed by an amazing seven-course tasting menu at the Michellin-starred Galvin La Chapelle, which was delicious. The English asparagus with truffle vinaigrette blew my mind! The restaurant is described as the most romantic dining room in London, and it's stunning, with a high arching roof and lots of low lighting. I can't believe it's already been one year since our amazing weekend in Provence. Here are just a few of my favourite pictures from the day - by Caught the Light and Jemma Harding Photography.

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Real Enchanted Garden Wedding: Kelly & Steve

Hold on to your hats! I've got an a-m-a-z-i-n-g wedding for you this rainy Tuesday. Check out Steve and Kelly's big day, hosted in their garden in Los Angeles. Now I know we can't guarantee the weather here, the way they can over on the east coast of the US, but there's so many stealworthy ideas from this wedding, you're going to want to save every single picture in your personal file. Steve and Kelly chose vegetables and berries as well as flowers, to decorate their tables and in the bouquets. I love their little blackboard messages, the sprig of rosemary at each seat, and the twiggy cake. Most of all though, I've fallen for the long communal tables, and the rows of outdoor lights - they look so romantic and starry at night. A big welcome to Sarah Yates who took these gorgeous pictures, she's a seriously talented lady.

♥ Want more garden wedding ideas? ♥ Or how about red-themed wedding ideas? ♥
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Real Before the Big Day Bride - Rachel on Wedding Pumpkins

{Written by Rachel, our Real Before the Big Day Bride} I’m getting married in Autumn, so I don’t need to worry about it being sunny because...well it probably won’t be! This means I can plan around the weather and also focus on some of the super seasonal colours that are about at this time of year. My current obsession.... pumpkins!

{Photo Credit} 1. Miller & Miller via Brides

As you can see there are some great ideas out there on ways to use their seasonal orangeyness to create a cosy autumnal feel both inside and out. Be it as place name holders, vases, favours, or beautiful ornate carvings lit by tea-lights. As another plus I can use the insides to make canapes, our caterer has suggested thai pumpkin soup, served in espresso cups, yum! Check out my Pinterest page for more ideas.

{Photo Credit} 1. Unknown 2. Better Homes & Gardens via Intimate Weddings

{Photo Credit} 1. Better Homes & Gardens via Intimate Weddings, 2. Charlotte Geary Photography

{Photo Credit} 1. Brides, 2. Elisabeth Millay with Kelly Kollar, 3. Rodney Bailey Photography via Brides

{Photo Credit} 1. Middle of the Map Weddings via Intimate Weddings

{Photo Credit} 1. Pumpkin Carving Tutorial available via Crafty Nest

{Photo Credit} 1. Unknown, 2. Martha Stewart Weddings

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Sunday 27 May 2012

Real Vintage Destination Wedding: Melissa & Ben

This is without a doubt, my favourite wedding of all time. You're not just going to want your own wedding to be like this one, you're going to want to live your whole life in this couple's style. Luckily, I managed to persuade Melissa to fill in one of my bridal questionnaires, so you can copy all her details, and the heavenly house in Croatia is for hire for events, so you too can get married with these views on the horizon. My favourite steal-worthy ideas? It's hard to count, but let's start with the lavender bundles, the covered hay-bale seats, their bespoke 'Tie the Knot' stationery {by Anthony Macbain}, the blue-edged linen table cloths, Melissa's hair-style, the bridesmaids Amanda Benefiel dresses, and the gorgeous flowers. Believe me, I could go on, but if you check out the pics, you'll see for yourself. Huge thanks to Nilu Izadi for these gorgeous photographs - she captured the day perfectly, and comes highly recommended.

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A - Melissa was kind enough to fill in our 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?
29th May 2010 in Croatia

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
We chose to have the wedding in Motovun, a hillside village in northern Croatia as my husband and his family have had a house there since the late 70’s.  We wanted a location that was romantic and exciting for our guests - many of whom were coming from the States, as I am American - but we also wanted the location to have some significance - not just a destination wedding. As Ben had been working on finishing the property with his parents from the start of our relationship I had watched the project grow and take shape. So the house (which was completed just in time for the wedding) seemed the perfect location to host our celebration. We decided to have the wedding ceremony outside a tiny chapel surrounded by vineyards at the top of a neighbouring hillside. It had a panoramic view of the area with Motovun in the distance, and we held the reception at the house afterwards.

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
We wanted the ceremony to feel rustic and country with a vintage quality - it was important to me that everything should sit naturally in the environment. Our colours were based on a pastel palette and lavender, my dress was ivory with antique lace, soft pink/nudes for the bridesmaids and bluish-grey seersucker suits for the boys.

What type of cake did you go for, and how did you come to that decision? Who made it?
The cake wasn’t that important to us - we wanted something light and summery after so many canapés and courses - so the chef made a vanilla sponge with strawberries and cream. Although the guests seemed to enjoy it, we had masses left over which turned into an hysterical food fight in the early hours of dawn - the photos were so funny and luckily we’d secreted a bit in the fridge upstairs so I was able to have some for breakfast the next day! Ha!

What about your husband’s outfit? Where was it from?
My husband's suit and all his groomsmen's suits were from J.Crew - we had a hard time finding complete seersucker suits with trousers but we really wanted something mediterranean and summery with an informal feel, so it was worth the effort.

Who made your wedding outfit, and how did you come to that decision?
My maid of honour and closest friend, Amanda Benefiel, made my dress as well as the bridesmaids and flower girls dresses. She’s an amazingly talented designer and knows me better than anyone so of course the dresses were perfect. Her label is based in LA and called Another Happy Birthday (the website is being updated). I chose the bridesmaids dresses from her collection and she specially designed two dresses for the flower girls in a similar colour but more playful and princessy - they loved them!

Our rings and my necklace were made by one of my bridesmaids, Jessica Barensfeld, a gorgeous jewellery designer from NY. The rings were perfect for Ben and me - his is a soft hammered yellow gold band and mine is a yellow gold band with three flat cut cocoa diamonds (a marquise one in the middle with a teardrop on either side) and the necklace incorporates gold and cocoa diamond drops on a delicate gold chain. As we aren’t religious we decided to have a ring ceremony where all of our guests were passed the rings, and so participated in the commitment we were making to each other as husband and wife. As Jessica was the one who made the rings she was the one who tied them to the lavender and who started passing them around our friends and family.

Did you have any favours? What were they? Was there any particular reason why you picked them?
All of our guests received a cluster of lavender with their name hand drawn on a tag like the tags we had on our wedding invitations. We liked the idea of everyone taking them home and remembering us, and the ring ceremony as the rings were tied to the same cluster of lavender.

What florist and flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
My husband was the natural choice for the florist as he is a landscape garden designer. He and a few friends went picking local wild flowers the morning of the wedding, and they mixed them with White Anemone, Pink Astrantia, Scabiosa, Lotus Pads, Ferns, Gypsophilla, wild grasses and my favourite - Smoke Bush!

Did you have any entertainment at your wedding?
We had the Klapa - the local men’s choir from the village - perform at the ceremony. They were so wonderful and talented and made such an impression on our guests that they have since come to London to perform in a series of concerts! We also had our good friend Annie Bea sing 'It had to be you', accompanied by groomsman Robin Reeve on the guitar. For the reception we had two of my husband’s friends djing but everyone really got involved playing some of their favourite songs - dancing on the terrace each night was the height of the party!  We also had the brief and incredibly bad saxophone show put on by Mr. Sax, the captain of the ship we rented for a day-trip up the coast. After swimming in the sea and feasting and drinking it was a perfect day thanks to Mr. Sax Fish Picnic!

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
Nilu Izadi, a fine art photographer who shoots weddings in addition to her other photography practice. I met her through the gallery I work for, she’s amazing and I recommend her highly to any couple for her talent, professionalism and also her personality - which is key when you have a stranger documenting such an intimate and important event.

Did you enjoy planning your wedding?
I loved it.

What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
Make it your own - from our invitations and rings to my gown and the bridesmaid dresses, the flowers, our venue, the service, the music, the guestbook, the speeches and photography, the setting and the feel - everything really was personalised with our closest friends contributing their creative talents and energy, which made the event both reflect and belong to us in such a uniquely special and memorable way.

If you want to hire this gorgeous venue, check out the website.

♥ Want more vintage wedding ideas? ♥ Or how about destination wedding ideas? ♥
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Saturday 26 May 2012

How To Be A Stylish Groom!

When it came to groom and ushers' accessories, our wedding was an epic fail. My husband never really got into the idea, and I'm terrible at male clothing. So although the ushers all looked fab, they weren't exactly matching! Now if I'd discovered French Knot Weddings before my big day, I would have been sorted. Just take a look at these incredible groom bow-ties and braces. Perfect for a shabby-chic wedding!

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