Sunday 31 May 2020

The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Bridesmaids' Dresses

There's a first and a last time for everything, and your wedding will be the only occasion you get to choose what your best friends wear. It's a crazy position of power. Even if they hate it, they have to smile sweetly, and walk down the aisle in front of everyone. So choose carefully, or you could end up with a frenemy for life..... To save you from social suicide, here are Before the Big Day's Do's and Don'ts of Buying Bridesmaids' Dresses.

1. Don't take your girlfriends shopping to help you choose. It'll end in disaster. Even worse, don't take one friend with you, or all the others will take it out on her, because you're beyond reproach as 'the bride'.

2. Don't spend too much money. They will never wear this dress again. I know, you hope they will, but they won't.

3. Choose a colour and stick to it. The photographs just look a million times better if you dress everyone the same. Make this hue your 'theme colour' for the whole wedding, and make sure it's one that suits your colouring. Ash blondes should choose pastel tones, honey blondes look good around autumnal shades, and brunettes can carry strong jewel pigments.

4. Unless all you're a model, and all your girlfriends are professionally good-looking, size 8 and promise not to get pregnant before your big day, choose a company that makes gowns to suit every body-shape.

We love BHLDNMonsoon, Ghost and ASOS has an amazing selection of bridesmaids' dresses at every price point, plus fabulous sales. Look out for Needle & Thread at the top of the market, and TFNC for more reasonable gowns.

Maids to Measure have a brilliant selection and you can either visit their London boutique, or buy online {use the code sharingiscool for 20% off, for a limited time only}.

5. Try not to worry to much about making your girls feel great in their gowns. Ultimately this is your chance to shine, and they'll have their day. 

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Wednesday 27 May 2020

This Wedding Dress Will Make You Consider Going Grey

For the last decade modern brides have been throwing tradition to the wind, and choosing different coloured dresses. White always symbolised virginity, innocence and purity, but now that women are making their own choices and getting married later, those messages seem pretty out of date.

Wedding dress styles evolve in much the same way as mainstream fashion, and the big designers create several collections each year. In the midst of all the creams and whites, they usually add in a wild card gown, and it's always fun to see what they come up with each season. This autumn, Pronovias are stocking a selection of metallic gowns and US brand BHLDN have even created a black wedding dress.

Here at Before the Big Day, we've fallen for this gorgeous Anna Campbell creation, called the Indigo Midnight Empress. Anna is an Australian designer, but you can buy her gowns in Blackburn Bridal in London. Autumn and winter brides will feel the chill, so we suggest pairing it with this cosy grey fur coat, which would look gorgeous in your outdoor portraits. 

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Saturday 23 May 2020

How to use Balloons to Brighten Up Your Big Day

Who doesn't love a balloons? Cheep and cheerful, a big bunch can add a huge amount of colour and texture to your wedding. The secret is in the size and/or the quantity.

You either need a few massive balloons, or hundreds of small ones, and they have to be filled with helium. Anything else starts to look like a slightly sad children's party.

We used giant white ones at our wedding, and I'd recommend looking on Amazon and eBay to find the best deal. To save money, buy helium from party shops like Party Pieces or Argos, and fill them up on the morning of your wedding. Pimp your balloons with fancy strings....for inspiration check out The Giant Balloon Company or buy them from Out of My Bubble.

                                                  Mr & Mrs Balloons by Out of My Bubble

                                             Blush Pink Wall Decoration by Belle Epoque Co

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Thursday 21 May 2020

Why You Should Never Consider a Zoom Wedding

Nine years ago we nearly had to cancel our wedding because of a volcano. Grímsvötn in Iceland started to spout out ash, grounding all flights out of Britain. We were getting married in Provence, and a few days before our big day we realised none of our guests could get to France.

As we frantically researched train timetables, and scanned our wedding insurance, we realised we might have to cut our losses and cancel. I was devastated. We'd been planning our wedding for 18 months, and stretched ourselves financially. We could never afford to hire the same venue again. 

Luckily with 12 hours to spare, the ash cloud dispersed and planes started to fly again. Our wedding was saved, and as you can see from these photographs by Caught the Light, went ahead in style. Sadly for couples planning to celebrate their weddings this year, there's no easy fix for the coronavirus.

Thousands have already had to cancel their big day. Others didn't have time, so went ahead with a Zoom ceremony, encouraging friends and family to join via video link. For some, this was the only option, but if you have the choice, postponing is definitely the better decision.

In the midst of all the planning and logistics, and the excitement of choosing a wedding gown, favours and flowers, it's easy to forget the best bit; the greatest joy of your wedding is your guests.  

The sense of occasion in the venue as your friends and family wait for you to arrive, the cheers as you walk down the aisle as man and wife, the raucous laughter at the Best Man's speech and your Dad grooving on the dance floor with your two year-old nephew.

We were dazzled by the wave of love and support we felt from our guests, how genuinely thrilled they were to celebrate our marriage. 

It might feel devastating to delay your wedding day until this pandemic is over, but it's definitely the right decision. Waiting another year might seem a nightmare now, but try to pause and gain some perspective.

Those extra months will give you time to save more, you'll be able to create more DIY projects, the wedding dress sales post-pandemic will be amazing, and you'll actually be able to go on honeymoon.

And nothing compares to that moment when you walk down the aisle, and everyone you love is there to share in your joy.

Photographer: Caught the Light

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Wednesday 20 May 2020

A Pendant for the Traveller in You

If you’re day-dreaming about dipping croissants in coffee in Paris, or drinking Aperol Spritz in the Piazza in Capri, I’ve found your new necklace. It’s the perfect accessory for the wanderlust traveller planning their first post-pandemic trip. 

Designed by Alex Monroe, this Hot Air Balloon pendant celebrates the joy of adventure and the anticipation of unbridled movement. It comes in 18 carat gold or silver, and it's the exact antithesis of lockdown. 

Where do you want to go as soon as we can travel again? Personally I can’t wait to go back to the colourful waterways of Venice, or the vineyards of the western Cape; I can almost taste the crisp white wine and salty olives. 

Looking for more wedding inspiration? Follow me on Instagram and never miss a post.

Six Clever Confetti Containers for Your Wedding

Stunning Confetti Picture by brilliant wedding photographer, Tora Baker

Wedding photographers know there's one picture that every bride and groom want from their big day; the confetti shot. Traditionally rice was scattered at the feet of the happy couple, as a symbol of rain, prosperity, fertility and good fortune.

Nowadays rose petals or colourful rice paper are more common, partly because they're prettier. Getting that perfect photograph is harder than it looks, because the newlyweds usually leave the church or venue before their guests.

Normally your wedding photographer will ask you to loop round, and once your guests are outside and primed with handfuls of confetti, you can emerge again triumphant! It's actually rather lovely waiting to come out once again, as you get a few minutes to yourselves to enjoy that 'just married' feeling. 

Petal Toss Wedding Bags by Creative Party Design

We chose rose petals for our confetti, but as long as the material is biodegradable, most wedding venues won't stop you from throwing handfuls of colourful paper in the air.

I love the suppliers Proper Confetti for their selection of metallic, paper and petal confetti, plus their easy to understand measuring advice. Stripey Finds is a fantastic budget option, with one litre bags of lavender, cornflower and rose petals for only £10.99.

Confetti Petal Bags by The Wedding of My Dreams

Confetti Cones by Party Touches UK

White and Gold Wedding Cones by Tara's Wonderland

Wedding Confetti Bags by Confetti Cone Company

Biodegradable Confetti Packets & Order of Service by Adam Apple Confetti

Tuesday 19 May 2020

How to Theme Your Wedding around Your Song

Record Welcome Sign by No Ordinary Emporium
Do you have a song in mind for your first dance? As a couple we didn't really have an 'our song', so we ended up choosing a recent chart hit; You've Got the Love which had just been re-released by Florence and the Machine.

If a love of music did bring you together, then theming your wedding around certain melodies could be a great way to bring all your ideas together. Try labelling your table plans with song titles, or decorating your venue with bunting made out of sheet music.

Create a bespoke playlist for each wedding guest, or for a retro vibe, make a mixtape for wedding favours. Here's a few more clever ideas to help you get creative. I love the mini-tambourines!

Record Player Save the Date by Two for Joy Paper

Mini Tambourine Wedding Favours by The Celebrations House

Concert Ticket Wedding Invitation by Georgia Yates Design

Personalised CD Cover Wedding Favours by Sixpence Paperie

Cassette Song Request Cards by Hunts England Store

Monday 18 May 2020

Colourful Engagement Rings You'll Want to Wear Forever

Suzanne Kalan Firework Collection
Coloured stones continue to rock the jewellery market, as couples look for original choices for their engagement ring. A simple diamond solitaire might be a classic, but it doesn't say much about your personality.

Cost-wise, emeralds and rubies now cost nearly as much as diamonds, but if you're happy to consider a semi-precious stone, you can get more bang for your buck, without compromising on look.

We love the trend for rainbow rings, particularly as they've become an expression of hope and certainty for a brighter future during the pandemic. Take a look at these beauties from our favourite boutiques.

Rainbow Stardust Ring by Cat Bird NYC, £620

Rainbow Classic Eternity Band by Suzanne Kalan

Multi Colour Sapphire Ring from The Cut London

Ombré Eternity Band by Cat Bird NYC, £1170

Pastel Fireworks Thin Mix Eternity Band by Suzanne Kalan, £1400
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