Channel flicking I came across Sex and The City reruns – and it got me thinking to Carrie’s Wedding…. you know the one where she puts a bird on her head and an oh so fabulous Vivienne Westwood bespoke bridal gown on her yoga toned bod.
If you’ve been a fellow Sex and the City fan (it was the theme for my hen do) they you’ll know the history between Carrie and Mr Big and the unglamorous way he left her almost at the alter only to reconcile and marry in the way that worked for them.
I couldn’t help but wonder are we being led into having big glossy Pinterest weddings or are we choosing bigger is better?
Whilst we’ve seen a huge revival in alternative weddings, when it comes to wedding planning are we just ‘picking a style’ to appease everyone else?
From my own nuptials I will always remember the disapproving mutterings when I announced that I wouldn’t be having a wedding car and I wanted to walk to church (the journey from family home to. Church being less than 40 metres!) . But what if it rains I was constantly asked alongside relatives readily offering up a variety of modes of transport to ‘help me out’.
Or the idea that I had in my mind for my bouquet – which was alittle out there at the time, ‘well that will never work, here have you seen this’
Yet with both details (and a ton of stubbornness on my side to forge ahead) they remain a happy memory today. Recently my granny who was not too impressed at my initial idea, remarked on how lovely it was you walked to church!
Take Carries wedding dress for example, she found a beautifully cut vintage tailored suit in her favourite charity shop and swoon worthy designer shoes, yet her friends felt this wasn’t ‘bridal’ and as the film went on she see her gently pressured into organising a day that isn’t reflective of them as a couple as those closest too her try and model her day on their own expectations. Don’t get me wrong the Vivienne Westwood gown that was gifted is to die for but it wasn’t reflective of her.
So my advise stay true to yourself, stay firm. Whether it’s al alternative wedding dress, a black diamond engagement ring or unconventional reception do what works for you.
It’s YOUR wedding so make sure you do it YOUR way! Surround yourself with those who know and will respect your wishes.
Christmas has been and gone, the New Year has been rung in, many retailers are now eargerly upping their marketing game with talks of valentines and Easter!
Weddings are much the same as this…. following trends and festivals and one which will heavily influence the wedding trends of 2020 and beyond is Pantone’s Colour of the Year.
Once released it always causes a frenzy between wedding stylists and planners as they take in the new tone(s) and start to include them in future designs and styling.
So here’s the definitive guide to Pantone Colour of the Year 2020: Classic Blue.
Classic Blue colour is described by Pantone as “a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection”.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that Blue is not of my favourite colours; unless it’s well cut and tailored denim, but how do you incorporate this colour into your design?
Personally I would use this years shade to complement your theme via a pop of colour like this shot of bright blue glassware on the table that has been styled by Florence and Vera Events. Florals courtesy of Camomile & Cornflower.
Or how about a gorgeous display featuring these bright blue grape hyacinths? (Super scrummy cocktail created by Giddy Up mobile bar)
One colour combo I am particularly looking forward to seeing is Classic Blue alongside last years shade Living Coral, now wouldn’t that be a wedding look! What do you think?
For now I’ll be keeping an eye on how wedding stylists will be utilising Classic Blue in their mood boards and styling and eagerly await the first styled shoots of the year to showcase its wedding potential.
As the real threat of climate change is never far for the fore, just look at the horrific out of control bush fires that Australia are currently suffering; it falls to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own choices and actions. This includes wedding planning and the wedding industry as a whole.
I make no apology for my love of weddings. Some may argue a unnecessary tradition in today’s modern world.
But I cannot ignore that as a whole the wedding industry can be a fairly wasteful one. The majority of items can be classed as ‘single use’ and with the average cost of weddings rising each year couples look to source the cheapest items, which are often mass produced, aren’t sustainabley sourced and have poor recycle ability. For example are you aware of how plastic is in your wedding dress??
As a bride working within a fairly stringent budget myself I understand the need, pressure and stress associated with organizing the ‘perfect’ wedding.
But at what cost to the environment not to mention your wallet?
Having taken part in Tent:Talks at the Spring Showcase earlier this year on collaboration with Timber and Canvas and Cotswold Field of Dreams, there seemed to be equal measure of those wanting to purchase everything sparkly and new and those who were happy to source preloved items.
Its those that aren’t comfortable utilising preloved items that I want to challenge – why the unease? and what do we need to do as an industry to break this taboo?
Equally we need to make it easier for couples to source sustainable and preloved items – I’m hoping the launch of our new online marketplace will help with this!
To reiterate a common hashtag – #thereisnoplanetB and we all have a duty and responsibility to care for and nurture this planet regardless.
Stay tuned to find out how we plan to do our bit in the Wedding Industry and hopefully encourage other both couples and suppliers to do the same
He’s proposed, it was the most surreal and beautiful moment of your life, you said yes (it was always going to be yes!). Suddenly everything is clouded in confetti covered specs.
Then it begins…… where to have the ceremony, will it be church or civil? At the same venue as the reception or local registry office. Home or Abroad? The start of a very long list of decisions.
Many a consultation has seen me chatting to Brides who have had to spend money rectifying earlier mistakes simply because the excitement of planning her wedding has completely run away with her (one client bought 4, yes 4 different wedding dresses!). Of course what Bride to be isn’t excited, and I would certainly be concerned if your weren’t but with a few simple hacks it can be an efficient and streamlined process (with minimal stress!) and a touch easier on the pocket.
The biggest mistake that I commonly see Brides make is the same one I did. Newly engaged I rushed out and cleaned the shelf off every Wedding magazine known to man. I couldn’t wait to get home and within an hour had planned at least five different weddings.
A favorite quote of mine is one from Winston Churchill:
If I where to do it again this is what i’d do and in this order:
Have a Wedding Planning Prenup
Sit down with each other and agree upon the length of engagement, take a rough look at costings (easily found doing a google search) and agree on your budget (then add on 10%). Write this down as an informal agreement between the pair of you – saves any arguments later.
2. Treat It As A Business
Your wedding planning will become a huge part of your life for a while……. Don’t make it become your life. Ensure you have set up a separate bank account for finances so you don’t lose track of what you’ve saved (direct debits into a designated account are great!) Set up a separate email address and use this for everything from RSVPs to conversing with suppliers. Into social media – set up a Instagram account with your own hashtag ie #mr&mrsliggat so any photos taken on the big day, respective stag and hen nights or for those times that your wedding planning ie dress and suit shopping, your friends can use the hashtag and you can save or print pics as necessary.
3. Checklist, Checklist, Checklist
Yes its uber boring but make a checklist for everything, and I mean everything. Not just for the things you need to ie book venue, get dress, order suits etc but also for example a shot checklist for your photographer to ensure that those important shorts are captured, a checklist of approximate timing on the day (make sure that you give this to a couple of people in the wedding party in case you need it for reference on the day. It also means that when you suddenly cant remember if you’ve booked or organised something you have a written copy to refer to and wont need to ring a supplier in a panic to check.
4. Be Tourists
Your venue is one of the biggest spends generally, when researching the venue it really is beneficial to visit as many as possible, stay the night if applicable, eat there, experience the venue after all that is what you will be parting your cash for: the vibe and experience of your chosen venue. Don’t be afraid either to think a little outside the box , is there a restaurant, club or cinema that has special meaning to you both? We approached our local hillclimb racing track (hubby is an amateur car racer) and had our reception there, whilst friends of ours had their reception meal at the local indian.
5. Pound The Streets
Every girl wants to sort THE dress, before you do this you need to know what type of wedding your having: a festival, traditional church, castle, beach – a full on princess dress would be perfect for a castle wedding but may look alittle out of place if you having a festival themed do. Try and hold off and save your feet, until you’ve agreed on the venue and style of your big day.
Bridal Dress shopping – the one piece of advice I can give you here is to block out time to spend pounding the streets for the ONE. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes, take your trusted maids and plan which shops your going to hit and when (most will require you to book an appointment), with military precision. Whilst you may have an idea of the style and type of dress you like, BE OPEN MINDED. The dress I ended up with was not what I thought id have. Trust the stylists, they dress brides to be every day of the week!
6. Choose Your Entourage Wisely
Whilst we all have our besties in mind when picking bridesmaids and best men, be truthful – how are there organisational skills? Can you depend on them? They need to be the people that will be honest with you that the puffball wedding dress you’ve got your heart set on actually makes you look like you’ve gained 10lbs, that pick you up when the alcohol hits on the hen night and you have a sudden drunken meltdown. Should something happen on the day would you trust them to make the right decisions in your stead?
5. Its Ok to Social Media Stalk
When picking suppliers, research, research, research. Social media is great for finding out what suppliers you like, monitoring their work, reading their reviews. Once you’ve a short list arrange to meet with them – its vital that you have a great working relationship with your suppliers.
6. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Whilst it would be dreamy that you have real confetti petals, rose buttonholes for all the males guests and a rose wrist corsage for the ladies, a harpist while guests wait outside the church, an organist for the entrance, not to mention junior and senior choirs for that ‘voice of an angel’ hymn singing. Be realistic – what is important to you. Are real rose petal confetti going to mean the difference between a good and great best day of your life? Are multi pocket invitations in gilded gold really that important? By all means if you’ve the budget and you want them, go ahead. If you haven’t….. how important is it? Equally whilst its nice to have extras such as sweet charts, favours, table confetti, you don’t have to have them.
7. Don’t Underestimate the DIY
Every bride wants to feel like they have made a personal touch to their day, some more than others. However do not, under any circumstances, underestimate the time factor in your planning if you are DIY’ing aspects of your day. If its something you can only create nearer the day ensure you factor in lots of practice runs beforehand! I made my own invites – simple enough and I only needed 50 so a couple of hours work right? It actually took me 3 days and i eventually made double that number as I tweaked designs etc along the way.
8.Your Day, Your Way
You will have to learn to be diplomatically strong. Try not to take family comments to seriously if they express a dislike to something you have planned. Calming state that this is what you and your other half have decided – once you enter into explanations of why you have picked that and not this you will irreverently start to doubt yourself. Remember this is YOUR day so its needs to be done YOUR way.
9. If It Goes Pete Tong………SMILE
Unless you have complete OCD or have employed a Wedding Planner, things will go slightly off plan. Its unrealistic to think it won’t. However only you will know if things have gone awry. At my own wedding i totally forgot to do a table plan – yes i know. However it wasn’t an issue… people thought what an refreshing idea it was to allow people to sit where they liked! I just smiled and let them carry on thinking id planned it!
As we head into Winter, I wanted to share with you this glorious event I attended back at the end of March… a Wedding Showcase.
A Wedding Fayre of sorts this original event…. Spring Showcase was exactly that …. a Wedding Showcase. Its always difficult to find new and innovative ways to appeal to an ever busy wedding market and with a record number of fayres on offer including many venues who now stage their own wedding fayres it can be difficult to know where to go!
The Spring Showcase was a refreshing change. Imagine that you have stepped into an actual wedding, yep everything is set up as if its someones actual big day – it was a great way to showcase their handpicked suppliers, yet inspiring couples with on trend set ups and even a bride to make it all seem ‘real’
What was really great was the inclusion of Tent Talk’s , I was thrilled to be asked along to give a talk to couples on wedding sustainability. As a hugely wasteful industry for the most part the wedding industry like all others in the UK needs to address its green credentials and how it can do its part to protect our planet. Its also something that I am incredibly passionate and is important to me as a individual.
I’ll be addressing wedding sustainability in a future post but for now take a browse through some pictures of this new way to ‘fayre’
A huge thank you to Timber and Canvas for the opportunity to attend and allowing me to take the stage to discuss wedding sustainability, also to Cotswold Field of Dreams for the stunning location and all of the suppliers who utilize local or sustainable products and services in what they can provide couples.
Wedding sustainability is a huge focus for us here at A Cotswold Wedding along with supporting couples to reduce plastic, reuse and recycle where ever possible. More on our Wedding Sustainability ethos in a future post and how we are going to support couples both pre and post marriage in ensuring that the wedding industry is as environmentally friendly and doing our bit alongside everyone else! #thereisnoplanetB
It’s here, it’s here….. FINALLY I hear most of you say.
Following on from our Planning a Wedding series last year, here’s the real wedding in all its glory and a very Happy 1st Anniversary to my fabulous friends!
Sarah & Andy met at work, although it took some time for Andy to get Sarah to agree to a date. His perseverance won and two years later they became engaged… although it would be another nine years before they got round to getting married.
For their wedding the couple were fairly relaxed, wanting an intimate day with their nearest and dearest.
If you followed the blog series last year you’ll no that the biggest stumbling block was the colours for the day – already having an ideal palette in mind the bride wanted to have something different to her brother who had used the same main theme colour. All in all it came down to one photo… thank you Google! So from this inspiration the colour palette for the day took shape:
The venue was gorgeous Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham, a Victorian mansion set within its own grounds including picturesque lake. Its a hidden gem location wise and easily accessible to the main routes in and out of the town with plenty of nearby accommodation – ideal with so many family members travelling in for the special occasion.
The mansions stunning architecture was simply styled with fresh florals, with the only other styling being light up letters.l of their initials.
Florals were provided by Donna at The Flower Studio, all designed from the original inspiration picture, and with her own twist.
I think you’ll agree these bouquets are just sublime.
As a testament to this laid back bride the wedding dress was sourced after most of the big items had been organised. After a less than dreamy visit to find her dream dress, her stunning gown was found in bridal boutique Enchanted Brides, Cheltenham. Kaci and Jeanette are experts at putting brides at ease, and their no rush appointment, no maximum number of dresses to try per appointment approach was a refreshing change to what had been experienced before.
Enough talking for now, enjoy these pictures from their day:
If you want to catch up on the suppliers chosen please see the links below.
Lastly a huge thank you to my Bestie Sarah and her new hubby Andy for allowing me to share everything from their special day from concept to planning to real wedding.
You guys rock! Love you.
Sophie & Sarah
Wedding Invitations:Louise Rowles Design Place cards/seating plan: Handmade by the Mother of the Groom
Its that time of year again when the air is thick with the heady scent that is Lavender. Lavandre, derived form Old French means Lavender. This botanical plant with its natural perfume (a fav of your grannys i’m guessing) is as English as it gets. But does the inclusion of Lavender in your celebrations mean your old before your time? Modern meanings for lavender include purity, calmness, devotion and serenity – nothing could be more fitting for a celebration of love.
We are so fortunate in the Cotswolds to have access to some pretty spectacular Lavender fields, rows upon rows of vibrant colour ranging from the palest lilac to rich purple as they stretch across the Cotswold landscape.
All the way back when in Greek and Roman times the Lavender plant was used for its medicinal properties as a complete first aid kit and today we predominately use it to relieve stress and soothe irritation – just imagine how relaxed and carefree your wedding day will be if you use lavender! So why am I telling you this? Because scent is as important as the dress – an often forgotten element in wedding planning coming last after visual elements such as colour, styling and location. More on this under utilized sense later.
So how do you incorporate lavender into your celebrations? From sprigs here and t.here to scented confetti or inclusion with its delicate flavour into cakes or cookies as favours. Why not use the distinctive flower heads as adornments to cocktails or place cards?
Although not set in the Cotswolds here’s a luxury wedding in France exclusively shot at the lavender fields at Sault, in Provence.
For an experience closer to home why not check out these local Cotswold Lavender Farms and Fields:
If there is one regret I have from my wedding, it is not preserving something, anything of the gorgeous florals that my fabulous florist created. The bouquet I designed in my mind that she lovingly created for me lives on in my memories and of course photographs. I shall not forget the scent or the vividity of colours and in deed my flowers are still one of the memories that my guests still talk about today (my bouquet was a work of art!)
But the one thing I truly wish I had factored into my planning was how to preserve this segment of our special day – sadly i was not organised enough to arrange to have them whisked away to be dried and captured in frame, or set into a paperweight (i’m really not a paperweight kind of gal anyways)
So after a Sunday morning scroll with a latte through Instagram I came across this gem, Buttonsy Jewellery, now it has to be pretty special for me to spill a drop of liquid gold, but I did, and here’s why.
Buttonsy Jewellery provide couples with the alternative to freeze dried frames and paperweights they can set your wedding florals in jewellery – think bangles, necklaces and rings (please consider cuff links tho for the guys!) What I love about this idea is that the flowers do not in any way resemble the ‘dried flower’ look, no muted tones and flakey petals here! They look almost as real captured in the resin designs as they will have done on your day. Its the perfect memento, thank you gift and perhaps future heirloom
Here’s the dried bouquet and the finished bangle piece……….. perfection
So if your getting married or just want to check out some serious swoon worthy jewellery head on over to Buttonsy and be amazed and in awe of Anna’s beautiful craftsmanship. In fact i’m heading over now to browse (swoon) some more.
Anna Buttonsy runs and owns Buttonsy Jewellery alongside her husband Travis. Their beautiful pieces can be found over in their Etsy store or why not contact Anna for a bespoke custom made piece.
A real treat for you on the blog today… this bright and beautiful fusion wedding from across the pond. Across the pond? Well, wedding inspiration is global and today’s perfect blend of east meets west wouldn’t look out of place in some of the Cotswolds alternative venues.
So if your looking to plan a wedding with a cultural blend then sit back and soak up the sunshine vibes from Mita and James wedding.
How did you and your partner meet?
We met on an online dating app in Hong Kong. We had our first date after about 2 months of chatting online, and finally ended up meeting at a bar close to where we lived.
How did he propose?
He made reservations at Sevva, which is a classy fusion styled restaurant, and also our go-to restaurant for special occasions (many a 3 month, 6 month, 1 year anniversary and birthdays have been celebrated here).
I arrived a little late for the date as a hair appointment ran late and as I arrived, I was addressed as “Mrs Walker” and was ushered to the outside rooftop overlooking the city where James had booked a table with 2 glasses of champagne. I walked over and started going on about the hair appointment while he had a goofy smile on his face the entire time. Before I knew it, he got down on one knee, and while he reached into his pocket, I heard a few gasps around me from other customers watching the scene and that is when I registered what was happening! When he asked “will you marry me?”, I felt tears in my eyes, said yes, and shortly after, some staff came out to take our picture and open the champagne. It was incredibly magical!
What do you love most about your partner?
The fact that he is one of a kind! He is one of the funniest, kindest, brainiest and most amazing people I’ve ever met and he’s made me feel love in ways I’ve never felt before! He not only looks after my happiness but also deeply cares about people who are important to me. Also, he is extremely resourceful and motivated, and will do anything he sets his mind to!
Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:
I had 2 wedding gowns for our wedding, a white one for the church ceremony, and a red and gold one for the Indian ceremony. James and I went to Toronto in March 2018 where I had pre-bookings at a bunch of stores to find the perfect dress with my maid of honour. We had an emotional and girly 2 days when I tried on dresses in front of her. Funnily enough, the last store appointment on my list was the only one she couldn’t make it to, and that was the store with the dress that felt the most right. I sent her some photos on my phone and after hearing her response, we knew it was the right one!
For the Indian bridal wear, the decision was a little easier. James and I made a quick trip to Mumbai in May to shop for our entire wedding attire. We went to the first and second store on my list together and James fell in love with the third dress I tried on- it was a happy and quick purchase
What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Summery with bright colours, elegant, intimate, full of love, and with a lovely representation of our 2 cultures. What was your favorite moment from the day?
It’s hard to choose just one! One of my favourite moments was during the reception, observing friends and family from all over the world and thinking that all these people are here because they love and support us, and just feeling really lucky that everything came together the way it
Another favourite moment was walking down the aisle, locking eyes with my soon-to-be- husband for the first time and feeling a rush of emotion and excitement overcome me.
Did you walk down the aisle or have your first dance to any particular song?
For walking down the aisle, I was considering a few options of classic love songs I’d grown up with. Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ was the one that grabbed me the most and felt right. My maid of honour then helped me find a gorgeous guitar and violin version which I immediately fell in love with. We did our first dance to Amazed by Lonestar which James chose as a love song he really likes.
Any DIY décor elements?
In some Indian weddings, brides walk down the aisle with their close family and friends under a “bed of flowers”, essentially a frame covered with a pattern of flowers. This is something I envisioned for my own wedding, however, it was hard to find such a frame in Hong Kong. Therefore, James did a bit of research on how it looks, picked up blocks of wood, hard string, and an array of flowers, and constructed the frame from scratch.
Where did you honeymoon?
We are going to Israel and Jordan in February. Some key things we’re looking forward to is floating in the Dead Sea and camping under the stars in Wadi Rum.
Any tips that you can give to future brides?
My biggest tip would be to work as a team with your fiancé. I do appreciate sometimes it’s harder if your partner lives in another country, but for all the ladies whose partner is in the same city, don’t feel like you’re in the wedding process alone. Turn to your fiancé for help along the way and even make wedding planning something fun you do together. I actually found the wedding planning to be a fun project as we allocated tasks and deadlines throughout the process and had little celebrations when we saw key things being checked off the list. Having said that, I also think it’s important to not make the wedding process the key factor in your relationship. Engagement is a beautiful stage of relationship progression and the wedding is just one part of the celebration. We had 8 months to plan the wedding, and during that time, we would allocate 1-2 times a week where we’d meet and discuss wedding tasks, and the rest of the time to go on dates and enjoy being a newly engaged couple.
Finally – soak it all in! You only get to do this one time and people really aren’t exaggerating when they say the days go by in a flash. Try and stop every now and then to just take a mental snapshot – these are the moments I remember most vividly now that nearly 5 months have passed. Also try and take some time away just with your partner after the ceremony to celebrate and chat about how crazy it is that you’re finally married! We had a 2 day wedding and had a bit of time to ourselves after the first day and I remember that we were both just absolutely buzzing with adrenaline and excitement – it was a very happy way to start our marriage.
Tradition dictates that once wed you will take your husbands name, but the recent changes to allowing same sex couples to marry has seen a rise in the retention of the maiden or original name as well as an increase in combining surnames to create a ‘new name’. So whats the etiquette on name changing and do you have to go from maiden to married or are there other options available.
Name is hugely important, its a part of your unique and individual identify. I’m sure that most of you have been irritated when you’ve gotten a coffee and the barista has mispelt your name, or when your cold called and they mis-enunciate your name….. its a def grrr moment.Its not that I don’t love my husbands name, its part of him and his identify, so of course I do its just I don’t have the same affinity with it. Yet when my maiden name, containing a paltry 4 letters was often mispelt as a type of cheese and not the biblical gardens I like to think it came from…. I used to get so cross… how hard can it be i would exclaim I mean its only 4 flipping letters!
So the point of this post? Options…..ladies and gents you have OPTIONS!
A friend of ours once said ‘if we ever decide to get married it will be me (groom) changing my last name to hers because mines so common and boring’
Your marriage is the next chapter in your play…. its the start of your partnership (official if you like) so however your chose to start this next chapter just be sure that YOUR name reflects this, because how you feel about representing yourself will impact on how you present yourself as one half of a couple.
So what options are available to you:
Stay as you are, your vows make your wedding not your last name
Perhaps its your other half that wants to change their surname to yours?
Consider combing your surnames to make a new name – this is a very popular trend right now
Chose a completely new surname – although the paperwork side for this option can be complicated.
Whichever option you choose, just be sure its the right one…. for YOU!