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
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.
Okay, so her natural beauty aside – we can all agree that Meghan nailed the peachy, glowing ‘effortless’ makeup look. She looked incredible, but most importantly, she looked like herself. Fresh with freckles, soft and light and oozing timeless elegance.
But you don’t need to be a Hollywood star with an A List complexion and a royal glam squad to achieve the same look. I’ll show you how it’s done with some top tips and insider secrets.
Right, I may have fibbed, but just a little. Your complexion is really important, and while makeup is key when it comes to transforming you from Cinderella to Princess, if you want to sparkle like Markel then your wedding day look has to begin way before the big day.
Stick religiously to your cleanse, tone and moisturise routine and down the Evian like a Love Island newbie. Dull it may be, but you’ll thank your lucky stars when you look back on your photos in years to come and your complexion is positively luminous.
However, if you’re like me, and all the scrubbing and H2o in the world won’t do the trick, you can get a little more help with these beauties –
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Cream
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- Radiance
Tropic- Elixir Oil
We all want them – subtle but strong, framing without dominating and with an arch as perfect as St George’s Chapels itself. She would have had a thread or a wax before the wedding day as Meghan’s brows were perfect, and looked even more defined than her usual look without being severe.
The products I love for creating a beautiful brow are Anastasia Beverley Hills, Brow Wizz, and Benefit, Brow Zings.
According to Elle magazine, the Duchess of Sussex favours Honest Beauty Creme Blush in Truly Exciting. It’s an American brand, and unsurprisingly, it’s currently out of stock on their site. Honestly!
Usually a fan of dark makeup around the eyes, the bride opted for a pared back look with a curled lash. And I often tell my brides, if you’re not usually an eye makeup kinda girl, then keep it natural on your wedding day. You want to look and feel like you, but on a really, really goodday.
Forget the Maid of Honour, mascara will be your best friend on your wedding day. It has to be long-lasting and really open up your eyes. And if it’s waterproof, even better. We bet even Meghan had a little tear after a few glasses of Champers! We like these –
Benefit- They’re Real
Bobbi Brown- Smokey Eye Mascara
Maybelline- Great Lash Big Mascara
It’s thought that Meghan j’adores her Dior Lip Glow in Coral. Dior is one of the brands I use at Makeup by Natasha Louise.
But it’s no good plonking it on you on the morning of the wedding and hoping for the best. Your wedding makeup artist must offer you a makeup trial, so you feel totally confident in your look. Meghan’s look may have looked effortless but believe me – it was no accident. Insist that your makeup artist listens to you and hears what you want to achieve.
As a professional, I always share my advice and opinion, but whether you’re a wannabe Meghan Markle or a closet Marilyn Manson, it’s your wedding day and you’re in charge.
Natasha Louise x
Natasha is a make up artist extraordinaire and the face, lady, behind Natasha Louise.
Natasha has grown her business to include a handpicked team of artists who are just what you need on your wedding day or special event to ensure your are looking your absolute best.
Be sure to follow Natasha on her social media channels:
Most little girls start dreaming of their wedding young…. probably something to do with the abundance of Disney films where the princess/girl next door wins the heart of the handsome and charming prince who rides to her aid on his trusty stead. Here’s what happens when this dream is in the 21st Century, a modern cotswolds fairytale of course
So what happens in a modern fairytale? The trusty stead is replaced with modern day horsepower… a Nissan GTR Supercar of course. Married in a traditional church ceremony at the stunning St Michael’s and All Angels Church before riding off into the sunset (or to the reception!) at the historic hill climb racetrack that is Prescott Hill Climb.
Here’s what the bride had to say:
Our day was definitely ‘us’ – we made a pact that I could choose the ceremony venue and Ash could choose the reception – knowing his passion for cars (he’s a massive petrol head!) and being Bugatti members at the time it was a pretty sure run thing he’d pick Prescott.
Our budget was pretty strict, so a few things were created/done by ourselves and our families. At the time pocket fold invites were the ‘in thing’ for invites and I knew I had to have them, I just couldn’t justify the spend, so a lot of eBay rummaging later I found a bride selling off surplus of her invites on eBay – having designed and printed all the inserts ourselves and picking up envelopes and stock on gems from the local craft store, the invites only cost £15. We also created our Order of Services too. They were our best bargain wedding item.
We hired amazing florist Donna from a The Flower Studio to do our flowers – Donna created the exact vision I had in my head – which at the time even family and friends couldn’t see working. The florals were stunning. To complement Donnas flowers (bouquet, bridesmaids, buttonholes, top table and table arrangements) a close family friend created out church displays and then we had these moved to reception afterwards to dress the cake table and reception entrances.
The cake was made by me, having recently launched my own cake business at the beginning of the year it was a given I was going to create my own.
As Ash is into his supercars, and with his racing background we were able to secure the use of a Nissan GTR for the weekend from Dreamcare Hire. This may seem extravagant, but it was a must for us. I on the other hand walked to the church!
As we had everything crossed for a nice day – we wanted our reception to be held outside, we opted for a relaxed hog roast for the wedding breakfast. As it turned out we had the only hot weekend that July (2011). We also chose not to have a defined seating plan – this made things easier for us as no added stress and guests got to sit with who they wanted to sit with!
If you had to describe your day:
A traditional church service followed by a relaxed, alittle informal, alittle quirky reception with a petrolhead undertone!
Here are the snapshots of this beautifully unique day:
Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but for one couple from Gloucester the day was a dream come true.
Wayne Cox and Clare Phillips, of Kingsway, were the lucky winners of the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen’s Win a Wedding competition 2017.
Their prize was a magical wedding on Friday, April 13 at The Queens Hotel Cheltenham – Mgallery by Sofitel.
The couple have been together for six years after they met while both working at Tesco in Quedgeley.
Wayne, 38, said: “It was absolutely fantastic.
“The whole day was amazing, it all fell into place on the day.
“Luckily we’re not superstitious and Friday the 13th was lucky for us.
“Friends and family being there was the important bit.”
Clare was given away by her son Ben, 16, while her daughter Paige, 27, was a bridesmaid dressed in the colour theme of the day of Cadbury’s purple.
The couple are especially thankful to all of their friends, colleagues and customers at Tesco Quedgeley, who helped them collect tokens for the competition.
Clare, 44, works on the customer service desk while Wayne now works as a store manager at the Tesco in Kingsway.
The groom and ushers wore traditional morning suits from Tuxedo Junction, Westgate Street, Gloucester, while the bridesmaids were dressed in gowns from Nina Furness Couture, in Cambray Place, Cheltenham and Clare wore a beautiful gown.
“She looked beautiful,” said Wayne, of Clare.
The ‘fantastic’ flowers in the purple colour scheme were designed by the Flower Bowl, in London Road, Gloucester.
The whole day was captured by Diamond Shots Photography.
And the finishing touches, such as the purple chair covers and sashes from Sweet Beginnings, St Oswolds Road, Gloucester, and the photo booth from Party Foto Pods, in Staunton, really added a sense of occasion.
“The guests loved the photo booth,” Wayne added.
The wedding also featured a traditional ice sculpture of two swans by Ice Creations, and Chocolate Fountain from Maggie’s Chocolate Fountains, Pershore, which the couple would highly recommend.
Guests were kept entertained by a magician from Ethereal Productions. Clare and her friends loved the hen party at De Vere Cotswold Water Park Spa while the newlyweds still have the couples’ pampering to enjoy at the spa.
The pair were whisked away to a five-night honeymoon in romantic Paris with flights from bmi regional and hotel from HotelsCombined, where for the first two nights they stayed in a hotel overlooking the Eiffel Tower before arranging their own accommodation for the remainder of the trip.
The last few days here in the UK has seen a Siberian polar front collide headlong into Storm Emma – the result minus temperatures, heavy snow and ice. Just in time for those getting wed over the weekend.
So if an unexpected Siberian weather front suddenly threatens your big day what do you do? Do you cancel or do you embrace the change and spend your last remaining hours wedding planning pintrest’ing the perfect snow wedding pics?
Honestly….. it’s your call and you need to do what’s right for you. But I truly believe that only you can let bad (unplanned) weather ruin your day.
Here’s a few tips for when the weather doesn’t play ball and snow threatens play:
wellies – don’t leave home with out them
blankets and wraps – nothing makes you feel warmer than snuggling in a selection of cosy cover ups – think thick, textured fabrics to ooze luxe
Add a touch of colour to pop against the snowy backdrop – think faux fur coats, tweeds etc why not colour coordinate with your wellies!
warm drinks – it may be preferable to switch the welcome fizz for hot chocolate (with cream and marshmallows of course!) and luxury coffees
Transportation – the beautiful Rolls Royce may not be able to make your day, consider hiring or borrowing a 4×4
How will your guests get around?
Can you hire rooms closer or at the venue for your guests?
As unsexy as it sounds can you get away with wearing thermals under your dress – it’ll make the outside snow shots that little bit warmer to bare 😉
This gets number 2 because quite simply once the venue has been sorted every bride will be thinking about their dress and with some bridal shops requiring orders to be placed 9 months before needed depending on your planned length of engagement you may need to get a shift on.
Now our bride had already visited a dress shop (no naming and shaming here) and the one tip I can give you is the dress buying experience is as important as the dress.
Now the experience she had quite simply wasn’t for her – it was a large and busy shop and appointment times strictly adhered to – this meant she felt rushed and restricted, as this particular boutique limited the number of dresses that she could try on during this hour. She just didn’t ‘feel’ the experience and therefore she wasn’t going to find a dress in this establishment. Nothing wrong with the shop persau but the experience she felt wasn’t going to precipitate a sale here.
Having known the lovely ladies Kaci and Janette at Enchanted Brides I recommended she book an appointment – having recently opened there gorgeous besouite boutique in Cheltenham’s Berkeley Mews.
With a stunning array of dresses there was plenty of variety in styles. There gentle, no rush approach meant I watched my bestie relax before me and actually start looking at dresses rather than a startled rabbit grabbing her quota to ensure they were tried on in the allotted time.
So here are our 12 top tips for Bridal dress shopping:
1. Wear comfy clothes – if your hitting several shops in one day you’ll be taking them off – ALOT!
2. Comfy shoes for pounding the streets
3. If you have an idea of heels that you may wear take them – heels add a different perspective to the dress
4. Sorry girls but good old comfy neural undies are required. Some styles may be strapless, backless or thinner material – don’t ruin the look with bright straps and – this can skew your feeling on the dress
5. No your body shape – but don’t feel obliged to stick to it!
6. Experiment – try a veil, headdress, hair vine it may alter how your feel/see yourself in the dress
7. Try on different colours – yup, with bridal gowns coming in lots of different shades from bright white to ivory, champagne even pale pinks and pale greys! be bold and try on different ones to see if the shading looks better on you
8. Photograph, photograph, photograph and from every angle!
9. Move in it! Remember you are going to be wearing this dress for a whole day – walk around in it, sit down in it, is it comfortable?
10. Ask about alterations – you may need to factor this in to the dress budget
11. Check lead times for dress ordering – if you’ve left it late be sure to ask what dresses the shop will be able to get in on time
12. Ask about deposits – most reasonable dress shops will require a deposit but should have a cooling off period
For obvious reasons THE ONE is not shown below but here’s a few snaps from the wonderful experience we had Enchanted Brides
Book your relaxed appointment at Enchanted Brides now:
Like all those eagerly awaiting a birth announcement; artists, stylists and creatives everywhere have been waiting for Pantone Colour Institute to release the Colour of the Year 2018.
Since the announcement was made the Wedding industry seems to be evenly split over whether they love or hate this shade…. and I’m definitely on the love side of this fence.
As a self confessed purple fiend I actually jumped for joy at this announcement! Now I’m not saying go all out and violet your day – did any of you see the house on Rightmove that went viral on social media that was beautiful on the outside but everything inside was this shade (and I mean everything!) if you didn’t you can find it here
According to Pantone:
Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.
Well, I like the sound of that, don’t you?
Personally I find it’s a colour with soul – a great hue to mix up any palette and pretty versatile too blending equally well with pastels or brights in shades of pinks and lilacs as it does with the cooler palettes of blues and green – even adding in a secondary pop of colour such as yellow or orange this tone can still hold its own.
Wondering how to incorporate this colour into your styling, whether your after a bold colour scheme or looking for a deep accent colour, here’s some inspiration for you: