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
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.
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!
Reposting from the archives today….. as couples look for ways to make the budget stretch further, would you skill swap your wedding? Here’s what happened when one bride did…..
I am always intrigued behind Brides planning processes and how they choose to go about planning their wedding. When I saw a post on Social Media from a Bride asking suppliers to skill swap my interest was immediately pipped! Do people really do this? How does this work?
After contacting the Bride to be and asking if I could chat to her about her Social Media post and to discover what this actually entailed I met up with the lovely Nina. This is her story.
Nina Jenkins is the owner and therapist at Yin-Yang Therapies, her story begins back in 2009, after trying her first Reiki treatment and the immediate health benefits she experienced Nina was inspired to learn Reiki and after studying became a qualified practitioner which saw the birth of WakeyReiki.
After combining her Reiki with Swedish massage, Indian Head Massage and Holistic Facials, Wakeyreiki has evolved into Yin-Yan Therapies where Nina says ‘ More recently I have been mixing up my treatments and tailoring them for my clients, this tailored ethos makes my offering very different to others. Yin-Yang treatments are about you and finding your optimum balance. Whilst you can sample each signature treatment as it is… I can also mindfully blend them so they are perfect – just for you’
Getting back to the Skill Swap, I asked Nina how the idea to Skill Swap elements for her day came about and how it had been received by suppliers.
How did you come up with the idea to skill swap your wedding?
I think we need to take a leaf from the old days. Bartering (or skill swapping) goes back centuries and as long as both parties are benefiting then why not? The average cost of a UK wedding is escalating beyond what modern day couples can actually afford sadly. Many are taking out loans to be able to fund large and elegant weddings and putting themselves under great pressure and some newly weds are actually paying off the debt for years after. I’m a believer of using your resources where you can, and if that’s a positive for all concerned then why not skill swap at least some of the things you would like for your special day?
How has the idea of skill swap gone down with suppliers you’ve approached?
Some have been very receptive and some have not been as enthusiastic. I think there are some grey lines with swapping, ie. are you both getting an equal share. For example, how much effort would someone need to put in to recoup the value of their services to £100? This differs with each service and product provided by suppliers so sometimes it can make it tricky.
Have you come across any difficulties with the skill swap set up?
Some suppliers haven’t totally understood the concept and this has lead to some difficulties regarding who was offering what. I was offered a swap for photography but the higher value services would have meant many hours of holistic treatments which made it unfeasible sadly. But I have found a great photograher who has offered to capture my day informally for an amazing deal.
Would you recommend it to to Brides on a budget?
Yes I would as it can help cut costs and help others. My advice is to think about a fair deal between both parties (not just in terms of money but time and effort) and set out the guidelines so there are no grey lines before agreeing to a skill swap. I know that every supplier that has offered to swap with me is benefiting from receiving some lovely holistic treatments that will make them feel much better, help them to relax, de-stress and restore themselves, which makes them more happy and productive in work and in general life. And that makes me happy.
If you hadn’t of skill swapped some services, how would this have impacted on your wedding day ideas/designs/atmosphere?
I would not have been able to splurge as much on some things that I really wanted too. I have managed to skill swap flowers, bridesmaid presents, hair styling trial and hair styling on the day, wedding nails and some essential beauty treatments in the run up to the wedding, these really eat into your budget. For example, 2 months prior to a wedding it is recommended you get regular facials every 2 weeks so you can look your absolute best on the day, so if a facial is £45 that really adds up and many brides don’t factor nails, regular facials and hair into the equation when budgeting.
Any other tips for Brides looking to cut costs?
I would also recommend offsetting any crafty DIY wedding tasks to bridesmaids and close family to help even further. For example, do you have an Aunty that can make your bouquets or an uncle who can MC on the day? Can you make anything yourself? Asking for support from those close to you can often mean you don’t have to spend quite as much from the budget.
If your currently planning your wedding and wondering why everyone is taking an age to get back to you its because many suppliers are in the last deep throws of wedding season, being one myself i can assure you there are LOTS of late nights at the moment helping guarantee that my clients dreams become reality.
Its now September, and the start of Autumn, will be here and with it brings Wedding Fayre Season.
Now from experience Wedding Fayres are like marmite…. you either love them or hate them. I am definitely in the love side of this relationship (hubby was definitely on the hate side, perhaps its a bride thing?)
So heres a guide on how to Wedding Fayre, with the pros (and cons) and find out how to get the most out of your experience.
The Wedding Fayre (fair, inspiration day, showcase, open day) are often held at a wedding venue, if there a venue your interested in its a good way to see how your day will ‘look’ – tablets will be dressed for a wedding and with lots of people milling around it will give you an idea of what space you will have available for your guests. If the weathers not great it will also showcase the use of the indoor space!
Wedding Fayres can be themed ie a Vintage Wedding Fayre, these are perfect if your looking to create this styling as all the exhibitors will fit this brief and save you time looking at suppliers that may not fit.
Wedding Fayre like a pro – plan your fayres, make a list of what your after, are there suppliers you’d like to meet in person at a fayre before moving to the stage?
Register for the event – although nearly all fayres are free these days be sure to register – you often get perks of a goody bag containing exclusive offers, early entry and a glass of bubbly!
Choose comfort over style – believe me comfy, sturdy footwear is a must, you’ll totally underestimate the amount of walking that you’ll do.
Do bring a spare pair of hands for all the goodie bags you’ll get – I mean that’s what bridesmaids are for, right? But be sure to bring someone whose opinions you completely trust and value
Check out what suppliers are offering for on the day bookings – many suppliers run ‘Fayre only offers’ and a small deposit will secure potentially larger savings later on – helping your budget to stretch a little further
Equally you’ve got to be in it to win it – some suppliers will run competitions on the day, this is a great way to win a total or partial product or service or a free upgrade
If you’ve found the ‘ONE’ supplier – BOOK. In demand suppliers can often get booked up 2 years in advance, don’t end up disappointed because you didn’t deposit
Be a fair weather Wedding Fayrer – heaven forbid but this is England and it may, just may rain (sleet, snow, hailstone or occasionally sunshine 😉 on your day. If the fayre is at a venue your interested in it will allow you to scope out the rainy day options
Avoid leaving it until the last minute – if you’ve turned up with 15 minutes before the close of the event, you may not get all the information you’ll need as you scan the suppliers. Plus suppliers will be looking to start packing up and this can take quite a while!
Don’t assume that the larger the fayre the better, by all means the larger fayres will have a much larger number of suppliers and with most organizers limiting the number in each category you can be sure of a diverse selection however don’t discount more boutique fayres if your planning an eclectic or more personalize day – they may have that one eclectic supplier you’ve been looking for!
Its not the place for bartering – whilst we all love a bargain, a wedding fayre is not a bazzar, its not the place for haggling with suppliers to obtain the price you want to pay.
Our first 12 Days of Christmas Wedding Giveaway was a whooping success over on Instagram and 12 lucky winners who either bagged themselves an item/product for their wedding or a couples and hen/stag party experience that were up for grabs.
I just wanted to give our wonderful Wedding Suppliers a shout out to thank them for their generosity. Over the 12 days we gave away OVER £1150 worth of prizes:
Day 11 – Bridal hamper of luxury candle, ivory stock wedding shoes, bottle of bubbly AND the chance to make them an offer on your dream wedding dress at The Cotswold Frock Shop/The Bridal Gallery (worth £200++)
Day 12 – Supper Spa Day for 2. Evening spa from 5.30pm including 1 course dinner and wine, 1x 25 minute treatment each courtesy of Hatherley Manor Spa (worth £160)
So from me, the prize winners and all the readers THANK YOU, here’s to the Christmas 2019 giveaway!!!