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
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.
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!!!
This Christmas we are celebrating the best of the Cotswolds Wedding industry.
Every day in the run up to Christmas we are featuring an awesome prize from one or more of our Cotswold Wedding suppliers.
To be in with a chance of winning be sure to LIKE this post, LIKE @acotswoldwedding and @thecheltenhamcakery .
and tag friends or family who’d like the prize(s) – ONE COMMENT is ONE ENTRY so get tagging.
Today’s prize is a Fabulous Favours workshop for 6 people. Learn how to create your own wedding favours simply and easily using a range of fondant techniques along with packaging ideas and personalisation techniques. Perfect hen idea.
Prize value £180
No cash alternative or change given. .
Booking dates are subject to availability.
There is a 48 hour cancellation policy with this voucher.
UK entrants only, winner picked at random and will be notified by Direct Message.
This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram.