December 18th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Martin Hambleton Photography
If you’re anything like us, you flit from one favourite wedding season to another as the various months of the year each have something different to offer.
Whether it be the possibility of a relaxed outdoor wedding in the height of summer taking your fancy, or the image of a cosy and atmospheric winter wedding that has you hooked, an epic choice of venues and hugely creative wedding suppliers means a show-stopping wedding is achievable all year round.
As such, deciding when to set the big day date for can be a little tricky, and so we’ve invited our lovely guest writer, Izzy Hicks of our media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to share the pros and cons of the options, so you’ll know which of the seasons is best for you to say “I do”…
Lee Dann Photography
Winter, and in particular the holiday season, is a wonderful time of year for a wedding, as it’s already a time of getting together with family and friends to celebrate. It’s easy to create a cosy winter wedding theme, as around Christmas and New Year your venues are already likely to be decked out with fairy lights and extra decorations.
Depending on which month you opt for, winter can also be one of the cheapest times of the year to tie the knot. November, January and February are great months for bargain-hunters.
The weather is often a big drawback for brides considering a winter wedding. At best it’s likely to be dry yet cold – more likely, it’s going to be drizzly or raining. Although snow may look beautiful in photographs, it can seriously interfere with your wedding travel plans, so be prepared for this possibility.
You’ll lose the light quickly in winter, as the days are at their shortest, which can wreak havoc with your wedding photography. Choose a photographer who’s experienced in shooting in low-light conditions, and consider having your ceremony earlier rather than later in the day to avoid taking group photos in the dark.
If you want the potential good weather and beautiful settings of summer, but haven’t got the budget for peak season, then spring could be your next best option. And if you’re lucky with the weather you’ll still be able to get all those gorgeous outdoor shots.
Spring is all about new life, which means that you’ll have some of the best blooming flowers and fresh local produce to choose from for your big day. You’ll have your pick of ranunculi, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips for your bouquet, and everyone will be ready for a light and fresh wedding menu after the heavy excesses of winter.
Once again, it comes down to the weather. Spring is one of the most unpredictable seasons when it comes to the weather, so you’ll need to be prepared for all eventualities and keep your eye on the forecast. At worst, you may end up dealing with flooding due to the Spring rains, so make sure you’re protected against this.
With budding flowers comes pollen! If you or your fiancé suffer from sever hayfever or allergies, then you may want to reconsider marrying in a season when the pollen count is at its highest.
December 5th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Olegs Samsonovs Photography
A feature for those of you on the dream dress hunt today, as we welcome our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to the blog to discuss picking the right wedding dress, to suit not only your style but also that of your chosen venue…
carrie says: Be it urban, rustic, boutique, historic or coastal, your venue sets the tone for your special day, and so it helps to make sure that your dress style is in-line with the setting for all over harmony.
As wedding planning goes, what’s the first thing we brides-to-be think of mere moments after saying yes to that certain special someone? “What dress am I going to wear?” (if you’re anything like us, in fact, you’ve had an idea of ‘the one’ even before The (other) One popped the question). But consider: with many spectacular wedding venues now taking bookings of upwards of two years in advance of the big day, increasingly, securing the venue is becoming a couple’s number one on the ‘to do’ list. Many brides assume their choice of dress will set the tone for the entire day. But if the venue has been chosen first, where does that leave the dress?
It might seem obvious. The venue and the bride’s dress ought to be in perfect harmony; one complementing and completing the other, a beautiful simpatico symphony (much like the bride and groom themselves, in fact!). And in many cases, an overall theme will draw together and incorporate both. But occasionally, dresses and venues will clash -having been present at a beach-themed wedding in a tipi with the bride tightly bound in a heavily structured fishnet-effect gown, I can assure you, ‘twas truly a confusing affair.
So, here’s our guide to making sweet, sweet music and harmonising two of your most important big-day elements: your venue and your dress…
Cherry Williams | Lilian West
Rustic weddings are playful, outdoors-y affairs, full of a kaleidoscope of colour and with the emphasis on a celebration of the beauty of nature. The details and decor don’t typically include anything too structured or deliberately ‘matching’ so mirror this more relaxed and carefree attitude in your dress of choice. More bohemian styles with lose, tousled hair work well here, as do soft frills and flowing tulle.
Clockwise from top left: Modeca | Rita Colson | White Rose Bridal | Elbeth Gillis
Love the idea of marrying in iconic style? If you’re joining the glitterati and marrying in a sophisticated city setting, reflect this slick, polished and uber-cool vibe in your dress. Think subtle sparkle, a seriously structured silhouette and even a sharp trouser suit. For an ultra-glam effect in a town setting, opt for monochrome and ask you guests to wear black tie.
Clockwise from top left: Special Day | Peppermint Love Photography | Eliza Jane Howell | The White Garden Collection
The great thing about a boutique hotel venue is that they tend to be unique, curiously quirky and inimitable in their own sense of style. This gives you free license to choose a gown that best reflects the venue’s holistic ‘feel’. Tea-length dresses work well here in the summer time, or, if the venue calls for it, chose a vintage-inspired or even ‘indie’ dress to suit the individual surroundings.
November 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
A post for you and your #girlsquad this afternoon as the focus is on finding the perfect outfits for your leading ladies. Here to suggest how to shop smart and keep everyone onside in the process is our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine.
carrie says: So, the day of choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses has finally arrived. Everyone has assembled excitedly for brunch somewhere uber-chic first (the flowergirls and smaller bridesmaids are meeting you later). There’s a free prosecco fountain in the middle of the restaurant and, obviously, in the background, Bradley Cooper is setting the mood on the harp. You get down to business and brainstorm some dress ideas and are delighted to find your bridesmaids in unanimous agreement on your style of choice – even more surprisingly, they suddenly break into a rousing burst of spontaneous applause. Bradley Cooper is so moved by this show of female solidarity that he sweeps you off your feet and then…you wake up!
Real talk, it’s more likely that the day will begin with your maid of honour calling to say she’s fallen out with the other bridesmaid over hemlines; one of your maids will casually let you know that she can’t possibly wear any shade of pink… or blue; your best friend will reveal she’s pregnant and will be eight months’ gone by the time of the wedding, and your flowergirl lets you know she’s not coming if you try and put her in a dress. Bradley Cooper is nowhere to be seen.
As unlikely (and borderline depressing) as it may seem ladies, choosing your bridesmaids was the easy bit. Whether you’ve gone big and love the thought of fifteen girls of all ages accompanying you down the aisle, or have chosen an intimate and select group of your very closest two besties, there are still potential minefields to navigate. To help ensure nothing but smooth sailing ahead, read on for top tips for dressing your bridesmaids and be ahead of the game when that day of shopping arrives…
Being honest with yourself about what sort of a bride you are and your vision for how the bridal party will ‘look’ is paramount. And this is information that needs to be shared with your bridesmaids from the outset. If it’s important to you that all maids wear a particular and uniform style in a colour that you’ve been dreaming of since you were ten (and there’s nothing wrong with this approach whatsoever; in many ways, it makes life easier!), then tell your maids before you go dress shopping. If they’re worthy of the bridesmaid banner, they’ll respect that this is your day and that your wishes are the only thing that matter.
Again, a frank and candid discussion with your best girls about who you anticipate paying for the dresses is needed at the very beginning of the whole process. Bear in mind the overall expense of your wedding for your bridesmaids, including travel, and accommodation etc. Many brides negotiate this often awkward conversation by offering to pay for the dress but ask their maids to cover the cost of shoes. Do also consider the budget for hair and makeup too – will your bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done with you on the big day?
If you see your bridesmaids in styles and colours that are tailored to suit them but loosely coordinate under a general theme, approach dress shopping collaboratively. That picture of prosecco-fueled fun with all your best girls need not be out of the question (sadly, we fear Bradley Copper’s presence might). We women of the world have some incredible insights; get your maids involved with the process! Consider hosting a ‘mood board’ party. Give your best girls some general guidelines then ask them to do their research and bring two or three dress ideas to the party. Put everyone’s ideas up on the wall to pack a visual punch and let the creative juices flow! Out of the mix, a sharper sense of clarity could well emerge, as well as fostering a truly positive dialogue that helps everyone empathise and understand one another’s hopes for, or anxieties about, the big-day look. Plus, this mood board will make an excellent memento for you afterwards!
June 13th, 2017 | Julia Braime
This morning on our pretty pages we have suggestions on how to make your wedding entertainment both personal and poignant, courtesy of our guest writer, the lovely Carrie Marsden of our media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine.
carrie says: Your wedding day is a beautiful opportunity to play out your own personal love story. Now that you’ve found the dress, the venue, the caterer, the flowers, the transport (and, er, the man), thoughts may begin to turn to wedding day entertainment. But let this not be a final flourish, an add-on, or an afterthought. Here is where the magic of your story lies for you and your guests. Here is the place where the story unfolds in magical and memorable chapters. To that great, timeless, enduring and blissful love story – shared by many the world over – here is the chance for you to add into the mix your own unique experience.
The heart of your day belongs to the love you two share, but how that love is honoured, cherished and celebrated will find expression in your choice of wedding entertainment. Be authentic. The entertainment should reflect you both – what you enjoy, what you share, what makes you giggle, what moves you. Don’t be distracted by a ‘theme’, for how often is one person so easily defined, let alone two? Instead, go with what you love. Here are our favourite wedding entertainment ideas, which might just help inspire your choices:
Inspired by our favourite Liam Neeson film (and a mandatory watch every December despite what that hubby says), we love the thought of making a grand entrance (or departure) in the ceremony itself. A regal fanfare troupe of trumpeters to walk you in or out will set the occasion off with a bang. Even better if your guests are the musical type and can surprise everyone and join in! (Don’t discount the groom’s talents either: one memorable wedding included the groom serenading the bride mid-way down the aisle after the service with a surprisingly pitch-perfect version of Bruno Mars’ I Think I Want to Marry You!).
The traditional meet-and-greet line-up is making a bit of a comeback and I have to say, I love it. Whether you do or don’t go down this path (excuse the pun!), a common theme from guests themselves is that the wait around between the service and the breakfast can be, well, a little bit dull. Leaving guests the only option of drinking heavily, which is – and I speak from personal experience here – worth avoiding. So dazzle and delight to swerve a lull!
Perhaps a cocktail pianist tinkering away on the ivories, which lends the occasion a certain elegance, class and panache (even better if he or she will take requests).
Choose activities that work well inside or out: oversized Jenga, skittles and chess are great fun, weather-proof and age-appropriate. (I’d draw the line at Twister, though, unless you’re happy for things to take a decidedly eventful turn…)
Celebrity lookalikes who mix and mingle with the guests might liven things up, as will a caricaturist, although I’ve always thought a nice twist on this would be to employ a caricaturist before the event. Give him or her pictures of some of your friends/the wedding party and dot them around for people to giggle at! An organised and willing chief bridesmaid might be persuaded to rustle up baby pictures of the guests for a ‘Guess Who?’ board, too.
Children can be a wonderfully exuberant and joyful addition to your day, without whom, the day just wouldn’t be complete. But they can also become, a little restless. You want everyone to have an awesome time – parents and kids alike, so bubbles, face-painting and old-school sweet stalls with candy floss are brilliant ideas. Also consider enlisting the services of an older sibling (‘encouraged’, let’s say, by financial reward) charged with devising games, treasure hunts, making kids’ caves. If there isn’t a team of 13- to 16-year-olds out there offering this service somewhere, well, there should be (there’s a lucrative career here, one feels).
When the sun goes down, make sure nothing about your day fades away. The party is now in full swing and here’s how you keep the fire burning bright:
Send round a frameable card for your guests with the question ‘what should we call our kids?’ What a brilliant memento of the day for you and, when it comes to it, highly illuminating and informative! (Expect the exact science of alcohol-to-exotic-name-choice ratio, naturally).
For dancefloor fuel, hire an ice-cream van or ‘posh’ burger bar. Hog-roasts are also deeply satisfying in a very visceral way. Just think ‘meat’, and for all those 11.45pm munchers, you’ll fast become everyone’s favourite bride.
The stars should feature in some way. The thought of an outdoor movie screen on a warm summer’s evening – kids’ films on a loop as toddlers begin to flop, then a creatively designed ‘movie’ about the bride and groom, and even a late-night screening of, say, Casablanca, – warms the heart. Cushions, beanbags and blankets; popcorn at the ready. Whitewash a wall and set up a projector, or even a white sheet hung across a washing line. I’ve seen this done beautifully and cost effectively.
Lots of newlyweds enjoy their quiet time together, retreating away at a sensible time in the evening, to reflect and bask in the warmth of the day. Others prefer the all-night approach and want to stay with their guests until the break of dawn. Whatever your choice, spare a thought to how you want your special day to officially ‘end’. Guests won’t be expecting over-the-top fanfare or a band of trumpeters to signal your departure, but it is worth thinking about how you’ll say goodbye. Should you want a grand farewell, have well-primed bridesmaids and ushers in on the plan to ensure guests are in the loop and where they are supposed to be.
No one will expect you to go out of your way on their behalf. Guests get that they are the guests. But arguably, they too have featured in this unique story that you and your partner share – and will continue to do so. They are celebrating you and you are acknowledging their role. Do it in style but do it your way!
Love Our Wedding is stocked by hundreds of top bridal boutiques, venues and fairs nationwide. Visit loveourweddingmag.com to download or order your FREE monthly copy today!
May 9th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
David Tutera – 117265
This evening we’re handing over the blogging reins to our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, who is focusing on some revealing bridal dress trends for those of you that dare to bare…
Sophie says: When it comes to bridal fashion for 2017/18, it’s all about sexy and sophisticated designs that flash a little flesh without being too revealing. From plunging v-necklines and daring back details to high leg splits in the skirt; there are plenty of ways to adopt this trend in an effortless and fashionable way.
Blue by Enzoani – Jamari
Confident, fashion-forward brides are embracing the current trend for stunning deep-v necklines, for a flirty, feminine look. Many bridal collections are now working this style, often with illusion panelling for added modesty – especially important if you’re having a church ceremony and want to be on-trend but not too revealing! This style is perfect for smaller busts that need less support, while creating the illusion of a cleavage. From long or capped sleeves to strapless designs, this look comes in many forms to suit your personal style and body shape. See gorgeous examples from Bonny Bridal, Enzoani and Kenneth Winston.
Modeca – Aurora
If you want to show off a little skin, but aren’t quite brave enough to wear a low neckline, v-back detailing might be right up your street. Back detail is a real focus this year with many designers placing a lot of emphasis on this area of the gown. All eyes will be on your back during your ceremony, after all, so it’s a great way to make a statement. Whether you choose an open v-back or a little illusion detailing for extra coverage, low back details are where it’s at for this year and beyond. Remember you won’t be able to wear a bra with this style, so a great fit around the bust is key. Check out stunning styles from Casablanca Bridals, Mark Lesley and Mori Lee for inspiration.
April 11th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
Image by Theresa Furey
We’re getting your Tuesday off to a bright and beautiful start by welcoming our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, back to the blog to give us the all-important deets on the current wedding colour trends…
sophie says: When it comes to choosing a colour scheme for your wedding, the possibilities can seem endless! So where do you start?
Consider what sort of wedding you’re hosting. If it’s informal and laid-back you may not want a rigid scheme at all, but for many of us it’s nice to have something to work from. Think about what colours you love, what will suit your venue and the time of year, and what will be easy enough to put together. Matching very specific shades can be tricky, so bear that in mind and be flexible about mixing and matching shades if necessary.
Need a little inspiration? Check out our five favourite colour schemes for 2017 weddings here:
One of our all-time favourite wedding colours has to be nude. Chic and understated on its own or easily mixed with other shades, nude is a real winner whatever your venue or wedding style. Why not ask your bridesmaids to find their own gowns in shades of nude, for a pretty and eclectic look that shows off their individuality without looking bland.
Bethany Clarke Photography
Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery, so we’re expecting to see gorgeous green tones featuring a lot in weddings for 2017/18. This scheme works beautifully for any season, whether it be pastel shades for spring, bright hues for summer or darker, more rustic palettes for autumn/winter. Foliage is a huge trend right now, and lends itself perfectly to this scheme. Include beautiful leafy green foliage everywhere from your floral displays and bouquets, to your wedding cake and decor. A beautiful way to create a natural wedding look, that’s much more cost effective than using expensive, traditional blooms, such as roses or peonies.
Paul Liddement Photography
Take a modern twist on tradition, by turning your ‘something blue’ into your scheme! We’ve seen plenty of weddings featuring pastel blue shades recently and are completely in love. This is a great alternative shade for a vintage theme and may go down better with your hubby-to-be than girly pink! Team with silver and sparkles for a wintry look or try a darker shade, such as navy, for a formal alternative to black.
A trend that’s been going strong for a while and is showing no sign of slowing down, is metallics. Silver, gold, copper and our favourite, rose gold, are all hot picks, whether you choose to mix and match shades or keep things simple with one metal taking centre stage. Sequins are a wonderful way to incorporate metallics into your day, and are everywhere right now, from bridesmaid dresses to table cloths.
Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography
One scheme you can never go wrong with, is white. Traditional and timeless, white is a great choice if you’re indecisive or can’t agree on a scheme. Details in this colour are easy to come by and will never date in your photographs. Plus, they’re easy to pull together, with no messing about trying to match specific shades. Perfect!
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