Charlotte Balbier

unique, unusual & unforgettable: wedding entertainment that wows

June 13th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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Image source, photography by James Tracey Photography

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:

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Image source, photography by Peace Photography

love, actually

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!).

line up, line up!

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.

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Image source, photography by Sally Eaves Weddings

for the kiddies (and the young at heart)

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).

daytime fades into night

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.

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Image source, photography by Photography34

the end, or just the beginning?

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!

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Image source, photography by Amber Marie Photography

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!

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highs & lows: daring bridal gowns with love our wedding

May 9th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

David tutera 117265

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 gowni

Blue by Enzoani – Jamari 

plunging neckline

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 gown

Modeca – Aurora 

low backs

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.

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colour me happy: trends for 2017

April 11th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Theresa Furey, Fine Art Film Photographer

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:

nude

Nude wedding – Photography by Photography34

Photography34

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.

greenery

Green wedding - Bethany Clarke Photography

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.

blue hues

Blue wedding – Photography by Paul Liddement Photography

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.

metallics

Metallic wedding – Photography by HBA Photography

HBA Photography

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.

classic white

White wedding - Photography by Belle and Beau Fine Art Photography

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!

Love Our Wedding is the bridal industry’s newest and most exciting magazine, stocked by hundreds of top bridal boutiques, venues & fairs nationwide.

Visit loveourweddingmag.com to download or order your FREE monthly copy today!

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#girlsquad: bridesmaid trends for 2017

February 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Allure 1435-1436

Allure 1435 & 1436

We’re seeing lots of exciting bridesmaid trends coming up in 2017, which means that come the big day, your leading ladies can be looking as stylish as you (well, almost!).

This afternoon we’re putting the blog in the safe hands of our guest writer, the lovely Izzy Hicks of our media partner, Love Our Wedding Magazine, to tell us about the top bridesmaid trends for the year ahead.

floral prints

Izzy says: Floral wedding gowns were popular in designers’ 2016 collections, so it’s no surprise that bridesmaids are jumping on the bandwagon too with stunning flower print dresses. This trend can be worn a few different ways: in different colours for a cute vintage vibe, in different lengths but a matching print for an updated take on mix and match maids, or with just the maid of honour in floral print to make her really stand out! A top label for floral prints this season is Allure.

Christina Wu 22704

Christina Wu 22704

sequins

One of our favourite bridesmaid trends this year is sequins! Luckily for magpie brides, this trend is appearing in more and more 2017 bridesmaid collections, meaning they can pick sparkling gowns in a number of different styles and colours. Try full-length sequins for Jessica Rabbit glam, mixed metallics for an Instagram-worthy bridal party or sequin tops with chiffon or tulle skirts for just a hint of sparkle.

Look to Christina Wu Celebration for some dazzling options.

Kelsey Rose Style 12559

Kelsey Rose Style 12559

separates

Another bridesmaid trend taken from bridal is the separates. Instead of dresses, designers are including separate tops and skirts (or even trousers!) in their bridesmaid collections so that brides can mix and match styles for their maids. Not only does this mean that you can change up the styles depending on your bridesmaids’ preferences and body shapes, but they’re more likely to be able to wear the separate pieces again. We especially love this look combined with an on-trend crop top, perfect for boho or destination weddings. Our favourite label for separates this season is Kelsey Rose.

Special Day Diamond Collection D16556

Special Day Diamond Collection D16556

tea-length tulle

With more brides opting for 1950s-inspired tea-length wedding dresses, 2017 will be the year to have matching bridesmaids. Tea-length tulle gowns look cute on young bridesmaids and elegant on adult maids, and make the perfect choice for a vintage-inspired wedding theme. Add brightly-coloured petticoats for a fun retro twist! Special Day Ireland has some stunning tea-length tulle examples in its collection.

Jasmine B2 Style B193011

Jasmine B2 Style B193011

cold shoulder

This pretty detail updates a classic bridesmaid dress and brings it right into 2017. The cold shoulder silhouette is the ideal way to balance coverage with just a little skin showing, and flatters bridesmaids of all shapes and sizes. Wear it in pastel colours for a dreamy, summer boho vibe, or switch it up for winter with rich jewel shades. A great label for this look is Jasmine B2.

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bridal trend alert: the illusion wedding dress

December 1st, 2016 | Rachel Parry

allure-couture-style-c401c

Allure Couture

Keen to collaborate with other big-day enthusiasts in the world of weddings, we’re introducing a new guest writer to the blog today, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine.

Aa a regular feature in our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Fair media packs, we’re big fans and supporters of Love Our Wedding Magazine and enjoy flicking through its glossy pages of inspiration. As such Sophie will be sharing a monthly feature with us on everything from dresses to décor, and in return we will be writing for the wonderful Love Our Wedding Magazine website once a month too. If you didn’t see our first feature on the Top 2017 Wedding Themes, be sure to take a look.

For her first feature, Sophie has some serious dress candy in store for you as she talks bridal fashion trends.

mark-lesley-2017-collection-coming-soon

Mark Lesley

sophie says: One of our favourite bridal trends of the moment has to be illusion gowns!

Illusion necklines made an appearance in many designer collections for 2016 and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down for 2017. The elegant detailing gives the appearance of tattooed lace on skin and is a must have for any fashion-conscious bride.

But it’s not just necklines that have been featuring this illusion styling. There has also been a lot of emphasis on the backs of gowns as well as on sleeves, with intricate illusion lace patterns cropping up in many of the hottest new collections.

From chic and subtle to the fashion-forward and daring, this trend will work for any style of bride.

Let’s take a look at some of our favourites…

kenneth-winston-style-1696

Kenneth Winston

illusion necklines

The signature style for 2016/2017 weddings, illusion necklines can be as daring as you like! There are many variations of this look; from high-neck detailing to plunging V-necklines – another huge trend for the new season.

We’d recommend wearing minimal jewellery and hair up or to one side, to really show off the gorgeous detailing on this style of gown.

Labels including Allure, Chloe Bridals, and Kenneth Winston all rock this look.

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