June 19th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
image source, photography by Carly Bevan Photography
So, you’ve chosen your venue, decided on the date, picked your colour palette and drawn up your guest list. Dress dilemmas are done and dusted, and you’ve selected which gal pals will accompany you down the aisle (still agonising? Check out our tips!). You’ve painstakingly worked your way down the wedding admin tick-list, from the cool stuff – food, music, entertainment – to the not-so-cool stuff – insurance and checking the venue’s PAT testing requirements.
If that’s the case, then bravo and a big shiny gold star for you! And we have good news: it’s time to take a break from all the adulting and spend some time indulging in the frivolous – but fun – details. We’re talking about the kind of finishing touches and frippery that won’t necessarily make or break your day (or your budget, for that matter) but are nevertheless important to you. These little features are often used as a way to make your celebration more personal, more poignant or simply to pump up the wedding wow factor.
So how to make your big day stand out from the rest?
image source, photography by Weddings by Smith
Maybe I’m just a weird stationery fiend – always a possibility – but I find that there are so many ways to incorporate little personal paper details into your big day. I’ve been to weddings where origami decorations (flowers, rainbow-coloured cranes) featured heavily, paper pompoms, lanterns and streamers provided a colourful (and cheap) decor hit, and place settings and table plans and numbers/names were creatively inspired. Plus, any excuse for a creative get together and cava – oops, I mean crafting – session with your pals, eh?
image source, photography by Pixsmiths Photography
Couples who put thought into their favours just make us squeal with their cuteness. They don’t need to be expensive – bottles of Bolly and Creme de la Mer products might be affordable for Kimmy K, but not for us mere mortals – so get your thinking caps on. My favourites from recent years have included a pork pie wrapped in floral fabric, gingerbread men from a local bakery, Jameson miniatures from a fellow whiskey-loving bride and Nutella tubs with guests’ names on the label. What’s personal to you that you haven’t seen before at a wedding? I feel a spider diagram coming on….
image source, photography by Bethany Whittaker
Another detail we love – guest books with a twist. Colouring in charts, polaroid or photobooth sessions, date and anniversary ideas, advice for a happy marriage, memory requests, song recommendations – they all get a thumbs up for individuality and creativity from us. Could your venue or interests lend you some inspiration? One couple I know who married in Newcastle’s Baltic modern art gallery asked all of their guests to draw a self-portrait of themselves and stick it to the glass walls, later putting all of the pictures together into a book. It was a great ice-breaker activity on the tables for people who didn’t already know each other and caused a not-insignificant amount of hilarity – bonus!
image source, photography by Bethany Whittaker
It used to be that brides and grooms thanked their mums with a big bouquet of last-minute lilies and that was that. Well, no more. Bridal party gifts are another area where the bride gets to go off the beaten track and have some fun. You can go personal – family pictures from the past turned into a beautiful photobook? – or poignant – an engraved locket with a snapshot of the two of you? Maybe she’d appreciate a massage to unwind from all of the stress of the preparations, or perhaps you could book an afternoon tea for the two of you to debrief and share photos a few weeks down the line. The same goes for your #bridesquad, #groomsquad and all of the others who’ve lent a hand, an ear or a wedding car for the big day – think personal and be creative.
image source, photography by Hayley Blackledge Photography
We look at a lot of pictures of cake (I know, it’s a tough gig) and, by default, lots of cake toppers. It’s clear that this is an area where brides and grooms express their individuality, straying far from traditional couple figurines. We’ve seen Lego people, knitted creations, superhero motifs and even beloved pets rendered in icing. What tickles your fancy?
Also, we’ve lost count of the number of brides who declare their dislike – or their husband’s lack of enthusiasm – for a traditional fruit cake with marzipan icing. The cake flavours described on these hallowed pages, from chocolate orange to pink lemonade, reflect the individuality of each couple and make us drool with worrying regularity. But who says you even have to have cake? We love it when brides demand something a bit different: a favourite family pudding, a humungous cheeseboard or a croquembouche – or an entire wall of doughnuts?! Now we’re talking!
June 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We all love presents, right?! But we also understand that planning a wedding gift list can get a little overwhelming with so many options to choose from. Should you request luxurious homeware items, modern appliances, unforgettable experiences – or a combination of all three?
To help you narrow down the choices, our wonderful Sponsor, The Wedding Shop, is taking over the blog this afternoon. As a fee-free, multi-retailer gift list provider, these guys are experts when it comes to helping brides and grooms select their precious presents.
Couples can choose to build their wish list online, or alternatively within one of The Wedding Shop’s beautiful showrooms, including their recently launched Edinburgh store, as well as stores in London and Dublin.
To help get the present planning underway the team are sharing their gift list dos and don’ts followed by a speculative edit of what could be found on the hottest celebrity couples’ wedding wish lists this year to inspire your choices…
Plan ahead and notify guests:
Give guests plenty of choice:
Get the groom involved:
Enjoy the experience
Most importantly have fun! These are gifts that you will enjoy and treasure during your married life together, so it should be a fun and exciting process that you should enjoy doing together.
Forget to think to the future:
Forget to make it personal:
Worry about asking for monetary contributions:
From Hollywood starlets and pop princesses, to the cream of British society, The Wedding Shop predicts what would be on some top celebrity couples’ gift lists, to inspire you to shop A-List style…
The Hollywood couple: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Jason Statham
Believed to be planning to marry this summer, the LA-based British model and her action-hero fiancé are reported to enjoy fast cars, long walks with their beloved Daschunds and cocktails by the pool:
March 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This morning we’re focusing on one of our very favourite things – presents!! – as we catch up with our fabulous Sponsor, The Wedding Shop.
As a fee-free, multi-retailer gift list provider, The Wedding Shop, provides unrivalled choice when it comes to creating a personalised wedding gift list, with the option to combine products with honeymoon and cash contributions, and even set up a charity fund.
Couples can choose to build their wish list online, or alternatively within one of The Wedding Shop’s beautiful showrooms, including their newly launched Edinburgh store. Located on the Scottish capital’s prestigious shopping thoroughfare; Dundas Street, the launch follows The Wedding Shop’s luxurious revamp of their Selfridges London showroom last September, and expands their portfolio to four locations, including stores in Chelsea and Dublin.
The beautiful new showroom provides the perfect relaxing and inspirational environment for couples to meet with their own personal advisor and compile their dream list – over a glass of champagne, of course!
To celebrate the launch of the Scottish showroom, The Wedding Shop team has complied its top gift list must-haves for 2017, seeking inspiration from top product designers and looking across its range of unique real-life experiences.
Commenting on current gift list trends, we speak to Edinburgh showroom manager Nicola Gemmell.
nicola says: Feedback from our clients indicates that ‘experience’ is the new luxury in gift lists, as couples wish to create life-long memories not just increase their collection of personal belongings.
For those that are looking to enhance their interiors through their gift choices, 2017 is all about bringing the outdoors indoors; from botanical-inspired and organic patterned homewares to the use of earthy tones and raw materials. That said, your home is a very personal space and should reflect your own tastes and experiences, not simply the trends. With thousands of products from over 350 brands to choose from at The Wedding Shop, you have the option to be able to select pieces which will ensure your home is fresh, fashionable and functional, but more importantly, you.
I look forward to welcoming couples to our inspiring space and helping them to choose from our portfolio of products as well as being able to add honeymoon vouchers, cash contributions, experiences, and anything else they desire.
50 shades of green
‘Greenery’, Pantone’s colour of the year 2017, is a refreshing and revitalising shade, symbolic of new beginnings. Therefore, what better way to mark the commencement of married life than giving the gift of green? The Wedding Shop has a multitude of gorgeous green products, from Aquanova towels and LSA glassware to Pooky lampshades, Addison Ross picture frames and even vibrant kitchen appliances.
December 9th, 2016 | Julia Braime
It was definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the Brides Up North gals this week as we received a teeny #tinytree through our letter box (yes… you read that right… read on!), courtesy of the coolest florists on the block, Bloom & Wild the flower delivery company.
Bloom & Wild is a British florist that makes sending design-led flowers online a joy. Bloom & Wild’s bouquets are sent through the letterbox, meaning the recipient doesn’t need to be in to take delivery and instead comes home to find the perfect gift waiting for them on their welcome mat. Their flowers are freshly cut, each bloom individually netted ‘in-bud’ and hand-packed in the innovative letterbox packaging allowing you to enjoy the full life of cut flowers – from bud to bloom.
Our Brides Up North tree (“The Drew”, similar to “The Bobby“, still available to purchase via the Bloom & Wild website) may be small, but it’s perfectly formed at 40cm tall, with its pot, wintery moss, twinkly lights, shiny baubles and bow. We love him.
We think Bloom & Wild’s hand cut bouquets (or#tinytree!) would make a perfect and unique gift for your bridal party, for that special someone this Christmas (leave this post open where your other half can see it!) or even to add to your own wedding gift list.
On that note, our favourite idea is their subscription service. Who doesn’t want a present that keeps on giving? Bloom & Wild bouquet bundles come in at £15 per bunch and you can schedule each delivery to a specific date, say Valentine’s Day and birthdays too, as the deliveries continue throughout the year.
The best things come in small packages after all, don’t they?
Find out more at www.bloomandwild.com.
July 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime
There’s no doubt that planning a wedding is stressful, but there are enjoyable elements along the way too. One of these has to be drawing up the wedding gift list, because who doesn’t love presents?!
To help you explore options for items to go on that special gift list, and to offer advice on how to compile a list that’s easily accessible to all your guests, we’re introducing you to our new fabulous Sponsor The Wedding Shop.
Doing just as its name suggests, The Wedding Shop is an easy to use gift list service that offers an unbelievable amount of choice, expert advice and a personal service.
Whether couples set up their list online, or at one of the company’s showrooms, they can choose from an amazing array of traditional gifts, such as homeware and electric goods, or select a range of funds for anything from honeymoons and home renovations to cookery courses. Excited? Us too!
We’ll hand you over to the experts themselves now to inspire you further…
When was The Wedding Shop set up and what does it bring to the wedding industry?
the wedding shop says: The Wedding Shop is the UK and Ireland’s leading and longest established independent wedding list company. We were founded in 1990 with the goal of providing the best and most adaptable wedding list offering delivered with outstanding customer service. We now have showrooms in Chelsea, Selfridges and Dublin and a head office in Barnes, South West London. In the past 26 years we have advised and managed the lists of tens of thousands of couples. The company remains family owned.
Why would you encourage brides and grooms to set up an online wedding gift list?
Research tells us that wedding guests prefer to be given guidance on what to buy as a wedding gift. Not only does it make the process easier for guests, it ensures that they are spending their money on something that is genuinely useful and desirable to the couple.
What sets The Wedding Shop apart from other wedding gift list websites?
In 2015 we launched the first truly unlimited wedding lift service available, meaning our couples can choose a gift from literally anywhere and we will include that within their list, with no fees. This gives them complete freedom from the restrictions traditionally placed upon them by wedding list services.
Something we are very proud to have innovated is the establishment of a separate Trust Account to hold the pledged monies required to complete lists for couples. This ensures that no matter what happens to The Wedding Shop, each and every list will be honoured in full. We believe this is remains unique to The Wedding Shop.
Is it simple to set up a gift list with The Wedding Shop? What is the process?
Very! Simply visit www.weddingshop.com to complete a simple form. This stores your details, your partner’s details and allows you to go on and personalise your very own wedding list page or start adding items right away. Alternatively, you can visit one of our showrooms.
What are the different gift list options available through The Wedding Shop?
We categorise our products either by room (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen), by product category (kitchenware, home & décor, travel & luggage) or by brand. We also have ready-made ‘Starter Collections’ that include list suggestions for ‘Setting Up Home’, ‘City Living’ and ‘Country Escape’ to make things even easier for couples. Aside from traditional gifts we offer a wide range of funds for anything from honeymoons to home renovations, cookery courses and driving lessons!
October 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
Another Tuesday, another retail opportunity!
Lots of soon-to-be-weds choose to shirk the traditional gift list, instead opting for money or ‘experience’ gifts like honeymoon registries, but here at Brides Up North we reckon that they might be missing a trick. We’re (almost) as big fans of interior styling as we are of bridal styling, and we’d kill for another chance to make a lifestyle wishlist. Ladies, use it wisely.
Kitchen appliances have come a long way over the years. Initially practicality reined over style but today most people wouldn’t pick a toaster because it can fit four slices of bread in it instead of two, but because it fits in with, or even enhances, their home interior.
Essentially worktops double up as display tops. So there’s no more hiding the blender and weighing scales in the kitchen cupboards – they must be picked to impress and showcased for all to see. But with gorgeous gadgets often comes a large price tag making them ideal luxury items to pop on the wedding gift list.
I recommend looking-up online retailer Amara if you decide to request classy kitchenware from your guests. Established in 2005 the flourishing business now houses over 200 of the world’s most luxurious home fashion brands including the likes of Ralph Lauren Home, Missoni Home and Calvin Klein.
Here a toaster is not just a toaster – it’s a style statement. Its electrical ranges include firm favourites that have the ability to keep up with current trends, such as Kenwood, Bosch and Delonghi, as well as cool under- the-radar brands like Bugatti.
The Italian homeware designer prides itself on producing kitchen accessories and appliances that are highly innovative and have an original and sophisticated design. Its collections can kit couples out with sleek kettles, toasters, weighing scales, blenders, juicers and coffee machines.
Striking in both style and structure, these eye-catching appliances are worthy of a glass display case, never mind a worktop. Just one or two Bugatti items would instantly inject excitement and character into culinary spaces.
Couples could request colours to contrast with their kitchen décor, or instead pick options to match existing accents. Bold brights include lilac, lime green, orange and red, while softer hue offerings come in the form of classic cream, black and white.
All the products are made from super shiny materials that could catch more than a magpie’s attention, including chrome and stainless steel, complete with flawless lacquered surfaces for a highly polished finish.
For me the most attention grabbing designs within the collection have to be the Volvo Toaster and Diva Coffee Machine – breakfast has never been so stylish!
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