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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Bohemian Wedding Inspiration

Another beautiful mood board for you to swoon over today. There’s just something about a bohemian wedding; the air of freedom, free spiritedness and uniqueness; all so inviting. And completely defies any pre-conceived notions of what a wedding should look like. I love the flowers, flowy dresses and wedding parties that just look so effortlessly cool; a definite essential for the bohemian bride. Enjoy these beautiful images and if anybody has any ideas on how to make a floral headpiece look so chic PLEASE let me know.

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Monday Pins

Ah here is a collection of some gorgeousness to start your week off with a bang! Some beautiful images and inspiration from Pinterest, if you don’t follow us yet you can find us here http://www.pinterest.com/cutemaps/; collecting all the pretty stuff from around the web for your viewing pleasure.

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I NEED this in my life!

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What a Cute Map eh?

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Talking Centrepieces

Centrepieces are a minefield. They can make or break your theme and are pretty much going to be the focus of all the small talk that happens pre-wedding meal. However they also have to be not too over the top; no one likes their food to be overshadowed by a meadow or full on art display. It’s a hard thing to master. Advice would be to keep it simple, think about your theme, what colours you should use and how they will look in your actual venue. Also no matter how good that DIY tutorial looks; remember that in the run up to the big day you’re going to have a million things to worry about; is an extensive centrepiece making project really what you want to be doing hours before the guests arrive? Here’s a few pretty ones to inspire!

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What do you think? Anyone got some great table plan ideas? Please share in the comments below!

Funny Valentine

Happy Valentines Day everybody!! I know, you probably didn’t even realise it was today, not like EVERY shop in the world has been pushing it for at least a month. I can’t walk through Boots anymore without evaporating in a cloud of sweet smelling perfume and ridiculous red heart shaped balloons. Why has this holiday got SUCH a bad color scheme! Red and pink are never allowed together but suddenly it’s acceptable. Somebody needs to give V day a good old make over. But anyway, asides from the major style error the substance of valentines day is, dare I say it, sweet. And any holiday that means you can have fancy chocolates, delicious breakfasts and flowers is fine by me. However not everyone can cope with these levels of sappiness, So I have found some acceptable cards for you to give your loved ones…or laugh at with them. Have a great weekend!

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Real Life Wedding, Rhiannon and Tom

Pops of colour, a stunning venue and the best cheese wedding cake EVER; this wedding has it all. Rhiannon and Tom got married in August last year in Finchingfield. I love the relaxed atmosphere of the whole day, definitely channelling garden party vibes with an amazing jazz band and canapés outside. Those balloons are such a great idea! So simple but they really bring the photos to life. This fantastic day was captured expertly by the lovely Laura at Babb Photo www.babbphoto.com.

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Names: Rhiannon and Tom Puar

Wedding: Date 31st August 2013

The vision for the day: Tom and I both love bright colours and a pastel/shabby chic wedding was never going to be our style. Very early on I knew I wanted a bright midnight blue accent to things as I love the way that colour pops out and catches people’s eyes but I didn’t want just one main colour scheme so we decided that the colours of the rainbow would be the best way to go. We also wanted the day to be formal enough for people to be able to dress up in lovely clothes but relaxed and summery so that people felt as if they were at a garden party.

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The Planning Process: I bought my first wedding magazine about two weeks after the engagement, I felt proud of myself for waiting that long! This is when I began my obsession! I still have a stack of wedding magazines by my bed that I can’t bring myself to give away. They were really useful in the planning process and I got lots of ideas and support along the way from reading them. We decided to have the wedding close to our anniversary and gave ourselves just over eighteen months to plan it, having such a long time was great as there was no stress involved and I loved every part of the process so didn’t want it to be over quickly.

Budget: We had a budget from the beginning which we felt it was important to try to stick to, if not come under but things inevitably cost more than you expect. I started to do a lot of DIY bits and pieces which made a big difference.

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The Venue: We chose the beautiful Spains Hall in Finchingfield as it made such a big impression on us, everything there was geared to making the day special and we loved the slightly quirky nature of the ceremony room, the award winning toilets(!) and the quality of everything in the stables where the reception would be held. There were also a number of ducks wandering around which was perfect as they are one of our favourite animals!

The Dress and Accessories: The dress was Jenny Packham and my veil was made by a milliner who lives down the road from Tom’s parents. She used the excess beads after my dress had been altered to create a headpiece which matched the dress! My shoes were a finding of fate: The perfect bright blue colour and the last pair in a Kurt Geiger sale which fit me perfectly! I also wore a pair of blue earrings which had belonged to Tom’s Aunt which meant a lot to him and his family.
I started the dress hunt very early as I was too excited to wait! I had seen Jenny Packham dresses in magazines and on the Internet and knew I loved her style so I thought I had better try some of her dresses before anything else. I found a stockist in Birmingham and took two friends along to help me but when we got there the woman wouldn’t let me try on any Jenny Packham dresses, telling me it would be a shame if I liked one and then couldn’t afford to buy it (I hadn’t told her my budget at this point), so feeling very put out and a bit Pretty Womanesque I halfheartedly tried a couple of other dresses and left.
I then went to a few other dress shops in the area with Tom’s mum but felt like I was playing fancy dress in all these big netted dresses and felt ready to give up when Tom’s mum found a shop in Worcester who were having a Jenny Packham sample sale, they had photos of the dresses and one in particular caught my eye so we travelled down with our fingers crossed it would fit and as soon as I tried it on I had the feeling I’d been missing- this was “the one”!

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Grooms Attire: Tom didn’t want tails but otherwise wasn’t sure what he wanted, we went to a couple of suit places and in Moss they gave him a French connection Tux to try on which he loved, that was that! A much easier shopping experience than the dress!
The Readings:  I had stumbled across the passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin early on and we both loved that so decided that would be our first one to be read by my oldest friend (it turned out to be extra special when I told my brother what we had chosen as I had forgotten that was the reading he and my sister in law had at their wedding). Our second reading was to be done by a close friend of us both from university and we accidentally stumbled across a poem called “The One” which, despite slight cheesiness, was perfect as he and his friends used to claim they had found “the one” every night out so it added a comedic touch!

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Beautiful Bridesmaids: My four best friends from university and my best friend from school were the adult bridesmaids who planned an absolutely perfect hen do for me in Bath and helped make the day before and morning of the wedding completely stress free by being simply wonderful! They were all in bright blue dresses from Oasis and matching gold shoes and earrings, my Dad also made them matching poppy hair grips to match the poppy in our bouquets! My littlest bridesmaid was my treasured niece Isla who looked perfect in her cream lace dress and a poppy in her hair! She loved being a bridesmaid and asked me the other day if I was going to get married a second time so she could be a bridesmaid again!

Music and First Dance: The music I walked down the aisle to was the very first decision made. I have always loved Eva Cassidy’s Songbird and I knew this song would fit how I felt about the ceremony and about Tom.

I was very keen to have a live band in the evening whereas Tom really wanted a DJ so we decided to have a jazz band for the afternoon and wedding breakfast and a DJ for the evening, this worked out so well, the jazz band Jazz Company gave the afternoon exactly the garden party vibe I was after and it was great having them play while we ate dinner as well. The DJ Simon played songs we had asked for in a great mix which kept everyone dancing all night, although he was slightly confused when we confirmed it was the Jay Z version of Empire State of Mind we wanted for our first dance, not the Alicia Keys one!

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The Food: was a recommended supplier from the venue, Cambridge Dining Company. The food was delicious and we had fun choosing the menu options before the wedding. The canapés in particular went down a storm during the drinks reception.

The flowers: Were designed by a family friend Irene Belton who suffered through my many changes of heart and demands and ended up creating centre pieces and bouquets that were even closer to what I wanted than I had been able to explain! She captured what we wanted exactly and the flowers had such an impact on the bright and fun nature of the day. We had great fun on the Thursday before the wedding helping her to put the centre pieces together and Tom and I both loved that we had been so hands on with something so important. Tom’s mum also helped with the centrepieces and grew some bright and colourful flowers in her garden for us which she then arranged in some wicker baskets to decorate the troughs in the reception hall to help add to the colour!

The cake: Was five layers of delicious cheeses from Gunton’s deli in Colchester, we had brilliant fun trying all the cheeses and choosing our five favourites! My parents couldn’t stand the idea of the day going by without actual cake as well so they asked their friend to make 150 brightly coloured cake pops which went down a storm!

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Your Photographer: The brilliant Laura Babb, I came across her photos on a blog and showed Tom who agreed that her style was exactly what we wanted. After meeting her in London and liking her Facebook page where she uploads previews of her photography regularly I was convinced she would be the only person to capture the day right so we booked her up and as you can see from the photos were completely right about that!

The Details and Décor: This was my biggest obsession over the year before the wedding, we had asked Cute Maps to create our stationary and the cute and quirky design the lady behind Cute Maps came up with massively influenced the rest of the style. We wanted lots of colour and I wanted everything to tie together so I used elements of her stationery and my own designs to create menus, a scavenger hunt style game and my biggest obsession; the favours. These were individual boxes with a small pot of homemade chutney, some savoury biscuits, some wax paper and a sticker so people could use them to take some of our cheese cake home with them. They were almost too successful though as Tom and I didn’t get to eat a single piece of the cheese!
I spent a lot of time scouring blogs and wedding magazines to find ideas for the details but the best ones came to me at random times! I made a poster for our guest book and spent an afternoon stamping out mini card balloons for people to sign, I found some mini bunting in rainbow colours to decorate the cake and found 7 giant balloons in rainbow colours which ended up behind us during the meal before being commandeered by my niece and nephew! Laura Babb also used them to take one of our favourite photos from the whole day. I have never been one to follow the crowd and didn’t want the typical Mr and Mrs sign I was seeing everywhere so instead bought and painted the letters of The Puars to sit in front of us during the wedding breakfast.

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The Honeymoon: Was a three month trip round the world, we have talked for a long time about going travelling so decided our honeymoon was the perfect time, it was easily the best three months of our lives and we have such fantastic lifelong memories from it. We visited the USA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand over twelve weeks. Some of the highlights of the trip were relaxing on the remote islands in Fiji, feeding kangaroos in Australia, travelling the south island of New Zealand and riding an elephant in Thailand.
Memorable Moments: Seeing Tom for the first time in the ceremony was wonderful, my dad getting choked up at the end of his speech and a great surprise from the boys who had been on the stag do who had attempted to put together a brilliant dance routine. To be honest I could write every detail of the day here, we loved every minute of it!
Advice for other couples: Make the day about you and your fiancé, incorporate your own personalities and invite the people you want to be there and you can guarantee it will be a roaring success! Also, don’t stress, things that seem vitally important three months before the wedding or even three hours before are completely forgotten when you see each other for the first time from opposite ends of the aisle!

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Credits:
Definitive Music for both the band and DJ, I couldn’t recommend this company and the two acts we hired more… www.definitivemusic.co.uk
Laura Babb at www.babbphoto.com for our amazing photos.
Cute Maps stationery www.cutemaps.co.uk
Gunton’s Deli www.guntons.co.uk
Perfections dress shop in Worcester, the perfect wedding dress experience, the staff are wonderful here! www.perfections.ltd.uk
Sally Harper Milinery for my handmade veil http://www.sharpermillinery.com

Real Life Wedding, Ailsa and George

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An absolute stunner of a wedding to share with you today! With such a classic looking bride in the grandest of venues; all those hours on pinterest certainly paid off. Love their idea to give each table a ‘leader’, a genius way to share the hosting duties and get everyone involved. This beautiful day was captured wonderfully by Geoff Kirby www.geoffkirbyphotography.co.uk. Let’s hear from the bride…

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Names – Ailsa Clarke & George Adams

Wedding Date- 14.09.13

The vision for the day- classic chic wedding with a lot of originality and a focus on family.

The Planning Process- hours spent working out which way to go. Once the major details were worked out the smaller parts were planned night after night. Pinterest was very much my friend! George got to the point where he wanted to be involved but given options rather than researching so i took on the role of chief planner .

The Venue- pinchbeck church followed by a marquee on the lawn of Georges father’s house- Pinchbeck hall.

The Dress and Accessories- customised Mark Lesley dress. Earrings and hair slide from notonthehighstreet.com both with a pearl and diamond effect and veil from masquerade.

Grooms Attire- traditional wedding suit hired from Goddards in Spalding. Went for grey suit with navy ties to match the colour scheme.

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The Readings- my oldest school friend Gina workman read song of Soloman from the bible- which is a love poem. George’s sister Lucy Adams read “grow old with you” from the film the wedding singer.

Beautiful Bridesmaids- My two sisters Lizzie and Mabel wore silver, Lizzi- George’s sister, Sam- my brother’s girlfriend and my best friend Emma wore navy. Dresses were made by my mother in law Liz Alexander. She did a fantastic job and made them out of a stiff silk material from John Lewis in two styles! I loved having bridesmaids in completely custom one of a kind dresses made by family.

Music and First Dance- I walked down the aisle to Victoria and Albert- Ilan Eshkeri which was from the soundtrack to the film The Young Victoria. It is one of my favourite films and the score is beautiful and felt right for us as it was classical sounding but had a love story behind it. We left the church to mad caddies- without you. This was a favourite of ours and is very upbeat so fit nicely. Our first dance was the Beatles- in my life. For entertainment we had a band who went down a storm- the Supertones.

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The Food- We went for a posh bbq with Moroccan lamb, cajun chicken and mozerella beef burgers alongside salads. For the night time George’s family butcher shop catered pork pies, sausage rolls, hams salads etc. The best part was the pork pie wedding cake they did for us.

The flowers- Flowers N’ Things of Spalding Lincs put out flowers together in a rustic way to match our theme. We had delphiniums, gypsophila, hydrangeas, roses etc. They were the most beautiful arrangements I have ever seen and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

The cake- Anna Davies at country kitchen cakes at Weston lincs did our cake in blue with pearls and lace, it was so beautiful she did an amazing job.

Your Photographer- Geoff Kirby from Nottingham was our photographer who did such an incredible job, he managed to capture the most intimate moments. We were keen not to have many posed photos as much prefer ones that capture moments and people when they don’t realize.

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The Details and Décor- the marquee was done by events and tents lincs. They have beautiful marquees and an amazing vision. We went for navy and silver as the colour scheme. I got lots of French looking accessories and hearts to decorate the inside. Lots of my ideas came from pinterest including gluing 3 photo frames together with a flameless candle behind them. The photos included the people on each table and were a great conversation starter. We also came up with an idea that we would have table leaders on each table who were responsible for making sure everyone was happy, got fed and had lots to drink. As part of their role they had to wear a hat of some sort which again was great fun and the people really enjoyed it. The tables were named in line with each headwear so one table was “high society” and had a top hat, another was “the fuzz” with a police hat!

The Honeymoon- We went for 2 weeks to Tanjung Benoa in Bali and spent the whole time relaxing, eating and drinking! Think we pretty much put a stone on each but it was such an amazing time.

Memorable Moments- A memorable moment for me was the time before the church as George’s sister phoned to stall us because some guests were still in the pub. This gave my dad and I a good 10 minutes on our own in the car which was really special. During the service I had a butterfly in my dress layer which was quite funny as it was flying around throughout the whole service- George managed to get it out in the room where we signed the register. Another memorable moment was after the service as we arrived back at the marquee first and enjoyed a few minutes on our own drinking champagne before people arrived. The speeches were particularly memorable too- my dad had managed to steal my childhood teddy prior to the wedding and had got him a little tux to wear so presented that during his speech which was hilarious. George also did a fantastic speech based on the guidance i had printed off for him a few nights before when he still hadn’t written a speech. He just basically listed this off and said a little bit about each point which went down really well despite him being in trouble from me for not writing a speech!!

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Advice for other couples- It will never cost what you expect even if you are meticulous with budgeting and planning so definitely plan to spend more. When planning try to remember why you are doing it and pick things that are personal to you. It literally goes by so quickly it’s unbelievable so definitely try to take a few moments during the day to take it all in!

Credits- Photographer- Geoff Kirby www.geoffkirbyphotography.co.uk

Marquee- the events and tents company www.eventsandtents.co.uk

Band- the supertones booked through www.alivenetwork.co.uk

Caterer- www.jeevescatering.com

Pork pie wedding cake- www.adamsandharlow.co.uk

Cake- country kitchen cakes Weston- www.countrykitchencakes.co.uk

Spring Style Inspiration

February is upon us and it is the time of year where I start pining for spring. Somehow I always forget that after Christmas it’s still cold, grey and miserable without any festivities to take the edge off. I am sick of wearing my winter coat, I am sick of having to plan every outfit around rain, I am sick of wearing boots and I am sick of being cold. But with the second month of the year, it almost feels like the end is neigh. The Spring collections have been launched and shops are slowly introducing some bright colours into the haze of monochrome. Now I’m not saying that it’s time to ditch the layers (remember the snow in March last year- hideous) and I don’t want to tempt fate by suggesting summer dresses can be brought out. But I do think a slight uplift in colours and fabrics is appropriate, a nod to warmer times giving us the hope we all need to get through to the next season. Let’s have a look at some of the trends from the 2014 catwalks:

  • Logos: you got something to say? Put it on a t-shirt! I’ve never been particularly comfortable wearing words, but with such pretty options available this trend is set to be big!
  • Indigenous prints were seen at Celine, Kenso and Chloe. Take on the global trail! An easy way to add a but of colour to your wardrobe. And might even make you believe you’re on holiday.
  • Cropped sweaters; we still need lots of layers and knitwear at this time of year, but why not try a change with a cropped sweater in a pretty pastel colour. This will liven up your outfit without sacrificing comfort!
  • Love worn denim; this season your jeans should look lived in, comfy and a bit worn with a high waist and straight legs. Channel your inner Thelma or Louise and enjoy these snug offerings.
  • The 90s are also having something of a revival this season with wet look hair, slip dresses and chokers all having a moment. Enjoy playing around with some of the new make-up trends; who knew metallic eye shadow would ever be in vogue!

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