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Author Archives: Sheree

Wedding Gift Ideas

I know it can sometimes be quite a task thinking up new and creative gifts to make or buy for the bride and groom, and weddings seem to happen all at once don’t they?! Getting your creative head on can be difficult within short spaces of time (as is planning the outfit!) so we’ve put together a nice little gallery of some great fool-proof ideas for any up and coming nuptials.

A few of them are sold through our partners Not On The High Street and you can find so many personalised gifts there. Including Cute Maps of course! We offer a ‘Gift Map’ service where we map out a ‘journey’ or ‘experience’ in our classic cute and colourful way. We receive so many weird and wonderful requests for Gift Maps, so bring it on, let’s hear your story! Take a look at our website for more details on the process and how to order. This would make a perfect gift for the bride and/or groom, your bridesmaids, parents, friends, anybody at all! The possibilities are endless.

We’ve seen so many low cost home made ideas too, including a hamper with all the ingredients for the bride and groom to make their favourite meal, their names in scrabble letters in a lovely frame, how about filling their fridge with goodies after their honeymoon to save them worrying about break and milk on their return?

Take a look at these ideas and see what you think… x

Custom Coasters – NOTHS – A lovely way to record memories

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Mr & Mrs Mugs – NOTHS

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A great celebratory gift- NOTHS

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Tree Carving Chopping Board – NOTHS

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The possibilities are endless with this simple idea

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And of course, Cute Map Gift Maps! A fab way to see the memories all in one cute and custom made place!

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Thank you! Grazie! Merci!

We’ve been looking into some creative ideas on how to say a big thank you to all of your guests for being a part of your big day- travelling for miles and helping stack up those gifts or help pay for the honeymoon flight! Depending on your budget there are some great ways to show your gratitude; mini gifts, sweet treats, fun thank you cards, photographs of your guests on the day… Thank you’s are the last impression that your guests will have on the wedding, so why not make it memorable? Take a loot at the gallery below for our picks x

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Cute Maps Thank You Cards

(of course!)

 

 

 

 

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Has the Vintage Theme had its day?

27_8340382_origThere has been a reoccurring pattern in wedding themes these past few years, the ever popular ‘Vintage’ scheme. Although I am a huge fan of the pre-loved, soulful and meaningful things, I must say I’m starting to feel that vintage themes have had their day. I know, I know that this is not the most favourable thing to say, but I do feel as though ‘Vintage’ or ‘Vintage inspired’ themes can sort of miss the point.

As a major interior design enthusiast in my spare time, vintage means so much more. It means something that has qualities which represents the era in which it was made, something that has been made with love and craft, something that has value.  Most of all something that is not less than 20 years old, therefore ‘shabby chic’ and mere second hand items do not cut it or pass the test to be classed as Vintage. It’s losing its meaning and for me, losing it’s charm. It makes me wonder how much longer this theme can remain in Vogue, but I’m reckoning it has a while more to go.

I’m all for looking at themes that use pre-loved items that actually mean something to the couple, or to the families and friends, like grandma’s tea sets to serve the wedding meal, cutlery that pre-dates Ikea and table cloths crocheted by a great aunt. But a melange of simply old, charity shop or second hand shop finds hashed together to create a mock vintage theme strikes me as a bit of a muddle.

Don’t get me wrong I am not condemning here! It’s merely just something that I see a lot of each day, and when you see a lot of something it gets tiresome, right? I think that like all trends, they are easy to follow as the component parts are so readily available to us when something is in style. So it can sometimes be hard to see past what’s commercially out there, ready for us to add to the shopping cart and purchase. But hey, why not glorify the modern? Create something new and fresh, celebrate your true style? There’s an immense amount of amazing modern design out there today to enjoy, fabulous uses of materials like Perspex, plastic and glass, flowers made i to sculptural architecture, clean and classic table setting ideas and so much more.

If you think that vintage themes are getting old, take a look of some of the below images for some ideas on modern inspiration. How about a new style, ‘Anti-Vintage?!’

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Autumn Proof Cocktails

23_7568460We can’t believe its October already, this year is flying by. In an attempt to look forward to the colder seasons ahead, what better way than to research some of our favorite warming and cosy cocktails?! ‘Any excuse’ I hear you say, but I’m sure you’ll agree that these recipes are not only easy, but very satisfying!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milk Chocolatini

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Ingredients:
85ml Blue Ice Vodka.
43ml Godiva Chocolate Liqueur.
14ml White Cream de Cacao.
Several chunks of milk chocolate.

Directions:
Add vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and White Cream De Cacao into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a toothpick of milk chocolate chunks.

 

 

Silver Autumn Blossom

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Ingredients:
28ml NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
21ml Lemon Juice
14ml Simple Syrup
14ml Aperol
One wedge (about 1/8) of a Blood Orange

Directions:
Muddle blood orange wedge in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and other ingredients and stir well.
Strain into a martini glass.

 

 

 

Cinnamon Toast

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Ingredients:
38 mls Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
180 mls hot apple cider
15 mls sugar
15 mls cinnamon

Directions:
Add hot apple cider and Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum to a glass rimmed with sugar and cinnamon.

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Winter Wedding Styling Ideas

When we think of winter weddings we immediately think of thick white powdery snow photo shoots with brides dressed in sparkly gowns and fur throws, (handy image to the left) however, the case is probably more likely to be a dull rainy day! (well, in Manchester is it.)

Here are some realistic down to earth DIY ideas to add some extra winter sparkle, warmth and cosiness to a winter wedding day. We love the idea of a hot chocolate bar, think luxurious, decadent thick hot chocolate with an alcoholic option (Bailey’s please) and lots of marshmallows and sprinkles.

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This idea could be developed into quirky little favours – hot chocolate in a jar? ‘Make your own chocolate cake’ in a jar. Typical me to go down the chocolate route, I suppose when I think of winter I do think of indulgence, therefore chocolate!

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Other ways to inject a hint of winter wonderland are to use an abundance of candles, maybe try all different sizes, from huge church candles to tea-lights, and also rows and rows of fairy lights.

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Using woodland props like bark, twigs and mini tress as centre pieces would help create a fairy tale like theme, but also very organic, natural and tasteful. A bauble or two may not go a miss either!

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Real Life Wedding, Jessica and Arthur

1_8733477_origThis fabulous Real Life Wedding took place in Gloucestershire where Jessica married Dutch hubby Arthur. How amazing is must have been for the bride and groom gave their many guests travelling from Holland a glorious English experience which occurred in Jess’ family home, a truly personal day with hints of Holland – of course! Read on for their low down of their special day, Cute Maps particularly love the sound of  the babysitters (how fabulous!) a jazz singer and chips in cones for an evening snack!

 

 

 

 

Names: Arthur and Jessica

Wedding Date: 10th of May, 2014

The vision for the day: Cotswold country wedding with a touch of Dutch.

The Planning Process: We started planning our wedding 10 months before the day itself. The first booking we made was for our wedding photographer, followed by the marquee. My husband is Dutch, and we expected about 65 guests to travel from Holland especially for our wedding. It was important to us to give them a truly English experience, so we arranged their accommodation in local B&Bs, designed our bespoke wedding invitations around a map of the village (Landrovers, local pubs and all) which doubled up as an actual map for the walk from the church to the house, and chose local produce/dishes for our wedding breakfast. We wanted to have a child friendly wedding, so also planned for 2 babysitters to look after the 10 babies and children who would attend.

Budget & Venue: We were lucky with our venue as my family have a large house and garden which we could use for the marquee. However, although this initially saved costs in terms of venue, it brought higher charges in other areas such as catering and drinks as we needed to source our own suppliers rather than working from a pre-approved list. Still, having our reception in my family home and selecting all the food and wines made it all the more personal. In terms of budget, we planned on spending 20k and managed to stick to this.

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The Dress and Accessories: I bought my Augusta Jones dress from the White Room, in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. The dress was accessorised with Georg Jensen earrings and bangles, a vintage art deco silver clutch and sparking Jimmy Choo shoes.

Grooms & Bridesmaids attire: The groom and groomsmen were dressed in navy, with ivory waistcoats and dark purple ties/pocket squares. My two bridesmaids wore midnight blue dresses from Ghost, and my flower girl wore a dusky purple dress from Monsoon.

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The Readings: extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Song of Solomon, Chapter 8, verses 6-7, and a dutch poem read by one of my husband’s family.

Music and First Dance: during the reception we had a jazz singer, and then live music provided by the A-Listers in the evening. Our first dance was Lifening by Snow Patrol.

The Food: Dutch bitterballen as canapés, nethermuir mushrooms to start, beef & game casserole served with spring vegetables, polenta & asparagus tart for vegetarians, followed by wedding cake as dessert. At midnight we served chips in cones with a choice of ketchup or dutch fritesaus.

The flowers: Tulips, of course! Our colours were purple and white.

The cake: 3 tiered sponge cake from Marks and Spencer

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Your Photographer: Rupert Marlow Photography

The Details and Décor: flowers, flowers and more flowers! Instead of table numbers we used places that we had travelled to, with photographs of us on that particular holiday, which certainly raised a few laughs by our guests! We organised a surprise gift for children – on their tables they each had their own tin with colouring books, crayons, toys and of course, paper windmills to play with. This was a  big hit and kept them all entertained throughout the speeches and dinner. Our wedding favours were personalised M&Ms, and menus/table plan were styled around airmail stationary to tie in with the travel/international theme.

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The Honeymoon: 7 days in the Maldives and 3 days in Dubai.

Memorable Moments: Our wedding car was my brother’s vintage Landrover defender which was fantastic, except not the easiest to get in and out of in a wedding dress! The dutch canapés were such a hit that the children were queuing up by the kitchen door to eat them as soon as they were ready to serve.

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Advice for other couples: know your budget and stick to it. Prioritise what is important to you both – for us it was live music and the very best photographer that we could afford. Ask your wedding suppliers for recommendations – they wouldn’t recommend anyone they wouldn’t want to be associated with. Alpha hire, our marquee supplier, was especially excellent in this regard. Flowers are often very expensive, but we were able to save money here by asking the local w.i. to decorate the church which was a fraction of the cost.

Finally, if you have the space and can afford it, providing child care for guests with families was one of the single best things that we did. It meant that the children could play freely and that the parents could relax and enjoy the celebrations.

Credits
Rupert Marlow Photography
Alpha hire
The A-Listers

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What to wear for a November Wedding

So I have a friend’s wedding coming up in November, in Manchester, in autumn. The weather is these parts is already getting gloomy (summer is over, nooooo!) and I’m wondering what I’m going to wear to this event as its probably going to be fairly cold!

As sticking to a budget is paramount to me as I’m sure it is for many this time of year (party season is definitely in view!) I’m ideally looking for something not only warm(ish) but also versatile that I can wear again. I’m not a disposable fashion kinda gal so buying an item that I’m only going to wear once is not really my way, investing in something that is good quality and transcends the seasons is much more appealing to me.

Therefore I’m on the hunt for a good value classic, something not too short, too tight or too flashy and something appropriate for the season. I’m thinking that black tights are going to be part of this November wedding outfit formula to try to keep out the cold! As is the right jacket, as we know that a good/bad jacket can really be the key to the a good outfit, or let it down! I don’t think today’s denim number is going to cut it!

Embracing a rich autumnal colour palette is also desirable for me, burgundys, greens and mustards in fear not wanting to look too summery. Take a look below for some of the autumn wedding outfit cuts we have found on the high street, hope this inspires your guest outfits too!

Below: 1. Topshop Blurred jacquard A Line Dress £50

2. Topshop Faux fur black coat £75

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Below: 1. Topshop Floral overlay dress £55

2. Topshop Ultimate faux leather biker jacket £58

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Below: 1. Topshop Pretty lace trim black top £28

2. Topshop Floral scuba midi skirt £48

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Below: 1.Oasis High neck lace dress £70

2. Oasis Structured skater dress £70

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Below: 1. Oasis Shadow bird viscose dress £45

2. Oasis Plain crepe wrap dress £55

Frog Artistic Flowers – Beautiful Florist in Manchester

126_8683456Today we’re blogging about Frog, the amazing artistic florist based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Not only do they create statement pieces for weddings, but other events too, as well as fashion shoots and installations. From a simple statement to exuberant exhibitions, Frog offers a tailor-made service with a reputation for personal attention and care.

As for the history bit, ‘French born artist David Jayet-Laraffe moved to Manchester in 1998, with a passion for flowers and a natural eye for design, and started learning floristry. After working for an international florist, he knew exactly where he wanted to go and decided to open a floral artistry studio mixing his love for flowers, fashion and art. Frog was born.
Since 2007, Frog has been making a real statement, creating and sculpting floral arrangements for an array of clients: weddings, events, fashion shoots, installations, collaborations…’

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Take a look at their gorgeous website, we swooned over the images in the photo galleries, so much inspiration can be taken from these images. Ideas for not only flowers, but also colour palettes and styling. To me, each image looks like a page in Vogue magazine. Truly divine.

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David is clearly a flower genius and you can see by the excellent reviews on the site that his work is simply ‘WOW’, artistic floristry to perfection. Some of Frog’s corporate clients include Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, Stock Restaurant, Room Restaurant and Trevor Sorbie.

We’re wondering whether we can squeeze a display in Cute Maps HQ!
See below for a few more images that we love…

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Black and White Styling

77_5249082_origSo this post is a bit of a contrast to what I was saying in the last one (the Missoni wedding.) I was all like, if I get married I’d sooo do the colourful clashy Missoni laid-back thing, but hey, a girl can change her mind right? (Especially when the girl likes everything!) So this post is all about super glam, crisp, black and white wedding styling ideas, which we at Cute Maps absolutely love. And at the end of the day, I truly think that anything that resembles a Chanel store/display/outfit is absolutely a very good idea for a wedding theme.

Such a stylish, elegant and classy theme, timeless and sophisticated, but also a theme that isn’t too ‘themed’. It’s really easy to achieve as you can’t really go wrong with it in terms of ‘matching up’ items, it’s not like it has to be the right shade of blue or red. It’s a really simple idea which quickly turns to super glam when done to perfection.
It’s also great for anytime of the year, not adhering to colour trends or the seasons. Classic.

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We love the idea of elaborate black and white wedding cakes, check out the stripy ruffle cake below (but equally, simple black and white works just as well) complete with a black and white desert table with interesting and quirky chocolates, lollys and cakes – I’m thinking the devilishly black macaroons found at Laduree. Black details on a white dress (or for me, white details on a black dress OR a totally black dress with totally white flowers! See the bridesmaids image below for this idea) black and white flowers, table settings, centre pieces, creative and striking favours and of course, black and white invites and wedding stationary designed by Cute Maps! Enabling you to invite your glamorous guests with the continued theme. Some black and white photography, film noir style also wouldn’t go a miss here (see below for some ideas) I can see these photos really standing the test of time.

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Personally, I also think a hint of gold can take the black and white theme to new heights, when I think of this I think of Great Gatsby style imagery and suave cocktail parties. Some ideas could include gold rimmed plates on a black and white table setting, gold cutlery, gold text on the menus, a hint of gold in the centre pieces, you could really go wild with this.

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We have put together a gallery below of some of our favourite black and white wedding styling images that we hope can give you some hints of inspiration… I feel this may be an ongoing obsession of mine, so watch this space for more!

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Ciao Bella! Margherita Missoni’s Wedding

85_4297066I know its an old one, but I’ve just gotta blog about Margherita Missoni’s wedding, which took place back in June 2012 in the small town of Brunello, Italy.

Every picture that I can find depicts the same really laid back, chilled out boho feel wedding party. Everybody is constantly smiling.

Margherita designed the dress herself, which was made by the tailor’s who had known her growing up (she also had close counselling from close friend Giambattista Valli.) The dress is cool and gypsy, and made from flower-embellished Missoni silk with voluminous organza sleeves and was totally in keeping with the relaxed feel to the day. Her hair was braided which kept her veil in place, which was swapped for a daisy-chain headpiece for the evening (as well as a blush pink version of her dress) and flat silver gladiator sandals. I know, it all sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? But look how well she pulls it off. All so natural, and not at all over ‘done’, which is why I love it so much.

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For me the whole Missoni ethos is mismatched chic, colour clashing, highly patterned prints, very laid back, and generally has an extremely cool feel…which has been completely encapsulated in Margherita Missoni and Eugenio Amos’ day. Even the bridesmaids wore clashing print maxi dresses in various colours and ex French Vogue Editor Carine Roitfeld dressed up as a gysgy! So clearly this was the order of the day.

The reception looks truly amazing, and if the day ever comes (!) I will definitely be taking a few pointers from the styling here. Guests were entertained by a gypsy band, acrobats and a fortune teller and ate Moroccan style around low tables with Missoni floor cushions (of course) so luxe!

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The cake was a heart shaped pastry covered in berries, the food was a ‘tuck in’ style with big bowls and servers on each table and the table fabrics and crockery were all Missoni. I’d like everyday of my life to be like that.

My favourite wedding to date.

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