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Wedding Ideas Awards 2014

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On the second Friday of January we swooshed off to the Wedding Ideas Awards for a night of glamour, dancing, and mingling with the best of the wedding industry. What a night. Champagne, a slow motion booth, ice sculpture giraffe luge, damn good DJs, and the hottest award winners and nominees in attendance. Hope you enjoy these fantastic photos from Thomas J Barnes Photography, www.thomasjbarnes.com.

The awards were held at the Tower hotel in London, a stunning location with a beautiful view of the river. The wedding ideas team were the most welcoming, gorgeous, glamorous hosts you could ask for and all the wedding industry scrubbed up impeccably well. Some unbelievable dresses being shown off.

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The whole evening was so enjoyable. It’s not often you can have such a fun time with people you’ve just met; but everyone was so friendly and the fantastic music, food and entertainment definitely brought everyone together. Dancing along to cheesy tunes is a sure way to bond, right?

When we arrived we were greeted with champagne with ACTUAL gold in it! Served by the fittest waiters who had thankfully forgotten their shirts. The awards were presented by the amiable Francine Lewis who lead the way with laughter at her fantastic impressions. The awards then followed and congratulations to all the fabulous winners! Best stationer went to Sarah Wants and the special recognition award was also to a stationer! The talented Lucy Ledger, just showing how important those invitations are for your wedding. A full list of winners can be found here: http://www.weddingideasmag.com/the-wedding-ideas-awards-2014-winners-are-revealed/

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Let’s go to the Beach…

Today’s post is all about the beach. Ah what a place. All the activities you can do appeal; sunbathing, swimming, sandcastles, walking, cocktails, picnics, surfing; everything is better with the sand in your toes and the sea air near. And if you want something truly informal and unique for your wedding, why not take it to the beach? Perfect laid back, holiday vibes and with so many beautiful décor ideas, you can make it totally personal to you. Now weather is obviously an issue, especially on a British beach; but there’s something about the charm of a beautiful beach that is almost worth the risk. This inspiration post is mostly focused on abroad beaches; think holidays, sunshine, relaxing; the perfect day.

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We Love Cake!

Italy is full of romantic destinations, especially in the north. Arrive in Rome and take in sensational renaissance architecture, wander the city, relax in gardens and dress up for a night at the opera. You can then get a train to Florence, the culture capital of Italy. Here you can visit Michalangelos David, take in numerous piazzas and churches; many of which offer free concerts and opera performances throughout the year. Enjoy delicious steak, fantastic wines and wander the Piazza di Santo Spirito, home to Florence’s hippest, liveliest bars and cafés. Aperitivo is a Florence tradition which happens at 7-9 in the evening, dress up to see and be seen at the cities trendiest bars. Extra points if you are mistaken as a local. With your drink you get to eat your fill from a buffet where food ranges from nuts and olives to bruschetta, salami and cheese, via couscous and cold pasta salads. From Florence you can travel by train to Venice; take a tour of the grand canal,soak up the contemporary art scene and savour the best ice cream in the world. The wine will continue to impress and you can even take a day trip to Verona and visit ‘Casa di Giulietta’- Juliet’s house. Be sure to do your own Shakespeare rendition before you return home, priceless!

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Honeymoon Destinations

So you’ve pulled it off. The caterers arrived on time, those missing chairs turned up and your great uncle contained his drunk dancing until well into the reception. Hurrah! You’re married. So now is it back to work, routine, post-wedding blues? No you get to go on honeymoon! Woohooo weddings are amazing; a massive party followed by a holiday, what a combination. Here are some ideas to help you plan your getaway, where literally you have the excuse to be as lazy, luxurious or adventurous as you like. Some couples find planning the honeymoon too much on top of all the wedding jazz and time off work might be an issue but you could always have a bit of a gap between the two and extend the good times. Your wedding should be all about bending the wedding rules to fit with you as a couple; planning your honeymoon should be loads of fun; not stressful. Do what suits you and make sure you get the trip you want.

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If you are planning a bigger trip, why not head to South East Asia: tropical climate, bustling cities, relaxing islands and a chance to see a completely different part of the world. Although the airfares for these honeymoon destinations are expensive, you do definitely save on the cheaper rates once you arrive in the country. So don’t rule out going for something more exotic until you’ve done your research!
In Thailand you could volunteer at an elephant sanctuary. Get the chance to help feed and bathe the elephants,while interacting with and observing them in their natural environment. You’ll also be helping support the organisations providing welfare, development and a home for these animals. Then head to Bangkok; soak up this vibrant, busy Asian capital where you can fill your days with temples, street food and lively bars. From here you could head to the coast and spend the rest of your trip relaxing on Thai islands; attending a few full moon parties if that’s your thing or simply relaxing on any number of the stunning beaches; heaven!
If you wanted to visit more countries, flights to Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia all go from Bangkok. Go trekking through the jungle, take a Vietnamese cooking course, and explore the dazzling beaches. South East Asia has it all.

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Or if you’re thinking about staying closer to home, why not visit Cornwall for your honeymoon? With serene beaches, coastal walks, and some of the mildest temperatures in the UK Cornwall seems like the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Accommodation options are plentiful with cottages, hotels and even camping options. A honeymoon isn’t complete without a beautiful sunset to gaze upon; and Cornwall will not disappoint. As many of its beaches face west this gives some of the best sunsets in the country. On top of this outstanding scenery Cornwall also has interesting towns to visit such as St.Ives, Penzance and Marazion. Penzance with its abundance of palm trees and gardens full of sub-tropical plants, presents a sure sign that you have arrived somewhere unique. All of this before we even mention Cornwall as a culinary destination, apparently one of Rick Steins favourites with its abundant seafood and of course Cornish pasties and Cream tea!

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Croatia provides a perfect place for a honeymoon.The Balkans have become increasingly popular in recent years as a cheaper alternative to Mediterranean destinations without compromising on beautiful scenery, glorious weather and stand-out cuisine. Croatia offers a gorgeous mix of Adriatic islands and beaches, fortified Renaissance towns and inland national parks with white-water rafting, hiking and boating on spectacular lakes. Dubrovnik houses a range of luxury honeymoon accommodation and offers a city break while still being able to relax on stunning beaches and take in sea views. Croatia also holds a lot of wineries and it’s oysters are supposedly delicious; perfect honeymoon fare!

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Italy is full of romantic destinations, especially in the north. Arrive in Rome and take in sensational renaissance architecture, wander the city, relax in gardens and dress up for a night at the opera. You can then get a train to Florence, the culture capital of Italy. Here you can visit Michalangelos David, take in numerous piazzas and churches; many of which offer free concerts and opera performances throughout the year. Enjoy delicious steak, fantastic wines and wander the Piazza di Santo Spirito, home to Florence’s hippest, liveliest bars and cafés. Aperitivo is a Florence tradition which happens at 7-9 in the evening, dress up to see and be seen at the cities trendiest bars. Extra points if you are mistaken as a local. With your drink you get to eat your fill from a buffet where food ranges from nuts and olives to bruschetta, salami and cheese, via couscous and cold pasta salads. From Florence you can travel by train to Venice; take a tour of the grand canal,soak up the contemporary art scene and savour the best ice cream in the world. The wine will continue to impress and you can even take a day trip to Verona and visit ‘Casa di Giulietta’- Juliet’s house. Be sure to do your own Shakespeare rendition before you return home, priceless!

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Wedding Trends for 2014

A new year, lots of newly engaged couples means lots of new wedding trends! Here is the low down of what to expect on the wedding forecast for 2014, whether you’re going be a guest, a bride or are helping plan someones wedding; here is all you need to ensure you are the coolest player in the bunch.

Wedding Dresses: arguably the most important detail of your day and this year there are a lot of exciting options to choose from. Although long white dresses are of course not going anywhere and there are some gorgeous options. If you’re feeling a little bit daring and feel long and white doesn’t exactly match your personality, why not try mixing it up a bit with one of these beauties. The main alternative wedding dress trends for 2014 are shades of pink; just have a look at the Vera Wang collection and you’ll be convinced! And shorter styles are also appearing; from above the knee dresses to ballerina skirts. I really love the relaxed, fun element this brings to the wedding and also perfect for dancing in. Have a look at some dress inspiration below.

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Ethical Weddings: This is a trend I definitely encourage! With so many great eco-friendly suppliers and options out there, having a green wedding is definitely not a compromise. So for all you bohemian, alternative types out there, here’s some ideas for your ethical wedding:
Glamping. Forget everything you know about camping, glamping is more like staying in a 5 star private wood with every amenity you can think of. Totally luxurious, natural and relaxed while giving you a lot more freedom than traditional wedding venues. Some of these glamping sites look incredible! Definitely a special treat for your wedding.
Handfasting ceremonies are also set to become even more popular in 2014. This ritual symbolises unity and oneness between the couple and could appeal either to couples wanting an alternative to a religious ceremony or added as an extra dimension to any traditional wedding.
All this feeds right back to the reception with barn venues, naturalistic details and a warm, rustic theme being the order of the day. Think bringing the outside in. So don’t be shocked if branches feature in the décor of any weddings you attend, this bride is on trend, it’s not a fire hazard.

Quirky Details: hand crafted, hand made, DIY details are all BIG this year. So grab your mason jars, get pinning and make your own perfect day. While thrifty details have (and hopefully will) always be popular for weddings, this year brings some new themes that will definitely excite:
Bunting is out tassels are IN
Marbling is also looking popular this year, with the marbelised style appearing everywhere from wedding cakes to balloons. A great way to work your color theme into the décor in a unique, captivating way.
Hand Painted Wedding cakes; these look incredible.
Feathers; in headpieces, in centerpieces and anywhere you can add them!

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Themed Weddings: forget geeky costumes and awkward entertainment, themed weddings have evolved into something chic and stylish; you can either go completely all out with a theme and have your guests totally involved with some costume ideas or simply keep one theme running through the smaller touches of your wedding. Whatever you decide, stay true to yourself and have fun!
Great Gatsby/20s style weddings with Art Deco touches have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity since the film was released last year. Anyone who saw it can see why! That party was perfection. The upcoming tribute to 19th century fashion icon Charles James and shows like NBC’s Dracula are sure to inspire some brides to have an ‘old feel opulence’ motif at their wedding. And for the bravest among you, a Pop Art theme. Have a look at the board below for some ideas on how to incorporate a theme into your day.

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Wedding Traditions from around the World

Weddings have so many traditions that if you really think about, are weird. Wearing a white dress (any other occasion completely unpractical), Being given away by your father, wearing a veil. However in comparison to some other wedding traditions out there, these nuptial customs seem pretty mild. From elaborate costume changes, humiliating the groom and regimented weeping; worldwide wedding traditions are a varied bunch. Although some of them are a tad extreme, I think a few of these traditions could be incorporated to make a pretty awesome day! I present to you my multicultural wedding day schedule, would you adopt any of these for your wedding day?

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In India, a few days before the wedding, the bride is decorated with intricate henna designs on her hands and feet. Other females in the family and female friends also apply henna in a ritual that can take hours to apply and dry. The Bride and groom also exchange rings and sweets. This tradition is called a ‘menhdi party’ and sounds like a great excuse to extend the festivities and give all the females gorgeous henna designs for the big day.

A Russian tradition dictates that the groom must go to the brides house before the wedding and ask her family and friends for her. They naturally refuse until he has presented gifts, money, jewellery and sufficiently humiliated himself. Grooms are forced to do silly dances, answer riddles, and perform goofy tests of worthiness like putting a nappy on a baby doll. Once the crowd is satisfied, he may meet his bride.

Another great wedding tradition from China is to have 3 wedding dresses; one traditional, embroidered cheongsam that is usually red to represent luck and strength, then a white wedding dress not unlike what we are used to in the west and then a cocktail dress for the reception. Any excuse for a costume change sounds like a good idea to me!

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In Sweden, during the wedding reception, if the groom leaves the room all the other men can try and kiss the bride and vice versa! Think kissy-cats for grown-ups. This one sounds hilarious and is bound to keep everyone awake and alert during the reception. Although hopefully won’t end up with cheating rumours so early on in married life!

The final wedding tradition I’d incorporate comes from South Korea. Here the grooms friends beat his feet with dried fish before he is allowed to leave the wedding with his beloved, in an apparent test of strength and knowledge. Not sure how good a test this is of these qualities, but I do want to see someone getting beaten with dried fish.

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While these wedding traditions all sound like fun and games there are some I am so relived not to have to do, respect for betrothed couples in these countries, they must really want to get married:

In China the bride starts to cry for an hour DAILY a month before her wedding. Ten days later the mum joins her daughter for some tears, after a further ten days the grandmother joins in and by the end of the month every female in the family is weeping. I know married life can be tough but surely a month of regimented crying is a bit pessimistic, I think I’ll stick to the hen do thanks!

On the Maruesas Islands of French Polynesia after the wedding reception is over the relatives of the bride all lay side by side in the dirt, face down. The bride and groom then walk across them like some sort of human rug. Hmmm well this isn’t the worst tradition I’ve heard of, but pretty sure my family would not be up for it.

Charivari: In France the friends and family of the newlyweds congregate outside the newlyweds home on the first night of their marriage while proceeding to bang on pot and pans, yell, and just in general be as annoying as possible. Whoever thought of this tradition is just MEAN and also think of the neighbours!

In Malaysia newlyweds are not allowed to go to the bathroom for 3 days and 3 nights after the wedding to avoid bad luck. Yikes this painful tradition should definitely not be part of your wedding itinerary, although I guess if a couple can get through this, they can survive anything.

To Veil or not to Veil

Here we focus on the ultimate and arguably most contentious piece of wedding gear: the veil. Possibly the only day in your life where it is appropriate to wear one, but does that mean you should?

A traditional wedding veil can conjure up very old fashioned images of traditional weddings with big puffy dresses, unappetizing buffets and boring speeches and at the mere thought of a wedding veil your mind might automatically jump to a Ms. Havisham scenario; and NO bride wants this look anywhere near their big day. However veils have somewhat come back into fashion, in chicer more refined styles that could perfectly compliment your bridal styling.

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I know some brides who had an issue with some of the traditional meanings behind wedding veils; as a symbol of modesty and purity or another instance of being presented as a gift to the groom. But honestly I think so many wedding traditions do stem from questionable places and there is no need to deny yourself a veil on these principles; much better to reclaim it for this generation, where all it needs to stand for is a pretty hair accessory that compliments your dress and makes you feel like the bride of your dreams.

Also there is an insane amount of veils to choose from! Throw out that old image of net curtains and look to these fabulous celebrities for inspiration. Millie from Made in Chelsea rocked it, managing to look cool and fashionable with a mid-length veil. Kate Moss wore a ‘Juliet Cap’ full length veil lending a romantic, pretty edge to her outfit. Christina Ricci opted for a traditional mid length veil that perfectly ties together her bridal outfit. It seems veils are coming back into wedding vogue and with so many different options to choose from, it isn’t hard to understand why.

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Take a look at our specially designed Cute Maps pinterest board completely dedicated to this staple piece of wedding fashion. From pretty bird cage styles to full length cathedral creations, your sure to find the right one for you. Alternatively you could opt for a bejewelled headband, flower headpieces, feathered arrangements, hats, fasteners; the list is endless. Ultimately it’s like all the wedding day styling decisions; so many options and only one chance to use them. Just have fun, pick what you feel most comfortable in and enjoy it. Hell you could even have multiple head adornments for your big day; I think some of these beauties are just too good to miss.

http://www.pinterest.com/cutemaps/veils/

Real Life Wedding, Victoria and Brendan

I hope you are all having fantastic festive seasons and are enjoying all the post Christmas relaxing as much as the pre-Christmas partying. There’s still lots of turkey to eat, movies to watch and mulled wine is definitely appropriate until March! (promise). So while you are enjoying this extended nap time, we have another incredible real life wedding to share with you. Brendan and Victoria got married in November 2012 and they did it in style. The whole seamless elegance of the day is so apparent, a beautiful occasion captured by the talented Matt Bishop(www.mbishopphotography.co.uk) so curl up on your Christmas couch and have a read.

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Names: Brendan and Victoria

Wedding Date: 24th November 2012

The vision for the day: Elegant and English Rustic with a hint of vintage glamour

The Proposal: Brenden proposed to Victoria in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris on an Easter Break in 2012. We have been to Paris every year since we met so it is a place which holds many happy memories for us both.

 

 

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The Venue: Ceremony at The Lanesborough and food at The Bull and Last. We specifically wanted two different styles of venue – somewhere elegant for the ceremony and somewhere relaxing for the evening. Both venues had to meet our high standards of quality for food and drink.

The Dress and Accessories: Firenze wedding dress from Phase Eight, I wanted a cream coloured vintage-style dress with embroidery over the dress I accessorised it with Vintage-style earrings and bracelet from Fur Coat No Knickers, Shoes from Manolo Blahnik (bought on my hen weekend in New York), diamond necklace was borrowed from my sister, a silver-jewelled hairpin to wear in the evening when I removed my veil.

 

 

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Grooms Attire: GiorgioArmani navy blue suit. Tie by Penrose

Music: Brenden chose the songs that the pianist played at The Lanesborough. At the Bull and Last we played Horace Silver (jazz) from an ipod.

The flowers: At the Lanesborough in the ceremony room, on every other pew end, there was a small posy of roses tied with cream ribbon. In the reception area there were small silver goblets arranged with roses. These flowers were then carried by friends to the Bull and Last where they were placed in silver tankards to put on the tables at the pub.

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The Cake: Cupcakes from Primrose Hill Bakery to take away

Your Photographer:Matt Bishop, www.mbishopphotography.co.uk

The Details and Décor: Tea lights on the mantelpiece in the ceremony room and around the statue at The Lanesborough during the drinks/canapé reception. We had a table outside the ceremony room with photos in vintage frames of family weddings and Brenden and Victoria when they were young. Other than that we did not feel that any additional decoration was required as the venues carried themselves perfectly.

 

 

 

 

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The Honeymoon: We went on a road trip to California working our way down Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA for a month over Christmas and New Year.

Memorable Moments: Brenden’s speech. Standing back from our guests and seeing them all having a good time.Victoria’s father ordering a brandy to calm her nerves before the ceremony and then proceeding to drink most of it himself.What made our day truly special was all the people closest to us in our lives being in one place at the same time helping us to celebrate our wedding.

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26_1280149Advice for other couples: Focus on what is important to you when planning your wedding. Do not conform to preconceived notions of what a wedding should or should not entail.

Credits

Venues:Ceremony and drinks/canapé reception, www.lanesborough.com, Charlie Williams at The Lanesborough email: cwilliams@lanesborough.com. Evening Reception, www.thebullandlast.co.uk, Sarah at The Bull and Last email: thebullandlast@googlemail.com. Wedding Night for Bride and Groom,www.deanstreettownhouse.com

Photographer: www.mbishopphotography.co.uk

Brides outfit: Wedding dress: www.phase-eight.co.uk. Wedding dress alterations:www.deisgneralterations.com.

Accessories: Short sleeve marabou cream fur (fake) jacket: Biba at House of Fraser. Earrings, bracelet and vintage compact: www.furcoatnoknickers.co.uk.

Shoes: Silver Sedaraby pumps purchased at the Manolo Blahnik store in New York. These can be bought at Liberty in London. Necklace: borrowed from my sister Catherine.

Veil: modelled on Kate Moss’s wedding veil and made by Arin Hopkins email: vegasveils@gmail.com who is a US-based supplier that I found on Etsy. Bag: www.vintagebridalaccessories.co.uk. Hair pin:www.libertyinlove.co.uk

Hair and make-up: Hair: Grace at Charles Worthington in Percy Street www.charlesworthington.com. Makeup: www.sadafmakeup.comSadaf Ahmad email: sadaf@sadafmakeup.com

Groom’s outfit: www.selfridges.co.uk, Armani at Selfridges.

Wedding cake: Wedding cupcakes and boxes, www.primrosebakery.org.uk

Flowers: www.chivers.co.uk, Robyn at Chivers in Charlotte Street email: sales@chiversflowers.co.uk. Flowers the The Lanesborough which were taken to The Bull and Last were prepared by the in-house florist

Transport: London Bus, www.timebus.co.ukTimebus Travel email: book@timebus.co.uk

Stationery: Wedding Invitations: www.piccolopress.co.uk.

Wedding Map + Information: www.cutemaps.co.uk. Sheree Willis email, info@cutemaps.co.uk.

Calligraphy for addressing invitations: www.calligraphycompany.com, Angelo Meola email, angelo@calligraphycompany.com

Entertainment: Pianist at The Lanesborough – John Pickup, www.johnpickup.org

Catering: The Lanesborough and The Bull and Last

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Real Life Wedding, Oonagh and Craig

I have an absolutely stunning wedding to share with you today, filled with personal touches, delicious details and a bride and groom that look ridiculously happy throughout! Oonagh and Craig got married in the July of this year in a beautiful ceremony in the Lady Chapel of St. Alban Cathedral near to where they live. A perfect romantic touch is that now when they hear the cathedral bells ringing they are reminded of their wedding day.

The bride and groom look so happy and excited; and this must have been contagious as every guest seems to be having a blast! The occasion has been captured naturally and beautiful by Hannah Mia (of Hannah Mia Photography www.hannamia.com) letting the charm of the day really shine through.

The magic of this wedding seems to be in the incredible attention to detail; from a mixed bouquet incorporating thistles and shamrocks to reflect Scottish ad Irish heritage, to an exciting array of music and a delicious barbecue, this day looked fantastic and the Divine Comedy as a first dance song: perfection.

I also loved the idea of their table plan, each one named after a different type of gin! Definitely something I can appreciate, I urge you to join in, grab a G&T and take a look at this incredible day.

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Names: Craig & Oonagh McGill

Wedding Date: 5th July 2013

The vision for the day: We wanted our wedding to be elegant, but relaxed. We wanted our family and friends to enjoy fabulous food and great music, in a beautiful setting.

The Planning Process: We booked the Cathedral and the reception venue about 8 months before the big day…you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to book both on the same day, even that far in advance! We really got going with organizing invitations, caterers, musicians and all the other details in the 4-6 months leading up to the wedding.

9_4869784 The Venue: The ceremony was held at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban, St. Albans. We had a marquee reception in a beautiful orchard setting nearby.

The Dress and Accessories: My dress and veil came were from Angelica Bridal in Islington. It was the first shop I went into and I decided on the dress there and then! My shoes were from Rachel Simpson … I would recommend her shoes to any bride. I must’ve tried 20 pairs of shoes before I found mine. They were beautifully made and were incredibly comfortable, even after hours of dancing!

Grooms Attire:Bespoke 3 piece suit from Mathieson and Brooke Tailors (M&BT), Harpenden – the suit was beautifully made and the service was wonderful.

 

 

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Beautiful Bridesmaids: They were stunning and the best bridesmaids a girl could ask for! They were Emir (my sister) and Christine (Christine and her husband Andy were bridesmaid and groomsman – they are the mutual friends who first introduced Craig and I).

Music and First Dance: Music was really important to us so we had two bands on the day. We were very lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day for our wedding. We had a champagne reception on the lawn accompanied by an acoustic folk band. In the evening our band played two sets of crowd-pleasing soul and rock n’ Roll from 1960s to current – the dance floor was full all night! Our first dance was ‘Songs of Love’ by ‘The Divine Comedy’ (which some people might recognize as the theme music from Father Ted!) – We both love THE Divine Comedy and this song was an easy choice for us.

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The Food: The food was such an important element of the day for us – we wanted it to be fantastic and our caterers didn’t let us down! Everything was barbecued and presented by rolling service to the tables with fresh, brightly coloured salads and warm, home-baked breads. The menu included monkfish, fillet steak, chicken, lamb, and some tasty vegetarian treats for our less carnivorous guests. We served strawberries and cream for pudding, which was perfect for a hot, summer’s day.

The flowers: We wanted the flowers to fit with the country garden setting so we opted for bright, seasonal blooms. We mixed peonies (my favourite) with thistles (to reflect Craig’s Scottish heritage) and shamrock (as I’m from Ireland) together with lots of wild flowers. Two very talented ladies (Craig’s mum, Heather and her friend Marion) created the table centre-pieces for the marquee and the ladies of St. Alban’s Abbey flower guild provided the arrangements for the Cathedral.

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The cake: We absolutely loved our wedding cake, which was made for us by Craig’s lovely friend Chrissie Smetham. We had three different tiers comprising lemon sponge, vanilla with fresh raspberries and a cherry-bakewell top layer. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers to match our theme and the final piece was a work of art …almost too good to eat (although we managed a piece or two, and it was delicious!).

Your Photographer: We were also thrilled with our photographer, Hannah Mia, whose documentary style of wedding photography really captured the atmosphere of the day. We didn’t have many posed photos, just natural shots of our family and friends relaxing and enjoying the celebrations.

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The Details and Décor: We put a lot of work into the details and décor ourselves but the finishing touches were provided by Cute Maps who designed our table plans, table numbers and Menus and also by The Dream Wedding Company who helped with the table decorations, bunting, and the flowers for the cake. The same company provided the bouquets and buttonholes…each one was original and unique.

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The Honeymoon: We spent a wonderful week in a very sunny Cornwall. We were so lucky with the weather and spent most days on the beach.

Memorable Moments: Our favourite part was the ceremony itself – the setting, The Lady Chapel in St Alban’s Cathedral was perfect. Walking down the aisle after the service to the sound of the cathedral bells was very special to us. We live very near the cathedral so we are fortunate to hear the bells every day, which is a lovely reminder of our wedding day.

One of the funniest moments was when I threw my bouquet. My friend Sara came out of nowhere to successfully make the catch, momentarily forgetting that she is already happily married! A good natured wrestle ensued and most of the girls caught the bouquet for at least a moment.

Finally, my favourite part of any wedding is the speeches and on the day my Uncle Johnny (who gave me away), Craig’s brother David (Best man) and of course Craig himself more than rose to occasion. We roared with laughter and most people shed a happy tear or two.

Advice for other couples: When your big day arrives, try to relax and enjoy every moment! It’s true what they say…the day passes so quickly you won’t believe it. It was most definitely the best day of our lives!

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Credits

Photographer: Hannah Mia
Caterer: Hanson’s, Watford
Flowers and Décor: The Dream Wedding Company, St Albans
Music: John & Caroline Hoare and The Hound Dogs http://www.thehounddogs.co.uk/
Dress: Angelica Bridal, Islington
Shoes: Rachel Simpson http://www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Groom’s Attire: Mathieson & Brooke Tailors – http://www.mandbt.co.uk/ The Cake: ‘There’s always cake’ available at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theres-Always-Cake/165015856955923?ref=profile

What to Wear to a Winter Wedding

It’s the time of year when my main goal is to stay warm. At all times I need at least 60000 layers, ideally a hot water bottle and a plethora of hot drinks to choose from. Winter hibernation is not just for the squirrel my friend and the only acceptable reason to go out is the promise of mulled wine, a fire, hot chocolate or baileys…or to guarantee my presence all of the above. So WHAT am I meant to do for a winter wedding? Is a fleecy blanket an acceptable cover up? Do slipper socks go with those shoes? All important questions. Winter weddings are becoming more and more popular, and it’s not hard to see why. Beautiful crisp days, festive merriment, holidays and perhaps even a sprinkling of snow. In fact given the British ‘summer’ doesn’t exactly lend itself to summer dressing, planning for your wedding to be cold and preparing your guests (and yourself) for practical clothing is a genius idea.

Thankfully help is at hand! Fashion can sometimes be cruel but thankfully in this instance she has delivered beautifully giving us lots of practical and beautiful options for formal winter occasions.These beauties could also see you through many a Christmas party; Beautiful, chic and warm, it can be done!

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