I'm really excited to announce that I will be hosting a live web chat on the You and Your Wedding forum this week. The chat takes place from 4-6pm on Tuesday 22nd July and I'll be on hand to help brides plan a perfect wedding day on a budget.
Wow what a weekend! Yesterday was the wedding of Megan and Matt at Duncton Village Hall in Sussex and I'd been looking forward to it for months!
The couple came to me back in September looking for someone to help coordinate their day and I was lucky enough to have them choose me. At the time, Megan had just left working at the Little Venice Cake Company and had since started to produce her own beautiful cake creations with a very distinct country charm-she loves her bunting! So watch this space as I expect great things from her...
Megan designed their theme around a relaxed, country fete with soft green and duck egg yellow, hand picked country flowers and a communal style banquet with a BBQ. As an incredibly creative bride, Megan set to work many months before hand sewing all the bunting, bridesmaids dresses (yellow gingham summer dresses) and making their stunning wedding cake.
As the reception was held in a village hall after their beautiful ceremony at Arundel Town Hall, the venue provided a complete blank canvas on which to project their perfect day, set in the rolling hills of Sussex. Guests were treated to a BBQ breakfast with a selection of summer vegetables and boozy trifles (complete with sparklers) for dessert and were accompanied by Acoustic Jass, a fantastic jazz quartet. Later in the evening the Sussex Pistols ceilidh band got guests doesy-doeing as dusk began to settle.
Thought I'd treat you to some of the shots I took before we got into full swing. It was a really gorgeous day and an absolute pleasure to work on. I'll be back with the official pics in a few weeks...
I had so much fun designing this delicious montage-just makes my mouth water!!!
This cherry red, mint green, cream and white creation takes inspiration from those popular 1950s kitsch colours-perfect for the fun loving, quirky bride and groom.
Create an explosion of cherry red with poppies, anemonies and zinnias arranged in bright white vases as a contrast, keeping your table settings uncluttered and simple with white or mint green square plates and milk glass glasses.
The bride keeps it very simple in a vintage 50s prom dress and a pair of leopard print heels, along with her gorgeous bridesmaids dressed in this stunning silk and lace cocktail dress at Coast, each with a cream head band in her hair. They would rock up to the ceremony in a mint ice cream caddy!
I see the groom in a very of-the-moment black pin stripe suit, very fitted with a skinny tie and winkle pickers.
Cherries make stunning favours and place card decor-pop bunches into little white paper bags or tie name tags around a couple. Give the kids some bubbles to play with and keep them occupied.
Bring out the kids in your guests with the ultimate kitsch buffet-a candy bar! I absolutely love these packed in glass jars with scoops and funky little bags.
Outside of work, Nicola, founder of Dolly Photography, is a very talented photographer with a funky kitsch style who has recently started a Trash The Dress photography service for brides wanting to make the most of their dresses after the day. A concept born originally in the US, it is now making its way over to the UK and causing a stir. Nicola reports...
'Choosing the wedding gown is arguably one of the most important decisions a bride will have to make - it has to be perfect, it has to have a 'wow' factor and it has to be memorable.
For most women, it will be the most expensive dress they will ever buy - even budget brides pinch the pennies until the squeak to get their princess gown.
But - after the big day - the dress is safely stored and placed in the loft. Traditionally, brides kept it to make christening gowns for their first borns - but now it's more likely it will sit there forever, to be occasionally admired but never worn again.
But a new trend is emerging. Inspired by glossy magazines, brides are using their wedding gowns to do trendy fashion shoots.
The controversial Trash The Dress trend has already swept America with brides dowsing their gowns in the ocean, tearing them to shreds and - in one image - setting it on fire.
In the UK, an increasing number of photographers are now offering the packages to brides - termed anything from Mess The Dress, Day After Shoots, Dangerous Bridals and Rock The Dress.
Nicola Hyde of Dolly Photography, based in Barnsley, agrees that British brides shouldn't be scared off by the term.
She said: "I was married in October and the thought of deliberately ripping my dress makes me shudder. I do want to wear it again, I want to have fun with it - but it's my special keepsake and I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it.
"When I hear the term Trash The Dress, I get a little squeamish myself , so something as simple as changing the wording of the trend could make a massive difference.
I know of one lady who takes her wedding dress out every year on her anniversary and wears it for a few hours - but how much fun would she have doing a photoshoot in it?
Becky Hill, 26, from York, was married in 2004 but her tight budget didn't allow for a photographer and she had no images that showed the detail of her dress.
She picked an urban location that would contrast the prettiness of her gown and was instead photographed on a derelict train track and in a former industrial site in Barnsley, called the Elsecar Heritage Centre.
She said "I hadn't worn my dress in over three years so it was quite meaningful to pop it on again and have some fun in it. Instead of doing my hair all pretty and pinned like it was on my wedding day, I wore my favourite vintage cowboy boots that were a family heirloom and went for really vampish make-up."
Nicola added "These shots aren't about trashing the dress at all. It's about having fun with it, making the bride feel like a fashion model and getting some more arty shots that you probably didn't have time for on the big day.
"We always say brides can take it as far as they want to go. If they want to trash their dress, that's fine. But they don't have to - the shoot is about them, celebrating their dress and having fun with it when they don't have to worry about the pressures on their wedding day."'
This week has been such a busy one what with juggling the planning of our own wedding (6 weeks to go everyone!) and putting the finishing touches to a clients' day in a fortnight. I've finally managed to find a spare five minutes to sit down and write the next blog entry which is all about vintage blooms on a budget...
If you're incredibly fond of your flowers and really want to make a feature of them at your wedding, you can guarantee these will quite considerably eat into your budget unless you do your research.
Shop by Season...
The first step to take would be to choose blooms in abundance during the season in which you're marrying. Be open minded and flexible with your options and make sure you check with your florist as to when your favourite blooms come in and out as they invariably change from year to year. Try to choose British blooms that don't need importing and therefore cut out the air miles-it's important to be eco-conscious too!
Spring... Tulips, lilacs, muscari, lily of the valley.
All year... Roses, freesias, lisianthus, calla lilies.
Size is Everything...
One way to create huge impact for your centre pieces is to opt for block colour and one type of flower en masse. I am a huge fan of the hydrangea, available in shades of soft to hot pinks, white to green, lilac to deep purple and blue. As the heads have a large surface area you can get away with using less and can still achieve a voluminous look. The hydrangea is also the ideal vintage flower-versatile for a hand tied bouquet, pew ends or pedestals, lynch gates-you name it.
Create a home grown, freshly picked vintage look with posies of hand-tied blooms in jam jars, teacups or teapots. These work beautifully grouped together in the centre of your tables surrounded by tea lights and scattered petals.
Why not have a go at producing your own floral displays? Yes, I can hear that sharp intake of breath! Don't be put off though, there are plenty of highly creative brides doing their own with pleasing results. Covent Garden Flower Market is a treasure trove of goodies, catering for not only the flowers (at wholesale prices) but all sorts of accessories too. As long as you keep it simple (unless you're a trained florist) and give yourself the time to do them, the world is your oyster. Many florists now offer short courses too so there's no excuse!