Friday, 24 July 2009

Wedding News: 1950s Fairground Whimsy

Back in June, we had our shoot for our brand new promotional material which you'll be seeing on the new website amongst other things-can't wait to get everything printed up and ready to go!

We arrived at Preston Court for a day packed full of vintage glamour with a touch of fairground fun thanks to the family's incredible steam and organ museum. The previous weekend was the Preston Court Steam Rally so the Victorian carousel was still out in all its glory. I'm told it happens to be the first of its kind in the world, but feel free to correct me on that one! It was a day filled with glorious sunshine and blue skies, cupcakes and fondant fancies, sweet smelling flowers, stunning steam engines and vibrant confetti. 

The concept for the shoot was to appeal to vintage loving brides who enjoy glamour but also have a real fun-loving side-something that epitomizes our style down to the ground. Thanks to Anna and her family for giving us free range for the day, photographer Gemma Reynolds for being a true artist and breathing life into our vision, Semone and Melanie at Endzone for being absolute perfectionists with the hair and make-up, Tom and his team at the Village Florist for the stunning floral display, Luella's Boudoir for lending us the wardrobe, models Clem and Charly the silver screen goddesses and hubby for being the perfect assistant. Phew! 

So, for our loyal followers, here's an exclusive sneaky peek. We hope you like them as much as we do! 

Image Credits:
Grant-Riley Weddings courtesy of Gemma Reynolds Photography
Location: Preston Court
Hair and Make-up: Endzone

Wedding News: Style:Shake

Any bride with bridesmaids will know what a pain it can be trying to find the perfect dress(es) for all the girls. Inevitably they'll all be different shapes and sizes, with different skin tones and styles. So what are the options apart from buying a pattern and slaving over a sewing machine? Have a look at Style:Shake. This company is doing something that should have started a long time ago-creating bespoke dresses designed by the customer! Choose from a selection of coloured silk, linen, cotton or jersey and just follow the step by step instructions. Starting at around £48, you can create a real masterpiece, tailored to your own body with those little details that really makes an outfit. 

There's also the option to create boleros and wraps as well as tops and skirts, so there's something for all the ladies in your wedding party. If you fancy having a go, drop me a line and let me know how you get on! 

Image Credits:

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Beautify The Bathroom

The bathroom is always one of the most overlooked areas at a wedding, yet often one of the more important. It's somewhere for the girls to convene for a bit of a chat in between courses, reapply their make-up, grab some tissues for those tears...or even hold each other's hair back when they've had a bit too much champagne. Hey, it happens, ok?

On my rounds during venue inspections, I always check the state of the bathrooms as much as I do the reception rooms and grounds. Find out how often they're cleaned, look at the general cleanliness, is there a good supply of toilet paper and hand towels? What about the soap in the dispensers? 

Dressing up your bathrooms add a special touch of little details to your wedding day. For instance-have you thought about offering mini soaps which can double up as favours? Hand lotion? Adding a scented candle for ambience? Perhaps a few pairs of stockings just in case some of your guests ladder their own? 

I've found a selection of gorgeous toiletries to inspire...

Claus Porto

I'm a BIG fan of Porto, partly for the vintage packaging taken from original factory archives (generally Art Deco as well as Nouveau). These are a very special addition to any bathroom and smell delicious too. 

Cologne & Cotton

I love these 19th Century French style bottles. Add single scented stems to each one or fill them with fragrance diffusers. Heavenly. Choose from bottles or jars at Cologne & Cotton.



Fico D'India

For a taste of the Mediterranean, choose from a gorgeous selection of candles by Ortigia. All of their products are made with natural Sicilian ingredients-olive, almond, pistachio and palm oils and scented with florals such as orange blossom, geranium (my favourite) and lavender. 

Image Credits:
Vintage style bathroom: This Old House
French bottles: Cologne & Cotton
Ortigia candles: Ortigia

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Pamper Day at Wyndham Place Clinic

Yesterday I took a day out of the general hustle and bustle of wedding planning for some "me time" in Marylebone with Rachel from Luella's Boudoir. Well, it wasn't entirely relaxation, there was an informal business meeting too...but that was after a fabulous facial courtesy of Lorraine Downey! Lorraine had been working in the beauty industry for over 14 years at the Wyndham Place Clinic as a facialist before she launched her very own Daughters of Lilly skin care range with her sister Marvia. As strong believers in the power of vitamins on the skin, the Daughters of Lilly range focuses solely on natural ingredients, using vitamin A, E and C with olive oil, rose, pomegranate and noni. The most sensitive of skin can benefit from Lorraine's expertise and after a consultation I was treated to a good clean (no, I'm not that dirty!) facial mask, massage and oxygen treatment. Thoroughly relaxing and needless to say, I was glowing afterwards!

The perfect pre-wedding treatment for stressed out brides or pampering fun for mums and bridesmaids, the clinic also offers botox treatment, homeopathy, mani and pedicures, osteopathy, massage and hypnotherapy to name but a few. I can fully recommend Lorraine and her staff for a very professional, bespoke and attentive service.

Thanks Lorraine and Mel!

Friday, 10 July 2009

My Fondant Fancy at Fancy Nancy!

Yesterday I began my quest for the ultimate wedding cake with a visit to Fancy Nancy up in Leigh-on-Sea. As you may have already read, I'm going to be making a wedding cake for friends marrying at the end of July and I wanted to go right to the top for tips and advice...

I arrived at 12pm after an exciting voyage across the river via ferry, to find the lovely Nancy beavering away on their latest order, a button cake for a wedding this weekend. With the basis of the cake already prepared she was painstakingly attaching sugar buttons and piping mini blue and ivory pearls all the way round each of the three tiers. It was also another baking day in the kitchen for Juliet and Roxanne and the smell of freshly baked sponge that wafted through the shop made me realize I really don't bake enough!

Before long, the initial stages of decorating were complete (some of which was done by yours truly!) and the buttons and pearls were ready to be pearlized with topaz paste...

With the deadline looming, we sat the cake on a table out in the little cafe and painted the buttons and pearls with the topaz to create a gorgeous sheen while Juliet piped the sugar string onto each button. It's amazing the amount of work that goes into one cake, each one a real labour of love...

And just to prove I did do some I am getting stuck in with a paint brush!

Before I left I managed to get a shot of the cake in its almost finished state. Isn't the soft pink and turquoise blue theme sweet?!

And then of course, took some chocolate fondant cupcakes home for tea! I couldn't return home empty handed, hubby would never forgive me! 

So, now I'm armed with all the information I need to put together a stunning wedding cake, I need YOUR help. Send over your ideas and suggestions to before July 20th and you could see your design immortalized in sponge and icing!

Thanks to the lovely girlies at Fancy Nancy. See you soon!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Wedding News: Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

A quick mention for all you vintage bunnies out there! The Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair is being held this Sunday 12th July! Open from 11:00am-5:00pm it's a new bi-monthly vintage fair packed with affordable vintage clothing and fabric-perfect for finding that perfect piece for your wedding day. See you there with bells on!

Monday, 6 July 2009

My Fondant Fancy...

I always manage to get myself into these situations. No sooner had I heard that some close friends of ours were planning to get married within the month on a small budget I was offering to make the cake. Now don't get me wrong, I can work wonders with butter icing, any kind of sponge (apart from red velvets coz mine turned green) but sugar paste, royal and fondant icing? Wouldn't have a clue!

Usually an avid follower of Cake Wrecks (have a look-it's REALLY FUNNY) who likes nothing better than a good snigger at some of the efforts from the safety of my laptop, I realize that I'm now putting myself in a very vulnerable position should my However, not one to turn her back on a challenge, I'm attempting a masterpiece. I've been given free reign on flavour and design and I'm out to prove a point. 

So, I'm opening the floor to you. I want your input! The rules are simple, it must be a two tier cake, something that evokes summer and the personalities of a fun loving, easy-going couple. I've got until July 20th to complete the design. Now get in touch!

Image Credits:
Pansy cake by Ron Ben-Israel: Brides
Ruffled carnation cake by April Reed: Martha Stewart Weddings

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Mood Montage: French Provencal

French Provencal

I've just literally thrown this one together before I fly out of the door! This is for a lovely friend of mine who is hoping to marry next year, she loves the idea of yellow and I suggested she put it with a French blue. They're a vibrant, fun loving couple who love to entertain and socialize -I could really see them taking off on honeymoon on his and hers bicycles!


Image Credits:
Click the image above.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Eye Candy #21: Charlotte Casadejus Bridal






Pure vintage romance with a twist of glamour-don't you just love these? Each dress has original vintage detailing on it too. Oh how I wish I could float around in one of these all day...

Image Credits:
**All images taken from Charlotte Casadejus

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Wedding News: Grant-Riley Weddings Via Facebook & Twitter

Hello my lovelies, so sorry to have been away for so long. Things have been ridiculous here. Last week I had the chance to organize a very last minute photo shoot for our new promotional material at Preston on Monday, we did it!! Had an absolutely fabulous day and the images are going into post production tomorrow so I'll expect to have some delicious shots to show you in due course. 

Anyway, more about that later. This is just a quick message to let you all know you can now follow our blog via Facebook:
We need to get over 20 followers before the blog updates can be viewed direct from your news feed, so hurry up and join us!

I've also bitten the bullet and joined Twitter today, so you can follow my incredibly boring daily musings, frustrations and various other emotions via here:

Right, that's it for now. We're in the midst of having our bedroom decorated so I'm off to choose carpet. How scintillating!