Monday, 20 February 2012

A Carry On Camping Love Shoot

Last year I teamed up with photographer Lisa Jane offering a 'love shoot' to one lucky couple on Love My Dress. All they had to do was send in a mood board which described how they would style their own love shoot. We chose winners Chelsea and Chris who went for a tongue-in-cheek 'Carry On Camping' theme.

Time flew by along with the warm summer months and before we knew it, it was January. Clearly, the cheeky bikini and badminton shots were not an option but in its place came a gorgeous wintery afternoon, a 1970s tent, knitted bunting, jumpers, snuggly blankets and hot chocolate with marshmallows...

Harriet and I had the best time playing camping in the woods and styling our couple, drooling over Lisa Jane's variety of cameras she used to shoot with (I was about to steal the Holga but she caught me) and we couldn't believe how well Chelsea and Chris took to the camera, despite the freezing cold! I think it's safe to say they are the very best of friends and very much in love.

We wish you both the most spectacular wedding and an even better marriage!

If you'd like to find out more about Lisa Jane's love shoots or even her wedding day coverage, drop her a line here, she's such a softie ;-)

Grant-Riley Weddings

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Top Trend: Barely There Bridesmaids

1. Elenor Soft Cappuccino Dress, Reiss    2. Nude Sleeveless Skater Dress, Miss Selfridge
3. Spell On You Flared Dress, French Connection   4. Alysa Full Skirt Dress, Ted Baker
5. Bike Lane Dress, Anthropologie

Nudes, neutrals and naturals are still everywhere this spring, despite the overload of bold colour and clashing prints emerging on the runway. For a classic, timeless look, consider neutrals for your bridesmaids. We love it.

Grant-Riley Weddings

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Spotlight On...The Biscuiteers

This week we thought we'd show lots of love to our favourite biscuit company The Biscuiteers. Masterminded in the same year we launched in 2007 by husband and wife team Harriet Hastings and Steve Congdon their mission statement reads:

"Why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?"

Indeed. All the ingredients that go into these bad boys are natural and made in the good old fashioned way, by hand.

We've loved watching their amazing company grow over the past few years, seeing the new collections come to life and even enjoyed sending and receiving a few. Friends of ours sent us a little champagne bottle when our son was born, and yesterday we were surprised with a little something we received from this fantastic team ahead of Valentine's Day...

The cutest box EVER.

Thank you!

You'd be hard pushed not to have seen or heard of The Biscuiteers these days given that they're stocked in Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods and their book of iced biscuits has also graced our stack of gifts under our Christmas tree for a few of our friends.

Custard Creams & Bourbons. Brilliant. 

There is a biscuit for every occasion and there's also the option to personalise. We love the idea of having piped place names for weddings or perhaps laying on a variety of designs on a dessert table. Since launching we've also noticed a number of newbies have made their way into their superstar line-up including custom cakes, sweets, choccies and these hilarious Jolly Gingers!

"Ever fancied a ginger?" 

Keep up the good work guys and I hope to get round to visiting you soon, I might even give it a go myself?

Image Credits:
©The Biscuiteers

Grant-Riley Weddings

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Runway Bride Spring/Summer 2012

 2012 is tipped to be the year of the statement dress, whether it's volume, colour or the length you choose, we've selected some of the hottest trends to grace the runway from some of our favourite designers...

Vera Wang set tongues wagging at the end of last year when she revealed her Fall 2012 collection which featured seven black gowns. We loved them and can't wait to see who will champion the black gown this year. For Spring and Summer however, she's concentrating on muted, nude tones, plenty of draping and glorious pin tucks and pleating. Beautiful detailing is also hidden under draped tulle at the back of some of her gowns which display pleats and ruffles underneath. Utterly breath-taking. 

♡ ♡ ♡

A red carpet favourite, Saab's designs are purely romantic. They are dreamy, sensual and extremely desirable. If Elie Saab made gowns to do the washing up in...
It was exciting to see several short dresses making their way onto the runway this year, using the traditional ivory as well as pinks, greens and pastel blues. Each of the shorter designs have been teamed up with a thin leather belt and the dresses themselves are embellished with beading, with geometric tapering to the waist and a choice of three quarter length or sleeveless. Swoon. 

♡ ♡ ♡

Although much of de la Renta's collection focuses on applique and ruffles, we picked out two designs which take their inspiration from flowers, namely Lily of the Valley (a nod towards the Royal Wedding perhaps?) and the rose. 

♡ ♡ ♡

Volume is of-the-moment in bridal fashion for 2012. It's a high-fashion, contemporary look for a bride wanting to make a real statement. We love it. Romona Keveza's latest collection is all about texture and the attention is focused on the skirts with beautifully sculpted bodices. Divine. 

Getting married this year or 2013? Is your gown inspired by any of these trends?

Grant-Riley Weddings

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Spotlight On...Lottie Emile

This weekend we're shedding light on another hidden gem, bridal designer Lottie Emile...

A graduate of the Wimbledon School of Art, Charlotte has worked with some of the most prominent names in the bridal industry, including Jenny Packham, Marchesa (the holy grail!) and Terry Fox as well as the vintage lovelies Belle & Bunty...

"I studied Costume and History of Fashion at University, so I have quite a knowledge of historical cuts, and can achieve something quite realistically vintage. It’s a great challenge to modernise vintage styles, and making them suit the modern bride, while also reflecting a golden age. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixing vintage eras within one look, changing silhouettes and decorative techniques. If it looks great, then that should be all that matters!"

A lot of your bespoke designs are vintage inspired, was this a conscious direction for you?

"It was never my intention to specifically make ‘vintage’ wedding gowns, it’s simply the design movement of the moment. Brides are continuously pushing the boundaries of vintage, coming up with new ideas, and there are so many vintage avenues to explore. The 1920’s are currently having their renaissance, so I’ve got some exciting designs planned for this year involving lots of sequins and roses! I think that vintage weddings is a big trend that is set to continue for a long time to come!"

Talk us through your design process...

"Once an idea has been spun in my mind, I get tangled in a web of research and inspirations. It is very likely that I will get more excited about a dress than a bride, so I have to work extra hard, to make that her excitement levels are high too!
Brides often nervously show me ideas they’ve seen which look amazingly complicated and difficult, but I really love a challenge, and a smile will spread across my face when I am faced with a decorative project! Getting to push my limits and discover new things along the way is what draws me to bridal! It’s often the one chance a woman will get to go ‘all out’, and I love that my job is to create her dress!"

And on to the dresses! 

Linnea's Dress

I just LOVE this dress. Very 60s chic! 

"As a creative set and prop designer, Linnea was never going to want a traditional wedding gown for her winter wedding in Sweeden! Instead she came to me with a very vivid design idea for me to make for her!
Linnea wanted the miniest of mini dresses I have ever seen! Not only that, but it needed to contain 100 layers of tulle to create it’s flair, all hand cut, and sewn at intervals onto a lycra body suit! And finished with a delicately pleated grosgrain ribbon trim.
Though it looks a very simple dress, it took a little bit of master-minding!!"

Laura's Dress

"Laura runs a vintage shop in beautiful Suffolk, so the vintage style stakes were high! Laura had one main inspiration - Elizabeth Taylor - but had lots of other elements that she wanted to include too. ‘Swish’ was very important, as well as a giant bow!
I made Laura an historically accurate 1950’s corset, to give her an amazingly cinched waist, and all the little violets were hand cut in two sections, and placed individually, securing each one with a little cluster of silver glass beads."

And finally, an little exclusive of a yet unseen design...

Amber's Dress

Photos by Jessica

"Amber's dress is a relatively modern style, with a star-burst pattern design on the bodice.
Her vintage story is all in the waistband. Amber really loved the idea of using a vintage lace, and then her mum stepped in with her veil from her own wedding, which was a piece of delicately embroidered tulle. The tulle had six large flowers chain-stitched, along with lots of vines and tiny daisies too. I cut out each individual flower, and positioned to create the waistband decoration of the dress, and embroidered the centres with sparkling clear and silver Swarovski crystals. The background of the lace had a polka dot, which we managed to utilise too! Amber was keen to have a token swallow on the dress too, so I searched for the perfect little brooch, and pinned it to her shoulder as her little mascot on the day."

Photos by Jessica

Using elements of your mother or grandmother's wedding dress is a meaningful way to honour them on your wedding day. The embellishment on Amber's dress is absolutely beautiful!

If you'd like to collaborate with Charlotte on your very own gown, her fees start from £1,000.00. She'd love to hear from you!

Grant-Riley Weddings

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Join Us At Wedding Week At Bluewater!

I'll admit that I did a little jig when I heard that the brand new £60M events centre at Bluewater was having it's own wedding show. "Finally!" I thought, "a well designed wedding show that isn't in the depths of London! I can literally roll out of bed and there I am!" Let's face it, provincial wedding shows never get the best wrap and I always thought it was high time that a show was brought to brides outside of the city. Oh...and I promise, I'm not going in my pjs, it was purely a figure of speech.

Wedding Fair, in association with You & Your Wedding magazine has gone one step further with the exhibition format:

♥ The catwalks are themed according to your style.
♥ There'll be style showcases to provide inspiration for your own day.
♥ AND there'll be some fantastic wedding workshops to arm you with expert advise as you plan your day.

So, we're pleased to announce that I'll be holding two wedding workshops, 'A Vintage Twist On a Traditional Wedding' on Friday 10th & Saturday 11th, covering all aspects of vintage wedding styling, from 12:45-1:15pm both days. If you'd like to find out more about the workshops, do check back here for further updates.

Attendees to the Gala Evening on from 5-9pm on Thursday 9th will enjoy a glass of bubbles whilst previewing extended catwalk shows and benefiting from the advice and styling tips from You & Your Wedding's Peta Hunt and the team.

I will also be on the Q&A panel alongside the highly acclaimed British bridal designer Ian Stuart and catwalk stylist Rose Forde discussing trends for 2012 and of course looking back over 2011 and the year of the celebrity wedding.

Tickets are on sale and I very much look forward to meeting and helping brides along the way!

Grant-Riley Weddings