Saturday, 20 November 2010

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways......."

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old grief's, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 - 1861)

Friday, 19 November 2010

London Bridal Designer Sale



This weekend, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st November 2010, the London Bridal Designer Sale will be holding a designer sample sale with up to 70% off over 1000 designer wedding dresses. Designers include Amanda Wakeley, Amy Michelson, Anna Christina, Caroline Castigliano and many more.

To take advantage of the sale visit the Bridal Designer Sale website to confirm a time slot. The tickets are free.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A Royal Wedding

Image source: Guardian.co.uk

We're all very excited to hear the wonderful news that Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement today. It makes a nice change for the news to be dominated by
a something to celebrate. A statement from Clarence House reads:

The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton. The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. Prince William a
nd Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton's father. Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.

Ahead of the planned wedding in 2010, I am sure everyone will be speculating on all aspects of the wedding especially the style and designer of the dress. I look forward to hearing more about the wedding as and when the details are announced.

Image source: cbsnews.com

Particularly touching was the fact that Prince William gave Kate his mother's engagement ring. During he interview Prince William said giving Kate his mothers engagement ring was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement". To hear more about the ring and the proposal see the exert from their first interview below.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Jon Freeman Weddings


Today I am pleased to introduce Jon Freeman from Jon Freeman Weddings. Jon has recently returned to London from Los Angeles where, for seventeen years, he worked for newspapers and magazines. From portraits of Hollywood stars to fashion and reportage he has worked in thirty countries for publications like the Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Guardian, Telegraph, You Magazine, New York Times, Paris Match and National Geographic.

Here is what Jon had to say........

What first interested you in photography?
I've never done, or wanted to do anything else. After leaving school I got a job in a news agency in the South West developing and printing black and white pictures. From there I wo
rked my way up to photographer working for national newspapers and magazines. Then in the early 90's I moved to LA, California, and spent fifteen very happy years there. During that time I worked in thirty countries for every one from the Sunday Times to National Geographic. After meeting my partner in LA I moved home to London.



What was your inspiration for setting up your business?
After moving back to the UK with my partner (and two dogs) the kind of traveling just was not practical anymore. A few years ago I photographed a friend's wedding as a favour and found that it was great fun and very satisfying. I was very happy with the images, and more importantly so were the Bride and Groom! As a result I decided to set up a wedding photography business.

What do you consider to be your USP?
I think my background in news and magazine photography. While in LA I did a lot of cele
brity studio and location shoots with people like Sylvester Stallone which was incredibly highly pressured. You learn to produce quality pictures very, very fast with minimum fuss. That translates well to weddings where, if you are not careful, the photographer can disrupt the day rather than enhance it.


How would you describe your photographic style?
A combination of photojournalism - catching great moments as they happen and beautiful portraits often using portable studio lighting. Flexibility is very important as well. Couples often have a strong idea of what they want and it is my job to give them exactly that. The whole day should be great fun and my role is to capture that.


What are the current wedding photography trends?
Elegant informality would describe it quite well. More ceremonies are taking place in interesting location like castles or private clubs with receptions that are most like great themed parties than traditional "speech and dinner" affairs. It's difficult to identify a trend except to say that the family line ups that used to dominate wedding photography look very old fashioned.


What are your top three tips to a bride and groom choosing a photographer?
First make sure that
they are a competent professional. Check out the quality of pictures on the website. You do get what you pay for to a certain degree and there are some people who "do weddings" as a part time thing to make some extra money. Photographing a wedding well isn't easy and experience counts.

Do you like their style? Each photographer is different and if you like the examples on t
heir website then that's a good start. Call and have a chat and arrange a meeting to discuss exactly what you want.

And most importantly don't trust a "keen amateur photographer" relative to do it!


Describe the best wedding you've ever worked on?
The most fun I had last year was photographing a wedding in the tiny village in North Devon where I grew up. I actually went to primary school with the groom many years ago. He is from a large local farming family and instead of limousines and Rolls Royces everyone arrived at the church in flower strewn trailers pulled by a parade of immaculately restored vintage tractors. The reception was at a local village hall and the whole thing was perfect. A great bunch of people having a fantastic time in their own very personal way. It was very "Darling Buds of May" and proved that the best weddings are what works for each couple.

I photographed elaborate weddings in stately homes and hugely expensive hotels last year but enjoyed that one the most.



Which celebrity (past or present) wedding would you love to work on and why?
I've been fortunate enough to work with Hollywood stars and my favourite was Paul Newman - ridiculously good looking, down to earth and with a wicked sense of humour - a great combination.

To find out more information visit Jon Freeman Weddings.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Corinthians 13: 1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angles, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Purple Reign

A sophisticated and elegant colour, also said to be Cleopatra's favourite, purple brings a real feel of royalty to any wedding day. Merge deep purples with a hint of silver or go for monocromatic magic mixing different shades of purple for a stunning look.

For this mood board I have contrasted rich purple with a crisp white
to create a fashionable look for a glamorous and modern winter wedding.

Photo credits:
Table setting - Confetti
Bridal party - True Bride
Cake - Martha Stewart
Bouquet - Wedding Flowers
Chair covers - Real Life Photos
Winter wonderland room - Jessica Claire
Bridesmaid dress - Vera Wang
Shoes - Elizabeth Anne Designs
Feather head dress - Renee Pawele Bride
Guest book - Pretty Wild

Monday, 4 October 2010

Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo

Disney Wedding Dress

Have you ever dreamed of having a fairy tale wedding with a dress to match? If so your dream may have just started to come true. Designer Alfred Angelo has teamed up with Disney to create a line of Disney Princess wedding dresses.

The collection is inspired by seven of the most iconic Disney princesses of all time: Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella and Tiana. Check out the designs below:


The dresses will be available in the US in Alfred Angelo Signature stores and selected Alfred Angelo wholesale Partner Bridal Boutiques in 2011.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Famous love quotes

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world."

Heather Cortez

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Cake toppers

From cute to quirky, sophisticated to sparkly or something to add that personal touch, cake toppers come in different styles, shapes and sizes. Here are a few of my favourites to give you some inspiration.


Photo credits:
SA - Impressions are Everything
Acrylic glass heart and photo topper - Sonjas Brides
Engagement and wedding ring - Bridal Xpress
Gold W - Wedding Vendor Guide
Circle of Love - Antonia Rose Printing
Royal Doulton traditional couple - Table & Home
Cinderella and Prince Charming - BizMan Weddings
T&R - Sincerity Weddings
Crystal hearts - Bridal Fashion Mall
M bling - Couture Crystals
Black and white anemones - Peggy Porschen

Saturday, 25 September 2010

How to keep your wedding guests happy

Wedding guests:
  • Table centrepieces are a key element to dressing your room although they can sometimes cause issues for your guests. Choose low floral arrangements or something high with a thin stem so that the main arrangement is above eye level. This will make it easier for everyone on the table to see and talk to each other, helping them feel involved in the conversation.
  • If you have a long break between your ceremony, photographs and wedding breakfast try to arrange some entertainment to keep your guests occupied. For a summer wedding you could look at large garden lawn games e.g. Croquet, Giant Jenga, Connect4 or a treasure hunt with the children.
  • In addition to entertainment, it is also important to provide some refreshments especially on a hot day and a few canapes if your budget will stretch to it.

Older guests (Nan and Granddad):
  • If you have a number of elderly guests at your wedding, smart seating arrangements can help to keep them happy. Once you move from the wedding breakfast to the evening reception it is important to make sure you have seats available for those less able to stand. In addition, a good idea would be to seat older guests away from the evening entertainment.
  • Weddings are usually made up of a variety of people both young and old with very different tastes. It is wise to chose music from all eras to cater for everyone's tastes. You may like heavy metal but will it fill your dance floor? Why not ask your guests to suggest their favourite song as part of the rsvp process and that way you know you have something that everyone will like.
  • Sometimes older guests will want to leave early. Maybe consider playing songs for the older guests early on in the evening and then move to other music as the night goes on.
Children:
  • If you're inviting children to your wedding it is important to put thought and careful planning into making the day special for them. The day can seem long and boring to little ones and this could ultimately lead to them being disruptive. Think about the different elements of the day and arrange things to keep them occupied like having games during the reception drinks and activity boxes on the table (e.g. Event Smiles) during the wedding breakfast.
  • To cater for them the entire day you could hire creche facilities like Artful Splodgers or smaller elements could include paper table cloths with crayons so that they can draw and colour during the dinner, edible table centres like strawberry and chocolate trees, goody bags and entertaining favours.

Ushers & Bridesmaids:

  • You and your groom are of course the most important people on the day but it is important to remember that it is also special for the bridesmaids and ushers who you have asked to share this very special day with you. When arranging your seating plan try not to split them up from their partners during the wedding breakfast. That way they will still be able to perform the duties that you have asked of them but they will also have that special person to share it with them.
  • Arrange for your ushers to be given a drink upon arrival at the reception venue especially if they have to wait outside in the heat to welcome your guests.

Parents:
  • Remember to thank your parents for all their hard work and support.
  • Give each of them a role for the day so that they feel involved. The Father of the Bride usually has the job of walking the bride down the aisle, while the Father of the Groom could be Chief Usher and both mums' could be witnesses.
Suppliers:
  • Fed suppliers are happy suppliers! Arrange with your venue to provide a meal and refreshments for your suppliers especially those who have been working long hours like your photographer and videographer. You do not have to spend a fortune on this and most venues are willing to offer a less substantial meal than what is being served to the guests e.g. a platter of sandwiches.

Photo credits:
Croquet: White Box Weddings
Drinks: Project Wedding
Heart: Artful Splodgers
Strawberry tablecentre: Designer Wedding Days

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Ideas for your first dance #1

There are some couples who have a special song whether it was the one that was playing the first time they kissed, the background music on their first dinner date or the song that was playing during the proposal. What happens if you do not have a special song? Finding a song that accurately reflects how you feel when you have your first dance can be difficult so here are a few of my favourites:

1 From This Moment On - Shania Twain
2 Unbreakable - Westlife
3 When you say nothing at all - Ronan Keating
4 I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing - Areosmith


Without a doubt, and because it was my first dance song so has a special place in my heart, my favourite song is Shania Twain 'From This Moment'.












Look out for more ideas for your first dance song soon. Why not tell us what song you've decided on for your first dance....

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Coffee and Cream


Photo credits:
Macaroons & Tirimisu - INMAGINE
Shoe and pearls - Melissa Dunstan Photography
Air freshener - Marks & Spencer
Cake - Choccywoccydoodah
Bridesmaid dress - You & Your Wedding
Table Plan - Cards by Sue
Candle Centre Pieces - Your Dream Wedding
Bride -
Hairdressers Journal Interactive Shoe - BodaEstilo
Posy - Silk Wedding Designs
Fascinator - Beth Morgan

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Where there is Love

Where there is love the heart is light,
Where there is love the day is bright,
Where there is love there is a song,
To help when things are going wrong.

Where there is love there is a smile,
To make all things seem more worthwhile,
Where there is love there's quiet peace,
A tranquil place where turmoil's cease.

Love changes darkness into light,
And makes the heart take "wingless flight".

Helen Steiner Rice


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Apples and Oranges

I recently came across 'Pantone Wedding', a great tool from the Dessy Group for helping to create design boards. You can play around with different pantone colours, styles and themes to give you inspiration for your wedding day.

I used this tool to created the bright country citrus style below. I think these colours work wonderfully well together and would bring any wedding day to life.

Why not give it a try and share your design boards with us by emailing enquiries@designerweddingdays.co.uk.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Famous love quotes

"There is only one happiness in life - to love and to be loved."
George Sands

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Beautiful blooms on a budget

Flowers can take up to 5-10% of your wedding budget so it is no surprise that they can turn an ordinary room into a striking wedding venue. Having to budget with your flowers does not mean that you cannot create the wow factor. Here are my top tips to help you get the most from your flowers.
  • Check with your florist which flowers are in season as these will be cheaper. Even if you have your heart set on a particular flower there will normally be an alternative which looks similar and is cheaper e.g. Lisianthus rather than Roses, Iris rather than Orchids.


  • Choose a few selective flowers to fit in with your specific theme and then use greenery to pad out your arrangements.
  • Opt for large flowers which will take up more space within your arrangements and therefore you will need less of them e.g. hydrangea or Gerbera Daisy.
  • If you have chosen a venue where you need tall flower arrangements on the tables this could end up taking a large chunk of your budget. Try having some small arrangements alternating on the tables with the tall ones and this will reduce your budget while still maintaining the height in your room.
  • Find ways to re-use your arrangements more than once during your day e.g. move your church/civil ceremony flowers to your wedding reception to double up as table arrangements or favours or use the bridesmaid bouquets to decorate your cake table.
  • Identify a realistic budget and be very specific when discussing this with your florist and they should be able to come up with ideas to fit within this.
  • As a Mother of the Bride/Bridesmaid treat, arrange to go on a flower arranging course and do some of the flowers yourself. Depending on the scale of flowers you are looking for you need to make sure you are not trying to achieve too much so be realistic e.g. make your own button holes or the bridesmaid bouquets.
  • Consider cheaper alternatives to flowers for your table arrangements e.g. potted plants for a summer fete themed wedding, tea pots and cup/saucers (which can be bought relatively cheaply from your local garden centre) that you can plant yourself or get a family member to help or fruit centre pieces which can double up as dessert or candles (depending on whether your venue will allow these).


  • Providing you have a few green fingered relatives, ask them to grow flowers for you in the run up to your wedding. Flowers grown in pots or tubs can be used to decorate the grounds of your wedding venue and single stem flowers can be used in bouquets, as decorations for your cake or as favours tucked into napkins.
  • If you are getting married in a church and there is more than one wedding on your day see if you can speak to the other brides to see if you can agree on the style/colour of flowers and then split the cost.

Photo credits:
Iris - Northern Shade Gardening
Orchid - Myspace
Lisianthus - Valley Flowers Inc
Rose - CJ Images

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Wear your wedding dress to work

For those of you brides who long for an excuse to wear your dress again, I have the perfect solution! The National Wedding Show has teamed up with Breakthrough Breast Cancer to launch a new charity 'Brides at Work' to raise money for this very worthwhile cause.

Brides at Work day takes place on Friday 17 September so dig out your dress and start getting sponsors. If you do not fancy wearing your full outfit (or are like me and probably wouldn't fit back into it if you tried) you could always put on your tiara, veil or any other accessory. Why not get everyone involved and encourage your full bridal party including your bridesmaids, mother of the bride and groom etc to get involved and wear their outfits as well.

Over 46,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK and Breakthrough Breast Cancer works to save lives and change futures through research, campaigning and education. For more information and to register for a fundraising pack visit breakthrough.org.uk
.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Famous love quotes

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart."
Helen Keller

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Afternoon De-Light

I think afternoon tea is a fab 'hen' way to celebrate your impending nuptials but if you're trying to slim down to fit into that dream dress it can sometimes feel like a treat too far. Well, the Metropolitan Hotel has come to your rescue introducing 'Afternoon De-Light' the traditional British afternoon tea with a cool twist.


Offering a tasty selection of 'no-bread' sandwiches which are little pots filled with savoury snacks, sweet and savoury cupcakes and fruit scones made with low-fat creme fraiche, organic jam and olive oil rather than butter.



Available Monday to Saturday 2pm - 4pm and at £25.00 per person this is a definite guilt free treat.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Children and Weddings

Should you invite children to your wedding? It is a topic that will rumble on for ever and always sparks debate with many differing views. I do not think there is ever a right or wrong answer, it is down to the individual and what you want for your wedding day.

Some couples will consider the family element of a wedding to be the most important with children being an integral part while others will want parents to be able to let their hair down without the worry of taking care of the little ones.

In the recent edition of Stylist Magazine, Zoe Williams gives her views on why children and weddings don't mix. Please click below to read the full article.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Petite Cake Balls

If you haven't already realised - I love cup cakes! So, I was excited to hear of a new company 'Petite Cake Balls' offering an alternative to the traditional cup cake. This idea started in America and has now come to the UK.

These hand made cake balls are bite size tasters of moist cake blended with rich frosting and a delicious chocolate coating. They come in a variety of flavours including chocolate, carrot, strawberry's and cream, coffee and walnut and jaffa cake (see leaflet below for a full list), decorated in any colour and can be displayed in cake cases (cake balls) or on sticks (cake pops).




These could make a great addition to any wedding adding a little quirky touch. Why not consider using them as favours or as dessert. Prices start from £1.25 depending on the design.



For more information visit Petite Cake Ball on Facebook.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Budget bridesmaid dresses

The summer sales are well and truly upon us so why not make the most of them and search for a bridesmaid dress bargain. No matter what your colour theme or the style you are after I am sure there is something for everyone. As with most sale items they fly off the shelves so make sure you get in quickly to guarantee your sizes especially if you have a few bridesmaids.

Here are a few of my favorites...



Photo credits:
1 One shoulder Origami Dress (£75 reduced to £45) - Oasis
2 Savannah Duchess Satin Maxi Dress (£195 reduced to £125) - Coast
3 Ivy Dress (£175 reduced to £99) - Coast
4 Boudoir Satin Dress (£180 reduced to £89.95) - Karen Millen
5 Modern Artwork Dress (£165 reduced to £110) - Karen Millen
6 Symphony Maxi Dress (£160 reduced to £125) - Coast

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Preston Bailey colour pallet picker

One of the first steps when planning your wedding, and sometimes the most difficult, is deciding on your theme or colour scheme. I recently came across a wonderful tool which I wanted to share with you. The Preston Bailey colour pallet picker is a fun way to come up with a knockout colour scheme in four easy steps to bring the wow factor to your special day.


Step 1 asks you to decide on your main colour, step 2 requests further information about the wedding in terms of how many guests, indoor or outside, the light source and the tone of the event.


Then, before showing you your final colour pallet your asked to choose a Preston Factor. Here is one that I came up with using Magenta as my main colour....



I'm not saying this tool will 100% provide you will all the answers but it will definitely give you the inspiration to help get your creative juices flowing. Why not give it a go.

Monday, 5 July 2010

UK Alliance of Wedding Planners - Member Focus

The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) was founded for one purpose: to promote professionalism in wedding planning. A wedding is the most personal and important event in a couple's life and those involved have a duty to act with integrity and honesty.

Having undertaken training with the UKAWP I am an associate member. This means that I have met strict entrance requirements and adhere to a strict code of ethics giving you the reassurance you are using a wedding planner you can rely on.

I was recently asked to answer a few questions for a members focus on their blog. To find out what I had to say please visit the UKAWP.