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wedding gift ideas calligraphy unique different special (2)
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While so many couples are asking for donations to honeymoons or charities instead of wedding gifts, it can be tricky to find a special wedding gift they’ll treasure and remember you by. So when Daniel from Bestroke got in touch, I was fascinated and delighted to discover their beautiful concept. This is so much more than a unique wedding gift; English Wedding Directory member Bestroke works alongside master calligraphers in China who will create something incredibly special, just for you.

At Bestroke, we commission Chinese calligraphy artwork, each hand-painted and mounted on silk scrolls by our master artists in China.

Our Bespoke Wedding Gift Scroll is a made-to-order piece that features a traditional four character wedding blessing in Chinese. 

There are ten beautiful proverbs to choose from, so guests can pick the blessing that they feel best suits the wedding partners. The blessings range from the romantic and succinct Chinese equivalent of ‘a match made in heaven’, to others that convey a more eastern philosophy, such as ‘as harmonious as fish in water’. 

Have you seen…

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Purple wedding style inspiration with calligraphy By Moon and Tide, photo credit Camilla Lucinda Photography (2)
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Earlier in the year I joined forces with the team at Lakes & Cumbria Wedding Magazine to launch their very first issue – and we had an absolute blast, creating a stunning cover shoot with ultraviolet stationery and florals. This year has passed by in a whirlwind, but I wanted to tell all of you beautiful people about the magazine before issue 2 comes out in the autumn!

Purple wedding style inspiration with calligraphy By Moon and Tide, photo credit Camilla Lucinda Photography (13)

It’s the first time I’ve worked hand in hand with magazine publishers, and the girls working on the magazine are such lovely, enthusiastic and happy people I enjoyed every second of the process!

Purple wedding style inspiration with calligraphy By Moon and Tide, photo credit Camilla Lucinda Photography (8)

The magazine cover shoot was also a fabulous chance for me to work with some of my favourites again – lovely Camilla Lucinda Photography was a star, beautifully capturing the gorgeous editorial I created with Katie from Made in Flowers, Julia Tasker Bridal Couture, Keseme at Le Petit Salon and Ashley from Greg Malloy Hairdressing – not forgetting our lovely hosts The Forest Side and our beautiful bride Jade Hodgson.

Elegant English wedding in Essex, at Lambourne and The Reid Rooms, images by Rebecca Louise Photography (12)
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Happy Friday lovelies! It’s been a fabulous week here at English Wedding HQ and we’ve plenty of loveliness in store for the rest of the summer too. Have you signed up for our mailing list yet? You’ll be the first to read our new digital magazine if you do – it comes out in September and we’re so excited to share it with you.

Today’s real wedding is a beautiful combo of contemporary chic styling and traditional touches. Beautiful bride Lilyanna and gorgeous groom Chris were married in April at The Reid Rooms in Margaret Roding, Essex. Originally built nearly 200 years ago as stables for the working horses on Marks Hall Farm, the Reid Rooms is in such a lovely rural setting and has real charm about it – there’s even a moat, open fields and a pretty courtyard full of colourful flowers.

Elegant English wedding in Essex, at Lambourne and The Reid Rooms, images by Rebecca Louise Photography (5)

“We didn’t really have a theme, I wanted to keep it quite traditional with a spring feeling. We had a lot of lilac and lace. I wanted it to look pretty but not too much, I definitely feel like we achieved this as I would not change anything if I had the chance.

West Mill wedding in Derby with images by Mike Plunkett Photography (36)
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A guest article by Anthony Horner

She said yes. Congratulations! Now you’re tasked with planning your perfect wedding. Flowers to be ordered, venues booked, invitations written — weddings take a lot of preparation. With so many things to consider for the big day, shopping for your wedding suit can feel like a burden. Where to begin?

Your wedding suit is probably the most important outfit you will ever buy, so it’s essential to get it right. Think of your bride’s face when she first sees you on the day, or the many photos that will document the occasion. You want a wedding suit that is classic, timeless — something you can look back on with pride and fond memories. Yet, for many of us, the old wedding suit shopping ritual can become both stressful and expensive.

Colour, cut, design, rented or bought, tailored or made to measure; the list of choices goes on and it can be overwhelming.

Follow this guide to make shopping for your wedding suit as easy as possible.

Houseplants and tropical wedding styling with www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk (53)
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I’m so in love with today’s style edit from our lovely friends at Amanda Karen Photography. The vibrant green foliage by Cassandra King brings summer to any venue, all year round. The cake by Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design is incredible with glossy leaves and still so very elegant – and the touches of antique gold bring the entire theme together: it’s wonderful.

Houseplants and tropical wedding styling with www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk (9)

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have a bit of a houseplant ‘thing’ going on. I have succulents and ferns, cacti and plenty of palm-tree type things whose names I don’t even know! I’m also a big believer in styling your wedding with the things you love, so the day is beautiful and feels natural, fitting your personalities too. So, fellow plant lovers, here’s how to take inspiration from those tropical houseplants you adore to create a stunning, contemporary wedding style!

Dreamy boho wedding at Houchins Farm with images by Kathryn Hopkins Photography (2)
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Hey lovelies! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day, wherever you are. Do you still have sunshine? I think it’s deserted us here, which makes me even more happy to have a ton of beautiful weddings to share with you this month – and today’s is a dream.

Dreamy boho wedding at Houchins Farm with images by Kathryn Hopkins Photography (30)

Jen and Adam were married at Houchins Farm, Coggeshall, Essex. They’d originally planned to get married abroad but after spending the last two years traveling together they decided to come back to their roots to celebrate their marriage where they grew up, surrounded by close friends and family. Their wedding photographer was none other than our lovely friend Kathryn Hopkins (whose beautiful pics you’ll have seen gracing the front cover of the English Wedding Bible).

Jen was looking for a non traditional bohemian vibe, and found her dress whilst in Australia. On the day Kathryn mentioned that she looked like a woodland fairy, to which she responded delightedly ‘exactly the look I was going for’! Jen’s dress was Hollie, by Grace Loves Lace, Australia – https://graceloveslace.com.au

White and green styling for an elegant wedding at West Tower, with Rachel Joyce Photography on the English Wedding Blog (29)
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How was your weekend? We’ve had the loveliest time despite it being a little on the misty side up here in the Lakes! We went for a little explore to Brockhole near Windermere with family and some of us (not me, I’m a wimp!) did a tree top trail… you know where you swing from perch to platform to net and so on? I’d totally recommend it if you’re on holiday in the Lake District anytime and have kids to entertain 🙂

Now, to ease you into the week I have a very special wedding I’ve been so excited to share with you. Suzie and Jonny’s styling is elegant and timeless, with simple white florals and beautiful foliage setting the tone for the day. The gorgeous couple were married at West Tower in Ormskirk, and our lovely friend and English Wedding Directory member Rachel Joyce Photography captured their day beautifully. I hope you love it all as much as I do!

White and green styling for an elegant wedding at West Tower, with Rachel Joyce Photography on the English Wedding Blog (1)

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English Wedding Directory member Ross Willsher is a professional photographer based in Essex. His book, “How to have a wedding as individual as you are” is brilliant, inspiring, down to earth, reassuring and beautifully written. So many of us – me included – get a little nervous in front of the camera. While I’d worry about my chin (both my chins) and my tummy, the way I was standing, how to get my hair to stay in the right place, and what to wear, I know in my heart that being happy and confident makes for the best and most beautiful images. But confidence is probably the hardest thing to have! You can’t pluck it out of the sky, and it’s way harder to fix nerves than flyaway blue hair…

I imagine ten minutes with Ross would set my nerves to rest. Even from his book I can tell he has a way with people, is a listener and understands our anxieties and quirks. This article is an extract from How to have a wedding as individual as you are” (available on Amazon).

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I paid no attention to the royal wedding earlier this year, I have to admit… but since the big day it’s come to my attention that Harry and Meghan’s cake was different, modern, creative and absolutely delicious-sounding… Lemon & Elderflower. And credit where it’s due – I love that their wedding cake was non-traditional (ie not a fruit cake!) If this sounds good and you’d like to follow in the royal couple’s footsteps with a lemon & elderflower infused wedding cake, you’ll love this recipe sent in by the lovely folks at Dr. Oetker and celebrity baker Juliet Sear!
All images from Dr. Oetker

Equipment

6”, 8”, 10” round cake tins  (you will need to bake 3 layers for each tier, so if you have multiple cake tins this will help you bake your cakes in batches)
Greaseproof paper (base and side line all tins)
Fresh flowers of choice for decoration
Cake Boards – 6”, 8”, 10” thin cake boards and either a 12-14” cake stand to display the cake on
Cake dowel – ideally 8-10 and a knife or scissors
Small crank handle palette knife, medium flat palette knife

Hindu Punjabi wedding blog with Surily G and Ameeran Design, images by Linus Moran Photography (58)
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I would love so much to be a henna artist, wouldn’t you? To design temporary but stunningly beautiful mehandi on skin, to create intricately detailed decoration for a bride on her best day… to have even the tiniest little bit of these guys’ talent… So forgive me for focusing rather a lot on the images of Gaayatri’s beautiful henna art on the morning of her wedding to David.

Hindu Punjabi wedding blog with Surily G and Ameeran Design, images by Linus Moran Photography (1)

There’s more of course: the vibrant florals, stunning Indian dress and fabulous celebrations which go on all day long in today’s Hindu-Punjabi fusion wedding. Gaayatri is so beautiful, in a dress designed by Surily G in Mumbai. The soft pink tones and sparkling details are just out of this world! I hope you all enjoy the pictures which tell the story of David and Gaayatri’s vibrant, fun, joyful Delhi wedding from our friends at Linus Moran Photography.

Hindu Punjabi wedding blog with Surily G and Ameeran Design, images by Linus Moran Photography (20)

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It’s just eight weeks until I’m going to be a bridesmaid for Jean & Marco’s big day – and as I write, I have a potential dress on the way… folks, please keep your fingers crossed that it will fit, suit and flatter me! Eeeek! Being a bridesmaid is all very exciting – it’s my first time and I’m a little nervous – I’ve had bridesmaid dreams, even!! (Don’t ask!)

When Jean asked me it was really, really lovely – she’d bought purses for all of the bridesmaids to use on the day, and inside was a contribution towards a dress – she gave us all the choice of choosing our own dresses in her colour, which is lovely – and I was surprised (and delighted) that she’d included some money towards them.

So when the lovely folks at Oasis got in touch to share their insights about who should pay for bridesmaid dresses, I was keen to read more and find out how you’re all paying for them – and what most of us think ‘should’ be the right way to sort out dresses for our besties. Turns out, the majority of bridesmaids say brides should cover the cost, or “at least contribute” – especially if dresses are pricey!

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  • Loving today's feature over on the blog - how to style your wedding with tropical foliage, bare wood, white and touches of antique gold - Plantation Chic is a new and different style concept for 2019 brides and grooms and we LOVE how stunning it looks!  @amandakarenphotography
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Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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