Guest article by Martina Selvagi – Wed Our Way

It’s not about the frills, it’s about the faces. So many couples I meet today are family-first (or friend-first). What they want more than anything is an intimate wedding day they can fully drink in and enjoy with the people they love – one that isn’t so immersed in excess that the real meaning of the day gets lost.

If that sounds like you, then you’ll love the tips I have in store for you on how to create a perfectly personalized destination wedding that splurges in the areas you care about, but is simple enough to hold true to your values, priorities and budget.

1. Release Expectations

To really embrace the notion of a simple, intimate destination wedding, you need to first ditch the mentality of perfection and competition, including what you expect of yourself and what others expect of you.

On perfection

How to style your wedding with British grown flowers, with Alexandra Rose and Bethany Stanley Photography (23)

Today’s feature is a little different – and an absolute must-read, we think! It’s already one of our faves here at English Wedding HQ and I hope you love it too! Lovely Alexandra from Alexandra Rose Weddings wrote it for us, working alongside a fabulous creative team with images captured beautifully by Bethany and James who specialise in Fine Art photography and film making. Alexandra’s floral styling is just wonderful – she applies an imaginative way of thinking when working with garden grown flowers, allowing the shape of the flowers themselves to dictate the overall design. Her style is beautifully naturalistic and sculptural too.

How to style your wedding with British grown flowers, with Alexandra Rose and Bethany Stanley Photography (3)

“I want to inspire couples to be more aware of the seasons when choosing flowers and reflect the patterns of wildlife.  Part of the charm and excitement of using British blooms is working with nature and what is available at the time.  I thought our perfect setting would suit a quintessentially English venue situated in the Cotswolds and right along the River Windrush, The Old Swan and Minster Mill. The beautiful, historical features of the ‘inn on the river’ really tied everything together beautifully.  I really couldn’t think of a more perfect countryside setting with acres of stunning gardens filled with lavender, Willow trees and English Roses.

fine art wedding photography explained, with Amanda Karen Photography (6)

When you’re planning your wedding, it can feel as if you’ve stumbled into a room where everyone is talking a language you don’t understand. There are conversations around dry hire, corkage, guipure, Mikado and so many other things besides. Of course, when it comes to your wedding photography, it’s exactly the same. Fine art, reportage, editorial and fashion… the list goes on. Well I’m here with a language lesson and I’m answering the question – can you have it all?

fine art wedding photography explained, with Amanda Karen Photography (1)

Fine art photography – light and dreamy, often using natural light and also capturing the smallest details of your day in the most romantic images

Words and images by Amanda Karen Photography


Let’s start with the terminology. Reportage photography has been a phrase that’s been used for a while now and it appeared around the millennium to mark out the ‘new style’ photographers of the time. Instead of a limited number of posed photos, reportage photographers documented the day as it unfolded, captured those ‘real’ moments and told the whole story of the day. Reportage is a documentary style, the shots are edited for sure but they’re also a little more ‘real’ and a little more ‘raw’ than other styles.


There’s no better way of celebrating your newlywed status than by losing yourself in music, surrounded by the smiling faces of friends and family on the dance floor. So how do you encourage your guests to join you on the dance floor for a wild wedding reception filled with fun and dancing? Hiring a pop and rock function band, that’s how!

Pop and rock bands are versatile acts who often perform an eclectic range of songs, spanning genres and time periods, making them ideal for the mixed crowd found at most wedding receptions. Arriving at your venue with all the skills and equipment to give you a stunning live concert experience on your big day, a pop and rock band is a sure-fire way of whipping up the atmosphere into the early hours.

Discover the best pop and rock bands for lively, all night weddings below:

Dirty Pop

Naturally simple and beautiful #weddinginspo with Eva Tarnok Photography on the English Wedding Blog (7)

Peter and I got engaged in May 2017 whilst on holiday in China – Peter proposed on the very first day of our three week holiday, so it was a good job I said yes! As I spend every day talking about and planning weddings, we agreed not to make any plans until we arrived home, so after an amazing holiday, a 24 hour delay and a 12 hour plane journey, our wedding planning began…

For Peter and I, 2019 had to be our year. I have always wanted a spring or summer wedding, and when we took into consideration our day-to-day schedules and other plans we were already committed to, getting married in 2018 would have been too close for comfort. This led to a bit of a problem – my fiancé is adamant that he wants to be married before he is 30 and he is 30 in June 2019! Which meant May 2019 was our best option – longer days, trees and greenery in full bloom, and (fingers crossed) some sunshine!

the best uk rock bands for weddings from warble entertainment (2)

Speculative weather, incredible vibes and stunning music. Festival season is something we all go mad for and it has sewn its way into the ever growing tapestry of British pop culture. Festival themed weddings or ‘wedstivals’ are no surprise then as couples strive to recreate that festival atmosphere on their big day.

Guest article by Joey Burdon of Warble Entertainment

Live music is one of the main staples of a good festival wedding. It’s all about the entertainment and making sure that everyone has a good time! Here are 5 of the best Rock & Pop bands available for your festival themed wedding this summer.

Gentlemen Of The Road

This Surrey quartet can be described as the perfect festival wedding band. Treading the line between festival favourites Mumford & Sons and big rock anthems from bands like The Killers and Kings Of Leon, Gentlemen Of The Road are ideal for bringing that festival fever to your day.

the best uk rock bands for weddings from warble entertainment (4)

Getting ready photos and advice by Sally Rawlins (3)

by guest author Sally Rawlins Photography


My full day wedding photography package includes photographing your preparations on your wedding day. This means I’ll be there to capture the affectionately known ‘getting ready’ bits before the ceremony. For example, I’ll be able to document a bride having her hair and make up done before she gets into her dress, and the candid ‘behind the scenes’ moments that your other half won’t get to see. It might be the girls in matching wedding day pyjamas, busting open the prosecco, or capturing the groom and gents working out exactly how their cufflinks work. Not only do these shots give you a brilliant reminder of all the fun, nervousness and adrenaline of getting ready before saying “I Do”, but they are also a great keepsake particularly as your partner won’t have seen them first hand!

Here are my 7 top tips on how you can get the best out of your surroundings to ensure better ‘getting ready’ photographs of your big day.

Getting ready photos and advice by Sally Rawlins (1)

Contemporary English wedding with a Kula Tsurdiu bride, images by Martin Makowski Photography on the English Wedding Blog (9)

I think there are two sides to putting together any amazing wedding: the look and design on one hand and then the planning and ‘making it happen’ on the other. In my book, both are super important. Today, I’m focusing on the planning side of pulling together an unforgettable wedding celebration – the importance of the timings and how on earth it’s all going to flow. Have you ever been to a party billed as “the best event ever” only to feel slightly underwhelmed? Not by the lack of design or “pretty” WOW-factor but by the fact that you weren’t fed in time and/or enough, or it took ages to get a drink? It’s these details that can really dampen an atmosphere. Planning out your wedding day, what will happen and when deserves attention.

Contemporary English wedding with a Kula Tsurdiu bride, images by Martin Makowski Photography on the English Wedding Blog (8)

All images in this blog post are by Martin Makowski – you can see beautiful bride Tig and Piers’ spring wedding on the blog next Wednesday!

wedding styling ideas with lights (10)

Recent research by an online lighting company shows that Christmas and New Year are one of the most popular times of year for engagements. This means to secure the venue you want, you need to get planning as soon as possible, before the Valentine’s proposals start happening in February.

wedding styling ideas with lights (1)

To understand more about how couples plan their weddings, Festive Lights ran a survey of 1009 people in the UK, asking those who were engaged, or were married, when the proposal had happened and whether it was on a special occasion. This revealed that the most proposals happen around Christmas, with 33% of people answering that they’d put a ring on it around Christmas Day and New Year. The festive period was more popular for proposals than birthdays (22%) and more than twice as popular as Valentine’s Day (15%). As a result, January sees a spike in couples beginning to plan their weddings.

Stephen Alty, General Manager at Festive Lights, commented,

The Cinema Museum wedding venue in London with Camilla Lucinda Photography (24)

by Helen Hopkins, Pudding Bridge

Setting your wedding day priorities early on is imperative

It means you can divide up your budget according to what is important to you both for your day, making sure you don’t waste your budget on things you don’t need or want! As a wedding planner, I work with couples to help them plan their dream day.

The Cinema Museum wedding venue in London with Camilla Lucinda Photography (11)

Image credits: Nick & Kristina, by Camilla Lucinda Photography. See their full wedding feature here


One of the very first things we do is look at priorities. It so interesting to see who picks which area as the most important. So here is what to do…

Write a list of every element of your wedding day.

For example: venue, food, drink, ceremony, guests, entertainment, attire, cake, stationery, location etc.

Make sure you both have the same list and rate the items into order so that 1 is the most important.

The Cinema Museum wedding venue in London with Camilla Lucinda Photography (20)

Then compare.

Now it’s likely that you and your partner’s lists will be different.

Greenery and gorgeous urban chic styling at Manchester Victoria Warehouse with Kate McCarthy Photography (11)

It’s December, time for festive cheer! So, it probably feels a little strange that today I’m bringing you a piece titled ‘wedding day regrets’ but bear with me, I promise it will be worth it!

Nothing saddens me more than listening to the words “if I could do it all again I wish I would have…” and, if you are a 2018 bride to be heading into the year of your wedding, you have the wonderful luxury of time and the fabulous opportunity that comes with it to avoid those wedding day regrets I hear about too often.

Advice on trying on wedding dresses, by Ailsa Munro on the English Wedding Blog (1)

by Ailsa Munro Dressmaker, Cornwall

Advice on trying on wedding dresses, by Ailsa Munro on the English Wedding Blog (1)

It seems like it’s fairly common knowledge that wedding dresses “run small” compared to high street shops.

If shopping for the most important dress of your life wasn’t stressful enough, a lot of brides are then also faced with the horror of being squeezed into too small samples, pinned at the back with your bra showing, and having to show your bridesmaids and Mum while trying to imagine what it’ll look like in the right size.

As a dress designer, I wanted to explain why this is so common, and what you can do to avoid getting overwhelmed by it.

Advice on trying on wedding dresses, by Ailsa Munro on the English Wedding Blog (3)

Sizes are just numbers

First of all- it’s important to remember that sizes are just numbers. They help the industry codify bodies, which come in all shapes and sizes and heights and proportions, into roughly 6 standard sizes. The system is imperfect, not least because it appeals to the side of our brain that wants to put things in boxes and say “okay so if I’m a size X I must look like Y“, or worse “I can only be happy if I’m a size X” This brings about what is often referred to as “vanity sizing”, where high street shops make their sizes fit a slightly bigger body in order to make them feel good and therefore buy the product.