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This is a guest blog post from Baking Mad – I couldn’t resist all the gorgeous cakey pictures attached to their email and asked for recipes. Those of you who’ve submitted real weddings and shoots for me to blog, I’m afraid I’ve bumped you down my things to do list in favour of baking. 😉 Recipes for cupcakes, icing and a trio of cheesecakes are here too – see the links at the bottom of the page. Over to Baking Mad…

Wedding cupcakes from Baking Mad

Wedding cupcakes from Baking Mad

“It’s almost wedding season but up and down the country it’s not just brides-to-be who are basking in the warm glow of romance – with a Royal Wedding only weeks away, the whole country has wedding fever.

“Although there’s been speculation about Kate’s dress and discussion over honeymoon destinations, the question on BakingMad.com’s lips is all about the cake. Is Kate going to go traditional with a multi-tier or will she have a more modern cupcake tower? Is William a fan of the Croquembouche or would he prefer a chocolate feast?

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David and I have always enjoyed about 5 cups of tea a day (give or take depending on what kid of day it is!), and have my own nice little collection of vintage tea cups and pots, so when I heard there was a real teahouse opening in Middlesbrough I was one of the first ones through the door! I knew Carli, who owns and runs The Olde Young Teahouse, as she is David’s friend’s girlfriend, and we found ourselves visiting her shop to try as many of her different teas as possible.

Carli's Teahouse

It’s such a beautiful place, vintage style wallpaper, teacups, teapots, vintage crockery and French bistro style tables and chairs. I started chatting to her about ideas for my wedding, and, after sampling so many, said that it would be such a nice idea to have a selection of teas (along with coffee) to serve after the meal, and to serve them using her beautiful collection of cups and saucers. It just seemed so British to really honour how much everyone seems to love a good cup of tea! Carli jumped on the idea and pretty soon we were sorting out how to make it work and which teas to serve.

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This week’s Monday Makerie is dedicated to I Am Staggered. Hello fellas!

This week I want to share ideas for all of you creatively minded brides- and grooms-to-be. Whether you want to make your own wedding crafty bits or buy handmade treats for your wedding, you’ll find something to inspire you here!

Table decorations, wedding favours, or just something to make on a dull Monday: Moroccan inspired mini lanterns from Design Sponge

Aren’t they gorgeous? There’s a full how-to blog post over at Design Sponge, and they’re easy to make from sauce or jam jars – it’s just glass paint on the inside and gold paint on the outside (the stuff you get in a little tube that’s quite chunky).

How about some air plant wedding favours to decorate your offices? I found these on the Project Wedding Blog, they’re by Mary Swenson and they’re just mad enough to be gorgeous!

Our very own Star Bride Sally blogged a little how-to feature for origami fortune teller wedding favours. These are so much fun… I followed her instructions and made one in minutes.

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Viv flashes a gorgeous smile

Viv flashes a gorgeous smile

Here’s an inspiring wedding for you: Viv and Ben used customs from all around the world to make their wedding celebrations a whole lot of fun. I love the Wife Cakes, napkin waving, shouting on chairs and lining up to kiss the bride and groom! They also chose a venue for the wedding reception in eco-tastic Bordeaux Quay (lots of pics towards the end of this post).

Viv and Ben’s wedding photographer was Izzy Hudgins (who’d travelled from Madrid to shoot the day!) and I have to thank Izzy for sharing the images, as well as lovely bride Viv for sharing her story of the wedding.

Enjoy! (I’ll leave the words to Viv this time 🙂

 

Viv's beautiful wedding dress

Viv's beautiful wedding dress

“Many people say that the wedding day is the most stressful day of their life – you hardly have any time to spend as a couple, you don’t get to talk to many of your guests who attended, and you’ll be running around from place to place.  I think this is true to a certain extent.

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This is just a short post because of an accidental discovery! I’ve been in the back garden spray painting the inside of jars with a cream paint to create a ‘milky’ effect (when they’re done there’ll be a post on this!), and for no real reason decided to be experimental, and sprayed the hydrangea plant next to me, which had dried out and started shedding its whole, ball-like flower heads.

I loved the effect! The flower heads looked like intricate hand-made paper flowers, antique-white and pale brown. I’d been thinking of having hydrangeas as part of the table decorations, and I’d heard of people using dried hydrangea instead of fresh, but I’d never seen anything like this. I experimented with a few of the jars I’ve been collecting for the table decorations and I think they look pretty good, especially the metal bucket plant pot. If I can make them last without shedding their petals I’ll definitely be using them mixed in with fresh flowers on the day!

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One thing David and I just hadn’t considered was a wedding cake, neither of us were too bothered, the cake shops around us seemed to charge too much for too little, and we thought we’d rather spend a few hundred pounds on extra bottles of wine or asking the band to play a while longer!

But, who hasn’t had MAJOR fantasies about Chocky Wocky Doodah? I’d heard of them before we were even engaged, their cakes are unbelievable, I can’t even work out how they make them?! I adore the ‘All You Need is Love’ design, David and I lived in Liverpool for a few years and had lived in ‘Lennon Studios’ and on Penny Lane, so a nod to the Beatles would have been nice, and if we had a little more money to spend I would have placed my order immediately!Anna, David’s sister, had a delicious chocolate 3-tier Marks & Spencer’s cake complete with fondant roses for her wedding a few years ago, and we were going to follow suit and buy a ready made one. Waitrose also make wedding cakes, and we thought we could just add some fresh flowers and ‘make it our own’ closer to the day.

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I wanted to personally hand-make as many details as possible for the wedding, I’ve always been quite crafty and enjoy anything hands-on, and what better way to make your wedding day as personal as possible?

The first thing to create was obviously the invitations and RSVP cards; I looked at a lot of professionals’ work, craft websites, how-to’s and DIY ideas for inspiration (the Martha Stewart Weddings website is amazing and provides free print-outs for tonnes of designs), but wanted to keep it quite simple… and also would have up to 100 of some pieces to make!

First port of call was, of course, Hobbycraft (my Mecca) and picked out a few bits to get me started and to experiment with, I bought some patterned scrapbook paper, glue, ribbons, lace, buttons and some card blanks. One problem, my hand-writing is abysmal, how could I make what I wanted and make it look half decent if it looks like I’d written ‘wedding invitation’ during some sort of turbulence? I stumbled upon the idea of alphabet stamps, I discovered the perfect set at Cox & Cox and bought them immediately, along with the ‘dingbats’ collection of picture stamps; it also meant that I can use them for every piece I make to ‘tie in’ all the designs from RSVPs to ‘orders of service’.

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A quick game of chess at this St Augustine's Priory wedding

A quick game of chess at this St Augustine's Priory wedding

Antonina Mamzenko (Memories Enclosed) sent me this incredibly beautiful wedding from St Augustine’s Priory in Kent. Gemma and Rob had a small and intimate wedding with just 16 guests, and arranged the whole day in just 10 weeks. They did a wonderful job and for its cosy character and charm this has to be one of my favourite weddings so far this year.

A wedding doesn’t need to be a huge party with all your university mates and distant cousins. All you need is your nearest and dearest family and friends – and as Rob and Gemma’s wedding day clearly shows, this can be the most beautiful and memorable celebration of your love.

St Augustine's Priory in Kent

St Augustine's Priory in Kent

Gemma's wedding shoes

Gemma's wedding shoes

Like very pretty peas in a pod...

Like very pretty peas in a pod...

Gemma's sister did her make up on the day

Gemma's sister did her make up on the day

A real beauty

A real beauty

The final touches for a lovely bride

The final touches for a lovely bride

I love this shot of Gemma by the window

I love this shot of Gemma by the window