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Days to go: 56

Tomorrow we are meeting with our videographer and florist to finalise arrangements and plans for the day so I’ll let you know the score when I do!

Also, I hit upon a legendary idea yesterday when I went to meet Emma Gore at Frill Designs who will be designing and making a bespoke bracelet for me. I don’t know whether I can pull it off, or if I ever will, but the ideas have started and the research has begun and the light bulbs are ON ON ON!

All I will tell you is that I think I’m going to be one of those people that doesn’t stop with the whole wedding this after she is married.

Toodles!

(does anyone say that anymore?)
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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 LOVE this picture of Denise holding a sunflower

I LOVE this picture of Denise holding a sunflower

It’s easy to see why vintage inspired weddings are so popular. There’s something about vintage decor and accessories – like delving into an old treasure chest, finding beautiful sparkly things which aren’t just beautiful but have histories and memories of their own. I think that’s why vintage weddings have such an appeal, and Denise and Luca’s wedding really captured the essence of vintage for me.

Wedding photographer Heline Bekker submitted these beautiful images, taken at Covent Garden’s Kingsley Hotel (for the bridal preparations), then St Peter’s Italian Church and at the wedding reception at Brown’s Luxury Hotel in London. Bride Denise is gorgeous in her halterneck wedding dress and birdcage veil, and Luca’s chocolate brown suit with a classic pink rose buttonhole fit the vintage styling of their day so perfectly.

Denise's wedding shoes - I love the colour and the flower embellishments

Denise's wedding shoes - I love the golden colour and the flower embellishments

 

A beautiful vintage inspired wedding bracelet with pearls

A beautiful vintage inspired wedding bracelet with pearls

 

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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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I had my bridesmaids chosen from the word ‘go’; my sister, Olivia, and three of my closest friends, Katie, Elizabeth and Louise (who is also my maid-of-honour). I am also having two flower girls; Evelyn, who is David’s niece, and, of course, Vivienne. I’ve asked them all, they’ve all gladly accepted, now the challenge of finding them all something to wear…

Originally I wanted all my girls to be wearing different colours, SATC style. I imagined a rainbow assortment of girls helping me down the aisle; but, when I started looking at making this a possibility, it seemed so difficult to ‘match’ colours so that they complimented each other, never mind finding nice dresses in the right shades, or the same dress in all desired colours.

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Such a beautiful bride, such a heavenly image - my favourite from this Brocket Hall wedding

Such a beautiful bride, such a heavenly image - my favourite from this Brocket Hall wedding

This wedding has everything: glitz and glamour, class and style, that traditional English sophistication and quiet elegance. Amy and Charlie were married at Brocket Hall, one of England’s finest stately homes in Hertfordshire.

I love this wedding for its sheer beauty: the majestic venue and breathtaking beauty of the reception rooms, the opulent floral displays and most of all Amy’s glamour and elegance, and the way she and Charlie look at each other with eyes full of love.

And then there are the moments. The moment Charlie looks to the heavens as he waits in church for his bride, the moment the happy couple leave the church in triumph, and best of all Charlie’s excellent dancing as he walks hand in hand with his bride along the driveway to Brocket Hall.

The photography is of course by outstanding wedding photographer Chris Hanley. The romance, the imaginative images, the most incredible detail shots and the way these photos will make you smile… that’s all thanks to Chris Hanley Photography.

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Firstly, my apologies for such a gap between posts, we have just moved house and the internet hasn’t been connected yet so I’m writing this from a sticky computer in the library instead of the comfort of my couch!

Right, what to wear with my wedding dress? It’s not something I’d given much thought to, I assumed the only task was finding the dress and the rest should fall into place!

I asked David what he expected me to look like on our wedding day, and he replied: “I don’t want to think about it, I just want to wait ‘til the day”, which is fair enough, but I know what he’d expect, the traditional bridal get-up. A long veil, A-line princess dress with a train, a rose bouquet, garter, delicate bridal jewellery, matching shoes and, let’s face it, some nice underwear underneath.

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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

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I know it’s the done thing to begin with a photo of the bride and groom, but I couldn’t resist showing this photo first!

Ah now maybe these two are the coolest wedding guests... a great shot!

A wonderful wedding, and a brilliant time is had by all!

I found Emma and Matt’s wedding just as I was researching and writing my little article about having a creative wedding outside of London. For me, being creative with your wedding is simply having a few little details which fly in the face of convention: and Emma and Matt did just that.

Their Yorkshire wedding was photographed by Tierney Photography. I love the details Mark Tierney captures when he shoots weddings – my favourites here have to be the campervan, the mini and the little boy having a brilliant time playing in the autumn leaves!

Emma looks fabulous in a wedding dress with a pretty halterneck that really suits and flatters her gorgeous hourglass figure. She also oozes confidence: finding a dress that is really You will make you feel a million dollars on your wedding day, and Emma really did – I love it!

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Next thing on the agenda was definitely my wedding dress, one problem: I have a massive phobia of wedding dress shops and feeling too ‘fussed’ and ‘done up’. I was nervous, I wanted buying my dress to be a very personal choice, I didn’t want to try my dress on for the first time in front of a room full of people, I wanted buying my dress to be low-key; not necessarily a secret, but I wanted to decide whether I liked it by myself first before introducing it to my own personal judging panel!

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I love the romance of this wonderful wedding photo - Geoff and Steph in the warm glow of a lamp outside Trinity College

I love the romance of this wonderful wedding photo - Geoff and Steph in the warm glow of a lamp outside Trinity College

Yesterday we enjoyed Al and Georgie’s Buckinghamshire wedding, photographed by Geoff Reardon. Within weeks of shooting their day, Geoff took his turn at the altar with his gorgeous bride Steph.

So when a great wedding photographer gets married, who do he and his bride choose to be their photographer? Is there a clamour, a race to get in there first? In these circles I think there’s probably more of a hushed and excited anticipation to find out who gets the job! But I think for Geoff and Steph there was only one choice: top UK wedding photographer Chris Hanley.

Bridal shoes with bags of class and sexy heels

Bridal shoes with bags of class and sexy heels

Cue the usual gorgeous photographs from one of English Wedding’s recommended photographers. Enjoy this beautiful wedding day with the perfect combination of uber-Englishness – in the heart of Cambridge. Steph is Beautiful (capital B for extra emphasis!) and Geoff is sooo cool. Love that cheeky smile!