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This is a guest article from our friends at Truly Experiences

If you’re at that age when it seems like every friend, cousin and their hamster is getting hitched, I’m sure you’ll agree – boozed up, wild hen and stag dos are getting old very quickly. The penis straws are kitsch, the ass-exposed waiters are degrading, and the hangovers just aren’t worth it.

Luckily for you (and your liver), there are plenty of unique party ideas to celebrate your mate who’s about to get married. Workshops are an excellent way to have fun, get to know the rest of the bridal party, and pick up a new craft, all at the same time. What’s not to love about that?

Take your pick from these some somewhat quirky, but still unbelievably fun hen, stag and sten ideas that’ll be a total hit with everyone from the conservative Gran to the crazy out-there best friend.

Mixology Masterclass

This workshop is for those who want to get a little loosey-goosey, but not by knocking back shot after shot of tequila. 

Sunflowers and tipi wedding style at the Henry Moore Foundation Hertfordshire with Becky Harley Photography (27)
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Hey there wedding industry folks and friends 🙂 This post is especially for you… and I hope it will give you a nice few minutes’ respite from your editing caves and pre-Christmas creating frenzy!

Last week I took a long, hard look at the sponsor packages for English Wedding, and added a ‘middle’ option to give you more than a simple Directory listing; without paying the full price for annual sponsorship. It kind of seemed silly to have a £50 option and a £550 option with nothing in-between! So we now have a £15 per month advertiser package to help smaller creative wedding businesses become a part of English Wedding.

We already had Tier 1 – the basic listing

A visual listing in the English Wedding Directory, where clicks on your banner go straight to your website. This comes with 1 insta share + 1 facebook share when you join, and a mention (with backlink) on the blog, in my regular roundup of new members.

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Hey lovelies! September is creeping up… and I’m excited because I’m teaching calligraphy back at my home from home in Manchester. Friday afternoon’s workshop is for absolute beginners, and we’ll be using a combination of cheat sheets and alphabets to copy. It’s going to be magic!

We have a handful of places left, and they’re now available at a reduced price in my Etsy shop. Click this link to book your places – they’re going fast so don’t miss out!

Tickets are now reduced from £65 to £52 – this includes your very own modern calligraphy kit to take home!

 

Beginners modern calligraphy workshop

Friday 7th September at 1 o’clock
At Manchester Craft & Design Centre
Just 10 – 15 minutes’ walk from Piccadilly and Victoria stations
Now only £52
Tickets here – quote SUNFLOWERS to save your 20%

Find the calligraphy workshop official Event on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/478406522569834/

25% Saving for wedding photographers!

I love to style these calligraphy workshops as best I can with flowers and of course the beautiful handwritten calligraphy kits, which are personalised for every student.

Beautiful English summer wedding with Richard Skins Photography (17)
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Fashion is a big thing in weddings – dresses change from year to year (and with huge influences whenever there’s a royal wedding!) – as do suits (we’ve recently shifted from bright blues to softer shades and a focus on luxury fabrics. But cars?

You wouldn’t expect it, but wedding car trends are huge. When the English Wedding Blog was born it was all about the stately old English cars – the Jaguars, Rolls Royce and Bentleys – big old granddaddies of cars full of luxury and upper class upholstery – to go with the traditional mansion wedding venues, obviously.

Now we’re getting married in urban spaces and converted barns, and in festival style tipi celebrations. And our wedding car choices have shifted, subtly and brilliantly, to fit.

Beautiful English summer wedding with Richard Skins Photography (18)

Top two images by Richard Skins Photography – this fabulous wedding will be coming to the English Wedding Blog over the summer!

English Wedding Directory member BookAclassic has been looking closely at its wedding bookings across the UK and has found that couples now favour the Ford Mustang over more traditional transport choices.

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’. 

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Hey everyone! It’s wedding supplier time once again and I’m delighted to introduce you to these lovely people, who’ve joined or re-joined The English Wedding Directory in the last couple of weeks. Do take a moment to discover them, and if you like what you see why not get in touch and even book this weekend?

Our Facebook page is updated with new vendors when they join us, and the Directory is full of brilliant photographers, stationers, florists, stylists, stationers… everything you might need for the wedding of your dreams!

Photography by Kathryn Widdowson - Yorkshire Sarah Williams Photography Sussex wedding stylist northumberland wedding prop hire luxury London wedding photographer wedding entertainment UK worldwide


Photography by Kathryn is all about combining a documentary wedding photography style with beautiful portraits created with a relaxed and down to earth approach. Authentic, natural and beautiful wedding photography in Yorkshire

Sarah Williams photographs weddings with a reportage style, capturing natural, unposed images of your wedding day. “My approach is non-intrusive which helps me to tell the true story of your special day, allowing you to enjoy yourself and most importantly have fun! I am based on the South coast and travel all over the uK and beyond so please do get in touch – I would love to be a part of your day if I can.” Based in Sussex

Styling by Lily & Lavender, images by Alison Wonderland Photography at Hidden Spring Vineyard (25)
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I love the idea of a vineyard wedding, and as a wedding blogger I see so many gorgeous celebrations from Californian vineyards… but did you know we have our very own vineyards here in the UK? Today’s gorgeous shoot comes from Hidden Spring Vineyard in East Sussex. The Tasting Room at Hidden Spring makes for a lovely wedding reception room, and the vineyard location is wonderfully inspiring for your wedding theme… especially when you can book some of the fab suppliers who collaborated on this creative shoot!

Styling by Lily & Lavender, images by Alison Wonderland Photography at Hidden Spring Vineyard (3)

Words by Carol at Lily & Lavender Events | Images by Alison Wonderland Photography

As a wedding stylist I encourage my couples not to go with a theme but instead be inspired by their surroundings and not be afraid to mix antiques and modern items.  This creates depth and texture in the overall design of a tablescape or room – the results are just magical!

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Style Me Pretty was one of the first wedding blogs I ever read. Its closure comes as a big surprise – and I’m truly sorry for founder Abby Larson, who was as shocked as anyone to find out her beautiful blog was to close.

People have been asking me why it happened and what the closure of Style Me Pretty means for the wedding world, particularly for wedding blogs. Are we all struggling? Has instagram killed blogs? Am I worried for the rest of us? Do I have any inside gossip?

The answer to all of these is no (and a chuckle to the last one). It’s a shame for every bride and wedding vendor whose work was featured on SMP over the years that their features will be lost. It’s so sad for everyone who worked at Style Me Pretty whose jobs have been taken away from them at a moment’s notice, and my heart goes out to them all.

But Style Me Pretty closing its doors is not the end of wedding blogs – far from it.

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I’m a bit of an Instagram junkie, I admit. I also have weekends where I binge on Pinterest – once I start, I just can’t stop. If I was planning my own wedding I’d end up in some sort of ‘Pursue Pretty’ rehab. Is it just me?

Soft, romantic blush and grey wedding table styling ideas by One Stylish Day (15)

I have been reading some of the interviews you’ve been sending in for wedding features – I’m so lucky to have such amazing girls and guys getting involved in the blog, and soooo many amazing weddings to share! – and I love how everyone finds their suppliers in different ways.

But did you know the English Wedding Blog is designed to matchmake you with amazing (local) suppliers?

Nicola told me “I read lots of blogs and did a lot of Pinteresting for inspiration, but Instagram was brilliant for finding local suppliers and seeing real life images of their work.”

Soft, romantic blush and grey wedding table styling ideas by One Stylish Day (8)

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I think 2016 has been our busiest year yet! The English Wedding Blog is growing every single day: we’ve featured weddings and styled shoots from so many new photographers and our inbox is constantly bursting with amazingness… so I thought I’d write a little note to all of you fabulous wedding photographers who are yet to get published here. I so hope you’ll be in touch soon!

Know your wedding blogs!

Every wedding blog has a different audience and a unique aesthetic, just as every wedding photographer has their own style and approach. If your images are bright and vibrant, they’ll look amazing on Rock n Roll Bride, English Wedding or Boho Weddings. If your photography has an ethereal, romantic fine art style it will fit perfectly with Wedding Sparrow or Magnolia Rouge (or English Wedding!).

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I’ve had lots of applications for blog sponsorship recently and I have to say a HUGE thank you to all of the amazing suppliers who support the English Wedding Blog. I find myself explaining to every potential sponsor the benefits of joining us – and I thought it would interest a lot of the wedding suppliers who read the blog if I published those benefits in a blog post.

We do things a little differently here. Blog sponsorship is most effective when your work is published often… so joining our little team of handpicked sponsors means you’re regularly a front page feature on the English Wedding Blog.

Every English Wedding Blog sponsor gets:

  1. An introductory feature post when you join
  2. A banner advert on every page of the blog
  3. An optimised, dedicated page with photos, introductory text, even videos
  4. A listing on my recommended suppliers page
  5. Priority features. Submit a real wedding or styled shoot; I’ll publish it fast
  6. Regular front page news, events and offers
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Hi lovely! Is it just me or is January flying by?! I’ve had a rush of enquiries for calligraphy, and have a bunch of amazing weddings up my sleeve… and still trying to be good and make it outside for a walk on my beach every lunchtime! (While quietly munching my way through the 48 delicious Caramacs my lovely friend Jamie sent me!)…

Viking inspired wedding style with Tiree Dawson Photography (4)

Photography credits: Tiree Dawson. All suppliers featured are listed at the bottom of the page.

Last year I was working to an editorial calendar with the English Wedding Blog, and scheduling feature posts up to a fortnight in advance: they were all written and ready to publish and I was checking in once a week or so… but this year I’m flying by the seat of my pants, getting up at 6:30 every day and writing posts to publish the very same day. It’s kind of more exciting… but I’m working in panic mode a little!