I don’t squeal. I’m calm, collected and simply love being a wedding blogger. No hysterics. So when top UK wedding dress designer Charlotte Balbier herself emailed me I didn’t squeal*. At all.

*I jumped four foot in the air and did a quick lap of the ceiling in my excitement.

Last month Charlotte Balbier did a sneaky peek preview day for her boutique owners of the new 2012 ‘Candy Kisses’ collection at The event was to give the boutiques a preview into the new 2012 collection and also to have a time to meet fellow boutique owners, relax, chat, network and be spoilt with champagne, yummy canapés and afternoon tea.

Who’d have liked to be a fly on the wall for the event, hey ladies? Tell you what, who’d like to play along RIGHT NOW and pretend we have front row seats for the exclusive wedding industry only event? Hmm?**

**I’m on the edge of my seat, hand in the air shouting ‘Meeeeeeeeee!’


It seems like I’ve been away for ages when in fact it’s only been a few weeks! I have so much to tell you about mine and David’s day but I think I’ll save it until our official photographs come back in the next week or so. I can’t wait!

Before I get started I’d like to say a huge thank you to Claire, I’ve loved every second of blogging about our wedding and it’s really going to help me remember all the details and run-up in the future, I think I’ll get a book printed like I mentioned before as a little keepsake from English-Wedding. Also thank you so much for the beautiful calligraphy you sent us of one of our readings from the wedding (Forever Young by Bob Dylan), we’re going to frame it and put it on display when we get round to it! (I’ll also post a photo when I get my act together!) We were both really touched and that reading out of all of them meant the most to us so it’s the perfect gift.

vintage countryside english wedding inspiration board

Please do indulge my wedding inspiration board phase… I absolutely love doing these right now! Perhaps it’s because I’m being sent so many brilliant photos at the moment. Wedding photographers are such a generous and creative bunch of people 🙂

So – this is part 3 of Claudia and John’s wedding in Devon, on the English Wedding blog. They combined their Australian heritage with a vintage inspired, English country garden theme and created something really special. Here’s how you can recreate that look for your own wedding day!

vintage countryside english wedding inspiration board

Vintage countryside english wedding inspiration board

How to recreate this country garden wedding look

For your wedding flowers use a mix of colours. Imagine a meadow of wildflowers: there’s a glorious mixture of colours in there, right? So use pink and blue, white and yellow and include your favourites if you can: daisies and sweet peas look gorgeous, cornflowers are striking and big rose blooms make a beautiful statement.


I can almost hear music as I scroll through Claudia and John’s wedding photographs – a soft, tinkling piano piece to accompany the elegant wedding ceremony (did you see their Sidbury wedding blog yesterday?) and then something a touch livelier for the wedding reception I’m about to show you. It sings of sophistication and English charm with a really loved up atmosphere.

Claudia and John live in Australia, and chose to get married in the UK because Claudia is British and her family live over here. They had a wedding weekend, with a classic Devon cream tea on the day before the wedding itself. This was followed by a traditional English barbeque in the evening so the English and Aussie guests could meet and mingle.

English wedding blog real wedding photography from the UK (7)The marriage ceremony I shared yesterday was in the village church at Sidbury in Devon. I’ll pick up where we left off in yesterday’s wedding blog as Claudia and John make their way to Combe House Hotel for the reception.

Once again I’ll hand over to Claudia to share her wedding story with you.


Claudia and John’s wedding day is a beautiful celebration of love and has all the best bits of that ‘quintessentially’ English style thrown in. I adore the style of Australian weddings – as a big fan of Ruffled blog and Style Me Pretty I see lots of gorgeous Aussie wedding receptions and they’re always fabulous. So when wedding photographer Richard Rayner sent me this beautiful Devon wedding of a couple who live in Australia I was over the moon!

Claudia wrote a beautiful report of her day, so I’ll leave the words to the beautiful bride.

Oh – and this wedding is in two parts with a bonus wedding inspiration board at the end… so keep coming back to English Wedding blog for more this week!


When Oxfam Unwrapped first got in touch with me with a press release I wrote back – along the lines of “love what you do, let’s give it a bit more ooomph”.

I’ll be upfront about my feelings on gift lists: I don’t like the idea of giving money, even if it’s for something specific (honeymoon, new home) – considering the vast amounts we can afford to spend on weddings in the UK. I’m right behind charities like Oxfam Unwrapped – and if you’re having (or considering) a charity gift list then I LOVE YOU.

Here’s a guest blog post from Oxfam Unwrapped.

Endless love: the wedding gifts that keep on giving…

Opting for charitable giving instead of traditional wedding gifts is the perfect way to share the romance and make a lasting difference on your big day.

It’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly popular, with even Royal newlyweds, Kate and William, asking individuals to celebrate their wedding day by giving to their favourite charities. The reason behind this is understandable: more and more couples are living together before getting married and certainly aren’t short of the usual home appliances.


Please note this wedding invitation competition has now closed. Leonie announced the winners on facebook – congratulations Estella and Helen!

Please do view the beautiful designs below – and get in touch with Leonie if you’re looking for luxury wedding invitations of your own. Explore my list of the best 20 vintage wedding invitations for more inspiration!

Wedding invitation suites from Leonie Gordon London (4)Leonie Gordon offers a boutique-style service creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding invitations and stationery. All of Leonie Gordon’s invitations are thoughtfully designed to create a beautiful impression and are custom created and lovingly finished by hand especially for you.

Wedding invitation suites from Leonie Gordon London (1)

Wedding invitation suites from Leonie Gordon London (2)This is my favourite wedding invitation from Leonie Gordon London’s collection. (There are many more – and they’re all beautifully designed) The pink printed design looks like a chandelier and the crystals and buckle clasp are so exquisitely elegant.

Wedding invitation suites from Leonie Gordon London (3)

Wedding invitation suites from Leonie Gordon London (5)

Win wedding invitations: The Prize

3 x lucky brides get the chance to have custom designed Wedding Invitation Suites by Leonie Gordon London to include up to 100 Invitations, Reply Card & Information Cards designed for free, all they pay for is the cost of printing and materials starting from £200.00.


Ladies, (gents, hopefully!) we have a moral dilemma on our hands. There’s more to this question than you might think: and the answer isn’t “what you can afford”. It goes a bit deeper.

Let’s get the stock answers out of the way first.

How much should you spend on your wedding?

how much should you spend on your wedding blog photo

Credit: Ali Lovegrove

Stock answer 1. It’s your day, do it your way, spend as much as you can afford.

OK – bit of a cop out answer. You’re about to spend a LOT of money (whichever way you see it, weddings aren’t cheap!) and you can’t sum the whole thing up in a sentence.

Stock answer 2. Average wedding budgets – “here’s what everyone else spends, use it as a guide”. I have problems with this approach. Mainly, where do these average figures come from? I’m not aware of any survey on wedding budgets which has targeted a fair cross section of the population to ask about wedding spending. So the average figures are interesting, but you definitely shouldn’t use them as a guide to what YOU should spend on your wedding. Everyone’s different after all.

Cosmopolitan Bride magazine

I’ve just found out that Cosmopolitan Bride is no more. It’s a sad week for the wedding industry as this was one of the best quality wedding magazinesand had such a distinctive style.

Cosmopolitan Bride magazine

Cosmopolitan Bride magazine has closed

Cosmo Bride appears to have become a little fish in a very big pond when you look at the scale of the publishing company who owned it: Hearst Magazines are acquiring other magazines in different sectors and it seems they’re tidying up their portfolio.

The future of Cosmo Bride online is unclear: the Guardian article suggests the best bits of Cosmo Bride will be incorporated into You & Your Wedding magazine, both in the printed publication and website.

I hope this means the gorgeous bridal style shoots which Cosmo Bride did so well will continue.

Why Cosmopolitan Bride?

From the publisher’s point of view, Cosmo Bride was a small publication struggling to make its voice heard amongst more robust, popular and growing magazines in all sectors. It had a very similar magazine in You & Your Wedding: the two have been linked for a long time.

Days to Go: 244


The wedding invitations have arrived! They look so amazing! I’m so completely chuffed with them! The lady who made the invitations is just fantastic and so professional!

I’m not going to completely reveal what they look like until I’ve sent them to the wedding guests but I’m so so happy with them!

We have ordered day invites, evening invites, RSVP’s and envelopes.

H2b is really happy with them too, he said, ‘Yay! Now we can invite people.’ That was his only reaction, that and saying the invitations we very me.

It’s so exciting finally receiving the invitations! The wedding has been in my head for so long but now it’s down on paper in purple and white!

The next step is to give Dad the invitations so he can do his cool calligraphy handwriting to write the names, and his normal fantastic handwriting to write the envelopes. (He volunteered! Honest!)

Also, today I am meeting with all my bridesmaids to take them to try on their dresses!! I remember when we went to do this with my friend when I was bridesmaid for her wedding, my wedding seemed so far away but now it’s my turn.

Kirtlinton Park by documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall

Kirtlington Park wedding venue is a Grade I listed 18th-century Palladian country house, about 0.5 miles east of the village of Kirtlington in Oxfordshire. It is set in 3,000 acres of parkland, landscaped by Capability Brown, with views over the gardens to the Chiltern Hills.

Kirtlinton Park by documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall

Kirtlington Park by documentary wedding photographer Martin Beddall

Photographs of Kirtlington Park wedding venue

Kirtlington Park by wedding photographer Martin Beddall real wedding at Kirtlington Park by Martin Beddall Kirtlington Park wedding venue by Martin Beddall Photographer Kirtlington Park wedding venue by Martin Beddall Photographer

All photographs by
See a real wedding at Kirtlington Park from Martin Beddall’s photography blog

Photographer Martin Beddall’s Kirtlington Park venue review

“Driving up the long driveway leading towards Kirtlington Park feels like you’ve found a hidden treasure. An imposing Grade 1 listed Palladian mansion, this wedding venue hasn’t been snapped up by some multinational hotel chain and sanitised.

Kirtlington Park wedding photography by Martin Beddall“Privately owned, and I believe only holding a limited number of weddings each year, it offers what I would call a more complete and personal service than many such locations owned by corporate hotel chains.


How can I introduce today’s English Wedding blog feature? Well… it’s for me. It’s a bridal shoot that I want to be in. Or maybe I want to be it. It’s striking, stunning, different and inspiring. It’s a confidence thing, about nature and being in your element. It’s about being a gorgeous bride and therefore beautiful. (All photo credits: Rings n Veils wedding photography)

Bridal shoot wedding photography blog by Rings n Veils (1)It’s about fairytales. But not fairytales with a simpering princess who needs rescuing… fairytales with a strong princess, a gorgeous heroine who’ll have an adventure all of her own and win your heart. A fairytale, perhaps, where the forces of nature are enchanting and captivating and mother nature plays a vital role.

I love fairytales – my dad brought me up on fantasy fiction and I love stories like this. When I saw this bridal shoot from Rings n Veils wedding photographers I had to have it on the blog. Because for me, this is every heroine I admire. And it’s an inspiring shoot, I think, for every creative bride out there!

Instagram – @englishweddingblog

  • 9 brilliant hen, stag and sten workshop ideas (including chocolate racing) (yes) for crafty creative couples! On the blog right now at from our friends at @trulyexperiences ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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  • Today's blog focuses on @elderflowerevents - they're supporting rural communities and farmers and have a collection of idyllic countryside wedding venues to choose from across Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. I think that's pretty awesome. 👏 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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  • 10 blissful honeymoon escapes... today on with @101honeymoons
What's your dream honeymoon destination? Mine's pic 2, totally. Cosy, homely, back to nature and under the stars kind of thing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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  • Moments or details? LOVE this pic from @crislowisphotography which for me answers the question. Yeah, we love details and planning and the excitement of making a wedding beautiful. But afterwards, when only your photos and memories are left to remind you of your best day ever? It's the moments you'll fall in love with over and over again. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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  • Happy news for any Yorkshire brides out there - lovely @khmakeupartistry who joined English Wedding this summer *happydance* has 2 AUGUST WEEKENDS FREE!!!! Saturday 3rd August and Saturday 11th August ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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  • 5 top tips for planning an EPIC wedding video - on today with our lovely friends at @hdmoments ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pic: James & Daryl at @clivedenhouse ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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