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!


Did you see Louisa and Dan’s wedding day on the blog yesterday? I held back all the pics of their reception venue because they’d done such an amazing job decorating – nay transforming – a village hall into a beautiful, blue wedding reception room.

I’ve been playing with the gorgeous pics though, and I think you’ll love the inspiration board I made from Neil Redfern’s wedding photography. I’ve also added a gallery for you to see the pictures larger at the end too.

blue wedding inspiration board on English Wedding blog

Blue wedding inspiration board with photos by Neil Redfern

I can’t get over what a brilliant job Louisa did with decorating the village hall for her wedding reception. Friends and family were a great help – Louisa said, “I had a team of wonderful friends and family who helped me put up decorations bought from eBay, including organza lengths of material, chinese style different coloured paper lanterns and metres of bunting made by my mother in law and bridesmaid!”


Understandably, this wedding day had me intrigued from the moment I first heard about it! Bouncy castles, inflatables and a gorgeous village hall? Yes please! Louisa and Dan were married in Lancashire on the 4th of June and chose Neil Redfern as their wedding photographer. Louisa is originally from New Zealand, although now lives with Dan in Cumbria (spooky coincidence: my Gareth is half kiwi, and I’m from Cumbria! How could I not feature this wedding?!)

Neil told me how the wedding day unfolded: Louisa got ready in a little pub in Arkholme called the Bay Horse, the wedding ceremony was at Lancaster Town Hall and the reception at Arkholme Village Hall. The shots of Louisa & Dan in between the ceremony and the reception were taken on a bridge in Lancaster. The day had a really nice village fete feel to it and was extremely relaxed with lots of fun elements: a BBQ, bouncy castle, hula-hoops and an inflatable thing which guests could roll down a hill in!


There’s something enchanting in the dramatic beauty of the seaside. The beach isn’t all about buckets and spades: if you’re going to the beach any time soon, do what I’ll be doing and find a quiet spot, watch the waves, see the life and spirit of nature out there. Sometimes there’s nothing more fascinating than the wild beaches around our shores.

I have another breathtaking collection of photographs for you, this time with a seaside twist. Photos and words by Chris Hanley Photography

wedding blog photo shoot seaside Chris Hanley Photography (1)Richard and Anne-Marie were married in Monton and celebrated at the Worsley Marriott. Anne-Marie is from the south coast of Ireland, a little village about 25 mins south of Waterford. Anne-Marie and Richard wanted a little bit of Ireland at their wedding.

They went to the beach where Anne-Marie spent her childhood. They collected pebbles as name place settings for their guests.

wedding blog photo shoot seaside Chris Hanley Photography (4) That August we flew back to Ireland to shoot a beach bride™ shoot on the very beach were they collected the pebbles. We also shot Anne-Marie in the village harbour where she learnt to swim.


You’ll love this, it’s a wonderful story and a gorgeous celebration of love. Heather and Titus were married in London a few weeks ago, bringing together their families from Canada and Scotland. One beautiful moment caught my eye when I first saw the wedding on the Green Olive Wedding Photography blog – Titus wraps Heather all up in the biggest, cuddliest hug you could imagine – and in seconds my heart melted. Watch out for that pic as you enjoy the images kindly submitted by Green Olive Wedding Photography.

Heather was really generous with her account of the wedding day, sharing details and secrets of how they planned a beautifully inclusive and intimate day for all their family and friends. I’ll hand over to Heather to share her story.

“We wanted to have a planet-friendly and homemade wedding, keeping as many things UK-based as possible – the company who made our rings, wedding favours, and refreshments. In addition to the vintage dress, rented kilt, homemade veil and bouquet, our centre pieces were wooden roses in old beer bottles that the guests took home and the wedding favours were personalised tea towels.

6 Weeks To Go!


With just six weeks to go, the wedding seems to have rolled around pretty quickly. We planned a fairly short engagement (we got engaged in April, wedding is in September) but it still seems to have gone super fast and I really need to get my act together as there are still lots of things left to do! We need to find Paul something to wear, sort our rings, meet with the registrars, find me some lingerie, finish making the orders of service, organise the music…the list goes on. Unfortunately I’ve been feeling pretty ill recently, which is why there’s still quite so much left unsorted (I’m not usually that disorganised, honest!). I’m also very worried about feeling ill on the day itself, but there’s not much I can do about that except keep a positive attitude, so that’s what I’m going to try and do.

I’ve had a hair and make up trial and the lovely Allison Blake has altered my vintage wedding dress for me, so I now know what I will look like on the day. I just hope that Paul will like the dress as much as I do!

Karapürçek Escort Bilecik Escort Bolu Escort


Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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