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A guest blog post for you today – as couples focus on saving money, the wedding industry will be there to help! Wedding budgets have fallen by £6k in 6 years… and guest blogger Tom’s article explains why, and how, and what it means. He had me gripped with this one… and I know you’ll like reading it. Oh! And the presentation is the coolest thing ever to play with… click Play, and Enjoy! Claire x

In 2013, the cost of a wedding is set to fall. Again. Whereas in 2007, the average cost of a wedding was around the £22,000 mark, 2013 will see wedding spend dip down towards the £16,000 mark.

What’s fascinating about this is that the economic downturn has really focused the happy couples’ minds on driving down the overall cost of the wedding, and it’s really focused the wedding industry on providing added value in a turbulent economic period. The trend is not necessarily towards less lavish weddings – the trend is towards getting the best price for every single item on the list.

Today’s real wedding is a super cool celebration at luxury 5-star hotel Andaz. Nicola and Antony used coloured glass bottles and simple, modern flowers to create an eclectic wedding look in their chic city venue.

Eclectic wedding Andaz London (23)

Nicola opted for a bespoke wedding dress, based on her own design and created by Miss Bush Bridal Wear in Ripley. It’s stunning – and Nicola’s glowing review of her wedding dressmaking experience is great to read.

Nicola and Antony’s flowers were white tulips. Antony made a fantastic table plan with vintage frames which I love! Other detail ideas include little chocolate moustache lollipops and post cards as a wedding guest book alternative. Ready to dive into this one? The gorgeous images are by wedding photographer Mark Bothwell. Enjoy!

Eclectic wedding Andaz London (1)

Nicola & Antony’s eclectic wedding in London

Eclectic wedding Andaz London (2)

Who proposed, and how?

Antony proposed to me. It was the 3rd of December. He went to a huge amount of very romantic effort: he foxed me, by pretending we were going to a cocktail party for a networking event for his work.

snow white fairytale wedding ideas

Snow White wedding inspiration via Calligraphy by Jennifer. Photo credit Corina Van Sluytman

Happy Friday afternoon, everyone! We had a little break from wedding planning or work last week (as my head is all over the place with my house move!) so I assume you worked through the afternoon without a break last week. Which means, I think, that your boss should let you have the rest of the afternoon off. I wouldn’t even bother checking… just drop your pen, and enjoy some of these gorgeous real weddings, and wedding blog posts from the last week or two!

A beautiful ranch wedding blog via Style Me Pretty

A beautiful ranch wedding blog via Style Me Pretty by Hazelnut Photography

Real wedding blogs

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Where on earth do I start with this wedding? I love it. I love everything about it: the surprise, the style, the laid-back bride and groom and their family….
wedding photo by Sam Clayton (21)
…the delight – and shock! – on guests’ faces; the handmade and gorgeously swooshy wedding dress. Trudie says she was voted “the scruffiest girl in school” and wanted to carry on the tradition… but she, and her dress, look amazing.

I want this wedding to be mine!

For now I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ever wedding reports, which is by Jason and Trudie – and with images of a truly wonderful, unique and spectacular wedding day by wedding photographer Sam Clayton. (When I jumped at the chance to feature such a creative wedding Sam told me, “Trudie & Jason will be thrilled. They thought their wedding wouldn’t be of much interest!” To which, all I can respond is “Pah!”)

See what you think…

wedding photo by Sam Clayton (43)
wedding photo by Sam Clayton (42)Planning a surprise wedding!

“Our wedding was on the 25th of June, the day following Trudie’s 40th birthday.

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winter wedding blog by Lifeline Photography (18)I’ve been waiting so long for a cold snap. I pictured myself blogging all wrapped up and toasty, with glistening icicles outside and this winter berries wedding inspiration shoot on my screen, next to a mug of steaming hot chocolate…

Well there’s no snow outside (yet). I give up!!! But it’s chilly. It’s been frosty… and the sparkles on the pavement in the morning say it’s time to blog this lovely wedding inspiration shoot!

Two posts – all about the shoot today, and an inspiration board to share with you tomorrow. If you’re having a winter wedding, think of sparkly frost and crystals, red berries all shiny and light with a little snow on top… a little bit of white (fake) fur, and plenty of gorgeous sparkle. Hannah Webster (of Lifeline Photography) and friends are here to show you how!

Enjoy x

Wedding Inspiration: winter berries – the details

winter wedding blog by Lifeline Photography (17)
winter wedding blog by Lifeline Photography (19)
winter wedding blog by Lifeline Photography (20)

winter wedding blog by Lifeline Photography (32)The shoot was photographed by Hannah from Lifeline Photography. “The more weddings I shoot, the more I fall in love with the little hand crafted details that make things feel so personal.

I haven’t written a wedding business advice post for a little while – but over the last few weeks I’ve been helping friends with business advice here and there, and I thought I’d share with you today.

Every time I’m asked for advice about running a wedding business, I think, “I’ve been through that”, and it means I can help. I’m sure very many of us running our own businesses can identify with the same issues and dilemmas, so I’m going to try and use the blog to share my advice with everyone.

Wedding blogs – what’s that all about?

I was asked this question today, by a photographer I know via twitter. It’s funny: I live in a little bubble where blogs are the centre of everything I do, and it’s so easy to forget that the blogging phenomenon is still relatively new to the UK. Of course, this applies to brides and grooms as well as to wedding businesses. So it was a great question to be asked, and really got me thinking.

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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.

Just a quickie blog post this evening to follow up the A Alicia wedding accessories competition. Congratulations to Steph who wins the £25 voucher to spend at www.aaliciawedding.bigcartel.com.

Craft Central Gets Hitched

For any London brides to be, remember A Alicia will be part of Craft Central Gets Hitched, a unique and wonderfully intriguing wedding event in London towards the end of June. Craft Central Gets Hitched is the ultimate shopping treat to tackle those wedding ‘to do’ lists. This intimate and exclusive 3 day event will showcase a wide variety of distinctive craft and design products by 30+ UK designer makers.

10% Discount for English Wedding readers!!!

A Alicia is also happy to offer all English Wedding blog readers 10% off their first order at www.aaliciawedding.bigcartel.com with discount code EW10 – just quote the code at the checkout when you place your order. How fab is that?!

A Alicia handmade wedding accessories - discount for English Wedding readers

A Alicia handmade wedding accessories - discount for English Wedding readers

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Hello lovely readers, and welcome to what promises to be a really good day on the English Wedding blog. Why? Because first I’m introducing you to some beautifully crafted wedding accessories from designer maker A Alicia – my all-time favourite things, handcrafted, high quality, eco-chic wedding accessories.

And then later – you get to WIN something from the collection. Before I tell you about the competition let me show you why I’m so completely in love with A Alicia and all the gorgeous handmade wedding accessories which designer Anna makes and sells to discerning eco-chic UK brides.

Handmade eco-chic wedding accessories

handmade fabric flower bridal accessory

Handmade wedding camellia corsage by A Alicia in London

Anna says, “With my wedding accessories collection I’m always striving to strike a balance between classic vintage style and fresh contemporary chic. I want brides (and grooms) to feel they can use my accessories to help make their wedding personal and unique, to express their own style, which is also why I also love bespoke requests!

Despite saying that the Royal Wedding “is sooooo last month” recently on my own little blog (a bold statement I know) I have to confess that I’ve stocked up on the Kate & Wills memorabilia. As well as collecting the Daily Mail’s free souvenir I also snapped up the Royal issue of Hello, the Sun and the Royal Mail Collectors Stamps (oh how very OAP of me). I thought that it would be nice to keep a few mementos from the Windsor’s big day as they decided to get wed in the same year as us… I’ve phrased it this way as we’ve been planning our DIY nuptials since Garry popped the question on Bognor Beach on 13th June 2009 (so at the risk of sounding like a school girl, we started planning first).

Instagram – @englishweddingblog

  • Stunning DIY wedding - Vikki & Sam, with lovely @vermanphotography - more on the blog today at www.English-Wedding.com.
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  • You just have this lush feeling that you are even closer than before. We have been together nearly 10 years now so being married is the icing on the cake! ~ Jessica & Jack on www.English-Wedding.com today with @martin_dabek_photography  at @quantocklakesuk #somersetweddingphotographer #bristolweddingphotographer #weddinginspo #weddinginspiration
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  • Blood diamonds - how much do you really know? I ask because I really didn't. I'd have shopped for something with a certification, and before reading this I would have thought 'conflict-free' covered everything. According to @miadonnadiamond  that simply isn't enough... find out why on the English Wedding Blog today. [www.English-Wedding.com] #diamonds #weddingring #engagementring #ethicalwedding #bride #weddingblog #weddingplanning #weddingjournal #proposal #gettingmarried
  • All the pretty flowers! Nick & Amanda on the blog today... pics by lovely @siobhanh_photography  on English Wedding now. .
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  • We do love a smoke bomb... especially in gorgeous lilac!!! Pic by @rebeccalouise.photography More on www.english-wedding.com #englishweddingblog #smokebombphotography #smokebomb #weddingphotography #wedding #weddingphotographer #weddingphoto #vsco #vscocam #thereidrooms #weddingday #brideandgroom
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  • Loving today's feature over on the blog - how to style your wedding with tropical foliage, bare wood, white and touches of antique gold - Plantation Chic is a new and different style concept for 2019 brides and grooms and we LOVE how stunning it looks!  @amandakarenphotography
@alwaysandriweddings
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  • Gorgeous boho wedding on the blog today - meet Jen & Adam Photo: @kathrynhopkinsphotography Florals: @rebeccaaveryflowers
Venue: @houchinsweddings 
Gown: @grace_loves_lace 
Make up: @emmacharlottemakeup 
Jewellery: @ikechopearls 
Grooms Attire: @topman @riverislandman & Hammond & Co at @debenhams 
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Modern blue styling ideas with calligraphy for an alternative beach wedding (18)

Image credit: Oobaloos Photography

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