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Just thought I’d share… makes me feel clever. Have a lovely day!

Claire x

Carlton Ensemble string quartet with flute Manchester

Carlton Ensemble string quartet with flute Manchester

It was my absolute pleasure recently to be asked by Hallmark cards to ask readers of the blog to share their suggestions for ‘alternative first dance songs’ for weddings. Being a huge fan* of Hallmark, I thought Firestarter was a good one and it subsequently made it into their top three. My point being, I’m not an expert on romantic music!

Wedding music isn’t a priority for everyone: it’s easy to concentrate on the big suppliers, the visual aspects and logistics – but choosing something extra special will make a huge difference to your day. If your taste in music doesn’t suit weddings (me!) then you have to venture outside of what you’d normally have on the stereo and find something that will suit the occasion…

… so up step Carlton Ensemble!

Carlton Ensemble dressed for a sophisticated event in black

Carlton Ensemble dressed for a sophisticated event in black


WeddingsByRyan has been on my radar for months now, and as a regular admirer of photographer Jonathan Ryan’s blog I was really happy when he volunteered for an English Wedding mini-interview! His answers are very entertaining… enjoy.

A beautiful bride photographed by Jonathan Ryan

A beautiful bride photographed by Jonathan Ryan

What inspires you?

Light, action, colour, drama.

I spend more time flicking through fashion magazines than looking at other wedding photographers’ work. I also get inspiration from films, TV, art.

About once a week I’ll wake up early in the morning with an image so clear in my mind that it could have been painted on the ceiling. Other times I’ll be driving along the road and see a particular pattern of light and think “wow – I could use that…”.

Throwing the bridal bouquet by PeopleByRyan

Throwing the bridal bouquet by

What do you love most about your work?

That I get to do it. I spent years working in an office and I still find it hard to believe that I can get up every morning and do new and exciting things and call it “work”.


Time for a little less me, me, me and a little more about you today!

If you’ve had great service from a wedding supplier, or fallen head over heels with your invitations or cake topper, I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve been writing about the suppliers I love – in fact I still have a few of my sponsors to write about – but I want to extend the net a little and share some really genuine customer reviews. I know you write them… and believe you me, getting a really lovely ‘thank you’ email feels great.

So – why not write in to English Wedding about your favourite suppliers? All you need to do is send a photo to show their product or service, and a photo of you on your wedding day. (Please ask your photographer’s permission first.) The best will be featured on the blog!

Just email me (Claire) – at

Cutture wedding stationery

Cutture wedding stationery

Sometimes I really feel I have one of the best jobs in the world. As a calligrapher I spend my days seeing and doing lovely things. I love writing, and I love seeing wedding stationery from all over the UK and even further afield when customers send me their invitations, envelopes and place cards to be written. Anyway, enough about me…

Cutture wedding invitation in pink

Cutture wedding invitation in pink

I was lucky enough to get a gorgeous little package from Cutture recently. They are specialists in laser cut wedding stationery, and the intricacy of their designs is incredible!

Cutture Liberty London invitation

Cutture Liberty London invitation

I was very hesitant to write on the invitations at first! They are really beautifully made and I didn’t want to spoil the effect with my scribbles… but Helen from Cutture had asked me for calligraphy samples so I got stuck in.

New York wedding invitation by Cutture UK

New York wedding invitation by Cutture UK

Bride, groom and fence

Resting on a fence between photos, this is my favourite image from Matt & Yana's day

I feel a little guilty for having neglected the blog a little this week while I squeal about Vespas with calligraphy enquiries up to my ears! But I have a special wedding for you, to brighten your Friday and make up for a couple of quiet days…

Every wedding photographer has a favourite wedding, a showcase, a bride and groom who appear on their website and in their portfolio, as a blog header and on business cards…. even when every wedding is unique and wonderful and beautiful, I think there’s very often a stunner of a wedding in every photographer’s gallery that really stands out as a crowning moment.

When Pete Barnes submitted this wedding, I could see instantly that this is one of those very special weddings any photographer would be hugely proud to have photographed. The bride and groom are gorgeous, the photos are natural and exciting, the landscapes exceptional and… well I could go on all day. Here, have a look:


Castigliano competitionWhat do I love best about Caroline Castigliano? Hmmm…. Her wedding gowns are out of this world, she’s a UK bridal designer who specialises in the most sophisticated styles imaginable, there’s a new website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and more… that could be my favourite thing…

Ah, I’ve got it: it’s the great prizes that come with the new Castigliano Club. First a designer wedding dress worth £5k earlier this year, and now a luxury break for two. It’s a real taste of the Caroline Castigliano lifestyle… spa treatments, a butler for a weekend? Yes please!!!

So if you didn’t join the Castigliano Club last time round, now’s your chance!

The competition page is now live on the Caroline Castigliano website, so sign up now for your chance to win:

(Click on the image to see a bigger version)

Peckforton Castle by top UK wedding photographer Chris Hanley

Peckforton Castle shot by top UK wedding photographer Chris Hanley

Peckforton Castle is one of my favourite wedding venues from all of those I’ve seen in my years in the wedding industry. For a classic English wedding with unique character and thrilling history, Peckforton is perfect.

Photographs of Peckforton Castle

Peckforton Castle by Chris Hanley Photography Peckforton Castle inside by wedding photographer Chris Hanley Bride and groom at Peckforton Castle by Chris Hanley Inside Peckforton Castle by wedding photographer Chris Hanley

All photographs by
See a real wedding at Peckforton Castle from the English Wedding blog

Photographer thoughts on Peckforton Castle

Top UK wedding photographer Chris Hanley has kindly written a great review of Peckforton as a wedding venue: “Peckforton reminds me of the type of castle you’d see at an adventure theme park, bold and imposing with a ferrous luminosity to excite the eyes.

“When the weather’s dry, the front lawn is a great place to sip champagne and nibble on the impressive canapes. You have the option of a Peckforton birds of prey display too – ideal to entertain guests if you have plenty of time before the wedding breakfast.

Me and my Vespa


VespaMy apologies for a few quiet days on English Wedding. I don’t often post about me, but I feel an explanation is due (actually that’s a lie I want to show off…)

I’m getting myself fixed up with one of these little beauties. In fact this one is sat in a showroom with my name on it as of 4pm this afternoon. I’ll be zipping around in no time! If you see this parked outside a wedding fayre near you, and there’s a girl inside with a helmet on, come and say Hi!

owl at a wedding

Everyone should have a wedding owl.

Yes. Owls at weddings. Everyone should have owls at weddings. Perhaps in the spirit of my wedding priority list published a few days ago I could say they were ‘optional extras’ or ‘luxury items’, even ‘fanciful’… but after seeing this, I’d invite an owl before my uncle Barry.*

This gorgeous wedding blog feature has two purposes:
1. To show off more out of this world wedding photography by the rather masterful Chris Hanley Photography and make my blog look amazing!
2. To let us all bask in pure luxury, enjoy and admire images of a wedding that is stunningly beautiful, and to share in that lifestyle for a moment or two.

With no further ado…

Bride and groom bears in cups

Wedding bears! These are so cute, I love how they're looking at each other!

Wedding day note

A scribbled note is a precious little memory to keep!

Wedding rings

Wedding rings reflecting on a sea of green

Groom portrait

Daniel looks fantastic - Portrait of a groom-to-be

groom's pocket watch

Checking the time... is it wedding o'clock? credit: Chris Hanley Photography

I have a wonderful wedding waiting in the wings. That’s how it feels, a little queue of the most amazing photographs of a luxury wedding, all ready for their turn on stage, in the limelight, on English Wedding this week. I’m excited…

…not least because Chris Hanley sent them to me! And he’s fab.

However, Chris sent lots of beautiful photographs and I couldn’t feature them all in one blog post, because it would be too long (I think he broke my record last time when I went from 20 to 30 images per post!) the problem being, they are all so damn good I can’t miss a single one.

So – I’m making you wait. I’m sorry. But it will be worth it. This little blog post is a bit of a teaser, then I’ll put a couple of exclusive photos on the English Wedding facebook page, there will be a full blog post of the wedding day and I’ll follow up with a venue feature on Peckforton Castle, where Kelly and Daniel got married just a few weeks ago.


There were so many beautiful photos from Prema and Andy’s wedding earlier this week, I had to keep a few to share as a special feature all of their own!

If you’re thinking about a very English wedding theme and need ideas to help you get the look, this will help! All photos are by Victoria Phipps Photography.

wedding cake

The wedding cake looks beautiful - rather than piling flowers or decorations onto the cake, choose a simple design and surround it with bouquets at your venue. A simple topper of fresh pink roses and peonies will finish it beautifully. Photo credit: Victoria Phipps

English country wedding theme

This inspiration board was put together by Victoria Phipps. All details are from Prema and Andy's wedding day.

Choose roses in various shades of pink and cream for an effect that isn’t contrived and looks really natural.

Use scrapbooking papers in various shades to create your table name cards in a country-chic style.

Find details like rose-decorated signs, wedding post boxes and gingham to further decorate your day to create a relaxed English wedding day theme.

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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