Kew Gardens wedding
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I’ve enjoyed this week – a few deep and meaningfuls fell out of my typing fingers and we had a couple of good discussions. Not to forget some great photography on the blog for you all to enjoy. Here’s what English Wedding got up to last week:

playful english weddingOn Monday we smiled to see Richard and Laura’s wedding day fun in the park. I also announced the winner of the handmade notebooks by Virginia McArdle. Congratulations Sarah!

bridal shoot with a surpriseTuesday brought you Rach and Dan’s bridal shoot with a lovely little surprise at the end – worth a read if you missed that one I promise! And blogger bride Angharad wrote about her search for alternative wedding accessories.

On Wednesday I banned budget weddings from the dictionary. (I can do that.) And you came up with some brilliant new ideas: my favourites was the ‘more-than-money wedding’, I love that idea!

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seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (1)I thought this was a nice weekendy blog post for you, and I have a couple of weddings lined up to blog (gorgeous ones, you’ll LOVE them!) so I wanted to start off with a cute seaside pre-wedding shoot.

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (2)Lynette and John braved the English seaside at Southend-on-Sea and created a pretty engagement shoot with deckchairs and balloons in the sunshine. Lynette’s dress is fab, and John brought his straw hat along for fun!

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (3)Allison Dench from Magic Photography in Reading sent these photos in to English Wedding for you to enjoy. I hope you love them and – as summer approaches and the beaches look more inviting, maybe this will inspire you to have your own seaside pre-wedding shoot!  seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (4) 

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (5) 

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (6) 

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (7) 

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (8) 

seaside engagement shoot Allison Dench (9)Good luck Lynette and John – not long to go now! And thanks to photographer Allison Dench for sharing the images with us today.

I hope you’re having a fab weekend. Remember to stick around, I have a weddingy week planned on the blog for you!

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Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life and the wedding ceremony is your opportunity to make commitments to one another and express your undying love in front of you family and friends – so why shouldn’t it be exactly as you want it?

Sadly in the UK there are so many rules and regulations that most couples don’t realise exist until they start planning their wedding– you can’t get married outside, you can’t include religion (in a civil wedding), you can’t take photographs during the ceremony, you can’t get married after dusk, you must use a licensed venue.
Suddenly dreams of a stunning outdoor wedding, with fairy lights and incredible photos of you exchanging vows and rings fall by the wayside as you find out none of this is really possible.

But now there’s an alternative.

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If anyone’s visiting The Wedding Show at Tatton Park today here are some quick piccies to guide your way. This is why you should go to The Wedding Show, what it looks like and just a few of my favourite stands (the ones we got on the big camera!)

Photos from The Wedding Show at Tatton Park

Sweet Days and Roses wedding planning and design

Sweet Days and Roses wedding planning and design

Dragonfly Couture Stationery at The Wedding Show Tatton Park

Dragonfly Couture Stationery at The Wedding Show Tatton Park

The Helicentre - cheaper than a chocolate fountain!

The Helicentre - cheaper than a chocolate fountain!

Event in a Tent: Staff were as welcoming as the gorgeous tent and roaring fire inside

Event in a Tent: Staff were as welcoming as the gorgeous tent and roaring fire inside

The Manchester Sing Out Gospel Choir were fantastic! Performing through the day at Tatton Wedding Show

The Manchester Sing Out Gospel Choir were fantastic! Performing through the day at Tatton Wedding Show

Horgans Cars of Cheshire: outside the marquee at The Wedding Show and charming as ever!

Horgans Cars of Cheshire: outside the marquee at The Wedding Show and charming as ever!

Red Floral Architecture - out of this world and will be a highlight on English Wedding this week so come back soon!

Red Floral Architecture - out of this world and will be a highlight on English Wedding this week so come back soon!

Beautifully designed wedding tables in the Mahood Marquees tent: credits to Mahood Marquees, Lightech Sound & Light Ltd and Event Solutions

Beautifully designed wedding tables in the Mahood Marquees tent: credits to RSVP Now, Mahood Marquees, Lightech Sound & Light Ltd and Event Solutions

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Red Floral Architecture was a real star of the show for me – with incredible flower designs in the entrance as well as on their stand. More to come later in the week!

by RSVP Now – beautiful pink and gold table dressing with calligraphy by the very talented Juliet

The ice sculptures were impressive! I loved the wedding table plan (laminated and then… glazed?) encased in ice and the way it flows around the edges. Beautiful! This was by Glacial Art – award winning, internationally renowned master craftsmen.

We had a glass of champagne in the foyer first of all, and then a stroll around the exhibition stands (with me scribbling notes and my lovely Gareth snapping pictures as we went).

We have seen and chatted to or at least waved at some friends and even more friendly faces: Chris Hanley is here, Kelly and Nik from Boho Weddings and Events, the lovely Laura Donnelly who’s on the organising team from Wedding Link and has been so welcoming to us this week.

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royal wedding place cards from Vintage TweeIt’s been a little while since we heard from alternative royal bride Cat Muddleton, but I really think things are hotting up on the wedding planning front for English Wedding’s very own princess bride – with just three months until her wedding day.

Royal wedding favour box by Vintage TweeThe wedding venue is agreed, guests are having outfits designed and hats made, top UK chefs are having a televised competition to create an exciting menu for the wedding breakfast* and top secret wedding dressmakers have been squirreled away to a top secret workshop full of silkworms, diamonds and elves.

royal wedding lottery ticket holders from Vintage Twee*probably

However, Cat Muddleton is in a quandary. She’s looking for “something fabulous to put on the tables”. We had a chat yesterday and she wanted a little help finding affordable wedding favours to fit a royal wedding theme. Easy peasy…

I showed Cat Muddleton Tuesday’s blog post all about Vintage Twee. Bless her, our alternative royal bride squealed and ran around the house before picking up the phone and gasping her excitement. She LOVED it! The lady clearly has taste.

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I’m super-organised. Always have been – thanks Dad! If I catch a train I’m there 15 minutes beforehand in case there’s a queue for tickets. If I’ve got an appointment I get everything ready the night before…. and the week before a wedding show, I’m googling constantly to see who’s exhibiting, who’s visiting, who’s excited about it all.

I thought: why not share? Pop everyone who’s talking about The Wedding Show this week on this page so you can see who I’m looking forward to meeting and who is busy preparing for Tatton Park this weekend.

My top picks for The Wedding Show at Tatton:

Boho Weddings and Events – I’ve followed wedding planner Kelly Hood from day one. She’s an inspiring, enthusiastic and friendly wedding planner with a real vision for her business and the passion to make your wedding amazing.

Chris Hanley Photography – my favourite top UK wedding photographer. Chris is a creative force, and his wife Claire is the friendliest, most charming lady you’ll meet at Tatton Wedding Show this weekend! I can’t wait to see the Chris Hanley Photography stand.

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A passionate kiss and a fantastic image with vintage processing

A passionate kiss and a fantastic image with vintage processing

How to describe this wedding in a short title… yikes: couldn’t do it! Nicky and Martyn will be familiar to many of you from the English Wedding e-shoot week we did in January. Little did I know when I featured one of wedding photographer Mark Tierney‘s favourite engagement shoots that the couple were already married and that their wedding photographs would blow me away.

And yet I checked out the Tierney Photography blog just to see – and I found this gorgeous wedding which I had to blog! Beautiful bride Nicky’s look is out of this world: she mixes classic and quirky in the most incredibly exciting way. Not only that, groom Martyn is gorgeous and the photographs of their wedding day are knock-your-socks-off fabulous with a cherry on top.

This wedding is already a favourite of mine and I know you’ll love it too.

Nicky's quirky alternative fascinator is what first made me gasp out loud. Doesn't she look incredible!

Nicky's quirky alternative fascinator is what first made me gasp out loud. Doesn't she look incredible!

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The UK wedding supplier mapIt’s been a while since I mentioned the wedding supplier map. If you’re still looking for any wedding suppliers, particularly in your area, then I really recommend you give the map a whirl – it’s a great way of finding local businesses and especially the more surprising ones.

I was just exploring the shipping lanes on the wedding supplier map. Yep, there are wedding businesses working the shipping lanes between Wales, Ireland and Cornwall (actually that’s a lie – all the national wedding businesses on the map are in one place, having a little swim: so you know they supply the whole of the UK).

The UK wedding supplier map

The UK wedding supplier map

Anyway… I found Alex The Mind Reader.

Alex the Mind Reader

Alex the Mind Reader

Alex The Mind Reader?

Just in case his name hadn’t got my attention (surely it’s only women who can read minds?!) he’d uploaded a video onto the wedding supplier map via YouTube! And it’s proof positive that he really can read your mind!

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Vintage music sheets wedding confetti conesMy plan today was to write a little post about wedding accessories from Vintage Twee. Owned by the loveliest lady in all of weddingland, as inspiring and gorgeous as it gets, I was excited to hear last week about some new wedding favours and accessories Joanne had just designed.

That was the plan.

Vintage music sheet paper rose table decorationsQuality handcrafted vintage wedding decorations

Joanne had also mentioned a new website for Vintage Twee was on the way. Lovely, I thought. And as I sat down to write – I’ll just have a quick look, open up the website and have all the details to hand of these new rose confetti cones and vintage music sheet cones.

So I went to the Vintage Twee website, took one look at the new design and fell off my chair.

This is the perfect place for any and every vintage bride, a virtual aladdin’s cave of beautifully crafted wedding and dinner party accessories and favours – trust me, take one look and you’ll be there for half an hour or more choosing all your favourite things!

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Laughing bride and groom

Laughing bride and groom

This week is going to be all about smiles and happiness and wedding ideas. What better way to start than with a wedding, hey? So … your intrepid wedding blogger Claire runs off, checks files for smiliest bride and groom and… Oh yes. This is Perfect with a capital P! Nicola and Stewart at Cave Castle Hotel in East Yorkshire.

Nicola and Stewart’s wedding was just before Christmas at a venue I’ve not seen before (but instantly loved!) and their photos are beautiful and inspiring – their wedding photographer is Pete Barnes who’s based in Wakefield.

It made me laugh to read on Pete’s wedding photography blog that it was a freezing cold, snowy day but they were really keen to get some fantastic photos outdoors. It’s a sign of dedication that he soon found himself lying face down in the snow to get that perfect wedding photo!

The prettiest embroidered bridal shoes with a satin ribbon bow

The prettiest embroidered bridal shoes with a satin ribbon bow

A vintage inspired, exquisitely crafted wedding dress with the finest lace detailing

A vintage inspired, exquisitely crafted wedding dress with the finest lace detailing

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Wedding invitation made of magic!

Wedding invitation made of magic! by Hummingbird Cards

This is wedding stationery that will get everyone’s attention – if you want a dash of luxury, a hint of quirkiness and a sackful of originality, let me show you The Hummingbird Card Company!

They’re a bit of a UK wedding blog favourite having featured on some of the very best blogs I subscribe to… Love My Dress, OMG I’m Getting Married, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings… and with very good reason: The Hummingbird Card Company is creative and inspiring, different and unusual with a choice of designs for every kind of wedding – whether you’re a tad alternative or having a classic, luxury wedding day, you’ll find a Hummingbird wedding invitation that is perfect for you!

I love this framed design with the layered filigree butterflies – it’s incredible how complex and delicate a design can be, and then to layer the butterflies so the wings are in 3D as well… beats Avatar any day. This is a beautiful keepsake or gift – even for anniversaries.