Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Unusual Wedding Bouquet Ideas

This morning I stumbled upon some absolutely fantastic, unusual and alternative ideas for wedding bouquets!  Ok, so you're getting married and maybe you suffer from hay fever...or...you just don't like the idea of paying all that money for flowers that unfortunately die soon after your wedding day that you can't hold onto as a keepsake...well, here are some great alternative ideas!

This beauty is recycled papers rolled to look like little roses...isn't is gorgeous?!  I'm sure this could be relatively easy to fashion yourself, though I'm sure there are lots of companies who specialise in bespoke, alternative bouquet designs.

Image Courtesy of:

Why not consider a cupcake bouquet?!  Maybe it's not such a great idea if you're walking down the aisle on a hot summer's day (the horror of icing all over your beautiful dress!), however, if you're planning on giving bouquets to family and friends as wedding thank you gifts, then why not consider one of these gorgeous alternatives for those with a sweet tooth?

Cupcake Bouquet from the Mulberry Teacup, Soho, London (UK)

The beauty of these unusual wedding bouquets is that you can easily coordinate them with the location or theme of your wedding.  Take this sea shell bouquet as an example; wouldn't this be perfect if you were getting married by the sea?

Image Courtesy of: http://planitevents.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/unique-wedding-bouquets.html#
These absolutely stunning brooch bouquets are wonderful.  You can be as quirky, classy or vintage as you like with these beauties...

Image Courtesy of:

Image Courtesy of:

If you haven't quite got the budget for a bespoke bouquet, then why not give it a whirl and see if you can make one yourself.  Collect buttons, broaches, ribbons...anything that catches your eye.  It could be a lovely little project that you start a few months before the wedding and the best bit is that it won't wilt and you either get to keep it or give it to someone as a gift!  

Happy wedding planning!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Brides & Grooms Say No To Cosmetic Surgery!

This morning I read a blog post that has inspired me to continue the topic...the post was on the English Wedding Blog and was all about how cosmetic surgery companies are preying on the insecurities of brides and grooms (click here for a very interesting read!).
Claire Gould, who writes the blog, has been contacted by a cosmetic surgery company in a bid to promote their practice.  The reason I find her blog post interesting is that she has drawn attention to the fact that there are cosmetic surgery companies out there who are preying on brides and grooms insecurities, which frankly, is immoral.  I appreciate that business is business and we're all trying to earn a living.  However, targeting those who are planning one of the most special days of their lives under the guise that they should be trying to look as "perfect" as possible is quite disgusting.  Cosmetic surgery is a drastic decision to make.  It's expensive, painful and there are absolutely no guarantees that you will be happy with the results.  This type of surgery is definitely not something you should consider doing to make others happy, and should not be taken lightly.
As someone who on occasions has quite a low self-esteem myself, I can relate to those of us who look in the mirror and aren't particularly happy with what we see.  Let's be honest, some of us have fat days and some of us have bad hair days.  Quick fixes aren't a good idea.  If you put in a little effort, you will reap the benefits; if I want to improve my physique I can go to the gym and eat healthily.  Don't get me wrong, I would love my hips, thighs and stomach to be slimmer, but I would never consider having liposuction!  I know full well that although I may not be 100% content right now, I can live with the way I look.  Imagine if the procedure went wrong...the horror!  There are so many stories of bodged cosmetic surgeries that need fixing with multiple operations which not only are hugely expensive, but also extremely painful.  It's like potentially opening a huge can of worms...do you really want to go there?
Returning to this ideal of being "perfect" on your wedding day...who is to say what perfect is?  Magazines?  Television?  Don't pay attention to the media!  What makes human beings so special is the fact that we're all different.  We have different noses, lips, eyes.  We're different shapes, sizes and colours.  Wouldn't it be such a boring world if we all looked the same?  It would be like living in some sort of horror movie...my god that would scare the living daylights out of me!
The person you are marrying loves you.  Why would you want to change the way you look when this is the person they fell in love with?  I'm all for physical self improvement if it comes in a healthy form such as exercise and sensible eating, but please, don't risk doing something drastic just for the sake of one day.  Yes it's a special day, but there will be many other beautiful times in your life that you have to look forward to.  Embrace the way you look and remind yourself that your significant other loves you just the way you are.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day - Love It or Hate It?

I Love You - Courtesy of Wendy Bell Designs

Happy Valentine's Day!
When it comes to Valentine's Day there seem to be two camps.  The first consists of hopeless romantics who look forward to this day every year and truly spoil their loved ones.  The second camp contains the cynics; those that believe that this day is ridiculous and has been milked by the greeting card industry in order to make millions on an annual basis.  In actual fact, according to Wikipedia, "Saint Valentine's Day" was originally established in 496 AD, in honour of a Christian martyr named Saint Valentine.  It wasn't until the 15th Century that the 14th February evolved into a day where people showered their loved ones with gifts in an expression of love.

So which camp do you fall into?

Personally, I'm somewhere in between the two.  I do honestly believe that Valentine's Day is somewhat over exploited by the greeting card industry, amongst others.  I believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single.  In fact, many people are extremely happy without a partner and prefer not to be in a relationship.  What I don't like about Valentine's Day is the pressure it puts on those who are alone, as if highlighting this fact and thus making them feel as if this is a problem.  I also don't believe that there should only be one day in an entire year where it is deemed acceptable or appropriate to show the one that you love exactly how you feel about them.  However, the romantic in me thinks, why not show that someone special how much they mean to you?  I use it as an excuse every year to get my husband a card and write something slushy in it to let him know just how special he is to me.  I don't spend fortunes, but I do make the effort to open a nice bottle of wine and cook something he will enjoy.  The thing is, I don't believe it should only be your partner who finds out how much you care on Valentine's Day...whether you're single or not, there are other people in your life that you care about and wouldn't want to live without, so why not let them know that you care?  If nothing else, it's always a nice surprise to get a card through the post, or a nice email from someone...so go ahead, you don't have to buy into the money making side of this day, but why not let those that you care about in this crazy world know how you feel about them...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Your Wedding - Don't Stress If Things Go Wrong

 Photograph Courtesy of: Green Olive Wedding Photography

The eve of your Wedding Day...an enormously exciting day, maybe a little nerve wracking and potentially incredibly stressful!  The day before my wedding, the sun came out, it was a stunning English summer's day and I had a beautifully relaxing time with my bridesmaid.  We spent the afternoon getting nail-tastic manis and pedis whilst sipping champagne and eating strawberries...what could be better?!  I suppose that being dropped off and picked up in a friend's convertible Bentley didn't exactly dampen the extravagance!  Talk about travelling in style.  Driving through London with the top down was amazing; it felt like we were film stars!

I decided that the day before my wedding I wanted to ensure that I was as relaxed as possible.  It was only the two of us staying in a hotel near to the venue which meant there was no family stress and no one asking me questions about whether I had remembered to do everything.  I was literally able to "chill" without worrying about anything.  A friend met us for a drink before my bridesmaid and I had dinner in the hotel restaurant.  The pair of us then retired to our room to watch chic flicks until it was time to get an early night's sleep and go to bed.  Unfortunately I didn't sleep particularly well due to having had an overactive brain during the night, but I was definitely rested and by 9.30am the next day my photographer was with me, as were my hairdresser and my mum.

The hours leading up to our Wedding were considerably different for my husband...

The day before, he spent an enjoyable afternoon having lunch with his parents and sisters.  The evening was spent with some friends having a couple of drinks and playing snooker...again, very enjoyable.  As I was staying in a hotel for the night, he decided to stay at his parent's house...unfortunately this is where his sleep depravation, stress and a little mayhem began!  One of his sister's was due to give birth at any given point around the date of our wedding.  My husband came home from playing snooker at around 1am (not a good idea if you're supposed to be getting a good night's sleep!) so didn't get to bed particularly early.  After only a couple of hours in bed, he was awoken by the house phone.  His sister had gone into labour!  As their daughter was still tucked up in bed asleep, they needed someone to go to their house to look after her.  This, under normal circumstances, would all be very straight forward.  Unfortunately, however, my husband's mother somehow locked herself INSIDE his sister's house!  Sadly, instead of having a lie in, relaxing, enjoying the morning of our wedding day, my husband had a 30 minute drive to (and then from) his sister's house, had to climb in a downstairs window, and then apparently proceeded to spend 20 minutes breaking the front door open from the inside!!!  All of this took place well before 9am...

The moral of the story?  It doesn't matter how well you plan things and how well organised you are.  Sometimes things happen that are completely beyond your control.  Go with the flow.  See the funny side.  My husband was exhausted on our wedding day, but he still had enough time in the morning to have a drink with his ushers and best man in the garden before being driven in a Bentley to our wedding venue.  He still got there on time, and we still got married and had an incredible day.  Was it frustrating that he hadn't sleep well and hadn't relaxed during all of this madness?  Of course it was!  No one in their right mind would plan to have any of that happen!  Ultimately though, it didn't change a thing.  Now it's just a ridiculous story to tell about how my mother-in-law managed to lock herself inside a house!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wedding Photographers - Green Olive Wedding

My FREE Engagement Shoot by Green Olive Wedding Photography

Looking for your wedding photographer can be quite a difficult task.  If you’ve never had to consider what style of photography you like before, you’re possibly not going to know exactly what it is that you do and don’t like until it’s staring you in the face.  There are absolutely thousands of photographers out there, all at extremely varying budgets, offering different packages and add ons.  One of the underlying reasons that we may find it difficult to choose a wedding photographer is the knowledge at the back of our minds that these will be photos that capture one of the most intimate, emotional and happiest days of our lives.  These are photos that need to stand the test of time.  They will be seen by many people and most likely take pride of place on display in our homes as well as others.  There is also an element of fear involved in the choice that we make...what if we’re not happy with the end results?  One option to alleviate this fear is to consider having an engagement shoot with your preferred photographer.


As someone who recently got married (in July 2011), I have had this daunting experience of hunting for that style of photography that captures your eye.  I had absolutely no idea where to start.  In all honesty, it took rather a lot of research, and many hours of trawling through the internet before I finally decided to take the plunge and meet with the wedding photographer at the top of my list...Green Olive Wedding Photography.  So why am I telling you?  It's always great to have a recommendation when you're searching for something as important as a wedding supplier.  If I can help others save time in their hunt for that great wedding photographer then I have succeeded in helping alleviate some of the stress of planning a wedding!

Green Olive Wedding - A Photographic Duo
Ben and Slawek, a.k.a Green Olive Wedding Photography, work extremely well as a team.  They're wonderfully friendly, easy to get along with and make their clients feel relaxed, which ultimately is the way to get the best photos of people!  Green Olive Wedding Photography specialises in a combination of reportage, documentary and directed photography.  Other than loving their style of photography, I was interested in contacting Ben and Slawek for a 3 main reasons:

  1. They offer a free engagement shoot, with no obligation to book them and you are given the photos to keep as a memento.  This is a fantastic opportunity to discover whether you feel comfortable with them and ask any questions that may spring to mind.  Let's face it, unless you're famous, or a model, not many people are used to having their photographs taken for an entire day!
  2. There are two of them!  I loved the fact that we were able to have photos of both the bride and groom getting ready even though we were on opposite sides of London.  Most photographers work alone, which means that usually, it is the bridal preparations that are photographed.  As I wasn't with my fiancĂ© (now husband!) during the morning of our wedding day, it was lovely to see photos of him, his best man and ushers while they were all getting ready.
  3. They don't count hours.  During my hours of research, I discovered that most wedding photographers charge for a set number of hours and if you wish to extend that, you pay an hourly rate...usually at least £100 per hour!!!  Ben and Slawek were with me and my husband from around 9.30am until 8.30pm!  Weddings rarely run on schedule, so imagine knowing at the back of your mind that you have run an hour and a half behind and suddenly your photographer's bill will be escalating as the minutes tick by...not a nice thought when you're supposed to be enjoying your wedding day!
Overall, our wedding day was absolutely amazing and so were Green Olive Wedding Photography!  They took fantastic photos of us and our guests.  Many people mentioned how great they were and now that they've seen the end result, they love the photos just as much as we do.  I would truly recommend Ben and Slawek if you're currently looking for your wedding photographer.  If I've managed to entice you so far, here are their contact details:

Website:  www.greenoliveweddingphotography.co.uk
Ben's Mobile:  07919 593 876
Email:  info@greenolivewedding.co.uk

For those of you who need a little more convincing, I shall leave you with the photographs from my free engagement shoot with Green Olive Wedding Photography...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wedding Shoes - A Touch Of Couture For Your Wedding

Jimmy Choo - Sugar
The Ultimate Designer Wedding Shoes!
Stunning Peep Toes Covered in Swarovski Crystals

Like many women in this world, I have an unbelievable obsession with shoes; designer ones to be specific!  The higher the better!  The more unusual, the harder I fall in love.  I literally don't care how painful they are as long as they look gorgeous...I want them on my feet and I feel like I'm worth a million dollars (or I suppose pounds considering I'm english!) when I'm wearing them.  The only thing preventing me from having a cupboard filled with couture shoes is my wallet; unfortunately I have extremely expensive taste when it comes to most things in life, in particular, designer footwear.
The funny thing is, you wouldn't have thought that people would look at your feet, but wow, they really do.  When I have a beautiful pair of shoes on my feet people comment!  Frankly, this only makes my shoe addiction worse as it fuels the fire and makes me justify having spent so much money on them!  My cupboard full of shoes grows year after year and I feel loathed to throw them away when it becomes apparent that I can no longer wear certain pairs; I feel a loyalty, as if they were living beings rather than fashion accessories!  I frequently open the door and they come crashing out, searching for air, almost as if they were screaming "please, wear me, set me free!"  But it's such a fantastic feeling when you rediscover a pair and suddenly they've reinvented your entire wardrobe.  What do I love most about shoes?  It doesn't matter how much weight I put on or lose, they will always, always look great, and will always fit!  Now that's loyalty to me, which is why I show them so much love in return.

So why am I telling you about my shoe addiction?  Well, I figure that I'm not the only one.  For those of you who are currently engaged and who revel in trying on beautiful new footwear, you may want a little couture wedding shoe inspiration!  You may not be able to afford some of these but it's great to dream of having them on your feet!  Enjoy!

Freya Rose - Della Sky Blossom
Peep Toes with Handmade Silk & Lace Flowers
What's not to like?!  They're covered in mother-of-pearl, Swarovski crystals, lace and pearls!

Freya Rose - Tahiti Boudior
Beautiful Sling Back Sandals with French Lace Ruffles

Miu Miu - Crystal Heel Sandals
Bling Up Your Feet with these Glamorous & Eye-catching Crystal Heels

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Your Designer Wedding Dress In The January Sales

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012!
Every bride wants to look as stunning as possible on their wedding day.  Some dream of becoming a beautiful princess for a day, while others wish to be as glamorous and gorgeous as a movie star.  Whilst Christmas is an expensive time of year, there is one benefit to being engaged during January...the SALES!  Now, you may not feel like going dress shopping at a time of year when you've probably been overindulging a little too much, but there are bargains to be had for those who are willing to use this time of year to hunt for their wedding dresses!

Net-a-porter now stock some absolutely stunning designer wedding dresses, like this elegant gown from Marchesa.  Previously costing £5,855 it is now a steal at £1,756.50!
Marchesa Silk-Crepe Ruffled Column Gown
Alternatively, for those of you who want want to make a statement in a sexy, yet classy short dress, why not check out Lela Rose's silk strapless number?  Previously £1,725, it's now on sale for £862.50; fantastic if you're looking for a gorgeous wedding dress for under £1000!
Lela Rose Embellished Silk-Crepe Strapless Dress
Finally, for the ladies who just loved that Vivienne Westwood wedding dress from the first Sex in the City film; why not consider a slightly more affordable version from Vivienne Westwood's Gold Label?  Giving you curves in all the right places, this dress has been reduced from £2,525 to £1,262.50!  Be Carrie for your special day!
Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Feather Draped Silk-Taffeta Gown
If you still can't face trying on your perfect wedding dress after your festive indulgence, then why not organise getting your bridesmaids, ushers and best man outfits instead?  After all, any money you save on their clothing budget might mean you're able to buy your dream pair of Christian Louboutin shoes for your wedding day!