Destination Weddings – Ultimate Planning guide

Plan A Destination Wedding

Destination wedding planning guide

Just found a gorgeous resource for planning your perfect destination wedding and had to share it with you ladies! The London wedding photographer Chip Radoslavov from Two Hearts Photography shared an amazing 127 tips to plan the perfect destination wedding on his beautiful new wedding photography website.

It seem like a really thought out article with lots and lots of amazing tips and tricks to plan you perfect destination wedding. It must’ve taken some time and expertise to put together so I really hope you guys enjoy the read!

There are some real gems out there, check it out!

Where to start: Your wedding style

Where to start: Your wedding style

As part of our ‘Advice from the Experts’ feature, venue stylists Pebble in the Pond have joined us as our style experts, giving you the advice you need to think through and develop your wedding style. Here’s Emma to give you the spotlight on getting started.
“When we sit down with our bride and grooms for our initial ‘get to know’ you meeting over a cup of coffee or two, we like to get under the skin of who you are as a couple – the best weddings in our view are when every detail reflects who you both are, creating that individual, unique day that no other couple could host.  We, being extremely nosy, like to get to know the following…

How much is the day about you two and how much about your family and friends?  Bringing touches of your family and friends into the day is a lovely way to make everyone feel welcome.  The family will love sweet peas from your grandma’s garden in vintage style tea pots to decorate the tables or dad’s home grown lavender sprigs tucked into a napkin.

What do you as a couple love doing?  Music fans, why not recraft old music sheets into cones to hold real petal confetti.  Teenage sweethearts?  How about some old school nostalgia with small, reclaimed blackboards to display table numbers and your table plan and recycled glass platters filled with old fashioned sweets – 80s disco optional!

Think about where you are getting married and how you can make your day empathetic to that.  Getting married in a place piled high with history?  Transport your guests back in time by having a high tea served upon vintage crockery with china cake stands laden with goodies.Ivy from the garden is wonderful around candlebras and as a napkin decoration.  If the venue has a kitchen garden or fruit trees, would it be possible to offer some wonderful produce as take home gifts?  ‘Grow your own’ seed packets make gorgeous favours.  Getting married by the sea?  Decorative driftwood can make interesting tablecentres or why not use pretty shells at your place settings?
In planning a ‘greener’ wedding obviously seasonal is key and something we always bear in mind – there’s nothing more refreshing than arriving at an early spring wedding to be greeted at your table by ribbon wrapped, terracotta pots filled with scented narcissi after a long, dark winter.  Likewise at an early December wedding, we can’t resist throwing in a touch of the ‘C’ word – cinnamon bundles tied with organic cotton lace, fragrant dried orange slices or vintage style tea cups filled with soy wax candles….”

How the Pebble in the Pond service works

Here at Pebble in the Pond, we can help you with as little or as much decoration and detail as you require – we pride ourselves on working with you to develop your own ideas, as well as throwing in a few of our own, to make your wedding as unique as you are.

We are a wedding venue stylist and have a wide assortment of beautiful accessories to compliment your day.  These range from organic cotton tablecloths and vintage style print and lace table runners through to recycled glass centerpieces, vintage style crockery (tea cups and saucers, tea pots, cake stands etc), candlesticks, baskets – the list goes on.

All the items are for hire however we also offer a styling service where we can come and set up your venue the day before or the morning of your wedding so that you can enjoy your day, confident that when you arrive at your chosen venue it will look fantastic.

We also offer a wonderful range of unique and individual handmade favours which can be personalised to you.

In everything we do we try to be as environmentally friendly as we can.  As many of our materials as possible are organic, reclaimed, fair-trade or locally sourced.  We support local artists in the creation of our wonderful pieces and we give 5% of our profits to charity.

Take time to date

Take Some Time To Date Before You Make The Big Step

When swept away int he throws of wedding planning it is easy to forget to take time to just be with each other. During engagement A & I set aside whole weekends (we didnt see each other very often) when we would’t talk about the wedding or planning at all – it was great, and necessary to keep sane!

Holding HandsHere are a few ideas:
– Pack a picnic basket and head to the park / riverbank / anywhere… Surprise your partner with their favourite foods from the local farmers market…and a mini bottle of champers – obviously!
– All this week in London there are loads of events taking place to encourage you to slow down (unless you are a marathon runner – go Tegwen!) and take time out. Check out the Slow Down London events planned… 24th April – 4th May
– Save cash – try some of the free things that are on offer in town – Time Out has loads a pretty definative list including comedy clubs, bars, art and music…

Thinking about the bling

One of the things that will make your bridal style unique is the jewellery you wear. A tricky business as it has to compliment the dress without distracting from it -and then there is the consideration of its origins…
When picking things out just remember the three aspects of eco chic (as penned by designer Oliver Heath) nature, technology and vintage.

s_540a04e4e6ce28467d058857Vintage choker from ebay

Ask your mum, or mother-in-law, if there is any family jewellery you could borrow for the day. I wore a necklace that had been a gift from A’s Grandad to his wife, and it made the M-I-L’s day to see me wearing it. It was a gorgeous leaf design which complimented the theme of our autumn wedding amazingly.

Follow the style of others and look for vintage bling at markets or on etsy and ebay. Ellen, a rock&roll bride featured on OffbeatBrides found this amazing creation on ebay…

Nature inspired from People Treestar-charm-drop-earrings-ccadce579450

This may conjour up image of daisy chains, but also think of jewellery that has been fairly traded or made from natural materials – just check the sources they come from (diamonds are natural stones afterall – and see the trouble they cause!)…
People Tree, the UK’s leading Fairtrade fashion company currently has 20% off their jewellery collection, plus free delivery until the 6th May

Made is a unique brand of fraitrade jewellery and has ranges from designers such as Nicole Farhi, Alexa Chung and Peaches Geldof

The engagement ring is an entirely different story alltogether so we’ll leave that for another time…

How To Get The Perfect Skin For Your Wedding

Tips for Wedding Perfect Skin

Here is a top tip countdown to help you achieve the flawless skin you deserve for your special day, put together by the guys at Organic Surge – they know their skincare!

Remember, planning is everything – think ahead and don’t get caught out!
1. Banish Those Blemishes Early. If you are troubled with mild – or severe blemmishing seek some advice from your GP. If the problem is a more severe one such as adult acne or acne rosacia, it may be worth while to seek out a respected dermatologist. Skin problems do not always go away overnight. Timeline: 6 months to 1 year ahead

2. Avoid The Burn. Don’t get too much sun exposure before the big event. Sunburns, peeling skin and tan lines can sabotage your special day because they’re difficult to cover up completely!

3. Super Skin Rejuvenation. Every two weeks, make sure you use an effective exfoliating dermabrasion which can help combat shiny, taut facial skin, making it a perfect palate for makeup. With a more even skin tone with diminished lines and wrinkles, you are half way there to your flawless look. Don’t forget the neck, chest and back areas if your dress is low-cut. Peels can do wonders for spotty, rough skin! Timeline: 2 months ahead up to day before

4. Plan your colour scheme… Pick out your shadows and foundations early, and practice with them. If you are going to use a make-up artist, have a practice run-through to make sure you like it. Brides should choose a lip colour in a warm, fairly bright shade. Roses, pinks and reds look great in photos and keep teeth and wedding whites clean and fresh. Timeline: 2 months ahead

5. Luscious lashes – it’s all about the eyes! Tinting your lashes elimates the inevitable racoon eyes that plague so many happy occasions! Don’t forget your eyebrows – a tint and reshape will ensure your eyes will be perfectly framed. Have a few trials with a quaified beautician to ensure you acheive the perfect color match. Timeline: 1 month ahead, with a retreatment 1 week ahead

6. Treat Yourself to a relaxing Facial! You owe it to yourself to relax, clean and nourish your skin. Timeline: 1-2 weeks ahead

7. The Wonder Of Waxing! If you decide not to go the longterm route with laser hair removal, have a professional therapist wax your legs, bikini line, underarms and brows. Timeline: 3-4 days ahead

8. Expect the unexpected and be prepared. If something can go wrong, it will, so make a “911 Skincare Kit” with some essential quick fixes to help on the all important day.

9. Keep Your Face On… Give your foundation staying power by using a gel foundation primer before you apply your make up. Add a light dusting of loose powder to prevent any unwanted shine.

Most important, have a sense of humor. This is your day, and no matter what happens, you are special and your beauty will radiate from within.

Pick of the best DIY Ideas

DIY  Wedding Ideas

Floral centrepieces (from Sweet Paul) – Use dahlias, or any large headed flower, for a striking colourful table centre for your summer wedding.

Romantic tealight holders (from Project Wedding)  – create a romanic glow with personalised tealight holders – may require battery operated tealights to pass fire regulations!

DIY wedding dress (from Treadbanger) – Sew your own £10 wedding dress – no pattern needed – from 6 white t-shirts.

Wedding cakes (from Cheap Wedding Success) – Making individual fairy cakes is easy to do from home (or to coerce friends into helping) and doesn’t require professional icing skills like a large cake. Having a fairy cake tower is a fast growing trend – ice them in colours to match you theme. Just make sure you bake at least one per guest…

Do you have any DIY ideas you want to share? Leave a comment below.

Check us out in Wed

Check us out in Wed

Check Us Out!!!

It’s not just us who are excited about Wedding Notebook’s launch in the Autumn. Wed magazine have featured us in their new issue out this month. Check out the great feature on wedding gift lists in the July issue of Wed.

With stunning photo inspiration, genuine advice and gorgeous real-weddings, Wed magazine is the must-have guide for the indie bride-to-be, with a specifically cornish supplier directory.

You can view all the previous issues on the website so start browsing for inspiration and ideas.

Budget Wedding Dresses At Oxfam

Buying Bridal on a Budget

There are now so many options for buying a wedding dress, and buying on a budget doesn’t have to mean second hand.

If I say the word charity shop don’t think granny jumpers, but gorgeous designer bridal – and all brand new! Oxfam Bridal are dedicated bridal boutiques all over the country, such as the store in Heswall, Wirral, where they have up to 200 never-worn wedding dresses in sizes from 8-24 in stock at any one time. They usually sell these wedding dresses donated by top designers, which are often worth over £1000, for between £100-200, with the rare high-designer piece going for up to £300 – what a bargain!

At the Big Green Wedding Fayre the fashions shows from Oxfam Bridal were stunning, and I really couldn’t believe the prices, just because the designs are end of line.  My favourite was a long bridal coat from designer Neil Cunningham worth £5000, but this one Oxfam dont sell, they rent it out to brides so they don’t have to fork out so much to be able to wear it.

How do Oxfam get never-worn dresses?Oxfam are receiving donations all the time so the stock is constantly changing as a result. The gorgeous dresses in these photos are ones that have been sold previously in Oxfam Bridal shops, but numerous other styles and sizes and sizes are always available. So just find your closest store, pop along and see what you fall in love with – you can’t afford not to! The great thing is that the Oxfam bridal shops are staffed by volunteers so all the money for your dress does straight to charity – double bonus!

When the new collections come in, bridal boutiques donate their unsold dresses from the prevous season to charity so they can claim back the VAT. One of the winners of this is Oxfam who have a dedicated warhouse set up to receive the donations and distribute to their shops throughout the UK.

Remember, no-one is going to know where you got your dress unless you tell them. And even if they do, does it matter?

Time for tea

Tea Time

Vintage wedding ideas are becoming more popular. Why not have a wedding with a tea party theme…

Personally Tea has been part of my heritage as my Dad is a tea taster for a major brand, and my parents are from Yorkshire and drink gallons of the stuff. Between our wedding and reception we held a tea party in the church hall so we could invite a larger number of people. Friends and family brought a plethora of cakes and we were served tea by the Mothers Union.

Ideas for a tea themed wedding:

This table setting from Country Living (1) could be easily created with rented tea sets, flowers from the gardens of friends, and a selection of cakes and cucumber sandwiches!

Extend the party by giving your guests tea favours – fair trade of course.  The bags from Fair Trade Teas (2) are a special wedding blend in a silk bag.

Hire vintage sets from the vintage tea company (3) for an elegant picnic or tea party theme.

Tea was introduced into Britain in the 1650’s and since then has played an important part in British tradition and culture. Made fashionable in 1660 by Queen Catherine of Braganza, tea very quickly moved from luxury to staple. Ladies of leisure in Victorian England used ‘afternoon tea’ as a means of filling the gap between luncheon and dinner by inviting friends over, and this soon heralded manufacturers to create elegant designs for the occasion.

There are some gorgeous tea sets and accessories available that you can add to your gift list:

Ester Coombs creates decorative cake stands (1) from vintage tea cups and saucers and then illustrates them with graphic patterns.

Juliette at Home create scented candles and soaps (2) inspired by the English tea party. We love the rhubarb and custard kitchen candle.

Vintage cake forks can be found on Ebay – for the full tea party experience!

Try more exotic teas such as blooming jasmine from Emeyu teas (3)

Tea cosies (4) can be made from recycled fabrics and yarns to complete the set.

Kaoru designs ceramic tea sets (5)specifically to keep specialist artisans in business. The ceramic industry has been in decline in the UK as manufacturing moves overseas, but these designs keep skilled workers in trade so they can pass their skills to the next generation.

You can easily add any gifts to your wedding list with the new Wedding Notebook gift list service that will be launched soon, so you can create a new home as independent as you are!

Glamourous, wear again dresses

Glamourous, wear again dresses

Sweet jars filled with colour coordinated threads adorn the shelves in Sabina Ali’s East London studio where she creates her line of evening & cocktail style wedding dresses, Motasem dresses. When we meet, she is preparing for a sample sale where brides-to-be and fashionistas alike will be hoping to snap up a dress which is just as perfect for a bride as for an evening occasion.

After jobs as fashion designer for the high street stores Jigsaw and M&S, Motasem was born in 2005 when Sabina received her fifth comission for a cocktail style wedding dress. Further research showed that brides were looking for dresses priced between £500-1000 and felt that they were lacking choice. The Motasem collection provides a range of dresses that are affordable and are for the glamourous bride rather than the fairytale princess.

Not simply an off-the-peg dress, Motasem dresses can be customised from a template. Brides can choose the length of the dress and add sleeves, add a puddle train and choose the colour of the ribbon detail. Eco conscious brides can also have the dress made in organic silk.

How does Motasem contibute to an ethical wedding?
The range is created in ivory silk which is the natural colour, not dyed, so brides can feel comfortable even if they don’t choose the organic option which has no chemical finishes, but can cost 15% more. The dresses are made in the UK and can be worn again as the style is so versatile, rather than hanging it in a wardrobe for years. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing white as a guest at a wedding or evening occasion, then there is the option to dye it after your wedding. The Lotus dress has been designed so there is no stitching on the outside meaning it dyes really well.

The collection is championed by the professional woman aged 28-45 who doesn’t want to look frumpy. The most popular dresses are Cecaelia and Alaya. The perfect way to style the dress is with a vintage hair piece and feather shrug – Chanel with an edge.

Who would you most like to dress?
Natalie Portman. She is gorgeous, but not a girly girl. She is independent and has strong ethical principles. Natalie has recently launched her own vegan shoe collection and wears Beyond Skin shoes in her film ‘V for Vendetta’

What trends do you see growing in weddings?
There is a grown in off-the-peg dresses. In the last 5 years we have seen a development in weddings from church to civil ceremonies, destination weddings, second weddings and older brides plus mixed culture weddings. There are many smaller civil ceremonies and weddings where there is less money available but couples still want the glamour. People want the bridal experience.

More brides are now planning their weddings in their lunch hour as they lead busy professional lives so we will be seeing a growth in online shopping for bridalwaer. Like Natalie Massey did for Net-a-Porter, we will be able to buy designer bridal on the web. Motasem would be perfect for this as the dresses are not structured so dont need endless measuring and re-fitting – just pick your dress size and go! The dresses just take 5 weeks to make from ordering.

What about bridalwear trends?
There is much less strapless and more drapery – using the fabrics to flatter the body in the style of Amanda Wakely. Style is also moving from catwalk to bridal very quickly and picking up inspiration from celebrity weddings. The Alaya dress combines hollywood glamour with catwalk style.

There is a trend for the recessionista – as has been roumoured for SJP’s character in the new Sex and the City film.

What inspires you?
This collection is Grecian and nautical inspired. They are timeless and classsic pieces with a contemporary edge.

What’s next for Motasem?
In her next collection Sabina is planning on adding a bit of sparkle. The range is now stocked in a few stores including Bridal Path &  Berkshire Brides where Motasem hangs alongside lines from Jenny Packham and Amanda Wakely.

Stay tuned for big news that Sabina couldn’t disclose but I could see she was bursting with excitement…