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.

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.

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!

Creative memories For Guests Messages

Guests Messages Creative memories

I love getting my wedding photos out to look through them, and wish I did the same for our guest messages. The wedding guest book of personal message is such a thing to be treasured and can be made as unique and creative as you like.

One off the difficulties of one book being passed round is that it can only be used by one person at a time as so some people just dont get a chance to write in it. Create a table or area at the venue where guests can write their message during the drinks or dancing – and it will be a visual reminder to do so throughout the day.

If you want to be able to see your messages more frequently then ask guests to sign a frame border that will then surround a wedding photograph on your wall. You can easily make your own by buying some mount board from an art shop and cut to the size of a large frame which you can get in charity shops or antique stores for a more ornate version. Alternatively try these from The Handcrafted Card Company

Why not get guests to write a thought or a wish on a little card and drop it into a vintage box which can become part of your home. You may have a box at home, or a shoe box decorated in decoupage, or you could buy a jewellery size box like the one from Touches Home Interiors.

One of the real weddings I have come across on the web had a beautiful idea from their twenties themed wedding. They cut squares of fabric for guests to write their messages on that would then be made into a wedding quilt. Get inspired here.

Picture Perfect

Ethical And Natural Photography

Picture Perfect

When planning an ethical wedding there is all sorts of information available about rings, dresses and flowers. But what about choosing a photographer? What is an ethical photographer? Is there a photographer out there who has a small carbon footprint?

Here are a few things to consider:

– On a simple level, do they do proof albums by CD, saving on printing and allowing you to choose your album shots in a digital format?

– It always pays, in anything, to follow recommendations from friends. If they have had a good experience then that is a top priority.

– Have a good look at the photographer’s website to check out their portfolio, but don’t skip the ‘about us’ page as this will tell you about their passions or their philosophy.

Photographers Cat and Suzanne from CTimages in Manchester really caught my eye as understanding the importance of their craft on a social level. From their background in fashion and social photography, as well as weddings they offer photo parties for young girls, which were initially developed to aid female youth groups discuss self esteem issues.

Cat & Suzanne wanted girls to understand the airbrushing that goes on in the fashion world, and the unique beauty that each one of them has. Cat says ‘Our aim was to inspire confidence in our clients by explaining and demonstrating poses and creating a relaxed and encouraging environment. We believe women, especially girls in their teenage years need good role models and lots of positive words said about them. The vision of the photo sessions is not only to have a fun experience and high quality pictures to take home, but to inspire young women to be an encouragement to one another and to celebrate each others uniqueness!’

I was recently shown the Dove campaign for real beauty which made me laugh, but really did hit home about what ‘role models’ we are measuring ourselves against…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

Photos from CT images will be used throughout the Weding Notebook website, so check back to see more when we go live in the Autumn.

Celebrity Wedding – The Eastenders

Samantha Janus ties the knot in vintage style

Last month Eastenders star Samantha Janus wed her long-term partner Mark Womak at Claridges in London at a vintage inspired ceremony attended by her fellow cast members and other celebrities such as Melanie Blatt and Natalie & Nicole Appleton, formerly of girl band All Saints.Celebrity weddings are not always about the flamboyance and excess that we have seen covered in reality TV shows following well-known brides. When planning her wedding Janus kept in mind the theme she had chosen for her Spring wedding – The traditional wedding with the combination of classic and vintage. She didn’t want frills or taffeta and the result was a stunningly sleek and elegant affair – thankfully with less of the drama than a typical Eastenders on-screen wedding!

Why not take some tips from Janus’ wedding style:
Buy a vintage ring – Mark bought Samantha’s ring at a Paris flea market. Have a unique ring with a story behind it by going vintage. You could even ask if there is a family ring from either side that you could wear. Vintage and second had rings also avoids the excesive manufature and mining of new resources of gold and precious stones.
Simple style – Janus carried a simple posy of Lily of the Valley, her favourite flowers. By keeping it personal you can avoid spending over the odds for extravagant blooms that distract from your dress. also, chosing in season, locally grown flowers cuts the air miles of the product.
Work the theme and dress together – Janus’s theme saw her in a 20′s inspired dress, such as those from Jenny Packham. If you want the designer dress but don’t have the budget try sample sale shops or end-of-season sales.

Getting Married In Green

The hit US TV show ‘Get Married‘ give couples ideas and inspiration for their weddings, from Hollywood glamour to water themes and destinations.

Last night’s episode focused on the growing trend of Green weddings and you can check it out here (select Tue 5th May).

Keep your wedding eco chic by choosing aspects that create an impact with minimal effect on the environment.
– Using flowers such as hydrangeas mean you get a great display with just a small number of blooms (left)
– Use candles as a table centrepiece, which will be used after the wedding – just make sure they are soy wax, which doesn’t contain petroleum and so burns cleanly. You could collect wine bottles from a local restaurant (or collect your own if you have a long engagement) to hold dinner candles or single stem flowers.
– If you do use flowers, collect vintage vases from second hand shops or car-boot sales for a creative collection of different shaped pieces. You can give the centrepieces to guests who have helped with aspects of the day as their thank you.

– Choose flowers that are in season and locally grown to cut down on the miles they have travelled. Your florist will be able to advise you on what will work well for the season of your wedding. Remember you can create colour with foliage…
– There are some gorgeous silvers and red from leaves that can work with a minimal use of blooms – cutting your budget too.

How to plan The Great British Wedding

Planning a Great Wedding in Britain

One thing to be said about the British – we have the ability to laugh at ourselves…a lot!


The discerning bride’s guide

BBC4′s commentary on the British tradition of weddings is tongue in cheek to say the least. From the stylish opening shot of Beyond Skin-esque shoes on a bed of confetti I am not prepared for the programme I am about to watch (catch it again on i-player)

Using footage from documentaries from days gone by Mark Benton narrates a step-by-step guide to how the Brits tie the knot. With quirky observations from the stag do to the table plan, from the rings to the first dance, this is a look at how the Brits just about manage to rise to the occasion on one of the most momentous days of our lives – the wedding day.  Try not to show too much emotion…we’re British!

The coming together of big hair and big veil

I just love all those retro video’s from my parents generation – and yes, my Dad still has his wedding flares… (this is not my parents, but a still from the programme – left)

Favourite moments:
– the hen party – rasing money for the couples new start with a ‘pay-per-kiss’ scheme in the local pub. Raucous!
– The touching ending – reminding us why we get married in the first place…and that it really isn’t about how much money you spend.

…and if you are planning a 70′s theme, there is inspiration a-plenty, from big hair to even bigger bridal head-dresses… go on, you know you want to!