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.

The Story Of Stuff

The amazing thing about your wedding is that you are marrying the person of your dreams… When planning it can be easy to get carried away with all the excitement and start spending and adding more ‘things’ into the day.

I checked out this video which really brought me down to earth about the way I view stuff:

It has made me think more about what and when i buy, and to aim to be more ethically and environmentally conscious. Thrift, handmade and cutting down are all great ways to be individual and save money too!

Get green inspiration at UK aware

f you are looking for inspiration and ideas on greener living, then make a stop at the UK Aware show next week. Hosted at Londons Olympia on Fri 17th & Sat 18th April the event shows you how easy greener living can be, how it will improve your quiality of life and how much money it can save you.

Here are some of the things I am most looking forward to:
– Getting travel ideas from ecoescape – ideal for planning your honeymoon, or even just a short UK break to get away from wedding planning for a bit!
– Swishing – there will be two clothes swap events each day giving you may opportunity to grab a ‘new to you’ wardrobe courtesy of Daisy green magazine with all profits and left over clothes going to Traid
– some green debates on subjects such as finance, business, lifestyle and trends lead by the leading names in ethical business
– getting informed – there is so much info out there that it canbe confusing. Talk directly to the companies and other consumers to get informed and to see the new fangled ideas that are out there. You can see a full list of exhibitors here

There are FREE tickets around on the web if you do a good search, but at a small £5 there is nothing stopping you just getting a ticket

Check back for a report after the event…

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!

The Great Wedding Magazine Swap

How To Swap Wedding Magazines

I love wedding magazines and it is so tempting to want to buy them all – so many gorgeous ideas and style tips…plus you get to ogle at the amazing dresses…

But do I really need the most recent issue? Surely the ideas behind the features are timeless – plus, if I am planning an Autumn wedding in Spring I am limited on ideas that are not for basked-in-sunshine weather…

Wedding Magazines Swap

So save money for the actual day by picking up back issues of magazines from friends who got married last year – especially if you have a long engagement – get your soon-to-be-married friends to save their wedding magazines to pass onto you when they are done with them…

If you have a shorter deadline, or dont know any soon-to-be-brides, then you can still pick up back issues on ebay, or put an ad on freecycle (WANTED: wedding magazines). You can still get really recent issues – here’s one on ebay for a March 2009 issue (ends 26th April 7pm) – it will have current news and releases in – but the looks and ideas are timeless! Just remember to tot up the price plus the postage to make sure you are getting it for cheaper than buying new…

There is also an online community dedicated to magazine swapping, so if you have loads of magazines you’d like to swap then hop onto magcycle.com and start swapping!