Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot, hot, hot

We saw this classic 1920’s style ice cream tricycle at a wedding at the weekend and thought it was a great idea for a summer wedding or garden party. As temperatures soar into the 30’s, there’s nothing like a fruity sorbet, or English strawberry ice cream to cool your guests down. This one is from
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Beautiful you!

I came across a statistic that I thought was interesting the other day. According to a study by Cornell University in the US, over 70% of brides-to-be plan to lose weight before their big day, many opting for extreme dieting and fasting.

And apparently there’s every type of diet waiting to tempt you - there are even bridal boots camps that promise to make you the belle of the ball on your wedding day, helping you to lose 12lbs in one week!

The pressure is so high nowadays for brides to look ‘perfect’.

Now, I’m no dieting expert, but I can’t help thinking like fashion god Gok here, when I say, “You are gorgeous as you are!”

So, I was more than interested when I got a call from Louise at Nurture and Nature in Tring, Hertfordshire. She approaches dieting in a different way, helping you to make lifestyle changes rather than opt for radical diet changes.

Louise told me...

“Being on a diet and eliminating foods, ensures that someday your cravings will hit a peak and as a result you end up eating more than you would have done before. When you have the added pressure of organising a wedding and preparing yourself for your wedding that can push you into emotional overload.

Our attitude to food, diet and weight loss is influenced by what is happening in other areas of our lives. Willpower and motivation can be related to issues that we don’t realise, but we do know that there is an ‘internal tussle’. We just don’t understand why we do the opposite to what we want.”

Using a combination of Kinesiology, Reiki, Massage and other energy balancing techniques, Louise helps you to understand why your internal ‘tussle’ blocks you from having what you want. She can then help to restore a positive and focussed attitude to achieving your goal weight, and making lifestyle changes that feel positive, not being resigned to the boredom of a ‘diet’.

She looks at your feelings around dieting, different foods, how you feel about food on your plate, why you might want to keep hold of your weight, your awareness of how much you eat and why you don’t always do what you know you need to do to lose weight. Crucially she provides support along the way.

Now, that sounds better than trying the next faddy diet to me!

Illustration credit:  Duchesssa,
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stylish table settings

We are firm believers that the gorgeous little touches you put into your big day can really set your wedding apart, and beautifully set tables at your wedding breakfast are one detail guaranteed to wow your guests. They are also a really effective way of transforming your venue and complementing your overall theme. 

If you are having a marquee you can have loads of fun designing the look for your tables from scratch.  If you are hiring a venue, then why not ask to see their standard table settings, and see how you might personalise them.  Most venues don't mind.

We asked experts 'Well Dressed Tables’ based in South Wimbledon to explain how to choose the perfect setting for your wedding.

Here’s what they say...

“It’s really important to consider the overall look that you are trying to achieve. Do you want to make a statement? Are you going for subtle elegance? Do you want a contemporary look, or is traditional more your thing?

A really good way of dramatising your table is with the glassware, whether it’s with a burst of colour or a unique design.

Another way to create an impact is with a charger plate which you can tie in to your colour scheme. You can choose from a variety of designs, whether it’s clear with a gold rim, a funky purple or an obscure shape.

When it comes to your table settings, we’d always advocate being brave! Try to steer away from the ordinary - your guests have seen a classic setting before!”

There’s a whole world of contemporary and traditional cutlery, crockery, and glassware out there. Go discover!

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Art of a Good Marriage

On old school friend asked me to read this at her wedding...It's The Art of a Good Marriage, by Wilferd A. Peterson.

It's simple, but oh so true!

"A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things...

It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once each day.

It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right partner...
It is being the right partner."
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Music at your wedding to make your heart sing!

I have just met a fantastic singing duo who I can't wait to tell you about. 

Chris and Taira  recently formed 'Mantal' following glittering careers in London’s West End.  They've taken lead roles in some of theatre's most memorable shows including Billy Elliot, We Will Rock You, Blood Brothers, Fame, Grease and Starlight Express. They've also sung with famous names such as Phil Collins and Elton John.

Now, you can hire them for your wedding - for the ceremony, for your first dance, or even for your wedding reception.  Believe me, not only are they a beautiful couple, but they sing beautifully too!  In a class of their own.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Find us in the June/July issue of Your Herts and Beds Wedding

We are delighted to be featured in the June/July issue of Your Herts and Beds wedding.  They asked us for our ten tops tips to help you plan your wedding.  So, here they are... 

Tip No 1 – Set a realistic budget

Whether money’s tight or plentiful, and regardless of whether you are paying for your own wedding or your parents are contributing, you’ll need to set a budget. Try to be realistic at the outset and track your spend as you go – a simple Excel spreadsheet should suffice. In my experience, whatever the reception venue costs (including food and drink), add this figure again to get an estimate of your total budget!

Tip No 2 – Make a list

There are many different aspects of a wedding to organise, so before it all starts to spin in your head, take a deep breath and make a list – a long one if need be! You’ll find over the course of planning your wedding you’ll end up with quite a few lists – the guest list, the supplier list, the gift list, the DJ’s play list, his ‘to do’ list, her ‘to do’ list, the ‘things to do in the last few weeks’ list. Just commit all your ideas to paper, sort out what needs doing first and create an action plan.

Tip No 3 – Do nothing...

Once you’ve got your lists in place and you know what you need to nothing! There’s no initial hurry to book up all your suppliers. My advice is to sit and relax for a while. Cosy up on the sofa and do some research to gather ideas for your wedding. Look at what other couples have done and take inspiration from wedding magazines and the internet. You’ll begin to get an idea of trends and styles you love, and those that you don’t. You can also research suppliers and begin to discover the ones with excellent reputations!

Tip No 4 – Suss out your style

All that research will have given you ideas about the type of wedding that suits you both best. Will it be intimate, or an ‘anyone who’s ever known us’ affair? Will it have a modern feel, or would you prefer something more classic? Will you have a religious or civil ceremony? Is overseas more your thing? Will children be invited, or are they a definite ‘no no’? Whatever you decide, you both need to be in agreement, and if not, be prepared to compromise!

Tip No 5 – Meet potential venues and suppliers

Once you know the style of wedding you want to create, start visiting venues and meeting suppliers that complement your personal style. Secure appointments with at least three in each category and ask them for prices so that you can compare. You won’t always select the cheapest, but it will help you decide who provides more value for money. Go with your instincts. Pick a venue that feels right providing it fits your budget (you’ll know if it’s right the moment you walk through the door) and surround yourselves with suppliers whose personalities and professionalism will enhance your day!

Tip No 6 – Call on friends and family

Something I have learned during my time as a wedding planner is that there’s a wealth of ‘amateur’ talent out there. Some of the best wedding cakes I have ever seen have been made by family and friends. One of my brides designed her own wedding gown. The groom designed the stationery. Aunties have made bridesmaids dresses and friends have offered to create the floral arrangements. If you’re lucky enough to have such talent in your family and circle of friends, use it! It’s a great way of saving money and of adding really personal touches to your day.

Tip No 7 – Make time for small details

It’s easy to get carried away planning the ‘obvious’ wedding necessities such as your dress, the venue, the photographer, etc - and undoubtedly these things are key. But try and make time to think about details that can really make your day special. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that guests treasure. A hand written personal message from you to each guest, a reading or poem at the ceremony that you have written to each other, a magician that circulates during the wedding breakfast – these are some of the special touches that I have witnessed making a difference to the day.

Tip No 8 – Prepare your inner-selves!

Preparing yourself mentally and physically for your wedding day is just as important as making all the other preparations. So that you feel great in the run up to your wedding and the day itself, try to make quality time for yourselves. Get in shape, eat well, pay attention to your skincare regime and sort out your wardrobe. It’s really therapeutic and doing it together will be fun!

Tip No 9 – Don’t make planning your wedding the only thing you do all year

Yes it’s time consuming, yes it’s detailed, but that’s not an excuse to talk about your wedding from the moment you get engaged. If you do, the likelihood is that you will become bored and see it as a chore. Have an evening, a day, or even a week off together. If you have done all your planning up front, and booked the most important suppliers, you can afford to put away your files and do something else. Spending more time together will make you remember what all the planning is for in the first place!

Tip No 10 – Enjoy the journey

Planning your wedding will be something you’ll either love or hate. If you relish the prospect of designing every last detail, discovering venues, meeting suppliers and learning the intricacies of folding napkins in ways you never thought possible, that’s great. If you don’t, are time-pressed, or the whole thing is stressing you out, then why not ask for help. Allocate tasks to friends and family, or consider hiring an experienced wedding planner. Don’t ever feel you have to do it all on your own!
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Friday, June 4, 2010

The perfect wedding outfit

It’s one of life’s lovely moments when you are invited to a friend’s wedding, but what if like some people, you go into a spin about what you should wear. So many people use a wedding as the perfect excuse to buy something new (no, honestly darling, I’ve had it for a while!). It can be an expensive time too, so don’t waste your hard earned cash, have a look at these fantastic tips by Isobel Kershaw from the NHJ Style Consultancy and just know that you’ll look gorgeous!...

There is nothing worse than arriving at a wedding to find that two other guests are wearing the same outfit as you. The problem is usually last minute panic buying and seemingly little choice for wedding outfits; this means we can be prone to looking at the same brands.
However, help can be at hand with your very own stylist – – who will create a unique ensemble which can then be reinvented for many other occasions. If you haven’t got a stylist on speed dial (tut, tut!) then what are the tips for a perfect outfit?

Tip 1 - It’s all about mixing the brands to ensure you are wearing something unique. The temptation is to hit a department store and buy everything from the same place. Write a list of what you need and then go looking. Check out options first before you buy. Shop assistants will tell you that you look great in everything but they are keen to make a sale. Use your eye and trust your judgement. Pretend you are looking at you – what do you think?

Tip 2 - Ensure that the outfit is flexible for other occasions – Try to avoid the obvious wedding looks of the matching dress with jacket, hat, handbag and shoes. Put together individual pieces which you can separate afterwards and incorporate in your wardrobe. Avoid over fussy prints and resist the temptation to be too flamboyant – leave that to the bride.




Tip 3 - Boutiques are a great place to start to find something a little less high street. Again, have a clear idea of what you want and perhaps select a couple of items rather than get everything from the boutique. There will be more individual brands you don’t see on the High street, but only buy something you truly love and feel ‘wow’ in.

Tip 4 - Spend more on the outfit, then accessorise at a lower budget. A gorgeous pair of shoes and a great dress will be worth the expenditure if you select something to wear again and again. Then buy your bag and costume jewellery from a choice of places like Accessorise, Oasis, John Lewis, and Top Shop. Again remember which stores are likely to be the most popular and make sure you mix the brands up.


Tip 5 - Well chosen accessories will ensure that your outfit looks individual and stylish. Choose a bold statement necklace for a bold colour dress in a different colour. A sequin clutch bag or a glitzy pair of shoes will add sparkle to a simple suit or dress.



Tip 6 - Above all – a good manicure and blow dry will finish the look.

Credits: NHJ Style Consultancy, Coast, Karen Millen, Ted Baker, Reiss, Accessorise, Top Shop
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Wedding reception cool

I’ve just been looking into hiring some chairs and tables for an intimate wedding this summer. Check out these for super cool! They are Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs which look great teamed up with a perspex table. Perfect for the design- conscious bride looking for something a little more out-of-the-ordinary. Simply stunning!

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