Wedding Trendwatch: Spring

Ideas for spring weddings

When you think of spring it might be florals and pastels that come to mind and yes that might seem a bit traditional for rule-book free weddings, but it's what you do with those florals and pastels that really make the difference. Besides spring is also the perfect time to stay on trend with the colour of the season - green. Take a look at 3 ideas that give spring 2017 a modern twist.

Show off some prettiness by adding florals and herbs into your food and drink 

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Add some romantic touches to your day

And finally, go big or go home

9 Things Your Wedding Planner is Actually For

It's not all spreadsheets and hairspray, here's a handful of things you may not have realised you were getting when you hired a wedding planner like us!

1. BEING THE BUFFER

Sometimes you need a friendly third party to tell your parents you don't want those
hideous brocade napkins or to let those back up caterers down gently.

 
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2. NEGOTIATION TACTICS
 

The wedding planning kind aren't afraid to haggle to get you a good deal. We have our ways.

 
 

3. CALMING YOU DOWN
 

In those last weeks when you just need someone to vent to and assure you it will all be totally amazing.

 
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4. TAKING THE HEAT

When your grandmother doesn't like where you decided to sit them, we'll just smile, nod and apologise.

 
 

5. HERDING THE BRIDAL PARTY

Making sure the drink best man keeps to schedule and keeping your mum in tissues.

6. KEEPING YOU FED AND WATERED

The minute you've got a fork-full of fondant potato near your mouth, someone will want to say hello,
goodbye or want to drag you into a photo. We'll make sure you get what you need!

7. FIXING THE MINI-DISASTERS

Lipstick on the dress? A broken buttonhole? We got you covered. We have a kit.

 
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8. BEING IN CHARGE OF PLANS A THROUGH D

Planners live in the 'just in case' so you don't have to worry your be-veiled head about anything.

 
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9. INSPIRING AND ENCOURAGING YOU

For when you just need good ideas, we keep a good stock up our sleeves!
And when you just need someone to tell you it's going to be ok, we're a phone call away.

 
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Little Black Book | Wagtail Productions

Here at Revelry Towers we're big fans of wedding videos, to be honest we don't think they always get a fair rep, often they're a last minute addition to the day or people think they're a bit cheesy. Now don't get as wrong, a certain level of cheese does exist in the videography world but we work with some brilliant suppliers who actively avoid this. 

We first met Ayla at a wedding fair a few years ago and then worked with her on a styled shoot to mark the launch of Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. Not only that we think she's so good she's doing Susie's wedding, that's right, you heard it hear first - Wagtail Productions is officially Wedding Planner approved, so let's meet the brains behind the operation.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND, HOW DID YOU GET INTO WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY?

I started in photography. I have always been obsessed with taking photographs, even as a child. I studied art and photography at college and uni. Video started to creep into my work, subtly at first. For example, I made a sound track to accompany the viewing of one of my photography exhibitions in London.

I then worked in the film industry as a Camera Assistant. I worked my way up, starting on independent films, then music videos, TV drama, commercials and big budget features. I finally got to fulfil my dream of working on a Bond movie when I did Skyfall. It was, ironically, on that job I decided I needed to make a change. It's really thanks to my experience in the film industry and the wonderful people who trained me that Wagtail Productions is where it is now. There's not a single shoot where I haven't drawn on my experience. It was a truly fantastic time in my life, but the bigger the film, the bigger the crew, the more disconnected from the camera I felt. I wanted to go back to just me and my camera and be in control of my own projects.

I took a break travelling around Europe. I drove from London to Rome solo and spent the summer as an Au Pair for 3 incredible children in Venice. You can't be in Italy and not be inspired, and this is when the filming started. I was au pairing for the most beautiful family. Their lives moved me. I felt I needed to film their every day moments, the innocence and romance of a childhood by the Italian seaside. The family had such joy from the film I made them.  I must admit, it's the reactions that make what I do so addictive. Before I knew it, I was back in the UK making little films just for the love of it which lead to my first wedding booking.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FILM STYLE?

Wagtail Productions works with a huge range of styles. That super 8mm vintage look, classic cinema, stop motion animation, split screen fun, reportage, whatever suits the couple's day. We look at each project with fresh eyes and really get a sense for who the couple are during our pre-wedding chat. Everyone’s wedding has such a different feel, and we want to capture their essence and tell the story with those tiny real moments, such as a look or a touch.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHERS?

We are regularly told two things by our couples at the end of their wedding day: “we didn't even notice you filming” and “you feel like part of the family now”. Our approach is to be discreet on the day, but still get those cinematic shots. When the couple and guests are relaxed, the result is a natural and authentic film. We avoid cliches. You won't see sweeping shots of shoes on windowsills in our films haha.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT THE WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY INDUSTRY?

I love the willingness of other videographers to share tips and to help others improve.

AND, BECAUSE WE WANT TO BE BALANCED HERE, WHAT’S THE WORST?

Videography in the UK is way behind the USA when it comes to recognising the importance of having a wedding video and including it in the budget earlier on. You really do get what you pay for: it's that simple. Many couples who book us say they didn't think they wanted a video until they saw one of our films because they associated it with awkward cheesy shots. I hope it's not long before videography gets the kind of recognition that photography already has.

AND FINALLY SOME TOP TIPS, WHAT MAKES A GREAT WEDDING VIDEO?

Hire a videographer whose style you love, and trust them to do it. If you ask them to change the way they work too much then the result won't be like what attracted you to hire them in the first place.

Communication is key. Tell them what is important to you before the day and about all the details, such as readings and key family members. Then relax and have patience while they take care editing your beautiful film.

I have more tips for a great wedding video over on my website: http://www.wagtailproductions.co.uk/blog/2016/8/18/make-your-wedding-video-beautiful

Wedding Trendwatch: Mexico

Since it's bitterly cold and rainy in London town this week, we're looking to sunnier climates for some wedding inspo to warm us up. Hola Mexico! 

Last year we saw Day of the Dead themes popping up everywhere - decorative skulls and colourful floral garlands were everywhere from high street fashion to homeware. 

It's fiesta inspiration that brings out bold typography and bright colours. Homemade and beautifully 'thrown together'. It's relaxed, laid back playful and fun. And just perfect for boho-inspired summer weddings - in a field or in a warehouse.

Cacti and succulents are still HUGE right now and it works perfectly as a motif and decorative greenery to bring Mexico to life in your wedding design. Plus...churros.

And you can eat those churros in a beautiful boho lace or macrame figure-hugging gown - perfect for this stylish, sexy and fun design.

See more Central and South American wedding inspiration over on our Pinterest board!

Fresh Festival Wedding Ideas

Festival-style weddings has been one of those trends that appears one year and then never leaves. It's a keeper. Don't get us wrong, we love it - the freedom, the creativity, the great outdoors - but after three or four years of popularity it might be time to look at how you can breathe new life into the idea and have a truly fresh, modern festival wedding.

Instead of colourful wellies, floral bunting, hand-painted directional signs and hay bale sofas that complement the outdoors - go for contrast and pair modern elements like lucite, neon brights and technology with your outdoor wedding weekend.

If you're confident in the weather (still please also have a Plan B...) set out your dinner tables outdoors in a mix of floor seating and unusual chairs. Keep it fresh and different with your set up of each table - no one said it had to be uniform! A truly festival wedding will look thrown together in the most stylist way!

Get into the clear wedding trend and write your signage on lucite or perspex for a truly modern look. 

Experiment with non-floral decor with leaves and foliage like the sadly under-used pampas grass. Mini fabric banner signs could be a fun DIY (or let's face it, Etsy) job for letting people know what's what or just showing off some of your favourite quotes.

Play with colour! The best festivals are fun, vibrant and colourful so inject some bright details into your day to contrast the rustic setting, especially if you're having a tipi or a marquee - splash some colour on that blank canvas!

Discovery of the week is this incredible service from Beat Woven - take your favourite song or sound, and this company will turn it into the most beautiful fabric using the audio signature. How gorgeous is this? Perfect for a music-loving couple wanting a music-festival style wedding!

See more festival inspiration on our Pinterest page!

So...balloons are cool again

Yep, that’s right, these air filled objects aren’t just for children’s entertainers making sausage dogs they’re a bonafide wedding decoration. Be it part of the décor or used for pictures, balloons are versatile and let’s face it, they’ve been fun since you were five years old.

 

 

 

Interview with a Wedding Planner (or two)

Over here at Revelry HQ we thought it was about time we shared a bit more about the team behind the name and introduce ourselves properly! And since TIME magazine isn't leaving an messages for an interview, we thought we would just interview each other instead!

Enjoy 5 minutes of hard hitting, journalistic questions from one wedding planner to another. First up under the microscope, it's Susie...

Who are you again?

I'm Susie, a northern girl who has called London home for the past 10 years. A seasoned list maker and once introduced to someone as 'probably the funniest person you'll ever meet.'

Hey, so you're getting married soon! You freaking out mate?

Nah not so much. 10 years in brand events and weddings seems to keep all that stress in check. I'd say it's coming along swimmingly, although one of my bridesmaids did admit that she thought I might be a nightmare because I'm 'a bit Type A'. The cheek!

Well...? Tell me in three words why you wanted to become a wedding planner.

Looked like fun!

What is the most common thing people say when they hear what you do for a living?

"Like Jennifer Lopez in that film?"

Aside from JLo, who is your business role model?

Deborah Meadon. Yes I know, I should be naming some hot young thang who hit dizzying heights of success before she turned 30, but my God that woman is amazing - straight talking and always right. I can aspire to that!

What is the farthest you have ever been from home?

Geographically that would be Australia, but in terms of home comforts that would be a night of bush camping in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. I am not a camper.

If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

I do love boybands, but I also love cheesy soft rock so it would have to be Bon Jovi or Bryan Adams. Safe to say I'm not known for my cool taste in music.

What is your favourite item in your home?

Is this where I say my fiance? It's not, it's my slippers.

What was the last photo you took?

Myself eating fish and chips so I could send it to my brother to rub it in his face that he wasn't having any (there is a back story to this I promise).

Pinterest or Instagram?

I'm more of a Pinterest girl. I'm on the cusp of Gen X and Millennial and I've bowed out of most social media by now, don't even get me started on Snapchat.

Do you like your handwriting?

I do! No one else does. According to my friends and my fiance my writing slants thewrong way (?). Well you can blame the Sheffield education system for that one.

What is your favourite cocktail?

I like my hard liquor (you can take the girl out of Sheffield) so I'm partial to a Gin Martini, an Old Fashioned and Dark 'N' Stormy.

What is always in your fridge?

Cheese! But not through my doing. Our fridge is pretty varied, I'm a big fan of cooking.

What is it you like most about working with me? Please don't feel like you have to limit yourself here.

Nothing.

I'm joking. I love working with you. If I won an Oscar you'd be top of my speech of people to thank. There are lots of great things both professionally and personally that make our partnership so good. On a professional note your eye for design is AMAZING, the styling ideas you come up with for our clients and styled shoots are so creative, unique but also exactly what the couple is looking for. On top of that you're also organised and have great relationships with suppliers. You are literally the perfect formula for a wedding planner. Personally I love that we have a very honest relationship with one another, I think we communicate really well and you're such a warm and welcoming person who really cares about others. 

OMG the blushing. I think I need a second to compose myself from all the flattery! Ok chill. Most loved and most hated wedding trend?

Hate is a strong word. I do think it's each to their own but pretty much anything girly and pastel is not my scene. I'm also not a big fan of bunting and the vintage thing, which I think has become too much of a catch all term and doesn't mean much anymore. However, I am a huge fan of greenery and cactus. I like industrial spaces and bold colours, clean lines and coolness. And I love interesting, 'out there' entertainment and personal touches!

How much did you say you could bench again?

Ha, I do like to brag about my strength to lead people to believe I'm much stronger than them so they don't mess with me. I'm not sure my upper body is up to much but I have thighs of steel - 100kg and counting.

PS. Holly has totally asked me this because I talk a little bit too much about World's Strongest Man which is some kind of weird obsession I have.

Who is the smartest person you know?

My other half would be upset if I didn't mention him. He was on University Challenge you know (nerd).


What was your name again?

I'm Holly, a born and bred Londoner who decided she wanted to be a wedding planner when she was 6 (Exhibit A to your left), which was before JLo but after Martin Short. I interned from 16 with a wedding planner in North London and started planning on my own when I was 19. Those brave, brave couples. I'm now a grown up and I live in Blackheath with my husband and nutjob toddler Hazel.

That was one lifelong dream. If you could narrow it down, tell me in three words why you wanted to become a wedding planner?

Lists. Scrapbooking. Storytelling.

What is the most common thing people say when they hear what you do for a living?

*gasp* I have always wanted to do that!

 

Who is your business role model?

Does Michelle Obama count as a business role model? Because I love her, she gets business done and she's my spirit animal. #WWMD #FLOTUS44

She definitely counts in my book. Speaking of successful women with a family, how do you juggle being a mum and a business owner?

With great care. When you're raising a child and running a business, so many people know your time becomes your most precious commodity. Every minute I have available to focus on work is mapped out with lists and calendar reminders - blocks of time to make the most out of childcare days, evenings and nap times when we're at home together. Having my daughter means I work harder - not because I have to work around her but because I'm working for her. Not just to earn for our family, but to show my daughter that she can achieve her goals and be successful if she puts her mind and back into it. I hope that because she's seen me (and you!) carve a path and stick to it she'll feel confident enough to take on the world when she grows up.

Who run the world? What's your favourite item in your home?

Alllll the blankets. I can't relax without draping one (or two) on me, regardless of the temperature.

What was the last photo you took?

My daughter covered in green pen and a guilty look on her face. Remember 2 seconds ago when I said I want her to feel like she can take on the world? Well, right now her world is all the pens in the house. 

Pinterest or Instagram?

Don't make me choose, damn it! Pinstagram.

Cheater. Ok, who or what inspires you?

Other women who have forged their own path and are totally owning it. Fearless people who see risk and do it anyway. This industry is full of them and it's both a source of inspiration and positive challenge.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still heading up the empire that will be Revelry with you, taking our rulebook-free brand north and pushing our creative boundaries even further. I'll have written that damn book too.

If you were planning your own wedding now (or renewing your vows), and you had no budget ceiling, what would it be like?

I think about this way too often. I would get the heck out of here and go abroad. I'd still do the small church ceremony in London, but then grab a dozen of our close friends and family and jet off somewhere to celebrate for the weekend. But no where with sand. It's overrated and I have a vampiric pallor. Maybe the Italian Lakes?

What's your favourite cocktail?

Espresso martini because alcohol without caffeine just makes me sleepy and want to return to my blankets. 

What is always in your fridge?

Hummus and petits filou. 

What do you like most about working with me? Please take your time...I know you must have a lot to say.

I have a theory that you don't actually sleep. You just stay awake permanently, drawing new ideas and big plans on walls like an obsessed detective. And I love that about working with you! When I get those emails or texts telling me to remind you to tell me about your latest idea next time we meet. I always know it's going to be a good one. Your brain is always on and striving for the next thing, the next opportunity. You push us to be bigger and better all the time and I love that, I need that. You're a born businesswoman, a tireless organiser, an unflappable planner, and it all makes us the perfect combo for what we're doing. Couldn't think of a more perfect partner in crime and weddings! Mainly weddings.

Why, ta very much! Most loved and most hated wedding trends?

Hessian and burlap are a bit of a bugbear of mine (what a weird word, is it like a bug-sized bear, or a bear-sized bug?)--

A bear-sized bug sounds literally terrifying.

--Anyway it's a bugbear because it looks nice but it smells so, so bad! We seemed to be using it a lot three or four years ago when weddings hit peak shabby-chic. My absolute favourite is the tropical influence we're seeing now. Especially if it's contrasting tropical like one wedding we're working on in a 16th century barn!

Thanks for letting us share a little more about ourselves - Joe Biden finger guns to you!

We'd love to get to know you all better this year too - shoot us an email at , or hit us up on Pinstagram! (Pinterest + Instagram...)

Susie + Holly

Little Black Book | Oh Wonder Calligraphy

We don't know about you, but calligraphy is one of those skills that always, without fail, ends up on the New Years resolution list every year. A few twirly letters in and then "oh this is hard...". Thankfully, there are wonderful people like Lauren from Oh Wonder Calligraphy to have pretty handwriting for us. We caught up with her this week as part of our Little Black Book series of favourite wedding suppliers!

LAUREN, HELLO! TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL LITTLE BUSINESS OH WONDER CALLIGRAPHY, AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?

Hello! Oh Wonder Calligraphy is a bespoke stationery and design studio based in South East London. I set it up in January 2016 after having my son, after years of wanting to set up my own business he finally gave me the push I needed to do it!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN FOUR WORDS OR LESS?

Romantic, Luxury, Elegant and Timeless

WHERE DO YOU GO TO FOR YOUR CREATIVE INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! I love Pinterest and Instagram and spend far too much time on them but I also draw inspiration from day to day life especially nature - seeing colours and shapes that I love and think will work nicely with calligraphy.

WHY SHOULD COUPLES CONSIDER WORKING CALLIGRAPHY INTO THEIR DESIGNS FOR THEIR DAY?

Calligraphy is very personal and each piece is unique, what I love about it is that I can write the same word twenty times and each one will look different. I think the written word is so romantic, and we don’t see enough of it these days. Receiving something handwritten will make your guests feel so special and get them excited about what to expect on your big day.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR DESIGNS?

I do a lot of colour experiments - I think that colour says so much and can make you feel differently about what you are seeing. I love mixing inks and have a whole shelf filled of colour experiments I have done to find the perfect shade to evoke the emotion I want to.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL OBJECT OR SURFACE YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO WRITE ON?

2016 was the year of the leaves…lots and lots of leaves, which I think look so great and add a lovely touch to a table setting.

ARE THERE ANY NEW TRENDS IN YOUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WEDDING WORLD WE SHOULD BE AWARE OF?

I am having lots of enquiries about Agate slices for this year which I think are gorgeous!

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT HAVING FUN WITH INK AND PAPER?

When I am not working I am usually chasing around after a very busy toddler and a tiny but sassy miniature sausage dog who together are usually causing absolute havoc!

Check out Lauren's stunning work over at www.ohwondercalligraphy.com!

Wedding Trendwatch: Greenery

In 2016 Pantone declared the blend of Rose Quartz and Serenity as the colour of the year to represent mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, as well as fulfilling our yearning for reassurance and security. At which point 2016 clearly thought it would have a laugh and give us perhaps one of the most unreassuring years in history – nice one mate.

And so 2017 begins with the repercussions of the previous year and a new colour to symbolise new beginnings (whether it’s the ones we wanted or not). Luckily for us, the new colour is a bloody good one that works in many ways, so in 2017 you can be on trend without even trying.

Introducing Greenery...

From the strong to the subtle, there are loads of different ways to incorporate this trend into your day, head over to our Pinterest for more inspo but below are just a few of our greenery favs.

FOCAL POINTS

AT THE TABLE

LITTLE TOUCHES

Fictional Follies: Sheldon and Amy

Today's Fictional Follies instalment is a love so scientifically perfect, so iconic, so beautifully nerdy - it's Dr Sheldon Cooper and Dr Amy Farrah Fowler. 

So what would this glorious coming together of minds look like? There's just too much geeky goodness to choose from.

Both Amy and Sheldon, despite their outer quirkiness, we think would both still just want to look amazing. A slick tuxedo for Sheldon to play out a James Bond fantasy, and for Amy a simple gown and bolero fit for a princess (remember her bridesmaid dress for Howard and Bernadette's wedding? Yeah ya do). Oh and sensible shoes.

london wedding planner
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london wedding planner

But though there is tradition at heart of it, there's a whole lot of fun to be had with their wedding design. Drawing inspiration from their work and their hobbies, reflecting their personalities like a good wedding should. 

london wedding planner
london wedding planner

A simple, white tiered wedding cake with comic book detailing is the perfect summary of their traditional meets quirky day, as well as the groomsmen's simple grey suits with a pop of yellow in their matching converse.

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Brainy details like the seating plan of periodic tables, and the signage made up from elementary symbols. Scientific beakers house beautiful blooms, or custom cocktails.

A wedding in which Sheldon was the groom wouldn't be right without a ton of popular culture references. Games, TV shows and movies would have their own role to play in decking out the reception space.

For more 'Shamy' wedding inspiration, head over to our Pinterest board and let us know what you think!

Wedding Ideas: To the Moon and Back

We don't know whether it's the long winter nights or that Rogue One came out a few weeks ago, but we've got stars on the brain.

How romantic an idea to shape your entire wedding design around, a starry sky and the idea of infinity?

Deep, dark blues with accents of bright white or twinkling metallics - perfection.

wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space
wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space
wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space
wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space

Go broader with the galaxy inspiration and work in a range of jewel tones - blues, purples and pinks - to give a real depth to the design.

wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space
wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space

Bring the space inspo to your bridal accessories with star motifed veils and headbands. 

wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space
wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space

Creative galaxy-inspired cakes have been getting more popular, and are perfect for a dark, romantic, transcendent design like this. Plus, you can get the bowtie to match!

wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space cake
wedding inspiration ideas theme stars moon space

 

For a vintage twist on the stellar inspiration, look to antique astronomy displays as your centrepieces!

star moon space wedding inspiration
wedding inspiration star moon space cosmic galaxy

For more cosmic wedding inspiration, visit our Pinterest board and let us know what you think!

Little Black Book: Jennifer's Paper

We're kicking off 2017 by introducing you to one of our favourite stationers that we've been working with over the past year. This good old American gal really knows how to make your wedding stationery pop! Say hello to Jennifer's Paper

SO JEN, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DESIGNING WEDDING STATIONERY AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?

I've been creating wedding stationery since 2007 when I designed my hometown best friend's wedding invitation suite and day-of paper goods. I had always loved designing one-off invites and cards but this was a chance to make it more of a "branded" project which used my skills as a graphic designer. My own wedding was 4 years later and that's when I really got hooked on designing wedding stationery.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STATIONERY STYLE?

It's fresh, clean, pattern-loving and classic meets whimsical. I like to infuse elements of couples' personalities in there, too, whether it be the text or a tiny illustration that gives a nod to them.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU OFFER, WE HEAR YOU’RE MORE THAN JUST INVITES AND SAVE THE DATES?

I'm a firm believer that the wedding should feel like one cohesive event so that means I work with couples not only on the items that land in their friends and families' post boxes, but also anything that those same people are seeing when they arrive for the event. Basics like programs, place cards, menus, seating charts, signage, welcome bags. You name it, I'll design it! I once even hand-painted a beer boat (literally, an old row boat that was filled with ice and beer) at a wedding to match the invitation – it was the couple's name with the floral motif I had illustrated. It was so much fun and such a great statement piece for the wedding to really tie it all together. 

IF YOU COULD GIVE COUPLES ONE PIECE OF WEDDING STATIONERY ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Go with what YOU want, not what your parents want (or are used to seeing). Wedding stationery has really come a long way in the past 10 years and you can really give your guests a hint of what's to come on your wedding day through the stationery. It's also one of the only items for your wedding that's tangible AFTER the big day so make it something you'll lovingly want to preserve and ooh and ahh at for years to come (I have two past clients who have just had their stationery suites framed to hang in their house. I am over the moon that they want to see this everyday!)

ARE YOU SEEING ANY PARTICULAR WEDDING STATIONERY TRENDS COMING THROUGH?

Botanical is a hot one for sure. Inspired by the greenery that the florists are creating, stationery is being influenced by this as well. Calligraphy and hand-lettering are also still around but I wouldn't be surprised if that starts making it's way out by the end of the year or maybe the year after. It's everywhere! Oh, and of course, the print finish of the moment – gold foil!

HOW DO YOU APPROACH WEDDING INVITATION WORDING?

For this one, when my couples hire me for their stationery, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire with all of the basics that will go into their invitations and one of the questions is if they'd like their wording casual, formal or religious. From there, I decide on the intro sentence and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the invitation. For couples that want to keep their invitation wording more formal but want some personality in there, I always tell them to use the response card for this. I like to come up with fun and cheeky ways to say "accepts" and "regrets". 

10 Tips for Sticking to Your Wedding Budget

Budget, the dreaded word! But every wedding needs one. How else are you going to know if you can afford Bruno Mars to sing your first dance song (you probably can’t) or Dave Benson Phillips (remember him) as your DJ (you probably can). So before those eternal questions are answered you need to set your budget.

Setting a budget is difficult because all weddings are different, but you do need to have some idea of how much you should spend on each supplier so you don’t end up with debt you’re paying off until your 25th wedding anniversary! There are example wedding budget breakdowns out there but sometimes they don’t really line up with real life and can underestimate the cost of quality supplier so do take them with a pinch of salt.

Image: Weddings by Zoe

We’ve got some handy hints below to help you set your budget and manage it along the way.

1.      How much do you have and how much are you willing to spend? That total amount is what you’re trying to stay under. However, always allow an additional 5% on top as your contingency should you go over budget e.g. with a £25,000 budget keep a separate £250 that you can dip into if you need it.

2.       How many people do you actually want there? This number is one of the biggest factors as it will influence your venue and catering costs. £25,000 can stretch a lot further with 60 guests than 150 so don’t go overboard on the invites if you want to use your budget wisely.

3.       Once you know your total budget and number of guests you can start researching venues to get an idea of the likely cost of the venue. Do your research first so you know if it is a fair price for the location, size and style you want.

4.       The venue and catering are normally the biggest chunk of your budget and could take up to half of your total budget which sounds a lot but is totally normal. Try to avoid going over two thirds of your budget though as you’ll be left with very little to pay for everything else.

5.       By the time you’ve booked your venue and catering you often find yourself in a  ‘what’s left?’ scenario, so now’s the time to earmark any specific priorities you have e.g. if music is the most important thing then ringfence a decent portion of your budget so you know you’ve got enough and pick slightly cheaper suppliers for other parts of the day.

6.       As always, do your research on each industry to check that what you’re being charged is the norm. It will still vary depending on supplier quality, ability and location but always try to get three quotes from similar suppliers. This ensures you know the price is fair and may also give you some leverage to negotiate. Try to research and get estimates for some key elements (photographer, videographer, florist, wedding dress and bridesmaids) before you book anyone so you know either you can afford everything or pinpoint the areas that are lower priority where you need to make savings.

7.       Don’t forget styling. It doesn’t appear out of thin air and can really make your wedding stand out so it’s worth holding some of your budget back for this.

8.       Try not to worry about money. If you can’t afford something think about how much you really want it and whether you can compromise elsewhere. If you can’t, is it really worth breaking the budget for? Would it really affect your day if you didn’t have it?

9.       Keep a log of everything you’ve paid for and what you still need to pay and try to have a separate wedding bank account so it doesn’t get mixed up with the money you spend on a daily basis. Keeping your budget logged and separate makes it much easier to track.

10.   Pay everyone before you jet off on your honeymoon, not only have all the suppliers worked hard to give you a great day but you also don’t want to come back to an inbox full of wedmin!

Our Gift List Picks for 2017

Yayyyy presents! Erm, we mean...that bonus thing that happens when your guests want to generously give you a gift to commemorate your marriage.

Choosing what to put on your gift list is a fun decision, and a lot of it comes down to whether or not you have already set up home together. If you've been living together for years, odds are you have everything you need - so this is an opportunity to get things you want. If you are new to the living situation, you'll be looking for essentials that will last you a long time, and look good.

We really love the gift list service Prezola, for its huge variety and options to add in cash, charity and honeymoon gifts, so we took a look through their catalogue to pick out our faves.

The JimbobArt range of illustrated plates are our actual faves - animals in ridiculous get-ups AND somewhere to rest your sandwich/biscuits/more biscuits.

Plus, for all those lazy weekends in bed just you and your coffees, this gorg so-on-trend coffee pot from Barista & Co

We're loving this Karlsson marble geometric wall clock for your new marital home. Not that you'll be watching the clock at all in your first few months of staring lovingly into each other's eyes...

We're so super into banners right now, hang this one from Old English Company over your bed to remind you to bear hug often. 

These gorgeous sheets from Bluebellgray will turn your bed into a work of art, bright pops of colour to wake you up better than coffee.

We're also loving this pretty pretty soap dispenser from Cosy Living. So no one will tell if you fill it with Sainsbury's own. 

What are you planning to add to your gift list? A mix of weird and wonderful, want and need?

8 Stunning Winter Wedding Bouquets

In the bleak midwinter...the bride and her bouquet were looking fierce.

There are so many great options for the colder months when it comes to your wedding florals, even if that means no florals at all.

Here's what we're loving for this season!

This gorgeous arrangement by Peony N' Pearl is full of dusty pinks, peaches and cool coloured foliage, with David Austin roses, mini white orchids and seasonal fruit. 

This rich and luxurious winter bouquet is brought together with silver eucalyptus ,mentha and velvet grand prix roses contrasted with scabiosa seed pods and elderberries, by the talented Fairleys Bespoke Floristry.

This refreshing bouquet was created by Jennifer Pinder, using thistles, grey foliage and white waxflower with muted purples and dusty pinks. 

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Who knew cotton would look so cool in a bouquet? Looks so snowy and fluffy, with white roses and earth foliage. Expertly put together by Maison De La Croix

How about just bold, green foliage to cheer up a gloomy month? Such a luscious, wild bouquet of fern and berried foliage. Put together by the incredible Type A Society

This black winter bouquet is seriously chic, using anemones and deep purple orchids, from The Flower Cannon

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Loving this bouquet by Flower Power, with pine branches making it like carrying an awesome little Christmas tree down the aisle. 

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A perfect silvery bouquet of artemesia, silver brunia, blue hhistle, rananculus, baby's breath, and stock.

Oh swoon!

Controlling Your Inner-Bridezilla - Stress-Free Planning Tips

Wedding planning might seem like fun when you’re tasting cakes but  most  people find it stressful and overwhelming. It can be a hard slog if you’ve never put together an event before, and why would you if you don’t work in the events industry. If you want to be more of a Bridechilla than a Bridezilla we’ve got four handy tips that will see you through the planning process.

1.       Break up your jobs into manageable chunks. Most couples allow at least a year for planning and yes, your to do list may look long, but if you break it up into the jobs you need to do per month you’ll find the whole thing a little easier to manage.

2.       Set out your priorities. Work out what’s important to you and make that your priority. I know it might seem like everything has an equal weight but it’s your wedding so you get to choose what to focus on.

3.       Do your research. Spend some time looking into suppliers and styles you like to narrow down what you want before you start the booking process. This will help give you a clear vision and avoid the stress of wondering if everything works together later down the line.

4.       Be realistic. Unfortunately planning a wedding is a lesson in compromise, a good way to start a marriage some might say. The compromise that normally takes place is between the vision in your head and the money in your purse. Be practical, think about what you and your guests actually need on the day and then decide on the things that are nice to have. You may think your wedding won’t be the same without them but your guests are more likely to remember going hungry over a perfectly decorated room.

Little Black Book | Wildflower Cakes

December is the time of year for indulgence, right? In that case we're right on track thinking about cake, cake, cake. For today's Little Black Book interview we're chatting to the lovely Arianna from Wildflower Cakes in London. Arianna has provided some amazing bakes for us at recent shoots (which you can see here) and we really wanted her to let us in on her secrets. So over to her!

ARIANNA, HELLO! TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WILDFLOWER CAKES AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED?

Hello! I was brought up doing lots of baking and experimenting in cake decorating with my mum and grandma. I only considered it as a career after I had left university and felt a bit lost. I started reading a lot of decorating and cake blogs and decided to study patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu, it was a wonderful experience. I then worked for many high-end cake companies in London before starting my own. I wanted to make sure I was confident in my skills and knew what to do if things went wrong!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF CAKES?

I love flowers and nature, so the focal point of my designs is usually the sugar flowers. I adore modern, simplicity and believe less is more. A cake that has been beautifully executed with flawless icing and delicate sugar flowers is always going to be a show-stopper. I am definitely partial to metallics and usually can't resist adding a bit of gold or silver on there.

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR NEW DESIGNS?

Quite a variety of places, I find Pinterest is a great place to be inspired. I often look at art, textures, patterns, colour palettes and real flowers.

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR NEW FLAVOURS, AND DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITES?

I am a massive chocoholic and love anything with chocolate. My recent favourite is a cake I made for my Dad inspired by the "cherry ripe" chocolate bar, which isn't sold in this country but is very popular in Australia where he was born. It had a rich chocolate sponge, a coconut sponge and roasted cherry buttercream. I don't usually get to eat the cakes I make, so this was a proper treat!

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT BAKING?

I enjoy reading classics, Jane Eyre being my favourite. I have a long list that I'm working my way through. I also really enjoy eating out, I used to be a very picky eater and I'm now super adventurous and always try to order something that I have never tried before.

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR COUPLES WHO AREN'T REALLY SURE WHAT KIND OF CAKE THEY WANT, HOW DO YOU START, AND WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?

I think the best way to start is to book a consultation and bring along a Pinterest/mood board you have put together of the ideas you have for your whole day. The cake maker can then see your personal taste, an idea of colours and the feel you are looking for, to then put together a design.

It's useful for the cake decorator to know how many people you are looking to serve to calculate how many tiers you will need. It is also important to consider where the cake will be displayed in the room, as some are designed to have a front angle and sit well against a wall, while some will sit beautifully in the centre of the room and look good from all angles. The taste is very important, so make sure to try a variety of samples.

ANY TIPS FOR COUPLES WHO WANT THEIR CAKE TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON A BUDGET?

You could consider having faux tiers to boost the height of your cake, which usually comes with a small reduction in price compared to having the whole thing as real cake. Displaying the cake on a high pedestal cake stand will also create more height and impact, most cake makers have these available to rent for the day. It looks beautiful to style the table the cake will be on, even just some candles or flowers surrounding can really add to making the cake a focal point.

Check out more of Arianna's gorgeous cakes on her website and prepare to drool. 

Fictional Follies: Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski

If you grew up in the early 90s like us then you must have spent your Saturday mornings catching up with Zack, Kelly, Screech and the gang at Bayside High in Saved by the Bell. You may even have followed them to the not quite as good College Years and seen Zack and Kelly get married in Vegas in a TV special. 

Can I get a re-wind, time for the Revelry Events Saved by the Bell wedding special...

As a trend setter in her own right and with Lisa as a bridesmaid, who's one of the most fashionable girls in school, you can bet that Kelly will be as on trend as you can get. We're talking off the shoulder cuffs with softly tied bows, an elegant and romantic up to date fashion for Spring 2017 which was so favoured by Kelly in the 90s.

Next up the venue, and for pure nostalgia's sake the reception has to be an all American wedding breakfast of sliders and fries at The Max followed by drinks and dancing in the school gym. 

Photo credit: Brooke Images

Photo credit: Brooke Images

Drawing on Kelly's cheerleading background you can expect the gym to be made over with tassles, ribbons and streamers with a playlist of early 90s classics.

The Mannequin Challenge may have taken 2016 by storm, but Zack was doing it way back in the 90s with his Time Outs. Giving it a millennial make over, the night would finish with a tableau of the gang together again.

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Venue

Nailing your wedding venue is perhaps one of the trickiest and most time consuming jobs of the whole planning process so while you're looking round trying to find something that fits your personal specifications, don't forget to also consider the list below, it could save you time and money and ensure that your dream wedding vision stays intact. 

1. How much dressing does the venue need?

Dressing a venue is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding, its an opportunity for you to put your own stamp on your day and create something amazing. But don't be fooled, those beautifully adorned ceremonies and receptions on Pinterest didn't dress themselves and they didn't come cheap. Even if you DIY a lot of stuff the materials are going to come at a price. Do think about how much dressing a venue needs before you book it and put an allowance in your budget for those items or for a wedding stylist to source and style it for you. Shameless plug, we style as well as plan!

2. Does your venue have preferred suppliers?

The venue is likely to be pretty upfront about this and let you know if they have a list of suppliers that you have to use. In most cases this tends to be caterers and sometimes florists and production companies for lighting and sound. Generally suppliers are on these lists because they're good and they've worked at the venue so they know it well, but if you've got your heart set on someone or something specific that isn't on the list the chances are you'll have to pay a fee to get them in and you'll need to factor that into your budget. 

3. What do the chairs look like?

Yes I know this might sound a bit crazy and its probably not your first priority to think about chairs but trust us it makes a difference. You don't have to use the venue's chairs and you don't have to use chair covers. There are loads of great hire companies that offer a wide variety of different chairs that can really make or break the style you're trying to create.

If changing all the chairs is too pricy have a look at swapping out the seat pads. Here's an insider tip, most seat pads are stuck to the chair with velcro so they're easily removable. If you've got a venue with red seat pads that clashes horribly with your carefully thought out colour palette then swap them out for something more neutral like ivory. Obviously check with the venue first, but its a quick job for their staff and they're likely to have somewhere to store both seat pads and unused chairs.

4. Can you have a naked flame?

A lot of the historic buildings don't allow a naked flame, so if your mood board is covered in romantic pictures of candlelit ceremonies and dining you may want to rethink your style or venue. You can of course get battery operated candles which is one way round it if you're in love with the venue and still want to keep the candles.

5. How hot does the room get? Followed by, Can we open windows? And do you have fans?

We know the British summer doesn't have a great reputation but it does have its moments and even when it doesn't if you've got 80+ people in a room all eating, drinking and chatting, it's going to get warm. Be prepared for this and plan accordingly. Check that windows do open and perhaps don't seat people prone to the cold near them so you can have them open throughout. Find out if there are fans available as an additional precaution. They may be too noisy for speeches but they'll keep the air circulating during dinner and in any chill out areas you might have. It might not be something you'd usually have on your venue tick list but its worth considering that weddings can get warm and you might want to have a plan in place.