Fictional Follies | Jane Villanueva and Rafael Solano

Anyone as obsessed with Jane the Virgin as we are over here? We came to the party super late, but thank God for Netflix - friend of the binge-watcher. So when we were thinking about our next Fictional Follies, there was no other option.

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We're fictionally joining these gorgeous co-parents in matrimony, because finally. Sorry Michael fans, but it's time to move on (no spoilers here, but dang).

So what does a Villaneuva/Solano wedding look like?

Well, we know what both of their first weddings looked like. For Jane and Michael, a traditional Catholic ceremony with a homely reception. For Raf and Petra, we saw glimpses of an over the top luxe day with all the trimmings.

So we're expecting somewhere in between for these guys - they know each other well enough now to do away with anything that isn't important to them. Shrug off the pretences and do something that is totally and utterly them.

 

For Jane's bridal look, we're hoping for something a little sexier and more relaxed than her first time around. We're thinking something to show off her toned upper bod of late, with something like these Gali Karten or Berta gowns.

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When it comes to bridal hair and beauty, we're liking the idea of a playful floral crown with bright pops of colours - also harking back to her Mexican and Venezuelan heratige. Cropped, loose waves for a relaxed look, but with a sexy smoky eye and maybe a bold lip.

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For setting, we're thinking a beach ceremony and alfresco intimate dinner, with colours influenced by the super stylish Marbella Hotel - vibrant peach and pale turquoise is perfect.

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Food and drink inspired by their multicultural backgrounds - including Raf's mysterious Italian heritage, plenty of wine, sharing platters and, of course, grilled cheese for the evening snack (1/3 white cheddar, 1/3 yellow cheddar, 1/3 grated American cheese) - the meal Jane served Rafael when they first met.

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For more Raf and Jane inspo and credits, check out our Pinterest board for them! Enjoy!

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8 things to ask your wedding venue

There is no universal way that venues give you information so sometimes you need to ask some specific questions to get to the bottom of what's on offer and what's allowed to help you make an informed decision so you don't come unstuck during the planning process.

Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

1. What is included in the price of the venue?

All venues are different, some quote on a dry hire basis meaning you just get the space, others throw furniture in as well. Some venues create a package including food and drink. Find out exactly what is included? And what you can negotiate on if you don't want it all.

2. Is VAT included?

More often than not a venue will quote for their hire charge and conveniently leave the VAT off. The first you know about it is when the invoice turns up. It's always worth checking so you can factor the whole cost into your budget.

Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

3. Do you have to pay to use a supplier who isn't on their list?

Often venues will have preferred/accredited and recommended supplier lists. Recommended is just that, and you can take it or leave it, but preferred/accredited generally means you have to use someone off that list. If you've got your heart set on a particular caterer or cuisine its worth finding out if you can use them instead and if so will the venue charge you?

4. What are the venue's restrictions e.g. can you have naked flame or do candles have to be battery operated? Can you have red wine and potentially staining food? Can you have confetti etc...

Ask if they have any restrictions that you should be aware of. Chances are none of these will be deal breakers, but if you have got a romantic looking candle filled room in your head it saves a lot of heart ache and stress to know from the outset if that's possible or not.

Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

Revelry Events, image courtesy of Xander and Thea

5. Can you store things overnight or does everything have to be removed that evening?

If you've gone for a dry hire venue and you're bringing in your own furniture, bars, etc... definitely find out when they need to be collected. Some companies charge more to collect at 1am than if they were to come back during normal offices hours. Also try and find out about storing wedding gifts and cards or anything you're bringing in. if everything has to be off site you may need to nominate a friend or family member to take these with them at the end of the night.

6. What's the wet weather option?

If being outside is a selling point for the venue be sure to find out what happens if it rains (we are in the UK after all). Make sure you're happy with the wet weather option because the one thing you can't control is the weather.

Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

Revelry Events, image courtesy of We Heart Pictures

7. Can you extend the curfew?

Most wedding venues finish at midnight, sometimes earlier, but you can often extend this via the venue with a small payment to the council. So if you want to go on until 1am or possibly later, find out if the venue can accommodate this and what the additional charge is.

8. Are there any changes to the venue planned before your wedding day e.g. maintenance works, changes to general public access etc...? 

Make sure you ask as it won't always be revealed. If there are plans, find out when any works are likely to finish and how soon that is to your wedding day. These things have a habit of running over and if its going to disrupt or be an inconvenience to you there may be some negotiation to be done.

Our Favourite Colours for Spring Weddings

Yes we know, it stops raining for - like - a minute and we're already mentally out of Winter and into the Spring. But we can't help ourselves, and we're dreaming up some beautiful designs for some of our 2019 Spring couples! Here are just a few of our faves right now.

DUSTY BLUE + BLUSH

An incredibly versatile colour palette that just works wonders in the Spring. It's relaxed, it's romantic, it's an easy one to achieve. And how to die for is this blue dress?

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Pale Grey + Dark Green

For the minimalist in you - a subtle palette of shades and dark green foliage. A total dream and perfect for anything from a London warehouse to a French chateau. Jazz it up with a metallic like copper, gold or rose gold for a bit of glam.

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Yellow, Lavender + Grey

Could this look any more fresh AF? It's such an eye-catching colour palette and you can go as subtle or over the top as you like with how much yellow you include in this, using it as a base or just in a few pops.

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8 unique London wedding venues that make you want to say I do

Engagement season is on upon us again, and with all the newly betrothed couples from Christmas and New Year making a start on their wedding planning we thought we could lend a hand with some amazing wedding venues you might otherwise miss.

1. Victorian Bath House

This quirky venue is hidden in plain sight in the city of London. Descend the stairs and uncover  opulent Victorian decor like you've never seen before. It doesn't have a license to perform ceremonies but has the wow factor for a reception and can hold up to 150 people. http://www.victorianbathhouse.co.uk/

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2. Hackney Round Chapel

The Round Chapel is a total dry hire, perfect if you want to put your own spin on the place. Oozing old school grandeur, this Grade II listed chapel opened in 1871. You'll be blown away by it's unique architecture and unusual shape. http://www.roundchapel.org/

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3. Union Club

Tucked away in Soho lives a private members club full of charm, history, great food and amazing staff. Perfect for smaller weddings of up to 60 guests, you can take over the entire club as if it were your own home. http://www.unionclub.co.uk/

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4. Cutty Sark

Looking to capture a bit of history on your wedding day, then try the last remaining tea clipper as a venue. The iconic Cutty Sark, nestled in Greenwich, is the only place in the world where you can entertain beneath the shining hull of a ship. http://www.rmg.co.uk/cutty-sark

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5. jj Wimborne

Airy bright studios with tons of character situated in the impossibly cool Hackney with a roof top that overlooks London. Sounds like a great place to get hitched to us.  https://jjmedia.com/weddings

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6. Secret River Garden

Imagine a hidden woodland where the river Thames meets Twickenham. So secret they only do four weddings a year. It's not licensed but you can have a blessing between the apple trees and feel like you're in the hidden countryside when you're in fact 20 minutes from Waterloo.  https://www.facebook.com/secretrivergarden/

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7. Ravens Ait Island

Another Thames wedding spot, but this time on your very own island. Situated on the river at Kingston with beautiful views of the Thames and Hampton Court, you'll feel like you're in your own world at this exclusive venue. http://ravensait.co.uk/

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8. The Ned

The recently opened Ned Hotel is in the heart of London.  The historic building, designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens almost a century ago, has been carefully restored, retaining many original period features, including walnut panelling and vintage chandeliers, as well as ample arched windows to allow for plenty of natural light. See if you can sneak a peak at the members bar down in the bank vault as well. https://www.thened.com/

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Little Black Book | Doris Loves

It's safe to say that we love Doris Loves! These folks have some of the most fun and unique pieces for you to hire for your wedding, everything from light up letters to a temporary tattoo station. In fact we love them so much they were one of our exhibitors at our very own Unruly Wedding Show, so we thought it was about high time we sat down with them for a chat.

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TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT DORIS LOVES AND WHAT YOU DO?

Doris Loves started in 2012 after the founder Amanda’s own wedding. During her wedding planning Amanda wrote numerous posts on a national wedding blog which led to much exposure and a lot of requests from other brides wishing to hire items from her big day. Doris Loves began. Since then it has grown and grown and I took over a year ago where DL has evolved again.  

Doris Loves has a whole host of goodies to hire! A unique and quirky Temporary Tattoo station with a large range of in house designed temporary tattoos, we even have a boxed DIY version to purchase.  We have a spectacular range of 4 ft high battery powered Light up Letters and Numbers - over 150!   And a few bold neons to carry on with the light theme.  

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WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT TO OTHER WEDDING HIRE COMPANIES?

All of our light up letters are hand made and made of wood plus they are battery operated.  It means that they can go outside too. We are in the process of converting all our lights to rechargeable batteries which will almost double the length that they will last for (50 hours). Venues like them because there are no wires - health and safety! The lights we use are very different, much smaller but there are more of them which makes the letters more defined.

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LIGHT UP LETTERS HAVE BEEN SUCH A HUGE TREND IN WEDDINGS, WHAT IS IT ABOUT THEM THAT PEOPLE LIKE?

If there is anytime to have your name in lights  it has to be your wedding! They look great in photos, they add another dimension to a room, they can guide your guests to a certain area (like dance floor) and they can also create a great talking point.  The variety that you can have - whether its your initials, your surname, LOVE  or DANCE means that your imagination is your only limit.

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WHAT OTHER EXCITING ITEMS DO YOU HAVE AVAILABLE THAT YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEWEST AND NEXT IN WEDDINGS?

Neons, Neons and more Neons! We got our first set of neon lights early in 2017 and I love them so much I just want them in my living room - Seriously though we have a number of neon lights now - all unique to us.  Our temporary tattoos seem to be more popular than ever and we have a number of new tattoos coming too.  

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WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING INVOLVED IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY?

The people - brides and grooms, suppliers - its such a friendly industry.  I think this was what surprised me most. Having worked in a completely different industry for 15 years it was such a pleasant surprise! 

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Little Black Book | White Cottage Weddings

You guys, it's been a hot minute since the last time we gushed about a wedding supplier in this series. What better way to kick off a new year of supplier interviews with none other than one of our favourite creative stationers - badass husband and wife team White Cottage Weddings!

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Guys! How are you? Can we just pretend we don't know and love you for a second and ask you who you are and what you do?

Oh hey ladies! We are Toby and Kelly, husband and wife and the team behind White Cottage. We're wedding stationers, based in Northamptonshire, but work with guys and gals all over the world.

If you had to describe your style and design in three words, what would they be?

WELL. BAD. ASS. Ha, ok maybe unique, illustrative, rad.

What's it like working creatively with your spouse?

Kelly: Toby's my lobster. As much as it pains me to publicly declare it (because of my badassness), he's my best friend and the most brilliant man I know. So spending all our time together is pretty cool. The worst part of our job is hitting the creative wall, so being able to bounce ideas and work in progress between us makes things so much easier. I handle the concepts and the majority of the design work and Toby does the tricky illustrations and tech stuff.
Toby: Yes, I am the assistant. I'm the Chewbacca to Kelly's Han Solo. Im basically Kelly's wookie :D

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What has been your most ambitious design or brief to date?

A couple of years ago we had the pleasure of working with a glorious couple that found us on the internet and loved what we did. They were getting married at the Hôtel de Glace in Québec City, a super cool (in all senses of the word!) chapel built from snow and ice. They wanted the design to be fun and to include illustrations of the ice chapel and their dogs, but other than that, they told us to do whatever we wanted. I'm not going to lie, I felt the pressure. A combo of an open brief and the expectation that we would produce something not only personal that looked cool, but was funny too? Hilarious on demand is DIFFICULT. Long story short, after a lot of tantrums, tea drinking and pondering, everything came together and we produced one of favourite ever designs. We learned a lot from that job in terms of our style, how to handle enquiries and realistic expectation of how a design can take. That stationery totally catapulted our portfolio too and without it, we might not have received some of the early interest we did in our little business. For all it's difficulties, we're so thankful we got that gig.

Where do you get your ideas?

Kelly: Our couples are our biggest inspiration. I always try to meet face to face whenever possible, whether that be at wedding shows and events or for sit down consultations. We are people people (is that a phrase? :) and so getting to know our customers helps us to create something truly meaningful and representative. Beyond that, I honestly don't know! I never entirely know what a custom design will look like until I get to it and then it just kind of happens. I am more than aware how douchey that sounds by the way :D I try to be flexible throughout the design process. I've found that you can't force a design and if you're too regimented with how you want a piece to look, if you hit a problem, it's usually complete redo time.
Toby: Ask her about the Napoleonic fort design that made her sit in under her desk and threaten to go back to teaching.
Kelly: I couldn't make the bloody whale work, it was really difficult!

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Who would be your ideal client for wedding stationery (real or fictional, we don't mind!)?

Kelly: Oh blimey, tricky. If you'd have asked us what sort of stationery we'd like to design before we got in to our groove, I'd have probably said moody stuff. Toby and I are lifelong geeky goths at heart (albeit nowadays hidden under warm toned skin and casual knitwear :) so to get our teeth in to something dark and melancholy would be interesting. Maybe Morrissey's wedding? Although, it's unlikely that Morrissey would ever find anyone worthy of Morrissey's hand, so maybe Morrissey marrying himself? Having said that I'm a total sucker for an American style rustic, woodsy design so maybe Jack and Ennis from Brokeback Mountain? Spoiler alert, but OH SO SAD.
Toby: Kate Bush.
Kelly: And who?
Toby: *shrugs*
Kelly: He loves Kate Bush. Ok, I'm hitting my stride now... Carrie and Quinn from Homeland. I'm thinking bold typography, clean layers, lots of them and foil. Lots of that too.
Toby: How about Frank and Karen from Punisher, or Kylo-Ren and Rey?!
Kelly: I think we're getting a bit carried away with this one...

What do you wish couples knew better about what you do?

It would helpful, sometimes if customers understood the time (and associated cost) that goes in to the concept, creation and production of great wedding stationery. The very large majority of the people that we meet that go on to order with us appreciate all of this entirely. However, every now and then we wished that some folk could see the hours that turn in to days, long nights and entire weeks that are spent creating even one item of stationery. There are a small amount of people on the planet that think we pull stationery out of our magical art arses. Unfortunately, we do not have magic arses. I don't want to end this question on a moan though, so thankfully we rarely have to deal with this issue any more.

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What do couples always forget when it comes to wedding stationery?

Kelly: Couples can sometimes forget that it is their wedding stationery and their wedding. Pleasing family members and consideration of complex social situations within their stationery is so difficult to see and I really feel for those people that end up settling for things that they wouldn't naturally choose, to suit others. I think, as a basic rule that you should opt to go with whatever you can happily live with. Compromise to suit others might end up being the best option for you, but if you think that settling might be one of those things that you'll go on to regret, stand by your principles and own your wedding along with all of the creative decisions.
Toby: Couples can also forget that the weddings as a whole are pretty disposable and stationery is one of the few things you can keep forever. It's not something you want to look back on and hate and 100% worth your time, attention and investment.

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What are your top tips for couples putting together their ideas for stationery?

It can be tempting to put together a Pinterest board for stationery and fill it entirely with examples of stationery that you like. We often see boards that end up with a hundred different designs, most with conflicting styles and for a designer, we end up with a bit of a needle in a haystack situation. What's much more worthwhile, is putting together a board that represents the whole wedding and maybe a couple of stationery examples to indicate specifics. The style of font you prefer, or the format of a table plan for example. Stationery is the thing the runs right from the very start of your wedding planning (save the dates, invitations), through the day itself (table plans, place settings and order of services to name but a few items) and beyond (thank you cards, favours), so understanding what you have planned for the entire day is really useful for your designer.

Kelly: I can waffle a bit, so I should probably let you go now. Final thought though, don’t be afraid to shop ‘off the shelf’ and explore independent design studios. There are so many good ones out there. Happy stationery shopping!
Toby: But you should probs check us out first :D

Fictional Follies | Wonder Woman + Steve Trevor

We've been wanting to do this particular fictional folly since we saw Wonder Women in summer and we came out of the cinema feeling all empowered that we could take over the world. Great film, great message, amazing role model and the objectification of Chris Pine, what more could you want! 

Diana Prince and Steve Trevor this is your wedding...

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Of course the obvious setting is the island of Themyscira, where Diana grew up and where she first met Steve Trevor. This relaxed beach wedding will have a neutral and cool colour palette with copper, gold and teal taking centre stage to reflect the colours of the Themyscira army and the water surrounding the island.

Diana will be armour less for once and opt for a sheer gown with an intricate bodice, handmaid by the women of Themyscira. Steve will be casual in the lightest of blue suits.

A copper arch decorated with the natural greenery from the island marks the spot where the couple say their vows.

Courtesy of Erin Trimble Photography

Courtesy of Erin Trimble Photography

The beachside dinner tables use copper and teal crockery and glassware. Centrepieces are handpicked wild flowers and greenery, and as the sun goes down, the tables are lit by candles in copper lanterns. Diana and Steve sit at their own mermaid sequinned sweetheart table enjoying a private moment.

Courtesy of  George Pahountis

Courtesy of George Pahountis

Courtesy of  B. JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Before the evening ends the couple cut a perfectly designed cake and disappear into the romantic night, safe in the knowledge that for now, the world doesn't need saving.

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