Thursday, 31 March 2011

I Need Ideas For.. A Country Fete Theme Order Of Ceremony

So here's the second of today's posts written especially for the lovely Michelle who is getting married in June. Michelle sent me a tweet asking for some ideas for her country fete themed wedding - earlier I provided (or hopefully provided!) some ideas for table plans that might fit Michelle's day and now I'm moving on to the second part of her plea - Orders of Ceremony (or, to translate for US readers, ceremony programs!)

If you'd like me to write a blog post just for you, get in touch and let me know how I can help. Inspiration, advice or questions you'd like answered - I love to hear from you so feel free to e-mail me or find me on Twitter (my username is @tamrynkirby so say hello!)

But let's go back to Michelle and her fabulous wedding. Enjoy these ideas...

Above - yes, I know this is a birthday card but take a look at the design. Little bunting flags dangle across the plain card. You could cut the flags from plain coloured or patterned paper, glue them onto twine or ribbon and attach them to the front of the card. If the card itself won't go through your printer, you could just print inserts and glue them in! Image - C Star Events

Above - a fabulously simple yet very effective idea. Printed cards are tied with natural raffia that looks wonderfully like straw. Easy and attractive - a perfect combo for a DIY bride! Image - Faith West

Above - another idea that I saw that you could tweak to make a fabulous Order of Ceremony. How about printing the information on the bag and then filling it with confetti? No chance of those petals blowing if you sealed the bag either and again, if you can't feed the bags through your printer, print the information on coloured paper, trim & glue. Image - Jeremy Lawson

Above & below - this would be great if Michelle used one of the chalkboard seating plan ideas as well but I know that this might not work at a church. However, if would be great for giving 'the timetable' at the reception venue. Image above - Kelly Prizel Image below - The Knot

Above & below - I love tags so I just had to include this. The information is printed on tags (or onto card and cut into tag shapes!), given pretty covered and tied together with ribbon. So pretty! Images - Martha Stewart

Below - fans make great programs, especially if you're getting married in the summer. The information is printed on one card with the handle attached at the bottom. Another piece of patterned or coloured card is used to back the fan (and hide the handle!) - this also makes the finished fan a little more robust and less likely to wilt when waved around! Image - via Martha Stewart

I Need Ideas For... A Country Fete Theme Table Plan

Earlier this week, I received a tweet from a wonderful bride to be, Michelle, asking for some inspiration for her forthcoming wedding. She wanted ideas for a table plan and Orders of Service (or ceremony programs to my US readers!) that would fit with her 'country fete' theme day in June. So, being someone who likes a little challenge and likes to help, I'm dedicating today's two posts to Michelle and I hope she likes some of the ideas that I've come up with for her.

If you'd like some inspiration for your day, if you have a question that you'd like answered or if I can give you some advice, then just send me an e-mail or find me on Twitter (I'm @tamrynkirby if you'd like to follow me!) and I'll be happy to help.

But for now, it's all about Michelle and table plan ideas for her country fete day...

Above - I like this clean but bunting filled table plan. A white card backing has separate cards with each table's guests listed on them. Ribbon accents and a mini bunting decoration (cut from any patterned paper or fabric) finish this wonderfully. The couple's names and the table names are in a pretty font too for extra prettiness. Image - 5 Star Wedding Directory

Above - more beautiful bunting! Here, each flag represents a table and the guest's names have been printed onto fabulously coloured card (obviously, you can use any colour combination that suits your theme). Trimmed into neat triangles and pegged onto the string, this is easy wedding DIY. Image - AJH Photography

Above - I love this! Fabric bunting just has printed table details stuck on. Of course you could make your own bunting (and I think Michelle has!) but you could 'personalise' any bunting you buy. This looks so pretty and you could use the same fabric to wrap around napkins etc for a co-ordinated look. Image - Dazzle Me Decor

Above - A great bunting display of seating cards. Each guest has their own little paper triangle and these have two holes punched in them so they can be threaded on to ribbon and then strung up. The mix of pretty pastels here is gorgeous, especially when you've got that beautiful blue background, but you could use this display anywhere in your venue. Image - Event Angel

Above - A more traditional table plan here but still gorgeously fitting with the theme du jour. Paper rectangles detailing the guests sitting on each table are stuck onto fabric and then these are in turn arranged on a large piece of backing card. I love the ditsy numbers, the bunting swirling across the top of the plan and the cake made of fabric scraps in the bottom left corner is a fabulous touch too. Image - Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous

Above & Below - Another brilliant option that's simple DIY. Tags with the guest's seating details are tied onto beautiful ribbon and pegged onto twine for the guests to pluck off as they pass. You could use coloured card for the tags or stick to neutral tags and ribbon and hang a piece of funky fabric behind for a splash of colour as below. Image - Luna & Chloe (above) & You & Your Wedding (below)

Now the next three images are all variations on a theme but a fabulous theme nonetheless. I love chalkboard signs at weddings - they're easy to DIY and if you make a mistake or need to make a change, it's not a problem. You can make your own chalkboards to any size or shape - speak to your local DIY shop as they'll be able to cut wood to your specifications and then you simply paint it with chalkboard paint. After that, get creative with your chalks! You can buy chalk 'pens' which are really easy to use and make writing and designing much much easier than using traditional chalk sticks. You could frame your board, prop it on an easel, lean it against a tree, tuck it somewhere suitable or hang it from a wall or door. 

 Image - Snippet & Ink

 Image - My Wedding

 Image - Wedding Window

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Delicious Details - Ribboned Napkins

Well, it seems that everyone reading my blog has as much of a 'thing' for ribbon as I do as last week's Ribbon Seating Card post was really popular. So, in the spirit of giving you, my lovely loyal readers, more of what you want, I thought I'd expand the ribbon ideas out to napkins.

I often feel napkins are often a little forgotten at weddings which is such a shame when they can add some practical beauty to a setting. In fact, next week there's going to be a rather fabulous post with lots of inspiring ideas for clever napkins (and I promise you, no yukky folded swans in sight). But enough of that, let's get on with today and ribboned napkins. As I've said before, a little touch of ribbon makes everything better and adding some to your napkins gives a great co-ordinated look and stops those poor bewildered napkins looking like a sad afterthought.

A word to the wise - if you're going to be rolling and ribboning your napkins, you need to speak to your caterer or venue to make sure that they don't go ahead and fold them on the morning of the wedding. The last thing you need is to be unfolding and re-rolling! And so, with those words in mind, here are some pretty ideas for ribbon napkins...

Above - I do like wedding monograms and these little tags tied to the pretty pink ribbon are great. You can pick up tags like this from craft stores or scrapbooking suppliers and they come in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes. You could stamp them with a motif or write guest's names onto them so they double as place markers. And do note the v cut on the end of the ribbon so nothing will fray! Image - Brides

Above - this is definitely a more opulent look. Wide bands of velvet ribbon have a thinner satin ribbon knotted over it with a dangling jewel (this is actually a curtain embellishment so think outside the box and look for different ideas - mini Christmas decorations that come in all colours would work as would large glass beads) The velvet ribbon could be sewed into rings before the wedding and the satin ribbon pre-cut. Image - Decorative Packaging

Above - I really adore this look. Wide ribbon rings have doily style ribbon overlays for a great lace/vintage feel. You could use any colour ribbon underneath and the whole 'ring' could be prepared beforehand with a few stitches to hold the ribbon and lace in place (alternatively, if you want to use some fabric glue, I promise not to tell!) Image - Martha Stewart

Above - perfect for an autumnal or rustic woodland wedding! The stitched ribbon is just tied around the napkin and the cone is propped up in front. You could take this idea to use for almost anything - red or green ribbon with an apple, natural colour ribbon with a pretty leaf (with the guest's name written on perhaps?), red ribbon with a mini candy cane for a Christmas wedding or some pretty pastel ribbon with something edible and gorgeous? This is such an adaptable idea. Image - Home Klondike

Above - rick-rack is great fun and here the red looks fabulous tied around the patterned green fabric. You could also then use rick-rack in other ways (to tie around seating cards or Orders of Ceremony, around bouquets, as embellishment on bridesmaid's dresses, or to tie around favour packaging). It's very economical and comes in all colours so I urge you to investigate further! Image - Good Housekeeping

Above - ok, so this might not be strictly be a ribbon ring, more of a fabric band but it's still pretty so I'm including it! The ring can be sewn (yes, or glued!) in advance and the button on string (or ribbon) tied on later. Any wide fabric band or ribbon would work here - can you imagine a pale blue ribbon band with a Mother of Pearl button or some pretty Cath Kidston fabric with a nice bright button tied around on a co-ordinating ribbon strip? I can and ooooh, it's making me smile. Image - Martha Stewart 

Above - the simplicity of this is great and would you believe, it's actually coloured velcro? So how easy could it be - no need to sew, glue or tie, just wrap and ta-dah, it's done all the work for you. This would hold cutlery snugly in place so would be ideal for a laid back buffet that needs guests to collect the napkin, knife and fork as they serve themselves. No chance of any cutlery clattering to the floor with this sticky little ribbon ring! Image - Real Simple

Above - I know, I know, this ribbon has wrapped more than just the napkin but how special is a meal going to be when you even have to unwrap your plate?! I just love this. I can picture more of this ribbon being used across the day with more perfectly tied bows bursting out at you throughout. Lovely! Image - Andrew McCaul

How To... Organise Your Time - The Big Day!

Yesterday, we looked at how to be organised with your time in the run up to the wedding and today we're moving on to concentrate on the day itself.

Any bride will tell you that the day absolutely flies by and it's so true - you've spent ages waiting for the day to come and then it's over in a heartbeat. Remember that feeling you used to get when you went to bed on Christmas Day? That such a fabulous day was all over? Well, it's exactly like that but with weddings, you don't get another one next year so make the most of every minute. And making the most of every minute means enjoying each moment, not being stressed, being calm, in control and not having that awful feeling that you're not going to have enough time for something important. 

So, here are some tips and tricks to make sure time is on your side on your wedding day...
Image - Melanie East
  • Pin up a time plan in the room where you’re getting ready so everyone can see it.  This will save everyone asking continually asking you questions! Decide on the order everyone will see the hairdresser and make-up artist so there's no hanging around.
  • Lay out your entire outfit the night before.  You don’t want to be hunting for a shoe or earring just before you wedding.
  • Make sure someone is keeping an eye on the time.  One minute you’ve got hours to wait and the next, it’s time to go so don’t get caught out.
  • Decide in advance what order everyone will be having hair and makeup done so you don’t waste time in the morning when people arrive.
  • If you're going to the venue to set anything up, tell them what time you'll arrival so they can have the tables laid before you get there so you're not waiting for them to finish so you can start!
  • Find out what time suppliers will be arriving – especially important if you don’t want the photographer to arrive whilst you’re still in the shower!
  • Let someone else keep things on time for you.  Delegate the job to a member of the wedding party or hire a co-ordinator to worry about this for you.  Making sure dinner, drinks and dances are at the right moment shouldn’t be your job when it’s your big day.
  • Overestimate how long it will take to get ready - it's better to have time for a relaxed glass of champagne and not be running around or panicking.
  • Fight the temptation to leave early for the ceremony.  It’s awful having to drive around because you’re early and all your guests haven’t arrived.  That said, don’t aim on being late, especially for a civil ceremony – most registrars do more than one wedding per day and they don’t like you being late.
  • Decide with your photographer before the day how long you want to spend having photographs taken and don’t be afraid to say ‘enough’.  Spending time with your guests is what makes your wedding special.
  • If you don't want the speeches going on for too long, let the speakers now how long they should speak for. Even 5 minutes each adds up to around 20 minutes in total and the caterers will need to know this, especially if you're planning speeches before starter or dessert. 
  • Pouring the champagne for the toasts at the table is a nice touch but it can take a while for that to happen. Caterers can always pour behind the scenes and then just serve glasses to the tables (and this also keeps some glassware off the tables for a more uncluttered look).
  • Try to stick to time for your first dance because it's unlikely other guests will hit the dancefloor until you've strutted your stuff which delays the party and means the band or dj are playing to no-one!
  • Definitely get some time alone with your husband.  The day will pass so quickly and before you know it, the guests will be leaving and you’ll realise you’ve not spoken to your hub since dinner!  The break between dinner and the evening reception is the perfect time to sneak off…
Image - Energy Photographic

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

My Personal Favourites... 'A Lovely Love Story'

I'm always being asked what my personal favourite things, ideas, styles and details are for weddings and whilst some are closely guarded secrets, some I feel I can share happily so share I shall.

Today's personal favourite is this reading by Edward Monkton which to me is just lovely. Perhaps I love that it's about loving someone's unique qualities, realising what makes them special and embracing it all. And perhaps I love it because I might be a Lovely Other Dinosaur with the skipping mind. Perhaps I love it because I know if this was read at a wedding, I would be in tears. But I know I love it because however it seems sometimes, the world is a beautiful place...

'A Lovely Love Story' by Edward Monkton
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice.
Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.

I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur.
She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.

But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?

But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur.
She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?

I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.

I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur.
For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides,
I am not unkeen on shopping either.

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place  

In The Mood - Scrabble Inspiration

I'm sure there are quite a few of us that hears the word 'Scrabble' and are immediately plunged into flashbacks of forced family 'game sessions' (and in the days before that meant bowling on the wii!), board games played on rainy days in the school holidays and, inevitably, having to play against that annoying person who adjusts the rules as they go along and complains bitterly if they're not triumphant. For me, 'Scrabble' immediately makes me think of ultra competitive tournaments with my Aunts (one of whom, I swear, knows all the two letter words in the official Scrabble dictionary).

But hold on one moment, push those slightly traumatic memories from your mind and embrace Scrabble as being rather fabulous for weddings. No, I'm not suggesting you pit guest against guest but rather you take the humble letter tiles and transform them into something that's even more fabulous than placing the word 'quartzy' on a triple letter square. Let your therapy commence...

Above - I totally adore this look (which shows you just how great it is as I do have a bit of a bird phobia) because it's just so natural, so understated and so wonderful. The 'just picked' flowers in the simple vase are perfect - anything more and they would have totally overwhelmed that cake. And I love the blocks the cake is resting on too and lo, there are the little Scrabble tiles, happily spelling out their message. The only downside to this image for me is, and yes, I know I am obsessed but creased table linen? No no no! So not good and so not necessary - please venues, stop just unfolding linens and throwing them straight on tables because it's really not good enough. Brides - insist on better! Image - You Look Nice Today

Above - Ahhhh, girlie pink prettiness! Scrabble and doilies and flowers and hearts and rustic detailing? Yes please! The Scrabble letters add a fabulous whimsical touch and they are just so sweet here. This set would be a great backdrop for a dessert table or card & gift table. I'd love to see those flowers being replicated in bouquets or tablecentres and those Scrabble tiles would make great cufflinks for the chaps in the wedding party. Image - Fresh In Love

Above - So many thing in this image that I love, I'm considering a round of applause. This is a little masterclass in understated, natural beauty. The piles of vintage books tied with ribbon are wonderful and are an inspired stand for those wooden painted table numbers. I love the white paint on the wood there and the Scrabble tiles spelling out the table number are a perfect touch. I love the 'thrown together' look of the flowers, I am smiling because the place settings are so uncluttered - just one glass, one set of cutlery and a flat fold napkin trailing beautifully over the table edge. I love the muted table linen and runner and my perfectionist heart is singing because that linen is smooth and wonderfully crease free. Yes, I am going to give this a big 'hurrah'! Image - Jeff Wallace

Above - oooh, more things to sigh and swoon over. These seating card tags are beautiful - the mini Scrabble tiles spelling out sweet little words and phrases. The tags have been personalised with the  bride & groom's names and wedding date and the table numbers are just written on the bottom. I love the way these have been pegged up and the colours look like they've also been sunbleached. These tags could be replicated as place markers, as an alternative guestbook for guests to leave message on or, with holes punched in the top and ribbon threaded through, they would make excellent bookmark favours (each one could include the guest's initials in Scrabble tiles). Image - Jeff Wallace 

Above - I adore this image as it's proof positive that Scrabble accents don't have to be limited to down-home, country affairs. I love the accent colour here and those silver table name frames are gorgeous. The Scrabble tiles are used to spell out the table 'names' and also the seating assignments on those oh-so elegant escort cards. Those potted plant table centres are spot on as well and hurrah hurrah - perfectly smooth table linen. I am a happy girl. Image - Sarah McGee

Above - This layered look is totally perfect (although, being picky, that top plate is not quite central!). The wide check of the table linen and matching napkin is brilliant - the red adds a splash of colour without being too overpowering or the check too fussy. The coloured place mat and the red water glass bring a little more colour to the set whilst that shiny red apple is pretty much the cherry on top. As you can see, the place card is a Scrabble tile rack and tiles spelling the guest's name and you just know all the guests at that table will be seeing who has the highest scoring name which will certainly get them talking! Image - Tara Whittaker

Above - ok, so this isn't a wedding setting per se but stay with me - how fabulous would a grouping like this look in a box frame as 'wedding memory'? A photo, your place cards, maybe a menu, some trimmings from the day and anything else - totally gorgeous. At weddings I've worked on, I've always tried to save some things for the bride and groom, especially when I know they've spent ages deciding or even handmaking items but all too often, they're shoved in a box or a drawer and never seen again when really, they're little works of art. Gather your memories and keep them on display to enjoy everyday. Image - The Sweetest Occasion

Above - just adore this candy pink typewriter and what a fabulous alternative guest book (note the Scrabble tiles spelling out what needs to be done!). Guests will love bashing the keys and typing a personal note to you both and no-one need worry about their none-to-neat handwriting either! If you're doing something like this, have lots more pieces of paper than you think you'll need so there's plenty of spares in case of errors. To create an instant display nearby, string up some ribbons and leave piles of pegs so guests can hang up their messages. Image - You Look Nice Today

How To... Organise Your Time

We all know how much time it can take to organise your wedding and quite a lot of wedding related stress comes from having to find the extra hours in already packed schedules to do all the work.  Hours spent hunting for suppliers, sourcing items, travelling to meetings and viewing venues can soon mount up and it’s easy too feel overwhelmed or that every non-working moment (and some ‘should be working' moments too!) are just filled with wedding related tasks.  But it doesn’t have to be this way – read on for tips on how to make the most of your time in the months before the wedding and in the week before when things can get a little crazy. Don’t let time tick away, plan smarter and stay sane!

 Plenty of time to go
  • The first thing to do is find your planning style – do you like to plan little and often or do you have big blitzes followed by quiet spells?  Decide which way works for you early on and create a plan around that.
  • Write down all the tasks that need to be done and note when they need to be done by.  The list will be long and scary to start with but once it’s written, it’s easy to see where you are.
  • Get organised with a planning file.  If you’re a true techno-babe, set up folders, checklists and reminders on your pc or download a 'to do list' app. Alternatively, put together a paper-based folder.  There’s no right or wrong way to do this – find the way that suits you best.
  • Visiting suppliers before you decide who to use can be very time consuming.  Be very selective who you go to see.  Are they over your budget?  Have you checked availability?  Do they cover your area?  Have they responded promptly to your enquiries?
  • Try to visit all similar shortlisted suppliers in one day or one weekend.  Having a day of visiting photographers will make it easier for you to compare styles and packages when everything is fresh in your mind.  You’ll probably be able to make a decision at the end of the day too so you’ll feel you’ve really achieved something from the day.
  • Find out early on how long things will take to be delivered after ordering.  Some stationery can take 3 months to be delivered and wedding dresses can take 6 months or more to be made. 
  • If you find details of a company you like, save them even if you don’t need them right now.  You can guarantee you won’t remember their web address 6 months later and you’ll waste valuable time hunting for it.
  • Once you’ve made a decision on something – stop looking at similar things!  It’s a waste of time and you might start doubting your choice (which in turn leads to time spent worrying which is not good!)
  • Get other people to do the work for you!  Perhaps your Mum could find a few stationery ranges for you to choose from?  A travel agent could find you the perfect honeymoon if you tell them your budget, likes and dislikes & time of travel.  You don’t have to do all the leg work, just make the final decision!
  • Start dress shopping as soon as you like.  This gives you plenty of time to enjoy the experience and means you’re not under pressure to find and order something quickly.  If you can, visit boutiques in the week when the staff will have more time to look after you than at weekends which can be notoriously hectic.

Tick tick tick
  • However well you’ve used your time in the months before the wedding, there will be some things you can only do the week before (collecting suits, dropping off items at venues etc) so write a very comprehensive list of what needs doing and ask other people to help you out.
  • When you pack items to take to your venue, write a list of everything inside the box as you pack it and stick it on the lid.  It’ll save you unpacking to check things are there and it’ll save time on the day when everyone knows where everything is.
  • Over-estimate on time for ‘little’ jobs like writing placecards.  These things often take longer than you imagine and you’ll make fewer mistakes when you’re not under time pressure.
  • You might not be able to pack for your honeymoon until the day before but make things a bit easier on yourself and buy sun cream and other essentials well in advance so you don’t have to find time for a shopping trip too.
  • Don’t forget food!  All the running around in the last week and the ‘I’ve not got time to eat’ feelings are the reasons why lots of brides lose weight in the run up to the wedding (sounds good but isn’t when your dress has been fitted).  Plan ahead and do an on-line shop to be delivered so you’ve got plenty of quick and healthy food around.
  • Do schedule in a bit of ‘you’ time – either go for a manicure or a swim.  You’ll feel a lot better for it!
Tomorrow we'll look at how to be organised on your wedding day and how to keep everything calm and in control...

    Monday, 28 March 2011

    Real Wedding - Sweet Details, Sweet Day

    Ooooh, I just love the details of this wedding that are sweet in all senses of the word. The delicacy, the femininity and let's not forget the scrummy sweets themselves - they all combine into a totally glorious confection that makes your mouth water. The lovely Melanie East captured Catherine & Mark's wedding at The Bear of Rodborough and I hope you enjoy it...

    Above - I love this image, and not just for the ever-so pretty bow bedecked shoes. I so like the way the focus is on the detail but the whole shoe can be seen in the reflection and the shoe set en pointe makes me think 'ballet'.

    Above - this is a great 'stolen moment' shot - in the madness of the morning, Catherine is caught on her own as she puts in her earrings and she looks like she has time for her own thoughts which is very special.

    Above - The detailing on the bodice of Catherine's dress is just gorgeous here. And brides-to-be - please note that she has her engagement ring on the 'other' hand so that her wedding ring can be slipped on easily. 

    Above - a great loose country garden arrangement that would be easy DIY.

    Above - delicate petals in gorgeous tones suit this wedding perfectly.

    Above - a wonderfully tender shot with Mark helping Catherine down the steps.

    Above - how mouth wateringly delicious does this cupcake tower look? The perspex stand means you can see all of the wonderful cakes and the dark cupcake wrappers contrast so sweetly with the lighter toppings.

    Above - two of my current favourite things - macarons and glassware. Delicious!

    Above - this pile of Turkish Delight dusted in icing sugar sitting on this pale blue cake stand is a wonderful touch and ooooh, note the doily underneath!

    Above - this is a gorgeous setting. The chunky pencils are off-set perfectly by the delicate lace wrapped around the glass jar they're sitting in and I love the boxes for the 'make a wish' cards and the box behind for guests to leave their wedding cards in. 

    Above - this looks so beautiful. And the mirror behind reflects the candles, the flowers and the entire setting perfectly.

    If you'd like to find out more about Melanie and her work, please take a look at her website - or follow her on Twitter.