Saturday, 30 April 2011

I Love... Weddings

Yesterday, I fell in love again. No, not with Kate's dress, William's adoring glances or the ultimate bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton.

I fell in love with weddings all over again. I know I'm lucky, I work in an amazing industry but sometimes, you need another jolt to remind you just how fabulous it is. I spent the day with some amazing women - Julie from Essentially You, Kelly from Tantrums & Tiaras, Claire from Brown Box Photography, Laura from Lobster Love, June bride-to-be Michelle and also my adored Mum and son (who knows way too much about gowns, hats and wedding etiquette for a nine year old I'm sure!) and watching everyone watching the wedding made me so happy. The emotion, the smiles, the opinions and just the way that weddings bring everyone together.

Tomorrow, it will be eight years since I jumped into the wedding industry and I love it more now than ever. I've met the most wonderful people, worked with some truly talented professionals and have been places and done things I never would have thought I would. Yes, at times, the road's not been smooth but there's no road I'd rather be on.

I'll be announcing something very exciting in May that takes my love of weddings to another level and I can't wait to share it with you all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy some newspapers because I think there might be just one or two wedding pics in them I want to see...

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding - My Pick Of Potential Trends

It was perfect. I think those three words sum up William & Kate's wedding - the weather was kind, the crowds were fabulous, the outfits were stunning, William looked dashing and as for Kate, wow. How radiant and beautiful was she? I spent the day with some fellow wedding industry professionals and we all, without exception, adored Kate's gown.

And being wedding professionals, we were all on the look out for the trends that might spin off into the wider world from this historic event and there were plenty to discuss. One thing we were all wondering is whether this Royal Wedding, the elegance, the simple beauty and the fabulous traditional details with personal twists, will be the 'beginning of the end' for the shabby chic wedding? We've been without a wedding style icon for decades now - do we have a new one?

But, there are plenty of other things we can take from the day so here are my top picks for the things we might be seeing very soon....

 Above - box pleats, the coat dress, the gloves and the nude shoes. It's all fabulous. Box pleats were much in evidence today and they're great - they give movement without adding too much volume in areas we'd probably all like to keep as slim looking as possible. Camilla's wearing a gorgeous Philip Treacy hat here and hats were definitely big news at the wedding. More hats than fascinators too... The nude Jimmy Choos are great and I think I've fallen in love with white gloves after today. Utter elegance.

 Above - I loved the look inside Westminster Abbey with the tree lined aisle and I love that the trees will be replanted at Highgrove, such a sweet twist. Of course, you need a soaring skyline to get away with such huge trees but this is a look you could easily adapt for lower ceilings then how about giving the trees to parents as gifts?

 Above - oooooh, the gown. It's just stunning but I love the sleeves most of all. They're so feminine and elegant. Let's be fair, how many of us are totally happy with the tops of our arms? I've heard so many brides worrying how less-than-perfectly toned upper arms will look in sleeveless gowns and I think we've all seen brides squeezed into strapless gowns with a little too much flesh oozing over the top of the gown which will ruin the look of even the most perfect dress. So sleeves deserve to be big news. Image - Zak Hussein/

 Above - Pippa Middleton is the best bridesmaid. She was always there to arrange Kate's dress, she looked after the younger bridesmaids perfectly, she was beautiful and she worked really hard, truly supporting Kate, not just being window dressing. I think now might be the time to cut down on the numbers of volume and go for one amazing bridesmaid who is your 'best woman' on the day you need her most. As as aside - did you notice Pippa didn't have a bouquet? Sensible when you need both hands to deal with mini-maids and trains! Image - Getty

 Above - when Pantone announced their autumn colour picks, Zara Phillips must have punched the air as their  'Quarry' colour is caught perfectly in this bespoke Paul Costelloe outfit. She looks stunning and again, the perfect outfit is topped off with a fantastic hat (and a 'proper' hat, not a fascinator!) Image - Getty

 Above - well, who'd have thought we would have seen bridesmaids, big and small, in white gowns? It takes a brave bride who sends a gorgeous girl like Pippa Middleton to the church in a stunning white dress but how it paid off. I'm also loving the hair down vibe of the whole wedding - let's leave the heavily hairsprayed up-dos behind now girls and get a bit more natural. The flowers in the hair are a great touch too. I think I might love Pippa Middleton. The woman is the best bridesmaid ever.

Above - when Kate & William emerged in 'the car', everyone I was watching with whooped and clapped! It's just a genius touch. Now of course, we can't all drive our Father's vintage Aston Martin while our friends hover overhead in an RAF helicopter but we can revive the 'going away' - instead of hanging on to the bitter end, let's leave on a high and make a real impact. Head off, soak up the love of your guests (unless you've got a crowd-lined Mall) and get some private time on a crazy day. Adored the kitsch decorations too - I'm having visions of Harry & Pippa tying on the balloons and I love that! Image - Getty

In The Mood - Lily Of The Valley Inspiration

Lily of the Valley has long been a favourite with Royal brides for bouquets and floral decorations. Said to symbolise humility, sweetness & happiness, it's been carried as part of bouquets for many years and every iconic bride, from Grace Kelly to Lady Diana, has fallen under the spell of the gorgeous scent.

It's a delightfully delicate flower and the green/white palette makes it perfect for some many weddings as it's elegant, romantic but still a little bit different. It does, unfortunately, have a short season (around May in the Northern Hemisphere) so do check with your florist if it's something you'd like to include!

Anyway, let's head onwards with some ideas while we wait to see if another Royal bride falls in love with Lily...

 Above - I love this delicate buttonhole and it contrasts so sweetly with the bold black and white. A little sprig like this would also look great tucked into a folded napkin at each place setting. Image - Get Married

 Above - such an elegant addition to this low knot and perfect for adding some wow factor to your hair once you've removed your veil. The scent would be stunning too, imagine that following you around all day - heaven! Image - The Knot

 Above - a big bundle of a bouquet here and it's definitely got impact! The white and green ribbon wrap around the stem is a gorgeous addition too and those green velvet ribbons would be perfectly finished with a mother of pearl button... Image - Le Bonne Fleur

 Above - a beautiful bride in Carolina Herrera carrying a white bouquet, sprinkled with Lily of the Valley. The delicate detailing on the veil matches the papery lightness of the flowers in the bouquet. Image - Lisa Lefkowitz

 Above - a close up of that gorgeous bouquet - loves the colour tones and the difference in blooms giving varaition and visual interest but that Lily of the Valley is stand-out. Image - Lisa Lefkowitz

 Above - fab three tiered cake with Lily of the Valley detailing but it's those sweet little mini cakes that catch my eye. I'd love to have one of those served to me with coffee after the meal. Again, delicate beauty. Image - Peggy Porschen

 Above - another one-variety bouquet but this one is much looser in style. The simple ribbon bow and less crowded look would make this ideal for a more laid back wedding. Image - The Knot

Above - proof that Lily of the Valley doesn't just work with white and green colour schemes. I love it here with this Wedgewood palette and the range of containers here, the heights, the shapes, the contents, is a look I really like. It looks natural, it's interesting to look at and it shows all the different flowers off to their best. Image - The Sweetest Occasion

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Royal Weddings - The Starting Of A Tradition

There will be, of course, many traditionally elements to tomorrow's Royal Wedding - it's to be expected and to many people, this is part of what makes the event special and uniquely British. From the wording of the invitations through to the tradition of naming the wedding breakfast's dessert after the bride (if you were at our current Queen's wedding, you would have been treated to Bombe Glacee Princess Elizabeth!), there are some things that just won't change.

However, when Elizabeth Bowes Lyon married Prince Albert in 1923, she started one a tradition that it's expected Kate Middleton will also follow - she laid her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey.

The Tomb was created in 1920 when the anonymous remains of a World War I combatant were interred in the Abbey. The body was selected in a completely random way - no-one knows where it's a soldier, sailor or airman inside the Tomb. The idea came from a young army padre who thought it would be a fitting memorial to all who died and did not have their bodies returned to their families and it is one of the most visited war graves in the world.

On Elizabeth's wedding day, the Tomb was the only part of the aisle left uncovered by carpet and as she entered Westminster Abbey, she unexpectedly stopped and laid her bouquet on the Tomb. No-one knew she was going to do this and she herself later said she had not planned it but that it seemed like the right thing to do at that time. In the post-wedding photos, Elizabeth doesn't have her bouquet although all her bridesmaids still have theirs.

Since Elizabeth's spontaneous gesture, many Royal brides have copied her but most prefer to do so as they leave rather than enter the Abbey.  It has been reported that Kate will be doing the same tomorrow and as the Tomb lies right in the middle of the nave, she and her Father will have to walk around it as walking on it is not allowed. We'll have to wait and see whether she stops to place the bouquet after the ceremony or whether the bouquet will be kept for photos and then returned to the Abbey later.

It will also be interesting to see what traditions this wedding starts - Kate & William have a charity wedding list and a trees lining the aisle. I wonder how long it'll be before we see 'wedding trees' as a new trend for all brides!

UPDATE - Saturday 30th April.
It's been confirmed today that Kate's bouquet has been returned to the Abbey and placed on the Tomb. So the Duchess of Cambridge continues the tradition...

Delicious Details - Fruity Favours

I'm all about fruit at the moment - I have strawberries in my fridge all ready to dip in chocolate, I have raspberries waiting to make Ruth Clemens' Sherbet Raspberry Marshmallows to take to the Royal Wedding party I'm off to tomorrow, I have lemons tucked away for slicing into drinks and I've got blueberries to drop into morning yoghurt. Fruit just says summer & sunny days to me - it's a natural dose of goodness and the colours are so beautiful.

Fruit makes great favours for lots of reasons - it can be quite economical, it's healthy, it's a little unusual and it's easy to 'jazz up' with some clever packaging. So even if you used to roll your eyes when your Mum tried to get you to eat up your apples, don't be so quick to dismiss fruity favours...

 Above - love these simple zesty favours - lemons wrapped in paper, tied with twine and finished with a little sprig of lavender. How about including a recipe for lemonade along with this package too? Image - A Subtle Revelry

 Above - gorgeous juicy cherries in personalised boxes, ready for guests to take home. A great idea and a perfect accessory for a cherry red wedding. Image - via Intimate Weddings

 Above - the ideal favour for the wedding of a 'perfect pair'! I love the printed papers that wrap around them and the sweet swirly sign is a fab finishing touch. If you don't want to wrap the fruit, how about tying ribbon around instead? Image - Martha Stewart

 Above - who wouldn't want to come home with scones & strawberries? I just adore this little favour basket with scones (in cellophane to keep them extra fresh!) and the reddest fruit possible alongside. Image - Martha Stewart

 Above - ok, ok, this apples might have a chocolate coating but still, surely they're still fruit?! Love these - the printed lolly sticks with the guest's names are a fab touch and these would be DIY-able. Lolly sticks and rub-on letters (often used for cardmaking or scrapbooking) would make something similar. Image - You & Your Wedding

 Above - ripe peaches just say 'summer' to me and these are sweet treats for a summer wedding favour. The guest's names have been written onto tags and attached to raffia which is then tied around the peach. So simple and they add a gorgeous colours to your tables. Image - via Flickr

 Above - beautifully blue punnets filled with various fruits make a fab favour display. It would be great if there were mini forks or picks available to allow people to nibble if they just can't resist! Image - via Intimate Weddings

Above - I seem unable to give you unadulterated apples and I do apologise but really, I'm not going to ignore a gorgeous image of a tasty toffee apple! These would be absolutely ideal for an autumn wedding and I love the wooden name tags, perfectly natural. Image - via Wedding Wire

Real Wedding - Green Apples & Blue Skies Part 2

Yesterday saw Part 1 of this beautiful wedding and today there's more gorgeousness to share as we move on to the ceremony and the reception of Pippa & Alex's memorable day.

This wedding was captured by James Davidson, an amazing photographer and a thoroughly nice chap - a perfect combination! But, before I digress, let's get on with the wedding...

Above - a perfect example of being in the right place at the right time to capture this...

Above - love the natural framing of this image...

Above & below - love the light in these pics and how stunning is Pippa here?!

Above - such a gorgeous backdrop for a fabulous day...

Above - another beautifully captured moment - Alex looking at his beautiful bride...

Above - now that's the kind of personalisation I just adore...

Above - first dance, fantastic shot...

Above - love this...

Part 1 of this beautiful wedding can be found here if you missed it and if you'd like more apple and/or herb inspiration, take a look at two of my previous features - Delicious Details - Fragrant Herbs and In The Mood - Apple Inspiration

If you'd like to find out more about the fabulous James Davidson, take a look at his website - - and his picture-packed blog -

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Real Wedding - Green Apples & Blue Skies Part 1

Today, we have the first selection of shots from Pippa & Alex's fabulous countryside wedding last June. I love this wedding, full of wonderful details, and it's all been fabulously captured by James Davidson

I hope you don't mind but I couldn't cut down the number of images I wanted to share so I'm posting this wedding in two parts - part two will be available tomorrow but for now, enjoy the build up to Pippa & Alex's wedding ceremony...

 Above - love this shot - shoes & fabulously jewelled headpiece...

 Above - apples & elderflowers decorate the cake. The colours are gorgeous here...

 Above - apple place markers, so easy and so effective...

 Above - bundles of herbs tied with 'to have and to hold' ribbon sat on each napkin...

 Above - Pippa looks truly gorgeous...

 Above - a crisp green & white floral arch outside the church. Love the country-esque additions of the bundles of wheat...

 Above - the groom arrives...

 Above - beautiful bridesmaids in pale green...

 Above - great shot, capturing Pippa as she arrives...

Above... a moment to calm the nerves outside the church. You can sense Pippa's anticipation in this shot...

Part 2 of this beautiful wedding, including the ceremony and the party, will be on the blog tomorrow. If you'd like more apple and/or herb inspiration, take a look at two of my previous features - Delicious Details - Fragrant Herbs and In The Mood - Apple Inspiration

If you'd like to find out more about the fabulous James Davidson, take a look at his website - - and his picture-packed blog -