Tue 11th Oct, 2011
This morning I'm delighted to share Clementine and Olivier's wedding with you. Planned to perfection by one of our featured wedding vendors - Stacey-Marie from Cherry Topped Bespoke Weddings.
Clementine and Olivier exchanged vows at Nonsuch Mansion in August this year.
They used to leave in Norway in Oslo and work in the same engineering company. "I realised one day by spending some time on Facebook that 2 of my friends both knew Olivier: one was my colleague at work, a Spanish girl and the other one was my best friend from high school in France.
I found it was a funny coincidence as, at first, they had nothing in common except me! I decided to go and meet Olivier in order to find out how he knew my best friend from high school. He actually was also a very good friend of hers as they went skiing at the same place during every holiday!
Following our first discussion, we happened to meet more and more on the bus, in the city or at work but without planning anything. And then came the Christmas party of our office, and Olivier took the first step!
Unfortunately, at that time, I had already decided to move to London 2 months later. We had a really lovely 2 months together and decided not to plan anything at first. When I moved to London, we continued to stay in touch, meet during the weekends and for holidays. After 6 months, Olivier started to look for a job in London and asked for a transfer within the company. And so we were reunited in London!
I am not a fan of public proposals, and Olivier knew that. He had already bought the ring when I was away one weekend and was waiting for the perfect moment. One Sunday morning when we woke up, he popped the question!
I was so happy! We started to call our family and friends and everyone was very excited!"
Thank you to Olivier and Clementine for sharing your wedding say with us and of course, and to Kerry Morgan also for her beautiful photography.
"I chose to have my bouquet made from fabric and brooches which had meaning to me and would be something to keep. My bouquet was made with fabric from my Mother’s wedding dress, fabric from my best friend’s wedding dress, some handmade flowers by my mother and some vintage glitzy brooches. It was made by Brooches Buttons and Bows."
"We did not want something too extravagant, but for the day to represent us and for our guests to enjoy every moment.
Stacey-Marie from Cherry Topped Bespoke Weddings who helped us organise the wedding from the start, was there to suggest options for each element of our wedding day after we talked through our likes and dislikes. Overall in terms of design, we wanted something using summery pastel colours and to incorporate a subtle Mary Poppins theme (a film we both enjoyed as children) together with hints of French and English and to incorporate the places we have travelled to together.
We chose sky blue and mint green as our colours, this ran through the ribbons, confetti, outfits, stationery and even into the personalised cocktails we had in the evening (“The Clementine” blue lagoon & “The Olivier” mojito cocktails!).
We commissioned a silhouette artist to do silhouettes of us both (with Olivier holding a fencing sword as he enjoys fencing) which we used throughout our wedding day stationery. The silhouettes had slight Mary Poppins connotations and the stationery style and design was called “Ooh La La”, giving a nod to the French style.
As other ways to introduce Mary Poppins in a subtle way, we had parasols hanging from the chandelier and door handles as well as one for our photos, and we had silhouettes of the penguin waiter on the menu place cards for guests (I also love animals!)."
"During the ceremony and part of the drinks reception we had an acoustic guitarist playing a mix of classical and modern classics. As we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife Mike played “Bare Necessities from the “Jungle Book” which was great fun!"
"We made our favours for the wedding breakfast from little mini tins and filled half of them with English Breakfast teapigs and the other half with Berlingots, which are a candy from the town where Olivier grew up. We had little labels on the front of them to match the stationery with our silhouettes and the wedding date."
"We did not want to have a classic wedding cake and we knew from the beginning that we wanted a cheesecake! So we had a tower of individual slices of cheesecake which was served for dessert. We also had a bespoke cake topper made of us in our wedding outfits, which I had to keep a secret from Olivier so that he didn’t see a mini version of my dress!"
"As table names we used silhouettes of landmarks from countries we have travelled to and called the table plan our “Jolly Holidays”. Other Mary Poppins quotes were used throughout the stationery on the wedding day such as ”Practically perfect in every way” on the Order of Day, “Come along children, spit spot!” on the children’s play room sign and “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” next to the miniature bottles of Vodka and Rum which were provided as favours at the start of the evening reception. We also had a Polaroid camera together with some ‘props’ such as a Mary Poppins hat, a straw boater hat, some bow ties, penguins and lips for guests to use for fun. We had little notecards next to the camera for guests to write messages on and clip to their photos which were then posted into a white English post box which we hired."
"Choosing the DJ was very important to us as the majority of our guests were French, so we had to make sure that the music would keep most guests on the dance floor throughout the night! We chose Boogie Nights as he was very flexible with the music and accommodated our request for a mix of French music too. Our guests were able to request any songs during the wedding and he would try to accommodate everyone. In the end everyone was happy and the dance floor was always full!"
"My favourite part of the wedding day was when we discovered all the surprise speeches and presentations that our family did for us. For Olivier it was also a very emotive moment to see me in the wedding dress after 9 months of waiting!"
A lovely note here from Stacey-Marie, Chery Topped Bespoke Wedding Planning
"Clementine and Olivier were an absolute delight to work with! I am very privileged to have been involved in the planning and coordination of their wedding day. Working with a couple for 9 months to plan one of the most intimate days of their lives, you get to have some really wonderful experiences and get to know the couple. So by the time their wedding day comes around it can be quite emotional!
Right from the offset I established Clementine and Olivier’s likes, dislikes, any firm ideas they had and any areas they required some direction. We also established their budget. Once this is sorted then everything else follows, they were excellent at making decisions, remembering what was important to them and what their priorities were, resulting in a well thought through wedding day which was romantic, creative, lots of fun and very personal! Without breaking their budget too!
I wish Clementine and Olivier a wonderful future as husband and wife filled with much love and happiness! x"
Supplier info (UK)
Dress: San Patrick’s “Capricho” from Mariposa, Sawbridgeworth
Accessories: Chez Bec
Bride’s bouquet: made with fabric from Clementine’s Mother’s wedding dress, fabric from her best friend’s wedding dress, some handmade flowers by Clementine’s mother and some vintage glitzy brooches by Brooches Buttons and Bows
Groom’s Suit: Mariposa
Bridesmaids dresses: Light in the Box Asymmetric halter neck design, in light blue
Venue: Nonsuch Mansion
Photographer: Kerry Morgan
Coordinator: Cherry Topped
Flowers/Decor: Wild About
Stationery: Apple Of My Eye Design
Silhouette Artist: Alison Russell
Table plan Easel and table name holders: Wedding Day Hire
Hair & Makeup: Claire Portman
Cake: My Sweet Tooth Factory
Guitarist: Mike Georgiades
Transport - London Red Route bus
Lighting - Effect Event
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Mon 10th Oct, 2011
This morning I'd like to introduce you to our latest sponsor - the super photographer Mark Alesky.
Mark's been based in London for the past 20 years, shooting fashion, portraiture, music and advertising campaigns for a number of internationally renowned magazines and fashion houses. "I was turned onto the joys of wedding photography after shooting a couple of my friends weddings and realising how i'd missed being at such a social event surrounded by 'real' people with a camera in hand and the drama unfolding in front of me, I was taken back to my formative years of street photography. I was well and truly sold."
"I feel my style reflects the precise demands of working within the high-end fashion industry, this is mixed with a flowing, chic and sophisticated, yet friendly approach to telling a story. i pride myself in my use of light, with gentle and flattering use of post-production tools to bring out the poetic beauty of the day."
Mark's background is pretty impressive, as is his wedding photography portfolio. Why not head over to his website to take a look.
And if browsing through his wedding portfolio isn't quite enough, included in Mark's fee for wedding photography is a two hour portrait engagement shoot, with five 10x8 prints. Not only that, but he's offering a 10% discount for all booking taken during the remainder of 2011!
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Mon 3rd Oct, 2011
Good morning to you all, I hope you had a beautifully sunny weekend. What a fabulous way to end the summer!
Today's wedding has to be up there as one of my favourites, not only do I love the styling and beautiful details but Yaxley Hall holds a special place in my heart. It's where I was married back in June 2008. In fact, Richard and I were one of the first couples to marry outside in their 'Gothic temple' just as Amy and Oliver did.
I really loved going through all their photographs from their wedding, it brought back so many lovely memories. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
Thank you so much Amy and Olly for sharing your wedding day with us and also to wedding photographer Duncan Kerridge for capturing their day perfectly.
Amy and Oliver were married on 3 June at Yaxley Hall in Suffolk.
"I am American and Olly is English, and as luck would have it, I had moved to London for work for a few years. We both worked for the same company and met at a work outing – Bowling! After dating for a year in London, we moved (back) to New York City where we made a life for ourselves on the Upper West Side. After a year of living the New York dream, Olly proposed! I was completely surprised; though we had talked about getting married I never thought he’d pop the question so soon! After a bit of deliberation, we decided to get married in England. It would be a lovely holiday for our US guests and it allowed all of his family to attend. With that, the planning began. A little over a year later, we had the wedding of our dreams!"
"We arrived in England a week before our wedding, hoping that the time would allow for us to recover from any jet lag and for any last minute preparations. We had arranged to have our Engagement Photo Session with our amazing photographer Duncan Kerridge 5 days before the wedding. In hindsight, it was one of the best ideas we had because it allowed us to get comfortable with Duncan, not to mention the gorgeous pictures that were a result of the session!"
"The day before the wedding we had our rehearsal dinner at Gissing Hall, which was where all the out of town guests were staying. We had booked the entire hotel and had a big dinner party that evening. It was a great way for guests to meet and mingle and for us to really ease into the celebrations. Gissing Hall was a perfect venue for the occasion; it was like having a huge country house to ourselves!"
"The day of the wedding itself was beautiful, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. We decided to have a ‘First Look’ which is something that has gained popularity in the states. A First Look is where the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony. This gave us a chance to have a moment to ourselves, and to talk about the journey we were about to embark on. It also is a great photo op! We did some of our group photos right after the first look, which saved having to take them during the cocktail hour."
"The ceremony was outside by this small gazebo which was lushly decorated with flowers courtesy of Libby Ferris Florists and our guests sat in the shade among Apple Trees. One of the groomsmen performed our song ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo'olewhile we signed the Register, and 2 friends did readings – one was from one of our favourite TV Shows, Friday Night Lights, and the other was a poem by Dr. Seuss. Our ceremony was traditional yet infused with our personalities."
"The reception was held in a Marquee which is a permanent structure at Yaxley Hall. We decorated the space with burlap on tables, flowers everywhere, a rustic cake display and even a ‘Man’s Corner’ which had personalized cigars and scotch. The ladies had flip flops available to them which were in a basket labelled ‘Dancing Shoes.’ There was a lot of DIY that went into the décor, and it was worth every second of effort that we put into it. The look was exactly what we were going for: English Country Garden."
"One of the most special moments of the evening was our first dance, which was to a song that one of the bridesmaids wrote and performed live All in all, the day was perfect, we couldn’t ask for more!"
Supplier info (UK)
Ceremony and reception venue: Yaxley Hall
Flowers: Libby Ferris Flowers
Photographer: Duncan Kerridge
Caterers: Yaxley Hall
Bridesmaids dresses: J. Crew
Groom’s suit: Custom Made 3 Piece Tweed Suit
Transport: Gemini Coaches
Cake: Vanilla Patisserie
Make-up: Sam Sham
~Manor House Music Quartet for Ceremony
~Gareth Llewellyn for Signing of the Registry
~Miya Dunets for First Dance (she wrote and performed this song just for us)
~Yaxley Hall DJ Giff Mulley for Reception.
Stationery: Mimi Woo of Mika78
Filmaker/videographer: Damo Cross of Reel60
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Wed 28th Sep, 2011
A lovely email landed in my inbox recently from JoPhoto - Ryan and Amanda's beautiful wedding, which took place on August 20 this year.
They met at King College in 2007. "We were both members of the track and field team. Ryan proposed to me on December 18th, 2009 in the first huge snowfall in North Carolina."
"Our wedding day was absolutely amazing! Everything fell into place perfectly. Ryan and I wanted our wedding to be sweet, delicate, relaxing, and of course fun!
We chose our reception venue first. We both love to be outside so we wanted a place that allowed us to be both inside and outside! We knew as soon as we pulled up to Smithview that this was the site of our reception.
Choosing the dress was so much fun. I went with just my mother, and as soon as I put on the dress we both knew. I definitely had that “this is the one” moment, tears and all."
"When we first started planning the wedding we thought we were going to be getting married in June 2012. We found our photographer, JoPhoto, through the internet, and by looking at all of his pictures online we knew that we wanted to have him as our photographer. We originally booked him the June 2012, and when we changed our date to Aug 20, 2011 we were both worried he would be booked. Thank goodness he wasn’t because our pictures at pefect!"
"The flowers were the only details of the wedding/reception that I was picky about. I love every flower, so I knew that out of everything this was want I wanted perfect. I’m not really sure how we decided on blue hydrangeas, but as soon as we decided I fell in love with them. They are naturally round and make beautiful bouquets. The white orchids were used to accentuate the blue hydrangeas and give the centrepieces a flowing looking."
"We decided to use the mantel at Smithview as a “family tree/timeline” of how Ryan and I literally came about. On one side was my family, and on the other was Ryan’s family. We met in the middle bringing our families together!
I loved everything about our wedding, but probably one of the most special moments of our wedding was when Ryan and I put on our running shoes to take some pictures. If we did not want to pursue running in college we would have never of met. Those pictures probably mean more to me than a lot of the others."
Supplier info (US):
Dress: David’s Bridal
Flowers: Echelon Florist
Photographer: JoPhoto, Joe and Kathleen Atkins
Caterers: Mike Blair
Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s suit: Men’s Warehouse
Cake: Rosa’s Catering
Hair and Make-up: Hair by Cathy Tallent
Wedding planner: Angie Froemel of Absolute Wedding Perfection
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Mon 26th Sep, 2011
I'm a huge fan of stationery. Being married to a designer, I'm always exposed to different fonts, typography and illustration styles. The combinations are endless and paired with great design that makes it personal to you, you can set the scene for your entire wedding.
One of my favourite stationers, Emily&Jo have recently relaunched their website, showcasing some of their well known designs and some new ones too.
Emily&Jo's stationery designs offer a classic and timeless feel with a contemporary twist. They pay huge attention to the type of paper each style of invitation is printed on, making sure it's a perfect match. The result? Ageless stationery that appeals to the style conscious couple.
So, whether you're looking for a complete wedding stationery set, thank you cards or even baby announcement cards, click here to pop over to their site and take a peek of what they have to offer.
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Thu 22nd Sep, 2011
Kara and Sean's wedding is oozing with autumnal inspiration.
"Fall is my favorite time of year, it is so beautiful and rich, and was the unifying theme for every decoration for the wedding and reception. I also incorporated birds wherever I could.
The wedding was held in our little church, Grace Church of Tallahassee and was adorned with just a few decorations. Wreaths made by our florist greeted our guests when they arrived through the front doors of the church. Bows with pine cones in the center of them draped the pews, handmade by my sister and mother."
Planning their wedding was more of a learning process for Kara and Sean. "We love to laugh and we're not fancy. When I finally realised we needed to use these attributes, instead of trying to play the traditional bride, I made our gleeful simplicity as the basis of every decision. Finally, everything started falling into place.
The reception was held in my parent's backyard on a deck that my father and grandfather built for us to dance the night away. They even made a fabulous fountain out of wine bottles for the backdrop. One of the most special parts of the day was the cake table where different friends and family showcased their favorite cakes for us in the place of a traditional wedding cake. The fall theme followed all the way through the wedding to the final send off with fall leaves being tossed at us as we left.
I am extremely thankful for the fact that we were on a tight wedding budget. Everywhere we turned there were personal touches added by our loved ones who helped us make everything from the cakes to the tables centerpieces and that is something you cannot put a price on."
Thanks you to Elizabeth Davis for submitting Kara and Sean's beautiful wedding. Perfect timing for bride's looking for some DIY autumn wedding ideas!
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Mon 19th Sep, 2011
Anna Alicia is the designer-maker behind A Alicia Accessories whose eco-ethical textile jewellery and wedding ranges are known for their beautifully crafted quality and truly unique designs.
Anna has now launched a great range of hen-party workshops, which, if I were getting married all over again, I'd definitely be booking!
Not only do you get to enjoy some quality time with your girlfriends, you come away with either a beautiful handmade floral bouquet, garland or a statement necklace that you can cherish forever. You really can't go wrong.
Prices for the workshops start from as little as £25 per person for a 2hr class, with all materials and equipment supplied. And Anna will even come to your house!
Go and book your place now...
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Thu 15th Sep, 2011
Today I'm delighted to introduce one of our newest sponsors, London-based wedding planner Emma Zamani-Hawke, who talks to us about her early career as an accountant, how she came to be a wedding planner and what she loves about her job...
"Growing up, I was never one of those girls who had their wedding planned since the age of 5, imagine my surprise when I planned my own day and thoroughly enjoyed the research, organisation, planning and execution of the day. It couldn’t be further away from being an accountant and what I had trained for years to become! It does, however, help with the budget side of things and running a business!"
"I love all things wedding. The flowers, the romance, close friends and family, good food, drink and music all create a great atmosphere and a great day for everyone involved, it’s so rewarding to see it all come together. I’m a lover of fashion, and being involved in the wedding world opens up a new world of amazing styles and designs.
When booking my wedding planning services you can expect a dedicated, premier service. I specialise solely in weddings and take on a limited number of dates per year to give each wedding the attention it deserves. Each and every supplier is thoroughly researched to ensure they provide the high standards I expect to be achieved. An initial consultation is offered so I can get to know the couples, as well as their taste and style and they too can get to know me. I assist in everything and anything wedding related, taking the stress out of wedding planning so my couples can enjoy the build up, the day itself and their honeymoon knowing everything is being taken care of."
My website has further details on my services. I would love to hear from you, hear about your plans for your big day and how I can help you on your way to your Happily Ever After.
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Tue 13th Sep, 2011
Sine the launch last November, Belle and Bunty's bridal collection has received rave reviews. Their latest collection is simply stunning, and can be cherished and worn again for years to come.
Each pure silk gown is elegant, individual and timeless, and handmade exclusively in England.
Kate, from Belle and Bunty tells me "Our brides have just loved the vintage inspiration behind the dresses, and they can wear them again after the wedding. They are easy to wear and don’t cost the earth (prices range between £1200-£1500). Its also been fantastic for us to see how well the shapes suit a whole variety of figures and sizes."
Pop over to Belle and Bunty's website where you can see each gown in detail and read about the inspiration behind each design.
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Mon 12th Sep, 2011
Today I would like to introduce you to Tempting Cake's fabulous cake tables.
A concept that's been around in the US for a while, has now started to appear at weddings and celebrations over here and is proving very popular! The lovely Emily from Tempting Cake has been creating some beautiful 'Tempting Tables' recently and I asked her to tell me a little more about them...
How do you start planning a Tempting Table?
"First off, we meet with the client to find out the kind of look they’re after, as well as details such as the number of guests, any dietary requirements and where the Tempting Table will be set up.
From there, we’ll draw up the design inspiration from which the details of the Tempting Table will follow. While this is coming together, ideas are already starting to form as to how we translate the client requirements into a Tempting Table. There are various elements to consider including backdrop, table covering, presentation dishes, labels and of course the delicious cakes, desserts and sweeties themselves. We’ll brainstorm some ideas, raid our recipe collection and draw up a list of suggestions which fit the client’s requirements."
How do you decide what to include in a Tempting Table?
"The beauty of a Tempting Table is that the options are endless, although this can make it hard to decide what to include! We take into consideration the guests who will enjoy the Tempting Table, as the suggestions for a sophisticated evening wedding will differ to those for a whimsical children’s birthday party, for example.
We always try to include bites which are first of all a feast for the eyes, whilst ensuring they deliver on taste too. We aim to offer a range of traditional treats and perennial favourites like cupcakes, as well as some more contemporary bites such as dragon fruit, mango and passion fruit spoons to provide interest and a little something for all tastes. We also consider colour, texture and how the various menu items will be presented when making our selection."
Where do dessert tables come from?
"Dessert tables, cake bars, candy buffets and sweetie stations have around in the US for a while now, so it’s perhaps natural that they are proving popular here too.
Buffets are certainly nothing new and the concept of self-service food presented from elaborate tables and ‘court cupboards’ dates back to 16th century Europe. More recently, Californian artist Wayne Thiebaud captured what could be considered an early cake bar in his 1963 painting ‘Cakes’.
Dessert tables could also be described as simply a grown-up version of our childhood party tables. The buffet of pink wafer biscuits, party rings and iced gems of old has evolved into chocolate dipped meringues, black tie strawberries and mini cupcakes, all beautifully styled and presented."
Below is one of Emily's Tempting Tables. The brief was to create a seaside-themed table, and based on a soft colour palette of sandy creams with accents of sea greens and choral pinks. Below is just a hint of what Emily produced on the day!
Displayed on a wooden table with a linen cloth, accessories with two huge glass and chrome hurricane lamps which complement the outdoorsy theme.
Seaside cupcakes decorated with starfish, sea shells and oyster shells sit next to gorgeous mini cakes covered in flaked almonds to give the impression of crushed sea shells.
I think my favourites are the ridged Madeleines which resemble clam shells, filled with a gorgeous pistachio and line filling. Don't they make your mouth water?!
And to top it off, what seaside visit wouldn't be complete without an ice cream cone? Emily created these cupcake cones, each one filled with syrup-soaked sponge and topped with buttercream in a variety of flavours.
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