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Elizabeth Messina

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Crowning Glory.

Crowning Glory

There’s something about this time of year that makes me seek out a whole new look – a kind of spring clean on the fashion and beauty front so to speak.

Be it a wardrobe sort-out, a spree at the Chanel make-up counter or a new haircut, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be participating in a full on hair and beauty make-over as soon as the clocks have gone forward.

And so with the return of blue skies and sunshine and the feeling of warmth on your face (I know folks, Spring might actually be here!) I have no greater pleasure in sharing the latest (and hottest!) round of glorious inspiration for your big day bonce.

Hell, why even wait? Why not try out some of these chic looks in the run-up to your nuptials – at your hen for example or even down the pub with friends.

Which one will be your favourite?

Chic Chignons

Much like the popular return to more traditional wedding dress shapes and styles à la K-Mid,we’re seeing more and more brides revisiting classic hairstyles for their big day too…albeit with a 21st century twist.

Top knots were huge last year and whilst they’re still in vogue, the lower simplistic chignon is the updo making waves right now.

Chic Chignons Wedding Hair Inspiration

The key to such a sophisticated hairstyle is to keep things sleek and smooth with the chignon finishing at the same level as the nape of the neck. Avoid integrating a parting into the styling of this look for a truly modern feel – if you find you need to include one however keeping it to one side still looks utterly chic.

Remember to keep things soft rather than pulling it back into something restricting and I promise you’ll look like a modern day ballerina. Lastly, for added interest try braiding your hair before pinning it into the chignon style – this is particularly flattering for those of you with finer hair as it adds the illusion of thickness.

Hang Loose

I was a bride who hung loose. Ummm…although the reality isn’t as rude as that statement sounds…

No ladies, we’re talking about locks left to cascade down your back as nature intended. Granted this particular look is more suited to those with longer hair but there’s no reason why those of you with mid-length or short hair can’t emulate this look either.

There’s something truly feminine about a bride with her hair down, like a medieval maiden or Robin Hood and his Marian. If anything though, this particular style is really very accommodating – providing your hair is in good condition. Make sure you get your mane snipped regularly in the run up to your big day so you can be sure that it’s in tip-top shape.

Hang Loose Wedding Hair Long Inspiration

Essentially it’s worth working with your natural hair state rather than against it – I finally accepted my curly headed state on my big day albeit brushed out slightly for a sense of volume.

If you’re nervous about your bonce appearing too flat then I’d recommend creating volume at the crown – if you’re blessed with thick luscious locks I envy you completely. Lastly if you’re keen to add a bit of interest to your flowing locks, why not add a simple headband or loosely braid your hair into a fishtail plait. Either way you can add or remove throughout the day for a different look.

Short And Sweet

A platinum pixie-cropped bride to be visited our pop-up shop in London recently and Team RMW promptly fell in love with her. She looked absolutely exquisite in our Boudica Double Headband and I was secretly more than a little bit envious that she didn’t feel the pressure to grow her hair for her wedding day.

And so I just had to include some short-haired inspiration for all of you cropped beauties.

Short and Sweet Wedding Hair Inspiration

Statement headpieces look brilliant on brides with cropped locks. Intricate headbands, floral crowns and carefully placed side combs are given the space to do their thing without interruption. Think about wearing something that reflects either the tones or material of your dress to bring the whole of your outfit together.

If you’re an edgier bride who’s keen to avoid looking overly ‘pretty’ why not punk it up instead. I love the editorial vibe that this model at the top is emanating here fresh straight off the catwalks yet it’s completely translatable to bridal too.

There’s no reason why you can’t have the illusion of an updo either unless you’re sporting a super short do that is. Pin and twist shorter sections in on themselves like in some of these pictures here for a more delicate ethereal look. Finish the look off with a beautiful necklace or two – after all you wouldn’t want your neck to get cold would you.

Embellished

This last collection of inspiration is all about embellishing your bonce.

We’re talking florals, precious headpieces, ribbons, grips and strategically placed pieces of jewellery. This is for the bride who isn’t afraid to shy away from the drama.

For 2013, floral crowns have given way slightly to different floral arrangements in hair – from small clusters of blooms around a half topknot like this peony and rose combination near the bottom here or swathes of flowers scattered across the back of the crown.

We’re also seeing floral inspiration in headpieces too – in a more concrete form. Be it delicate garlands of gold or supersized glitzy blooms, I just love a bride that integrates the natural element into her wider wedding outfit aside from her bouquet. If you’re going down this route then I’d suggest that you choose pieces that compliment your dress i.e glitzy pieces for sparkly dresses and more sedate headbands for simpler gowns.

Embellished Wedding Hairpiece Inspiration

Perhaps my favourite embellishment is the pinned lace caressing the head of this model at the top here. Elegant yet fashion forward at the same time, I mean just how perfect is this look – particularly for those of you wearing lace on your wedding day. I just wish I’d had the forethought to do this at my own nuptials.

If you’ve fallen in love with this look too then it’s worth asking your dress designer for a piece of material from which your gown is made to pin into your chignon. This brings a whole new meaning to the word dressed from head to toe in lace. Utterly gorgeous!

So which of the ‘do’s’ will you be choosing for your big day?

I so would have opted for the low chignon if I wasn’t the owner of an oddly shaped head – capuchin monkey anyone…

That said I particularly love the layered kirby grip look…it’s like art deco and fashionista all rolled into one. In fact I might just try this down the pub tonight…who’s with me?

All my love Lolly xxx

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A Raspberry Romance.

Red Wedding Theme Inspiration

Much like the Purple Rain inspiration post we showcased a couple of weeks back, red themed weddings seemed, up until recently, to have fallen out of favour with you lovely lot.

And it’s a blinking shame, because approached in the right way an all-red colour scheme can look nothing short of spectacular. And you needn’t be marrying near Valentine’s nor Christmas to utilise such a vibrant palette either.

In actual fact, using cherry and berry hues in your wedding decor is fresh, exhilarating and invigorating; there’s nothing quite like a bold colour statement to say the party starts here.

And so I am determined to prove to you just how wonderful this shade can look…after all red is the colour of love is it not…

Potent Posies

Nothing quite packs a punch as a fistful of crimson blooms. Romantic and eye-catching a raspberry bouquet just screams love and romance.

Don’t necessarily think that you have to opt for thick heads of red roses if you’re going down this colour route however. The beauty with red flowers is that there’s just so many varieties to choose from – from anemones, tulips, dahlias to ranunculus, clematis and even poppies.

Potent Posies

I’d recommend using a spectrum of red hues rather than colour blocking with a single shade. This breaks up floral arrangements bringing them slap bang up to date with the 21st century. Add foliage for a wistful feel or if you’re looking for something more contemporary stick with thick heads of roses and peonies albeit in different tones.

I particularly love the pop of the splashes of purple of the grape hyacinths against these scarlet peonies at the top here. You wouldn’t think such a colour combination would work but it so does. Equally the contrast of pink hues against red tones looks equally gorgeous too.

Scarlet Ladies

Yes, yes and more yes.

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a bevy of beautiful maids dressed in scarlet frocks. Be they mismatched or coordinating there’s a real wow factor associated with such bold shades.

I’ve yet to see a maid dressed in red lace but I’m desperate to see a bride use this material in such a modern way. Opting for frocks in shorter lengths looks more contemporary than longer versions too. If you’re choosing to dress your girls in cherry hues then let the dress do the talking and opt for nude shoes and subtle bouquets as a finishing touch.

Scarlet Ladies

It’s worth bearing in mind that red gowns which err on the pinkier side rather than at the orange end of the spectrum suit a wider range of skin tones. It’s something to remember particularly if your best girls don’t look alike; this way you can be sure that they all look beautiful.

Whilst most brides won’t probably want to sport a red frock themselves, there’s no reason why you can’t dash on a slick of pillarbox red lippy or the sweetest strawberry heels as the perfect nod to the wider colour theme. Finish off with lashings of the blackest mascara.

Patisserie & Paper

When I was pulling together the inspiration for this post, I got more than a little peckish. It’s surprising just how many of our favourite fruits (and sweet treats) happen to be red so it was only fair that I shared this plethora of goodies with you too.

We’ve seen the popularity of layered Victoria sponges increase lately and it’s no wonder. They look beautiful and taste just as gorgeous to boot. If you’re looking for a subtle twist on this classic why not serve up individual portions in sweet glass jars for guests as dessert.

Patisserie and Paper

For a healthy alternative, why not offer bowls of luscious cherries and fecund berries in large bowls to be passed between guests – perfect for a rustic summertime wedding. Think about how you serve your sweet treats too – presentation is always key and a neutral background will always make your red delicacies pop against it.

And I couldn’t resist throwing some paper pretty into the mix as well – choose luxurious cardstock in pale hues and literally let the ruby toned calligraphy do the talking.

Titian Touches

This plethora of titian delights firmly proves that an all-red colour scheme can look breathtaking gorgeous whilst ultra modern too.

Why not serve bespoke raspberry or cherry cocktails with customised napkins in the same shade? You could add a monogram or a favourite saying of yours and your beau’s to make it a little bit more special.

Grey and red table settings are perfect for a chic, city soiree whereas distressed wood and soft cotton red and white striped napkins complete with soft strawberry coloured napkins is a wonderful combination for more rustic settings.

Titian Touches

Finish the look with a red bloom at each table setting or a sequinned heart for those of you after a more girly touch.

So are you feeling inspired? Will you be using red in your wedding decor?

I’m off to munch on some delicious strawberries…maybe just maybe Spring has arrived.

All my love Lolly xxx

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La Primavera.

spring-header

That’s it.

I’ve had it.

I mean enough with the snow already.

I want to see blossom on the trees, waving daffodils in the breeze and feel the sun’s warmth on my face. I mean this time last year the boy actually got sunburnt. We should be experiencing the joys of Spring folks not wallowing in the depths of Winter.

And have you felt that Arctic wind lately? Honestly it chills you to the bone.

And so I feel it is my duty to bring Spring to you gorgeous lot whilst you’re waiting for the Easter bunny to visit you later this week. Because frankly you can’t beat a dollop of love, some pretty pictures and a mountain of chocolate can you*.

In Bloom

Spring is one of my favourite seasons.

In fact I’m as excitable as a three day old lamb waiting for this season’s blooms to hit the flower markets…all those colours…that scent.

Delicious.

I’m of the opinion that Spring actually has the best flowers out of all the seasons – hyacinths, ranunculus, tulips, lily-of-the-valley, lilacs, viburnum, freesias, some of the early roses and peonies to boot. And somehow all those ice-cream shades work perfectly in harmony with one another.

If you’re looking to channel a contemporary Spring wedding vibe then I’d suggest staying with the white and green colour palette with the briefest dash of yellow to add warmth. For the romantic girly types pinks, lilacs and peaches will make your eyes shine.

In Bloom Spring Wedding Floral Flower Inspiration

I’ve yet to attend a wedding where they’ve used blossom or young branches of foliage as their table centrepieces but these images here just show that it so works. It’s worth paying real attention to the vessels of your table arrangements as well as to the blooms to ensure that one doesn’t necessarily outshine the other. For example cut or textured glass provides the perfect backdrop for green branches whereas these blue mason jars really help to make this cherry blossom pop.

Lastly stay loose. No I’m serious. Spring is all about wild bursts of growth so arrangements using Spring blooms always look more beautiful if you opt for a freer, more relaxed style.

The Pastel Pantry

Romantic yet playful colour palettes using peach and green hues are big for weddings this spring. It’s all about having a bit of fun now these dark Winter days are over.

Whereas Mason jars and rambling wild flowers ruled the roost last year, we’re beginning to see the emergence of a more structured approach to this season’s table set-ups. Long runs of wooden tables, such as this arrangement at the top here, are becoming more popular for the wedding breakfast.

Adding fabric runners in floral designs in the place of tablecloths and multiple clusters of seasonal flowers in matching jars is the perfect way to capture that Springtime vibe too.

A Pastel Pantry Spring Table Setting Wedding

Simplicity is key to a successful ‘primavera’ theme. Try utilising softer colour palettes and pairing them up with with lots of texture like weathered wood, broidery anglais fabrics as opposed to lace and natural elements such as trailing branches. It’s all about finding the perfect contrast of the rustic with the pretty.

If you are keen to add more colour, why not add a softly watercoloured table napkin to each table setting or swop plain table chargers for those with a floral pattern.

A Sartorial Springfest

Is anyone else sick of jeans, woolly jumpers and lots and lots of layers right now?

Hmmmm…thought so.

Let this smörgåsbord of sorbet delights be the perfect antidote.

Layers of soft tulle, sheer fabrics and drapery are perfect for Spring brides looking for romantic elegance. I particularly love brides who choose to echo the details of their frock in the way they wear their hair; loose chignons for floaty dresses or more intricate braids for appliqued sequin gowns.

If you’re worried about going overboard in the ‘fairytale princess’ department balance the look by accessorising with a statement necklace in springtime ice-cream shades or chunky golden bracelets.

Sartorial Springfest

We’re also seeing more and more brides opting for coloured gowns a la Jessica Biel. Blush pinks, dove greys and barely there yellows all scream spring-time luxe whilst allowing you to stand out from the crowd too. If you’re not feeling quite that bold why not try something subtler in a silver or golden hue and introduce primavera tones through your accessories instead.

For maids and grooms, minty greens and the softest of blues are popular right now. Keep things light on the male agenda by opting for fitted open shirts rather than sporting the more traditional tie – perfect for the first game of cricket on the lawn. Equally groomsmen in coloured blazers always look particularly dashing too but if they’re a little timid opt for neutral suits with colour-pop pocket squares and bowties instead.

We all know that Spring nights aren’t exactly warm so why not dress your bridesmaids for the occasion in cashmere – soft cable knits with tulle skirts. Who says you can’t be style savvy and dress for the elements too…?

Delicious Decor

Much like ‘The Pastel Pantry’, Spring-time wedding decor is all about tapping into your youthful girly nature. It’s about learning to let go and indulge in your inner child. I mean who doesn’t want to kiss their new husband on their childhood swing…if only mine had looked that pretty.

I’m a particular sucker for paper and foil tassels in candy shades. Whether you use them for your photobooth backdrop, as a canopy over your dessert table or string them from the rafters of your wedding venue you can be sure that they’ll lift your guests’ spirits.

This particular moodboard could so easily be used as inspiration for hen do styling too. Encouraging your best girls to indulge in a bit of piñata action shouldn’t be hard when they look this good and I love the idea of having your maids pose for some snaps with these giant balloons before your big day.

Delicious Decor Wedding Spring Inspiration

Lastly, whilst neon and foiled wedding stationery trends are still going strong we’re also beginning to see a return to a more traditional style albeit with a 21st century twist. This particular invitation suite by Mae Mae Paperie encapsulates the primavera vibe perfectly.

Just look at those gorgeous patterns and swirling fonts.

I die.

So which of you lovely lot are getting married this Spring or perhaps next?

Which colour scheme will you be using in your wedding decor – full on sorbet shades or perhaps the more sophisticated green and white palette?

And what’s your favourite Spring flower? Mine is lily-of-the-valley although I’m looking at a very cheery bunch of daffs as I write and they’re not half bad.

All my love Lolly xxx

*well some Louboutins wouldn’t go amiss…

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En Provence.

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You may have noticed over the last couple of months that we’ve showcased a veritable display of French Weddings. From Cecile and Kevin’s chic Parisian soiree to Olivia and Marc’s dreamy provencal do, we’ve really been a little bit spoilt with all this loveliness.

Spoilt and inspired too…

Which is why this week’s inspiration post is inspired by the chic nation that is the French.

Rather than taking the luxurious route reminiscent of Versailles fashion, the moodboards below are suggestive of a simpler, more understated provincial charm.

Les Belle Dames

Lighthearted and bright, ‘Les Belle Dames’ is all about adding a modern twist to elegant classics. Simpler silhouettes are the watchwords here with the look less about the volume and more about finely crafted materials and tailoring.

French brides prefer freer flowing fabrics with silk and crepe being the most popular materials of choice. Add a touch of lace draped softly over the shoulders and down the back and the look is pure elegance.

Les Belle Dames

One or two key accessorises are all that’s needed to compliment the look. I particularly love a knotted veil, a string of small seed pearls knotted down the back or a delicate headpiece. Beauty looks are simpler too with a soft rosy hue and neutral eyes being the order of play.

Top off the look with a soft chignon or a loosely woven fishtail plait.

Campagne Chic

Campagne chic is all about looking as if you’ve spent a lazy Sunday afternoon at a Paris flea market and picked up a a few glorious finds in the process.

From forgotten watering cans to flaking washbowls and loved, worn tables, it’s all about finding understated charm in simple everyday objects. If this is your style then it’s so easy to integrate these props into your home decor after the big day is over too making them a real investment for your married future.

Props always help to really bring a theme to life; scrawl French phrases onto decadently shaped blackboards, prop up village bikes complete with baskets full of baguettes or opt for calligraphried invitations in a style similar to French script.

Campagne Chic

Channel Marie Aintoinette by creating salon styled seating areas for your guests using elaborate chairs, French cushions and sweet love seats. Finish the look like stringing reclaimed chandeliers from the ceiling or even from nearby trees.

I particularly love the idea of gifting padlocks to coupled up guests as wedding favours inscribed with their initials and finished with a ribbon flourish. Leave them a key so they can secure their love locks somewhere close to their hearts.

Les Jolie Fleurs

Did you know that it’s a French tradition to offer sprigs of lily-of-the-valley to your loved ones on May Day. Now that’s exactly the kind of tradition I adore so I couldn’t resist including a sweet posy of this flower as part of this moodboard.

If lily-of-the-valley doesn’t float your boat or if you’re looking to inject a bit of colour into your day then Lavender just screams French provencal charm. Try adding it to your table centrepieces to add both a visual punch as well as a beautiful scent to your surroundings. Alternatively why not place a few stems at each guest’s setting for them to take away as a keepsake of the day.

Les Jolies Fleurs

Try thinking outside the flowerbox when it comes to housing your beautiful blooms. Sourcing antique milk churns, bike baskets and old planters or even wrapping plant pots in brown paper and string are all fantastic ways of achieving this look. I particularly love the idea of a ‘flower table’ pictured in the moodboard above full to bursting with a myriad of different jugs, pots and vases. You can just smell those blooms from here can’t you.

Lastly, why not wrap the ends of your bouquet in antique French velvet ribbon as a subtle nod to your ‘something old’.

Sur La Table

This concoction of pretty was influenced by an image that I’ve been cultivating in my imagination for some time. You see for me, a French wedding revolves mostly around the culinary delights offered at the reception so I wanted to recreate a scene that I feel epitomises a perfect Gallic knees-up.

Think rustic chairs and tables scattered outside under the trees adorned with mismatched plates of cheese and wine. Candles or festoon lighting providing the perfect amount of illumination and the prettiest of napkins to lay on your lap.

Sur La Table

If you’re after a more luxurious feel opt for opulent chairs, exquisite tableware and lots and lots of flowers. Leaving gifts at guests’ settings adds to the luxe look too – squares of dark French chocolate, a exquisitely wrapped mini baguette or handmade soaps all work equally well.

More than anything it’s about creating an atmosphere rather than a specific look. If you’ve got the right ambience then nothing else really matters.

La Patisserie

If there’s a nation that raise cakey treats to an art form then it’s the French.

You name it, they’ve made it – macarons, fruit tartlets, gateaus and the piece de resistance – the croquembouche. There’s literally something for everyone.

Why not serve small portions of gateau for dessert or even small fruit tartlets with a pot of lavender infused cream and a rustic napkin. If you’re looking for something that pushes your feminine buttons then choosing a sweet cake stand piled with macarons in candy shades topped with a bow is a surefire way to tick that box.

Presentation is just as much a key to this look as the savoury delights of your treats so allocate a portion of your time to styling the look. Garnishing the cakes themselves as well as their surroundings with florals in keeping with your wider theme is one way to do this; sourcing antique French cake knives and slices is another.

La Patisserie

I love the idea of sourcing vintage cake knives for each of your tables, allowing guests to serve themselves whilst engendering that community feel at the same time.

So folks, what do you think?

Does the Gallic way of doing things float your boat?

Interestingly, I read an article not so long back written by the BBC which discussed how the French were looking to the Brits for inspiration for their big day. Apparently they like the fun and light-hearted elements that British brides incorporate into their nuptials and are beginning to emulate it themselves.

Who knew? If the beeb says it’s true then who are we to disagree…

All my love Lolly xxxx

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Let Your Love Grow.

I love this time of year.

Granted the Christmas and New Year festivities are now over and many of us are feeling the pinch on the pocket but somehow there’s just so much to look forward to.

A brand new year lies ahead, full of promise and excitement, the nights are finally getting lighter and I’m guessing that quite a few of you got engaged over the holiday period – congratulations and hello!

Perhaps most exciting though is the appearance of lush green shoots poking out of the soil – it’s like Nature is saying ‘hold on, Spring is just around the corner and it’s going to be wild’.

Not surprisingly then, I started thinking the first blooms of spring – snowdrops and crocuses, daffodils and anemones and before I knew it I was compiling an inspiration board of the most glorious bouquets for you lovelies to pour over.

And I just had to share it…

Spring Greens

Where best to start than with the floral delights that inspired this post. Admittedly there are some flowers that technically don’t make their appearance until the end of spring in this clutch of images but the colours are absolutely bang on.

Youthful and carefree, Spring Green bouquets are ideal for weddings hosted in the first few months of the year and even into early summer. Light yellows and greens are beautifully offset by blush pinks and lilacs. Try mirroring these hues in your wider decor choices to create a clean and fresh atmosphere for your big day.

Spring Greens

Spring flowers are usually heavily fragranced – think hyacinths, narcissus, tulips and even daffodils so bouquets using these blooms offer up a double sensory experience for beautiful brides as they glide down the aisle.

I’m particularly in love with the hyacinth and tulip bouquet in the middle of this board. It’s like someone has watercoloured the head of each of these blooms – just dreamy.

Ferns and Foliage

I adore brides that think outside of the traditional flower box by opting for foliage and ferns, seedheads and succuluents in their floral arrangements. There’s an understated beauty about these forgotten plants so I’m thrilled to see the popularity of them is increasing.

Perfect for a rustic wedding or for those brides who aren’t so enamoured with traditional blooms, these natural elements really hold their own. For example they certainly aren’t going to be wilting at the end of the big day.

Ferns And Foliage

‘Ferns and Foliage’ bouquet elements tend to fall in the same colour spectrum giving you the freedom to play with texture and composition – an architectural take on the traditional bouquet if you will. If you’re worried about your posy appearing too flat, why not add viburnum berries into the mix. Their petrol blue iridescence adds the perfect amount of va-va voom.

If you love this look but want to add a element of softness to these somewhat masculine posies then I’d suggest wrapping the ends of your bouquet in a wide ribbon in a pastel shade or lengths of lace.

The perfect whimsical touch to a gorgeous posy.

Old School Beauty

Here at RMW HQ, we’ve noticed a comeback of late of some of the traditionally forgotten or once out of favour flowers. Blooms like Dahlias, Marsh Mallow and Violets – all wonderful and glorious in their own right so I’m glad to see them flaunting their wares again.

‘Old School Beauty’ is all about grown up glamour – these bouquets don’t shout for attention but they exude a seductive allure regardless. Often appealing to those brides looking for a more sophisticated feel they offer a sumptuous beauty without appearing too stiff or done.

Old School Beauty

With their muted palettes – I like to call it ‘tea-stained’ – blush pinks, creamy yellows and faded peaches you can’t help but see their romantic elegance. I love the contrast of these blooms against a darkly seductive ribbon wrapped about the stems.

This bouquet looks fantastic at late Summer and early Autumn weddings – it’s almost as if nature is singing its last hurrah before darker, stormier nights arrive.

Think Pink

Another bridal trend experiencing somewhat of a resurgence is the bold use of a pink colour palette. Fun and girly, ‘Think Pink’ is perfect for those brides who want a truly romantic feel to their wedding. Aside from decor choices, one way of subtly integrating pink and blush hues is by choosing blooms in this colour spectrum.

Perfect for Spring and Summer weddings because of the availability of pink blooms such as sweet peas, O’Hara roses, peonies and tulips, bouquets in this shade are both eye-catching and frivolous; hell if you can’t be frivolous on your wedding day when can you?

Think Pink

If you’re looking to create interest or are anxious about your bouquet seeming a little ‘intense’, try selecting flowers in a range of pink hues rather than adhering to a single tone of pink. Pairing hot pinks with candy shades and the briefest touch of lemon yellow or mint green is the key to a successful ‘Think Pink’ bouquet.

Opting for a really ‘full’ bouquet full of blousey headed blooms will ensure you pull this look off beautifully. If you’re keen to avoid a posy that’s too round in shape then ask your florist to leave some of the more delicate flowers slightly longer in length to create that looser handpicked look.

It’ll look blinking gorgeous!

So lovelies, which is your favourite? I’m torn between Old School Beauty and Spring Greens.

Perhaps you’ve opted for a different look entirely, if so we’d love to hear all the details.

Maybe you’re not having a floral bouquet at all. Did you see Celine’s bouquet in her Parisian wedding last week? She chose a bouquet of pink pom poms and it looked IMMENSE.

So come on let’s hear what you think.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Cocktail Hour.

If there’s one thing I’ve gleaned during my time within the wedding industry it’s that there’s much we can learn from our cousins across the water.

Sure enough, the Yanks have taken the simple wedding and raised it to an art form with so many different components that us traditional Brits don’t quite know where to put ourselves.

Whilst sometimes this can feel overwhelming, I actually think their ‘go big or go home’ attitude can be pretty exciting. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Because it forces us to rethink the parameters of what constitutes a ‘wedding’. Indeed, the modern day bride and groom possess an unprecedented amount of freedom in their wedding related decision-making.

When RMW exhibited at the National Wedding Show earlier this year, mums informed me time and time again that they’d never had this much choice when they were getting married. Their big day was almost pre-determined for them so they were thrilled that their daughters were experiencing a different reality – the chance to do things their way.

I fear I may have become a little philosophical for what essentially is just an inspiration post. You want the pretty don’t you….

Bear with me.

Essentially what I’m trying to say is try not to be intimidated by the amount of choice open to you. You don’t have to do everything. The beauty of having such choice is that you are free to choose what you want to incorporate into your big day.

For me, one of these things was the American-inspired ‘cocktail hour’. Admittedly in the end, for financial reasons, it just wasn’t to be but I so desperately wanted to include this into my big day.

Instead I’ve settled for sharing some ideas with you lovely lot in the hope that one of you will host a spirited soiree and I can live vicariously through you.

Party Tricks

Chic and sophisticated, the ‘cocktail hour’ is the perfect ‘filler’ between the end of the speeches and the beginning of the evening entertainment.

It signifies the end of the daytime activities and precludes the beginning of naughtier nighttime activity all under the guise of civilised fun. Plus it gives something for your guests to talk about too – what’s not to love?

Now every girl needs a pretty dress for a cocktail party.

Granted if you’re the bride then you’ll already be wearing a bobby-dazzler but seeing as it’s Christmas there’s bound to be a fair few of you looking for frocks for works parties and the like.

So we thought we’d spoil you by sharing some of our top picks and favourite cocktail dress images.

Which is your favourite?

Will you dare to bare or take the sophisticated covered up approach?

Deck The Halls

If you’ve decided that you are going to host a cocktail hour (lucky you!) then I’d really recommend going for it on the decor front. Not only does it help to set the scene for your guests thus enhancing their experience but it also signifies that the wedding schedule has moved on to the next stage. Remember, the cocktail hour should be an event in itself, not a bleary memory consigned to oblivion.

And there’s a plethora of inspiration out there to help you do this.

The obvious place to start is with the cocktails themselves. Adding glitzy swizzlers and straws or utilising unique containers such as these test tubes pictured here elevates the average cocktail to something a little bit special.

Whilst I couldn’t fulfill my cocktail hour fantasy I did ask my venue to provide champagne saucers rather than flutes at the champagne reception for more of a unique touch. The guests looked rather fabulous clutching their coupes and many commented that they felt that they were in an episode of Downton with such fantastic glasses.

Designing cocktail-focused paper pretty as part of your overall stationery suite is one way of really integrating the event into the overall wedding schedule. Think about designing bespoke drinks menus or even opting for coasters that double up as a wedding guestbook.

Equally paying attention to the overall decor of the area in which you’ve chosen to host your cocktail hour is a surefire way to make an impact. Covering high tables with gorgeous linen and topping them off with pretty florals, painting cocktail signs, and ordering monogrammed napkins are all economical ways of transforming a space into a designated cocktail venue.

Festive Spirit

Ok so this board is really just an assortment of delicious cocktails. But we all need something pretty to look at on a Tuesday afternoon.

I suppose the point I’m trying to convey here is that you can create cocktails that are absolutely in keeping with your wedding colour scheme.

Hosting an Autumn wedding? Why not serve berrylicious cocktails…

Perhaps you’re having summertime nuptials…provide your guests with something light and refreshing instead.

You could even opt for your a cocktail using your favourite flavours and ingredients such as Earl Grey tea or rose infusions.

If you’re really stuck for some cocktail inspired inspiration then you can rely on a RMW favourite which uses copious amounts of both gin and champagne…

A RMW Inspired Tipple

You Will Need:

2 shots of gin – we recommend Bloom London Dry Gin for its floral flavour
Champagne
1 shot of sugar syrup
1 shot of lemon juice (preferably fresh)
a twist of lemon peel
ice cubes

Shake the lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin together with the ice cubes until chilled. Strain this lemony, gin goodness into a champagne flute and top up with champagne.

Add the lemon peel as a final touch. TA DA!!

Now drink!

So what do you think?

Do you feel under pressure to host the wedding of all weddings? Does the plethora of wedding inspiration out there motivate or terrify you?

Do you welcome the big day trends that filter across the big pond or shudder in horror?

Will you be hosting a cocktail hour on your big day? Perhaps you see this as a gratuitous waste of money that would be better spent elsewhere. If so, what features highly on your list of priorities?

Let us know your thoughts…

All my love Lolly xxx

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Veiled.

So here I am writing my first post as a married woman.

Married.

I had to say it twice just so I actually believe it.

You see I can’t tell you how wonderfully surreal this feels, this sense of glorious elation that I seem to experience every time I look at my boy. Every time I catch a glimpse of his gold encircled finger or that knowing look in his eye.

I’m actually somebody’s wife.

I half expected the post-wedding blues to have kicked in by now with the wedding day having scampered into the past and the honeymoon following quickly after its heels. To my surprise they haven’t though.

Perhaps this is because it all feels like an amazing dream that I’ve woken up from but which never actually happened.

Honestly I’d be half inclined to believe that if it wasn’t for the stacks of wedding cards decorating every shelf-like surface of my house, the slightly grubby hemline on my beautiful dress and the post-party discussions that I’ve had with so many of my guests who attended the big day.

In fact it was one of these conversations with RMW Blog Queen aka Charlotte that sparked the inspiration for this post. She noticed that rather than taking my veil off after the ceremony I actually wore it for the vast part of the day.

And she was right.

I always knew I was going to wear a veil. A cathedral length whisper of the softest net complete with sparkles cascading past my shoulders. In fact putting the veil on my head was one of the defining moments of the planning process for me.

And so I didn’t want the whole veil wearing experience to finish once the ceremony was over. So hang and blast it I was going to wear it for the whole day.

I’m aware as I write this that veils aren’t for every bride; some of you much prefer the idea of a jewel-encrusted headpiece or a wreath of blooms encircling your crown instead. Perhaps you don’t want your head to be adorned at all. And that’s ok – you’ll all look equally as lovely.

But allow me to indulge my romantic side and show you gorgeous lot a plethora of pretty veils for your delection. After all I can’t go back and experience it all again, can I?

The Statement Veil

Before we move onto the more traditional styles I want to show you that opting for a veil isn’t necessarily a conventional choice.

In fact, shrouds of net and tulle have been making an appearance of late on the catwalks of Armani Couture and Alexander McQueen amongst others, so if you’re a fashion-conscious gal then you can rest assured that you’re bang on trend.

You don’t necessarily have to opt for a veil in an off-white palette; coloured veils can look chic and modern if paired with the right dress. Alternatively think about volume, embellishments and multi-layering if you want to go all out.

I particularly love the idea of pairing a feminine veil with a traditionally masculine hat for a real style statement like the top hat pictured here or even wearing matching cropped leather gloves.

Yummy.

The Birdcage

The birdcage style is a fantastic compromise for the bride that wants to wear a veil but doesn’t want to be subjected to the treacherous consequences of wearing a longer length.

Trust me for all my veil adoration tendencies, the number of times my head was yanked back as yet another male stood on it nearly drove me to distraction. So choosing a shorter length is a highly-recommended sensible solution.

The wider traditional net tends to predominate but we’re beginning to see polka dotted tulle, jewel encrusted chiffon and feathery adornments too in this style which is great for those brides looking for something a little bit different. I particularly love the BHLDN bow veil at the top of this board it’s so playful and sweet.

The key to making this a successful key look is to keep the rest of your outfit pared down and simple – let the veil do the talking rather than the dress to prevent looking like your nan down the shops in her Sunday best. Add a slick of red lippy and away you go.

Spanish Princess

I first fell in love with this exotic style when I was lucky enough to attend Suzanne Neville’s preview of her Diamond collection earlier this year. The show concluded with a catalan inspired show-stopper of a veil that flounced down the runway.

From that moment I was hooked.

Whilst I didn’t choose this style for my own big day I very easily could have veered down this path. Spanish princess is all about making a hopelessly romantic statement which just screams luxe at the same time.

If you’re as obsessed as I am with this look then I’d recommend keeping your hair and jewellery choices simple. The beauty of this look is allowing the decadent lace to have its moment. You can always up the ante later on in the day when you remove the veil by adding a statement necklace or intricate headpiece.

Blast From The Past

I’m reluctant to call this concoction of images ‘vintage’; instead this selection of images depicts a subtle blend of taking the best of the past topped off with a modern day interpretation.

We have knots and braids, polka dots and large bows, tassles, and circlets of real and fabric blooms atop wonderful veils. Seriously I don’t know where to put myself.

If you’re a bride who wants to pay homage to times past without appearing ‘old-fashioned’ then applying a modern twist to an older veil style is the way to go.

My particular favourite is the knotted veil – it just looks so chic and you can guarantee that it will actually stay on your head.

Long And Luscious

I had to save this moodboard until last because this style is my favourite.

By a long stretch.

Yes folks, I opted for a long and luscious gossamer light creation topped off with twinkly bits and I couldn’t have asked for better.

There’s something utterly whimsical about a bride enveloped in a cascade of tulle or seeing it stretched out behind her. I can only speak for myself here but I felt wholeheartedly romantic and feminine when my mum placed my veil into my hair just before I glided down the aisle.

I’m not going to witter on for much longer as I want the pictures to do the talking here. What I will say is that I so want that veil with the hood.

That, my friends, is immense.

So what do you think? Have you become a veil convert?

Or are you safely ensconced in the ‘no veil for me’ camp?

If you’re already married what was your experience of your veil on the day?

Would you do anything differently?

And did anyone wear their veil for the whole day like me?

As always girlies we want to hear your thoughts.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Blooming Lovely

One of my enduring memories from when I was a wee one was catching one of the most beautiful bouquets I had EVER seen from the hands of a stunning bride who I believed was a princess.

Granted I was stood about 3 feet away from her and she more or less handed it to me rather than tossing it over her shoulder. I should mention here that there was also an absence of overexcited females jostling for prime catching position in case you’re picturing me as a miniature Vinnie Jones having elbowed my way to the front.

Nonetheless for the rest of that day I felt special, like I’d been given access to an exclusive club because I’d caught the bouquet. Not even going home in my M&S vest and pants, having been divested of my bridesmaid dress because it was rented could tarnish my little glow of glory.

That was the best day.

I’ve always believed that my triumphant catch was the catalyst for my life-long obsession with beautiful blooms and especially with wedding day bouquets.

So allow me to indulge this weakness of mine and let me show you lovelies some of the best arrangements out there in wedding land (in my humble opinion).

I want to hear about which ones are your favourites.

Which style pulls at your heartstrings?

What colour scheme have you selected for your big W-Day?

I’m all ears…

Carte Blanche

There’s something beautifully exquisite about white blooms. Elegant in their simplicity, they possess a sophistication that is hard to surpass. Milky-white flowers are usually heavily fragranced too providing you with a double whammy sensory experience.

White bouquets are wonderfully versatile in several ways. Not only can you guarantee that they will perfectly complement your gorgeous gown – chalky-white flowers are also more or less available any time of the year which means that you should nearly always be able to find a blossom to suit your purposes.

Choosing alabaster-toned garlands also gives you the freedom to play with texture and composition safe in the knowledge that no two flowers will clash nor will it appear like you’ve gone overboard in the floral department.

If you do want to inject a bit of colour into your neutral palette, green is perfect accent tone because it allows the blooms to shine without overpowering them.

That Mother Nature… she knows a thing or two.

Berry Fest

Berry Fest is a contemporary interpretation of the more classic Rose bouquet. It is utterly romantic without being saccharine sweet therefore perfect for those brides who want something edgier without losing sight of more traditional wedding themes and flavours.

This type of bouquet is perfect for weddings between June to September because of the availability of local materials. Queen Anne’s Lace, Dahlias, Clematis, Black Basil, Stocks, Snapdragons, Amaranth, Peonies and Delphiniums are fantastically versatile blooms and can be paired together in all number of combinations.

There’s nothing quite as sublime as an Autumn berry rich bouquet bespeckled with seedheads and the last hurrrah of summer. If you’re going for this type of feel with your own posies then I’d recommend pairing lighter shades with darker ones as the contrast makes each colour pop.

Lastly try echoing the trailing tendrils of the bouquet with some velvet ribbon around the stems in a similar colour scheme for extra drama.

Handpicked

I ADORE this trend with a great big dollop of LOVE on top because it’s just one of the many signs of how modern brides are becoming more and more creative with their big day.

‘Handpicked’ bouquets have an ethereal, just picked from the hedgerows quality about them. Wild and overgrown, these posies feel wholesome and organic and are especially beautiful when paired with a soft simple gown and bare feet.

Not that I’m saying you should all go barefoot or anything.

Any decent florist can recreate this concept easily for you; equally choosing this more relaxed style is perfect for the artistic bride as well as for those on a budget who want to take up those horticultural reins and produce their own floral arrangements.

My personal preference is to keep the hues in an handpicked bouquet within the same colour spectrum but using as many as six or seven different colours is just as effective. Secondly remember to include a little bit of everything so that you capture that unruly essence and prevent your posy from appearing too ‘done’.

It’s A Wrap

When we think about bouquets, we tend to think about the profusion of blooms and the colours of the delicate tendrils rather than the twiggy base. But, whilst I was writing this post, I found it hard to pass up the opportunity to show you lovelies how beautifully your floral accessory can be finished.

Hessian, lace, wool, twine and even brown paper and string can be artfully wrapped around your bouquets for the pièce de résistance. I especially love the idea of a bride wrapping a piece of material that her gown is made from around her posy. Talk about matching your outfit to your accessories!

But ribbons are my vice – yes girls I actually have a ribbon box and have also been known to filch ribbons from other people’s presents (once opened of course!) to keep it fully stocked up.

So for me a beribboned garland steals the day and frankly the more the better.

Why have one glitzy strand when you can look like a haberdashery shop and have three or even five.

Big And Blousey

If these blooms were a woman, they’d be a medieval buxom wench winking saucily at any hot-blooded male from the other side of the bar. These sultry beauties vie for your attention flaunting their silky soft petals and their heavy aroma unrelentingly at you.

I just want to bury my head into them.

Peonies and large garden roses are most commonly used in these types of bouquets and are frequently supplemented by soft green foliage and succulents of late. Because of the sheer size of the flowers there really is no need for anything extra.

Trust me, adding too much to a ‘big and blowsy’ bouquet would result in a serious case of ‘over-egging the pudding’ and ladies I say that as a self-confessed flower addict.

For the modern bride, who wants both drama and simplicity, a single huge bloom is your answer; it is unbeatably chic. And that bloom that the bride and groom are hiding behind is made of…wait for it…paper.

How wonderful is that?!

One last thing worth mentioning is that these types of arrangements are often really heavy – it’s just something to be conscious of when posing for your photographs in case you get arm ache (is that even a condition?).

So what do you think?

Are fresh flowers the order of the day or have you set your heart on something with a little more longevity like those bouquets made from antique brooches for example.

And I NEED to hear your thoughts on tossing the bouquet. Is this a tradition that you can’t pass up or can you not bear to throw your blooms into a gaggle of hopeful ladies in case it gets damaged?

More and more florists claim that they are creating additional ‘tossing’ bouquets for precisely this purpose. Is this something that interests you girls or does it defeat the whole point?

Let us know below…

Love Lolly xxx

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