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En Provence.

French Header

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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Alabaster And Ivory.

Simon Roberts Photography

For some inexplicable reason I find myself drawn time and time again to weddings utilising an all-white colour scheme. I can’t explain why but I find the soft layering of chalky whites against buttery ivory hues immensely soothing.

Whilst more colourful soirees have that instant wow-factor, and look amazing on film, weddings employing a neutral colour scheme are, for me at least, balm to the soul in their effortless grace.

It’s less about the instant gratification and more like a love affair that sinks its teeth into you and never quite lets you go.

If I had to pick an icon that represents this colourway then Grace Kelly would be Alabaster and Ivory, a subtle yet timeless overlay of white on white that we keep returning to again and again.

But… I hear you shout how do I ‘do’ this colour scheme without it appearing pallid, flaccid and well…boring.

Don’t fret, we’ll show you how…

Soft Linen

We’re seeing quite a few brides opting for gowns that feature cotton lace in some shape or form and this hot trend looks set to continue through to 2014 and beyond. If you love the idea of a neutral colour scheme but don’t know where to start then it’s worth considering linens in this fabric for your tables too. Broidery Anglais is another wonderful material that translates very well.

I’d recommend introducing several different alabaster tones to your table settings not only to add depth but also interest. Mixing up your florals is one way of doing this but getting creative with your tableware and stationery can produce a truly stylish look from contemporary cool to classic elegance. I love napkins with lovely finishes, edged plates and these amazing calligraphied linen menus!

Soft Linen

Touches of gold can also help to warm tables up if you’re worried about them appearing too cold – look for old gold metallic votives, flatware or gold-rimmed glasses. Equally I adore these vintage books where their hard covers have been ripped off to expose their bindings. Balance them on top of one another to add height to your table settings.

Don’t underestimate the beauty of candlelight either. Pairing basic white candles with hired candlesticks in an unusual shape is a cost-effective way to add impact.

Frosted Fancies

Perhaps the easiest area in which to employ milky-white colours, this amazing cake below by Maggie Austin is proof that an all-white colour scheme is anything but boring. She just gets it so right.

Choosing alabaster-toned treats gives you the freedom to play with texture and composition without the worrying about the cake appearing too sickly on the colour front. Whilst I love the rustic appeal of a lightly dusted sponge bedecked in strawberries, I predict that we’ll see a return to the more traditional iced affair albeit with an abstract twist.

Frosted Fancies

Pretty and romantic, all of the cakes pictured here have one thing in common – their use of pattern and texture. Whilst they don’t instantly power-punch you in the face, their chic qualities places them firmly on my coveted list. Try experimenting with form too – I really love a narrow but deep tier especially on the topmost levels.

Can I just throw something out there too. Really think about your choice of cake stand. It’s not something that immediately springs to mind but a fantastic cake stand can elevate your sweet treats to new heights both literally and on the style front too.

Fair Maidens

Favoured by K.Middy and super HOT Pippa, white maids dresses are here to stay.

We’ve noticed the rise of organic textures and simple designs reminiscent of the young Tess of the D’Urbervilles before she fell into Alec’s devilish clutches.

What do you mean you haven’t read Tess? Hop to it, go and read it now!

Fair Maidens

Some of you might feel apprehensive about dressing your favoured girls in a similar colour to your beautiful self but have no fear. Choosing a simpler design with sleeves in an off-white hue will clearly mark out the difference between bride and maids. If you’re still anxious I particularly love the idea of adding a plaited belt or a coloured sash around the waist for a modern twist.

And no lovelies, white stilettos need no longer be the reserve of Essex girls. I love this classic slingback by Emerson Fry pictured here – perfect for summer parties once your big day has passed.

Carte Blanche

Set the scene for your all-white affair with some classic stationery. Go rustic with simple letterpressed invites tied with twine or opt for a luxe suite printed on linen finished off in an opulent font.

Dressing your venue in alabaster tones is super easy too. White paper poms in different shapes strung from ceilings and doors is perhaps one of the easiest way to achieve impact. If you’re looking for something a little different why not make your own from off-cuts of blanched cotton or tulle.

Carte Blanche

No longer the reserve of the ever popular photobooth, homemade ‘backgrounds’ can be used behind the head or dessert table to create atmosphere. I’ve seen backdrops made from super-sized ivory sequins that just screams modern luxe but large chalk-white sheets printed with quotes look just as fantastic.

Lastly it’s worth looking on eBay for large vintage letters or even old pieces of furniture that you can spruce up with a lick of white paint to form wonderful pieces of wedding decor.

Flaxen Florals

Those of you who read this post will know that I could wax lyrical about white bouquets all day long.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, white blooms exude a sophistication that is hard to surpass whilst being wonderfully versatile too. We most commonly see the gloriously blousey heads of chalky hydrangeas in the clutches of brides and maids alike but white centrepieces look wonderfully chic on tables too.

Flaxen Florals

Since you can find white florals at pretty much any time of the year, the hue translates well to weddings held in all seasons. Try Tulips and Narcissi in the Spring, Ranuculus in late Autumn and a combination of Roses and Peonies in early Summer.

Since white hues are so unassuming you’ll be sure that all your florals will work harmoniously with each other rather than fighting for the spotlight. Try mixing different neutral tones and flowerheads to prevent centrepieces and posies appearing too flat.

And one day folks, I’ll be rich enough to have the sheer amount of lily of the valley in this bouquet at the bottom here…one day.

Have I convinced you then or are you waving your flag at me from the colour camp?

What colours will you be integrating into your big day?

I’m now off to create a whole new Pinterest board devoted to alabaster – who’s with me?

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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Romantic Liaisons

Have you ever been swept off your feet?

You know what I mean.

Like in a film, where a man turns up at your door with armfuls of red roses looking at you in pure adoration as he pours his heart out to you about how you make his life complete.

Perhaps for you, it’s the little things take your breath away, that make your heart pound like an iron hammer against your ribcage and your eyes grow misty.

For me, it’s the poems that my boy writes. Really gritty, heart-wrenching, soul-confessing streams of thought that he’ll compose every so often to tell me how he feels. That and the way that he’ll look at me from across the room in a crowded bar with pure love in his eyes – it makes me melt every single time.

This post is an ode to romance, a delectable feast of beauty for you lovely lot.

Because sometimes we need a sprinkling of the pretty to pep up our day.

I love the diversity of today’s weddings, from back-garden, glorious bunting-filled affairs to chic, city soirees. Amidst this menagerie of different themes and styles the more traditional, overly romantic look seems to have been neglected.

I’m talking blush and pink palettes, splashes of antiqued gold, pretty ballerinas, and oodles of thick, perfumed roses. Candyfloss, chiffons and tulles and tutu skirts.

So this inspiration post is my way of showing you gorgeous lot how beautiful this look can be if executed effectively.

Isn’t it wonderful?

What is the most romantic thing that anyone has done for you?

Have you been whisked away to Paris? Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to find a posy of red roses on your doorstep.

I want to hear all about your most romantic love stories….

All my love Lolly xxx

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Good Enough To Eat.

I have something to confess.

This week’s post is a slightly selfish affair derived from my current obsession with all things menu-related.

You see folks, tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow brings with it a fairly momentous event in my wedding planning journey so far. Tomorrow is all about sampling the menu that will be served at my wedding and I am SO excited.

So, with this in mind, this week’s inspiration post is more of a discussion post if you will – taking its cue not only from the paper pretty that I present to you below but also an exploration of the different shapes and forms that wedding breakfasts appropriate in our modern age.

I want to know what you think, what your experiences of wedding day food have been, which foods turn you off as well as those edible delights that have made a wedding a roaring success for you.

We want to hear ALL about it.

You’ll also notice lovelies that today’s post is somewhat shorter than normal. You see folks today is also a #prettynaughty day. Eeek!

Yes it’s finally arrived (how time flies!) so we’re currently running around like headless chickens making sure that everything is tip-top for later on tonight. Don’t worry I’ll be back with oodles of inspiration for you next week.

In the meantime, shall we begin?

As a guest at four weddings this year and as a bride to be, food (and drink) is definitely a vital part of the whole wedding day experience for me. I’ve been lucky enough to attend weddings where the food has been nothing short of scrumptious as well as adventurous.

Perhaps the best culinary experience was that of my best friend’s wedding last year where she hand-picked all of the wines and menu herself to ensure that her guests received the ultimate foodie experience.

I’m telling you folks, it was divine. But the element that really struck a chord in me was the care and pride she took in providing the very best for her guests and the way that it set the scene for the rest of the day.

We were nourished, spoilt rotten and and all of our needs were wholly catered for; this was her way of showing her love for her nearest and dearest on her special day.

I’m conscious as I write this that food does not feature so highly on every bride’s agenda. And you know that’s ok. We want to hear all of your culinary viewpoints – we like a healthy debate here at RMW towers.

From a personal point of view, the wedding breakfast is not so much about the functional practicalities of making sure that everyone has been fed. For me, it’s all about what the meal represents – the coming together of friends and family to laugh, talk and play around a single table.

Ultimately it’s about creating precious memories. Ones that you relish and revisit time and time again.

So with this in mind, I love how attitudes towards the wedding breakfast have become much more relaxed over the past few years. It’s possible, hell it’s even encouraged to deviate from the traditional three course meal and offer something a little bit different.

Want your guests to share platters of grazing food rather than opting for individual starters? I say go for it! How about skipping pudding and providing a huge dessert table for your nearest and dearest instead? You get to tick both the decor and food boxes all at the same time. You can’t really say fairer than that.

Alternatively, serving afternoon tea rather than a more conventional three piece affair is so much kinder to the pocket and offers your guests a slightly different foodie experience. Plus you can guarantee that children AND grannies alike will love it.

One of my favourite food related items ever though is an epic food trailer often found at the nuptials of our cousins in good ol’ America. Serving everything from fast food to ice-creams and slushy drinks, these trucks can be used to dish out the evening snack to hungry guests in a unique way or even the wedding breakfast itself.

And whilst I’ve been wittering on here about food, I’ve neglected to mention the all-important liquid refreshment that we indulge in on these big days. I ADORE customised cocktails as well as all the paraphernalia that goes with it. It’s just so blinking elegant.

Here at RMW HQ we’re also noticing one food trend that is undeniably gaining strength is of a demand for organic and sustainable produce that is locally available. Modern day brides possess a conscientiousness that brides in decades past perhaps didn’t place quite as much emphasis on.

Maybe you’re a bride who has chosen to have a seasonal menu? Food selections that pay homage to the passing of seasons is something I particularly admire. Think crisp refreshing greens and herbs for Spring and game and roasted root vegetables for early Autumn.

So what would your ideal menu be?

Perhaps you’ll take some inspiration from the menus displayed on these moodboards – I am particularly lusting over the roasted rack of venison with baby Autumn vegetables.

Hungry much?

Is food even that important to you? Maybe providing your guests with some quality entertainment is a far higher priority.

Whatever you think, 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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Taking Centre Stage.

If you read one of my very first posts for Rock My Wedding then you’ll know that flowers and all objects of the floral variety are my kryptonite. If I was asked to choose, then pretty florets would certainly be one of my desert island luxuries. Ridiculous I know but there we have it – I lose all sense of rhyme and reason when it comes to beautiful blooms.

I have also been known to spend a small fortune in the small hours at my local flower market. If you haven’t been then I suggest you go. Granted, it’s difficult getting up at that time of the morning but it is so worth it. I love talking to the market traders and getting their insights into the latest floral trends. You also get to walk away with truckloads of flowers at bargain prices too. Everyone’s a winner!

But this post isn’t about my forays into the horticultural world, nor is it focused on the more popular subject of the wedding bouquet. No, not so fast lovelies…

Where on your list of wedding-related priorities do centrepieces and reception flowers sit?

Are they important to you or are other aspects of the wedding day such as photography and videography paramount?

Perhaps flower related matters make you come unstuck or perhaps even freak you out. Or are you like a pig in mud and are chomping at the bit to have your first meeting with your florist so that you can show her ALL your ideas. Maybe you’re not even interested in anything of the floral variety…will you allow me to attempt to change your mind?

Luxe Appeal

These are the showstoppers, the jaw-droppers, the sophisticated centrepieces that ooze delicious scents and vie for your attention as you talk to your fellow guests over dinner.

We’re talking Luxe with a capital ‘L’.

Decadent concoctions such as these look best in dramatic vases with tall proportions as these allow the flowers to drape seductively as well as showing them off to their best advantage. I love how the strategic placement of a few sizable floral displays can dramatically change a venue within seconds. It’s almost like magic.

Using larger arrangements is incredibly freeing as multiple flowers can be used simultaneously without it being ‘too much’. In fact, it’s more like a sensory explosion but in a totally good way. The rich hues and luxurious textures remind me of an oil painting by the ‘Old Master’s’ and it seems that every time you take a look, you see something new.

It’s important to remember that arrangements such as these will come with a large price tag so investigate if you can use them in more than one aspect of your day – say for example at both your ceremony and within your drinks reception – if it’s practical to do so. Surely displays like these deserve to be seen.

Sometimes Less Is More

Don’t fret if your budget for ceremony and reception blooms is limited. Less really can be more and actually is so very beautiful.

Instead it’s worth considering larger blossoms, such as peonies and hydrangeas that have voluminous blousey heads and placing them in single vases. Providing them with individual cannisters gives them room to breathe and shine as well as allowing you the option of spacing them out for more affordable impact.

Look also to make a feature out of those flowers that are less popular, such as carnations. Whilst some of you may not favour this ‘granny’ classic, the bloom can be brought bang up to date by presenting it in a different way – through the use of oasis balls for example. They look quirky and chic all at the same time.

Your nan would definitely approve…

Larger focal pieces can also be interspersed with smaller bud vases as well as with candles and props such as books. Equally, planted table centrepieces can also double up as favours for your guests to take home. The beauty of using this type of arrangement is that it works with more subtle table palettes as well as louder ones.

Lastly, entice all of your guests’ senses rather than just relying on visual impact. Why not play with their sense of smell by using inexpensive scent laden plants such as herbs and lavender. You can even make it a fun day out for the two of you too by visiting a ‘pick your own lavender farm’ and go frolicking in the fields.

Fruits Of The Forest

Allow me to indulge in some heart-felt symbolism.

I love watching the yearly transition in nature from blossoms to leaves and then to fruits and seeds, so for me using brambles, foliage, seed heads and grasses in the place of flowers is equally as beautiful as the blooms themselves.

Fruits of the Forest is a perfect all-year round theme, because it caters for every season and for every wedding regardless of budgets and tastes.

For those brides looking for a more rustic feel, there’s an effortless abundance in using natural materials such as ferns and moss. For wedding belles looking for lashings of pretty, there’s something delightful about using tree branches as a focal point particularly in the Spring when they are dripping with the first flowers of the season.

It just makes you smile and feel joyful and that’s what weddings are all about, right?

These centrepieces look good enough to eat – literally. Integrating fruits into your table decor creates an interactive experience for your guests that engages the eyes and doubles up as a snack should they get a bit peckish during the speeches.

I particularly adore fruit and floral partnerships as it screams luxury and abundance to me. If you do choose to follow the path into the forest, make sure that you combine lots of different woodsy and earthy aspects to prevent it from becoming too dull.

Pitcher Perfect

Ok so I’m a little bit excited about this part of the post.

Why?

Well, if anything gets me going as much as flowers do then it’s the container that holds the glorious arrangements. You see it’s not only the blooms that are the focal points, the vase is just as much as a part of all the drama.

Buckets, old pitchers, glass bottles, trophy cups, bell jars, vintage tins, treasured vases – any hole is umm… a goal? Really it is – honestly, folks you can use anything. I’ve been known to use an old candlestick as a vase in the past and it was glorious.

This is the perfect opportunity to add your personality to the day and inexpensively too. You don’t necessarily have to rent vases or even purchase pitchers at an extortionate rate. Instead you can use objects that represent you as a couple.

For example, have you got a treasured family heirloom like your Gran’s favourite vase that you’d love to incorporate into your day? Or perhaps you and your other half are tea fanatics and want to share this passion with your guests by using vintage tea caddies.

Perusing Ebay or foraging around car boots is the best way to get your hands on some unique vessels and it doesn’t have to break the bank either. You can see how something as simple as wrapping twine around a plain jam jar creates a gorgeous custom piece whilst saving the planet too.

The key to a successful look is to create interest by varying the shapes and proportions of your pitchers/ containers. Try to unite all your vases with a common feature, for example by using the same colour palate or similar shapes in different sizes. Presenting your florals as museum specimens by enclosing them in glass cloches is just one way to add intrigue.

Frankly, I defy you to find me anyone who wouldn’t want vases wrapped up in their own woollies. Is it just me or does anyone else find them adorable? Now I just need someone to teach me how to knit….

What Lies Beneath

I’ve included this cornucopia of images to show you just how far you can go when it comes to floral magnificence. I’m definitely of the opinion that florists are engineers, magicians and architectural geniuses all rolled into one.

Seriously folks, take a look at some of these images and marvel…

Suspending blossoms is a really popular trend at the moment – single flower heads hung in multiple chains create the most amazing floral chandeliers and really pack a visual punch. Hanging centrepieces above the table is also the perfect solution when table space is limited – proof that the practical doesn’t always have to compromise the pretty.

The organic feel of dangling blooms is utterly enthralling too. We’re so used to seeing floral centrepieces pointing skywards so it’s intriguing to experience the different perspective of ceiling-hung arrangements. And don’t those balls of Gypsophila look like fluffy clouds – I just want to reach out and touch them…

For those of you smitten with the ombre bridesmaid dress inspiration last week, the fun doesn’t need to end there. No, ladies…you can have variated posies too! Talk about matching your handbag and shoes… or rather your dresses and your blooms.

Lastly, wreaths are not ‘just for Christmas’; in fact they are totally adaptable and can be used in a multitude of ways. Miniature circlets can denote VIP seats, whilst larger wreaths can define altars and act as a visual focal point in welcoming guests to a venue. Wreaths can also be dried and rehung after the day has passed as a memento of your big day. The possibilities are endless.

Seriously folks, these arrangements look so good I can practically smell their aromas from my computer screen. I also now want to purchase a barrowful of flowers and sing ‘who will buy my sweet red roses’ to anyone passing by.

I did say that I become slightly delirious around gorgeous buds and the like…

So have I persuaded some of you to invest in some wedding horticulture?

What are your favourite flowers and will you be using them in your big day?

Love Lolly xxx

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