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A Vintage Tea Party

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Today’s wedding is so pretty and delicate – all fluffy bouquets of gypsophila, china tea cups and pastel tones.

But the vintage tea party theme didn’t mean that they didn’t have a massive knees- up in the evening, the Groom re-formed his band for the occasion, Granny Norm baked a massive naked Victoria sponge and the guests got to munch on Pie and Mash!

Also, in true British style, the lack of sunshine didn’t stop the day from exceeding all of Charlotte’s expectations – just don a pair of wellies, grab a massive brolly and you’re good to go.

The day was captured perfectly by Claire Penn and Shutterbox films.

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The First One

Our venue was the first one we looked at! My sister found it online and we went to see it and fell in love with it! We knew we wanted something relaxed and in a nice setting and the Ashes was just everything we wanted! The two beautiful barns provide everything you need and are in such a lovely pretty setting come rain or shine (rain in our case!)

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Simple and Sophisticated

As my dress was quite simple I wanted my make up to be simple too. I was extremely lucky as my friend is a trained make-up artist so she worked her magic on the day! It was lovely to have Michelle do it for me, as she knows me already I trusted she would do exactly what I had in mind. We did have a little trial a few weeks before which I would recommend as it just makes the day much easier and run more smoothly.

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My old hair dresser from home did my hair which again was so lovely! We did also have a trial which I would definitely do as what you say and think doesn’t always mean the hairdresser fully understands and once your hair is done it’s tricky to take out and do it again. I knew as with my make-up – I just wanted something natural and simple that still looked like me.

When You Know, You Know

Again as with our venue it was the first and only shop I went to! I knew I wanted something a bit different and simple; the one thing I wanted was to feel comfortable and be able to dance easily.

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The minute I stepped into the Vintage Wedding Dress company I loved everything about it, the lovely ladies working there, the beautiful shop interior and then I saw the DRESSES! They are all so beautiful I loved that they offered both original vintage and inspired vintage. It turned out every dress I picked to try was original vintage, I loved that they were all so unique. My dress was 70’s and the second I put it on I loved it!

Vintage Accessories

I got most of my accessories from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company as they had such gorgeous things. I love headbands and really wanted something vintage in my hair. I loved the simple delicate flower headband and felt it just finished off my look perfectly.

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My veil was also from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. At first I didn’t think I would have a veil but when the lady in the shop popped one on me I loved it and thought it gave my dress a more bridal look. My shoes were also from there – I loved the simplicity of them and thought they went so well with my dress. Plus I wanted to dance all night and these meant I could do that!

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Relaxed Vintage Feel

We didn’t have a strict colour scheme but wanted something relaxed with a vintage feel. The Bridesmaid’s dresses were from Warehouse, I loved the colour and style and they fitted really well next to my dress. I also had a little maid – Rob’s niece, and as she is 11, she wore a slightly different dress from ASOS but we still kept it within our vintage look and feel.

Rob knew he wanted something relaxed and fun so we decided waistcoats and bow ties would be good for the Best Men and Ushers! The waistcoats and bow ties were all from Topman. Rob’s suit was Topman and brogues from Ben Sherman.

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Pastel Tones

As we didn’t really have a strict colour scheme as we wanted everything to be relaxed and a bit mix and match. Our invites we’re really simple, we used bunting which we then translated into the venue decor. We spent months collecting jars and pots and bunting to decorate the venue. We tried to use vintage pastel colours throughout the outfits and venue decor.

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Thrown Together Flowers

The flowers were really important but I knew I wanted something simple and thrown together. I decided I would have gypsophila for my bouquet and for the 5 bridesmaids. I loved the vintage look of gyp and how pretty and simple it is. The button holes were all gypsophila too.
We were really lucky and had a friend of a friend do our flowers which was amazing as I totally trusted her to do an amazing job which she did! We collected jars and hampers for months to display the ceremony room flowers and table arrangements. I loved them – they were exactly what I’d hoped they would be and more.

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Dancing Queen

Our ceremony was very simple, we chose our own vows and my Granny Norm did a reading – ‘Us Two’ from Winnie the Pooh. It was really lovely and exactly what we wanted.

Our biggest wish for the reception was that it was fun fun fun! We just wanted everyone to dance drink and have a good time. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have a band as I just love how a band makes people get up and dance. My sister found our band as she had seen them at a friend’s wedding and they were ace.

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Rob also used to be in a band and they reformed for a quick showing which was so much fun – he even got his Dad up on stage! After the band had finished we played a selection of our favourite songs from over the years – both old school and new.

The Perfect Photographer

I searched and searched for a photographer that offered the vintage relaxed style we wanted and when I came across Claire Penn I was so thrilled. She is so amazing and completely captured our day in the most wonderful fun happy way. From the moment we met Claire she was so much fun and totally understood what we wanted. It was an absolute joy to have Claire as part of our day and we are so happy with all the photos!

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Capture Every Moment

After seeing Shutterbox on Rock My Wedding I knew we had to have them! We hadn’t thought about having a film but when I saw what they could do we booked them straight away. Lee and Dawn are so lovely and so talented I am so pleased we decided to get a film. It’s amazing to watch it back and remember the day. Together with Claire Penn they have an incredible ability to absolutely capture every little moment of the day without you ever realising that they are there.

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Guess Your Pie

Food was a big part of our day as we both love food – especially me! As we got married in March we wanted to have something warm and tasty. We decided to have pie and mash and were thrilled when we found out that Pieminister could provide the delicious pies. As it was National Pie week it also fitted in very well.

We had a selection of 4 pies on the day and you just got what was popped in front of you so it was a surprise. Pieminister provided us with loads of info on the pies which we displayed on the tables so people could guess what pie they had. We also had pie badges and tattoos which were extremely popular.

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Vintage Tea Party

I wanted to do favours that tied in with our whole day so decided that I would hunt down vintage tea cups for all the girls and make marmalade for the boys. Along with our lovely family we hunted around charity shops and flea markets for tea cups. I also searched for some fabric for the tops of the marmalade jars that tied in with the Groomsmen’s outfits.

My Granny Norm is a fabulous cake maker – I was so pleased when she said she would make our wedding cake and it was fantastic. As it wasn’t a huge cake Rob’s mum also made some extra cakes to ensure there was enough for everyone and I loved how the cake table looked like a vintage tea party.

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Bottle Collecting

We didn’t use a huge amount of stationery but decided we would use a vintage type writer with the table plan on. We searched the internet to find one and were so pleased when we found it! For the table names we just did numbers as we felt there was already enough detail on the tables with all the pie information and tattoos.

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We wanted real old school milk bottles with wooden numbered spoons inside and we finally found some from Rob’s lovely Nanna and Grandpa who kept some from their milk delivery.
We wanted to have something more than a guest book that we could keep forever so we decided to have a bike picture which people then put their thumb print on that acted as a balloon tied to the bike! It has made such a great picture and will always remind us of our day!

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Everything We Dreamed It Would Be

As all Brides say the best advice I can say is enjoy EVERY second as it goes so quickly! Also make sure you don’t get too tied up with planning and actually try and enjoy the planning stage and getting excited. Don’t be afraid to ask people to help and get involved, it was so special to have home-made cakes and marmalade! The best thing Rob and I did was make sure it was exactly what we wanted and it was, it was our day and everything we had dreamed it would be.

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – The Ashes
Dress and Brides Accessories – The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
Bridesmaid Dresses – Warehouse, ASOS
Groom and Best Men – Topman, Ben Sherman
Invites – Wedding Chicks
Guestbook – Wedding Chicks
Food – Pie Minister
Videographer – Shutterbox Films
Photographer – Claire Penn

Doesn’t Charlotte look radiant in the wedding video as she and Rob walk through the confetti?!?

Lots of love,

Fern x

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Give Me A Sign.

Image by Ann-Kathrin Koch

…hit me baby one more time.

Sorry I couldn’t resist. Bit of Britney for you there lovelies.

But before you get your hopes up, this post is not about pop music or indeed any type of music in fact. Today folks we’ll be discussing the joys of wedding signage…I know waaay better than Britters, right?

Those that followed me on my own wedding journey (journey… signposts geddit?) will know that I’m a big fan of the informative plaque. I love how they can be both a gorgeous piece of decor and a functional statement in their own right. They literally scream…’the wedding starts here (or over there)!’ whilst providing your nearest and dearest with a bit of reassurance that they’re actually in the right place.

If I’m being honest then my own wedding signposts weren’t really focused on providing our guests with information as such but more about setting the tone for the wedding and giving our friends and family a hint of the day to come. Nearly everyone shared their stories with me about how they couldn’t wait to see what word would appear next on each of the twenty four placards placed alongside the drive as they made their ascent towards our venue.

For us, it was all about building a sense of anticipation and it’s this attribute that I love most about big day signage. Proof that you can combine excitement, information and smiles in a single prop.

Here are just some of my favourites.

Show Me The Way

Perhaps the most traditional and functional of all wedding signage, the informative signpost is now often a familiar sight at most receptions. From rustic, driftwood creations to elegant calligraphied examples you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find a sign to suit your style.

And whilst their primary purpose is to point you in the right direction, it doesn’t mean that your signage should be boring. Experiment with different signpost shapes rather than adhering to the traditional arrow format – I love the sweet chapel at the bottom here which would look exquisite framed and hung in your home after the day is over.

Show-Me-The-Way Wedding Signage Inspiration Rustic

It’s also worth playing around with script too – the substitution of “I do’s” for ‘ceremony’ says so much more and the ‘happily ever after’ is a wonderful footnote at the bottom of the signpost in the middle here. And if you’re not so keen on text, why not have pictorial representations instead – use rings to depict the way to your ceremony and cakes to point out the route to the reception.

Lastly if your venue is hesitant about signpost stake holes appearing all over their perfectly manicured lawn, never fear! The hay bales, milk churns and the old vintage bike displayed here are all wonderful ways of securing your signage without staking it into the ground plus they look gorgeous too.

Looks Good Enough To Eat

Wedding signage doesn’t just have to fulfill a directory role; in fact, a decorative placard is perfect for displaying your wedding breakfast menu too.

It’s worth really having a think about the style of your table settings and then reflecting this in the display and format of your menu signage. Blackboards needn’t be just for rustic affairs – I particularly love the luxe frame and classic print on the menu at the bottom here complete with this couple’s tree motif.

Looks-Good-Enough-To-Eat Wedding Menu Large Sign Inspiration

Thinking of having a cocktail hour? Why not go all out on a customised cocktail menu for your guests so that you can share your favourite tipples with them. Rather than printing out stacks of paper menus, save money by propping a miniature cocktail blackboard menu on the bar or go large with a wooden placard listing yours and your beau’s choice cocktails. Utilise lots of different scripts and fonts to keep things interesting.

Signs needn’t be huge affairs either – stamping lollipop sticks with a foody phrase or displaying flag shaped flavour labels is a sweet way of integrating signage into your big day if you’re limited on space.

Divine Order

If you’re anything like me then you probably like to have a vague idea about what’s happening at which times at a wedding so you know where to be to capture the defining moments on camera.

Why not forgo the traditional paper derived Order of Service and opt for a huge banner outlining your big day events. Not only will it save you on paper and printing costs, it also makes for a gorgeous bit of decor and a conversation starter for guests too.

Divine-Order Large Seating Plan Wedding Sign Ceremony Order Of Service

One of my favourite signs in this collection of images is at the bottom and states a kind of who’s who in the wedding party. I absolutely adore the film credits format of the blackboard sign – an innovative twist on a classic plus the pennants, swirls and shaped fonts all help to make it visually inspiring too.

Think outside the box – old discarded window frames which you can find easily at reclamation or salvage yards make for a perfect ‘canvas’ on which to scrawl table plans and these miniature oars are the perfect accompaniment for a nautical themed wedding.

For Every Occasion

And then there’s a sign for every occasion. A sign purely for the sheer hell of it with no purpose other than purely for decorative reasons.

And why not.

From flower girl statement banners, to glorious chairbacks (FYI the ‘my darling wife’ sign makes my heart melt) through to portrait shot props and congratulatory flags there’s literally something for everyone.

Why not tell your  story through strategically placed signs around your venue. Guests always love to hear about how ‘you’ became ‘us’. Include details about where you met, funny memories or how he proposed. These can be great icebreakers for guests who are unfamiliar with one another to boot. 

Pinning up swathes of fabric printed with favourite quotations, personal anecdotes or even your ceremony readings  is a brilliant way of hiding unsightly venue decor. Try keeping the background neutral to really let the text do the talking. 

I’m in LOVE with the supersized luggage label by this barrel here. Somehow things always look more interesting when they assume unexpected proportions. Is there anything you could shrink or enlarge to create a quirky piece of signage on your big day?

For-Every-Occasion Wedding Sign Pennant Wedding Backdrop Ceremony Flowergirl Sign Chairback Inspiration

And lastly feast your eyes on that amazing wooden ceremony backdrop     I love the idea of all the effort and thought that’s gone into making it and the concept of saving it as a family heirloom for others to add their story onto the screens too. 

So what do you think? Will you be having signposts directing your nearest and dearest on your big day?

Perhaps your big day placards will tell a story? What will yours say?

And is anyone opting for a huge menu on an old school blackboard? I’ve yet to attend a wedding with one on show but it’s on my wishlist for sure!

Come on folks tell me all about it.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Chair Decor Inspiration

…then I’ll begin.

So then folks where do you stand on the chair decor front?

An unnecessary addition to the already stretched budget or the perfect way for you to inject your personality into your big day? Perhaps a bit of the ol’ chair swag sets your teeth on edge and you wonder why in the blazes folks do it.

I like a bit of chair action…done well, that is.

As with any piece of wedding decor, it’s the attention to detail and the effort that counts here. If you’re going to go all out on the chair front then I’d recommend really going for it as half-hearted efforts don’t create quite the same impact; more is always more.

My heart always skips a beat when I spot a bride who has made the humble chair a real focal point of her wedding. In fact lately it seems that more of you lovelies are choosing to do the same so it felt only right to dedicate this week’s post to some seating inspiration.

Let’s crack on shall we.

Scripts And Signs

Ampersands and chalkboards, scrawling fonts and monograms reign here.

And what a delight to behold too.

I’ll let you in on a secret – I almost joined a calligraphy workshop before my wedding just so I could use my skills in my wedding decor. Unfortunately time conspired against me and my sister was more than proficient on the beautiful handwriting front so the workshop fell by the wayside.

Chairback Signs

That said I still fall head over heels for a beautiful sign…the examples below are just some of my favourites. I love the scrolls of paper pinned to the back of the chairs at the top here and daubed with the bride and grooms’ names – something that can be reproduced relatively inexpensively for all of your guests should you so wish.

If you’re looking for something a little more permanent or a keepsake that you could pass on to your own children why not opt for these eyelet Broidery Anglais chairbacks from BHLDN or scrawl ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ on pieces of reclaimed driftwood. These would look particularly good hung in your home after the big day has passed.

Haberdashery Heaven

Tying strands of ribbon around chairbacks was a popular feature of last year’s weddings – especially for outdoor receptions and ceremonies and is possibly one of the simplest ways of transforming a plain chair into a thing of beauty.

From multicolored strands to thick strips of alternating hues, how you interpret this particular trend is completely up to you; the beauty lies in its versatility.

Haberdashery Heaven

For the girly girls, mixing floral patterns in with plainer ribbons in thicker widths looks particularly effective. If you’re looking for something a little more classic then choosing stripes in blues, whites and greens errs on the masculine side whilst keeping things fresh at the same time.

Why not apply your own twist on the ribbon theme then tying a single large bow around painted wooden chairs. Alternatively secure a strip of linen with a clutch of roses around rustic seating to add a dose of luxe.

Floral Garlands

Admittedly this is perhaps the more expensive route to take on the chair decorating front so unless you’ve got unlimited funds then I’d recommend restricting floral garnishes to the top table, pew ends or simply to you and your beau’s chairs.

If I’m being really honest then this particular look is my favourite; there’s something so organic, so natural, so beautiful about a string of foliage and blooms draped across the back of a chair.

Floral Chairbacks

As with the other types of chairback inspiration above, opting for blooms in the colours of your wider wedding theme is the most effective way of keeping all your decor consistent. Using seasonal foliage will also help to keep costs down too – finish the look off with a really wide decadent ribbon to add that element of luxe.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to dress your aisle why not loop a foliage garland along the back of the last row of chairs or opt for posy-filled mini jam jars hung from silk ribbons on each adjacent chair to the aisle. The scent will be amazing.

Swag Up

Decorating your chairs provides you lovely lot with the perfect opportunity to really reinforce your wedding theme be it nautical chic or vintage glamour. If ribbons, florals or a bit of custom signage doesn’t float your boat then maybe this clutch of images will instead.

Why not take the DIY approach and string hearts onto bakers twine to create a miniature garland that can be looped around chair spindles. It needn’t be a fiddly job either – heart punches can be purchased from most craft shops so you can punch to your hearts content in front of the t.v.

Balloons are another cost-effective way of adding a touch of drama to your nuptials. Choosing oversized versions in a similar colour palettes works particularly well – I’d also suggest that you create a sense of structure by being rigorous with the length of the ribbon that you allow your balloons to float from. Add a couple of glitzy tassels for that girly touch.

Swag Up

If you’re looking for that element of romance, why not dress your chairs in sheer overlays with ruffled trains or suspend vintage handkerchiefs or even cotton pouches filled with flowers from the back of each seat. These can also double up as sweet favours for guests to take home with them at the end of the night.

So folks what do you think?

Will you be stringing up apple garlands for that rustic touch? Maybe you’ll be dressing your seating in rosettes for a preppy vibe…

I know that I would very much like to attend a wedding with a beribboned chair or two.

I can’t guarantee that some of the aforementioned ribbons wouldn’t reappear on my head as an elaborate headpiece mind.

You have been warned.

All my love Lolly xxx

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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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