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The Ultimate Cocktail Bar.

The Ultimate Bar Cart

As summer slowly sidles off-stage in the wake of Autumn’s first flush of colour, cool drinks on the terrace and in the parks and pub gardens start to become a distant memory. But the inevitable drawing-in of September nights doesn’t mean the party has to stop there.

Instead, we at RMW towers say, bring the refreshments inside with you as you reside by the fire and revel in the ‘cocktail hour’. Be it due to the popularity of Mad Men or the influence of our cousins across the pond, we’ve seen the resurgence of cocktails and bar carts of late. And from your enthusiastic response to the lovely Lauren C’s bar tray it seems that you can’t get enough of them either.

It was William Morris that said ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful‘ and the bar cart is no exception. Whilst your bar cart serves a functional purpose there’s no reason why it can’t be aesthetically pleasing or sentimental too.

Below are my top tips in styling the ultimate bar cart*

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding.

If the budget allows it then it’s worth investing in an actual cart – preferably one that moves on wheels since this makes it so much easier to ‘take the party with you’ as and when required. I’d recommend spending as much as you can possibly afford to boot – remember folks you really do get what you pay for.

Choose a cart that has a high storage capacity (there’s nothing worse than a crammed bar cart where glassware and bottles jostle with one another for space) and a rail to hold everything in place. Better still are removable trays to allow easy transportation of drinks from cart to guest and inbuilt racks to enable wine to be stored on its side.

If space is at a premium or there’s just no way that you’re going to be able to afford the cart and that pair of shoes that you’ve had your eye on for the last two months, then consider creating a bar ‘tray’ using a vintage tray or a reclaimed side table instead. I particularly love this mother of pearl version from Zara below.

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding_0001

If you want to be considered Queen of the Cocktails then make sure that you’ve got the necessary tools for the job; most cocktails utilise either a shaker, an opener, a stirrer and/or strainer at some point in their creation so it’s definitely worth adding these items to your cart’s inventory. On a side note, it’s always a good idea to invest in an savvy ice bucket and tongs too.

One of the key components of a successful bar cart is gorgeous glassware. Be it a set of priceless cut crystal wine glasses that have been handed down through your family, some kitsch babycham saucers (LOVE those!) or a collection of mismatched colourful tumblers, it’s always worth paying due care and attention to the vessels in which you serve your drinks. Alternatively pretty up plain glasses by entwining some blooms around then stem for a cheap quick fix alternative.

Speaking of glassware, try picking bottles that match the beauty of your drinking vessels when kitting out your cart – Hendricks Gin and Chambord are both examples of great design as well as taste. Alternatively if you’re a fan of a particular type of spirit but you’re not so keen on the design of its container then it’s worth dispensing it into a different vessel such as a cut glass dispenser or these etched ‘white’ and ‘red’ beauties shown here.

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding_0003

Stop right there.

Whilst we’ve talked about the tools of the trade and the glassware and the booze, you don’t actually have to cram every single piece of ‘barware’ you’ve collected on the way onto the aforementioned cart. Talk about over-egging the… ummmm… eggnog.

Instead mix it up. Keep things versatile by choosing a variety of different liquor bottles, decanters and glassware as well as colours and textures too. Don’t be afraid to play with the organisation and arrangement of the cart either. Ultimately in this case, it’s all about balance – not so little that your bar cart looks as if someone’s already been at the drinks cabinet the night before nor so full that everything goes flying when you try to mix a cocktail.

One of the easiest ways of changing it up is to opt for coasters, napkins and stirrers in a particular colour scheme or theme. Etsy abounds with plenty of examples that won’t make a major dent in your pocket but if you’re feeling crafty then it really is very simple to make your own stirrers and napkins by commissioning a bespoke stamp with your initials on or even a faux crest.

Oh, fancy!

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding_0005

Think outside of the box when it comes to styling your cart too; display a voluminous arrangement of sweet smelling blooms in a statement vase next to your glassware or light up your treasures with an oversized lamp instead. I particularly love to have a pot of mint (in a mercuried silver vase of course!) on my bar tray so that it’s to hand when I’m making a mojito or two.

Above all, your bar cart – like all of your interiors – should be an extension of you, of your personality, your style and your life journey so far. Wherever possible try integrating items that either reflect your personal style and tastes – as Lauren did with her glitzy and fun pineapple forks. Such ‘items’ can include anything from favourite bottles of wine, a treasured set of glasses, monogrammed shakers or even vintage metal cocktail sticks.

What will you choose?

An idea packed inspiration post showing you how to make a glamorous and chic bar cart for your home and wedding_0004

So have we whet your tastebuds then?

Will you be integrating a cocktail hour into your big day?

And how many of you are already the lucky owners of glamorous drinks station already? And what component can’t you live without?

And come and tell us what your favourite tipple is….I’m partial to gin and elderflower flavoured tonic water or two.

All my love Lolly xxx

*RMW takes no responsibility for any violent cases of the green-eyed monster caused as a result of following these steps.

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Golden.

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Whilst this post is technically entitled golden, it is by no means restricted to the aureate hues. Oh no folks, we’re not restrictive here at RMW HQ, we love any type of glittery embellishment, be it silver or gold, mercury or sequins, sparkle and glitz.

In fact we love it so much that much of our last editorial shoot was swathed in some sort of metallic glow. Did you see the swing….how about that supersized frame or the immense beauty looks?

Of course you did. Who am I trying to kid? And yes we were so thrilled with your enthusiastic and flattering response that we wanted the party to carry on a little longer so to speak …hence today’s inspiration piece.

Those of you who have been reading the blog for a little while now will be familiar with my personal obsession with all things shiny. I think the pinnacle of said obsession can be dated back to a certain school ski trip of mine where my bestest girls and I devised the genius product that is ‘Clitter Glitter’. The clue is in the name folks…a sparkling tool to help the uninitiated menfolk around the female anatomy.

Unsurprisingly ‘Clitter Glitter’ never made it into production but I’d like to point out that we were well on the scene before vajazzling made itself known.

Anyway I digress, let’s get back on track shall we and start with some golden girl fashion.

Golden Girls

Oh to be a golden girl, hell just to be dressed head to toe in sparkles.

There’s something about shimmery sequins and metallic fabrics that speaks to the princess/ballroom dancer/six year old in all of us. Remember that glitter hairspray that you used to put in your hair for a night out? Yes? Bet you’re wondering just how acceptable it would be to wear some now? Is it retro enough to get away with it in 2013? I reckon we can….

Golden Girls Wedding Inspiration

The fact remains that glittery glamour makes our hearts sing – where white wedding shoes were once the order of the day, delicately sequined shoes now rule the roost. And it’s not just sparkly heels that you lovelies have your hearts set on either. We’ve noticed that golden and silvery wedding dresses are becoming ever popular too with dress designers such as Elie Saab and Sarah Seven including some exquisite examples in their latest collections.

It’s not hard to see why, for a shimmery gown instantly elevates any woman to super-hot vixen status. I’m not sure why that is but suddenly you walk a little bit taller, your hips swing a little more jauntily and your eyes SPARKLE.

Golden Inspired Wedding Fashion

f you’re not convinced then it’s worth thinking about putting your maids in sequins and metallic beading instead. Be it a 1920’s style flapper dress, a short suit or even a shiny skirt with a more sedate top half I’m positive that they’ll thank you for it.

Luminous Beauty

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….you just can’t beat a glitzy, metallic eye for the instant glamour factor. In fact, I have been known to smear a bit of the old golden dust across my eyelids when I’m experiencing a beauty low and it always peps me right back up again. And given your enthusiastic response to last week’s beauty in our ballet inspired editorial post it seems that you lot can’t get enough of the shimmery eye either.

But there’s a practical element to the glitterific beauty look as well; it suits ALL skin tones and instantly bestows bambi-esque qualities even on those that aren’t so blessed in the doe-eyed department. You can be sure then that should you go for this particular style on your big day, then both you and your maids will all look fabulous.

Golden Toned Wedding Beauty

I particularly love all over shine but if you’re feeling on the timid side why not opt for a cat eye slick of eyeliner in black and gently brush glitter over the top for the finishing touch. Using the right brush is the key to this look so invest wisely girls. The iridescent cat eye is eminently wearable in the daytime too so I’m daring you to wear it to the office. Choose a golden palette for yellowy and darker skin tones whereas silvery shades look best on those with paler skins and redheads too.

If you’re still not convinced then why not consider ‘dressing’ your hair with metallics instead. I find a messy chignon accessorised with an alice band of supersized sequins or costume jewellery irresistible. Alternatively try wrapping a diamante headpiece around a side bun for the more traditional touch whilst nodding to the glamour at the same time.

Decadent Decor

‘You musn’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter darling’ is exactly the sentiment to apply to your big day decor. Think gold, think glitter, think bright lights and shimmer. And then add some more to boot. In fact there were so many gorgeous examples of wedding day decor following this aesthetic that I had to create not one but two moodboards for you lovely lot.

Golden Wedding Inspiration Decor

If you’re choosing to have a champagne reception or better yet a cocktail hour, why not add a touch of the exotic by serving your drinks in gilded saucers. For a start it will make your fizz really sparkle and make your guests fell special too. If you can’t get your hands on the gilded variety then opt for plain instead and vamp the rims up with edible glitter for a cost-effective alternative. Accessorise with glittering drinks stirrers such as these heart shaped beauties at the top here or pompoms for those young at heart and you’re away.

I’ve yet to see or plan a wedding that uses sequin encrusted tablecloths in their wider wedding decor but I’m waiting on tenterhooks for the day that it does appear because it looks so darn gorgeous. Almost instantaneously you’ve got a dollop of glamour in a way that plain white linen can’t even begin to compete with.

Golden Metallic Glitter Wedding Decor Theme

I’m also having a bit of a moment with gold spray paint – I’m blaming Adam and his golden swing – so I’m constantly looking for new and exciting things to gild. So far my absolute favourite has to be architectural branches and leaves which look amazing when used as chic centrepieces. Little tip for you….if you’re going to try your hand at some golden branches then it’s worth painting them white first. That way the spray paint will adhere more efficiently to the branch and you’ll end up with an even coverage.

Lastly how immense is that golden arrow. There are no words folks. No words.

So will you be integrating a bit of sparkle into your big day? How about the odd sequin or two?

I’m currently trying to persuade one of my besties to ‘go gold’ for her New Year’s Eve wedding and I’m definitely making progress folks.

All my love Lolly xxx

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À L’orange.

Orange Wedding Inspiration

Every so often I feel compelled to pull together an inspiration post based on a specific colour scheme. Initially there was purple rain and then not so long back a raspberry romance but lately I find myself irresistibly drawn to tangerine hued affairs.

Admittedly an orange sorbet soiree can be overwhelming, brash even if not handled in the right way, but if integrated delicately with just the right of detail then it can be a feast for the eyes.

Festive enough for Autumn celebrations, bright enough for Summer parties yet possessing the chic factor for modern nuptials, opting for this colour palette provides any discerning bride with that crucial element of flexibility.

I should point out that this inspiration is less about the coral and more of the tangerine, not so much peach as more shades of nectarine.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I’ll begin.

Grapefruit Girlies

These citrus beauties will add a pop of color to any wedding party.

Granted the majority of brides (myself included) are much too in love with the idea of presenting themselves as a vision in white to consider any other shade. However having seen this gorgeous grecian inspired bride clad head to toe in this vibrant orange I’m inclined to be persuaded otherwise. Add the dip-dyed cream and nectarine gown into the mix and I’m sold.

Grapefruit Girls Orange Wedding Outfit Dress

If you’re still not convinced then why not consider these hues for your maids instead. I love a daring pink and orange combo – it just screams fun and femininity especially when ultra luxe fabrics are utilised too. Softer hues look their best during the colder months whereas colour pop tones are perfect for summertime weddings.

Grooms can look equally dapper too! I love the nectarine toned paisley tie against the soft blue corduroy waistcoat – perfect for chaps who are afraid of sporting too much colour. Add a colour-themed buttonhole for the perfect finishing touch.

P.S. I need that pink and orange dress in my life…

Tangerine Touches

The key to a successful ‘Tangerine Touches’ theme is to use the colour sparingly. This principle is crucial folks and marks the difference between a chic wedding reception and a party that looks like it’s been sponsored by the lady from Orangina.

Think accents and you’ll be well away. So what should I use as a background colour I hear you ask? For a truly modern feel I love the combination of blue-black, particularly stripes – against blood orange but I realise that this can be a little intense for some folks.

Orange Wedding Decor Inspiration

So why not opt for a neutral palette instead. Blush pinks, soft taupes, champagne yellows, and muted greys all look exquisite when paired with oranges and nectarines. It speaks of elegance and understated glamour – what’s not to love.

If you love metallics, then mixing copper and golden elements in with your citrus hues is a fantastic way of introducing a luxe feeling into your big day. Old copper urns and gold rimmed glasses are two simple yet effective methods of adding glitz into your table set-ups . Perhaps you’re keen to channel a rustic vibe instead. Try integrating lots of natural textures like birch bark, fruits and moss into your table settings to capture an organic vibe.

Culinary Delights

Aside from the obvious edible interpretation of this theme… think clementines, tangerines, oranges… you can actually introduce this colour palette in other more creative forms too.

Refresh thirsty guests with wedges of cantaloupe melon or slices of orange during your champagne reception or after the obligatory game of french cricket or rounders on the lawn. Alternatively, warm up wintry nights by serving hearty bowls of butternut squash with drizzles of truffle oil and hunks of rustic bread.

Orange Tangerine Blood Food Wedding Cake Cocktails

Think about the decorative accompaniments to your food and drink. Serving within theme glasses of Pimms is one thing – paying attention to the vessels in which it is served is another. I adore these gold-rimmed glasses at the bottom here as much as I love the blood-orange and gold polka dotted napkins underneath those frothy cocktails.

Lastly I’m having a bit of a moment with orange ombre cakes. The muted frilly creation is elegant and romantic without being overly twee and I can’t get enough of those fun, flowery decorations on that tiered affair. If you find these a little bit girly for your tastes then displaying your cakey treats on a slice of wood adds an element of rustic masculinity into the mix.

Flaming Fleurs

Flaming indeed…from burnt umbers through to flamboyant shades of tangerine there’s literally a bloom for every shade in this colour spectrum. Be it cheerful sprigs of narcissus sporting orange centres in the Spring, deep tangerine poppies at the height of Summer or dahlias mixed with hypericum accents at Autumn nuptials.

I’m in love with this soft flower crown at the top of this board – it makes me think of wood nymphs by gently trickling streams during late Indian summers. The muted mustard yellows really make the deep orange spray roses pop without them overwhelming the entire piece.

If you’ve opted for a wedding theme using this palette then I’d suggest really going overboard on your table centrepieces. Ask your florist to cut your blooms at varying lengths so that a loose symmetry can be achieved. Mix blooms that have large heads such as garden roses and begonias to create volume with smaller blossoms such as ranunculus, spray roses and freesias for that bit of texture.

Orange Peach Tangerine Wedding Flowers Fleurs Bouquet

Lastly using a range of shades is paramount to prevent your arrangements from appearing too blocky and overwhelming. Creamy whites, muted yellows, coppers and soft greens complement tangerine shades perfectly – don’t forget to add oodles of foliage into the mix either.

So have you fallen head over heels for Tangerine Touches or does this whole colour palette terrify you?

I can’t help but smile at these cheery colours – perfect for this sunny afternoon. And just because you’ve opted to deck your venue in these shades doesn’t mean that you have to go down the ‘you’ve been tangoed route’ if you don’t want to. In fact the whole look can be so very very classy.

Come on grapefruit girls – I want to hear from you.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Oh Kate!

Do any of you have a creative idol

Do any of you have a creative idol?

You know, someone that inspires you, whose work you can spot from a mile away and makes you smile even on the wettest, most miserable Monday. Someone who invites you to rethink your perspective on life, who encourages you to break your own boundaries, to try something new.

Perhaps you have a wedding idol – someone who has been a guiding light for you during the planning of your big day theme. Someone that has ignited your creative passion…if so we want to hear all about it.

I’ve talked about a couple of creative geniuses before – people that have and continue to invigorate me on my artistic pursuits. Today I want to share another of my favourites – one that you’re probably already familiar with.

Kate Spade.

I love this designer. In fact I love her style so much that I not only treated my bridesmaids to her sweet bangles as a thank you gift but I also indulged in her ‘Things We Love’ book as a birthday present to myself earlier this year.

Chic, glossy, girly and fun, it’s impossible to resist the Spade effect – I defy you to read the book and not find at least one thing that you can’t help falling in love with. I also adore how her style is imbued with a sense of humour too – there’s something a little bit tongue in cheek about many of her designs.

It seemed fitting then to try to imagine the Kate Spade bride in this week’s inspiration post – what flowers she’d pick, what she’d dress her maids in and the decor she’d choose.

The following is my take on it…see what you think.

Flashy Florals

Move along. There’s no room for shrinking violets here nor wallflowers either.

No sirree, it’s all about florals that pop. Single blooms of large proportions – think peonies, hydrangeas and roses – and florals of saturated hues so bright you need sunglasses. It’s all about making a flower fashion statement.

Granted, taking this approach is a much easier task for Spring and Summer brides when a wider variety of blooms is in season but you needn’t fear if you’re marrying late in the year either. The mantra of a successful flashy florals approach is to go large (or go home).

Flashy Florals Pink Kate Spade Inspired Flowers

Don’t be afraid to mix up colours and textures; bigger blooms rather than more delicate flowers should be used here and it’s ok to have clashing hues. I love combinations of hot pinks, burnt oranges and pops of turquoise and lemon. Try not to aim for a polished effect either; floral arrangements in this style look best when they’re a little wild and unruly – a bit like the morning after the night before.

If you’re still nervous about the bright bolshiness of your flowers, try limiting colour to your vessels instead. I love the glittery turquoise of this vase at the bottom which really pops against the white head of this blousey hydrangea table centrepiece.

Imbibe

Remember when you were younger and food was fun? When you cared less about the delicate balance of different flavours and more about how exciting something looked to eat?

Don’t fret, it’s easy to introduce a sense of drama and humour into your big day food and drink. Try adding colour through the display of dramatically iced cakes or play with proportion by fixing a supersized topper to your wedding cake using the brightest blooms.

Imbibe colour pop wedding inspiration cocktails

There’s no such thing as too much champagne either. Why not dust the rims of elegant champagne chutes with edible glitter to make the whole experience that little bit more magical. Trust me your guests will look fabulous with these in their hands.

Think outside the box – if you’re holding your nuptials at the height of summer why not introduce some cooling canapés into your champagne reception. I love these watercolour inspired ice lollies with their different stripes of dazzling colour. If you’re feeling really naughty then you could add a dash of alcohol into the lolly mix before you freeze them or even splash out on custom molds complete with your bespoke monogram.

I know – fancy!

Pink Ladies

Think sassy, think fun, after all a wedding is the perfect excuse to play dress up whether you’re a bride or a guest.

This look is less about the delicate wallflower; instead it’s about channelling the confident self-assured woman that you are. Someone who isn’t afraid to let her outfit pack a punch without letting go of her femininity at the same time.

Sexy heels, bright metallics, sequins, silks and tafettas, strategically placed bows, oversized clutches and the prettiest underwear translate just as easily to bridal looks as they do to maids too. Dress your girls in sweet skirts with architectural details or bold dresses in statement prints.

Pink Ladies Kate Spade Inspired Bridesmaids

Accessorise with abandon – after all overstyling is key to the Spade look. So stack up those bangles, wear that statement watch and ‘ring up’ with your most delicious cocktail pieces. I particularly love the idea of a modern bride accompanied by all of her favourite accessories with a statement clutch as a finishing touch. There’s no such thing as too much…

Keep make-up matte and fresh-faced. A favourite look of mine is to keep the eyes and skin simple, luminous and dewy but really going hell for leather on a bright lip in hot coral or pink. Just remember to appoint one of your maids as lipstick monitor to ensure that you look your very best all day.

Bright And Beautiful

I think a lot of brides (myself included) tend to veer away from using bright colour palettes in their big day – particularly in the decor – for fear of it appearing too much or not embodying a romantic enough vibe. With hindsight I think I fell into this trap. I worried that opting for anything too neon, too intense, too colourful would look brash and wouldn’t last the test of time.

But actually a striking colour palette, handled in the right way, looks amazing. It’s eye-catching, edgy and oh so fun and I do wish I’d been a bit braver with some of my colour choices on my big day.

Lately I’ve seen lots of weddings using a more muted palette of soft peaches, creams and ivories with a dash of pink or yellow here and there. And don’t get me wrong, they look breathtakingly beautiful but there’s something exciting about bolder colour palettes.

Bright And Beautiful Wedding Decor Inspiration

Bolder table settings using bright hues are invigorating, I mean there was a rational reason why dining rooms were all painted red back in the day. Richer, more intense colours stimulate conversation which is perfect if you’re having a particularly large do where guests may not know one another. Don’t be afraid to use pattern in your decor either – both spots and stripes are particularly hot for 2013 and beyond.

Trust me when I say that guests will delight in unexpected details too – sparklers as a centerpiece, dip-dyed cutlery, bags of glitzy sequins in the place of traditional confetti and even heart garlands strung from the back of the getaway car instead of tin cans.

Elegant glassware and playful accoutrements epitomise the Spade spirit – it’s worth looking into hiring key pieces for your tables if you’re keen to make a real style statement in your wedding reception. Even opting for glasses in the same colour as your centrepieces can really help bring a look together without breaking the bank.

Bright And Beautiful Wedding Inspiration Decor Pink Turquoise

Pay attention to your paper pretty. The Kate Spade bride relishes beautiful type and metallic foils as well as humourous and inspirational turns of phrase. Go all out on interesting table names, sweet place cards, luxurious favour tags and the all important thank you note.

Who else loves Kate Spade then?

Is it a look you’re considering for your big day or is it just a little too bright for you?

Perhaps you’ve got a style icon that’s inspired your wedding day theme – why not tell us all about it.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Les Demoiselles.

Bridesmaids Fashion Inspiration Post

It seemed only five minutes ago that I was writing this piece about bridesmaid trends and sartorial advice for your big day.

How time flies eh?

Given that it’s been nearly a year since the aforementioned blogpost, I thought it was about time that I sat down and shared my latest musings about the hottest and most popular bridesmaids’ looks for 2013 and beyond.

Mismatched maids and ombre colour palettes are still ruling the roost but we’re also seeing the emergence of some new trends too and this makes me happy. The more choice that you lovely ladies have the better in my opinion. After all it’s all about having your day your way.

I’d love to hear what you girls think. Will your maids be channelling any of these looks on your big day? Perhaps you’re in a bridesmaid fashion rut – maybe I can help…

Let’s get cracking then.

Coral Crush

Poppy, blush, peach, the faintest tinge of tangerine all the way through to apricot – the coral crush palette is so versatile that it can be interpreted in so many ways. And girls, right now, this is the colour of the moment both on and off the catwalk.

It’s modern, it’s slick and coral toned frocks will sure as hell pop against your ivory hued gown. Admittedly some of your girls might be a little intimidated by the vibrancy of this shade but there’s no need to fear. For you see this is a trend that harmonises perfectly with the ombre effect so beloved of last year.

Coral Blush Pink Bridesmaid Dresses Palette

Fair headed ladies look their optimum best in lighter tones – blush pinks and the palest corals, whereas girls with darker manes are able to carry off the more intense hues too. I’d also recommend keeping footwear neutral but if you fancy vamping it up then metallic tones are the way to go.

Of the maids that I’ve seen sporting this look, I’ve noticed that their bouquets have been kept discreet and have been composed of white, ivory and and blush tones. I’d really love to see a coral crush girl with a blousey posy of the pinkest peonies – there’s nothing quite like a colour clash to make a statement now is there…

Chic And Sweet

I’m actually delighted to see that modern day brides no longer succumb to the fear that their best girls will outshine them on their big day. Instead we’ve seen a whole heap of gorgeous maids in chic frocks that wouldn’t be out of place at a cocktail party.

And why the hell not.

This particular style looks most effective in a monochrome colourway – be it the softest ebony or the starkest ivories but there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work in navy or hunter green if you wanted to introduce a bit of colour.

Contemporary Chic Bridesmaid Dresses

This particular style looks most effective in a monochrome colourway – be it the softest ebony or the starkest ivories but there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work in navy or hunter green if you wanted to introduce a bit of colour.

‘Chic and Sweet’ looks just as effective in longer lengths as well as with knee length frocks; the look is minimal with the barest of accessories and compact florals. The beauty look should be polished with dewy complexions and longer hair is best swept up into chic tousled chignons. Finish off with a dash of pillar box red lippy.

Using monochromatic shades is not only incredibly flattering but is a surefire way to imbue your day with a distinctly modern edge too. Perfect for those brides hosting a contemporary city soiree through to the most luxurious cocktail extravanganzas.

Hot Metal

My favourite…can you tell?

It’s sassy, it’s flirty, it’s like having several human glitterballs at your side for the whole of your big day but my golly it’s fun.

Sequins seem to be the order of the day lately; even the high street seems to be falling over itself to nab a slice of the action and the French Connection dress at the bottom here is proof that they can do it well. This can only be a good thing if you’re a bride (or bridesmaid) that doesn’t want to venture down the traditional maid sartorial path.

Metallic gold silver sequinned Bridesmaid Dresses

Perfect for Christmas or Winter weddings (it’s party season after all) but there’s no reason why you couldn’t sport the glitzy look at other times of the year either. Hot Metal looks best utilising the mismatched trend too – it adds variety and prevents your maids looking like one blocky wall of sparkle.

I particularly love the mixed up metallic pencil skirts with the lace blouses in the middle – it shouldn’t sound like it should work but it looks immense.

Sorbet Shades

Sorbet Shades is a slight variation on last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody style in that colour has made its way into this particular trend albeit subtly.

We’re talking lemon yellows, blush pinks, creamy caramels and tantalizing taupes; ‘Sorbet Shades’ is the ultimate in feminine. This look works best with longer gowns although shorter frocks can be beautiful too. A truly successful ‘Sorbet Shades’ maid is one that is decked out in a gauzy fabric that flutters in the wind.

Sorbet Shades Peach, Lemon, Blue, Lime Bridesmaid Dresses Neutral

The beauty of this bohemian inspired trend is that it caters for everyone – be it body shapes or colourings – since its effectiveness lies in variety. Different prints, hues, lengths and styles; there really aren’t any rules.

Accessorise with plenty of blooms – floral crowns look wonderful on Sorbet maids as do clutches of unruly foliage and wild flowers. I also love the pairing of the silk frock at the top here with the orange leather belt so don’t be afraid to make your ultra girly frock that bit edgier with some well chosen accessories.

So what’s your favourite?

Are there any maids’ trends that you simply can’t stand?

Are you a bridesmaid that’s going to be sporting one of these looks later this year? I’m lucky enough to be a ‘Chic and Sweet’ maid later this year on New Year’s Eve no less!

Excited doesn’t even begin to cover it.

All my love Lolly xxx

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If I Had My Time Again…

If I were a Bride again what would I do differently

Did any of you ever read the book ‘If I was a spider instead of a cat’ when you were younger?

No?

Perhaps it’s been consigned to the unforgotten books broom cupboard – in fact a Google search came up blank when I attempted to source some images to accompany this post so I’m guessing it didn’t make waves in the literary world. Shame that…

Why are you asking this daft question that’s completely unrelated to the world of weddings some of you might be thinking? Aha. Well there is a link…tenous mind…but a link all the same.

You see the book (about an eight page affair) was a fantastic narrative from a cat’s point of view about what he would do if he was a spider instead of a cat. Admittedly the title does give the game away somewhat and I don’t really want to reveal the ending so I won’t go into all the details here. But essentially the book explored a different point of view, a ‘what if’ philosophy, a sort of imaginative journey so to speak and it’s this type of mental outlook that sets the theme for today’s post.

If I were a bride again, what would I do differently?

The point being folks that if some of you are wavering on some big day topics, be it your choice of dress, how extravagant you should be with your wedding decor or even how much time you’re allocating to your portrait shots then perhaps some of my ruminations might help.

Here are my top four…

I’d Mix It Up On The Sartorial Front

I loved my Balbier wedding dress.

Romantic, swishy, timeless and amazingly lightweight I couldn’t really have asked for more especially given the very tight timescales I had to work with from proposal to wedding date. Plus it was crafted from one of my favourite materials – lace – which I’d dreamt about wearing on my big day for as long as I could remember.

But there’s another side to me too, aside from my more classic, tailored sartorial personality, and it’s decidedly more ‘look at me’. It’s glitzy, it’s metallic, it’s magpie gone bad.

So whilst I wouldn’t change a thing about my bridal day look, I so wished that I’d changed into a party dress for the evening if only so I could party without having to worry about damaging my beautiful gown.

I would have sported something golden, a metallic sheath complete with glittering accessories and feathers and smokey bronzed eyes. Hell I would have shimmered across that dance floor.

Well there’s always the vow renewal eh?

Metallic Bridal Inspiration Sartorial

I’d Spend More Time On Our Couple Shots

Some of our favourite photos of the day, by which I mean mine and the boy’s, are our portrait shots.

We knew that Ann would capture our wedding day perfectly and shoot beautiful images of the two of us and she sure as hell exceeded our expectations (if that’s even possible!). In fact I count my wedding photos as one of my prized possessions.

If there’s anything I wished we’d done differently is that we slipped in another portrait session. We had planned to hold another shoot after the speeches but they overran and by the time we’d finished it was just too dark to do so (one of the downsides of a late Autumn wedding folks!).

If I was able to journey back in time, I’d pull my past self to the side and suggest that the portrait session in the woods be slotted in before the speeches instead. After all the guests wouldn’t have missed us for another ten minutes.

Given that time travel hasn’t to my knowledge been invented yet, I’ll take the opportunity to share this wisdom with you gorgeous lot instead. Honestly, please have a serious think about when your shoots will take place and dedicate enough time to them. You’ll thank me I swear.

I’d Go Hell For Leather On The Table Centrepieces

If there’s something that still rankles with me, like a scar that refuses to heal, then it relates to my table centrepieces.

I mean how daft is that?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my table arrangements – old silver trophy cups of all shapes and sizes filled to the brim with roses, berry hued hydrangeas, Autumn berries and lots and lots of foliage…. I just wish that there had been more of them.

Perhaps it’s the stylist/ wedding planner in me but when I walked into the marquee to survey my tables the day before there was a feeling that there was something missing. And then it struck me, there just weren’t enough florals within the table set-ups.

Table Centrepieces Rustic Extravagant

Top Row Left: Image via 100 Layer Cake. Top Row Right: Image via Martha Stewart Weddings. Second Row Left: Image via Martha Stewart Weddings. Second Row Right: Image via A Cup Full Of Jo. Third Row Left: Image via JL Designs. Third Row Right: Image via Style Me Pretty. Fourth Row Left: Image via Inspired By This. Fourth Row Right: Image via Inspired By This.

If it was anyone’s fault, then it was mine. Partly for not being able to collect enough trophies and silver cups in such a short timeframe and partly for not communicating more clearly with my florist my precise requirements about the number of blooms I wanted.

If I’m being reasonable and practical about this then it’s worth mentioning that once the tables had been laden with bottles of wine and water, plates of food and the rest of the paraphernalia that comes with a wedding breakfast then there probably wasn’t much space for additional arrangements and I can’t say that the guests noticed anything amiss.

But I noticed and given my penchant for beautiful blooms it made me a little bit sad. So two things girls…’more is always more’ and ‘communication is key’.

I’d Take That Walk I Promised Myself I Would

I’ve been known to be a bit of a loner at times, in that I’m completely at ease with my own company. In fact I have been known to be a tad fractious if I don’t get some time to myself at least once a week – I know, anti-social much?!

Essentially though time alone gives me the space to reflect, to ponder, to process the week’s happenings, to think about what lies ahead and to really be in the moment. If you’re anything like me then you’ll know that life runs away with you and before you’ve had a chance to breathe you’re suddenly in the middle of April and it seems like it was only 5 minutes since it was Christmas.

Do any of you feel like this?

I knew that the run-up to my wedding day would be a bit like this… a manic whirlwind of activity, of ‘to do’ lists, plans, dress fittings and beauty appointments so I promised myself that I’d take myself off for a decent walk on the morning of my wedding so I could take a moment to be on my own and reflect on the day ahead.

Walk

Top Row Left: Image via Ann-Kathrin Koch. Top Row Right: Image via Kollabora. Second Row Left: Image via Abrahum Japan. Second Row Right: Image via Bella Faye Garden.

As it happened there simply wasn’t time. The walk went out the window in the face of last minute table rearrangements and coaxing pesky bridesmaids out of bed. I did however manage to snatch five minutes at about 6.30am when I was the only person awake to watch the sun come up.

This time to myself was incredibly precious, for more reasons than I can describe here, and I only wished it could have been longer. So the least I can do is to pass this experience onto you lovely lot, to stress the importance of taking some time out for you if you feel that you need it because you’ll only regret it if you don’t.

So do any of you married ladies have any wedding day regrets?

What would you have done differently if anything at all?

Perhaps those of you marrying this year or next are fretting over something? Can we be of help?

Why not share it with this lovely lot and get it off your chest?

And honestly now folks do any of you remember ‘If I was a spider instead of a cat’? If so I’d love to reminisce.

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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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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A Very English Affair.

It was Vix’s post the other day that inspired me to write this post.

She shared quite candidly her quandaries over her flowers and her wider wedding decor choices. Trust me, from looking at the plethora of images in her post she has nothing to worry about!

But there was one question in particular she asked that struck a chord with me – is ‘things I like’ even a theme?

You’ll have noticed if you read the comments that I responded with a resounding yes. But actually Vix’s dilemma is something I hear about (and relate to) often. Equally I’m asked fairly frequently by both friends and you gorgeous lot for help styling your big day.

How do I create a theme? How big should a styling budget typically be? How much ‘themed’ decor is too much? Do I even need a theme? Where do I start?

If I had all the time in the universe then I’d happily sit down and talk to each and every one of you but unfortunately I don’t have this luxury. In reality the answer to each one of these questions is subjective – it totally depends on you as a couple and what you feel is of the most importance.

Instead I thought I’d take you through my own process for creating a theme – in particular for my wedding last month.

Before we go any further, it’s worth pointing out that the use of the word ‘theme’ should be taken lightly. I am not suggesting that your wedding should resemble a Trekkie convention nor the set of the Tellytubbies although if this is your bag then by all means go for it. No by using the word theme, I mean a sense of atmosphere that you are trying to create on your big day.

The best place to start is with images – moodboards are your best friend. Whether they be torn out shreds of paper in a scrapbook, a secret board on Pinterest or pulled together on Photoshop, this is one way of helping you to establish your wedding look.

Laying out all of your favourite pictures side by side allows you to pick out the common threads, to prioritse what is really important to you, a way of separating the wheat from the chaff if you like and you’ll find that your theme will begin to emerge.

I actually took inspiration from my wedding venue when thinking about my theme – Iscoyd Park epitomised what I named ‘A Very English Affair’. A harking back to times past, of jolly hockey sticks, polo players, gentlemen’s clubs (in a good way!) elegance and sophistication. Girls in long silk dresses, champagne saucers in hand clutching the arms of their cigar smoking, tweed-wearing other halves.

Creating boards for each and every part of my wedding day helped me to define which parts of the decor were required at each stage and clarified my lines of thought. It also meant that I could communicate my vision clearly to my wedding suppliers – my cake designer, my florist and to my bridesmaids and the boy’s ushers too.

Shall we take a look…

A Grand Entrance

Those of you who are regular readers of my inspiration posts will already be aware that I’m a big fan of the ‘entrance’.

No… not the bride’s grand reveal as she swooshes towards her intended, although I am partial to this particular moment of the day. Incidentally, I’m guaranteed to shed my first tears upon seeing the bonny bride at the top of the aisle…do any of you suffer from this affliction or is it just me?

No, the ‘entrance’ we’re talking about here is your guests’ first impression of the day on the day itself…a taste of things to come if you will.

In most cases, the entrance is actually a physical entity i.e. the front door to the venue or the reception hall where they begin to gather before the ceremony begins and is a perfect opportunity for you to make a real style statement.

Plus you can have a bit of fun too…

When I ventured on my ‘English Affair’ journey, I was keen to integrate the front door of Iscoyd Park into the wider decor scheme – the steps leading up to the entrance made perfect shelves for theme-inspired paraphernalia and the door itself screamed out for a seasonal wreath complete with pheasant feathers.

Given that my wedding was only three days before Halloween, it seemed daft not to make the most of the gourds, swedes and pumpkins so readily available in the shops. Plus I loved the sort of Harvest Festival appeal that arrangements of these vegetables can make.

Lastly carefully displaying huge wooden boules, battered polo mallets and croquet sets along with old badminton and tennis rackets, a cartridge belt and a few crests are just some pieces that bring the rest of this set-up to life.

Here Come The Boys

Striped blazers, brogues and chinos form the skeleton of ‘A Very English Affair’ from a male sartorial perspective along with a blue through to brown colour spectrum. Bowties and herringbone shirts also have a huge role to play and beautiful pocket squares finish this look off nicely.

The key to a successful look is to ensure that the tailoring is spot on. The beauty of such a look is in the crispness and accuracy of the fit – if this is absent you’ll end up looking like an eccentric disheveled professor.

Not so hot on your wedding day.

Another tip to bear in mind is to not be too ‘matchy matchy’. Opting for different coloured chinos to a jacket looks particularly suave – equally having your wedding party in different jackets but with the same trousers retains individuality whilst being eye-catching too.

It’s all about getting the right mix of smart to casual. At our wedding, one of our guests swopped his jacket in the evening to a brand spanking new cricket jumper for a different look.

It was epic.

One thing I learnt on my own planning journey is how much the ushers appreciated being included within the decision making process for their outfits. Having shown them a moodboard of their ‘look’ they were confident enough to offer up suggestions for the ushers’ ensemble. They not only looked amazing but they felt utterly comfortable too knowing that they’d chosen it for themselves.

One word of advice I will offer you is if you do choose to describe your dress code as ‘country club’ you run the risk of stressing out your guests as they make their sartorial decisions – in particular the girls. There is also a chance that some may misinterpret country club and just go for plain country.

Yes folks we’re talking gilets and wellingtons. You have been warned…

Aisle Style

Short of draping each chair with patriotic flags and placing a tennis racket and hunting horn on each seat, it was always going to be slightly trickier to convey the ‘English Affair’ theme within the ceremony.

Opting for a decadent urn filled with an organic clutch of foliage from the local hedgerows was a must, as was a runway of candles to light my way to my beau. Both of these elements were in keeping with the theme due in part to the sense of tradition that they evoked.

And then I took Vix’s approach… which is to pick and choose from the things you really like and integrate them into your day.

I don’t want to give too much away at this stage but I will say that there were specially selected antique bells (an Irish Tradition), the most wonderful order of service complete with Edwardian style silhouettes and copious amounts of confetti.

Dinner Is Served

A sumptuous dining experience like the evening soirees held at Downton Abbey is exactly what this theme is all about.

Using trophy cups for floral centrepieces rather than conventional vases as well as elaborate silverware, mercuried silver textures and cut glass are surefire ways to obtain such a look.

I’m a huge fan of decadent linen and this theme is really where tablecloths and napkins really come into their own. If you’re looking to create impact in your venue, then choosing striking linen as opposed to standard white cloths is cost-effective way of doing this and is bound to get your guests talking.

Dining by candlelight is integral to this set-up, since it takes the culinary experience to the next level. Try mixing different sets of silver candlesticks on each of your tables and use dinner candles in similiar hues to your linen. It’s worth mentioning here that it’s best to utilise a palette of no more than three colours to prevent unnecessary clashes.

Attention to detail is crucial to ‘A Very English Affair’; in fact it’s the subtle layering of different touches that will really ensure that you nail such a theme. For example hunting for period menu holders at car boots and on ebay will add an authenticity that perhaps more modern pieces lack. If it’s possible, try designing your table names and place names to reflect the theme too.

Whilst cigar favours for the boys and sugared almonds in antique champagne saucers for the girlies might seem a little outdated in theory, if enough care is taken and the right components are brought together then these treats can look irresistible.

Trust me folks.

A Floral Banquet

I’m not sure how many of you have seen the film Atonement – if you haven’t then hot foot it to your local DVD shop and rent it out sharpish.

There is a point to this…bear with me.

There’s so many elements that I love about this screenplay but it is the flowers that appear during the drama that stand out so strongly for me. There’s a heady, decadent, fecund aura that surrounds them, the last hurrah of summer if you will.

In fact it is the organic, unruly nosegays that the main protagonist in Atonement scoops from the garden that sum up ‘A Very English Affair’. Think soft English peaches and blousey pinks, teamed with rich plums and muted greens.

Old garden roses thick with aroma, berries and fruits scooped into urns and old kitchen jugs full of lush foliage are just some of the ways to describe this theme. You see this style shouldn’t be overly engineered nor too stylised. The success of this look depends also on the quantity of flowers that you use too – more is always more.

Lastly floral crowns and ample corsages for the bridesmaids finish this ‘theme’ off perfectly. Such arrangements pay homage to days of yore, of England’s golden era.

So what do you think folks?

Has this concoction of images helped you to pinpoint your own wedding theme or just muddied the water further?

Conversely, do ‘themed’ weddings make you want to run for the hills in horror?

And of those of you who have already married, how easy for you was it to select your wedding day decor? Were you working to a clear plan or was it something that you decided as you went along?

Lastly is it just me or does anyone else wish that the time-machine would actually be invented? Here’s hoping anyway…

All my love Lolly xxx

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