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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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Purple Rain.

Purple Wedding Inspiration

It was round about 2010 (by our estimations) that purple inspired weddings were last in vogue. In fact they were so prolific that you couldn’t turn a page of a wedding magazine or visit a blog without seeing some sort of amethyst affair on a weekly basis.

And then they seemed to disappear.

Kaput! Consigned to the colour broom-cupboard where peach themed soirees and ruby and scarlet toned festivities also languished.

Why might you ask? Well I’m not really sure. I suppose that is the nature of any particular style or trend. It has its moment in the spotlight before something brighter, shinier, more contemporary comes along and muscles it from the top spot.

Here at RMW HQ we’ve done our very best to show you lovely lot that actually peach, approached in the right way with a dollop of 21st century sophistication can look pretty darn ‘hawt’. And I think judging from your enthusiastic responses that we can safely say you agree.

So what about purple then?

I can’t say that this particular hue has ever rung my bells, but lately I’m inclined to change my mind. I’m beginning to see more inventive interpretations using this colour palette. We’re talking less Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and more sassy contemporary cool.

Not convinced…?

Let’s see if I can change your mind.

Lilac Ladies

Dramatic and vibrant, purple comes in many guises. Admittedly this moodboard is probably more for the bridesmaids than brides themselves but just look at that frothy number at the top here. Would any of you consider wearing that on your big day…complete with fairytale tiara of course.

I do love a Lilac Lady but it’s an area that must be handled delicately. I have seen this particular colourway utilised somewhat disastrously in brash taffetas that do little for the lovely ladies forced inside them. And ‘delicate’ is the operative word here, think muted mauves and dusky violets, the sweetest silks and the filmiest of chiffon.

Lilac Ladies

If you’re set on dressing your girls in the same gown, then choosing softer shades is the way to go if you’re after a contemporary look. Alternatively using the ombre trend as inspiration try frocking up in the same dress but in varying hues in the same colour palette.

Lastly accessorise each maid with a complementary bouquet – I particularly adore the contrast of a darker posy against a lighter dress.

Lavender Lads

Lavender lads is a bit of a tough one.

There’s a fine line between mauve-toned chic and looking like an poor imitation of Willy Wonka. The key to integrating this hue into your groomsmens’ attire is to really pay attention to the wider colour palette i.e. the other tones you’ll be pairing with the plummy purples.

For a really modern interpretation of this colour scheme, I suggest avoiding the traditional black power suit and opting for charcoal, olive green and rustic brown pieces instead. They’ll complement violet and lilac tones rather than jarring against them.

Lavender Lads

Stripes, checks and tweeds are your friends here since they break up the intensity of flat purple hues making it so much easier on the eye. Try layering different materials too – velvets, twills and wools are scream luxe and allow a wide range of purple tones to really pop against them

Lastly, if you’re a groom that’s apprehensive about wearing bright colours or a bride that is worried she’ll be walking down the aisle to a Austin Powers lookalike you could always limit the colour to your buttonhole – anemones look particularly gorgeous on a lapel.

At The Table

We’ve covered the lilac ladies and lavender lads so let’s move swiftly on to general wedding decor.

It can be hard to reach that fine balance between integrating a hue into your wedding decor before it looks like there’s been some sort of uncontrolled colour explosion. When you’ve got a strong palette like purple to play with it’s worth thinking about using it as an accent colour rather than picking every possible table setting and decor component in the shade.

Gold and silvers harmonise perfectly with pomegranate and plum tones and mercuried glass looks particularly exquisite. If you’re looking for a luxe look then opting for silvered tableware is the way to go.

At The Table

Alternatively if rustic chic is more your thing then I love the softness of charcoal grey and khaki greens against brighter magentas. Rustic linens also work particularly well in this context. Coloured glass is also your friend, be it beer bottles for your table centrepieces or the softest of cut crystal for your drinking glasses you can be sure that your guests will appreciate it.

Hey if you really wanted to push the boat out you could actually have purple rain cascade around you during your first dance.

I jest folks, honestly I do.

Plum Posies

Some of the most gorgeous bouquets and centrepieces I’ve cast my eyes over lately have used the richest purple blooms contrasted with the lightest of lilacs.

Stocks, lilacs, delphiniums, September flower, dahlias, freesias, hyacinths, lavender, larkspurs, tulips, sweetpeas, phlox – the list of purple floral delights goes on and then on some more. The beauty of using this colour in your big day florals is that there is literally a bloom for every season and every theme going.

For a truly elegant soiree try mixing deeper purples with fresher mauve tones – don’t be afraid to include a range of hues in your arrangements as this adds depth. Tulips – especially the parrothead variety – are a particularly astute choice for city affairs due in part to the architectural qualities of the flowerhead itself.

Plum Posies

I particularly adore composites of violets and plums and the springlike yellow-greens found in the heads of snowball viburnums – the two colours complement each other so perfectly it’s as if they’re destined to be together.

Lastly keep it loose – purple is a vibrant, intense colour that can be a little too much to stomach if used in huge quantities and in stiff arrangements. Despite my ‘more is always more’ mantra, this is one area that I’d recommend holding back.
What? Don’t look at me like that – there’s always an exception to the rule.

So purple then?

Does it bring you out in hives or does it make your heart sing?

Perhaps it’s a little bit too much Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for you?

Are you using dusky mauves or the softest lilacs in your big day?

Why not tell us 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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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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Baby Beau

During one of my manic weekly Pinterest sessions, I came across an image of what is possibly the coolest kid in the entire universe.

So effortlessly chic in fact that I had to include it at the beginning of this post just so you lovely lot can see what I’m going on about…

Doesn’t she just own that look…

After I had tweeted, facebooked and pinned the image, my brain switched gear and I started to think about the topic of kids at weddings.

I often find that most people tend to take one of two stances when it comes to kiddiewinks; either they embrace the idea of these these mini beings attending their big day because ‘it’s all about family after all’ or they firmly believe that weddings should be a kid-free zone.

There won’t be any children attending my do later this month, mostly because there aren’t any youngsters on either mine or the boy’s side of the family and very few of our friends have any of their own either. Ultimately, it just made sense to us to keep it as an adult celebration.

The following moodboards then are a wish-list of sorts, a hint of the sorts of things that I would have provided if children had attended my wedding. They are biased towards the younger end of the age spectrum but I do hope it gives some of you inspiration for your big day nonetheless.

One word of advice for you lovely lot is to make any child-related resolutions quickly. Unlike your menu choices or your readings for your ceremony, decisions relating to children need to be dealt with early on so that parents can make appropriate plans.

Right then, let’s take a look…

That’s Entertainment

Weddings are long ol’ days.

Hell I’ve even needed to have a lie down halfway through some of the soirees I’ve attended, so you can imagine why some children can be impatient, fidgety or restless during these events.

One of the best child-orientated weddings I’ve been to had a creche for the little ones complete with four childminders and a whole host of entertainment tools. We’re talking fancy-dress, a painting table, a mini sports day championship with accompanying trophies and even hula hoops and skipping ropes.

In fact, towards the end of the night it was noticed that quite a few men had disappeared only to find them having mock sword fights across the lawn.

Boys will be boys.

Not everyone’s budget will stretch to a creche but there’s no reason why you can’t provide some activities yourself. Why not provide a sandpit and hold a sandcastle competition or hire a magician to entertain the children whilst the adults chat.

If you’re having a photobooth, perhaps include some kiddie-sized props so that they can get in on the action too. I particularly love these finger puppets here which children can amuse each other with as well as take home at the end of the day.

Some children prefer toys or cuddly animals to keep them occupied – the sailor’s ship and the exhausted bunny shown here are just gorgeous.

Lastly, if there are only a few mini-people attending your big day why not purchase cardboard or wooden letters to reflect their initials and ask them to paint them over the course of the day – it’s a placename, a favour and entertainment all rolled into one.

Come For Tea

Do you know it’s been a while since I’ve been asked to go round for tea. When you’re a grown-up it’s all about the more sophisticated dinner or the girly brunch. I can’t remember the last time I slipped off to my mate’s house for good ol’ chicken nuggets and chips.

Honestly, those kids get all the fun!

Back to the topic in hand then…

I love weddings where children are given their own designated table; it means that weary parents can relax for a while whilst the little ones feel super special that they’ve got their own space.

To ensure that your children’s table is the ultimate success try utilising child-size furniture. Not only does it look adorable but it’s completely practical too. Replace floral centrepieces with items that are much more relevant to their age group – I can assure you that little Esme really won’t appreciate that blousey peony in quite the same way that you do…

Animal figurines make a striking table statements and are fun for children to look at and play with. Equally clusters of cake-pops, bottles of milk or quirky containers such as the bunny-eared cake stands shown here are guaranteed to capture kids’ attentions in a completely wholesome way.

Don’t be afraid to use colour either – if your colour palette is fairly muted and you don’t want a garish spectacle in the corner of your exquisite marquee, try introducing colour in the food that you’ll serve to your little ones or through the food containers instead such as these polka dot pots, cups and straws shown here.

Put On Your Party Frock

When you were young, did you ever have a favourite party dress? You know the one, THE frock that your mum got out whenever you were going somewhere really special.

Mine was a swirly navy blue sailor dress with white piping. I LOVED that dress, so much so that my mum kept it so that I could pass it on to my own tiny girl one day.

This moodboard is all about sartorial choices for little people, bridal party or otherwise because every girl wants to be a princess at a wedding.

I love broiderie anglaise on little ones. It looks clean, fresh and chic and is perfect for weddings in any season. Equally flower wreathes and corsages look great on kids without overpowering them, plus a discarded/lost floral crown is not going to make you throw your hands up in despair in the same way a more expensive tiara would.

This is one of few times in your life when you can go hell for leather and wear frothy layers of tulle and layers of ruffles without looking like an overdressed turkey. So, I urge you proud parents to do your little ones justice – they’ll thank you one day.

Lastly I couldn’t not mention how adorable those three boys look in their braces – just look at them. Don’t they make your heart melt…

Good Things Come In Small Packages

If you’re going to include favours anywhere in your big day then I strongly recommend that you provide them for any kids that might be attending. If your budget has room to stretch that bit further then I’d also suggest different offerings for children and for adults too.

There is a wealth of amazing gifts and trinkets for kids out there, from colouring pencils, moulding clay and sweets to activity packs and trivia games.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box either. Whilst it’s great to provide favours that will help to keep their active minds occupied as the grown-ups enjoy themselves, it’s equally lovely to give them a keepsake that they can treasure long after the day has passed.

Call me nostalgic but I love toys that were around when kids were really kids. You know what I’m talking about…bows and arrows, little wooden figurines and yo-yos and familiar cuddlies.

Your favours can also help to form part of the table decor too. Why not replace floral centrepieces with jars of crayons or lego pieces or even something like the animal candlesticks pictured here; they’re guaranteed to appeal to both adults and kids alike!

So what do you think?

Are children a big part of your wedding day or are you having a solely adult event?

Have you attended a wedding where kids were present? What were your experiences of them being there?

And come on girls – I want to hear all about your favourite party dress from when you were small.

As always we want to hear your thoughts…

All my love Lolly xxx

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