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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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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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Cocktail Hour.

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

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

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

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

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

Bear with me.

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

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

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

Party Tricks

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

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

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

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

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

Which is your favourite?

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

Deck The Halls

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

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

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

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

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

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

Festive Spirit

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

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

Hosting an Autumn wedding? Why not serve berrylicious cocktails…

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

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

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

A RMW Inspired Tipple

You Will Need:

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

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

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

Now drink!

So what do you think?

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

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

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

Let us know your thoughts…

All my love Lolly xxx

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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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Something Old, Something New…

….something borrowed, something blue.

Any bride worth her salt knows this mantra off by heart. As I romped my way towards my big day (and I don’t mean that in the naughty sense) this quatrain played on my mind endlessly.

What would my something blue be?

What should I borrow?

And from who?

Whilst I’m not superstitious, there’s something about getting married that compelled me to adhere to this age-old tradition. It wasn’t so much the ‘bad luck’ issue if I didn’t fulfil the stipulations of the rhyme but more a sense that I’d be missing out if I didn’t. And since I’m not intending to get married again I really wanted to make sure that I had all bases covered.

And so I did….

I’m not going to tell you lovely lot what each of these four tokens were as I want to save that for the great unveiling of the whole wedding later this year on these polka dotted pages. Instead I’ll be talking you through some other alternatives which will hopefully inspire you on your journey.

Something Old

Traditionally the preserve of Great Aunt Edna’s diamond broach or Granny’s emerald ring, modern day brides are taking a new direction when it comes to their ‘something old’.

Some are opting for classic scents whilst others are appropriating vintage lingerie. I particularly love the idea of wrapping the ends of your bouquet with an old handkerchief belonging to a favoured relative.That way you’ve also got something to mop up your tears too should you become a little emotional.

Something that’s becoming more popular is to use parents’ or even grandparents’ cake toppers on your modern day sweet treats. I love how kitsch they look as well as the fact they come laden with memories.

Lastly if you’re after something a little more discreet, why not take a small square of your mother’s wedding gown and have it sewn inside your own frock – it’s almost like wearing two frocks at the same time.

Well I did say almost

Something New

Frankly ladies this portion of the ditty relates to pretty much anything new that you purchase for your big day. For a start I’m guessing that the majority of you have bought a new dress, right?

Be it vintage or otherwise, it’s still ‘new’ to you and so that box is effectively ticked. So I have… ahem…taken the liberty therefore of putting together a wishlist of sorts for you gorgeous lot to enjoy.

The great thing is that every single one of these beauties is actually available to buy right now.
Yes you heard me…now girls form an orderly queue will you…

I’m currently having a bit of a rose gold/ copper moment.

Hell, when am I not?!

So I just couldn’t resist introducing an element of this hue into the board. The point being that there’s no reason why you lovelies can’t purchase that pair of earrings/ glistening bangle/ statement necklace that you’ve had your eye on for what seems like forever and introduce it into your bridal outfit.

At least you know that you’ll wear it after the day is over and it will bring back some amazing memories too.

Something Borrowed

Whilst traditionally the wedding rhyme relates solely to the bride’s outfit, I see no reason why in this day and age you can’t mix it up a little bit and apply this rationale to other parts of the wedding day.

Does a relative own an amazing vintage car that you’d love to drape tin cans from the back of and drive off in for your first journey as husband and wife? What about attaching a borrowed beautiful pocket watch to your bouquet to ensure that you arrive to the church on time?

Perhaps it’s a handed down antique veil that’s been in your family for years or a delicately embroidered garter; either way I love the memories that accompany such ‘borrowed’ items. There’s a sense of belonging to a wider collective, a story bigger than our own tale, a sense of family I suppose. And that’s what it’s all about.

Perhaps my favourite ‘borrowed’ item is an old pen to sign the register with. Imagine how many other marriage adventures have started with the same flick of the nib…

Something Blue

Those of you who read my bridesmaids inspiration post will already know that I love the colour blue. It’s immensely flattering and looks good year round regardless of the season and location.

I won’t bore you with historical references and the significance of the colour blue. Instead I’m providing a plethora of pretty to help you make up your mind about how to introduce it into your outfit without being overwhelmed by it.

Most of the brides I’ve known have either had a blue ribbon sewn inside their dress or a blue embroidered inscription stating something significant but your options are seemingly endless. Why not opt for blue shoes or a piece of jewellery with aquamarine stones? Perhaps you could kill two birds with one stone and provide your guests with favours in this hue…

There’s no reason why you can’t ask your maids to carry the blue mantel for you and literally wear the colour themselves. Personally if one of my girls asked me to wear this exquisite blue Elie Saab gown I would have NO objections.

If it all seems a bit much then asking your florist to introduce blooms with a slightly blue based tinge is a subtle way of injecting the colour into your day.

So how important is it to you to follow this ‘recipe’ for marriage success? Is it just superstitious nonsense or is it something that’s close to your heart?

What will you be borrowing for your big day? And I want to hear all about your something blue…

Also did you know that there’s actually a last line to this bridal ditty – ‘and a silver sixpence in her shoe’? My mum actually bought me one complete with Queen Viccy on it.

Now aren’t I a lucky girl…

All my love Lolly xxx

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The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.

Isn’t it?

The tangy crisp air, the crunch of leaves under foot, the myriad of colours in tree canopies above, the first frost and… the new Autumn/Winter collections in the shops. FYI, Charlotte and I are obsessed, I tell you, with the latest Kooples collection.

Seriously though, I love Autumn for each and every one of the glorious attributes that I’ve listed above. But I love it even more because it means that one of my favourite seasons…Winter…is on the way.

I’ve never been to a winter wedding and it’s not something we see a great deal of here at RMW HQ either. This makes me sad because if executed properly, a winter wedding can be an utterly glamorous and elegant affair.

And we haven’t even got started on how much kinder a soiree held in the colder months can be on the pocket.

Some of you may already be aware of the wintery inspiration shoot that I styled in December last year which was photographed by the lovely Ann-Kathrin Koch. I confess, the inspiration shoot was a self indulgent affair, it meant I got to ‘scratch an itch’ that I’d been longing to creatively explore for some time.

However there are so many other wonderful interpretations of the winter wedding theme out there that I just had to share them with you. The following moodboards are a cherry-picked selection of my favourite images…honestly I was like a kid at Christmas curating them all for you.

Hopefully they’ll inspire you too…

We Scream For Ice Queen

Shorter days and darker nights lend themselves perfectly to chic black tie events with grooms in tails and romantic brides in slinky ice-queen style dresses lit up by soft candlelight.

It’s worth looking for inspiration in the great outdoors too when making sartorial choices for your big day. Winter whites and layered gossamer textures are reminiscent of voluminous snowdrifts; they just scream elegance whilst keeping you warm too. Accessorizing with glitzy, metallic heels are the perfect way to finish off such a look – it’s almost like having beautiful icicles on the end of your feet.

Think outside the box when choosing your bouquet. Wintry posies of evergreen branches and berries such as fir, wild pine, aspen twigs and tree nuts swathed in natural fabrics such as hessian offers a seasonal alternative to conventional blooms.

If the weather is kind enough to allow you to have photographs outside then we recommend dressing for the elements. Choosing a luxurious cape or a furry hat will mean that you stay cosy and fashion-focused all at the same time. If you don’t want to cover up your beautiful dress with a cape then opting for a gown with long sleeves is a happy alternative.

Deck The Halls

You may have noticed that I’ve included a few wreath images in this particular moodboard. Granted, folks, they are a weak spot of mine but there is a solid reason for this indulgence.

Allow me to explain…

A seasonal wreath (and this applies to any month of the year) hung at the entrance to your venue is a wonderful decorative touch that not only pays homage to Mother Nature but also signals to your guests that the party starts here.

I love that the old customs of protecting woodland and tree spirits by bringing branches indoors has been passed down the ages to our modern society today. Try arranging snow-dusted branches and eucalyptus in tall vases to hint at a Winter wonderland without becoming too Narnia-esque.

You can also reflect the textures of the great outdoors by using soft palettes of greys, mauves, off-whites and ivory tones. Choosing these colours will add a sophistication to your nuptials without veering too far into winter wonderland territory.

Darker winter evenings also allow you to make a statement out of your entrances in other ways too. Why not garland doorways with fairy lights or place votive candles and oversized storm lanterns down steps and along paths to double up as essential lighting whilst looking pretty all at the same time.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly decor, filling glass jars with seed heads, fir branches and cloved oranges not only looks gorgeous but smells amazing too. Alternatively go foraging in your local parks and woodland for pine cones and string them up as festive bunting around your venue.

With the right elements, your winter soiree will overflow with decadent wintry textures and gorgeous rustic details; it’s all about bringing the outside in.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Because that’s what winter is all about right?

If there’s an upside to the darker nights and the freezing temperatures it’s that it allows us to feast!

What?

We’ve got to keep our fat stores up, you know!

With decadent dining comes the most divine tablescapes bedecked with candles, crystal stemware, beautiful centrepieces and a little bit of mistletoe.

For the ultimate wintery tablescape, line candles along the length of of your table and keep main overhead lighting low. Go to town on your table linen by opting for metallic tablecloths to reflect flickering candlelight or layer up different swathes for material for a more textured look. Finish off the look by slotting placecards into pinecones for a touch of festive glamour.

Continue the theme by greeting your guests with mulled wine and hot chocolate as they arrive to warm them up from the chilly outdoors. Serving wintry cocktails such as Eggnog along with roasted chestnuts (on an open fire…) at your drinks reception is a wonderfully festive treat.

Lastly why not wrap baubles in fabric reflecting your colour scheme to hand to each guest as a favour to remind them of the day. You could even use them as an alternative to a guestbook by asking your nearest and dearest to write words of advice on them and hang them on your very own Christmas tree.

So what do you think? Have I seduced you into hosting a winter wedding or are you firmly and irrevocably a summer bride?

Perhaps you’ve already chosen to be a beautiful ice-queen bride…bravo for you! I want to hear all the details…

In the meantime I am desperately hoping that it doesn’t rain on my big day. I must be the only bride that is hoping that the sun stays away at her wedding. Instead I would like a smouldering low-lying mist to hover over frost-bitten ground.

Ha!

Here’s hoping anyway…

All my love Lolly xxx

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Favour Me

This week’s inspiration post is a contentious one.

Contentious because what I’m about to show you has often divided folks into two camps – those that believe and those that don’t.

I’m talking about wedding favours folks.

For some of you, these dinky gifts are a sweet (and essential) way of demonstrating your thanks to your guests as well as continuing/supporting your wider wedding theme. For others they represent an unnecessary waste of a precious wedding budget that could really be more wisely spent elsewhere or donated to charity.

I can appreciate both sides of the argument. Honestly I really can.

I’ve attended several weddings this year – some bedecked with favours and some without. Whilst it was exciting to discover customised offerings left at our place settings, I didn’t feel that there was something missing at those weddings where they weren’t provided.

Perhaps this is because I understand the financial reasons behind not offering a favour. Maybe a favour-less wedding is swiftly becoming the norm with modern weddings. Either way I don’t feel bereft when I come away from a wedding without a little gift.

As a girl steeped in tradition and who has a penchant for Time Team however (incidentally I’m happy to accept any box-sets of the series if there’s any going spare) there was no doubt that I was going to include favours in the wedding budget. I’ve enjoyed hunting the most perfect examples of these gifts down and they’ll look amazing as part of the wider wedding decor.

In fact I spent much of yesterday sourcing the final touches for the favours and I’m confident that they’ll look fabulous; I can’t wait to share them with you.

In the meantime I wanted to show you gorgeous lot the variety of options available to you on the favour front.

It’s not just about sugared almonds you know…

Foodie Heaven

The majority of favours that I’ve been the lucky recipient of have been food-related. You name it, I’ve had it – we’re talking macaroons, sweets, jam and honey, even sloe gin. All utterly delicious of course.

Hell, I even toyed with the idea of giving our guests one of those tea flowers that blooms when you pour water over it just because they look so pretty at a place setting. The boy put his foot down (AGAIN!) so we haven’t ventured down this path. Shame really – they would have looked epic!

The fact remains, I love a good food favour…

So, it seems, do a lot of modern brides.

Lately I’ve seen everything from flavoured salts, savory popcorn, cookies and milk, pears and even specially picked tea.

I so would have liked to have been a guest at each of these weddings.

Perhaps you’re having your nuptials at Christmas, if so why not provide your nearest and dearest with a homemade favour with a tin of a mulled wine mix and an individual mince pie. Alternatively if you’re having a summer affair, a tiny punnet of fresh strawberries would look adorable in a customised paper bag.

Foodie favours look particularly striking when stored en mass and can actually help form part of your overall wedding decor. Don’t feel obliged to place these treats at guests’ place settings, instead display them wherever you feel they will be shown off to their maximum advantage.

For example why not encourage your guests to sign your guestbook by placing your gifts for them next to it. They can express their love for you and pick up their token of affection in return, all at the same time.

Talk about killing two birds with one stone…

Created With Love

We’ve established that wedding favours are not necessarily top of every bride to be’s agenda. When you consider the financial cost involved in providing a gift to every guest at an average wedding then we’re looking at a fairly sizable sum of money so we understand why some prefer to by-pass this tradition altogether.

At RMW we’ve noticed that more couples are opting for double duty wedding favours, creating personalised treats for their guests that double up as a place name too. Not only is this kind on the pocket but folks then feel honoured that you’ve taken the time and effort to really provide something special for them on your big day.

For a truly unique and DIY approach think about customising the packaging of your favour or creating a unique twist on a classic such as a bespoke scented candle custom made by you and your beau.

If your wedding budget doesn’t quite stretch to providing a little something to each and every attendee why not assemble bespoke welcome packs for your most treasured guests particularly if they have travelled a long way.

You could include edible treats, a map, a bottle of something special and a list of recommended places to visit/ things to do all bundled together in a customised cotton bag and leave it in their hotel for them to discover on their arrival.

Exciting or what?!

Sweet Tooth

Whilst we’ve covered the food favour already in this post, I did want to dedicate a special inspiration board to sweet and baked goods purely because there’s just so blinking many of them.

Cookies, cakepops, mini versions of the wedding cake, macaroons, lollipops, sweeties, cupcakes and chocolate bars, the list goes on and on and on.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like me, then I’m sure that you will have let out a little squeal of glee when you discover a confectionery treat glinting at you as you take your seat at the wedding breakfast.

Ladies there are just so many options available to you that you’ll drive yourselves round the bend trying to choose just one. So take my advice, why not have them all…

No I’m serious. Here at RMW HQ we’ve noticed an increasing number of brides hosting a ‘food station’ on their big day as their gift to their guests. I love the idea of a ‘make your own midnight snack’ which could range from anything from s’mores to a popcorn bar.

Alternatively a dessert table is a wonderfully modern take on the traditional wedding favour too. I’d suggest stacking pre-wrapped cellophane packages of treats for guests to take away in case they’re still feeling a little full from earlier indulgences.

Treasured Memories

I think I’ve said in previous posts that I am the type of guest that keeps not only the invites but also the place name, order of service and any other paraphrenalia from the weddings I attend.

Yes I am a little bit odd.

Eccentric you might say, but the fact remains that I like to hang on to those things that have sentimental value, so that in years to come I can rediscover and relive the memories from the day.

You can see why then, my favourite gifts are those that you can keep forever or that at least possess a little longevity. We’re talking vintage hankies, miniature enameled pots and even tiny silver toys for those of you with a larger budget.

Modern brides are on the whole more socially conscious than their forebears. And with this improved moral compass comes a raft of eco-friendly wedding favour ideas. We’re seeing an increased use of recycled materials and natural components such as seed gifts in brown paper packages customised with a sweet message from the couple themselves.

My favourite keepsake though is of little plants bedded in terracotta or antiqued pots, lovingly placed at each table setting. Not only will they live on after the wedding day is long over but they’ll add interest and a vibrancy to the tablescape at the reception itself.

If that isn’t a reason to integrate favours into your day then I don’t know what is.

Beautifully Wrapped

I’m a girl that loves details.

Clearly.

So I LOVE it when a couple really take time over how they choose to package a favour as much as the gift itself. In fact the key to a really successful gift owes a great deal to how it is presented because of the part this plays in the overall experience. The suspense, the intrigue, the care; we love it all.

So I implore you folks to really let your creative juices flow.

If your gift is a boxable or baggable affair, consider choosing a more unusual container to store it in. Using customised cotton pouches or even mini brown paper bags tied with raffia and string really take a conventional gift to the next level.

Alternatively, wrapping penny sweets or mini chocolate bars in luxurious paper and finishing them off with coloured string is a fantastic way of introducing a dollop of luxury to an everyday offering without breaking the bank – you can even colour code the packing materials so that it matches your wedding scheme too.

Lastly use decadent fabric and ripped strands of thick silk ribbons, interesting textures and colours for a luxe effect; contrast is always good too. Think about introducing your monograms in a sticker format as if you have one as a final touch.

So what do you think?

Are you giving your guests favours? Will they be food related or a DIY affair?

Or are you completely non-plussed by the favour agenda? Perhaps you think it’s all a waste of time.

As always lovelies, we want to hear your opinions on the matter.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Taking Centre Stage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luxe Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes Less Is More

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

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

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

Your nan would definitely approve…

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

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

Fruits Of The Forest

Allow me to indulge in some heart-felt symbolism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pitcher Perfect

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Lies Beneath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Lolly xxx

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