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This Is Glamorous

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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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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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Seduction.

Valentine's Wedding Inspiration Post

Whether you consider it the perfect excuse to crack open the bubbly and dine on chocolates for dinner or view it as a commercial con for the gullible, the fact remains; it’s Valentine’s Day next week.

I for one LOVE it.

Why?

Yes we all know that the price of flowers sky rockets and that it’s impossible to get a table in any of your favourite restaurants. And then there’s the argument that you can be romantic any day of the year so why choose to lavish all this attention on your beloved on February 14th.

But I’m a hopeless romantic and I love the concept that there’s this special date for lovers, for amour, for passion. Valentine’s actually gives my boy the perfect excuse to go all out on the romance front and he comes up trumps every time.

Regardless on which fence you sit, I couldn’t resist the temptation to bring you a healthy dose of Valentine’s inspired pretty for your delectation.

Maybe you’re choosing to tie the knot on Valentine’s Day itself or perhaps you’re inspired by the concept and pinky red colour scheme.

Either way I’ve got four boards of pretty that might just help you on your way to a romance extravaganza.

Call Me Cupcake

Before I begin can we just take a moment to admire the genius that is these ombre ‘X O’ biscuits. I mean seriously…how are you supposed to eat something that pretty…

If you’ve got your heart set on a perfectly pink or hot red colour scheme but don’t quite know where to start then perhaps one of the easiest ways to integrate it is in your big day sweet treats.

Be it a scarlet floral garnish on your cake, cherry coloured macarons or heart-shaped pomegranate ice-cubes there’s so many ways to utilise these colours of romance.

Call Me Cupcake

Be kind on your pocket by making your own heart shaped lollipop favours and placing them at each guest’s table setting. Think about choosing different shades of pink and scarlet dyes for your lollipop mix; that way you can add a touch of ombre (and impact!) to your wider wedding decor. Finish off with a small tag inscribed with a heartfelt message.

Lastly, if you’re planning a rustic wedding I particularly like the idea of spearing wild strawberries on stalks of long grass.

You’ve got organic prettiness whilst being kind on the environment too!

Perfect Pinks

Those of you who read the blog regularly will probably remember the ‘Think Pink’ inspiration in this bouquet post. Given the Valentine’s theme, I just couldn’t refuse the opportunity to show you more wonderful bouquets…I know, we spoil you!

Layering different blush, crimson, scarlett and cherry tones is decadent, girly and romantic all at the same time. I particularly love the bride at the bottom who has accessorised her bouquet with a matching floral crown to boot.

Perfect Pinks

For a truly modern feel place pink blooms in white vessels or against white backgrounds as this will make the flowers pop. Alternatively if you’re looking for something a little more timeless, cut glass screams classic luxe.

Lastly if traditional roses really appeal but you’re looking for an edgier twist, try mixing foliage and fruit such as raspberries and blackberries in with the heavier roseheads.

Cupid’s Vixens

Towards the end of last year, we saw coloured gowns flaunt their wares on the wedding catwalks. Soft lemons, whispers of mint and blush creations look just as good on brides as they do on maids too.

Would you consider wearing a colourful gown on your big day? Perhaps you’re thinking of mixing it up for your evening reception…well check out some of these beauties.

Cupid's Vixens

I personally will fight anyone for the pink lace frock and the glamorous sequined number – they’re nothing short of delicious. Hell why even wait for your wedding day – some of these outfits would be perfect for an engagement party, your e-shoot or even for dinner next week. You’d be right on theme.

If you love the idea of introducing colour into your ensemble but don’t want to go full throttle, consider adding it in the form of your accessories instead. Statement necklaces, ribboned bouquets, hair accessories or even a bold lip are all simple and effective ways of doing this. These blush pink shoes are elegant, sophisticated and hopelessly romantic – perfect for a Valentine’s wedding.

If in doubt, add heart shaped red balloons with tassels. Utterly lush.

Love Daubs

Inspiration lies in the unlikeliest of places.

Your favourite piece of art, a treasured vase, vintage linens or even pieces of paper pretty can all be a starting point for theming your big day.

This concoction of images demonstrates just that – all the way from coloured letters to beachside love camps. Why not set your theme with coloured bud vases clustered together to create sweet table centrepieces, tie swathes of coloured fabric around tired chairs to pep them up or opt for coloured candles in your chosen palette.

Love Daubs

I’m particularly keen on dyed napkins at the moment and there are some great DIY tutorials on how to recreate the look out there. Why not customise some of your own in the theme of your choosing.

And just look at that ‘Love’ card complete with rosy stamp – if that doesn’t get you in the mood for you then I don’t know what will.

So Valentine’s then…love it or hate it?

Any of you hoping to get engaged – yes we know you single ladies read the blog too 😉

What’s been your most memorable Valentine’s experience?

Surprisingly one of my sweetest memories was sitting eating chips with the boy in a van because he’d forgotten to book a table. Who knew that two bags of chips and a mini bottle of champagne could still put a massive smile on this girl’s face all these years later.

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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