A Quick Guide to….. Flowers

Hello all, been a while since I have posted I know..

I’ve been finally kicking things into gear planning my own wedding; given notice to marry, booked the reception, ordered the invitations, drawn up the guestlist, etc. I know I’m probably way behind other April 2013 brides, but hey, progress is progress!

Anyway, one of the things I have yet to have sorted for the wedding are the flowers. And the flowers are what holds my whole theme of the day together. So I thought that I would write a quick guide to bridal flowers for anybody else who might be a bit lost!

Picking your flowers

This is obviously the best bit! Things to bear in mind when choosing flowers are whether they are readily available at the time of the wedding (being harder to source means that they will be much more pricey), how they fit in with the theme of your day (be that colour, shape, etc), price (if you are sticking to a budget), and also how well they will fare during the day (i.e. the hardiness of the flower)

I also love discovering the meanings behind flowers and trying to incorporate ones with specific words meaningful to me in the bouquet. Here is a good list to begin with.

The Bouquet

The next thing to think about is the structure of the bouquet. The main types to choose from are:

The Shower Bouquet – The most traditional of them all, the blooms cascade down and often involve trailing blooms such as ivy, although an unusual alternative I have seen is jasmine, which would smell lovely as well. This is actually my favourite, and great if you want to bring a little Victorian style into your wedding.

The Nosegay Bouquet- A tightly wrapped rounded shape, with a long stems usually bound with ribbon. Flowers were typically chosen for their smell and could include fresh herbs. A good choice if looking to adorn the bouquet with an item such as a borrowed brooch or rosary beads etc.

The Posy Bouquet – Small and tightly bounded, can be in a formal rounded shape or more unstructured. Can be held with one hand. A good choice if the bride does not want her dress to be overwhelmed by the bouquet

The Pomander Bouquet- An arranged ball of flowers hanging from a ribbon worn around the wrist. Usually a choice for the bridesmaids or flower girls but makes an unusual and quirky bouquet for a bride, and adds an element of fun to the bridal look

The Unstructured Bouquet – A popular choice for shabby chic, vintage and festival inspired weddings, the idea is to create a look as if one has just been picking flowers in a meadow to create a ‘wild’, undone look. More freedom to play around with colour, shape and texture

And the rest!

Finally, you can decide on bridesmaid bouquets, buttonholes, table decorations and flowers in your hair (?) to match!

As a final aside, my current ideal bouquet is consisting of a cascade bouquet made up from antique roses, marguerite daisies, sweet peas with trailing ivy, symbolising; gracefulness, loyalty, lasting pleasure, friendship, and an unbreakable and everlasting love. My pictures of inspiration are below:

Would love to see your bouquets, have fun deciding!

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The most gorgeous collection of shoes

I hate wedding shoes.

It seems to me that shoes which people would never normally dream of wearing suddenly become acceptable on your wedding day. A search for wedding shoes brings up a whole range of hideous pointy toed  kitten heels that I can’t imagine to flatter anyone’s ankles. Needless to say, my search for wedding shoes has thus been fruitless.

Until…I stumbled upon a collection of shoes by Rachel Simpson (and later found out that she is a MASSIVE name in the wedding industry!) and fell in love with pretty much all of them. Shoes that are elegant, flattering, but still have so much exquisite detail on them. I haven’t bought my pair yet, but these are some ones which make my shortlist:

Imogen

 

Katie

 

Mimi

 

However, never one to miss an opportunity to pounce upon a bargain, I discovered the Rachel Simpson outlet store, where you can buy discontinued shoes and factory seconds at massively reduced prices. Obviously a favourited page for me, visit this link to find a pair for yourself!

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Cake.

If there is one thing that I am passionate about, its food. I was inspired to write this post after catching up on my weekly fix of the Great British Bake Off, as it got me thinking about wedding cakes, and in particular, baking your own wedding cake.

I wanted to make my own wedding cake, but I was told by my husband to be that NO bride should ever make her own cake (it also would have been a logistical nightmare considering I live in a different part of the country to where I will be getting married), so instead my beloved Nan will be making my cake, which really does mean a lot to me. I think there is something really special about a friend or family member making the cake; its a way of incorporating people into your day, taking some of the pressure off yourself, and also saves money in the budget if you count the cake as a present.

I will be going for a small 2 tier cake, simple and elegant, decorated with fresh antique dusty-pink roses to match my bouquet

So I thought I would provide some hints if you are thinking of making your own lovely cake:

  • Think about the size cake you will need, you can get online calculators to work out how much cake you will need for your number of guests. Try http://www.cakesbyracheledwards.com/portion-guide.php
  • You catch match your cake to your theme in more ways than one. Think about the flavours as well as the decoration, for example if you are having a rustic outdoor wedding, a carrot cake would suit perfectly
  • Fresh flowers are a simple and fuss-free way to decorate a plain iced cake elegantly
  • Don’t forget dowling rods to ensure structure and stability when assembling the tiers of the cake
  • If you are making a traditional fruit cake, it can be made quite far in advance ahead of time and ‘fed’ to keep it lovely and moist.
  • Finally…use well known cake designers for inspiration in making your own cake, you can get some great ideas for flavours and methods of decoration.

Happy Baking!!

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Breaking with Tradition

By nature, I am a highly contradictory person. I contradict myself in the things that I say and do, my likes and dislikes…or maybe you could just call me eclectic. However, I was thinking to myself about how much I liked finding out about where bridal traditions and customs stemmed from, and I thought myself to be quite a traditional person. The reality is…I’m really not traditional in that sense. My fiance and I mutually agreed to get married rather than a surprise proposal, we are planning a lot of it together as a couple, and he has seen me in the dress. No doubt many more traditions will be broken along the way, but these are a few of my favourites:

Bridesmaids dresses: In a similar style to the bride’s, but in a different colour to confuse evil spirits from acting upon the bride

Wedding cake: Originally wheat from the bouquet made into a cake and broken over the bride’s head to encourage fertility

Tying wedding shoes to the back of the car: Brides used to be stuck symbolically with a shoe by the groom as a display of his authority in the marriage!

Buttonholes: From when men used to wear a lady’s colours as a symbol of their devotion

Carrying the bride over the threshold: To protect the bride from evil spirits that she would step up if she walked into the house

Honeymoon: Translates in Irish as ‘month of honey’ –  after the wedding husband and wife would spend a month together drinking honeyed wine or mead, away from where their families could try and separate them.

As my fiance is Welsh, I understand that on the morning of the wedding, the groom breaks into the bride’s house to capture her for the wedding. She should be disguised as an old women for luck. Once found, they head to church, but the bride is kidnapped AGAIN by her father. Once the groom retrieves her for the second time, they can finally head to church.

Needless to say that I don’t think I will be bothering with that on my day!

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5 Ideas to make your day different

The best thing about planning your wedding (yes, even more than trying on lots of lovely dresses!) is being able to personalise your day to make it a reflection of your relationship and your personality as a couple. For example, if you are both into music then you can really go for it and hire an amazing band to entertain in the evening or create the best wedding playlist ever for the reception.

I’ve come up with 5 things that would give your day a little something extra.

Weddings Past

One idea I love is to display photographs of your parent’s, grandparent’s (and as far back as you can go!) wedding days. Old photographs are always lovely to look at, really suit a vintage theme wedding, and incorporate loved ones who have passed into being part of your day. Displayed in mismatched, pretty frames, this is a really easy and effective display to create.


Image Credit: Aphroditenet Wedding

Happily Ever After

If you and your partner are both interested in reading and love books, then a nice idea is to use old second hand books as individual place settings (which could also double up as a favour if you personalised it by writing a message on the inside cover). Again, this works well with a vintage theme, and if you are only having a small wedding then it doesn’t have to work out too expensive.                                  

DIY pinwheel setting from an old book page

Image Credit: Bridal Musings 

Snap Happy

Perhaps you and your husband-to-be are both keen on photography, enjoy posing for the camera, or are looking for a way to entertain your guests and provide mementos of the day. Hiring a photobooth for the day, or even just providing lots of the instant Polaroid cameras, are both great options. Guaranteed to go down a storm with guests, especially if you provide some props to dress up with…

    Image Credits: In the Booth

Here Come the Bride

I think that this is a really cute alternative to giving flower girls petals to scatter. These ‘here comes the bride’ flags are lovely and are guaranteed to produce an ‘aahh’ when they are waved down the aisle by little girls or boys. Just a lovely idea, and a break from the norm.

Image Credits: Etsy

Tree of Love

Last but not least, I had to include this as it is such a gorgeous idea if you are having an outdoor wedding. A couple who had an outdoor ceremony asked each guest to bring a heart with them. The hearts were then pinned to the tree under which they got married. How lovely is that!! Beats signing a wedding book anyday..

Image Credit: Bridal Musings

Hope I’ve inspired you! Until next time…

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Midweek Eye Candy

Hi everyone,

I know that nobody can resist a bit a bridal fashion. For me personally, the wedding dress was not high up on the agenda when it came to planning, and…shock horror, the groom’s outfit is likely to tally up to more than I spent on my dress!

Don’t get me wrong, I love wedding dresses. I love looking at the pictures of them, casting those that are too extravagant into the realms of ‘Big Fat Gypsy Dresses’, and will still try on more dresses even though I have bought mine already, just because.

I am definitely a fan of simple, flowing, elegant and understated dresses. Nothing too big or heavy for me, I want to be able to move during the day and definitely do not want to be bundled into a car where only my head will be visible through acres of underskirts and lace. This is why the new collection by Johanna Heir has really grabbed my attention.

No fuss, simple, elegant and beautiful, and still keeping such an air of romance. Take a look and see what you think.

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Eliza. I adore this dress

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Willow

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Delilah

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Lillian

All images are taken from http://www.johanna-hehir.com/

I think her dresses are breathtaking. The detail is exquisite but they look so effortless. Gorgeous.

Sarah

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The Best Wedding Invite. Ever?

There’s no way that I couldn’t include this idea in my blog, I absolutely love it.

Tea towels as wedding invitations. Brilliant.

I’m not sure why I love this idea so much, it just kind of blew my mind when I found out about it. Its practical and incredibly pretty. I have romantic visions of people doing the washing up months after the wedding, drying up with the tea towel and thinking, ‘Oh, it was a lovely day…’

No, its not the cheapest way to invite your guests with prices starting at £120 for 20 tea towels. BUT, of you are going to have a small guestlist, then you can afford to invite them in a unique and memorable way.

Take a look and see what you think

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The Apple Tree (my personal favourite)

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Summer Peacocks

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All You Need Is Love

.All designs are availiable at http://www.weddingteatowels.co.uk

Fabulous, don’t you think?

Sarah

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10 Reasons to Have a Small Wedding

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As you may have guessed from the name, small.wedding.wonderland is a blog dedicated to small weddings. I know the idea of having a small wedding doesn’t appeal to everyone and it is easy to get carried away when you start planning, so I am here to offer 10 good reasons why you may decide to consider a more intimate wedding day. Here goes…

  1. Cost: A bit of a no-brainer, fewer guests equals less money spent. It cuts down how much you need to spend on food, drink, transport, bridesmaids dresses…and well, everything! On the other hand, fewer guests means that if you have the money, you can really lavish them with nothing but the best.
  2. You will only spend your day with people that you really want to share it with, rather than feeling pressured to invite almost everyone you have met in your entire life. Plus…
  3. You will be able to talk to everyone properly AND still be able to sneak away at times with your new husband to take everything in, and really enjoy the day
  4. Without having to worry about squeezing in dozens of tables, the choice of venues open to you increases, and you can be much more creative in your selection.
  5. You can really focus on attention to detail with a smaller wedding party, whether it is individualized place settings, invitations or favours. These little touches will make your day so much more memorable.
  6. There is less to organise logistically, i.e. transport, table plans etc, leaving you more time for the enjoyable tasks.
  7. With the chances being that your costs will have shrunk, you can really splurge on the honeymoon if you wish, and make the most of your first few weeks together as husband and wife.
  8. Or why not hold the whole wedding abroad? Destination weddings automatically reduce the size of the wedding party.
  9. Why not go the whole hog and elope? Running away to Gretna Green or grabbing strangers off the street to act as witnesses has always held a kind a romanticism (well, for me at least!)
  10. Lastly, from all the wedding reports that I have read, having fewer guests creates a more relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, and really allows the bride and groom to enjoy their day, which really is what it’s all about in the end.

What do you think? Agree, disagree, let me know.

Sarah

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Welcome

Hello there,

This is a brand-new wedding blog, designed as a place to provide advice, inspiration and ideas for your wedding (as well as an excuse to look at pretty pictures when you should be doing something much more constructive).

I myself am planning my wedding for next spring and have found myself developing a slightly worrying obsession with wedding blogs, and can happy wile away many hours drooling over beautiful pictures of English-country garden inspired wedding shoots, dreaming of  handmade bunting and making endless lists and notes of things that have inspired me.

However….

Something that has caught my attention are the smaller, more intimate weddings. It provides so much more scope for originality, attention to detail, and from the wedding reports I have read, lends itself to a more relaxed and personal day. Therefore, this blog is dedicated to the smaller wedding, however, if you are planning a larger wedding I’m sure you will still find plenty of inspiration here.

So please, do read, comment and get involved. I would love to feature some real-life weddings, simple and elegant, rustic, beautiful, individual, quirky…I’d love to hear about all of them! So please do get in touch (contact details are on the Real Weddings page), and without further ado I shall leave you to explore my small wedding wonderland.

Sarah

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