Emily & Josh

Well where do I begin, the fabulous Krispy Kreme doughnut tower wedding cake so tall it nearly reaches the fairy light corrugated iron roof of Cripps Stone Barn, or the fabulous fashion worn by the bride and her best girls? Let’s start with the fashion, as I fear if I start taking about the alternative wedding cake I may never stop!

So, Bride Emily, what an absolute beauty she is in her Pronovias Tami wedding dress; the pockets, the cross over back with bow detail and the clean silhouette of the gown is simply jar dropping, and make all those portraits by Michelle Wood Photography of her with her beau Josh extra special. Plus I love, love, love the bardot neckline and high low hem of the bridesmaids steel grey ASOS dresses.

Keeping with the chic theme are the tin can white floral centrepieces, giant balloons, hanging paper lanterns and innovative barber board table plan, complimenting the already fabulous Cotswolds, country venue beautifully and making this a Winter wedding with a difference.

Dress

Emily The Bride: I knew the exact style of dress I wanted and found ‘the one’ when searching through Pinterest. I had to track down the Pronovias Tami and found only one boutique with it available to try on. I headed down to Windsor & Eton Brides to try on the dress. I wasn’t allowed to try on my chosen one until I’d tried 5 others on but as soon as I put on the Tami I knew this was absolutely the dress for me! It had pockets, a traditional front and an amazing cross strap back with a big bow, I felt really lucky to have found my dress so quickly. Eva and Carla were absolutely amazing and even had to deal with me fainting at my first fitting.

The Grooms Attire

Josh always knew he didn’t want to wear a morning suit and we wanted to buy all of the boys suits as their presents. We tried various shops and eventually settled on the slimfit blue sharksin suit from Moss Bros. We got an amazing deal as they were normally £159 but we got 2 for £150. Always look out for the special offers Moss Bros run, especially when you need to buy quite a few! The bow ties were from the neckwear shop and we had to ensure Jackson, our bulldog had a matching one so his was also attached to his collar and he looked very handsome!
My dad went for his traditional Royal Stewart tartan Scottish kilt and he has 4 girls (I’m the oldest) so felt it’s a worthwhile investment to purchase the full outfit rather than hire

The Venue

After getting engaged we booked in to see nearly 10 wedding reception venues and The Stone Barn was the second one we saw. We knew as soon as we walked in that this was very us. We didn’t want a traditional barn and we definitely didn’t want shabby chic. This venue was different, cool and industrial and Clayton, the events manager, knew exactly what we were looking for.

Colour Scheme/Décor

The stationery was one of my favourite things and knew I wanted to use foil. I found Emily & Jo on RMW and loved their simple designs. They created a line drawing of our bulldog Jackson, and he was included on everything from the invites to the order of service and the place names.

We love grey, our whole house has a grey theme so it was an obvious choice for us along with neutral whites and greenery from the flowers. We hardly needed any decoration or flowers as I think The Stone Barn has amazing features like the corrugated iron, indoor barbecue and thousands of fairy lights but I really wanted Giant Balloons for photo purposes and it was such much fun dragging the girls into the field to get THE shot! The table plan was the only thing I splurged on as I really wanted a retro barber board. I didn’t quite realise how many peg letters it would take to list everyone on it but I think it was worth it!

Our favours were important as we decided to donate to Cancer Research UK in memory of Josh’s Grandad who passed away in 2015 and my Grandad who is still suffering with Cancer now. The Jenny Packham swallow pin everyone received was particularly poignant as Josh’s grandad had a swallow tattoo on his arm.

Flowers/Florist

We used the recommended florist from the venue, Beth from Go Wild Flowers. I gave her a very vague brief “white and green please” and our wedding was in February so she was quite limited anyway. I trusted her completely and everything she delivered on the day was perfect.
I wanted to keep the industrial feel so the lovely dinner ladies from the school my mum teaches at kept all of the giant baked bean and tomato tins for Beth to use for table decorations. They looked great and they were free!

Bridesmaids

My gorgeous bridesmaids were my twin sisters Alice and Charlotte, my little sister April and Josh’s older sister Lucy. We had bridesmaids ranging from 13 to 35 so I thought trying the mismatched look would be best but it just didn’t work for us. I LOVE ASOS, and I’m very proud of my VVIP A-List status that was helped along by the wedding. I found the grey Bardot scuba dresses in stock in every size and the girls really liked them (especially compared to some rose gold sequin numbers I had made them try on previously). I found bridesmaid shopping much more stressful than getting my own dress but I hope in the end they all felt beautiful too.

Ceremony

The church was my primary school church so it was very easy to choose and is still local for us both. James, the rector and his wife ran a marriage preparation course and I couldn’t recommend this more to other couples before the big day.
The church allowed us to bring our lovely bulldog Jackson to the ceremony and he watched from the pews the whole way through. Our favourite reading on the day was How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali – can you tell how involved Jackson is in our lives?

Entertainment

Josh is famous for his Karaoke version of Mustang Sally so it felt only right that we have a live karaoke band. None of the guests knew about it beforehand so we were worried they might not join in. The singing didn’t stop all night and everyone managed to have their own little stage moment from my Cousin belting out Adele to the boys rendition of Rappers Delight.

We had a GIF booth from Blushbooth and that also acted as our guest book. I love looking back at all the photos now from the arty shots to the one of my dad where he stands in the exact same position with the same expression on his face for each shot!

Food

The most important bit. We’ve all been to weddings where you are starving all day so we wanted to make sure everyone was well fed. Stone Barn has the biggest indoor barbecue ever so the cooking is very impressive. We chose Pork for our main and even the biggest eaters were full. The Brownie for our dessert was also huge and they made one especially for me because I’m dairy free.

Baz and Fred made over 100 pizzas for us in the evening which were absolutely delicious, we even had 2 to take away to our hotel that night.
We didn’t want a traditional cake because we felt that no one ever really eats it. I loved the idea of a Doughnut tower so it had to be Krispy Kreme. The ushers drove off at 7am in the morning to collect all 216 doughnuts and then build the tower perfectly at the venue. I think they were most nervous about this part of the day! I still expected to have loads of leftovers but when we went to tidy up the next day, only 8 were left!

Photographer

I contacted a few photographers I saw on RMW and Michelle was one of them. She was very relaxed and seem to get exactly what our wedding was about so we booked her. Two sets of our friends had also booked Michelle so we got to see her at a wedding before and after ours which was lovely. She was great with Jackson, even on our engagement shoot when he decided it was a great game to jump up her lovely clean jeans in a muddy field!
She captured our day perfectly, as we were so adamant we didn’t want the stuffy group shots but wanted to remember everyone there and she captured the most important guest, Jackson!






















The post Emily & Josh appeared first on ROCK MY WEDDING | UK WEDDING BLOG.

Cwtch of the Week: A Kiddie Cwtch

Happy Monday everyone!

Gorgeous Cwtch to start the week off – how cute is this kiddie cwtch – the little girls face!? Hilarious.  A tender moment and you can always rely on little ones to completely make the moment! Over to the lovely Steve Wheller from Art By Design to tell is about it…..

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A Kiddie Cwtch

Steve Wheller Cwtch (Kiddie Cwtch)

This was taken at Rebecca and Doug’s wedding on 28th October 2016 at Miskin Manor. I had just taken the group shots and Doug wanted a quick photo with the flower girl and page boy. As you know kids hate having their photos taken so I always try to get them to pull silly faces. In this case the little girl was the star and I took the photo just at the right moment as she pulled the best face. The natural and funny moments are always the best moments.

 

The post Cwtch of the Week: A Kiddie Cwtch appeared first on Cwtch The Bride.

A year in the life of wedding planning: finding your ‘perfect’ venue, by Jenna Hewitt

If you missed Claire’s lovely introduction last month, I’m Jenna Hewitt from Weddings by Jenna Hewitt. I’m a creative wedding planner who loves to work with couples looking for style and a sense of laid back luxury where the focus is all about the atmosphere, the food, the drink and having an amazing party!

Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (9)

Over the next 12 months I’m really excited to be covering a year in the life of planning a wedding and each month I’ll be sharing the inside, honest track of what it takes to plan your perfect day as well as what to expect and watch out for along the way. In fact I’ll be writing about the planning journey of real life couple and lovely clients of mine, Hannah and Ben. Today I’m starting with the venue search!

No such thing as the perfect venue?

My first tip for the venue hunt is to steer well clear of the word ‘perfect’. It is almost impossible to find the perfect venue in every sense and you could end up quickly frustrated. The trick to making the venue search an enjoyable one is to narrow down your must haves as well as what you are willing to be flexible on.

Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (15)

In Hannah and Ben’s case they were super clear. Ben’s family will have to travel from North America and with that distance involved it made sense to make it more than a one-day thing. On top of this they wanted a location within a couple of hours from Heathrow that would be exclusively theirs, with a civil license to marry on site and accommodation for them and their guests included (or at least within walking distance).

They had a venue earmarked but they had a niggle (I told you not to seek perfection)… their almost perfect venue has a civil licence for 100 guests and a (seated) reception capacity of 80. Their extended guest list exceeded these numbers. With this in mind I cast the net in search of a venue that could tick all their big boxes and host the numbers. Guess what? We couldn’t find one. Whichever way you looked at it there would be some compromise and Hannah and Ben had to make a decision on the compromise – in their case the guest list – and we landed on the fabulous venue, Cowley Manor, in the Cotswolds.

Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (16)

Things to consider

It’s all very well me telling you to list your priorities but if you really haven’t a clue where to begin I’d advise starting with the main 3: location, numbers and budget. If you can be clear here you’ll save yourself heaps of wasted time and effort.

1. Location

Even if you haven’t a specific location in mind, most couples have some thoughts of where they would like to marry. This may be as general as you know that you want to marry in the UK but you aren’t bothered exactly where or, perhaps, you know you want to marry abroad. Having an idea of location, even if only broadly speaking, will help you whittle down your search.

Other things to think about are things like whether it’s important to you that everything happens on one site (marriage and celebration) or whether you are willing to travel between the two.

2. Budget

I wouldn’t advise even beginning planning a wedding without working out your maximum budget and wouldn’t start venue searching until you have. As a rough guide, expect your venue and catering costs to take up to 40-50% of your entire wedding budget.   This should give you an idea of the price range you’ll be looking at.

3. Numbers

With Hannah and Ben’s experience in mind I probably don’t need to stress this one but all venues will have a maximum capacity and you’ll want to decide how many people you are planning to invite.

Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (10)

Wedding Style

And now to the fun bit! How do you want your wedding to look and feel, and what vibe are you going after? Most couples have a pretty good idea on this from the start. Whether it be city chic, laid back luxury or classic elegance, you’ll probably find deciding this the easiest part! Different venue types will suit different kinds of wedding style and this is worth thinking about. Much more to come on this in future posts but the styling was definitely an area that Hannah and Ben were wiling to compromise/trust me on so that we hit on something to suit the venue.

The venue visit nitty gritty

Once you’ve got a handle on all of the above you’ll (hopefully) find it straightforward to start narrowing down the choices and booking in to visit your shortlist. At this point come the details. These are the smaller things that you are (likely) willing to compromise on but definitely things you’ll want to ask each venue.

Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (18)

As I merrily tripped off to visit the team at Cowley Manor on a very wet Thursday in June, I went armed with my checklist! Think details like: last order times at the bar and cut off times for amplified music; venue restrictions on what you can and cannot do with the decor; degree of flexibility on things like preferred suppliers and corkage rules; wet weather contingency; facilities for children or less able guests; whether you will have to hire in extra furniture and/or seating; the turnaround plan if, for example, your ceremony and wedding breakfast are happening in the same room; what level of help/support (if any) you’ll get from the venue on the day of the wedding and leading up to it and from who (and whether or not this is always the same person).

The list is pretty extensive so take time to write it all down. The team at Cowley were more than amazing at covering off every aspect for me.

A great place to start

Personally I am a massive fan of Coco Wedding Venues, a beautifully curated online wedding venue directory. If you are at the start of the search and feeling slightly overwhelmed, grab a cuppa (or, even better, a glass of wine) and take a look. It’s easy to navigate, the venues have all been hand picked and they are even categorised by wedding style.

So there you have it, a guide to finding your venue. A huge thank you to Cowley Manor for hosting me and to Helen Warner for accompanying me on the visit and capturing these beautiful images. Next month we’ll be talking guest list and how to tackle the question of little ones at weddings.

Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (1)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (2)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (3)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (4)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (5)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (6)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (7)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (8)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (11)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (12)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (13)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (14)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (17)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (19)
Images from Cowley Manor wedding venue and words by wedding stylist planner Jenna Hewitt. Credit Helen Warner Photography (20)

MYKONOS ON MY MIND

I often wonder how vendors come up with inspiration for their styled shoots? Sometimes it can be as simple as two close friends cooking together on a Saturday after and day dream about turquoise blue oceans. From the seed was planted and this “Mykonos on My Mind” shoot was born…

“The Penthouse at Riverside Wharf is an event space located in downtown Miami that includes incredible views of the skyline while overlooking the Miami riverside on the other. With it’s clean lines it was the perfect blank canvas to bring a little Mykonos vibe to Miami.” Photographer, Erica Melissa began.

“We hand selected vendors that were not only talented in what they do, but that would bring their own unique & creative touch to the set.”

“From the custom built copper structures adorned with bougainvillea flowers to the hand picked china that feels like it has been in the family for generations, no detail was overlooked. The stationery and signage tied into the color story beautifully and the rustic furniture was the glue that held it all together.”

“The ceremony tiles was a unique and personal detail that any bride could re-create. The ceremony copper arch was also custom built along with the blue hanging wooden design.”

“It’s important to not be overwhelmed by the details, simply create a theme that is an extension of your own paradise and enjoy the process of creating something that is personal, beautiful, and a reflection of you and your fiancé!”

Photographer: Erica Melissa | Floral Designer: A Lavish Moment Event Design | Model: Camila Canepa | Dress Store: Island Tribe | Makeup Artist: Kristen Fortier | Design and Decor: Little House Originals | Event Planner: O.Creations | Event Venue: Penthouse Riverside Wharf | Equipment Rentals: SLE Vintage & More | Cake Designer: Soga Sweets | Calligrapher: Tinta y Pulso | Submitted via Two Bright Lights |

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fly Me To The Moon

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As you know, I love a bit of futuristic wedding styling, so featuring this stunning shoot was always going to happen. Add in that it’s same-sex, well just come right in already…

It further illustrates that you don’t have to wear a dress, that it doesn’t have to be white, that you can adorn yourself with general fashion not only bridal fashion, and that you can wear whatever the hell you want to on your own wedding day.

The shoot was actually put together for Catalyst magazine’s photo contest with the theme ‘Moving Forward.’

Vanessa from Bridal Marché explains, “we shot at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed City Hall in Marin County, which basically took the look to a whole new level.  I envisioned a ’60s futuristic vibe with modern touches. To take it one step further, I also wanted to play around with colour and light to create a modern yet hazy feel.”

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The Story of the Shoot by Vanessa

“When we got the subject ‘moving forward,’ the first thought that came to my mind was ‘moving forward into the future.’ I love anything to do with vintage editorial and creating a modern, feminist version of that. So, I thought back to when I saw women at their strongest in fashion and in their sexuality: the ’60s, Jane Fonda, Barbarella style.”

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“The next thought that came to mind was creating a simplistic version of what a wedding is and will be in the future. So many wedding styled shoots contain stationery and décor, which is absolutely fine and beautiful, but I wanted to focus on the two people getting married and show that, in the end, it’s all about them.”

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“The final outcome was a fun mix of strong feminine stances, futuristic style and two people in love who had just eloped.”

Gallery

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The Video

Credits

Photography | Michelle Terris Photography

Stylist/creative direction | Vanessa Prest of Bridal Marché

Dress | Ash & Light

Models | Concepcion Del Rio; Natalie Reclosado 

Video | Jessie Cagliero

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The post Fly Me To The Moon appeared first on Way Out Wedding.

Get kilted

From a highly practical garment worn by the Celts to the statement-making outfit it is today, the kilt’s history is as fascinating as it is long. This month our style blogger, Mette takes a look at the story behind this iconic Scottish item, and how you can put your own spin on it.

“Scotland has an incredibly rich textile history, I am not sure what fascinates me more – the textiles themselves, or the people who devoted their lives to design and make them.

“I am totally in love with kilted men, and I love everything about this kilted tradition. But, like with all traditions, we need to look at them and decide if they have value and strength to be upheld. I truly think the kilts have that, and I will give you some background to this.

“Kilts have been worn roughly since the 1550s, but the checked woven cloth has been worn long before that, by Celts in many locations as far back as the Roman times. The word kilt probably stems back from the Nordic “Kjilt” and means wrap around and tucked up around the body. The first kilts were more of a big blanket wrapped around you and held in place with a belt. It could easily be undone to cover you for a sleep.

“The loose kilt and plaid was great for agricultural work but as the Industrial Revolution accelerated the need for more streamlined workwear for working in the factories, the kilt changed to a simpler version without the plaid (the bit that comes over the shoulder) and with the pleats stitched down, so it literally was a “hands-free” garment.

“The first kilts were made in tartans, in its broad meaning of colours crossing on the cloth. The tartans developed and became more advanced. Tartans were coloured with plant dyes, so the colours were largely dependent on the vegetation in the local area. The tales about every name having its own tartan, as we refer to them today is probably largely a product of the 19th century. But still the clans were largely linked to local areas, and they would probably have worn the same or similar tartan designs.

“After the infamous battle of Culloden in 1746, the wearing of tartan and kilts was banned by law for at least a generation. When, the use of the Highland wear came back, the tartan designs developed and became linked to the clans or surnames as we know about it today. Today the clan tartans are big business. A tartan needs to be registered and lots of names have registered their own tartan along with football teams, schools and golf clubs.

“As I already said, I LOVE kilts and men in kilts. I am a total fan of the inevitable language of clothes, how you send messages and communicate through your clothing even before you have even said anything. I think few garments send such a clear message as the kilt does. That being said, I have little or no interest in just putting on a “kilt-uniform” – I think you need to think about the kilt as any other garment like a pair of jeans or suit – make it yours, personalise it. Ask yourself: “What message would I like to send with this?”, “How can I communicate my “message” with my kilted outfit?”.

“I love the new ways of wearing a kilt and the interesting accessories now available. If you would like to wear a kilt for your wedding, have a play with accessories, and perhaps you can do it in a trendier way and with a bit more pizzazz! Think different colour combinations, think more relaxed, perhaps you don’t need the full kilt paraphernalia? For kilts at a wedding abroad, think shirts only, or shirt and waist coat but no jacket. Bring in looks from other trends, like utilitarian looks. Update your sporran, get some cool buttons on your waistcoat and jacket. Consider other footwear than what the kilt is traditionally worn with.

“And ladies, I often see men in kilts with this hunted look on their faces. Keep your hands away from under those kilts unless you have a prior arrangement, it’s horrible and it’s crude, and exactly what we women have fought to get rid of for years from men.”

Great advice from Mette! We love how David Tennant wears his kilt (don’t do a Gerard Butler though). And then there’s the Kilted Yogis. So much to love!

Originally hailing from Denmark but having now made Edinburgh her home (it was love at first sight!), multi award-winning designer dressmaker Mette Baillie is the incredible talent behind Freja Designer Dressmaking.

Heather & Bruce

I always love featuring weddings that take place outside, especially when the couple are lucky with the weather. Heather and Bruce’s big day, held next to a Scottish loch was bathed in glorious sunshine – or at least it looks that way in the images by Weddings Vintage 😉 We’re always so envious of our Scottish couples who can legally marry in the great outdoors.

The day was so lovely that the couple headed out on the water in a boat, which made for the most gorgeous images. Enjoy this one, it’s full of gorgeous flowers and fashion too…

The Bride

Heather The Bride: I always knew that I wanted a backless lace dress with a long train that I could feel comfortable dancing around in, yet elegant at the same time. After a long search, I finally came across this Martina Liana dress (style 794) that was adapted from 2 designs to create my perfect style. It was from Pan Pan Bridal in Edinburgh. My something old was a leaf and diamante tiara that I found in a vintage shop before I’d even bought my dress! It was the perfect touch of whimsical and a little ‘Titania’ from a Midsummer Night’s dream. I added shoes from Jimmy Choo (style Evelyn) for a cheeky bit of glamour.

The Groom

Bruce opted for a modern tailor-made kilt suit, with matching waistcoat and jacket in a blue herringbone tweed, worn with his family’s tartan, ‘Mackenzie’, tie. All sourced from The Kilt Store in Edinburgh. Sadly, Bruce’s Mum and my Dad are no longer with us, so on the morning of our wedding I gave him a silver locket containing a picture of his Mum to wear inside the jacket.

The Venue

We got married on Saturday 18th June at Altskeith Country House on Loch Ard in Scotland. This was the perfect venue for us because it allowed us to have a relaxed, informal day surrounded by beautiful scenery. I loved the large garden and pretty stream that ran through it and all the trees were lit up at night which made the whole space look really magical. The big draw was that we could rent out the whole house for the weekend, spending quality time with both our families. We spent Friday decorating and setting up the venue, and the day after nursing a few hangovers and sharing stories from the wedding over a meal and drinks. Because most of our friends and family had travelled from Yorkshire and London, it was a nice way to extend the mini break for guests too.

The Décor

We didn’t consciously chose a specific theme but found ourselves drawn to colours and props that reflected the scenery around us including the loch, forest and natural fauna. We collected pine cones from the forest to use in the table centrepieces, and cut endless strips of ivy from our garden to decorate the ceiling. We made most of the decorations ourselves, including the sign posts, chairs backs and wall back drop made from natural strips of fabric such as lace, hessian and chiffon. I found two 5 metre pieces of doweling in our garage and secured strips of fabric to each piece. We used Command clips to stick to the wall (they don’t damage the walls) and secured with some fishing wire.

I bought some hollow wooden letters and filled them with florist foam and flowers from the supermarket which ended up costing around £7 per letter to spell out the word LOVE. We made the whisky favours ourselves and I designed and printed the favour labels, table plan and place settings at home. We couldn’t have done any of this without the help from our friends and family who baked cakes, collected jam jars and helped us to decorate the venue for the big day.

The Flowers

Our florist, Elaine, from Pretty Little Flowers was from the neighbouring town of Callander and made my bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, button holes, a floral garland for the cast iron archway and provided a selection or fresh flowers for us to decorate the tables ourselves. My bouquet was made up of lilac roses, daisies, veronica, sweetpea, purple heather and clematis tied together with long flowing ribbons. The bridesmaids had slightly smaller versions of the same. The groom and groomsmen’s button holes included heather, a white rose and Scottish thistle to represent our Yorkshire and Scottish roots. My Mum gave me ‘something borrowed’ which was her locket with a picture of my Dad in it. I tied it around my bouquet as a way of him walking me down the aisle. Our centrepieces were made of old jam jars which friends and family had collected for us over the year. I used three per table and purchased enough flowers from Elaine to fill each one for around £5 per jar. I bought some wooden fairies and fabric butterflies from Hobbycraft to decorate each centrepiece.

The Wedding Party

The bridesmaids wore soft peachy-nude dresses from Debenhams and metallic silver shoes from ASOS. My niece, the flower fairy, wore a matching colour tutu dress and flower headband from Accessorize and carried a personalised wand from Not On The High Street. My nephews and the groomsmen wore blue suits with matching Mackenzie tartan ties and the best man’s kilt suit was also from The Kilt Store in Edinburgh.

The Ceremony

We had a humanist ceremony under the tree in the garden with stunning views of Ben Lomond in the background. Bruce’s sister did a lovely reading for us during the ceremony and we finished with a traditional ‘tying the knot’ ritual which had everyone going ‘a-ha’ at the end.

The Entertainment

Our band Daytura were incredible and had everyone up dancing from start to finish. We wanted a real party and a band that had lots of energy so when we found these guys we were so happy. They played everything from rock, blues and indie and even took to the time to learn our favourite song, Everlong by the Foo Fighters. We also had an acoustic set in the afternoon that played in the garden whilst everyone enjoyed garden games in the sun.

The Food

We wanted an informal meal for the wedding breakfast, so instead of the usual 3 course dinner we had a BBQ of steak burgers, king prawns and a variety of seasonal salads all served to the tables. We created a ‘cake table’ where everyone could help themselves to deserts made by family and friends. We had chocolate cakes, fairy buns, Victoria sponges and a beautiful rainbow cake made by a friend of a friend who we have never even met which I thought was really touching. Our canapes included mini Yorkshire puddings, langoustine tempura, goats cheese with heather honey and wild mushroom aranchini.

The Photographer

We had the wonderful Harriet from Weddings Vintage do our wedding photography. She was brilliant throughout the day and we felt very relaxed around her all-day long.














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Real Couples’ Advice: How to get the most from your wedding band

There is SO much to organising a wedding, isn’t there?!! And with each little item on your wedding checklist, there’s a small army of sub-items to check too! For example, planning when your band will start to play, or if you’ll need a DJ afterwards, and how all of that ties in with food! (Because as much as we love a dance, we really can’t wait for the meal, right?!) So here are some real couples’ top tips for getting the most from your wedding band, courtesy of our lovely friends at the fabulous Alive Network.

Alive Network and Live Wires, image credit Brett Symes Photography (3)

All images are by Brett Symes Photography at www.brettsymesphotography.co.uk

So you’ve weighed up the options, done your best Simon Cowell, and chosen the live wedding band that’s going to give you and your friends the hands-in-the-air party of your life. Good work!

But getting your perfect music match doesn’t end there. The very best artists and agencies should work with you to truly tailor your celebrations, helping you make the band experience your own.

From timings to set lists, we asked real newlyweds who’ve ‘been there, done that’ with one of the UK’s best wedding bands, Live Wires, for their top tips on getting most from your band.

Alive Network and Live Wires, image credit Brett Symes Photography (2)

1. Be chilled about the set list!

“When it came to the set list, I was initially a bit over prescriptive! I wanted to pick every track they played. The band convinced me to let go of the reins a little… They were right. Who knew Footloose would be the biggest floor filler of the night?!”

~ Lucy & Jacob

“If you’re not sure which tracks to choose, give your band an idea of the artists that you love so they can get a feel of your tastes and tailor their set to you.”

~ Lottie & Chris

“Live Wires achieved the impossible and managed to get our young teenage guests happily dancing amongst their parents and adult friends – no mean feat!”

~ Ruth

Chances are you’ve checked out your bands’ repertoire in advance and generally like what they play. So do go through it and give them a list of your top picks – as well as a ‘do-not-play’ list. But try to resist being too rigid. A great professional band will know how to build the party and should feel able to add a track or two they know works if the crowd aren’t feeling it.

They will also work with you to nail a set list that’s great for everyone. Unless you’re sticking to a particular style or genre, your band should provide a wide range of song choices to keep everyone happy – from grandparents to Emo-loving teenage guests.

2. Ask your musicians to multi-task

“We actually saved some on the budget by asking Live Wires to play an acoustic set during our drinks reception. We were looking at getting another artist in, but it worked out far cheaper to ask the one band to do both day and evening. They played a chilled out acoustic set in the day and three party sets later. We put what we’d saved behind the bar – a popular decision!”

~ Gareth

If you haven’t yet considered music beyond your evening party, you’re missing out. Live music really ramps up the emotion and atmosphere at your ceremony, drinks reception or wedding breakfast. Get more band for your buck by choosing an artist that can offer ceremony performances and low-key daytime sets, as well as a lively, full band party performance.

Likewise, most professional bands offer a DJ service for late night dancing. You’ll save a packet by getting the band to multi-task instead of hiring in someone else. Plus you’ll have fewer logistics to deal with.

3. Avoid a bar-party split!

“We picked our venue because the bar was at the back of the function room. I’ve been at weddings before where it feels quite flat and quiet when everyone’s queueing for the bar, and I didn’t want that. I wanted everyone in the same room, having a laugh and a dance and joining in with the party!” 

Lily and Pete

 

Booking a venue where your band and your bar are in the same room will guarantee a party atmosphere all night. If guests aren’t on the dancefloor their chat can still fill the room and create a ‘buzz’. Plus, bar-goers are more likely to be tempted onto the dancefloor when they hear a song they love if they’re actually in the same room to hear it!

4. Don’t start the party too early

“If we could do it again, we’d have the band start later. We didn’t leave enough time after the meal, so everyone was a bit too full and a bit too sober to party hard come Live Wires’ first set!”

~ Jess & Andy

“If you’re anticipating a sunny day or have a venue that tempts people outdoors, mention it to the band in advance so they can be flexible on performance times. We had to start a bit later than we’d planned… it was such a beautiful evening and we wanted to enjoy a few drinks outside in the last of the summer sun. They were really accommodating and after the sun went down, everyone was ready to party!”

Verity & Sam


After the wedding breakfast, allow a bit of time for your guests to relax before the band strikes up. Most people need to warm up post meal, perhaps have a few drinkies, and get dancefloor-confident before getting down! Likewise, on a lovely summer evening, it can be a big ask to pull your guests in from the outdoors before the sun goes down. A professional band will be happy to be flexible.

5. Upgrade your First Dance

“Rather than playing your first dance through an iPod, ask your band if they can play it live. It really makes a difference. Our song (The One by Kodaline) wasn’t on Live Wire’s repertoire, so they charged us a small fee to learn it. Worth every penny! It’s definitely one of our wedding highlights.”

~ Gill & Rich

Live Wires’ Tom Odell rendition for our first dance was amazing. It will live with us forever.

~ Quintin

This is one of your big moments. And it will be such a big memory. Delivered live, your first dance song is even more emotional. Ask your band if they can perform a live rendition of your chosen song, and check what they can offer with their line up (they might not be able to reproduce a full strings section, for example!). It will take your first dance to a new level.

6. Music vs food!

“My top tip would be to make sure the food is not being served at the same time as the band start to play. Our times slipped so their first set wasn’t really watched or made the most of. The second [set] was brilliant. It’s my only regret because everyone loved them!”

~ Adele

If you want everyone to enjoy your band to the max, serve your evening food before or in-between sets. For hungry wedding guests, Beyoncé herself could not compete with a buffet table or pizza oven, and there’s nothing more appealing to a British crowd than a queue for food!

Alive Network and Live Wires, image credit Brett Symes Photography (1)

7. Enjoy it!

“Many of our guests commented on how fantastic the band were and they managed to get everybody up and dancing. Our only regret is that we didn’t really get to see too much of them with everything else that was going on.”

~ Beth & Paul

Live music is such a wonderful part of your wedding day, so remember to enjoy it and be a part of it. Losing yourself in the music, good times with your friends and family, and the incredible feeling of each moment is what you’ll remember. Don’t fret about the small stuff – just get on that dancefloor and show them how it’s done!


Alive Network is the UK’s biggest and best loved wedding entertainment agency. To check out the brilliant Live Wires and more of the UK’s best wedding bands visit them here.

For more musical ideas and inspiration, take a look at Alive’s gorgeous (it really is!) new Ultimate Guide to Wedding Entertainment.

New sponsor welcome! Warble Entertainment

Weekends are for dancing, singing your heart out and letting your hair down. I’ll be enjoying the sunshine this weekend and I hope you will too – and if there’s one wedding planning job which you can enjoy doing while the sun shines and you’re chilling with a prosecco in the sunshine, it’s going online and finding your perfect wedding entertainment.

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I’m so happy to be welcoming one of the UK’s most longest established wedding entertainment agencies to the English Wedding Blog today. Warble Entertainment are in their 20th year – so they clearly know just how to keep their brides, grooms and acts happy as can be!

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Warble Entertainment provide exciting, professional, reliable and fun entertainment for over 6000 weddings each year.

Whether you are looking for a live band, magician, caricaturist, lookalike or saxophonist or anything in between – we provide it.

We absolutely love weddings and completely understand how much hard work goes into organising them so we treat each one with the care and attention it deserves.

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The thing we love most about our job is when we receive feedback afterwards from brides and grooms telling us how the entertainment we provided made their day and it’s the thing all the guests are talking about most!

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Contact & Bookings: Warble Entertainment

www.warble-entertainment.com
Instagram.com/warble_ents
Twitter.com/warble_ents
Facebook.com/WarbleWeddingEntertainmentAgency
Pinterest.com/warbleents

 

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