5 Things to DIY On Your Wedding Day and 5 Things to AVOID!


So you're all over Pinterest picking up ideas, checking out crafting blogs, on Instagram, YouTube ... 

It's easy to get the DIY bug when you're planning your wedding and decide that you're going to make as much of everything you need as you can. And it's certainly a way to personalise your wedding day.

However, experience and stories from past brides have shown that some things are best not DIY-d unless you are a professional. Whilst others are simple and a cinch.

Via Not On The High Street

These are ok to DIY for your wedding day

Your wedding stationery

You can make a start by downloading these free "Will you be my bridesmaid?" cards from Dessy here

Don't underestimate the amount of time it's going to take you to make your own invitations and stationery - and don't demand that your bridesmaids help you either. Be realistic about what you can achieve - but if you decide to go for it, then enjoy! 

Your wedding cake

Seriously? Yes. The trick is to buy a plain, white tiered cake from a reputable source - Marks & Spencer and Waitrose do some excellent plain iced cakes. Then decorate it yourself using fresh flowers or butterflies as Fiona Cairns shows above. (She made Kate Middleton's wedding cake, so she's certainly got a reputation to uphold). 


Ok, we'd advise you not to make your own wedding bouquet. But you could certainly do the flowers for your table centrepieces. If you're having a countrystyle wedding day, wild flowers in jam jars can look fabulous.  


Your make-up

You don't need to get it professionally done. In fact, in some ways it's better if you don't, as a make-up artist might give you a new look that makes you unrecognisable. Instead, visit a few make-up counters in the run up to your wedding day to get some ideas on how to accent your best features and have some lessons. Then you can do it calmly yourself on the morning of your wedding day.

Your wedding favors

You don't want to spend a lot of money on these that can be better used elsewhere. We've talked a lot about DIY wedding favors which could be as simple as a beautiful beach pebble with the guest's name written on.


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Wedding DIY to avoid

Your wedding dress

Don't even go there. Even if you're a professional. Making your own wedding dress is time-consuming, stressful and it's got to be perfect. If you are a professional, well, perhaps that's ok. But make sure you have some help along the way. If you're tight on budget and that's why you're considering making your own dress, then there are plenty of other options - you can check out wedding dress sample sales, hiring a dress or finding a vintage gown that you can make your own.

purple wedding bouquet

Your wedding bouquet

This is going to take centre stage on your wedding day. If you are a florist then maybe you can consider it (although you're going to be pushed for time the day before you get married, which is when it's likely to be made). Take our advice and have it made by a professional (although of course you can diy floral items like your wedding tablecenters).

Your wedding music

You might think that a Spotify playlist or playlist you've created will do the job, along with wireless speakers. But best not to go down this route. Your music is an integral part of your guest entertainment - it could go wrong and then what will you do? Better to hire a professional DJ or a band. The bride and groom were DJs at their wedding


Try and put a chunk of your budget towards hiring a professional photographer. You might have a friend who takes good photographs who offers to help, but the result won't be nearly as good and in any case your friend might drift off to enjoy the party and miss some key shots. A professional photographer will be on duty, take the images you need and make some useful suggestions. 


Your hands are going to be on show all day and be a focus in your wedding photographs. So even if you've never had a manicure in your life, then this is the time to go for it. Have your nails professionally manicured, don't varnish them yourself. You'll get a better finish and be confident that your hands look their very best. coloured nail varnish

Trash the wedding dress? Or treasure it for ever?

The Best Trash the Wedding Dress Ideas We've Seen!

The wedding is over, the guests are gone and your wedding dress now hangs in your closet ready to be sent to the dry cleaners and stored away for eternity.

Or maybe you're a trash the wedding dress bride?

In recent years, there's been a vogue for brides to have photographs of themselves literally 'trashing' their dress in the most spectacular ways. They do it in all sorts of ways:

  • Lying down in the waves at the seashore as above
  • Running romantically through wheatfields with their partner
  • Wearing it to a festival (when it's muddy)
  • Worn it during a food fight
  • Used it as a canvas for a paint splattering session 

Well it's your call, but we don't really think trashing your wedding dress is particularly romantic. In fact, you may well come to regret it in years to come, particularly if your daughter or granddaughter asks if they can wear it on their own wedding day.

Trashing the wedding dress photos

Photo featured on Blissbride.net and taken by Jeremy Wolfe.  WinterTrashtheDress
 Photo by Journey2amrs.com  

Photo featured on TheBrideLink.com by Sullivan Photography. 

So what about treasuring your wedding dress?

You'll have spent a lot of time (and probably money) choosing your beautiful wedding gown. So doesn't it deserve to be professionally dry-cleaned and stored carefully in tissue paper in a box in your home? Just think how wonderful it will be to pull it out in years to come to show it off to your daughters/nieces/grandaughters ... 


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In which case you might like to think about having a professional photography shoot after your wedding day that is the opposite of a trash the wedding dress day - rather a 'cherish the wedding dress' day. 

You can book a photographer, after all the stress and fuss of your wedding day, and pose in your wedding gown looking relaxed and beautiful (particularly if it's just after your honeymoon). 

You can wear your gorgeous wedding shoes again, pick a location that means something to you and have the photography taken at your leisure. 

It's certainly a thought - and gives you a chance to wear your wedding gown all over again ... 

How to set a wedding budget


What's the first thing you should do when you get engaged?

Actually it's not booking a venue, buying a dress or even setting a date. It is actually planning a wedding budget.

Now we know that doesn't sound very glamorous or exciting. But actually, it's not until you know how much you actually have to spend (and how you want to allocate it) that you can really get on with your wedding planning.  

Budgets are crucial 

Because your budget it going to affect everything. From the venue to choose, possibly the time of year you get married, where you get married, how many guests you have ... and so on. 

The two of you need to sit down, write down your monthly income and outgoings (mortgage, rent, loans etc) and then how much you have left over after you have allowed for your financial commitments. That's what you can put towards your wedding and then you need to work out how long you need to save up to have the wedding you want. One thing is for sure, you don't want to start out married life with a big wedding debt hanging around your neck. That's a stress you really don't need. 

Of course, maybe you're lucky and have a good bulk of savings in the bank, or you've just had a bonus at work, a windfall or have won the Lottery! Or maybe your parents and relatives are happy to help you out. 

That's great, but you'll still need to allocate your wedding money into different areas - for flowers, catering, clothing, music, wine, champagne, gifts ... and all the other things that will creep in. 

The Knot has come up with a very handy infographic that we like which shows very clearly how you should allocate your wedding budget, with some useful suggestions. 

We think having a float of about 5% of your budget could prove lifesaving for unforeseen emergencies. 

Take a close look and study this, because there may be some aspects here that you hadn't considered. 


wedding budget infographic


Children at weddings. Cute or annoying?

So what are you going to do about kids on your big day?

Are you going to make your family and friends' children welcome? Or make it a day for grown ups only?

Hmm. Personally we think it depends on the type of wedding you're having. If it's a chic city affair in the evening then just adults might be the way. But there's something about kids at weddings - with all the noise, activity, running around and excitement they bring - that creates a fabulous atmosphere.

Thinking about kids at weddings

  • First off, if you ask your friends not to bring their offspring, then you're going to find that many of them have to decline the invitation. Particularly if you're getting married a distance away from where they live because childcare might turn out to be a problem. On the other hand, give them the option to bring their children and they might decline in favour of a bit of peace and quiet for a day!
  • If you're having young flowergirls and pageboys then you can't really ban kids. Because it looks a bit weird if you welcome some children and not others. Besides which, your young attendants are likely to get bored if they don't have others of their age group to play with.
  • Keep those children busy. At the ceremony, hand out confetti for them to throw afterwards. They'll love being involved and it will make for some great photographs.
  • A children's table is a great idea. Have two or three for different age groups (because toddlers aren't going to get along with eight year olds). Lay out children's activity packs to keep them going through the speeches.
  • You might like to think about a different menu for the children. Young kids won't particularly enjoy rich food and might do better with snacks on the table or little packed lunchboxes of their own.
  • If you're having a garden wedding, think about garden games like giant Jenga. Have a bouncy castle (but make sure it's monitored by an adult).
  • An entertainer or magician is not only fun for the adults, but a good one will keep children mesmerised.
  • Older children might like a camera scavenger hunt. Give older kids a list of things to photograph with a disposable camera
  • Don't forget to have a picture of the bride and groom taken with all the kids - they will love being involved!
  • Kids love photo booths. Remember the dressing up/props box. Just make sure they don't monopolise the camera!
  • Young kids love dancing (and it wears them out). Ask for a few recent X-Factor favourites - the DJ should have some good ideas.

wedding activity for kids

LOVE this printed personalised wedding activity book from Etsy!

5 Ways You Could Damage Your Engagement Ring

(Image by Jennifer Dickert)

Now that you’re engaged you probably don’t ever want to take your beautiful engagement ring off, you want to just stare at it and watch how it sparkles.  But even though we totally agree with you, there are moments that could in fact damage your engagement ring

If you’re cleaning and washing anything

Whether you’re at the sink doing dishes, or down on your knees scrubbing your tub,  you should not be wearing your engagement ring.  The chemicals can damage the band of the ring and the diamond.

If you let anyone try it on

There will always be one person who will ask if they can try on your ring, whether it is close family member, friend or co-worker.  We strongly suggest not allowing anyone to try your ring on,  especially if they do not have the same size finger as you do.  


 Image by Noble Photography

If You Do Manual Labor

If your job requires you to do any kind of manual labor, don’t wear your ring to work.  It can easily get lost and/or damaged.   


If you're a keen gardener, it's best not to wear your ring when you're weeding or cutting the grass - you could scratch the stones or worse still, lose it. 

If you play any kind of sports

Like to play golf or tennis?  Don’t wear your ring.  Enjoy rock climbing and softball? Not a good time to be showing off the bling.  Don’t wear it while swimming either, the chlorine can ruin any precious metals.

If you’re cooking/baking

If you don’t want to lose your ring in the cupcake mix that is about to bake in the oven, don’t wear your engagement ring here either.

So you’re probably thinking when can you wear your engagement ring?

You can wear it at work, if you don’t use your hands in harsh ways.  You will want to wear it to any wedding-related function like your engagement photo shoot, your bridal shower, your bachelorette party (be careful at the bachelorette party with your ring, especially if it’s a nice bit of crazy fun!).

Destination weddings around the world

Today we have a guest blog from Fairmont properties who've hosted weddings from Shanghai to The Plaza in New York. With all the weddings the planning staff see, they're perfectly placed to tell us about growing trends and ideas ... 

What chic couples around the world are doing 

Destination weddings have moved past the days when the wedding party dons their finest formal tuxes and gowns only to dress down with bare feet or flip flops. Wedding parties that don't want to compromise on couture but still want to take advantage of the beauty of the beach can get creative with ceremony set-up. Brides can keep their Louboutins for a ceremony on the sand by creating custom catwalks - turning the walk down the aisle into a walk down the runway.


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"Nature and fashion are perfect partners", said Stephan Miller, Director of Catering and Special Events at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. "We essentially built a runway for one particularly stylish bride who wanted a beach wedding, but whose heart was set on wearing her designer shoes. The same strategy also works on grassy areas like our Turtle Pointe venue, which features a lovely gazebo surrounded by beautiful greenery." 


"Facebook may be great for sharing photos after the Big Day, but a number of couples have figured out that making a social media hashtag for their wedding makes it easy to connect with guests, share photos in real time, and end up with a huge trove of candid shots. There's no need for disposable cameras on the tables when guests are online with Instagram and Twitter. As an added bonus, they never run out of film!

"We've seen couples include hashtags on everything from save-the-date cards and invitations to actually displaying it on signage at the event", said Jennifer Zajac, Internet Marketing Coordinator at Boston's Fairmont Copley Plaza. "Twitter lights up when certain weddings are in house, not only does it make it super easy for friends and family to share the fun, it also means that people who couldn't make it to the event can participate from wherever they are in the world."

Ditch the Bar & Free the Bartender 

Wine or Champagne may be the beverage of choice during the wedding reception, but once the speeches are done, the party begins. Some couples are avoiding tedious cocktail lines by having mobile bars roaming the venue on carts or even attached to roving waiters. Drinks and shots with fancy names add life to the wedding, and having the bartenders rove around the festivities keeps events fun and lively all night long.

"Mobile bars can come in many shapes and sizes, and don't just have to consist of waiters walking around with pre-made drinks," says Monique Garcia, Associate Director of Events at Fairmont Makati, Philippines. "They can be stylishly imagined and offer a surprising variety of beverages. One of my favourite ideas is to make cocktails named not only after the couple, but their bridal entourage as well!"

decorated chairs at wedding

 The trend of diminutive weddings is going strong, with some receptions becoming more like intimate dinner parties for 10-20 guests. These luxurious affairs allow hotels to produce amazing plated dinners, and also allow the couple to share the day with just the people who mean the most to them.

"Small weddings allow for a lot of flexibility, and can offer a unique kind of grandeur that you just can't get with an enormous event", said Heather Courtney, Wedding Coordinator at The Fairmont Palliser in Calgary. "Especially common for people getting married for the second time, we've put together intimate affairs around regal King's Table concepts that are simply stunning."

"Smaller, more intimate weddings events are still on the rise", said Ann Renneker, Director of Catering and Conference Services at The Fairmont Dallas. "We've had requests for varied course options and table-side culinary demonstrations that simply wouldn't be possible with large groups. Couples often request several choices for selection and we now even offer a choice of appetisers, which are served according to guest response cards."

(Gold bridesmaid dresses by Dessy)

Go for the Gold

 Trends are often dictated by recent events, fashion, interior design, and the vast world of print and social media and gold has never been more popular across the board. The opulent accent adds drama to all kinds of décor, and lends an unmatched level of sophistication to everything it touches.

"If I had to pick one trend for 2013, based on my own upcoming client weddings, and London Fashion Week, it would be the use of gold as an accent colour", said Bruce Russell, London Wedding Planner for Weddings at The Savoy by Bruce Russell. "I am seeing gold accents in all kinds of décor whether it's linen, candelabras, cutlery or stationery. Florists are also being asked to create arrangements with more neutral colours, with some blooms being dipped in gold."

Tea Time Instead of Cocktail Hour  

 As weddings gravitate toward heightened elegance and sophistication, a new way to bring style to an event is by including teatime. After a stunning ceremony, smart couples don't let guests mill around with passed canapes and cocktails, they go all out with exquisite pastries and a fully formal afternoon tea before the reception.

"We are seeing lots of brides move beyond cutesy cupcakes and cookies", said Christo Van Wyk, Wedding and Function Coordinator at Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort in South Africa. "Couples still love the idea of a variety of small bites instead of one big wedding cake, but don't want to compromise on style, so we've found that a classy tea service is the perfect segue into the reception."

"We're also seeing the trend of wedding tea in Bermuda", said Kimberley Terceira, Conference Services & Catering Manager from Fairmont Southampton. "Sometimes it's hosted en lieu of a cocktail hour, but it can also be great for pre-wedding formalities, often with brides hosting afternoon tea at Jasmine Lounge with the ladies before the event."

"We love tea for bridal showers, said Dana Schroader, Weddings Specialist at The Fairmont Olympic in Seattle. We have done several ornate showers in our Kensington Room, and with the Roaring 20s history of our hotel, the tie-ins with the hugely popular 'Great Gatsby' theme are a natural fit."

Buying Out the Banquet Space 

 Some couples are taking advantage of luxury resorts by booking several banqueting rooms taking up entire wings of conference centres and event space for their big day. Not only does this ensure exclusivity and complete privacy, it allows guests to go back and forth between a quieter, lounge-like atmosphere and a lively dance floor.

"Couples looking for an immersive experience can make an entire area seem like their own private and exclusive enchanted palace", said Katie Rae Kugler, Wedding Coordinator at Scotland's Fairmont St Andrews. "We've seen couples offer one suite for the dinner, one for dancing, one as a relaxing room to get away from the music, and an open patio area to drink and be out under the stars. It feels like your party is the only thing happening in the whole world!"

"Lounges are very popular as a way to get some respite from lively dance floors", said Meaghan Tiberio, Catering Sales Manager from Fairmont Pittsburgh. "You can create these comfy spaces right in your reception area for a more casual atmosphere, or host it in a space nearby. Couches, ottomans and pillows that match your decor create a great vibe."

Small Bites, Big Impact

 Sliders, small bites and comfort food are old news, but savvy foodies know that guests still love the ease and convenience of bite-size nibbles. The sophisticated solution - Mini buffets and delectable canapes that wouldn't be out of place in any fine dining establishment.
"The most prominent trend for us is mini food buffets that offer a stunning presentation and a variety of haute cuisine options", said Kathy Robineau, Senior Catering Manager at The Fairmont Banff Springs. "Guests still prefer the variety available with smaller portions, so we're presenting stylish options on glass pyramids and even floating in the air, suspended from the ceiling."
"In Cairo, candy stations are still popular, but crepe stations with chocolate, maple and honey flavours are a classier addition", said Rehab Youssef, Conference, Events & Social Sales Director at Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers. "Elaborate juice fountains where guests can fill their very own glasses from freshly squeezed fruit are another great way to keep guests fuelled and ready to party all night long."

Picture Perfect

Many brides and grooms have done away with the traditional guest book and are coming up with imaginative keepsakes that they can treasure year-round. Signed photos, scrap books and more have become creative ways to bring the event home.
"We've seen many recent couples bring a picture frame with a white matte for guests to write congratulatory notes and well wishes", said Polly Xiong, Weddings Manager at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. "Alternatively, couples will bring a picture book that includes photos with family and friends for guests to sign. One recent couple brought a scrapbook and Polaroid camera for guests to take photos and then tape their photo in the scrapbook with a note!"

Time to Talk

 Weddings are a time for old friends and new to get together and celebrate. So, encouraging conversation is an important responsibility for any couple. Whether you've sat two guests together who may not be acquainted, or the couple themselves are trying to make it easier to mingle, there are multiple strategies for getting people talking
"To ensure couples can enjoy all of their guests during the wedding banquet, we suggest keeping two free seats at each table", said Hane Cabarrus, Conference Service Manager at Quebec's Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. "Not only can the wedding couple switch tables throughout the evening instead of being isolated at the head of the room, guests can wander to other tables to chat with friends and family who may not be seated with them."

"We are also seeing more Family Style Dinners", said Kourtney McKercher, Director of Conference Services at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. "When guests share platters of main dishes instead of individual dinner selections it creates a warm, conversational dining experience."

Fairmont Hotels

Friday Festivities

 Increasing numbers of couples are selecting Friday as the special day for the wedding celebration.  They are able to book a venue of their dreams at a value driven pricing structure and still enjoy all of the ruffles and flourishes of a Saturday evening celebration.

"The added benefit of a Friday event is that it adds an extra day of celebration for out of town family and friends", said Robert J. Mikolitch, Director of Catering at Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown. "Couples can plan to host a BBQ or post-celebration party on the following Saturday evening for friends and family who want to celebrate all weekend long."

Some interesting new ideas here from Fairmont.  Future brides and grooms interested in more information on holding a wedding at Fairmont should visit Fairmont Weddings online.

Images via Fairmont Hotels


How to use Spotify at your wedding reception

(Photo by The Nichols)

It's becoming more and more popular for playlists to replace DJs at wedding receptions. It cuts costs and allows the bride and groom to fully control the mood...

But on the flip side, the bride and groom (or whoever they bestow the musical duties to) has to fully control the vibe of the reception. That's a lot of pressure to get family & friends busting a move and to keep it going (that's the hard part).

How can Spotify replace your wedding music?

Spotify, the music streaming super system has been around for a while now and it's single-handedly changed the way most people listen to music.

If you're not so familiar with Spotify, it is music app that also allows users to create playlists. You might be thinking to yourself, "I can make a playlist on my iTunes account. So what?" Well... Spotify is not a one-note, but it's a well thought out program that operates more lists an orchestra. Trust me, you'll never want to make an iTunes playlist again.


So what's different?

What makes Spotify so unique are two distinct features.

First off, the interface allows you to follow other users and to access their playlists. Vogue has a pretty epic mix in Vogue Radio and everyone from DJs to artists create open playlists that users can follow. Spotify also has their own playlists that meld together the best tunes by genre - Hip Hop Monsters is among one of my favorites. This type of easy access proves to be very useful when you're trying to fill up hours with some serious dance jams. It's also the best insurance policy for a good time. If, heaven forbid, your song selection is falling flat, there's no need to worry - just search out the Top 100 playlist or look for 90's Best Dance Music and you're saved from yourself.


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Suggesting songs

The second feature that makes Spotify truly unique is their Discover tab... It showcases new releases and suggest songs, artists and playlists based on your previous history. This function can be a very helpful resource when there's so many options.

In addition, Spotify has the ability to share and playlists, favorites and suggestions to other users. Imagine sending the whole wedding party a "Getting Ready to Get Hitched" playlist for the day of the big event?  Or ... How touching would it be to share some of the nights biggest moments (father/daughter, first dance, etc) with all of the guests?

Check out Spotify for yourself and for just dollars or pounds a month you can have the world's music at your fingertips - with or without an internet connect and commercial-free.

Start warming up those dance moves...!

Why You Should Keep An Open Mind When Shopping For A Wedding Dress

One of my girlfriends is getting married in December - she's had a bit of a whirlwind engagement - and because she knows I write about weddings she asked me to join her on a wedding dress shopping trip.

I was so honored. So at the duly appointed time, I met her and her teenage daughter at the wedding dress shop for the appointment she'd set up, at Ellie Sanderson's shop in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

Fixed ideas about a wedding frock

It was a real eye opener to me. My girlfriend had arrived with a moodboard and she had very fixed ideas about her colors, the style of dress she wanted and the fit. (Her daughter is quite involved in the wedding planning side of things and had a very efficient-looking file with her).

My girlfriend (I won't name names in case her husband-to-be is reading this!) had a look around at all the gowns, and then chatted to Ellie about the sort of wedding day she was planning, the time of year it was, where the ceremony was being held and the time of day.

Experts like Ellie Sanderson look at a bride's whole personality - as well as figure - and I was impressed at how quickly Ellie summed up my friend's being.


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Dressing For Your Fiance

The bride to be is a bright, bouncy kind of a person - it's a second marriage - and she wants to look amazing for her fiance (no surprises there then).

Ellie pulled out a selection of dresses from the racks - talked about why she thought they would suit and the pair of them then went off to the changing rooms, whilst teenage daughter and I chatted and waited impatiently. At this point you should know that my girlfriend had arrived in jeans and a shirt - so when she swept back out again in a floor length full bridal gown, with her hair pinned up off her shoulders, there was a total transformation.


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Play Up Your Good Points

My friend - let's call her D - has great shoulders, lovely skin and a good bustline. All of which were accentuated perfectly in an ivory, strapless frock with a hidden built-in corset which gave her a wonderful shape. The duchesse satin was pleated across the front (a confidence trick if you're less than perfectly happy with your tummy) and then the whole gown fell below to a wonderful full, sweeping skirt with a small train. D looked quite the princess. She immediately said 'this is the dress I want' but we persuaded her to try on a few more, which brought out different features. Each had their good points - but we all agreed that the dress she first tried on was The One. Which is interesting, because that's not always the case. Brides to be often arrive at a shop with a particular idea of a gown they've seen in a magazine and demand to try it on but are disappointed when it doesn't look quite right on them.

Listen To The Experts

If you think about it, the experts in bridal shops see so many different girls a year and know the different specialties of different designers - so with just a look at you they can sum up what is going to show off your good points and flatter, and what will diminish your not so good characteristics.

Anyway, about an hour and a half later, D went back to the original dress and put it back on. As it was strapless, she felt she needed more of a cover-up for the ceremony itself and has chosen to wear a delicate lace tie back top made by Sassi Holford which gives a perfect day to night look. (She also looked very pretty in it.lace bridal top

Lace top by Sassi Holford

Originally D had wanted a purple wedding dress - to introduce a note of purple I suggested that she wear some purple shoes instead - an idea she loved for the quirkiness of it. Of course, she's getting married in December so purple is a wonderfully rich winter color for flowers too.

So to sum up. When you're wedding dress shopping:

  • Take a moodboard with you so that the shop knows the kind of look you're after
  • Talk about the sort of bride you want to be and how you see the event going
  • Let the experts look at you, your shape so they can judge what will suit you
  • Choose some dresses yourself but let the experts also make suggestions - you may well be surprised and that may end up being the dress you wear!
  • Think about colored accessories like shoes
  • If you have teenage daughters and nieces, don't be afraid to invite them along. If you look good they'll tell you, if not they'll also tell you honestly!

Picking out perfect wedding accessories for your bridesmaids ...

(Breathtaking Dessy bridesmaids in our Dessy Collection dress style 2918)

My best friend always looks well-dressed and stylish. She hasn't got a big clothes budget either - she's just clever in the way she puts her outfits together. For example, she'll buy a chain store dress but swap the belt for something different or change the buttons. And so she's instantly created a look that nobody else will have - a look that's her own.

The same applies when dressing your bridesmaids.

I got to thinking about the way she accessorises and realised that the same applies with wedding accessories, especially when you're dressing your bridesmaids.

Wedding Sashes by Dessy

You could buy a dress off the peg and then embellish it with a sash.  Maybe in a different colour, to contrast the whole effect. Think about the wedding accessories that will make a difference.

A georgette stole could also look very elegant - as a cover up for the religious ceremony and then to give the outfit a whole new look at the reception. (The stoles above from Dessy.)

Avoiding matchy-matchy for bridesmaids is very on trend right now. You can dress your maids in different shades, in rainbow colors or in variations on a shade (for example every color pink from the palest rose to the deepest magenta).

They'll love you for that because it means that every girl will be able to dress in a color that suits her complexion and flatters her figure. Some girls look fantastic in pastels - others look 'washed-out' and will be happier in a stronger color. 

Dessy also does a tempting selection of glittery shoe clips to dress up plain ballet flats. There are mini handbags too. 

The key to personalising your wedding and making it look original (and not off the peg) is to use accessories to alter an outfit. No two brides will do this in the same way. A good way to start is by looking at Pinterest and starting up your own board with accessory ideas.

10 Ideas for Wedding Table Seating Plans

Photo Credit: Laura Babb

When you get to a wedding reception, isn't checking out the seating plan board one of the first thing you do?

If you're single, it's exciting to see who you've been sat next to. And if you're a couple, it's good to see if you will be catching up with friends.

Seating is a focal point at your wedding reception and will be a gathering point for your friends at the start of the celebrations. How you choose to present your seating is entirely up to you and should be in keeping with the theme of your day.

I'm always amazed at the creativity of wedding seating plans - so here are 10 ideas for you to be thinking about for your big day.

1. Black and white calligraphy wedding table seating plan. Never goes out of style really.

2. Keeping it pretty and simple, with flowers and a pink wedding theme.

3. Handwritten onto an antique mirror always looks good.

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4. Make yourself with Ferrero Rocher chocolates! A fun way to start off the festivities!

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5. Use a photograph you love of the two of you together and have it printed over.

6. Nice idea if you have plenty of guests flying in from out of town.

8. Maybe if you're having a tea party at your wedding reception?

9. If you are keen bibliophiles!

10. An easy one to DIY. Pick up old frames at any junk shop. Print out your table names and place them inside.

We'd love you to share your wedding table seating ideas and plans with us!