Shaken and Stirred - A James Bond Theme Wedding Party

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The James Bond look is certainly iconic. From his classic DB5 Aston Martin to today's digital gadgets. Who's been your favorite Bond? Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan , Daniel Craig? Or one of the others?

It's also a glamorous look that lends itself to a wedding reception theme. 

 

via GIPHY

If you're looking to theme your wedding, then James Bond style has a lot to offer

You could offer a roulette table at your wedding reception for your guests to toy with. As for music - well there are some classic soundtracks to the James Bond films.

 Having a destination wedding, then James Bond style is easy - just watch some of the classic Bond movies like Doctor No that were filmed in tropical paradises. (You don't have to arrive for your wedding in a bikini, rising out of the sea, like Bond girls Halle Berry and Ursula Andress though!) You also don't have to have sharks swimming in a pool! 

Above from Dessy: Style 3016 in Platinum, Mystic Blue Lapel Suit, Style 6784 in Stardust. 

The men could dress in tuxedos - you can rent or buy tuxedos here at Dessy.  Or, the bridegroom and his groomsmen could dress in classic, lightweight summer suits from Dessy. 


As for women, think high octane glamour. Spaghetti strap dresses, one shouldered dresses, sequins, updos - this is not a time to dress down. Settle down with a DVD box set of Bond movies and enjoy planning ...

Ideas for a James Bond theme wedding

  • Arrive in a classic Aston Martin DB5
  • Spaghetti strap dresses for your bridesmaids or one shouldered dresses
  • Or short sassy cocktail style dresses
  • Have guest entertainment with blackjack and roulette tables
  • Martini cocktails of course - shaken, not stirred
  • Make the dress code tuxedos and glamor
  • Plenty of James Bond theme music
  • Call your wedding tables after James Bond Movies: Skyfall, Spectre, Goldfinger, Dr No, Diamonds are Forever, The Spy who Loved Me ...
  • You could have gold and diamonds as a parallel theme - maybe an idea for your wedding tables and invitations? 
  • On the walls of your reception have clips from the Bond movies playing on a big screen
  • Maybe hire James Bond lookalikes to mingle with the guests as they arrive? 

It's a lot of fun this theme and one that your guests will instantly recognise!  

 

18 ways to save money on your wedding day (that your guests won't even notice)

If you're anything like most brides-to-be (and we even think this would include a certain Miss Meghan Markle) you won't have an unlimited budget to spend on your wedding day.

Sticking to a wedding budget you set is really important - you don't want to start off married life together with a pile of debt. 

So we've talked to some clever brides and asked for their tips on saving money (and many of them won't even be obvious to your guests). 

  1. Get married on a Sunday or Monday to Wednesday. Venues are less busy at these times so you're more likely to be able to negotiate a special rate. Try and avoid a Saturday at any time of the year as this is the most popular day.
  2.  The same applies to your photographer. Try and pick a time when your photographer is unlikely to be innundated with work. They will be more open to negotiation.  
  3. Look out for your wedding dress at designer sample sales. You could pick up a top label dress at 50% off the retail price - it will be cleaned and altered to fit you.
  4. Have a tiered wedding cake (but only one tier is real cake, the rest are for show!)
  5. Decorate your cake with fresh flowers rather than intricate icing.
  6. Serve canapes instead of a starter.
  7. Consider having a wedding during the afternoon with a vintage theme - maybe a Great Gatsby theme? Serve traditional afternoon tea, sandwiches and cakes with music from a 1920's style band. Much less expensive than a sit-down, three course dinner. 
  8.  Use flowers that are in season rather than exotic blooms that have to be flown in (you're also keeping your eco credentials intact).
  9. Or use greenery on your tables.
  10.  Forget wedding favors. People won't even notice. 
  11. If your ceremony and reception take place at the same venue you won't need wedding transport. 
  12.  Really think about your guest list. You don't have to invite everyone. Just the people that matter to you. 
  13. Have a rustic wedding with bowl food in different styles of cuisine - and let your guests sit where they wish. Less formal and pricey than a sit-down three course dinner. 
  14.  Do your wedding make-up yourself. Have some lessons beforehand and try out some different looks so you know what will suit you. 
  15. See what you can borrow. You never know who has a spare tiara or even a wedding veil you could use.
  16. Make your own wedding table centers. A pot of hyacinths or daffodils in Spring would look and smell fabulous. Or put one or two blooms (roses, gerberas, daisies) loosely in a simple stem glass vase.
  17.  Ask a friend with a classic vehicle to drive you to and from the ceremony.
  18. Don't have children at your wedding. Avoid getting married during school vacations or taking your honeymoon at that time. Airlines and travel agents put a premium on flights and hotel rates then, so you'll be paying a lot more than you would during term. Travel when the kids are in school and you'll save (you may also find your flight/hotel/beach is a lot quieter). 

Are these the ultimate chocolate wedding cakes?

Wedding cakes aren't what they used to be. Oh, no. 

Back in the day, you had a tiered fruit or sponge cake, with white frosting - and maybe some colored paste flowers. And that was pretty much that. If you were feeling adventurous you'd have a skyscraper of tiers - but the decoration would follow a pastel, white or ivory iced convention. 

Well those days are over. Cakes are a little more adventurous these days. Well, quite a lot actually.

Today's brides have cast their eyes over their wedding cakes and decided they wanted something quite radically different. 

And if that sounds like you - and you love chocolate - then there's no reason why you shouldn't have a chocolate wedding cake.  

Why a chocolate wedding cake is a great decision

 Well, just about everyone loves chocolate.

You could have different layers frosted in white, dark or milk chocolate.

If you're watching your budget, then an indulgent chocolate wedding cake will stand in perfectly for dessert. In fact, people will probably be expecting it.

A chocolate cake would be completely perfect at a winter wedding when you want rich, intense flavors to combat the cold outside.

It's a real talking point

You could have tiers of sponge in different flavors (we're thinking red velvet, vanilla and chocolate) finished off with a chocolate ganache. (Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream, melted together and used to glaze or fill a cake or whip into frosting.)

If a friend wants to make your wedding cake and they are a good baker, then a chocolate cake might be a good option. Ask your baking friend to make cakes in graduating sizes so you can have tiers or a naked cake. 

Going naked

Naked chocolate cakes are getting really popular and with good reason. (What's a naked cake?  It's when the cake is left unfrosted or has a minimal scrape of frosting and decorated with fruit and/or flowers, like the cake above.)

Another decorative option would be to have a 'drip' cake like the one below. That's when ganache (a sort of liquid frosting) is poured on the top of the cake and allowed to 'drip' down the sides. Something to think about if you don't want to go overboard on the chocolate part. Have a vanilla cake with minimal frosting and then a chocolate 'drip' topping. 

We've found this video here to show you how the drip effect is created.

 If you're thinking that a pure chocolate wedding cake might be a bit too rich, remember you can break up the intensity with fruit layers - and as we know, strawberries and raspberries go with chocolate just perfectly ...

Seasonal berries would also work well, as would freshly cut figs. 

Credits: 

Top image, clockwise from top left: Cake Parlour London, I Take You, The Hudson Cakery, Jeff Brummett

Second image, clockwise from left: Pinterest, Cake Parlour London, Steven Leyva

Third image, Cassie Rosch 

Four image, drip cake by Buttery Bakery

Fifth image, DessertsvilleLondonCocoa Bakery

 

Why sweet pea colors could be the perfect choice for your rural, rustic wedding day

sweet pea wedding colors

(Image credits: Top right Tino & Pip, bottom right Flowers Online)

 

Sweet peas are the most perfect, cottage garden, rustic country flower.

  • They come in beautiful colors - from delicate pastels through to vibrant purples and pinks
  • They smell absolutely wonderful
  • They're delicate - but have tough stems which make them ideal for buttonholes and bouquets
  • A sweet pea wedding bouquet is a timeless classic
  • And sweet pea tones would be beautiful as a wedding day theme, as you can see above

Finding bridesmaid dresses in sweet pea colors is easy with Dessy. Take a look at colors like Tahiti, Honeysuckle and Persian Plum.

Mix up the shades for an ombre effect. Let each maid choose the best hue to suit them.

sweet pea wedding colors

Image credits: Bridesmaid dress by Dessy in more than 50 colors

Then tie the look in by having a sweet pea bridal bouquet in a single pastel shade, and let your maids' bouquets be a riot of contrasting colors.

  • Sweet peas also look wonderful on wedding tables. Put them in Mason jars for an unstructured look
  • Offer sweet pea seeds as wedding favors
  • Have a trellis of sweet peas climbing up behind you as you say your wedding vows
  • Macaroons would be a perfect choice to serve your guests at a sweet pea themed wedding. Delicious with cups of English afternoon tea!

If you're planning a rustic style wedding then this is really an idea to think about. Have simple bunches of sweet peas as your table centers, make sure the bridegroom and his party have sweet pea buttonholes and of course think about the colors you could be using for your wedding stationery - the invitations, order of service sheets, table planner and name cards.

 

This is how brides can use Pantone's color of the year 2018 - Ultra violet

Back in Roman times purple shades were so prized that that only the Roman Emperor was permitted to wear a purple hue. 

And this year a shade of purple - Ultra Violet 18-3838 - has been chosen as Pantone's color of the year. We've worked closely with Pantone on this to produce a whole range of items to help you plan your wedding and match up this stunning shade. 

As Pantone say: “Ultra Violet is a blue based purple that is enigmatic and complex, and suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond were we are now. ”

 

It's all fabulous news for brides and here's why

  • Purple is considered by some to have a significant mental effect when we wear it and when we see it.
  • It is thought to calm the mind and destress (very useful for brides then!)
  • It has an uplifting effect (so everybody is going to be really happy at a purple-themed wedding of course!)
  • It is considered spiritual 
  • Dessy has a whole range of beautiful bridesmaid dresses in ultra violet - in over a hundred different styles. Cocktail length, full length, strapless, one-shoulder ... start looking and dreaming here. You'll also find pretty dresses for your young flowergirls and dresses for junior bridesmaids. 

Anyway, we think it is a completely fabulous color to choose for a wedding theme, as these images prove.

Your florist is going to be REALLY pleased

Why? Because you can get flowers in all sorts of shades of purple. Here's a list to start you off: Lisianthus, roses, anenomes, verbena, lavender, clematis, irises, salvia, delphinums, bellflowers, agapanthus, orchids, heather, hyacinths, asters, carnations, calla lillies, cosmos, cyclamen, crocus, colombines, gladioli, lilacs, pansies ..you get the idea!

Choose purple as a wedding theme color and your florist will be overjoyed, because it offers so many shades of bloom to work with.

Your caterer will be enthusiastic too

Because when it comes to sweet things - like macarons, cakes, desserts - purple is a tempting and appetising shade. It's a wonderful color for dessert tables and as wedding cake decor.

Getting the exact shade for your wedding you're looking for

  • To help brides along with their wedding planning, Dessy has created the Pantone wedding color reference tool, which allows you to pick a color - like Ultra Violet - and discover the matching Pantone reference number. 
  • You can then share it with everyone. 
  • Give a color swatch to your florist so she can match up the exact shade of Ultra Violet (or whatever color has attracted you) to your blooms. Give it to your cake decorator too. In fact, give it to everyone who will need it! 
  • If you want your caterers to decorate your tables with cloths or accessories of a particular hue - then hand them the Pantone reference and let make their job so much simpler. 

Working that Ultra Violet theme

You might want to have bridesmaid dresses in Ultra Violet. Or maybe you want to embrace the trend of dressing your maids in separates - so you have color pops of the purple shade. Perhaps embellish with some sequins. 

You could opt for Ultra Violet sashes for your flowergirls. 

Accessories like cravats, ties and vests for your bridegroom. Maybe even socks!  

Anyway, enough of the talking. We're going to let ultra violet talk for itself, with these fabulous images! 

You can start shopping for wedding kit in Ultra Violet shades right here ...

Non religious wedding readings that will melt your heart

If you're having a non-religious wedding - that is, if you're tying the knot in a register office, at a country house hotel, in a barn, outside in a vineyard or even on board ship - it's important to remember that you will need to choose non-religious readings (as anything religious isn't permitted at a civil ceremony marriage).

wedding readings

(Photo by Megan Saul Photography via Green Wedding Shoes)

Plenty of choice for wedding readings

The good news is that there are absolutely masses of poems, excerpts from films and books to choose from and there's certainly to be one or two that have just the words you want to say to one another.

Who will be best at reading aloud?

Think carefully about who you ask to give your readings - you need somebody who is used to public speaking - who won't become tongue-tied and shy when they're confronted by a room full of expectant faces. So although your young niece or nephew is very cute - make sure that they're up to the job beforehand and have lots of practice!

Also remember to read out the title of the piece and where it's from.

A classical love poem

First off, we have a classical piece by the Elizabeth courtier Sir Philip Sidney who lived from 1554 to 1586. He was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and wrote the following love poem below which says everything.

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still methought in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

And something a little more modern

You could also use the words Julia Roberts' character speaks in 'The Runaway Bride' when she talks about the life she and her loved one would have together.

I guarantee that we'll have tough times. And I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart you are the only one for me.

Or to raise a smile

John Cooper Clarke is a punk poet and this poem he wrote about 30 years ago has certainly stood the test of time - and it's certain to raise a laugh (in the right way).

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don't care
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you'll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that's how deep is my devotion

A passage from “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love.

Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city.

And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.

Or what about a bit of Hemingway?

“Maybe...you'll fall in love with me all over again."
"Hell," I said, "I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?"
"Yes. I want to ruin you."
"Good," I said. "That's what I want too.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Finally, here's a reading that says what marriage is - beautifully

A Wedding Message (Amanda Bradley)

To love is to share life together.
To build special plans just for two.
To work side by side,
And then smile with pride
As, one by one, dreams all come true.

To love is to help and encourage
With smiles and sincere words of praise.
To take time to share.
To listen and care
In tender, affectionate ways.

To love is to have someone special
On whom you can always depend
To be there through the years,
Sharing laughter and tears
As a partner, a lover, a friend.

To love is to make special memories
Of moments you love to recall.
Of all the good things
That married life brings,
Love is the greatest of all.

What readings are you planning for your wedding day? Have you any that you could share with us?

Transform your wedding reception into a cherry blossom-filled forest

Every year when the blossom trees come out I am struck by the precious, delicate beauty of the flowers and find it one of the most beautiful of sights.

And of course, I'm not the only one! The cherry blossom season in Kyoto is one of the world's most glorious natural events.

A canopy of blossom for your wedding day

So how would you like to turn your wedding reception into a cherry-tree blossom filled forest, like this one here?

artificial blossom trees

I challenge anyone to find a more beautiful, show-stopping sight than this incredible set-up from the innovative venue styling, marquee decor experts, Crescent Moon.

This is a company that really knows how to decorate a venue beautifully. Of course, it could be said that Kate Middleton kick-started the wedding tree trend six years ago when the aisle of Westminster Abbey was lined inside with trees, giving her a forest-style walk to her prince.

Crescent Blossom have two options for brides wishing to replicate the look. An avenue of artificial blossom trees as shown above within a marquee or room, or using the fake cherry blossom trees as table centres as below.

artificial blossom trees

In my opinion, both look completely beautiful.

The blossom-filled forest would be perfect for a spring or an early summer wedding day - particularly if the wedding is uncertain and you're marrying in a marquee. By decorating the interior of your venue you really can bring the outside in, and not worry about any potential rain.

In winter, the bare trees decorating the table will give a winter forest effect.

So if you want to have one of the most romantic wedding receptions ever, take a look at Crescent Moon's website and see how the experts use blossom trees - it really would give you a wedding day look that you and your guests would never forget.

30 Photos You Really Need To Have Taken On Your Wedding Day

Image via Krista Mason Photography

No pressure - but your wedding day photographs are one aspect you really need to get right on your big day. There's no second chances there.

First off, you need to decide on the style of wedding photography you want. Do you prefer a traditional set up with traditional poses or are you going for a more reportage kind of a style? It's really up to you - just remember that these photographs are going to be a longstanding reminder of the day you tied the knot and you want to be sure you're going to be happy with them.


Are you a traditionalist? Photography by Jose Villa

A post shared by Krista Mason (@kristamasonphotography) on Or do you prefer reportage style?

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Before you book a photographer have a good look at their portfolio of work so that you can be sure you like their style. Ask to see testimonials from other weddings and engagement shoots.

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See how you can work your venue into the background of your images

It's also a good idea to walk around your venue looking for photo opportunities - and also give you and the photographer the chance to get to know one another. You should also give your photographer a list of must-have shots so that nothing gets forgotten (and so you don't spend any more time than you need to away from your guests). Here's our list of 30 photographs we think you'll treasure forever - and if you've any to add please leave us a comment.

20 Must Have Wedding Shots

  1. Close up of bride's dress on hanger and/or bride's shoes
  2. Bride's mother and attendants helping bride with finishing touches (veil, shoes)
  3. Bride with mother and attendants
  4. Groom with his best men
  5. Groom at altar/ceremony doorway waiting for bride
  6. Bride in car with father (or whoever is giving her away)
  7. Bride and bridesmaids walking down the aisle
  8. Groom's face when first sees bride
  9. A shot of the marriage ceremony
  10. Couple walking down aisle as newly weds
  11. Bride and groom walking out of ceremony being greeted by guests with confetti/rice
  12. Bride and groom's first kiss together
  13. Bride and groom's hands with rings
  14. Exterior of reception venue with guests arriving
  15. Bride and groom arriving in car at reception
  16. Bride and bridesmaid's bouquets
  17. Bride and groom with their attendants
  18. Bride and groom with their parents/grandparents
  19. Interior of reception venue with tables ready
  20. Seating plan
  21. Table place settings
  22. Receiving line (if you're having one)
  23. Guests' faces during bridegroom's speech
  24. Top table during speeches
  25. Bride and groom enjoying a quiet moment together as newlyweds
  26. Young bridesmaids and pageboys during reception
  27. Cake cutting
  28. Bride and groom's first dance together
  29. Guests dancing and enjoying themselves
  30. Bride and groom leaving in car for honeymoon

Anything you think we've missed?

10 Great Wedding Songs for walking down the aisle

This is your moment. Your grand entrance. You're walking down the aisle towards your future partner and you need the right wedding music to accompany you. Something to create the perfect moment.

Making your music choices

So what are you going to choose? A timeless, classical piece or something a little more contemporary? Here are some wedding music ideas to inspire you. Just click on the link to play and start dreaming!

Vivaldi - Glorida. Very uplifting. This is something to consider if you're a bit of a traditionalist but also want the classical wow factor as you make that long walk. You're going to have a bit of a moment if you walk to this one - and if you're getting married in a large church with a long veil, then this music might must be a must.

The Bridal March from Lohengrin by Wagner. The 'Here Comes The Bride' piece. It's a classic and everyone will recognise it. You will certainly feel like a princess walking to this one!

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. Lovely, slow paced. And so romantic. Have those hankies ready.

I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher. Perfect for walking back down the aisle together as man and wife. A sunny, uplifting song that everybody knows.

I Can't Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley. Timeless and perfect. Elvis sings it with a voice like velvet.

Unforgettable by Nat King Cole. Another romantic classic.


Ode to Joy. Beethoven. Classical again, this one will never date.

Vivaldi - The Four Seasons. Just beautiful.

Purcell - Trumpet Tune. Dazzling.

In My Life - The Beatles. As you walk either up or back down the aisle. Perfection.

Hope this wedding music inspires your walk down the aisle on your big day.

Oh, and here's how Kate Middleton - now the Duchess of Cambridge - made her walk.

Top 10 things to consider when planning your wedding

(Image via Jeremy Boyer)

So - the question has been popped, you've told your friends and family, you've drunk some celebratory champagne.

Now it's time to start on the wedding planning

Don't get overwhelmed by the enormity of whole thing: do the brainstorming over a couple of weeks, and then add the layers of details over the following months.

For your first session have something to eat (but avoid alcohol), switch your phones to silent, grab a pad and a pen and take a deep relaxed breath.

Before you get into deep detail, there are a few basic questions that will need answering. Here's our list to consider.

Grab your besties. This is gonna be a good one. #NewCollection #Spring2017

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Top 10 wedding planning thoughts

  1. Who is paying for the wedding? The two of you, your parents, the rest of your family or a mix of all three? Would your parents be upset if you didn't expect them to contribute, or mightily relieved? Are your family in a position to help fund your wedding or is that a bit cheeky? And don't forget, there will always be little extra expenditure items along the way that you won't have bargained for!
  2. Is there a ballpark budget? Will you consider a Wedding Planner or DIY? Brides Magazine carried out a survey in 2015 and found out that their readers spent an average of over £30,000 on their weddings...
  3. What time of year do you want to get married? Is there a special month for you or would you rather be dictated by the venue availability?
  4. Where do you think you'd like to have the ceremony in a perfect world? Church, registry office or special venue; town or country - home or away? Maybe brainstorm a long list and then narrow it down.Town or country?
  5. Who will be the Best Man, Maid of Honor, Ushers and Bridesmaids? Many or few? Future-in-laws or just old friends? Do brothers and sisters make the grade?
  6. Is it more important for you to have a more lavish wedding and a less expensive honeymoon or the other way round?
  7. How important are the flowers and the cake to you? Will you allocate a large proportion of your budget to either, both or none?
  8. Dress to die for or something a little more modest? Morning suit, black tie, boho or themed?
  9. How will you travel to the wedding? Walking, horseback, classic car, sports car?
  10. Will your reception be just drinks and canapes or a full-blown wedding breakfast followed by all-night party or an elite meal for the chosen few? Champagne or prosecco, beer or cocktails? Band or DJ or both?

    Raspberry and lime green wedding table

Magical wedding table by Anne Edgar Photography

Whatever your first thoughts, sleep on them before you commit yourselves to anything. And try not to be too self-centered, or assume that you know what others are thinking - above all, keep those lines of communication open!

All that really matters is that you and your fiance are about to embark on a wonderful journey together, of which the wedding day, whilst important, is only a very small part. Don't make your marriage about only one day; your future life as a married couple is what really matters.