Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal hairstyles - the updo

I love browsing for bridal hairstyles. There are so many amazing hair tutorials on YouTube, and Pinterest is awash with inspiration. To find a specific look for your wedding, choosing the right search terms is key, for example [wedding updos] or [wedding hairstyles for long hair].

This post is going to focus on bridal updos. The updo continues to be extremely popular choice for brides as it is often the easiest way to keep the hair in place throughout the long day. Updos are also a very popular choice for bridesmaid hair. There's so many ways to accessorise bridal updos from flowers to tiaras, alice bands, combs, and, of course, veils. Here's a few images of inspiration to help you pick a bridal updo for your wedding day.

For more wedding hairstyles (not just updos) you can check out my bridal hairstyles board on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Save the Dates

Choosing the stationery for our wedding was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning. As a graphic designer I was really excited to get the opportunity to be creative- I think the last time I sent out a physical invitation was when I was about 9 years old! We actually ended up not sending out save the dates for our wedding, opting for the invitation only, as I agonised over both the invitation designs and the guest list for several months.

Save the dates are very common in the USA, but are increasing in popularity here in the UK. They are usually a postcard consisting of a photo and the date of the wedding on, with further details about the wedding to follow at a later date. It's useful to send them out as soon as you book your wedding venue, i.e. as soon as your date is secure.

There are loads of cute and creative save the date ideas on Pinterest, and here's a few as inspiration to get you started.

If you'd like more save the date inspiration, you can see my graphic design board on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Table Centrepieces

Choosing the centrepieces for our wedding was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning. You can really get creative and take it as an opportunity to personalise your day. Centrepieces can range from simple and rustic, to extravagant and elaborate. Some of the most popular centrepieces incorporate flowers and candelabras, but other common and contemporary options include birdcages, mirrors, fish bowls with floating candles, wishing trees, rose petals, books and balloons.

I have to admit my personal favourites always include flowers, but I'm one of those women who loves plants / flowers in the house all year round. For our centrepieces we shopped around for inspiration for quite a while until we knew what we wanted and where we could get that on a budget. Our flowers are being grown by family and we are placing them in oasis in £2 pink jugs from Wilkos (similar here), with the top table jug being a white version from IKEA (similar here). On our cake and table for cards we are using these very popular IKEA plant pots, which I already own. You can see what they look like with a plant in here.

If you'd like to see more centrepiece inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest board here!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The National Wedding Show 2014 at the NEC Birmingham

A few weeks ago I visited The National Wedding Show at the NEC Birmingham. I won a pair of VIP tickets from Bride de Force. Fleur & Hannah's blog and YouTube channel are really useful wedding planning resources, so don't forget to check them out. The National Wedding Show is the largest wedding fair in the UK, and is held once a year in London, Manchester and Birmingham. We're coming to the end of our wedding planning now but we still had a few suppliers to find, so I was keen to go. After all, you only get to be a bride once (with luck) so I was looking forward to enjoying the experience.

The National Wedding show I attended was held at the NEC Birmingham. The venue is a large exhibition centre, and we spent time walking around the show looking at different stalls and taking down information. Walking in I was immediately struck by the beauty of the wedding dresses. I already have my dress, but if you are a bride-to-be I couldn't recommend the National Wedding Show more. There were quite a few stalls, including one of the largest wedding dress suppliers in the UK, Berketex Bride. Many dresses were on sale and there were lots available to take away on the day. There were also changing facilities and we walked past many brides trying on dresses with their mums and bridesmaids in tow. This was really nice to see and you really felt the excitement of the brides looking forward to their wedding day.

Click on the images to enlarge

There were also many stalls selling veils, tiaras and bridal accessories, so it was very easy to get completely kitted out for your wedding day at the show. Other stalls available were for destination weddings, suit hire, musicians, magicians, wedding decorations, wedding magazines, Debenhams and John Lewis gift lists, photographers and lingerie. VIP visitors to the show got access to the VIP lounge, including a glass of wine, a beauty box of samples, Bare Minerals makeover and VIP seats for the catwalk.

The catwalk was one of my favourite parts of the day. They were held regularly every hour or so, and we watched the show at around 4.30pm before we left for the day. The show was really well produced; it was split into four parts, each with a different theme. The music was well mixed and brought a lot of energy, and the lighting was used to set the mood. There were many dresses and accessories on display, and suits for the groom. The one thing that could have been added to the show was dresses for the bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride. I found that choosing these outfits with my maids can be more stressful than choosing my own dress so it would have been nice to have had some inspiration, particularly with hats/fascinators, which I didn't see on display at the show.

If you're a bride-to-be at the beginning of your wedding planning journey I would really recommend the National Wedding Show for a nice day out with your mum and bridesmaids. It's particularly useful if you are looking for local suppliers in the areas of London, Manchester and Birmingham. Have you been to the National Wedding Show? Did you find it a useful experience?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Boutonnières for the groom

For many grooms, their own wedding will be the first time they wear a boutonnière. Boutonnières are traditionally a single bloom, and worn above the heart on the left lapel of the jacket or coat. At weddings there are no set rules on who wears a boutonnière, but most couples choose for them to be worn by the groom, best man and ushers, and sometimes the bride and groom's fathers or brothers. The blooms in the boutonnieres usually match the flowers in the bride's bouquet. Below are a selection of boutonnieres to inspire you when choosing them for your wedding.

If you'd like more inspiration for the groom, you can follow my Pinterest board here.

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