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Advice & Learning COVID-19 Weddings

Booking wedding suppliers during lockdown

There is no question that anyone planning a wedding in the last 18 months deserves a medal. However if you are anything like myself and got engaged recently (Congratulations!) then you are just starting your wedding planning journey and who knows how the next 12 months is going to turn out. When it comes to booking your wedding suppliers during lockdown you might be feeling a little overwhelmed, deflated and lost on where to start.

I know from personal experience that it’s difficult to start planning for your wedding day when you aren’t able to visit any venues or meet your suppliers in person. It is entirely possible though to start planning your wedding day in the virtual world, and enjoy the process. A lot of the research can be done with your laptop on your lap, and a glass of wine in hand with the latest Netflix binge on in the background.

I’ve popped together some advice and a few encouraging words for anyone booking suppliers during lockdown. I hope it helps and don’t forget to get in touch with me if you have any questions or would just like to chat.

Booking a WEDDING venue

Venues are likely to be handling postponements from 2020 and early 2021 weddings that are moving into late 2021 and 2022 dates. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enquire with them, especially if you are hoping for a peak season summer wedding – you need to find a venue soon.

It’s not going to be the same as seeing the wedding venue in person, however attending online virtual tours is a good way to shortlist potential venues. You’ll get a good feel of the venue and whether it’s going to suit your style as well as having the opportunity to ask venue staff any questions. 

Do your supplier research

Booking your wedding suppliers during lockdown might require a bit more research than before to help you feel confident in your choices. The bonus is that you probably have so much more time to immerse yourself into it. It’s so much fun to discover new, interesting suppliers and also getting to know who you are booking to be part of your day really well.

If you aren’t sure where to start your search, there are lots of tools at your fingertips for finding a variety of professional suppliers in your area. Instagram is a great tool, you can use the search function to find specific suppliers by location and hashtags. You can also search via the style of wedding you are hoping to create for example “Wedding Planner Surrey” or “documentary photographer uk.” You can also use Pinterest to find not only inspiration but also suppliers. Make sure to check out all your suppliers websites, social media profiles and google reviews.

MEET SUPPLIERS ONLINE

Don’t be afraid to jump on a call with a supplier. Lots of wedding suppliers will be offering free, no obligation discovery calls and these are great opportunities to meet the person you are considering working with. If you’ve done your research and have been silently stalking them for a week or two then why not reach out and have a chat. The only way you’ll truly find out if that person is right for you and your wedding day is by meeting them. We aren’t able to catch up over a coffee at the moment but a video call can really go a long way.  

(P.S. You can book in a 30 minute chat with me here! )

ASK QUESTIONS

If you are feeling unsure about spending a large sum of money with a supplier when the world still feels a bit topsy turvy then ask them if they have a payment plan option to help you spread the costs and feel more secure. It’s also important to ask about their COVID-19 / postponement policies. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, all fingers crossed but you really never know. Booking a supplier you love and are happy with their terms and conditions is important. 

WORK WITH A WEDDING PLANNER

The clue is in the name but Wedding Planners, plan multiple weddings all year around. We really are the experts in the wedding industry. If you are anything like me then you are hoping to only get married once, meaning that most people only plan a wedding once. With this in mind how are you meant to know who the best cake maker in your town is? Or where to hire gold cutlery from at the best price? The wedding industry is vast, and as fun as it is planning a wedding sometime you can get a bit lost.

If you aren’t in a position to hire a wedding planner to help with planning your entire wedding then have a look at one to one consulting options. Speaking to a well-connected, industry professional will help you to book suppliers with confidence, especially when the world feels a little bit unpredictable. 

I offer bespoke in depth virtual wedding planning services or shorter 1:1 Q&A consultations which are easily accessible. You can also ask me about payment plans, and i’ll send you my wedding planning templates for free.

I hope this quick read has helped you with your next steps and you feel more confident in booking your wedding suppliers during lockdown. Book in a call, email me or DM me on instagram to chat more about how I can help you on your wedding day.

Emma x

SCHEDULE A 30 MINUTE FREE DISCOVERY CALL WITH ME TO GET HELP WITH BOOKING YOUR WEDDING SUPPLIERS DURING LOCKDOWN

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Advice & Learning COVID-19 Weddings

Live streaming your wedding day

Change is part of life. Getting comfortable with change and accepting what you can’t control will help to focus on what you can control. We don’t know what the rest of 2021 is going to bring, but you might have decided that when weddings can go ahead you are going for it no matter what. Live streaming your wedding day is a great option if you aren’t able to have the same amount of people present as you originally planned.

Using a live streaming platform gives you the opportunity to include everyone, and include guests who aren’t able to attend the day in person. I’ve put together a few live streaming options for you to have a look at, as well as some important considerations to maximise the opportunity.

A FEW TOOLS TO HELP YOU LIVE STREAM YOUR WEDDING

Google Hangouts
With Google Hangouts you are able to live stream to up to 10 devices. These devices can join a free hangout and videos are automatically streamed to YouTube where other permitted guests can watch too. The video is then saved to YouTube for you to keep and re watch.

Facebook Live
Most of us know how to use Facebook which makes it easy to use and easy to access. You can choose who can see your broadcast and watchers can react and comment live. Best thing of all? It’s free! You could also create a private group for all your guests to have virtual party.

Livestream 
Livestream is a free service and suitable for Android and iOS operating systems but is also super-popular with professionals using high quality cameras. This means your photographer or videographer might already know a thing or two and be able to set it up quickly. Videos can be saved to the cloud for 30 days for your to rewatch.

Making the most of live streaming your wedding

Ask someone to be in charge. Giving someone responsibility for over seeing the live streaming of your wedding is going to make the most of the opportunity. If it’s left to everyone then you risk no one helping, sadly this means that not everything will be captured for your guests at home. You could ask your Wedding Planner or on the Day Coordinator to help. If you don’t have one then try a trusted groomsmen or bridesmaid. Your photographer or videographer might also be able to help you with a solution or a member of staff at the venue.

Make the party virtual. If you really want to create a sense of community and party vibe even with those people at home then why not create a private facebook group to share moments from the day, you can live stream into the group, play music and also encourage group members to share funny photos and stories of you. It’s like an extended best man’s speech with multiple guests able to pitch in and share in the fun.

If you are opting for a DIY approach to live streaming then investing in a professional microphone that attaches to your phone might be a good consideration, especially if your ceremony is outside. This year especially we have all been on virtual calls that are full of background noise and impossible to hear the person speaking. Don’t let you guests miss a single word of your ceremony! Something like this could help.

Choosing the right location for your camera set up is going to be important. Think about a good location prior to the wedding date and make arrangements with the person you’ve asked to be in charge ahead of time. You want to make sure you have a good view and good sound to you and your partner but you don’t want to obstruct the guests in the rooms view, or for the camera to be too far away to pick up the sound.

If you are looking to live stream your wedding or even make adjustments following any COVID-19 wedding guideline updates and need a help hand then please do reach out to me. Just book a free discovery call below or discover more about my services here.

Have a lovely week,

Emma x

Whether you want to ask a quick planning question or need help styling your dream wedding, drop your details below to talk further with me!

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Advice & Learning Inspiration

Practical wedding planning advice for COVID-19

I’m a wedding planner and also a recently engaged bride to be planning my own wedding during a pandemic. With both of those things in mind, I’ve taken some time out this week to write some practical planning advice for a post COVID-19 wedding.

I was lucky enough to be swept away on a romantic birthday weekend for a proposal from my long term partner mid-way through 2020, and it was just perfect. We loved every minute of the weekend, when we got back we excitedly started talking about our wedding plans before remembering we were living in a pandemic! 

So I set up a pinterest board and said I’d wait until the new year before starting to plan (as surely we’d wake up on Jan 1st to a new world.)

January has rolled around now and I’ll admit to feeling deflated about the whole thing. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this blog post that I realised I haven’t been taking my own advice. So instead of focusing on the activities and decisions that we can’t plan or do, let’s as brides planning through a pandemic get on and enjoy the things we can. 

Enjoy your engagement! COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop your fun.

Now this is a biggy, and I will be the first to admit that because I couldn’t have an engagement party or show my ring off to every passer-by that I moved past the engagement phase pretty quick.  I’m sad about that, and I don’t want you to be sad about it!  If your very recently engaged and really need something to look forward to, then plan that summer party (maybe keep it small though!)

Claire Graham Photography

Think ahead and book your wedding suppliers

If I had a crystal ball then I would say that 2022 and 2023 are going to be BUSY for weddings, which means confirming your favourite supplier on your wedding date might be trickier than usual. Wonderful engagements still happen every day, but more couples will be pushing their wedding dates into the next few years rather than late 2021, plus postponed weddings will make key dates very busy indeed. 

Prioritise suppliers that you really HAVE to have – this way you aren’t committing money to lots of different suppliers, when it feels really far away still but your securing the ones that you really must have. 

Megan Daisy Photography and Anna Lewis Cake Design

Try not to become overwhelmed with wedding planning

If your Instagram feed is anything like mine then it’s full of wonderful wedding suppliers and inspiration, it’s also easy to sit on Pinterest for hours scrolling mindlessly. You end up overwhelmed, thinking you must have everything you’ve seen online at your wedding with no idea how to implement it.

Or during this time especially you know what you want to book, but you’re worried about it being the wrong time to confirm.  Set days or hours that are fun planning time, relaxing with wine on a Sunday is usually my go to. Use this time to research a specific supplier and make approaches to some of your favourites before moving on to another supplier the next week.  

Megan Daisy Photography at Botley Hill Barn

Keep your planning timeline flexible and practical

I’m a planner, which means I have wedding planning timelines professionally and my own personal one and I like to stick with the plan as much as possible.

But recognising that this isn’t a normal year and that you can’t control everything right now will help to alleviate pressure. If you aren’t able to do venue site visits, menu tastings or hair & make-up trials then rearrange to a later date and focus on the things you can do. The planning experience doesn’t need to be any less enjoyable, just look at practical options. Lots of wedding cake companies with post you a cake box tasting, there are now letterbox wine tastings, and your future self will love you if you create a wedding website and write your gift list. 

Hannah Duffy Photography, Kalm Kitchen at Millbridge Court

Stay on track and keep focused during wedding planning.

Through all of the up’s and down’s we are experiencing right now it’s going to be easy to lose sight of your goals. Start with a really good styling and design concept, keep a good record of your budget and refer back to these regularly. Every time you feel a bit lost, start researching a new supplier or lose hope look back at these tools, refocus your mind and remember how awesome your day is going to be when you get there! 

If you need some help staying on track with your wedding planning and some practical wedding planning advice during COVID-19 then why not take a look at my services and contact me to book your free consultation call?

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Advice & Learning Inspiration Wedding Flowers

Budgeting for your wedding flowers

If you have read all four of the ‘Floral Fortnight’ blogs then firstly I hope you really enjoyed them and picked up some helpful tips along the way. Secondly you’ll have noticed a few budgeting tips, to help with this further Sue and I have put together some helpful things to keep in mind when budgeting for your wedding flowers and some rough pricing guidelines.

Having seen so many possibilities in blogs, on instagram, pinterest and at your friends weddings you probably have a few ideas of what you’d like. I bet you’re still wondering what sort of number to put next to the line, wedding flowers on your budget spreadsheet? So let’s dig in to the juicy bit.

Starting with the bouquet, i’d advise that you try to budget at least £100 and expect prices to start at £150 for a cascade bouquet. Statement arrangements are difficult to budget for because the world really is your oyster. Pedestal arrangements will start around £200 and from there chat to your florist about what you want and the best way to achieve it. Table centre arrangements are much like statement pieces that it’s hard to price them up without know first what you want to achieve. Expect to pay between £65 – £150 per table as a starting point. If you want to keep within a smaller budget or you have a lot of tables then stay low with arrangements, or mix taller centrepieces with the lower ones.

Whilst writing these blogs i’ve noticed the trends and narrowed down my floral budgeting tips. Here’s my top five!


Let your florist be in charge, by this I mean allow your florist the opportunity to help you. They have all the experience and know how, they’ll be able to make the best recommendations on colour, styling, arrangements, types of florals and everything in between to make sure you get the best flowers at the best prices.


As a general rule expect to pay 10% of your overall wedding budget for your wedding flowers. As a starting point I pencil in at least 7% for couples.


If you are looking to make a statement on a budget then choosing moveable arrangements is going to be the way to go. Paying your florist to stay and move these arrangements is always going to be preferable, it’s going to be cheaper than having lots of flower arrangements and is going to ensure your flowers stay looking perfect when moved.


Flower prices fluctuate and so it’s best to let your florist decide. This ensures there is flexibility, and that you are going to get the best flowers available at the time of your wedding. As a general rule stick with seasonal British flowers for the best quality, abundance and prices.


Spend your flower budget on the most photographed items like the top table and bouquet.


Sue and I really enjoyed drinking coffee and chatting flowers in order to bring this series of four blogs. We hope you’ve found some nuggets to take away and use when planning your own wedding. If you have any questions regarding any of the ‘floral fortnight’ series, or you’d like to hear about either of our services and how we can help you on your wedding day then we’d love to hear from you!

You can find Sue here:

www.brambleandbelle.co.uk

www.instagram.com/brambleandbelleflorist

Emma x

Gorgeous photography from Claire Graham Photography

Lets Talk about budgeting for your wedding flowers or about how else I can help you.

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Advice & Learning Inspiration Wedding Flowers

Your guide to wedding bouquets and personal flowers

The first in our ‘Floral Fortnight’ series with Sue from Bramble and Belle is an important topic and one of my favourites. Read on for a guide to wedding bouquets and personal flowers that will help you find your style and speak to your florist.

The moment the bouquet arrives and is delivered to the bride is one of the best! As the most photographed floral pieces at your wedding it’s got to be pretty special. We’ll be talking through colours and styles to consider for your bouquet and of course Sue’s best tips. Let’s dive in!

Choosing wedding flower colours

First off, remember that your florist is your best person for advice on where to start with choosing colours for your bouquet and types of flowers. They know what complimentary colours are going to look the best and what is going to be in season on your wedding day. Plus your flower colours should work with your overall wedding colour palette, if you need help putting together your own bespoke, comprehensive wedding design then take a look at how I can help you do this.

Let’s start with deciding on the colours for your wedding bouquet or your personal flowers throughout the day. You might have already chosen your colour palette so it’s a good idea to bring this and a mood board to the meeting with your florist. When I’m styling and creating a colour palette I take inspiration from lots of places including the venue but I also always consider the flowers that are going to be available and recommended by the florist.

You should think about how the colours are going to look in photos, darker colours like burgundy can become black in the camera. By adding different shades and steps through the colour wheel they can blend nicely.

Wedding bouquet styles

Hand tied bouquet; these are very popular and on trend at the moment, you might be thinking they are too loose and wild for you but there is a huge scale to choose from and they can be tight and formal right through to completely loose.

Front facing hand tied bouquet with a definite front and flatter back. | Suzy Elizabeth Photography

Shower bouquet: traditionally these wedding bouquets are fully wired and structured in a teardrop shape with a handle underneath. They need to be created by a skilled florist as each flower in individually wired and once it’s in place there isn’t any going back. A bouquet like this is going to take your florist time and skill so they can cost more but the overall effect is quite beautiful.

Kjerstin’s fully wired bouquet | Joab Smith Photography
Fully wired bouquet with roses

If a formal cascade bouquet isn’t quite you or in your price range then it is possible to create a similar style and shape with a cascade bouquet that is hand tied. The piece is created using an armature and chicken wire, which makes this type of bouquet more flexible. A hand tied cascade bouquet has more movement than the traditional shower, it’s still elegant but less formal and more natural. It’s best to leave the choice of florals to the florist for this one though so that they can carefully create the exact look you want.

Elisabeth & Michael | Simon Stewart Photography

Don’t scrimp on your wedding bouquet, it’ll be the most photographed floral piece of the entire day.

Sue’s bouquet tip

What flowers should you have in your wedding bouquet

You might have a favourite flower and know that it’s going to be in season at the perfect time of your wedding day, if so then make sure to mention it to your florist. This way they can plan the bouquet around it. Lot’s of flowers can now be bought out of season but this might cost more if they need to be imported from Europe.

If you don’t have any must have types of flowers in mind then it’s always better to let your florist decide. Your florist is the expert and will have your best interests in mind. Nearer the time of your wedding, when they are buying the flowers it’s best to have flexibility so that they can purchase the best flowers in the current market. Florists with the flexibility to choose flowers nearer the time will also be able to choose flowers that are in season, with a good head size and quality that is going to withstand the summer heat.

What’s on trend in wedding bouquets and personal flowers?

I’m not really one to recommend going with a trend, just because it’s in fashion now. If it’s not really YOU then don’t do it. But it can be interesting to see what is on trend, see if you like it and take inspiration.

Natural cascades are being requested a lot at the moment. Moving away from the rules is becoming popular, loose and mixed with different flowers. Garden style is particularly sympathetic to the loose bouquet styles and means your florist can choose british flowers.

Should you consider your dress when choosing a wedding bouquet?

You might consider the details on your dress because a large bouquet might hide the details like sequins and lace. It’s also a good idea to consider your size and choose a proportional size bouquet.

As a florist Sue isn’t sure that you should or should not choose a bouquet just because of your wedding dress. Don’t compromise on what you really want.

Cornwell Manor | Suzy Elizabeth Photography

A quick note on personal flowers

Bridesmaids bouquets should be smaller versions of the bridal bouquet. This will create continuity making for cohesive pictures. Practically it also helps with buying the same flowers making it cheaper for you.

Buttonholes are created using the same or similar flowers as the bouquet, but you can get creative with bold statements such as a large floral single stem. It’s also a nice idea to create a slightly larger, different or more special buttonhole for the Groom.

I hope that this has helped you feel confident about meeting up with your florist and choosing your bouquet style. There really isn’t anything to be worried about, the only problem is there is too much choice! Really trust in your florist, take their advice and make sure you choose what you love.

If you have any more questions about bouquets or personal flowers then feel free to book a 30 minute discovery call with me, email me, or drop me a message on instagram. You can also find expert advice from Sue HERE.

Emma x

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Four things to think about before setting your wedding budget

One

Talk about your guest list. Guests = Money. The more guests you have the bigger the venue you’ll need and also the more you money you are going to need to spend on catering and place settings. Having a rough idea of the size of wedding you are planning will help you with all of my other budgeting tips, help you plan and keep you focused on the viability of venues and suppliers. 

TWO

The next one will link with guest numbers but thinking about whether you’d like to keep it simple or extravagant will help you budget. Would you love floral meadows down the aisle, a harpist and a sit down meal or are you thinking of a beautiful town hall wedding with a great restaurant afterwards. Is this going to be a big affair or an elopement? 

The Cherry Barn by Lucie MLT Photography

THREE

Decide on the location you would like. If you’ve decided to elope then you might want a destination location, or perhaps you’d like a marquee wedding or English country garden in a country house. If your numbers are smaller then you can think about intimate and interesting locations. 

Millbridge Court by Hannah Duffy Photography

FOUR

Talk through your visions and what you think is going to make a wonderful wedding! Is it live music? Or great food, maybe it’s an open bar or fabulous florals? Create a short list of your top 3 priorities, these will be the things you are willing to spend more of your budget on to create your perfect day. It’ll help you to make decisions when faced with a this or that scenario. 

Balcombe Place by Claire Graham Photography

Once I have this type of information from my couples I have a pretty good idea of where they want to spend their money and can create a very rough first budget. Securing a venue is always the first place to start with any wedding plan. The venue will set the date, the location, the adjustment of guest numbers that might need to be made. It will also help to decide on how much décor and florals you are going to need as well as what the catering options are.  

Here is my rough visual guide of where to allocation your wedding budget. I always create a bespoke budget for my couples as it will change depending on the venue. If you are planning a marquee wedding then you need to budget for bringing in chairs, tables, catering tents and so much more. Alternatively if flowers are going to be the most important part of the day for you then you might want to consider spending less elsewhere.  

If you’d like to talk about your wedding budget then please drop me a message! I’d love to hear from you.

Emma x

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Advice & Learning Inspiration

5 ways to bring together a cohesive design at your wedding.

Having an idea for how you want your wedding day to look and feel is one thing but to help each element you’ve chosen really shine and work with the day you want the design elements to flow seamlessly and be cohesive together. Like a great roast dinner, each little piece on the plate should taste amazing but work when teamed together!

For cohesiveness there needs to be consistency, and that’s consistency throughout the day. From the ceremony, drinks receptions and through to the last dance make sure similar colours and styling features in each space.

Here are my 5 top tips for creating great foundations of cohesiveness!

Be inspired by nature and the seasons. Each different season brings it’s own colour palette. Using inspiration from around you on your wedding day also creates a sense of belonging. You can use apps like Adobe Capture to take a picture of your favourite autumn walk and it will create a colour palette for you. Alternatively I like to look at which flowers are out at the time of year to get inspiration. 

Kelsie Scully Photography

Decide on an accent metal, this could be gold, rose gold, silver, or antique silver – maybe even a gun metal. By keeping your cutlery, candlesticks, frames, vases and any other accessory in the same or similar metal you won’t have to worry about anything not matching and working together throughout the day. 

Kelsie Scully Photography

Choose a neutral that your colour scheme works with, grey has been very popular in recent years but whites and creams also work well. You can use this for your table linen, stationery paper colour and the basis for your floral colours. It will help your primary colours to pop and been seen. 

Kelsie Scully Photography

Create a curated inspiration and mood board. Gather inspiration from places like Interior Design, Art work, being Outdoors and so much more all in one place with Pinterest and once your lots of ideas, start to edit and delete pictures that you don’t absolutely love. Eventually you’ll start to narrow down your ideas, you can swap images in and out to create a cohesive group of ideas and inspiration that work together. 

Share your inspiration with your suppliers but also share each suppliers ideas with your other suppliers. For example your stationer will be able to create something truly unique to you and perfectly suited to your day if they know what sort of florals and colours your florist is working with. 

Megan Daisy Photography

Follow me over on instagram for more wedding planning and styling help, or get in contact to see how I can help you on your wedding day.

Emma x

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Advice & Learning Inspiration

Advice from bespoke stationery designer Katie from Paper Bow

This week I have taken some time out to chat with Katie, Founder and Graphic Designer at Paper Bow London, a bespoke design studio based in Crystal Palace, South London. She’s shortly relocating to Manchester but I’ve caught up with her to talk all things wedding stationery.

How long have you been running Paper bow?

I set up Paper Bow London in 2016 after designing a friend’s wedding stationery. Some pictures made their way onto Pinterest and I was receiving a lot of enquiries off the back of that and so decided to go for it and set up Paper Bow! The design for Emmeline and Matt is still one of my most popular suites today showing that something bespoke and personal can stand the test of time.

What’s your favourite part of helping couples with their stationery?

I love hearing a couples love story – this gives me such an insight into them as individuals, as well as them as a couple. Getting to know my couples means I can incorporate details that are incredibly personal and truly unique to them, which is one of the defining factors of a bespoke design service.

What would you say is most important for couples getting married to consider for their stationery?

Ensure that your designer embodies your personal style. Your stationery is the first glimpse that your guests will have into your wedding, and therefore is a great opportunity for you to set the tone, look and feel, and style for your big day. 

Is there a particular style that is fashionable at the moment?

There’s been a huge shift to warm colour palettes in the past year – dusty pinks mixed with airy creams and rich terracotta tones. Eco and sustainable stationery has also become popular, with papers made from recycled coffee cups, or made with wildflowers seeds on the market.

However, as with your wedding day, I’d urge couples to not think necessarily about trends, but what feels right for them: Some couples love bold colours, others are after a more classic palette; some want intricate venue illustrations, others want a minimal typographic look; some want all of the luxury details like silk ribbon, envelope liners and wax seals, others are content with just a beautiful invitation…the list could go on and on, but I believe that the most timeless designs are the ones that embody the couple’s personal style.

If there are any couples who are unsure about the investment of beautiful stationery on the day of their wedding eg; menu’s how much of a difference would you say it makes to the overall experience?

Think about on-the-day stationery as your ‘finishing touch’. Stationery is a great way to bring your themes to life as well as help link together all the other elements of your day. If you’ve invested in a beautiful invitation suite, introducing some of those elements like monograms and illustrations really gives a seamless look to your whole day.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a whole range of stationery, think about some statement pieces instead, like a perspex order of the day or large fabric banner table plan that will really create the ‘wow factor’ – Lauren and Joe did this and had some incredible pieces for their big day, including a 2m long table plan which was a personal favourite of mine.

Photography by https://www.richardskinsphotography.co.uk/

What is your favourite design to do with a suite of stationery?

It’s so hard to choose as every design is so personal to each of my couples. I love doing bespoke monograms that can be used across multiple stationery items on their wedding day, but also beyond that as they embark on their lives together. 

Designing my own wedding stationery was also a real luxury – I got to create something that was so very personal as well as jam packing it with luxury details such as copper foiling, a double thickness invitation, marble vellum wrap and copper wax seal.

What is absolutely essential for a couple when they are choosing their wedding stationery and what they need?

Start early! Bespoke designs take time to craft and produce, and designers can only take on a limited number of couples – Even if you don’t have all the details yet, those can all be added at a later date… Once you have a venue and a date get in contact with your designer and they can book you into their calendar and will let you know their timelines.

If using a design that has already been created, draft out all your text and have all of your key items agreed. Get several people to proofread your text and only then go ahead – this will save on costly spelling mistakes and multiple rounds of changes.

What should couples be looking out for when choosing stationery?

The two parts that come hand-in-hand are pricing and style, and you are looking for the perfect marriage between these. There is a stationery designer out there for all styles and budgets, it’s just about finding that ‘sweet spot’.

If you love Katie’s work as much as I do and would like to chat about your wedding stationery then you can find her on instagram or her website below:

https://www.paperbowlondon.com

www.instagram.com/paperbowlondon

And as always if you are planning a wedding, need help with styling or on the coordination then get in contact with me!

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Advice & Learning Inspiration

Everything you need to know as a bride to be from an expert hair and make – up artist!

This week I have the lovely Jennifer Hawkins a bridal hair and make-up based in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey. I first met Jen at a shoot at the Cherry Barns in East Sussex and most recently we worked together on the spring shoot I planned and styled in the rolling surrey hills and beautiful Botley Hill Barn. Jen mostly works in Surrey and the surrounding counties but also travels to pretty much anywhere she’s needed – the furthest she’s travelled for a hair and make-up job is Beijing. 

I caught up with Jen to ask questions all thing bridal hair and makeup.

Jen you’ve been in the business for a few years now, you’ve seen everything so what is fashionable in bridal hair and makeup now, and what do you foresee for the future? 

“Right now, the most popular styles for hair are definitely loose, romantic, boho-type styles like half-up-dos with beachy waves or a low curly bun with plenty of face-framing pieces left out.  However, I am starting to see a lot more red-carpet style inspiration coming through from my brides, with the classic ‘Hollywood wave’ being a firm favourite of those wanting a timeless look for their wedding day. 

I have found that bridal makeup tends to be less affected by the pressure of changing trends (for the most part!), with most of my brides opting for a natural, ‘best version of myself’ type-look.  This style of makeup is a safe bet because it relies on colour theory and enhancing your best features which never really goes out of fashion!”

Let’s start at the beginning, what are your top tips for finding a good hair and make-up artist for your wedding day? 

Recommendations are always a good place to start, check with anyone you know who has married recently and ask what their experience was with their hair and makeup artist.  Most venues also have a list of recommended suppliers, usually those who are closets to their location. 

Searching using Instagram ‘hash tags’ is also a great way to discover suppliers you may not have found otherwise.  Try and keep them relevant to your location and remember to use the things like ‘#HMUA’ and ‘#MUA’ too as many stylists use these abbreviations for ‘hair and makeup artist’ and ‘makeup artist’ (e.g. #surreymua #bridalmakeuphampshire #hmualondon). 

Also check out wedding blogs and magazines, see who they’re featuring and if you like a particular style you see, look the artist up on Instagram!

And so once our lovely brides have shortlisted a hair and make-up artist, how far out to the wedding should brides be booking a hair and makeup artist?

“As soon as you can!  I receive enquiries for bookings up to a year and a half in advance.  If you’re planning for a weekend wedding between April – September, it’s best to start thinking about booking your hair and makeup artist as soon as you have confirmed a date with your venue.  Off-peak and week-day weddings (December – March, Monday-Thursday) are far more flexible as these dates get booked up a little slower but it’s still best to get your booking in early to avoid disappointment. “ 

What is the biggest mistake brides make with regards to hair & make up and most importantly what advice would you give to overcome this? 

“I’d say the most common mistake is not coming prepared to your trial.  You want to make sure you have at least a rough idea of the style you want, and reference pictures to show your stylist so that you can get the most out of your appointment.  If you’re struggling to decide, have a chat with your stylist before your trial, send them some pictures of yourself, let them know what type of dress you’re going for and how you usually style your hair and makeup.  Your stylist will be able to help narrow down your options by suggesting what would work best!

Also, when looking for reference pictures, try and focus on finding images close to your own skin tone and hair type/colour.  Hair and makeup styles can look very different on varying features!”

We hear a lot that skin care is import but how important is skincare prior to the wedding day? 

“It’s really important to have a regular skin care routine in the run up to your wedding, particularly if you have ‘problem skin’, suffer with dryness or have acne-prone skin.  Your makeup artist may be able to recommend specific skin care products if you need suggestions for a particular type of product (like a face mask or moisturiser), but making an appointment with a dermatologist and getting regular facials will make a huge difference if have no idea what your skin needs and/or are need of a complete skin care overhaul.  How well your makeup sits on your face depends entirely on the skin care prep and it can take months to see real results to be patient and stick with it!”

So skin care is important, what are your 3 top tips for skincare? 

“Identify your skin type.  

Scrutinise your skin care regime – make sure your products have all the best, hardest-working ingredients for your skin type and if in doubt consult a dermatologist!  

Drink plenty of water and try to stay away from foods and drinks that upset your skin!”

And lastly what is your favourite part of this job? 

“The wedding morning for sure!  Everyone is so excited and happy, the atmosphere is always so positive and seeing the bridal look come together once hair and makeup is done and the dress is on, witnessing the reactions from those in the room is always an emotional one!  I also love hearing back from my brides after the wedding and seeing their favourite photos from the day!”

A huge thank you to Jen for answering all my questions and sharing all her top tips and advice for brides to be. Jen is fabulous and so easy to work with so if you’d like to get in contact with her you can find her here: 

Website: https://www.jenhawkins.co.uk

Instagram: @jenhawkins_hmua 

Categories
Advice & Learning Inspiration

Ways to make your wedding day more personal to you

Trends come and go, but you will never be out of style. All the small details in your wedding day will be the extra special touch and those that you remember most! 

Have your guests enjoy a day that was tailor made just for you. Perhaps there is a family member missing that you’d like to pay tribute to in some way or a memory that you’d like to feature in some way.

I’ve put together some of my ideas for adding your own personal touches to your wedding day along with some great suppliers! 

Hannah’s veil by Bespoke Veils

Have your veil embroidered. There is no denying that when Hayley Baldwin had her veil embroidered when marrying Justin Bieber we all suddenly thought, what a great idea! Have a look at Bespoke Veils to have your veil embroidered with something personal to you. 

Personalised place setting napkins for Weddings by Emma Louise, embroidered by The Embroidered Napkin Company

Personalised napkins that act as name settings for your guests to take away with them. Luxury linen looks so lovely at your wedding breakfast, and whilst it is an extra expensive to have it embroidered The Embroidered Napkin Company creates beautiful monogrammed pieces that you or your guests can keep as a memento as well as your favourite quotes.

Personalised place setting napkins for Weddings by Emma Louise, embroidered by The Embroidered Napkin Company

Have a bespoke stationary suite created that speaks about you as a couple and also ties the elements of your day together. It can really set the tone for the day, link through to your table plan and your menu’s. 

Personalised and bespoke stationary suite created for Weddings by Emma Louise by LouPaper

Ask a special family member or friend to do a reading during your ceremony. Perhaps a poem to wish you well on your new journey together as a couple. 

Cocktails by Kalm Kitchen created for Planning Redefined and photographed by Hannah Duffy

Have a signature cocktail. Ask your venue or bartender to create a signature cocktail that your guests can sip on at the drinks reception or can order at the bar. Alternatively service up that cocktail which you once drink one too many of on your favourite holiday. 

Whatever you decide and however you decide to incorporate it, just have fun! 

If you’d like a hand planning, styling or setting up your wedding day then please do get in touch! 


Lets chat over a glass of wine or just have a read of my brochure