Tag Archives: weddingstyle

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 four!

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.

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:



Emma x

Gorgeous photography from Claire Graham Photography

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Statement Floral Arrangements

Statement floral arrangements are a great way to make a stylish decorative impact, there are lots of beautiful options and something to fit any venue and most budgets. Taking inspiration from your venue for a floral statement piece is one of my favourites, like this gorgeous marble fireplace at Balcombe Place. The best part is these arrangements and columns can be moved to another part of the wedding day.

You really can get creative with shapes, installations and styles and totally transform a space. Sue’s top two tips for floral arrangements that not only pack a punch but also come in within budget are:

Choose a statement piece that is moveable and has a multi-purpose. The costs to move the arrangement will be less than creating new and several pieces. (always better if your florist moves the arrangement so that it remains it’s integrity and still looks it’s best)

To maximise not only your budget but also to ensure the florals have the biggest impact your better off having one or two large arrangements. Your guests are more likely to remember and appreciate one stand out arrangement than several smaller ones.

With this in mind let’s dive in the some of the most popular arrangements and a few tips and along with some advice.

There are pedestal arrangements, like urns or plinths which are moveable. These can come in many different sizes and will look beautiful at your ceremony, dressing a doorway and can be moved if not too heavy to your wedding breakfast.

Then there are column flowers which are also moveable but it has to be a professional florist who installs it and moves it. They will be easily damaged if handled by someone who isn’t sure what they are doing. It’s definitely worth paying for your florist to stay all day and make the most of this tope of arrangement. They are fabulous picture opportunities, and I just love it when they are moved outside and become part of the natural environment.

You also see arches a lot on pinterest and as beautiful as they are they are not moveable and are usually on heavy frames. Sue says, they aren’t considered timeless but they are fashionable at the moment and can work with many styles. Make sure that where they are placed is going to make the most out of it. A ceremony backdrop, a backdrop for pictures or a feature in the wedding breakfast room.

There are many options including hanging installations. You’ll need to check the mechanics of the piece with the venue but if it can’t be hung from the ceiling and you are set on a installations above the head then it is possible to create something with poles.

That was a whistle stop tour of statement floral arrangements, i’d love to hear what you are planning to have at your wedding. If you have any questions for either Sue or I then please do get in contact.

The next blog will be our last on ‘floral fortnight’ and I’ll be giving you some budgeting advice for your flowers.

You can find Sue here:



Until next week

Emma x

Let’s Talk


Claire Graham Photography

Suzy Elizabeth Photography

Anna Marie Stepney

Choosing your floral centrepieces

When it comes to table centres there is so much choice that it’s hard to narrow down where to start. We’ve decided to split this into two with big rooms and smaller rooms and give you a few tips to get you going in the right direction.

With any type of decor and styling it’s important to consider the venue and opt for things that make sense. For example if your room has very strong prominent colours then you won’t want to choose anything which clashes but instead works harmoniously.

Cornwell Manor | Suzy Elizabeth Photography

Vast breakfast rooms with high ceilings

For a big room then Sue recommends choosing taller floral arrangements to fill the space. For big rooms like this you also want bigger, taller arrangements that are going to get noticed and not disappear.

Taller, larger arrangements can be more expensive because you are going to need more flowers to create an impact. If you are looking for a budget friendly option then you could speak to your florist about mixing in lower arrangements. Don’t worry about this looking odd as you could opt for similar style tall gold stands and lower gold bowls for example. Also it’s going to be a good idea to as your florist to set the arrangements up on the tables in a way that keeps the room balanced.

Top Tip Make sure there aren’t any tall arrangements blocking the top table, everyone will want to be able to see the Bride & Groom!

Smaller rooms or lower ceilings

If you have a smaller room or lower ceilings then choosing low floral centrepieces is going to be the best option. It’s also a good idea to think about how many tables you have as you don’t want to overcrowd the room with lots of tables and lots of flowers.

With lower arrangements Sue’s advice is to still keep them a reasonable size with impactful flowers so that they don’t get lost. Choosing a larger focal flower is recommended so that the arrangement is really present in the room.

Low bowl arrangements | Kelsie Scully Photography

You’ll see in all of Sue and I’s work together that we always add candles to the table. Adding stylish dinner candles in interesting candlesticks is a favourite of mine to elevate the table. Tea lights are also great for filling any empty space, and in the right glass container will dance glittery light across the table. They probably won’t be necessary at a marquee wedding but if your venue allows them then they can also help when there is a lack of natural light.

Candelabra & tea lights at Marden Park Mansion | Kelsie Scully Photography

I said at the beginning there was loads and loads of choices with table centres and then I haven’t written a lot but that’s because I would really recommend that you speak with your florist, your wedding planner and/or stylist and of course use Pinterest to find inspiration and create something that is truly YOU and works with your wedding. Here is some more inspiration for you!

Balcombe Place photography: https://www.clairegraham.co/

If you have any questions then please do drop myself or Sue a message and if you are looking for detailed styling help on your wedding day then take a look at my Concept, styling and design service and see how I can help you.

You can find Sue here:



Until next week,

Emma x

Let’s Talk

Balcombe Place photography: https://www.clairegraham.co/

Three places to start when putting together your wedding colour palette.

Continuing with my theme of the month, giving you all of my design and styling tips for putting together a beautiful wedding. This blog post is all about choosing your colour palette, it’s key to a cohesive design that flows throughout the day and in usual fashion starting with looking outside is my favourite place!

There is a lot of theory around colour’s, and lot’s to consider. It can be really easy to end up in a complete confused mess of swatches not sure whether the different shades of lilac will match. Here’s my top three places to start before you consider which tones and textures to use.


When helping a couple narrow down their colour options my first place to start is to be inspired by nature and in particular the season the wedding is going to take place in. Or you could choose your favourite time of the year. There is so much changing colour outside, and not only just the season but also a location. The wood’s yield rich yellows, auburns and oranges during autumn whilst being near the ocean in summer is all about twinkling blues, and washy whites.

This gorgeous lamppost pillar that Sue at Bramble and Belle created gives just enough wow factor whilst also feeling like it has always been part of the building. The rich autumnal colours and wild, loose styling are inspired and recreated with the season in mind.

Beautiful autumnal blooms by Bramble & Belle photographed by Claire Graham at Balcombe Place


Look at what you already love! Look around your home and how you’ve decorated your home, do you have rich blue suedes or grey neutrals. This can be a great steer on what you already like to be surrounded by.

I used the interiors of Balcombe Place to help me narrow down colour choices, it’s a gorgeous grand venue, steeped in history and ready to transport you to a different era. It oozes luxury, and all of little details elevate the rooms. There is lot’s of dark wood within the venue however I really wanted to flip this on the head and champion the lightness that there was and brighten up autumn.


Be inspired by your wedding venue, now this is a place that you LOVE and it can be a great steer for the style and colours of your entire day. A blank canvas is always lovely, but if you’ve got a ceremony room with a strong colour already in the decor then sometimes working with it to create a colour palette around it will be your best option.

There is grandeur with Balcombe Place and choosing a very grown up, yet modern colour palette was important. I went with brightness and lightness in the table linen, stationery and some of the florals with complimenting darker plums, almost browns to create a warm vibe and gel with the dark wood in the venue.

It’s also helpful to look at other colour influences around you like fashion, art, and what’s on trend that you love.

Once I have the main two to three colours in place for a wedding, the ones that I know the couple want to feature I will start to weave in variety and dimension with complimentary colours and neutrals. This was the finished palette for the shoot at Balcombe Place, but it went through lot’s of changes and edits before becoming this and it can change dramatically once speaking with the florist who can really help narrow down what florals will be available at the time you are due to get married.

Don’t be afraid to get stuck in with choosing colour, you don’t need to stick with just one and your florist really can be a great source of knowledge when you are thinking about mixing shades and tones.

I love hearing from you, so if you need any help choosing colours and you more questions then drop me an email or message! I even offer a bespoke styling service if you’d like me to help with your wedding you can find out more here

Emma x

Photography: https://www.clairegraham.co

Venue: https://www.balcombeplace.com

Florist: https://www.brambleandbelle.co.uk

Cake: https://www.cakesandleaves.com

Stationery: https://socalligraphy.co.uk

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

Planning an intimate wedding

It’s been a turbulent year and many couples who were destined to be married in the first half of 2020 have been unable to have the wedding they planned. With lockdown being loosened and weddings of up to thirty people now able to take place safely more couples are able to get married in intimate ceremonies and celebrations. 

An intimate wedding isn’t just for lockdown though, and I think we might see a rise in smaller celebrations in the years to come. Here are my top planning and styling tips for a gorgeous intimate wedding that doesn’t have to break the budget. 


Having a wedding under 50 people is a great option if you have a smaller budget, or you want to splurge on things such as a destination venue , food, décor. Less stress and complications also comes with fewer guests and In the right venue it can create a warm intimate feeling. 


A smaller wedding means that you don’t need such a big venue and you can get creative with your spaces. There are some lovely private family homes that you can hire for a weekend or dining rooms in character filled restaurants. How about a show stopper roof top cocktail bar? 


The most important thing to remember when you are choosing your wedding venue is that you don’t want it to be so big that guests get lost. You need a space that is small enough to fit everyone in but to also create intimacy. 

For me one of the best things about smaller weddings is that you have more options for personalisation. With less guests, there is more opportunity for guests to be wowed and their experience can be made so very special and you are able to highlight what’s important to you as a couple. 


You are able to spend more of your budget in areas such as personalised place settings for guests, gourmet food trucks and premier entertainment. 

When you start to introduce more details it can become a little bit more complicated so don’t underestimate the need for a wedding planner or on the day coordinator to ensure that you have the very best suppliers on board and that you don’t need to worry about a single thing on the day. 


A smaller wedding brings so much opportunity for creativity and personalisation. You can have your nearest and dearest close to you on the day and not skimp on any of the important details.

For more information and help on planning your perfect elopement or small wedding in the UK, Surrey, Sussex or Kent then let’s chat!

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

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 

5 tips to creating an insta-worthy wedding day style that reflects who you are

At the start of March when the dreaded ‘C’ word was only just beginning to plague us I was thankful to be able to carry out my first styled shoot. The headline piece for my portfolio, a fantastic opportunity to meet and connect with other industry suppliers and on a day of the worst storms we’ve seen in a really long time we had to say goodbye to the outside aisle I had envisioned. 

I wanted to share my inspiration and design process for this shoot so that you can learn more about how I work and also how to turn your ownoccasion, and what you’d like your day to say about you as a couple into a concept for your wedding day. 

The end of spring, turning into summer is one of my favourite times of the year and as a stylist, who is inspired by nature, and storytelling I knew that this first shoot was an opportunity to showcase my style, and bring this to life. 

I always start by thinking about the lovely couple that the day is for and what vision is going to suit them best. For this shoot I fabricated clients (who were a bit like me, let’s admit it!) and thought about what was going to be fitting for them and how best to tell their story. It doesn’t always need to be obviously in front of you, for the colour palette I knew it needed to be joyful, interesting and summery. I settled on these images, inspiration from a happy hot holiday and from the English countryside. 

I wanted to use a happy but sophisticated colour palette and an abundance of florals for a casual weekend wedding in the rolling Surrey hills. This is the beginning of an idea for me in my process of curating the perfect wedding style. 

I normally begin with a magpie approach, I put all of the directions I could go on a piece of paper, I go round the house collecting items that inspire me and see how they fit together before creating a pinterest board which ultimately forms part of my moodboard. 

I add in complimentary colours, a grey to anchor all the vibrancy and then tone the bright pinks and oranges down into pastel for a softer approach. I enjoy pairing opposites and added in the blues, a nod to the Pantone colour of the year. 

When looking at all the different elements and choosing suppliers it was important to think about the vibe and feeling of the day as a whole. I can speak about each element from the ceremony, to the wedding breakfast and next day brunch at a separate time but we want to make sure they all link and look cohesive. 

I chose textures like flowing and soft linen alongside textured ceramic dinnerware to convey a sense of casual cool. The flowing fabric also reminds me of loose linen dresses that you wear on hot days so it’s perfect for this type of style. Gold cutlery and candlesticks added brightness and luxury on the table. Even the bouquet was loose and flowing to convey a sense of unpredictable and easy- going beauty. 

Light is really important to me so I chose a venue with fantastic lighting as well as a photographer and colours that could create an overall bright image.

I can’t stress enough how important finding the right suppliers is for curating a design concept that is well executed and exactly how you imagined. The suppliers I approached for the shoot are true creatives and industry veterans.  You want people who understand what your vision is but can deliver it in a way that only they know how. 

Having an idea about the feeling of the day is really important to me, to know how casual or formal the vibe of the day is. The story of this shoot was about a couple who enjoyed being outside along with the company of friends and family. It was about creating a beautiful celebratory space which didn’t interfere with the actual celebration. A space to be a just married couple, laughing and dancing with family. 

In conclusion here are your five steps to creating a style concept, a blueprint if you like for making sure your décor represents who you are, what you want to say and of course looks beautiful. 

  1. Weave in elements of your story and who you are. Do you love travelling, being outside, fashion, art or being with family? 
  2. How can you represent this in your day and colours? Think about elements like colours, images, textures and florals to bring yourself to life. 
  3. Decide on a vibe, or a theme if this helps you. How do you want your guests to feel, what sort of cocktails will you serve, is there a strict dress code? Are you going for an all-out party, something casual but sophisticated or maybe glam. 
  4. Contact and work with great suppliers. Explain your vision, and choose people who understand what you want to achieve.
  5. Link your textures, colours, florals and fabrics together throughout the ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast and photographs for a cohesive look and feel. 

And remember to HAVE FUN!

Redefined 2019

I’m writing my first blog post and I thought the best place to start would be at the beginning. For me that’s the beginning of my business, when Weddings By Emma-Louise stopped being an idea that I thought about in the small hours the day and became a serious business that I have thrown myself into. One that will build my future but also help couples realise the celebration of their dreams.

In November of last year, I took the leap of faith and registered myself for Planning Redefined’s two day residential course ‘Redefined 2019’ – and let me tell you it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! 

I knew I had the skills it would take to become a professional wedding planner, however I wanted to find myself a support network of likeminded people and some advice for running a business. I could attend any business course or forum, but having the advice and support from a  wedding industry specific course was invaluable. 

When I met Kat & Louise at a Planning Redefined 2019 coffee morning at The Savoy, I was swept away with their infectious passion for the industry and felt like I had found the community I belonged in. 

Of course I had been silently stalking and fan-girling over Kat’s wedding of Katrina Otter Weddings for a number of months, and was already hooked on working with her. Meeting Louise of Louise Perry Weddings really convinced me that Planning Redefined would be the best course for me, her people centred approach and business mind meant that I knew the course would be the best mix of drop dead gorgeous pretty things and business lesson’s that I would need. 

I left that day, calling my partner and just saying this is it, this is where I belong and this is what I want to do. 

Dessert bar by Kalm Kitchen

The setting for the course was Millbridge Court, and walking into the welcome room is like a fresh, but cozy hug. Millbridge Court for anyone that hasn’t visited (you really should) has two chapel like rooms with floor to ceiling windows that pour in light and present vistas into the gardens and fields beyond. It also has eight rooms for guests staying overnight and a secluded hideaway for the married couple.

Bountiful floral displays were arranged by Linz at The White Horse Flower Company. Flowers organically sprung from all directions, creating a tiered display of beauty. Linz’s arrangements were the star of the styling throughout. The two days were catered for by the wonderful Kalm Kitchen, who create inventive food which not only tasted amazing but were also visually stunning.

The course was impeccably planned as you would expect from industry leading wedding planners. The agenda for the two day residential was jam packed with practical workshops, inspiring industry leading speakers and open honest conversations which covered a variety of subjects. The course was focused around the business of planning weddings, the budgeting and styling. There was also an aspect of branding and marketing a wedding business. It really opened my eyes to all the aspects of not only working in the business, but also on the business. 

There was talks from Matthew & Bertie of world renowned destination Matthew Oliver Weddings. Styling lessons from Emma of Coco Wedding Venues and a workshop with Linz of The Whitehorse Flower Company not forgetting invaluable advice from branding & marketing agency Chapter.

In summary if you are looking for a deep dive into this industry and what it takes to become a wedding planner, then I couldn’t recommend Redefined, or any of Kat and Louise’s courses enough. There was a wonderful mix of practical learning, open honest Q & A’s, academic learning and networking. If you wanted a better idea of what to expect then please do reach out to me or better still get in contact with Kat and Louise.

Until next time


2 days captured by the glorious Hannah Duffy Photography

Tablescape styles by @weddingsbyemmalouise

Share the love – List of suppliers for Redefined & contact list

Venuehttp://www.millbridgecourt.com / @millbridgecourt

Hosts – @planningredefined

Kat, http://www.katerinaotterweddings.co.uk / @katrinaotterwed & Louise, http://www.louiseperryweddings.com / @louiseperryweddings

Photographyhttp://www.hannahduffyphotography.com / @hannahduffyphotography

Foodhttp://www.kalmkitchen.com / @kalmkitchenltd

Stationaryhttp://www.natspaperstudio.com / @natspaperstudio

Flowershttp://www.thewhitehorseflowercompany.co.uk / @thewhitehorseflower


http://www.matthewoliverweddings.com / @matthew_oliver_weddings & @bertie_matthewoliver

http://www.cocoandkat.com / @cocoandkat

http://www.chaptermarketing.co.uk / @chaptercomms

Event hire

http://www.88events.com / @88eventscompany

http://www.couvert.co.uk / @couverthire

http://www.wedhead.co.uk/ @wedhead_london

http://www.weddingshop.com / @theweddingshopuk