Guest bloggers are the new black…

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Just so you know, I’m wearing my best dress and new shoes while I write this – it feels like my first day at a new job and I have to impress the boss!

I’m Rachel and I’ll be blogging from Leeds on behalf of Phoebe next week while she goes off on her travels. Every blogger deserves a holiday so I will be stepping into her (high heeled) shoes and making sure you don’t miss out on wonderful wedding pretty in her absence.

So a bit about me – I’m getting married next July and currently in full ‘planning’ flow. That’s if you call ‘having loads of plans but not quite sure how to put them into action’, full flow! I am a sucker for ideas. I am an advertiser’s dream. Show me something pretty, classic and unique and the chances are I’ll want it. I’m going to end up with so many ideas for my wedding, I might as well get married in a circus. It’s (usually) Phoebe’s job to give me a kick to either a) concentrate or b) start doing things! I have to confess that I don’t always listen. Goodness only knows why she’s letting me loose on her blog. But this week, I will try to be logical and reign in my thoughts but sometimes the best ideas come from the most random of beginnings so come along, pour yourself a cocktail, grab a slice of cake and join in.

I’d love to read your comments, see your suggestions or say hi on twitter – I’m @rachelswedding. You can also read about more of my wedding planning over on my blog ‘The White Diary’.

And, of course, in true ‘So You’re Getting Married Style’ style, here’s a few fun facts about me:

A Quick Q & A

Favourite Colour: Yellow

Favourite Film: Breakfast At Tiffanys

Favourite Song: Michael Buble – Some Kind Of Wonderful

Favourite Month: July

Favourite Drink: Chocolate milk

Favourite Food: Cake

Favourite Perfume: SJP – Lovely

Favourite Book: David Nicholls – One Day

Rachel xx

DIY – Flower Ice Cubes

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
Pretty and practical. Perfect for a summer wedding or cocktails on the veranda. Here’s the how-to…


Do your research, you cant just eat any old flower…

Wash the flower, submerge it in the water in your ice cube tray and voila! Easy. Personal favourites are Lavender, Borage, Elderberry and Sugar snaps. 

Do The Birds A Favour

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Whilst perusing Pinterest I came across these bird seed favours. They are easy to make, inexpensive AND eco-friendly. Not only do they thank your guests, they can put them in the garden for the birds. Wonderful!

Heres what you need:

(Makes approximately 21 two-inch hearts)

– 96g  flour
– 125ml water
– 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2.5 teaspoons)
– 3 tbsp corn syrup
– 350g  birdseed

You will also need:

– large mixing bowl
– heart shaped cookie cutter
– nonstick spray
– chopstick or bamboo skewer for making a hole
– parchment paper
– cookie sheet
– jute or raffia
– card stock
– rubber stamp
– rounded corner punch
– hole punch

Mix flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup. Add birdseed and stir well.
Spray the inside of a heart cookie cutter with vegetable cooking spray. (You could also wipe it down with veg. oil.)
Place cookie cutter on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spoon mixture inside of cookie cutter, pressing mixture firmly with greased fingers. (The more you press it down, the less shedding of seeds you will have.)

Using a chopstick or bamboo skewer, make a hole near the top of the heart

Carefully pull cookie cutter away from birdseed heart.  Repeat until all the mixture is used up. (Spray the cookie cutter after every six hearts, that way it won’t stick.)

Let dry 6-8 hours. (the lady let hers sit overnight.) Cut 10-12 inches of jute for each heart. String jute through heart and add a tag. 

The woman behind the idea says:

“I created my thank you tags by using a rubber stamp, card stock and a rounded corner punch.  Tie the jute in a knot after you have added the tag. (You can tuck the knot inside the hole so it doesn’t show.) You can hang these from branches at your wedding, or place inside bags or boxes”.

All credits to here

A Walk To Remember

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I reckon it is probably the shortest most important walk you will ever do. And it is set to music. Parfait? Non. I spent ages thinking about what I wanted my entrance music to be. When the vicar told me it could be anything in the whole world I knew exactly what it was…

This song. 

My cue to enter the church was at 1.31 seconds in. I missed it due to dress fluffing and bouquet arranging, hence a speedy walk down the aisle to reach Michael on time. 

It still gives me goosebumps. 

This was our other option, my parents said no. It would have been my genius moment that everyone would be talking about for years to come…sigh.

Tell me what you will/did have as your entrance music? Did you make your cue?

Why You Dont Always Have To Buy Louboutins

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

We all want them. Just look at them. They are beautiful. But quite often the wedding budget has to be spent on major things like; a venue, marriage certificate, a dress…ya know, the things that make a wedding. 

I believe that brides value certain parts of their wedding differently. For example, one bride may spend £1000 on flowers but £4000 on a dress, whereas another bride may spend £5000 on flowers and £900 on a dress. 

If shoes are your thing, then do it. Buy the most expensive ones for your day, you will wear them more than once, and they will make your day complete. 

If you can’t afford the sparkly Loubs, then Laura Popplewell added her own sparkle to her shoes. It’s quite a genius idea for a bride that still wants the alluring flash of sparkle whilst kneeling at the altar, but actually has to spend the wedding fund else where.

She bought these from Schuh

Added these crystals from here in sizes 2,3, and 4mm

After months of hard work and determination (re:a few bits now and then whilst watching television) they were done…

Beautiful. Simple. Elegant. 

And, even if Laura never wears them again, at least she didn’t spend a fortune. 

Will you be spending hours sticking crystals on your shoes or will you be sporting red soles? 

Supplier Spotlight – Nicky Chadwick

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Name: Nicky Chadwick



Mini Biography: I am a relaxed, contemporary photographer specialising in photographing weddings. I love weddings and feel very privileged to have the job I do!

Background on your business: I shoot mainly weddings for which I have a very relaxed style. I don’t have set packages so I am able to work with my couples to be able to offer them a bespoke service that works for them. If they want 10 hours coverage and a stunning album then they can have it, but equally, some couples only require a few hours coverage and a small coffee table book. Basically this means that they only pay for the elements that they want.

I also take on select commissions and commercial work and have recently been working with several music students to help them get portfolios together for their websites.

What has been your most favourite place that you have had the opportunity to photograph?

I’m not sure I have a favourite place although there are plenty of places I’d like to have the opportunity to go back to for more shoots!

I loved the whole of the Algarve for it’s beautiful beaches, Dubai for it’s stunning skyline and closer to home, Kirkstall Abbey is a firm favourite for my portfolio shoots and The Ashes wedding venue in Staffordshire was just amazing!

What advice can you give nervouse brides about having their photograph taken all day?

I offer a pre-wedding shoot with every wedding so that the bride and groom can get used to being photographed. This helps to alleviate any nervousness that they may feel as they have got used to me before hand. I also take time to get to know my couples so that if there is anything they are worried about we can talk about it before the wedding day. In my experience most of my couples don’t like the thought of being photographed but once they have had some fun on the pre-wedding shoot and realise I don’t have two heads they do relax more!

A Quick Q & A

Favourite Colour: Red

Favourite Film:  PS. I love you

Favourite Song:  Adele – Make you feel my love

Favourite Month:  May

Favourite Drink:  Fresh Orange Juice

Favourite Food:  Fish and Chips

Favourite Perfume:  Varies but at the moment the new Issey Miyake

Favourite Book:  The Secret Garden

Stationery Week – Sweet Word Stationery

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Name: Ruth Coe
Stationery style/what you can offer?
I would say my design style is a mix of modern and retro styles, however a lot of the designs are bespoke from brides’ wanting something in particular. I offer a graphic design service and also foil printing so there are a number of services available.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I love anything arts and crafts, shiny bits and pieces so am always looking about for anything I could use in a designs. I also follow wedding trends and love interiors and styling.

Any tips on wording etiquette?
The main thing I have noticed is that couples want wording quite fun and funky, with plays on words and fonts and how this fits into the design.

Any tips to those thinking of DIY stationery
Get everyone involved. Keep designs simple as you will be making a lot! Think about the tools you will need and be realistic on what you know and the time you have.

How far in advance should you order?
It depends on the couple and the style of wedding. Allow 4-6 months for sending and return of RSVP and at least 4 weeks for design and production.

Trends for 2011?
I see the floral vintage style continuing for a while as it is so pretty, and also the Rule Britannia designs with the mix of red blue and white. However I am doing all sorts of designs in all manner of themes. From vintage postcards to gothic  to modern..

Stationery Week – Heart And Design

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe


Stationery style/what you can offer?
We have a range of modern & elegant stationery designs for weddings and civil partnerships. Our designs are available in a choice of colours, can be printed on to white, ivory or cream card and we stock a range of 32 coloured satin ribbons which customers can choose from.  This enables our clients to easily customise any of the designs to match their schemes. 

We are also happy to work with clients to alter the designs or colours to suit their requirements.

Each of our design ranges has 3 three styles of invitations:

Booklet invitations – these invitations have 8 pages inside (one of which is a perforated RSVP slip) which enable couples to give the guests lots of information about their special day such as directions to the venue, overnight accommodation details, a running order for the day etc. in one neat booklet.

Luxury Invitations – These are folded invitations, which from the outside look much the same as our booklet invitations, however internally they have a standard insert with space just for the invitation wording.

Flat Invitations – These postcard style invitations are great for couples on a tight budget as they are priced at just £1.35 each.

Many of our clients use the booklet or luxury invitations for their day invitations and then save a few pennies by using the flat invitations for their evening invitations.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Often the inspiration for our designs comes from our clients and some of our most popular ranges came about after chatting to clients about what they were looking for.  A great example of this is our Peacock Feather range – the idea for that range came from chatting to a couple who came to see me at a wedding fair. I created the new range for them, they loved it and it is now becoming one of our most popular ranges!  I’m happy to receive any kind of request from couples if they don’t see exactly what they want on the website as it often leads to new ranges or amendments to existing styles.  

Once I have an idea for the theme or style for a new design I spend time browsing my collection of design books for images or layout ideas I’d like to incorporate.  I also find home interior magazines a really useful inspiration source as they have great ideas for colour schemes and also help me keep up to date with the latest trends.  

The actual design process usually involves me doing lots of doodling and playing around using my design software until I have an image I like.  I always design the invitations first and then the rest of the range develops from there.

Any tips on wording etiquette?
I am firm believer that couples should use whatever wording they feel suits them and their day and not to feel duty bound to do something in a particular way purely because etiquette dictates that’s how it should be done. 

However, I know it can sometimes be difficult to come up with wording from scratch so I have a range of suggestions on my website ranging from formal through to casual to help give clients some inspiration.  There are a few things I know can upset some people and I do occasionally advise clients that they may want to rethink something, often this will involve  the best way to include information about gift lists (or cash alternatives!) within the invitation wording.

At the end of the day if a client is adamant that they want their wording in a particular way, it’s their stationery and they get it the way they want!

Any tips to those thinking of DIY stationery?
Firstly, if you are planning to make your own stationery for budget reasons start by shopping around to see what you could buy within your budget. Many stationers have budget ranges (myself included, our invitations start at only £1.35 each) and so you could be surprised and find something you love within your budget.

If you are determined to go ahead with making your own, allow yourself a LOT of time to do it in, keep your design as simple as possible as it WILL get tedious when you have a whole batch to make.  Have plenty of spare materials for when things go wrong (or if you need to make a few extras at a later stage) and be prepared for tears at least once along the way.  

Oh, and don’t rely on your word processor’s spell checker –always get someone else to double and triple check your spelling and grammar before you print everything out!

How far in advance should you order?
We are different from many stationers in that we keep all of our materials in stock and so only need 4 weeks to produce an order and often turn them around much quicker (our record is 1 day between order and despatch!)

We encourage clients to order their stationery in stages as they need it, so generally that would mean save the dates first, then invitations, rsvp cards and info cards and finally their reception stationery such as place cards, table plan, guest book etc.  

Should clients run short of anything, we are always happy to produce any extras they need at a later date.

There are no rules as to when couples should send their invitations – we have had clients send them out anywhere between a year before up to 2 weeks before!  

Trends for 2011? 
Wedding stationery trends tend to follow many of the fashion and interior trends so I have noticed a lot of vintage inspired and typographical based designs are appearing on the market and I think these will continue for a while.

Classical designs are always popular, our Monogram design has consistently been one of our best selling designs for the last few years.

In terms of colours – black and white is still very popular, as is purple.  Pink is always a favourite wedding colour, and this year couples are going for deeper fuchsia / magenta shades rather than the softer baby pinks.