There's something magical and wildly romantic about a Winter Wedding ... 

Whether you're planning a candle lit service in Canterbury, a quant little do in the streets of Zermatt or not planning at all ... take a minute ...



Moodboards: Raspberry Toast
Images: Vogue
For details visit: Vogue 
Who says that a whimsical wedding needs to be in a country house? 

If you want fairy light chandeliers, dreamy petal covered aisles, alice in wonderland tea tables or bohemian bridesmaid dresses ... in an industrial warehouse ... it's your wedding and 'whatever' goes.  

Maybe just go for a date in summer if there's no heating, or add 'bring a warm coat' to your invitations.

Photography: 100 layer cake & Green Wedding Shoes
Absorb yourself in an inspiring wedding fusion ... Savan & Nicola got married earlier this year, at Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester.

As the rehearsal and recording space for the Hallé choir and orchestra, Savan & Nicola were the first to be married in this unique venue ... but it's also the perfect location for an amazing ceremony, Indian street food (including Dosa and Panipuri) and an awesome party.

I'm not sure how they pulled it off with only a 7 month engagement ... 

Lengha: Pehnava
Shoes: Karen Millen
Sherwani: Laadki
Photography: Soniya Zeb Photography
Caterers: R K S
I am fortunate enough to have attended weddings in several European countries, namely – Norway, France, Netherlands, Ireland, Greece and Spain. I am furthering this global reach with Italy in the diary for 2015.

My experiences in these countries were very different, but each wedding felt like a wedding. I wondered what it was that was consistent, and what was different. How do you know what makes a wedding a wedding?

The Norwegians love coffee and pancakes with butter and sugar, directly after the ceremony, followed by a long and leisurely wedding breakfast punctuated with heartfelt speeches, songs and ditties. The Bride or Groom leaving the room creates a stampede to kiss the remaining newly wed. I love it!

The Dutch played games during a long afternoon of  family fun. This was slightly different as it was a Dutch / Kazakh wedding. Bread was torn by the Groom to represent who ‘wore the trousers’, a really interesting concept. The Groom has the choice, if he tears the largest part he states that the trouser wearer is him!

Outside of these national customs, in each case, I still knew I was at a wedding.

My argument: You need the formal structure of a wedding to ensure that everyone thinks they didn’t just turn up to some elaborate party with a couple who decided to wear a posh frock and a snazzy suit. Not only that, guests need the wedding ‘running order’ so they (kind of) know where to be and when.  

Whist many wouldn’t admit it, we all love a bit of orchestrated, routine driven behavior (Just me? Sorry, it’s my ‘a little bit OCD’ shining through!). Our social memes are what holds us all together, and I would argue that there are none more etched in the psyche of our nation than the traditional wedding.

Go curve ball, go quirky, go crazy, but make any wedding I rock up to a wedding. I like to see a couple cut a cake (fruit cake please, chocolate cakes are for birthdays). I like to see speeches after dinner (make the best man sweat!) and I like a formal ceremony with vows and “you may kiss the bride”. Don’t make it too long though, the canopes and bubbles are awaiting.

So what makes a wedding a wedding? It’s those traditional crowd pleasers and, in my opinion, you miss these at your peril.

Guest Blog contribution: Thanks go to The Secret Wedding Blogger

Planning a hen do

Nowadays, the Hen Do often involves a weekend away rather than just a night out in a local town with friends. It is also a great way of getting to know everyone before the big day so that you can fulfil your other role, that of Wedding Guest Extraordinaire!

There is a huge industry in organising hen dos and some companies even collect payment and organise itineraries. However, if you want something that isn’t off-the-shelf, it’s DIY time. If this seems like an enormous task, don’t panic, here are our tips to help you pull it off without pulling your hair out.

The numbers game

I don’t think I’ve been on a hen do with less than 14 other people and organising large groups can be a bit like herding cats, even before any alcohol has been consumed. You’re going to need to be organised from the beginning otherwise the whole production can be like a school trip gone bad. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a big fan of the Excel spreadsheet (I even have a wedding budget one!) and this is my nerve-centre where all hen do-related information is kept. 

I also recommend putting everyone’s number in your ‘phone with the prefix ‘Hen Do’ as it makes it much easier to find names for block messages or to jog your memory when they ring the day before to ask a last-minute question.

What a girl wants

Whilst mild embarrassment is allowed, and even expected, leaving the Bride-To-Be tied to a lamp post on Blackpool promenade is not allowed. For one thing, she’ll probably get splashed with seawater and turn to an ice sculpture overnight, but the main thing is that she’s your friend and you want her to enjoy herself. This means you need to tailor any activities to her interests. If she’s adamant she doesn’t want to do karaoke, then you aren’t doing karaoke. Or, if you’re a wild party girl, but your friend want to have Afternoon Tea and an early night, then leave your comfort zone and go with it. The message here is:  It’s about her, not about you.  Which brings me on to my next point …

Channel your inner school teacher – Part 1

When you first contact your fellow hens, it’s a good idea to tell them what’s planned because in truth, no-one likes a nasty surprise. So if the hen wants to do an army assault course then let everyone know at the outset. That way, those who’d rather sit on a cactus all weekend can come up with an excuse and everyone is spared the embarrassment of 75-year old Great Aunt Ada gamely trying to clamber up a cargo net even though she and her new hip aren’t really up to it. I know I said to step out of your comfort zone, but if it’s too much you want people to bow out politely at the beginning. 

If you can, give everyone an estimate of how much the hen do is likely to cost so they can start budgeting. If you all know where you stand from the start it means you’re less likely to get cancellations and the financial risk that comes with that, particularly if you’ve had to pay for accommodation up front. 

Show me the money!

If you’re organising payments, I’d recommend asking for £10 extra per person. That way you can get some basic supplies in if you’re self-catering, and any leftover can be used to start a kitty. 

Channel your inner school teacher – Part 2

Now that you’ve decided what you’re doing, have a walk through the itinerary. This might seem unnecessary, but it’s worth trying to work out whether an 8pm departure time for the evening’s events is realistic (and by ‘realistic’, I mean, ‘have I got enough time to get ready?’). Don’t forget to include about 15 minutes ‘Faffing Time’ at regular intervals. Faffing Time is essential where groups are involved because getting side tracked seems to be the unwritten law, particularly as you move from one activity to the next. 

I’ve been known to do a timetable so everyone knows where they have to be and when. It might seem like overkill, but answering the same question 13 times does get a bit taxing and everyone having their own information avoids this. I learnt this lesson the hard way, having to hot-foot it down 3 corridors and 2 flights of stairs three times whilst half-dressed as Mr. T. 

And, they’re off!

Most hen dos involve some sort of evening entertainment including food and drink. Faffing Time tends to increase proportionally the more alcohol is involved and the later the hour. Bring yourself a spare purse for the kitty and suggest everyone puts in £20 before the evening starts.  This way you can take it in turns to order your 14 drinks. On one hen do, the club we were in didn’t have any trays but fortunately we were all dressed as old ladies, and old lady handbags are surprisingly roomy, fitting all 14 bottles of beer. 

And finally …

My last piece of advice is: be present.  Obviously take photos and videos, but don’t forget to actually be there, enjoying it all. Uploading pictures to Facebook and Twitter updates can wait. Enjoy the moment and the celebration that one of your friends is about to get married. Now, let’s have ourselves a celebratory glass of fizz.

Guest Blog contribution: Thanks go to Sarah Stephenson

I love cities ... they're full of interest and magic, come day or night.

Since I can remember, I've want to live in a warehouse apartment ... I love the sense of space, the industrial features and perhaps the opportunity to fill it with 'stuff' and it still be empty.

We've put together some inspiration for an urban wedding. Whether it be street food in a warehouse, a cosy dinner in your favourite restaurant or cocktails in an art gallery ... let your mind wander.



For more inspiration, get in touch

When a bride combines a leather jacket with her wedding dress, you know the result is going to be something special!

Paul & Lindsey's urban chic wedding at The Bridge Tavern, Newcastle was suitably stylish.  Take a moment to enjoy the city centre venue, popcorn and champagne, divine outfits (the bride and groom) and the new 'Antony' family (Paul & Lindsay's daughter, Annabel is cuteness personified). 


See, I told you so! ... 

Dress: Ghost
Shoes: Carvela
Jacket: Vivienne Westwood
We love 'new' and we love our 'new' Cliff Barns range.  

A simple and stylish wedding stationery collection that captures a feel good summertime vibe.

See here for the full range ...

Enjoy your bank holiday x


Venue that inspired:

When you begin to plan your own wedding, as I am now, other weddings that you care to attend are treated as a shop window, a chance to judge, scrutinise and flirt with other peoples ideas and choices, to compare them to your own tastes.

When the invitation for Cath and Andrew’s wedding arrived through the post, we already knew we were looking at something quirky and eccentric, yet still rooted in a traditional sense of this forever moving, modern world.

Different is sometimes used to ridicule or highlight what is culturally known and safe. But sometimes different can just mean different. It is not the same as hundreds of wedding ideas that Brides and Grooms are almost forced to accept. Another choice to add originality is exactly what arrived on our doormat this day.

The Invitation formed in a small handcrafted booklet made its first impression through its simplicity and yet attention to detail. The small binding of the booklet making it seem like it was specially made for the recipient. The deep red background making the cream front sheet stand to attention and proudly announce our names. 

Once we had carefully extracted the perforated edges so as not to damage the beauty of the card, we found ourselves staring at pages of what Cath and Andrew’s day would bring. 

After being formally invited to their magical day, Cath and Andrew used the remaining pages to offer as much information as they could to their guests while making sure that a minimum amount of work would be required. It followed a simple structure allowing room for personality to shine through with specific wording, clearly acquired to their tastes. 

We were left with an R.S.V.P. to a wedding that would clearly be in the making of a couple whose imagination and creativity would know no bounds.

When attending the service we were greeted at our chairs by a beautiful order of service and a small packet, hand-stitched closed and full of dried rose petals ready to use as confetti. It was again a nice personal touch.

Dinner is always an interesting time at a wedding. Different personalities thrown together and expected to make merry because of the one thing they certainly have in common; the Bride and Groom. 

Finding our table was a pleasure within itself. The guests shuffled over to an old index box to find their names filed in alphabetical order.

Once primed with our table number we made our way into the dining room. Our table was not hard to find. Our number proudly sat atop of the table. Projected into a 15-inch 3D rendering. It was on closer inspection that we saw the table number was plastered in pictures of us and our fellow table guests. It made the table our own. Our table was unique to us and we already felt like a group rather than a group of strangers.

The last element that completed the usually awkward introductions was a beautifully inspired cutlery holder. Adorned with an itinerary of the nights events, including speeches. It made light suggestion of conversation among our fellow guests as we guests were invited to 'guess the first dance'. But the most personal touch was by far the most powerful. A section of the cutlery holder that tears away and is folded to make a name tag which not only adorns your name, but also an interest, or statement made by the bride and groom about you. It was this fact that got the table talking. The ice was broken and all through a simple yet almost genius idea. 

The wording and style of each item was clearly thought through with the idea that freedom and expression would ultimately rule their occasion. After all what is a wedding if not two personalities meeting and altering to meet each other’s needs.

The one similarity that all these carefully crafted ideas and beautiful realisations had; was that they shared the same label. Two words. Raspberry Toast.

Stationery: Raspberry Toast
Photography: The House of Hues
Guest Blog contribution: Thanks go to Matt Killingbeck 
So when the words 'Pre-Wedding Shoot' was mentioned, I instantly discarded them!  

"That's not me ... I'll feel uncomfortable" ... blah blah blah.

Then Bec asked where we met and the story of an afternoon in The Marble Arch unfolded ... all of a sudden I was suggesting a Pre-Wedding Shoot where we first met and got engaged!  Say, what!

I'm so glad we did ... on a beautiful spring Saturday, our fabulous photographer, travelled from Sunderland to Manchester to take some pictures of where it all began!  It was so lovely getting to know Bec before the wedding ... and for us to spend some time together in the crazy world of pre-wedding planning!

Go book your Pre-Wedding Shoot now ... well, after you've had a look at these snaps.


Photography: The House of Hues
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