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 ... http://bit.ly/1ohEQWO

Enjoy your bank holiday x


Venue that inspired: www.cliffbarns.com

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
For the full story visit: www.thehouseofhues.com
So you're in love? Awesome! 

And you're getting married? Brilliant! How exciting!!! But now you've ended up with a 'to-do' list so long it scares the b-jesus out of you? And you've got to wade through wedding suppliers, all the while keeping a watchful eye out for those who are in it just for the money, and hopefully finding suppliers who are in it for the love. 

Well, rest assured that there are many of us up and down this fine country who are in it for the love.

But how can you be sure? Read on, my friends ...

1. Ask yourself how important the photography is to you

You will have heard this a few thousand times already, but aside from the kids and the pets, is your wedding album likely to be the first thing you'd grab if, heaven forbid, your house was on fire? Do you want a straight forward record of the day? Or something a little more creative and a photographer that's able to capture emotion and the bond between people? You'll tend to pay less for the former and more for the latter, and that's because there is a great deal of skill involved in capturing how people relate to each other, how to help people feel comfortable being photographed, understanding light and composition, and hours of post production work to make your photographs look awesome.

2. Pin down your style

Get online and check out different styles of photography. Pinterest is of course a cracking place to start because you can find the photographers responsible for the photographs you love. Maybe you're drawn to more dramatic shots, a hint of fashion, maybe something more relaxed and natural, or maybe you'll find something truly unique that resonates with you.

3. In The Flesh

Try to find photographers in your area who have the style you like, but don't let geography restrict you too much. If you find a photographer who captures things in a way that makes your heart go boom but they live elsewhere, don't dismiss them. And don't get too hung up on whether a photographer is familiar with your venue or not. Good photographers can work anywhere and tend to get excited about shooting somewhere new. Of course you'll need to establish travel costs if using a photographer from outside your area, but it could very well be worth it. Many couples who have a destination wedding book a photographer to travel to the wedding too. And it's a no-brainer that you should meet up with each photographer in the flesh and try to compare them in terms of style, cost, personality and so on. Also, and this is advice that you'll see time and time again, but ask to see a full wedding shot by the photographers you visit, just to make sure that they're not showing you a portfolio of 'lucky' shots from many weddings. 

4. Happy Snappers

Style ain't everything. Your photographer will be AT your wedding, one of the most memorable and personally significant days of your lives, so make sure you like them. Might sound obvious, but if someone takes amazing photographs but is a total arse, run away and don't look back. Do your research into how they conduct themselves on the day by speaking with other couples who've used them. Meet them in person and trust your gut. Always trust your gut. 

Great wedding photographers welcome your input. They want to understand what you like and what you don't like. Spending time with your photographer is damn near essential and allows you all to get to know each other and feel relaxed in each others company. A pre-wedding/engagement shoot is well worth considering as you get to practice being photographed (and we're all a little uncomfortable with this aren't we), and usually a fab opportunity for the two of you to spend some time together to re-connect amidst the wedding planning madness. Plus you get some gorgeous images!

5. Investment

Expect to pay AT LEAST £1200 for decent photography. Some of you might fall off your chair, some of you might think this is a drop in the ocean, but think about the other things in life you'd spend £1200 on and how emotionally significant they will be to you for the rest of your life. For instance, we had to fork out over a grand on a new fuse box and that's not something I'll sit down and enjoy looking at with my grandkids ..!

Every photographer will offer you different packages so comparing can be difficult, but don't be afraid to get into the nitty gritty with them to understand what bang you get for your buck. Do they offer albums? What's the extra cost? Not all albums are created equal, some are totally pants, so be sure to see them in the flesh.

If the photographer is slightly out of your price range, ask yourselves what it is you love about their work and if you'd be disappointed if you used someone else because they were slightly cheaper. A lot of photographers would be more than happy for you to spread the cost over monthly installments if it makes things easier for you, so ask about this too. A lot of photographers also offer gift vouchers so your guests can help contribute to your wedding photography costs. Brilliant idea if you ask me. Sure beats another toaster!!

6. Plan Stan

If the photography is important to you (and lets be honest, you probably wouldn't be reading this if it wasn't) be sure to speak with your photographer about how long they might need at various points of the day to capture what you want, and structure the day around this. Many couples do it the other way around and build the plan for the day with the venue or wedding planner and then tell the photographer how long they have, but it makes much more sense to check with them first to avoid stress or disappointment.

7. Heads-up

Lastly, a little heads-up to you all: there seems to be a growing trend for Ministers/Fathers/Vicars not allowing any photography during a church ceremony. In my experience this is the personal decision of the person conducting the ceremony, rather than a blanket rule enforced by the church/venue. So make sure you clarify this early on. There is always room for negotiation and I personally have gone to rehearsals to speak with the Father at the couple's request and to reassure him that I don't use flash, I am discreet (I shudder at the thought of being anything but), and above all else, the photographs are not for me, they are for the couple. I guess if you feel that the individual conducting your ceremony won't budge on their decision and you would dearly love images of arguably the most pivotal and emotional part of the day (i.e. none of the day would be happening if you weren't getting married), you could request someone else who is happy for photography to take place or change church. It also seems to be better if the request for photography during the ceremony comes from you, rather than the photographer. 

Well people, I hope this helps and I wish you the very best of luck finding a fab photographer.


Photography: The House of Hues
Guest Blog contribution: Thanks go to Bec Hughes
Driving through Manchester this week, I was inspired by the prettiest of bikes covered in fresh flowers. My mind started wandering ... perhaps it's the start of a proposal idea. I already have a dream proposal story ... so this one, I will share!

... So they cycle to work everyday ... one morning you let them leave as planned, but follow later. Cover or fill their bike with their favourite flowers. Leave for them to discover (and passersby to enjoy) ... or wait in the wings for your proposal opportunity ... if you're brave, leave the ring in the basket!

Have a lovely summery weekend 


More proposal inspiration on RT Pinterest Proposal Ideas

Images from Pinterest