Continuing with the Downton theme I thought I’d give some Downton Abbey/1920′s style wedding nails a go. Here is what I came up with!
I haven’t really used nail gems before because I always imagine that they will fall off really quickly. But on this occasion I only need them to look good for one day, so I gave them a go! In actual fact they have lasted absolutely fine for the last few days, so I needn’t have worried!
What do you think about this colour combination? Do you think it would work for a 1920′s style wedding? How are you planning to paint your nails for your big day?
If you are interested in how I paint my nails, you might find my Top 10 tips for flawless nails useful. You can check out my last wedding nail design here.
Essie – Sand Tropez
Rimmel London – 700 Block your Green
Barry M – Paint Black 47
Seche Vite top coat
Nail Stickers – number 3
Nail Gems (came in a set for £1 at Primark)
Hi guys, today we are talking about the ever indulgent Downton Abbey Themed wedding! I’ve got my usual top 5 wedding theme wednesday buys below, and then keep reading for a great guest article from the lovely Elle Williams!
1. Charlie Silver Glitter Clutch Bag - £160 from Wilbur and Gussie
2. Adoringly Alluring Dress - from Modcloth
3. Maya Comb – £185 from Emmy London
4. Cinderella Shoe - £695 from Emmy London
5. Downton Abbey Nail Varnish Trio – £9.50 from M&S
Themed weddings have long been fashionable in the wedding industry – but (depending on the theme) it can either be a huge success or a disaster.
One of the most successful themes I have come across though whilst blogging in the bridal industry, is the Downton Abbey theme. I mean who wouldn’t want to theme their wedding in line with the iconic, beautiful TV show set in the 1920’s?
A Downton Abbey themed wedding is something that can be executed really subtly, meaning you get the suggestion of a theme and you can feel the unique décor choice, etc – but it’s not screamingly obvious, or ‘fancy dress’.
Luckily, the 1920’s was a stunning period of time, for both décor and fashion – so bringing elements of the 1920s into your big day will only ever improve the look and feel of the big day. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Fashion in the ‘Downton’ era was very classy and very particular. The trick with modernizing a theme such as this though is making the style and feel of the fashion your own. Concentrate on key elements from the era, such as silk, lace and slim-line gowns. Below is an example for you to take a look at. There are loads of gorgeous styles you could go for – but the key with the 1920’s is understated. Brides didn’t wear big princess gowns then – the dresses were classy, subtle and fluid.
Think about the venue
The venue is definitely going to be important when planning a Downton Abbey wedding – as you’re going to want all those glorious photographs outside, overlooking some beautiful grounds – just like in the TV show. One of my favourite venues is Rushton Hall, I stumbled across this place at my friends wedding and it really made an impression. She too was going for a vintage ‘Downton-esque’ feel, and the venue lended itself to that perfectly. When you’re looking, look out for big period buildings, with impressive frontages and big green grounds.
Décor is important
The way you decorate your venue will also be important when suggesting your Downton theme – so make sure you think about how the venue looks inside (as well as outside!). Intimate dinner, lace table runner, traditional candles and pearls would all suggest the theme – but do so in a subtle, elegant and modern way. Try and stay away from modern things such as chair covers too – as this wouldn’t have been the fashion back then. Instead cover chairs with lace or silk – tying them into beautiful bows to finish the look. I actually found a Downton Abbey Pinterest board whilst researching this article – so take a look for more inspiration by browsing through that.
Transport is an easy, yet obvious way to inject a bit of vintage glamour into the day. Choose a typically 20’s car and your guests will immediately tie the style and look of the car into your theme. You could even offer guest the chance to pose in the car themselves, once you and your hubby have had your portraits!
This article was written by Elle Williams, you can follow her on Twitter by clicking here.
Hi Guys, today I want to talk to you about bridal make-up.
If you, like me, are a bride planning to do your own makeup on your wedding day, then this post for you! Keep reading to find out how I got a free make-up consultation!
I’m going to admit it, the main reason I decided to do DIY make-up instead of getting a make-up artist, is because I am a tad cheap. I hated the thought of spending hundreds of pounds on one days make up, and I was also terrified that I wouldn’t look myself, or wouldn’t look ‘right’ having someone else do it.
I much preferred the idea of spending that money on some nice new make-up, that I can actually use again! However, there are some con’s to the DIY approach. For a start, it takes a lot of research! Even if you are fairly happy doing your make-up normally, I bet you will want to find the ‘perfect’ way of doing it for the big day. Cue many evenings sitting on Youtube watching make-up tutorials while Chris plays Grand Theft Auto. Am I alone?
On my Youtube travels I came across Pixiewoo‘s channel, which is now a firm favourite of mine, and is incredibly popular judging by the likes and comments they get! They have got loads of wedding tutorials which are really useful, and I would highly recommend! Whilst watching these I noted down all the make-up they were using that I thought I would like, one of which being Bobbi Brown, and went on a bit of a mission to hunt them down!
Meanwhile, I was also planning a dress shopping trip to London with my bridesmaids, and noticed that at Westfield there was a Bobbi Brown Studio. I decided I would have to pop in, but whilst I was browsing their website I noticed that they do free make-up lessons, including 45 minute bridal sessions! This sounded brilliant, so I forced the girls to come in and watch while I was given a bit of a make-over and lesson.
Of course, this did end up in me buying a fair amount of make-up, but I didn’t feel pressured to at all, and I am sure if I had decided it wasn’t for me then I could have walked out with nothing without a problem. As it was, I was pretty happy with my purchases, especially since I had planned to buy a couple of them anyway, and it just meant that I could try before I bought!
The girls there fill out a really helpful form, (you can see mine above) as they go along, so that you can go home and think about it, then order online at a later date if you like. They also put the make up on the drawing of a lady which I thought was quite cute.
All in all I found it a really useful experience. If you need some tips or want to try out some new make up for your big day I would definitely suggest this! Going to a studio is probably the best option as there are no distractions, and you get the full experience! (And I would imagine more experienced staff) But you can always go to one of the counters in department stores if you are short on time, or don’t have a studio near you.
I’m actually quite getting into make-up now, after many years of using my old favourites, I am now quite keen to explore and try out some new products. Perhaps I will even do some reviews!
Today is the start of a new little series on the blog. A series which gives me the chance to talk a lot more about nail art! Specifically wedding nail art of course! If you read my lifestyle blog, you may know that I have a bit of a thing for pretty nails, so the decision of how they will look for the big day is going to be a big one! Much bigger than say, picking a wedding ring or finding bridesmaid dresses (I joke, but I haven’t actually done either of these things yet, eep!)
Initially I had thought that I would just get a French manicure. That seems to be the thing to do, right? And no doubt, if done well it does look lovely. BUT, that’s not how I wear my nails, ever! I want to be myself as much as possible on my wedding day and I like my nails best when they have interesting designs and pretty colours. I do get a lot of complements with how I do my nails, so I started thinking that maybe I would go for something a bit different.
As you can imagine, I have had lots of ideas on this subject, so I thought I would try out some designs. Perhaps you can help me decide what I should do, and hopefully I might inspire a few of you too!
Today I’ve got a simple geometric design in gold and beige/light brown. I normally go for brighter colours, but I am actually really taken with this combination! I think it would work really well for a boho style wedding in particular. I painted my nails with 3 coats of Essie’s San tropez. Then I used my triangle nail stickers and painted the tips in gold by Barry M. I finished up with a top coat of seche vite. If you are interested in how I paint my nails, you might find my Top 10 tips for flawless nails useful.
What do you think? Should I consider something like this for my wedding?
If you have any suggestions or ideas of other designs, colours or specific varnishes you’d like to see me try out, I’d love to hear from you. I love a good excuse to add a new nail varnish to my collection!
Be sure to check back regularly as I have at least 3 more nail designs up my sleeve (so to speak). You can follow me on Bloglovin here, Twitter here or Facebook here to get updates.
Essie Sand Tropez
Barry M Nail Effects Foil -Gold
Nail Stickers (Number 4)
I’m a big fan of bunting. I think it can really transform a space at a relatively low cost. It is the perfect addition to your decor, especially if you are having a country or vintage style wedding. The variety of bunting you can now buy is fantastic, so you can match it exactly to the rest of your colour scheme.
Paper Themes, a company which sells Wedding Stationery, do some really lovely Wedding Bunting, including this pretty mint patterned one, of which I was sent a sample to review.
I chose this design because I love the colour (although there are lots more to pick from), and I thought the patterns had a vintage feel. I found the card pennants were very sturdy and they arrived in a lovely box. I took some pictures of the patterns so that you can see them up close.
I was sent the bunting unassembled, so the card triangles and the ribbon come separately, and you have to thread them on yourself. While this can take a little while, I found it to be a benefit because I could choose the order the patterns appeared in, as well as how far apart each pennant was. I also thought that if you wanted a few colours you would be able to mix and match easily.
The card itself is very sturdy, and although you obviously wouldn’t want to use it outside, if looked after properly I am sure you could re-use this bunting time and time again.
These will be adorning my marquee walls at my wedding in May, so it may give you a sneaky idea of my colour scheme! Keep your eyes peeled for the photos!
Disclaimer – I was sent this bunting free of charge to review, however any opinions expressed are my genuine thoughts on the product.
The Fairytale Wedding
What little girl doesn’t dream of a fairytale wedding? A beautiful dress, a horse drawn carriage, woodland creatures to help you get dressed whilst singing a merry tune. Ok, that last bit might be a little far fetched, but with this theme you can go all out, or take simple elements to give a subtle feel of enchantment to your day.
My Top 5 Buys
1.Fairytale Wedding Favours - £96.15 for 100 from Fairyland Bazaar
These little seed favours are packaged so sweetly, I couldn’t ignore them.
2. Outdoor Light Flower Garland - £36 from Heal’s
I have a soft spot for fairy lights, and they are obviously appropriate for this theme! There should definitely be twinkling lights at a fairytale wedding, as well as pretty flowers, and these would kill 2 birds with one stone!
3. Poisoned Apple Necklace - £15.38 from Whimsy Daisy Designs
This cute snow white apple pendant would look lovely on the bridesmaids.
4. Once Upon a Time – Hand Carved Stamp - £5.45 from TC Witchcraft Factory
I think stamps are so useful, especially if you are planning to make your own save the date cards or invites, this ‘once upon a time’ stamp would really come in handy!
5.Diamante Embellished Ballerina Shoes - £75 from Dune
Glass is a little impracticle, and lets face it, downright dangerous. I have no idea how Cinderella didn’t slice her tiny feet apart. Anyway, I have chosen a slighly safer version of the classic glass slipper, in this beautiful diamante shoe from Dune.
The Dress Collection
If you want a dress that truly makes you feel like a princess, take a look at Alfred Angelo’s collection of Disney Bridal gowns, they are breathtaking. My favourite is Belle (who is also my favourite Disney princess!) I have actually tried this dress on, and although it wasn’t the style I was going for, it almost convinced me to change my mind!
Are you searching for the perfect fairytale castle? Chateau de Challain in France has got to be the closest you can get. Check out those turrets!
The Blog Post
I love this blog post from b.loved, which takes inspiration from classic fairytale princesses; Belle, Cinderella and Snow White, for 3 stunning wedding shoots. Subtle, but so beautifully done!
I hope you were inspired by todays Fairytale themed wedding post. Which fairytale character would you choose to theme your wedding on?
Today I am happy to announce my first Supplier spotlight! In these posts I am going to feature some of my absolute favourite suppliers that I have come across so far on my wedding planning journey. I came across Ruth and The Flying Ducks at the Vintage and Handmade Wedding Fair in Newbury. The van looked absolutely stunning and I had a lovely chat with Ruth who was very friendly indeed. Today I have asked Ruth a few questions so that you can get to know her and her business a little better;
Tell us a little bit about The Flying Ducks and what you do?
The Flying Ducks are a unique event caterers. I cater for many different events, from ‘street food markets’, corporate team building and weddings. Weddings are my favourite, because it is always a happy atmosphere, and I get to dress up the caravans with beautiful flowers, hearts, bunting and fairy lights! Every wedding is different, and sometimes it’s just nice to be able to dress up and serve canapés and champagne one minute, and organising the waiting staff serving the tables, then serving gourmet fish finger sandwiches and bacon butties to the ‘merry’ guests at the end of the day from the caravan.Sometimes the client just wants the caravan for the backdrop through the day, and then in full catering swing for the evening guests whilst they party.
What influenced you to start your business?
The original idea came about from my love of vintage caravans, and at the time, they could be picked up for very little money, not so much nowadays! I have been a chef most of my adult life, and trained as one professionally many moons ago. I thought that the vintage caravans would make great catering units, rather than the boring square trailers that were around. I found my original caravan on Ebay 4 years ago, and paid £350 for her. The final cost of the renovation was hugely more, but it has all been worth it.
What is the most memorable experience you have had catering a wedding?
I can honestly say that all weddings have been lovely, and I couldn’t pick out a favourite one, however, not so long ago, we were on our way to Derby to do a vintage themed wedding, when the engine on the car quite literally blew up on the M1, 20 miles from the venue. The stress of having to wait for the RAC to recover us, and then tow the caravan and the dead car into the wedding venue, was not much fun at all, but we got there a little late. Managed to set up, serve the 150 guests, close down, walk to the b&b, and then spent the next day being relayed home again.
I swiftly leased a new van after that ‘memorable’ wedding!
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love my job because no day is the same, you meet some great and good people, I get to pick and choose my work load, and I get to create such loveliness for people.
Do you have any advice for brides to be out there, who are starting to look at the catering for their wedding?
My advice for brides when choosing your catering for the wedding, would be to not complicate the menu. Choose what you like, not the guests, it’s YOUR day!
Understand that the food is one of the most important details of your wedding, not the colour or font size of the place name cards! Go for simple, quality and where possible, in season ingredients. If the food is good, well presented and plentiful, the guests will always be happy. Less really is more, and more being in your bank account. Some wedding venues, will only allow their own caterer to cater, so it can often work out to be quite costly, so it is always worth looking for a venue which allows you to choose your own suppliers. There are some very beautiful village halls out there!
Thanks so much for telling us about your business today Ruth! If you would like to know more about The Flying Ducks and what they can provide for your wedding or event, you can find their website here.
So, I have finally found ‘The’ dress, and I wanted to rave a little bit about the shop where I finally tracked it down.
If you have been following this blog you may have picked up that I haven’t actually enjoyed dress hunting all that much. I found it difficult because there seemed to be SO much choice, yet I couldn’t find anything quite right for me. I wasn’t having the typical reaction that most brides seem to have when they try on wedding dresses. I guess I didn’t feel like a bride, I felt like I was playing dress up, dare I say it, I felt a little bit silly! On my hunt I encountered lots of lovely ladies in different bridal shops, nearly all of them were very pleasant and helpful, but I just wasn’t getting that “TaaDaa!” moment.
That is, not until we met Rob and Andrew!
Their shop, Creatiques, is a dream to walk into. It is small but perfectly formed, with enough dresses to keep you entertained for hours, but not so many to become overwhelmed. The stock that they have is expertly picked, every single dress was beautiful.
There was one dress in particular that had caught my eye online, and I found that the closest shop to stock it was Creatiques. I rang up to make an appointment, but unfortunately as we had picked a saturday their day was fully booked. However, Rob said they usually closed up at 5pm, but that I could come in then and they would stay a little later (already a good sign!) So I went along with my Mum and bridesmaid Kate, and as soon as we arrived we were made to feel incredibly welcome. Despite their busy week ,Rob and Andrew were happy to talk through lots of different options, and we didn’t feel hurried at all.
Their genuine interest and passion for their work was obvious and really put us all at ease. Andrew also runs a hair salon which is attached to the back of the shop, and was helping me come up with ideas for my hair, while Rob went and found me some lovely shoes. We also talked accessories and bridesmaid dresses. Finally, I felt like a bride!
Strangely, it turned out that they knew Ash from our band One by One and Rachael from another of our bands. It must have been fate!
If you live near Portsmouth you might like to go to the Justin Alexander Designer Wedding show next week. You can see more details below.
Now that I have my dress sorted I am exited to get everything else for the wedding planned. My tip to any girls out there on the hunt for their wedding dress, would be to hold out for the right dress AND the right shop. You deserve to get your ‘Taadaa!` moment!
A 1950′s Themed Wedding
A 50′s wedding is bright and kitsch. You can run riot with girly patterns, as polka dots, checks and floral all float the 50′s boat! If you’re going the American route you might take inspiration from the 50′s diner and offer hot dogs, burgers, wafflees and ice cream sundaes for your wedding breakfast. And lets not forget the milkshakes for the kids! Music will play an important part, as will dancing, so make sure your dance floor is big enough for all of your guests!
My Top 5 Buys
1. Black Birdcage Veil - £10 from Accessorize
Bridal head pieces can cost a fortune, if you are trying to save your pennies and are having an alternative wedding, this could be just the ticket!
2. Retro Music Player - £149.95 from Not On The High Street
Imagine having one of these retro styled music players playing your favourite 50′s tunes while you mingle with your guests during cocktail hour. Listen to Vinyl, CD’s and you can even plug in your USB stick!
3. Retro Sunglasses - £59.94 from FAB
If you are expecting a sunny day, these retro glasses are just the Bees Knees, I love the colours.
4. 1950′s Halterneck Dress – £89 from Vivien Of Holloway
Vivien Of Holloway does some fabulous 50′s frocks that would be great for bridesmaids!
5. Popcorn Boxes – $17.97 for 50 from Amazon
I love these little popcorn boxes, I think that would make a really cute favour. Or you could have them at a snack bar so people could carry their popcorn to the dance floor!
The Dress Shop
Candy Anthony creates some amazing, unique wedding dresses. Have a look at their gallery of real brides for some inspiration.
There are some fantastic 50′s tribute bands out there that can really turn your wedding into a blast from the past. Look out for The Bluebirds (pictured above),The Jets and Lipstick On His Collar.
Another idea is to hire a jukebox, so that you can lean up against it and do your best impression of The Fonze, “Aaaaeeeyyy!”
The First Dance
Why not pick a 50′s classic like Earth Angel by The Penguins or Dream Lover by Bobby Darin, both stunning songs.
The DIY Tutorial
I absolutely love this rainbow petticoat tutorial shared on Rock N Roll bride. If you want to add a little bit of colour to your wedding dress this is a fab way of doing it!
Would you consider a 50′s style wedding?
Great news, I’ve finally decided on, and ordered my wedding dress! I’m not going to lie, I haven’t had the best time wedding dress shopping in general. It has been a little more stressful than I expected! Having said that, my final trip was absolutely amazing, and I am so happy with both the dress and the shop we have bought it from! But I will tell you all about that in another post, today I want to share with you my top 5 tips for wedding dress shopping.
If you are yet to make your first trip then I hope these tips will be useful, they are all things which, had I known to begin with, would have made my experience more comfortable, much quicker and less confusing! Maybe you have been shopping a few times but are stuck in a bit of a rut like I was, when I felt that that perfect dress was going to elude me forever, hopefully these will be helpful for you too!
So hop aboard the wedding dress express! Lets get started!
1. Do your research.
You can save yourself so much time by finding out if shops have a dress that you like before you book an appointment! Have a look online at your local wedding dress shops. Do they have any dresses you like in stock? If they do, write down the name of the shop, their address and phone number and the designer and code of any dresses that you like. I have found that in some cases, bridal shop’s websites can be somewhat lacking, small pictures and difficulty navigating are my top bug bears! If you find that this is the case, then another way you can go about it is to search the designers websites, which on the whole are a lot better. If you don’t know where to start, just pick up a bridal magazine and take note of some of the designer names in there, then search for them on google. Once you have found some dresses that you would like to try on, you need to find out which shops stock these dresses, usually the designers website will show which shops stock their dresses, but there are lots of websites that can also tell you this. Do check with the shop that they have the dress in that you want to try on before you make an appointment, as they will not carry all of the designers dresses.
2. Plan your day.
Ring ahead of time. Not all shops require you to have an appointment (although in my experience the best ones do!), but it is certainly worth ringing to check before you turn up on their doorstep and find they already have a client in. And don’t feel you need to go to loads of shops in one day. You will find you spend a lot of time in one on it’s own, and you don’t want to be rushing from appointment to appointment. Plus, the shops do tend to stock similar styles, so it is worth staying in one and getting a real feel for what you like. I would suggest 2 shops in a day will be enough!
3. Think about your outfit.
Wear clothes that are easy to change out of. I would recommend leggins and a long t-shirt or dress, with slip on shoes. And don’t wear any jewellery that might get caught! We’ve all been there when trying on garments before, your earring gets stuck and you can’t see because you have your arms up over your head. Imagine how much worse that situation would be in a wedding dress! And for goodness sake, wear decent underwear! There is a good chance that you will become quite well acquainted with the shop assistant. Or rather they will become quite well acquainted with you! The dresses are pretty tricky to get on and the shop assistant will often help you get in and out of them. The last thing you want whilst trying to negotiate your way into 50 layers of fabric is being concious of your old granny pants! Pick white or nude (the colour, don’t go commando!), I would suggest wearing a strapless bra too, just so you can get a better feel for the whole look.
4. Keep your energy up.
All of the excitement is going to leave you quite exhausted, so prepare yourself by having a good breakfast before you leave! It’s a good idea to take something with you to snack on, like a breakfast bar, and don’t forget to schedule in time for lunch!
5.Record your findings
This might sound rather scientific, but it is surprising how quickly you will forget details about each dress you look at. If you like a dress, ask the assistant if they have a picture, or at least find out the name or code of the dress so that you can look it up when you get home. Ask if you can take pictures – Some shops won’t allow it, but in most cases they will and this will make it so much easier to compare dresses in your mind when you get home. Remember, you want a dress that looks nice in photographs too, so this is often a good test. Initially I thought that the first dress I tried on could have been the one, but when I got home I looked at it online and it looked a little plain, then I looked at the photograph we took and I didn’t like it as much. Make sure you write down the cost of the dress, as it will change from shop to shop, and any additional details such as how long it takes to order in, what the charges are for alterations, and how long these will take.
The picture at the top of this post is the lovely A Bride 2 Bee bridal wear shop, which was one of my first stops when looking for a dress, sadly they didn’t have the dress for me, but they did have a fantastic selection.
I hope you found my top tips on wedding dress shopping useful. I’d love to hear how you got/get on with your first wedding dress shopping trip. Stay tuned if you want to find out about the amazing shop where I finally bought my dress from, and I will give you some more tips on how to make your final decision too!