Wedding dress shopping – 5 Tips

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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!

Laura xXx

 

Carnival – Wedding Theme Wednesday

 

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Carnival

A carnival themed wedding is all about letting loose and having a ruddy good time! Think a circus vibe crossed with a roaring street party. Vibrant reds and yellows are the colours of choice, but anything bright will do! Lighting will play an important part to get the atmosphere just right, and you will need to have some big characters taking charge of the day.

My Top 5 Buys

1. Striped Paper Straws – £10.18 for 100 from Fancy That Loved

Everybody loves a paper straw, and these striped red ones encapsulate the theme perfectly!

2. Raffle Tickets – 200 tickets for £6.38 from LaZoie

I love raffle tickets. They just bring back memories of fun summer days at a village fete as a child. For games and competitions these would be great.

3. Letter Lighting Fixture –  £63.82 from West Vintage Trading Co

You can buy a lighting fixture in your initial! Awesome! This would be a great keepsake to hang on the wall at home once the wedding is over too.

4. Rock Candy Swizzle Sticks – 6 sticks for £3.67 from Jazzy Apple Gal

I can imagine these in a delicious cocktail. Swizzle sticks just add fun don’t they?!

5. Love Heart Stacking Rings – 10 rings for £8 from Accessorize 

I came across these rings from Accessorize and thought they would be a lovely gift to give each of the bridesmaids, or to important ladies on the day. After all, if you are getting a new ring, shouldn’t they?

The Venue

The most perfect venue for this style of wedding would be a circus tent or a Big Top . The vibrant colours of the tent would really add to the atmosphere, especially once the evenings entertainment kicks in!

The Entertainment

The Iron Boot Scrapers are a fantastic busking band. They really stand out as being one of a kind! They play modern hits from popular artists such as Muse and Rhianna, but in a traditional style with Jazz instruments including sousaphone and banjo!

The Props

These amazing light up letters from Doris Loves would be the icing on the cake for a carnival themed wedding! They are real show stoppers! They are battery powered so no need to worry about electricity, and you could have whatever words you wanted spelled out!

The DIY Tutorial

This ring toss DIY is so simple but would really add an element of fun to your reception.

 

I hope you enjoyed todays Carnival wedding theme idea. I’d love to know what you like best, and if you have seen anything that fits in with this theme!

Laura xXx

 

 

Secret Garden Party – Wedding Theme Wednesday

This week I have decided to change up my Top 5 posts, from now on it shall be known as ‘Wedding Theme Wednesday’. Each week I am going to pick a theme, and as well as my top 5 items to buy, I am also going to pick some of my favourite things from the inter-web to compliment the chosen theme. This weeks theme is Secret Garden Party!

Secret garden party wedding

Secret Garden Party

In my mind, a secret garden themed wedding is going to be a summer affair. Floral patterns and flowers are in abundance, and the elegance of the Victorian era plays a large part.  Pops of colour, including pinks, yellows, blues and greens are nestled amongst the backdrop of muted cream tones. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this is going to be an old fashioned event! Oh no! Think traditional tea party meets fashionable festival!

My Top 5 Buys

1. Pollyanna dress – £295 from Phase Eight
This dress is stunning, who would have thought it was from a high street shop! And such a great price too.

2. Paloma Pearl Clutch – £60 from Coast
Another high street buy, perfect to keep the brides essential items in!

3. Paper Plates – £2.99 for 12 at Mollie and Fred
Wow, these are the prettiest plates, they almost look like they are really made of china! These would really spruce up your table decoration if you were going for a tea party feel.

4. Wedding Flower Crown £36.20 from K is For Kani
This is such a sweet flower crown, a perfect quirky alternative to a vale.

5. Mason Jar Party Glasses – $49.99 from Modcloth
I love mason jar glasses. I actually own some larger ones, but I think these would be perfect for serving cocktails in at a reception.

The Venue

secret garden party wedding venue

RHS Rosemoor in Great Torrington, Devon – This venue really caught my eye with its amazingly colourful and lavish flower beds. Within the gardens there are 8 different structures which you can get married in, all of which embrace the love of nature in different ways. What fantastic photographs you would come away with!  The terraced marquee can seat up to 250 guests for your evening reception, and the windows allow a perfect view of the beautiful gardens. Guests can also spill out onto the winter garden lawn. Drinks and canapees can also be provided in many of the gardens within Rosemoor.

The Entertainment

The Samurais of Swing – This Gypsy Jazz style busking band really evoke that fun festival feel, with just a hint of that old fashioned style.

The Cake

This secret garden cake is perfection!

The DIY Tutorial

Moss covered initials  – I love oversized letters at a wedding, and this tutorial would be great for a secret garden themed reception.  I’d also be tempted to wind either real or fake flowers around each letter to add a little bit of colour!

What do you think about the new format? I hope you enjoyed this weeks secret garden party post! Have you got any suggestions of themes for upcoming weeks?

Laura xXx

 

My Top 5 Wedding Picks 5

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It’s that time again, 5 of my favourite wedding picks! Let me know if you have spotted any unique wedding items lately, I would love to include them in my next post and would of course credit you!

1. Custom lovers portrait locket – £100.82 from Les Folles Marquises

This would be such a lovely gift to receive on the day of the wedding! I love their cute little faces.

2. DIY ‘Will you be my bridesmaid’ embroidery patterns – £3.32 from Flapperdoodle

Flapperdoodle is the shop owned by Kate Gabrielle of Scathingly Brilliant. These personalised embroidery patterns are a genius idea if you are a crafty bride! If not she also sells ‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ cards which you can actually make look like your own bridesmaids!

3. Motif hole punchers – £1 each from Tiger

I had to include these as they are such a bargain. I think the heart and the star could come in particularly useful, and the little people are really cute too!

4. ‘You’re Super’ brooch – £10.50 from Custom Made

This would be a really unique way to say thanks to your bridesmaids or other helpers. Everyone likes to feel they’re ‘super’!

5. 140 characters gift wrap – £1.75 from OhhDeer

Ok, so this one isn’t all that weddingy, BUT, imagine how awesome this paper would be if you were having a Hollywood/Film/TV themed wedding! You could wrap up all of the favours in it! How many characters can you spot already?

I hope you enjoyed todays picks! I’m on the hunt for a wedding dress at the moment and it is hard work! I much prefer thinking about the little details, but I suppose I had better get the little things sorted first!

Laura xXx

My Top 5 Wedding Picks!

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1. You Look Lovely Pocket Mirror – £3.50 from Steph Says Hello

Why thank you pocket mirror! You don’t look too shabby yourself!  Steph Says Hello has a variety of similar designs to this, and I think they would be lovely little gifts to give to the bridesmaids on the big day!

2. Heart Gift Tags – £2.31 for 25 from Bahana Splits Boutique

These heart gift tags could come in useful in so many places!

3. Personalised Groomsman Hip Flasks – £62.58 for a set of 5 from Hair Of The Dog

I love the variety of personalised hip flasks by Hair Of The Dog. What a great gift to give your Groomsmen, or Ushers if you live in England like me!

4. Wooden Bow Ties – £14 from Ladybird Likes 

Zoe from Ladybird likes has some AMAZING things in her shop. I think her newest range of wooden bow ties are genius! What a great idea for the groom who wants something a little bit different! Not to mention how much easier it will be to put on than a regular bow tie.

5. I love you activity book – £10 from Urban Outfitters

This book looks super cute. Full of little activities for couples, I think this would be a great fun little gift for the Bride and Groom!

What do you think of my picks this week? Any that stand out for you?

Laura xXx

My Top 5 Wedding Picks

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Ooh, I’ve got some pretty picks for you today! Let me know what you think, and as always, if you are a wedding supplier I’d love to hear from you!

1. Patterned Paper Plates – £6 for a set of 8 plates from Peach Blossom – Not On The High Street

Don’t you just love pretty paper plates!? I really like the geometric patterns that are in fashion at the moment, so cute!

2. Photo Booth Prop Glasses – £20.04 for 3 from Funny Face Props

These glasses are the best photobooth props I have ever seen! And you can get them in all sorts of different colours

3. ‘I do’ clutch -£16 from Alphabet Bags

Alphabet bags have got a phenomenal range of wedding themed totes and clutches. I love this little one for holding all the wedding day essentials in!

4. Ombre Gourmet Lollipops from Boss Girls Inc

The lollies in this shop look delicious, and not only that but they are beautiful too. My favourite has to be the ‘Mint Choc Chip’ lolly. Sadly they don’t ship to the UK 🙁

5. Heart Stickers – 36 for £1 from Haus Of Glue 

I spotted these little stickers in fellow blogger Lisa’s shop and thought how handy they would be. You could use them for all sorts of wedding related things. I’d write our initials on them and stick them to save the dates or favours, or you could use them to decorate place cards.

 

Laura xXx

My Top 5 Wedding Picks!

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I quite enjoyed last weeks Top 5 post, so I thought I would make it a regular thing! Get in contact if you know of any great products, or perhaps you are a wedding supplier yourself! You might appear on my list next week!

1. Take out Wedding Favour Box – 20 for £33.03 from Sheila Mari Designs

I know these are meant to be for putting favours in, but I think they would be a great idea to have on hand, either to take a piece of wedding cake in, or if the buffet hasn’t been totally devoured, for your guests to take home a packed lunch for the next day!

2. Wooden Ice Cream Spoons – £5.28 for a pack of 20 from Sucre Shop

These are so cute, even if you have no ice cream you should try to find a use for these!

3. Felted Bouquet – £42.94 from Fairy Folk Weddings 

How unique is this bouquet! So vibrant and pretty!

4. Animal Wedding Place Cards – £66.6 for 100 Bull or Flamingo Cards, £99.09 for 100 Crab cards from JoNiPaperGoods

These are genius! Especially if you are having an animal themed wedding? And they come in all different colours too!

5. Mahogany Wedding Cake Topper £45.58 from Better Of Wed

There are loads of lovely designs in this shop, but this one caught my eye because when I get married, I will become a Powell!

Laura xXx

 

 

My Top 5 Wedding Picks!

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I have been seeing so many lovely wedding products recently, I just can’t keep track! So I thought I would compile my Top 5 on a regular basis! I hope you like them as much as I do. Here are my  first 5 …
1. Personalised Paper Dolls – Custom made to look like you! – £23.45 from Jordan Grace Owens

How cute!? I could just imagine these standing on top of a quirky wedding cake! Or they would make a wonderful original gift for the newlyweds.

2. Wedding Badges – £14.95 per set  from I Want One Of Those.

These are a great idea for a Stag/Hen do, or maybe even the day itself if you’re brave enough!

3. Engagement Ring Boxes – £46.90 from Oh Dier Living

I love the colour selection these come in. You wouldn’t want to say no if the ring came in that sweet box would you!?

4. Gala Hair Bow– £20 from Rock N Roll Bride for Crown and Glory

I love the new collection of hair accessories that Crown and Glory and Rock N Roll Bride have just teamed up to make. If you’re a brave bride this would look stunning as an alternative to a vale or tiara! Or perhaps the bridesmaids could wear them!

5. Personalised Antler Initial Wax Seal Stamp – £16.75 and £2.68 for 2 wax sticks from Back to Zero

This company have a whole host of wax seal stamps with different designs. You can even design one yourself! This one with antlers on was one of my favourites, and I love that you can make it personal to you and your betrothed by having your own initials. I think these would be lovely to seal the envelopes of wedding invitations!

What do you think? Do you like any of these products? Or have you found something worthy of shouting from the rooftops about? I’d love to hear about any of your top picks!

Laura xXx

Paper Themes £50 wedding voucher Giveaway!

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I thought I had better let you know that I am hosting a giveaway on my other blog Wrapped Up In Rainbows. And you can enter for your chance to win £50 worth of vouchers at Paper Themes!

 

The vouchers can be used to buy any of their products, and they have a fantastic range of wedding stationary. From invites to personalised labels, you can find it all! Even if you aren’t planning a wedding this will be super useful, because they also sell party invites and decorations! So pop on over, it’s pretty much painless to enter!

Laura xXx

Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies – My Top 3 Venues

Have you ever thought about getting married outdoors? If it is something you have looked into then you will probably know it is quite rare to find a venue that has this option. Today I want to share three of my favourite venues that offer outdoor wedding ceremonies. All three are very different, I’d love to know which one you like best!

The Beach Wedding

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This is probably the closest you are going to get to a beach wedding in the UK. At the Tunnels Beaches in Devon you can get married overlooking the sea! As you can see from the photos it has fantastic scenery, imagine the wonderful photo’s you could get here! There is also a bar with a balcony and roof terrace to admire the view from.

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The English Country Garden Wedding

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Wentbridge House is one of the few licensed outdoor weddings venues in Yorkshire. It is a luxury hotel with gorgeous grounds, and perfectly situated within them is this beautiful stone gazebo. The hotel has just been granted a licence for the ceremony to take place under this pretty Romanesque structure, whilst guests watch from the lawn. I could just imagine a string quartet playing the bride down the aisle on a summers day. The hotel also performs ceremonies indoors, so if the worst came to the worst, and the weather was bad, there is still a lovely room to get married in sheltered from the English weather!

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The Woodland Wedding

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The ceremonies at Cornish Tipi Weddings are performed in a pavilion found in a small woodland clearing. Up to fifty guests can gather inside, whilst others can sit outside on hay bales and sip champagne. There is also a lake nearby. If you are after a back to nature feel for your wedding day, this is surely the place to come!

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I love all three of these venues, and I think having an outdoor ceremony is something really different for weddings in the UK, it is such a rare thing to find!  Do any of these venues take your fancy?

Laura xXx

 Disclaimer – This post was sponsored by Wentbridge House