Today’s bride and groom, Emma and Andy, both wanted their wedding to feel like a garden party and dreamt about saying their ‘I Do’s’ in the fresh air. ”When we went to see Kingston Bagpuize House we knew it was right. It was grand and beautiful and yet it was also very homely.” And so the plans commenced for this English garden wedding.
Emma and Andy choose Catherine Photography to capture the day, as our bride explains “Catherine totally understood what we wanted for our pictures and her contemporary, informal style was perfect. She caught all those little quiet moments that make up your memories of the day and her gentle approach put us and all our guests at their ease. In the nicest possible way we hardly noticed she was there!”
Like so many other brides, Emma explains ”I had never had a dream dress in mind so my mum and Maid of Honour filled their arms with what they thought was ‘me’ and I tried them all on until they both stopped and said ‘that is The One’. The One turned out to be Magnolia by Amanda Wyatt and when I put it on I felt really pretty.” The delicate lace dress with flower applique was the perfect fit for the English garden wedding theme. Emma didn’t want her arms on show (I know what that feels like) so wore a lace jacket with her wedding dress. Emma continues ”Shopping for my dress was fun – what girl would not enjoy floating around in designer gowns or laughing at those that looked ridiculous? I just wish I had been on even more trips with my mum and girlfriends to try on even more!”
Emma had two flower girls instead of adult bridesmaids and took the ‘flower’ element as a lead for their outfit. Cotton printed tie back dresses and pink ruffle cardigans were accessorised with fresh flower headbands, replaced by fake flower clips for dancing later. Emma’s florist Helen Jacobs was given only a few pointers “My husband and I did not want traditional pieces so we left it with her to design the flowers. They were absolutely perfect and fitted the country garden feel we hoped for exactly. She worked with all the bits and pieces we had collected and her table displays and artistic touches were so natural and soft.”
To give that intimate English garden wedding feel Emma and Andy hosted an informal afternoon on picnic blankets amongst the grounds. Emma explains “The setting and tea party inspired the soft vintage colours we wanted for the flowers and little touches, but the biggest success (and the thing I most enjoyed putting together) were the photo boards. Having been together for 18 years we had such history, and being able to show that to all our guests and for them to see how important they have been in our lives was wonderful. I spent many happy hours gluing pretty buttons to tiny pegs, cutting ribbons, collecting old brooches and other jewellery and searching for all the cups and saucers for the afternoon tea. My house was strewn with decorative papers, pearls and old crockery for months!” Collecting and making things for your wedding can make the run up to the big day even more exciting, just allow enough time for each task so it’s a pleasure rather than a rush.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Beautiful bride Emma recommends you “Remember that your day is really about one thing – that moment where you look at each other and say ‘I do’. At that moment, the flowers, dress, who is there, what car you arrived in – none of that will matter. In those moments of feeling stressed and trying so hard to be organised and perfect, just remember that to one person in the world you already are.”
An enchanting wedding on the blog today of two beautiful Brits who travelled to South Africa for their nuptials. The story behind this Cape Town wedding, bride Carolyn explains “I’m originally from Cape Town and it has always been my dream to get married on a winery in the Cape. Although James is English we both met in Cape Town and also got engaged there too, so it was extra special to get married in South Africa.” “It was of utmost importance to us to hold the party outside, under oak trees enjoying the amazing weather, something you could not do in the UK!” THE BRIDE
Carolyn paired her strapless lace Annasul Y wedding dress with delicate tulle veil for the ceremony. Hair was loose and the make up natural to fit with the laidback style of the day, note how the blush pink lipstick perfectly matches the pink rose in Carolyn’s bouquet. And as a real feet treat, Carolyn dressed her tootsies in glittery gold Jimmy Choos. THE BRIDESMAIDS
These nude strapless dresses were discovered in French Connection and an instant win with Carolyn’s three bridesmaids. The adorable flower girl however was dressed in all white and wore a light fresh floral headband, pretty as a picture. THE GROOM
James combined a pale blue summer suit with regimental blue tie and watch. Rather than a traditional flower button hole our groom James picked something more personal, a family medal. THE DETAILS
Destination weddings do have their downfalls but Carolyn advises that “The best thing we did was get a wedding planner. Organising a wedding overseas is not easy and we could not have organised the logistics of an outside reception on our own.” And what a outside reception it was, organised by Izandi! The stark white tables, chairs and dancefloor pop against the lush green backdrop of the vineyard and just scream ‘wedding’. “Our wedding planner put together a mood board which portrayed the colour scheme, style and decor that we were after. This ensured the decor and ambiance was absolutely spot on and I could not have wished for anything more regarding how it looked on the day. I really think this is a great tip for brides, create your own mood board of images to communicate with all your suppliers your ideas, colours & style.” I second Carolyn’s advice and if you haven’t got the time or know how to do a full on mood board, get pinning on Pinterest. These white cut out table names are such a great idea and don’t detract from the pretty flower arrangements. I want a Cape Town wedding with mismatched bunting and fairy lights! I think everyone would choose to having their wedding reception outside if you could guarantee warm weather and no bugs! ”I am so pleased we chose to have our wedding outdoors in South Africa – we will always remember celebrating in the beautiful surroundings, under the African sky and ending the evening dancing in the rain with everyone’s shoes off, sliding all over the dance floor.” I can think of nothing more perfect than dancing under the stars, pure heaven. WORDS OF WISDOM
Carolyn’s advice “Splurge on a great photographer who’s style you like, as at the end of the day that is all you have to remember your special day in years to come.” Carolyn was extra lucky though having met her amazing photographer Charlene Schreuders whilst studying in Cape Town, Charlene’s editorial magazine style was exactly how Carolyn wanted the day to be captured. Congratulations Carolyn and James, may your marriage be filled with nothing but sunshine and lots of dancing under the stars. CREDITS
Wedding photographer, Charlene Schreuder - http://charleneschreuderphoto.co.za
Wedding planner, Izandi from I Do - www.ido4u.co.za
Wedding Dress, Annasul y - www.annasuly.co.uk
Bride’s Shoes, Jimmy Choo - www.jimmychoo.com
Bridesmaids dresses, French Connection - www.frenchconnection.com
The red and white wedding party on the blog today is all about fun, fun, fun. and we have Xander and Thea Photography to thank for sharing it. You know I adore a good love story and bride Angela tells me that with Patric “It was love at first sight. In a month we had already moved in together. It was like we had known each other forever and it has been like that ever since. We’re just made for each other.” Now doesn’t that just warm the cockles of your heart.
The simple desire for this couple was that the wedding “just had to be a fun party that wouldn’t have to cost a whole lot but would result in us being husband and wife.” Simple. And you don’t get much more care free than a bouncy castle to entertain your guests. Inspired by how Angela felt once she got engaged. “I was like a bouncy ball for weeks.”
Pillar box red and white were the primary colours of the wedding, seen in everything from the groom’s shoes to heart balloons decor.
Instead of a traditional wedding suite, Angela and Patric spent their first night as husband and wife “in our old VW camper van in the field at the rear of the place where we had our party.”
The couple’s friends and family provided cake and sweet treats for all the guests including this little number. Of course it was perfectly coordinated with the red and white wedding party theme.
And what was their favourite moment of the day? “The whole day was so much fun. But having all our friends and family there to see our love and happiness for each other and enjoy themselves. We didn’t want everyone to feel they had to be serious.”
WORDS OF WISDOM
“Plan the day really as you want it to be and not how you’re supposed to do. It’s your party ENJOY and don’t stress. We didn’t stress one bit and that felt great. And if you splurge on anything make it be photography it’s really the only thing your keep after the day and it is so great to have beautiful pictures to go back to.”
Allis & David’s animal themed wedding is not so much ‘themed’ per se but rather took an amazing setting and embellished it. Luckily Miha Matei Photography were on hand to capture some unique photos for the wedding album, like this cheeky one.
The all important venue was Los Angeles Natural History Museum, a sure fire way to wow your guests and educate them at the same time.
Allis turned to bridal designer Cocoe Voci to create this silky custom wedding gown which took inspiration from the 1930s.
Cocoe also created Allis’s birdcage veil headpiece, you can read more about the designer here: http://thebijoubride.com/cocoe-voci/ In keeping with Allis’s wish to keep the day quirky she also wore furry cuffs and a faux fur arctic fox stole.
White bridal shoes were out, animal print was the order of the day.
David also wanted his attire to have a vintage vibe so wore a custom three piece tweed suit, complete with pocket watch and tie pin.
I love the use of moss with the autumnal leaves for the boutonnieres, designed by those clever florists Primary Petals.
The Natural History Museum is full of fun props which made those group shots all the more interesting.
The exhibits at the museum provided an incredibly unique backdrop for the wedding breakfast which Primary Petals flourished with rustic arrangements sat atop tree trunks.
Gold was the main colour accent seen on chairs, cutlery and animal figurine centrepieces. Animal loving Allis and David made the majority of the decor accents from these gold painted figurines to the tree trunk stands.
Rather than a traditional wedding cake, Allis and David opted for animal cake pops that were baked by the groom’s sister.
Congratulations to this fun loving and talented pair who created a truly unique celebration of their love that was clearly enjoyed by all.
What a week it has been for this Bijou girl, not only has the new look site gone live but I’ve been honoured to have my styling work featured on some of my favourite blogs. Here is a rundown of my favourite finds and things this week, do share yours with a comment.
1. An inspirational travel shoot, get your vintage travel luxe on via Love My Dress (link: www.lovemydress.net ) or Ruffled Blog (link: http://ruffledblog.com). This shoot was great fun despite taking place in the depths of a cold winter, I don’t know how models do it!
2. Abbie and Ross were the most delightful clients to work with and it was a joy to bring their vision to life. Read all about their nuptials and celebrations across London on Boho Weddings (link: www.boho-weddings.com)
3. Nanoblur, a new edition to my beauty regime. I have heard search good things about it, only time will tell if it will live up to expectation. Are you a convert? Do let me know your thoughts.
4. Brunch at Bills Restaurant (link: www.bills-website.co.uk ) my discovery of the best vegetarian breakfast in London. Guacamole, tomatoes, mushrooms, scrambled eggs hello lover! Highly recommended for all my fellow veggies out there.
5. The best charity fundraising night on the planet – Red Nose Day. I enjoyed all the silly entertainment on Friday and of course cried my eyes out at the atrocities that still occur in Africa and the United Kingdom. Not surprised that it was a record breaking year with over £75million raised, but every penny counts so if you haven’t, please donate now www.rednoseday.com
I have been holding onto today’s gem of wedding because bride Jessica couldn’t be more fitting as the first Real Bijou Bride to be featured on the new look site. So firstly big THANKS to the multi-talented Alea Lovely (http://www.alealovely.com) for letting me share all these gorgeous images. Hunter and Jessica’s ‘re-do’ intimate Kansas wedding is the epitome of my Bijou ethos being ‘unique and utterly unforgettable’ and I just know it is going to blow your socks off!
“We wanted to do a wedding all of our own this time. We just wanted things to be simple and our own.” I forgot to mention that the bride is wearing a black wedding dress, just feast your eyes on this.
Although bride Jessica is an art teacher and therefore overflowing with creativity she wanted to let the professionals take the reins this time round. The overall look was rustic vintage with a modern twist and heaps of personal details.
Including these hot chocolate and marshmallows wedding favours, yum.
I think it is so important that the personalities of the bride and groom shine through and given Jessica’s profession, this lent itself to lots of artistic touches. “The invitations were great because their reply cards were open for drawings.”
Announce This Design stationery suite
And a picture Jessica drew of herself with Hunter was hung above the cake table.
This intimate Kansas wedding took place in The Bauer an old loft building and the perfect blank canvas for Hunter and Jessica’s celebration. Alea Lovely the photography and stylist of this gorgeous day filled the space with vintage furniture including pieces from Jessica and Hunter’s home.
Back to that black wedding dress though, seriously my heart skipped a beat when I saw it. Jessica wanted this ‘re-do’ to be the opposite of her wedding and that carried through to the dress, well black couldn’t be more of a polar opposite to white. The frothy skirt was inspired by old Vera Wang bridal designs a layer upon layer of black, taupe and white tulle that was crafted by Alea. Yep the photography dash stylist is also a dab hand with couture bridal wear, doesn’t that amount of talent just make you sick!
And Jessica’s bridesmaid wore black too.
When it came to the hair and make up, a smokey eye and nude lip set off the colours in the dress beautifully. Jessica wore her hair loose and curly with no veil or headdress, opting instead for matching necklace and bracelets to add that modern twist.
Classic Cakes added a beautiful black flower detail to the tiered cake to tie in with Jessica’s wedding dress.
Jessica sums up the day as simply “such a fun, intimate wedding” and it certainly looks like a magical day from where I’m sitting.
Today on the blog we have the super cute Lorna and Ashley’s green and white wedding captured by the Dennison Studios Photography (www.dennisonstudios.com) This Wedding started with one of my favourite chat up lines, I’ll let today’s bride Lorna tell the tale…
“Ashley and I met while working together at BHS (British Home Stores). We were about to push a pallet of pillows through the store and I said to Ash “Shall I pull” and his reply was…”Think you already have love”!”
Tee hee hee. But to the all important big day 8 years later.
Rather than rush things, Lorna and Ashley used their 2 year engagement to create lots of green and white wedding details for their nuptials at the Buxted Park Hotel surrounded by friends and family. And those friends and family turned out to be rather handy when it came to calling in favours for everything from flowers to bridal make up.
This is one bride who was super-organised “I found my dress at a wedding fair with my mum 18 months before the wedding when she came over for Christmas. I was looking for a princess style (but not Jordan)! dress all along and the one I chose was number 14 that I’d tried on!
As for the bridal footwear, comfort was key and in a fun twist Lorna’s sister-in-law pimped her high street bought sandals with a mass of Swarovski crystals. ”They were such a surprise to people on the wedding day and I wore them again on honeymoon too”
Lorna’s sister-in-law was also on hand to act as bridal make-up artist. ”She has been a professional dancer since a very young age and after all the competitions she’s done, she’s become very talented also at makeup!” And she wasn’t the only talented member of the bridal party, a hairdresser cousin crafted Lorna’s curled up do.
“My flowers were done through a friend, Fine Floristry in Hailsham, Kelly – she’s fantastic, she listened to every word I said and even though I didn’t know anything about flowers, she put together flowers that both smelt and looked amazing.” And to keep the day as stress free as possible our professional cake making bride turned to Corrine, from Classic Cakes to create this beautiful green and white wedding cake. ”I just couldn’t take on the added stress of putting my own wedding cake together – I would have only had icing up my sleeves all day- not very glamorous!”
Congratulations to the lovely Lorna and Ashley who will always share a pillow and remember that first encounter!
Big thanks to the delectable Esme Ducker (link: http://esmeduckerphotography.blogspot.co.uk/) for sharing her beautiful collection of images from Liz and John’s informal outdoor wedding on the blog today. This fresh air loving couple wanted to show their guests not only a great time but also the best their Lewes home town has to offer. Cue rolling hillsides, a castle backdrop and cosy tipis.
“We moved to Lewes about 2 and a half years ago and have grown to love the town. As soon as we visited the castle, we knew it was the right place for the ceremony. It is a real part of Lewes town and has stunning views of the downs and coast which is what brought us this way to start with – we could even see our dog walking path!” Honestly, how stunning a setting.
From the sunshine filled ceremony atop the hills at Lewes Castle, to a dusky evening dancing the night away in a Tipi at the nearby Knepp Castle Estate such a beautiful and informal outdoor wedding. “We loved the parkland feel of Knepp Castle Estate and being near a lake with beautiful oak trees.”
Not every bride relishes the thought of wedding dress shopping – “I was very unsure about a wedding dress but started looking in charity shops and my dress was actually the first I tried on. The red of the detail on the dress and the leaf patterns seemed to fit well with the castle and the teepees and the autumnal time of year.”
Red became the accent colour for the entire Wedding with the dashes of various crimson shades sneaking in everywhere. As a self-confessed shoeaholic, I am particularly fond of the red bridesmaid’s shoes.
When it comes to weddings, it certainly helps to have creative friends ready to share their talents. Today’s bride Liz was lucky enough to have a green-fingered sister “My sister is a gardener and did our beautiful wedding flowers. I knew I wanted wild flowers and nothing formal - I even got blackberries in my bouquet so I could eat one if I thought I might cry!”
There were also fun Medieval touches only fitting of a Castle setting.
And fancy dress to keep the little knights in attendance entertained.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Our lovely bride Liz was so laidback about the Wedding saying simply “The day worked perfectly and the sun shone – I couldn’t ask for more!” If you find yourself getting stressed out, remember it is just one day in what will be a lifetime together, relax and enjoy it.
an adjective: ‘desirable, fashionable, stylish, chic, sought-after, to die for’.
Inspirational Wedding fashion & beauty blog to ensure you strut down the aisle in style. Curated by Stylist Alexandra Merri who offers unique planning & styling services for the creation of unforgettable Weddings. Style tells the world who you are so…