Showing posts with label Real weddings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real weddings. Show all posts

Monday, 9 July 2012

A Dazzling DIY Wedding

I love weddings – especially when they fall on a Friday, resulting in a day off work: an excuse to wear my favourite heels and drink champagne – what’s not to love? 

Last Friday we were invited to a gorgeous wedding in the English countryside (and were treated to typical English weather!). Even though the rain did not let up (buckets of luck for the bride and groom!), it didn’t put a dampener on the day. 

The ceremony was held in a beautiful local church – all stained glass windows and oak-panelled walls. The bride looked absolutely breathtaking and I found it difficult not to shed a tear when the couple were saying their vows – always such an emotional moment. 

The reception took place at Tithe Barn, a gorgeous 16th Century building in the Hampshire countryside. We were treated to champagne and tasty canapés on arrival - the sun even made a brief appearance so we could enjoy our drinks outside! 

Sarah (the bride), is incredibly talented and there were so many amazing touches and little details which made their day so unique. From the hand-sewn menus to the table centre arrangements and the present table, the book theme was carried through beautifully. 

The food was delicious - steak and ale pie with creamy cheddar and chive mash, followed by white chocolate passion fruit roulade with raspberry sorbet and sesame seed shard. 

After the meal, the bride and groom took to the dance floor for their first dance. The band was one of the best bands I’ve ever heard – they kept the party going all night long! There were also some great fancy dress props for photos which guests (including me!) had loads of fun trying on (and wearing on the dance floor!). 

The day was over too quickly – such a beautiful wedding, made even more special because of all the personal touches. I am crossing fingers Sarah will let us feature more of her gorgeous wedding (and some DIY tips) when she’s back from honeymoon! 

Matt and Sarah, thank you for letting us share your perfect day!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Michelle & Marc - Real Wedding

This is our first Real Wedding post and we are literally jumping up and down with excitement.

I have known Michelle since school and when I received her beautiful wedding photos I couldn't wait to share them. You may remember we featured Michelle's adorable love story post a couple of months ago.

Michelle and Marc's wedding was held in their hometown of Harare in Zimbabwe at their favourite fine dining restaurant, Victoria 22. Michelle's taste is exquisite and she created an absolutely gorgeous setting for her guests using a palate of soft pinks, nudes and grey (swoon).

The love between these two really shines through and both Michelle and Marc's happiness (not to mention her breathtaking dress) has been captured perfectly by brilliant South African photographer Christiaan David.

Michelle kindly shared her love story, from surprise proposal to her big day, with us. As well as some handy planning and keep calm tips. We hope all you brides-to-be out there will enjoy her story as much as we did and pick up some good inspiration along the way.

Getting ready...

The proposal
Michelle: I didn’t expect it AT all. When we woke up on the morning of the proposal, the weather in Cape Town was miserable. We had planned on climbing Lions Head that day (it was also our last day in Cape Town) and because of the weather Marc pretended (very well!) that he didn’t want to do it and  I really had to beg him. In the end he came very 'unwillingly' (obviously all an act on his part). So, as you can imagine, the idea that he was planning on proposing to me was the last thing on my mind.

The cloud was so low over Lions Head that we could barely see a metre in front of us. Eventually, only about half way up – I was the one who ended up suggesting that we turn around. We stopped at a little bench because Marc “wanted a sandwhich”. He is always hungry so I paid no attention to him rummaging in our backpack, as I turned back to face him, he was standing right next to me with a beautiful ring in his hands, asking me to marry him. It was definitely something I will never forget. The poor climbers who followed shortly behind us had to deal with me jumping up and down with excitement, showing them my ring and telling them that we had just gotten engaged!

The planning 
Michelle: Setting the date was a lot harder than I thought it would be – that was the first thing we worked on. Just trying to agree on a date that works for everyone – family and friends overseas, plus weather and availability of venues here was a bit of a nightmare! Then deciding on venue. We had always wanted something fairly small and intimate. We are very restricted with venues here in Harare and we wanted to get married somewhere that was different. We had looked at all the “obvious” venues but didn’t like any of them. We looked at having a marquee in a friends garden but the logistics of setting up and hiring EVERYTHING became expensive. Then, one evening, we went out to dinner to my favourite restaurant and were waiting for the other guests in our party to arrive, sitting on the beautiful veranda, looking into the gardens of the restaurant, lit with spot lights. The setting was beautiful, romantic and intimate and best of all – it’s a fine dining restaurant. I went to culinary school in New York, so food was a very important factor to me at the wedding.

What was the best advice you were given?
Michelle: The day and night seems like a whirlwind, it goes by so fast. Luckily, before the wedding, a friend told Marc and I that, if possible, we should take just five minutes on the night, to find a quiet spot and have a moment alone, away from the crowd, just the two of us. Time to reflect on the day so far, to talk about out best bits and to just steal a kiss or two AWAY from the photographer. I’m so glad that we did this because at the end of the night I realised that I had hardly spent any time with my new husband!

You’re both just on such a high, and all your guests want time with you. You get pulled on to the dance floor with your girlfriends one minute, then you want to go and catch up with a friend you haven’t said hello to the next. It goes by in a heartbeat, so just take the time if you can - to stop, look around, and appreciate how all your planning has come together, and how much fun all your friends and family are having. It’s the best feeling.


What was your favourite bit planning-wise?
Michelle: My favourite part of the planning was scouring all the amazing blogs (like this one!!) and wedding websites out there. I would encourage brides to look at Style me Pretty and South Bound Bride as a start. There are so many gorgeous ideas and real weddings to get inspiration from. Also – start a spread sheet with all your info on one workbook. My maid of honour sent me the one she used as a template and it was a lifesaver! Create different tabs such as Guest List (brides family friends, grooms family friends, our friends – with all their contact details, addresses etc on there for when you send out your save the dates and invites) Budget, Seating plan, Wedding Day Itinerary, To Do List etc. Once I had all the info on there, I could update it daily and knew that all the info I needed was in one place.

Did you know the look you were going for? 
Michelle: I didn’t really have a specific theme for the wedding. I just wanted it to be sophisticated, elegant and romantic.

 I have always had my heart set of a colour scheme of soft pinks and nude tones. I didn’t want baby pink so it was quite hard finding the bridesmaids dresses! I flew to London to buy my wedding dress and thought I would easily find bridesmaids dresses there. But after searching high and low in every shop possible I flew back to Zimbabwe empty handed. Then we went to Johannesburg a few months before the wedding and AS I was about to give up and resign myself to the fact that I would have to get them made – I walked into a shop and knew the minute I saw them that they were the ones I had been looking for. I was lucky, all my bridesmaids loved their dresses – and they all looked so beautiful on the day. We decided that a light grey for the guys looked better than black as it was much softer next to the pale pink dresses.

How did you feel in the lead up to the big day? 
Michelle: I must admit that I had a knot in my tummy for a good week before the wedding. Having all our family and friends arriving from all over the world was such an amazing feeling. I found it very overwhelming (in a good way) to feel so much love from everyone around us – it was alot to take in.

Thank goodness we had a rehearsal a few days before because I think I got all my tears out then. The morning of the wedding I woke up VERY nervous...not nervous to marry Marc – I couldn’t wait for that - but just apprehensive about the day ahead, hoping that everything would come together how I had planned. As soon as I met up with all my bridesmaids though, and started getting ready, having make-up done – all the nerves vanished and by the time we were ready to leave for the church, I was just so excited.

From start to finish how was the day?
Michelle: I woke up feeling well rested which was great. I jumped into bed with my mum (my parents were staying with us) and had tea with them in their room just talking about the day ahead, shedding the odd tear and taking the first of the Rescue Remedy!

As soon as I arrived at the lodge where we were getting ready all my girls just made the biggest fuss over me and we laughed non-stop as we got ready, had our hair and make-up done. We drank lots of champagne and posed for a million photographs. I gave all my bridesmaids beautiful silk gowns to get ready in which looked stunning in all the photos.

Having my mom with me all morning and my five closest friends was so so special. When our bouquets arrived we were all blown away by how beautiful they were. I was so happy with them. Watching each of my bridesmaids, and my very handsome brides-man getting ready was such a proud moment as each of them looked more and more gorgeous. Finally I got into my dress and was 'presented' to my dad which was a very special moment.

Both of my parents came in the car with me to the church. It was really lovely to have a few moments alone with my parents before they gave me away. The ceremony was beautiful – it went so quickly. Luckily Marc cried more than I did – although I definitely had a moment saying my vows. Before we knew it we were at a different venue having photos taken. The rest of our guests were at our reception venue for champagne and canapés. When we arrived at the reception it was the first time we were able to greet and mingle with all our guests, so the time literally flew. We then all went through to sit down – everyone was served an Amuse Bouche and a shot of chilled Russian Vodka to get the party started.

The beautiful couple 

Did you practice your first dance and what did you dance to?
Michelle: Yes, we had learnt a little dance which we absolutely loved doing, and from there people just danced the night away. Our song was called “Found You” by Ross Copperman. It’s always been our song as it holds a lot of meaning for us. We went for a few lessons and am so glad that we did as we couldn’t wait to do our dance – where as I know that a lot of couples dread that bit!

What were the highlights for you?
Michelle: Getting into my dress; Walking down the aisle with my dad and looking at all the faces of the people that we love and meeting my soon-to-be husband at the top; Marc’s Speech and doing our First Dance.

Any advice for brides to be on keeping nerves at bay?
Michelle: RESCUE REMEDY! That stuff works wonders!

Do you have any hints/tips for other brides on how to keep your wedding budget friendly?
Michelle: Get family members and friends involved wherever possible. My aunt made our cake, my cousin did our stationary, a friend of ours did our bouquets. You’ll be surprised at how much people are happy to help out.

What’s next for you?
Michelle: We recently brought a house and I am about to change jobs. So we have lots to keep us busy. We are also planning a delayed honeymoon – to go skiing in April next year as Marc has never seen snow. So we have lots to look forward to and feel very lucky and blessed.

And now onto THAT DRESS!
Michelle: OHHHHH the dress. I love it so much!! It’s called Dakota – by Enzoani. It's an ivory, strapless, mermaid style dress – very tight and fitting to below the knee where it flares out in a full circle. The whole thing is covered in the most beautiful hand-made lace with gorgeous scalloping along the bottom.

It was the second dress I tried on and had THE moment. I must have tried on another 30 after that, but I just kept comparing every other dress to that one. I just loved how it made me look at feel – it was so elegant and sophisticated.

Any dress shopping advice?
Michelle: Listen to the sales reps - they know what suits your body shape. Once you have found a shape that you like – stick to it and try on as many dresses as possible in that shape. Make an appointment at about five shops. You try on about six dresses in each – and it’s all part of the fun, you won’t get to do it again so enjoy it – and definitely try on at least one meringue!

Planning your wedding abroad? Here are Michelle's Service Providers

Bridal Accessories: The Knightsbridge Boutique London

Bridesmaids dresses: Jo Borkett - South Africa

Cake: Carol Wienburg - Zimbabwe

Coordinator: Zillah Chilowa – Tangerine Co - Zimbabwe

Dress: Enzoani – Dakota from the Wedding Shop London

Entertainment: Paul Bowen (Singer/DJ)

Food/Venue: Victoria 22

Hair: Lauren @ Hair Expertease

Make-up: Sjaan Lambrecht - Complexions

Photographer: Christiaan David 

Shoes: LK Bennett

Stationery: Leelu I do

Thank you both for sharing your love story with us, we wish you a lifetime of happiness x

A little word on the side 
Although we absolutely adore weddings, we are not actually a wedding blog. From the engagement, to the budgeting, flowers, dresses and music – we  love it all. But, and this is a BIG but, we also know that there are already so many AMAZING wedding blogs out there. From the likes of Style Me Pretty and Rock my Wedding to South Bound Bride and The Pretty Blog, the industry is full of incredibly talented and creative people and we really aren’t planning to compete. If you are a bride to be, as well as reading our posts, we'd encourage you to also hop, skip and jump to the above sites pronto, as they are amazing, and were our bibles when we were planning our big days.

But do come back, as we have lots to offer. Although our site is less about weddings and more about parties, planning and our own little take on trends, fashion, DIY and foodie treats. We do, however, love all things beautiful and planny and as a wedding is the ultimate planning experience and therefore the ultimate party, we will still be featuring a few weddings that we love and tips for brides to be. 

Thanks so much 

A & N xx

Friday, 25 May 2012

A Friday First

Fridays are our absolute fave and this Friday is no exception. 

Today we are so excited to present you with a little sneak peek of our very FIRST real wedding post from the lovely Michelle. Yes we are officially doing a happy dance!

Surrounded by their favourite people, our beautiful bride walked down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams, in their hometown of Harare in Zimbabwe. 

Michelle created this adorable Love Story for each guest to read in the chapel - which we absolutely love. Keep a look out for Michelle and Marc's wedding post (and lots of planning tips and details) which will be online soon! We can't wait to share it with you!

Monday, 30 April 2012

A Truly Traditional London Wedding

We have been invited to many fantastic weddings - each one special in it’s own way. From an olive and lemon themed alfresco Italian, to an equally beautiful and glamorous setting in the South of France. Cape Town wine farms to bright and sunny Zimbabwean gardens, country churches and rustic barns filled with charm.

Last weekend, however, was a first for us as we had the pleasure of attending our very first London wedding.

A wedding in the capital has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to it – the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan life at it’s best: busy streets, bright colours, red buses, black cabs and iconic buildings. There is also something truly special about taking a moment to appreciate where you live; something we Londoners don’t do enough of.

After a beautiful ceremony at the Queen’s Chapel at the Savoy we were transported to the reception in a ‘big red bus’, with a glass of bubbly in hand we got to really appreciate the beautiful city we live in. A fellow (equally chuffed) guest commented, as we went through Trafalgar Square, that had we been in Paris we would be ogling the amazing sites, where as when in London we all live such hurried, head down, get to the tube fast, rushed lives that we don’t often look up and enjoy the architecture and fantastic scenery around us. 

The reception was held in a stunning Cavendish Square venue, the canapés were delicious and the champagne and wine flowing. After a hearty British dinner, we were treated to gorgeous little sweet treats, including chocolate orange ice cream lollipops, finished off with an incredible wedding ‘cake’ (made up of assorted cheeses) - cut with a sword, no less.

So, what to wear?

One trip to Moss Bros, a quick stop at the dry cleaner and a shining of shoes, meant the husband’s outfit was in the bag. In true me fashion, I planned my outfit for at least a month in advance, and in true me fashion, left the actual purchasing to the very last minute! 

I chose something for a rainy day and thanks to another great lifestyle blog – Florence Finds – I was inspired to buy the waterfall jacket from French Connection, and it's quickly becoming a wardrobe staple. It is perfect for work, to throw on with jeans and heels and, well, just about anything. 

The final outfit included: a new, shorter hair cut (as good as a holiday and all that) Essie coral nail polish, a little navy blue lace Whistles number – good for this time of year when we are all devoid of tan and out of time to fake it - and my old faithful: Jimmy Choos (another very positive kick back of getting married is great shoes). 

Perfect for the weather and a good cross-over outfit appropriate for both the church and dancing the night away. 

Unfortunately, due to a half dead phone, and a clutch too small for a camera, I didn’t take many photos but will beg the bride, who wore the most divine vintage wedding gown, to share a photo and planning tip or two on here soon. 

Watch this space...