bridal party

How To Do A Vintage Wedding Theme

 

The vintage wedding theme is still one of the most popular choices for couples these days. Its popularity remains strong, thanks to its adaptability, budget friendly ways and because it is still one of the most beautiful wedding themes to bring to life.

There are so many ways to channel a vintage theme. So many decades to focus on, that it can appeal to different personalities and couples. You can have just a few small vintage touches or you can go all out with larger statements of retro.  That’s the beauty of this theme.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to interpreting the vintage theme. Raid attics, raid skips, to go auctions and embrace upcycling in a big way.

Here’s some ideas to get the creative juices going. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

 

Attire

One of the most stunning ways to set a vintage tone for your wedding day is with your attire. Brides are embracing retro and vintage styles of dresses, going for pretty detailing and classic cuts over more modern shapes. Don’t be afraid to bring it through to your bridesmaids too and let’s not forget the men! Retro and vintage suits are another big trend at the moment, so define the era you’re trying to emulate and stick with it. If you really want to make a splash, why not ask your guests to embrace the attire of your chosen era too, for extra fun.

 

Transport

One of the easiest ways to channel the vintage theme is with your wedding transport. Yes we’re talking about vintage cars. And you don’t necessarily have to go for the traditional types of cars either, such as a Rolls Royce. Why not have a little fun with VW Camper vans, mini coopers and even vintage motorbikes with side cars or push bikes?

 

On The Table

You can really go wild in terms of on the table vintage inspiration. Anything from stacks of old books, vintage birdcages filled with flowers, retro weighing scales topped with florals or candles, vintage cameras and old photos, retro style tins, pocket watches, old unusual bottles filled with candles, vintage sewing machines. The list is endless. Remember to dress them up with key florals and items made from burlap and lace are the ideal partners to reinforce that vintage look.

 

Around The Room

When it comes to placing vintage pieces around your wedding venue or ceremony, you can make a big impact for a small investment. Think about having stacks of retro suitcases, why not even use one for your guests to put their wedding cards? Vintage items like typewriters and gramophones make stunning focal points and again can cost next to nothing. You can make an even bigger impact with upcycled chests of drawers which you could use as your dessert or cake area too. And if you really want to go big and have the budget, why not seek out larger vintage pieces like a retro telephone box! It would look stunning in situ and can double as an ideal photobooth for your guests too.

 

 

 

 

Revamp The Bridal Party

Today, gender roles in weddings have become much more relaxed. Gone are the days of having to have either gender in any specific roles.

If you want a woman as your ‘best man,’ then there’s no rule to say you cannot go for it. Similarly when it comes to the bridesmaids there’s been a move toward including grandmothers in the bridal party too. Or if the couple getting married has children, why not ask them to step in to some of the key roles, such as the ‘best man?’

This goes for the walk up the aisle too. While it’s traditional to have the father walk the bride up the aisle, this might not be something that is right for every family for a number of reasons, so don’t be afraid to change it up.

The main thing to keep in mind is that, you need to do what suits your family best and with same sex marriage now finally legalised in Ireland for the last couple of years, there’s a very real sense that now more than ever that traditional roles no longer apply.

So remember, there’s no need to stick to any set or traditional lines of convention and while in the past that might have been harder to pull off, thankfully today there is more openness and inclusivity than ever before.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

The Best Person

Some grooms may have a close friend who is female, or an aunt or a sister who they’d be more comfortable with filling the role of the ‘best man.’  And there’s no reason why that cannot be the case. Just be sure that your partner-to-be is also happy with the choice.

 

Kids Filling Roles

These days many couples already have children before they decide to tie the knot. So why not have them get involved in the key roles of the day. It will make them feel included and special and it’s something they will always remember too.  From the best man to a maid of honour or even escorting mum down the aisle, there’s lots of ways to get your children involved.

 

Get Grandparents Involved

Not all couples are lucky enough to have their grandparents around when they get married. So many of those how do, can often be very close to them and realise how special it is to have them be a part of their wedding day. So why not get them involved in the bridal party? Be it your granny as a bridesmaid or your granddad as your best man, it’s a lovely tribute and something you will both always remember.

 

The Walk Up the Aisle

Recently the world watched as Meghan Markle tied the knot with Britain’s Prince Harry. She walked up the first half of the aisle by herself and was then joined by her husband-to-be’s father Prince Charles who escorted her up the second half of the walk. Gone are the days when the father has to do the walk up the aisle. These days it’s all about what suits the couple and the family best. Sometimes a father and step father might share the role, sometimes a mother will do the walk, sometimes both parents will walk on either side, or sometimes a bride will want to walk alone. Chose what is right for you and your family situation.

 

Images via Pinterest 

Tips to Keep the Morning of the Wedding Calm

The morning of your wedding day is a special time, as it’s the last few hours you’ll spend as an unmarried person. That said, it can also be a chaotic and nervy time, leaving the bride-to-be stressed and overwhelmed. 

Between makeup and hair people coming and going, getting your finished look the way you want it, flowers being dropped off, not to mention anxieties about the dress fitting properly, not spilling anything on it, ensuring the bridesmaids/flower girls have all their accessories, making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, walking down the aisle and a million and one other possible problems and issues, it’s easy to see how brides can get flustered.

And that is not what you want on the morning of the wedding. It should ideally be a calm and enjoyable few hours spent with your close family and bridesmaids.

Thankfully, over my years of putting weddings together, I know how to ensure the bride stays stress free. Here are my top tips on how to keep things relaxed and ordered.  

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Get to Bed Early

This is easier said than done, because you’ll most likely be too excited to sleep! That said, do try and get a good night’s sleep and avoid drinking too much as you’ll want to feel rested and fresh the next day.

                                                       

Lay Out Accessories the Night Before

Before you get your head down take some time to lay everything out in terms of your dress, the accessories, shoes and anything else you’ll need for the morning. You don’t want to be panicking looking for something in the morning as this can make you stressed. And don’t forget to do the same with any bridesmaids/flower girl’s attire too.

 

 

 

Have a Timeline

It’s a good idea to have a timeline for the morning, in terms of hair and makeup people coming and the order in which the bridal party will be getting ready. Start at the end with a time you would ideally like to be ready to go and work backwards from that. Factor in extra or contingency time in case there are delays, which can happen for any number of reasons. You’re always best off having time in hand to play with, rather than be dashing and arriving at the church flustered.

 

Eat Something

Nerves can put you off your food, but weddings are a marathon not a sprint, so be sure to have a little something in your tummy to sustain you. Even if it’s just a croissant try and eat something small it will make all the difference.

 

 

Make the Room an Oasis of Calm

Whether it be some relaxing music, or lighting candles, or spraying some aromatherapy scents, keep the room where you’re getting ready a calm place. Also take a few moments for yourself to take everything in, as it’s probably the only time you’ll have all day with just you.

 

Finally, Have Fun!

Don’t forget to enjoy the morning, as it really is a special time. Smile, laugh, enjoy being pampered, have a few moments with your parents, pop open the bubbly and have a glass to steady the nerves, but just be sure not to over indulge as you don’t want it going to your head.

 

 

 

What is a Wedding Rehearsal Dinner?

You may have heard the term wedding ‘rehearsal dinner,’ in lots of American movies when it comes to wedding ceremonies. But just what is a rehearsal meal and should you have one?

Well while these occasions are par for the course in the USA, there are not exactly a formality on this side of the pond. A rehearsal dinner is generally speaking, a meal held the night before the wedding where both sides of the families can meet each other ahead of the big day.

So while we don’t tend to have official rehearsal dinners here, many families do organise some kind of get together before the main event.

We’ve put together a list of everything you might want to consider about having an official rehearsal dinner vs a more relaxed event.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you wish to chat about any aspect of your wedding planning and décor.

 

Formal Rehearsal Dinner

Movies would have us believe that a rehearsal dinner is a very formal sit down occasion held the night before the wedding. In reality, this is not always the case, but it does throw up some pros and cons.

Pros

Holding it the night before the wedding means that most family members who have travelled great distances will be in situ.

It gives the bridal party a chance to practise speeches and go through other formalities of the role.

You can assign seats and get different sides of the families sitting together so they can break the ice ahead of the big day.

Traditionally the groom’s parents arrange this event and it can be a nice way to let them feel more involved in the wedding.

 

Cons

Having it the night before can break the old tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other.

The couple may not be staying in the same location the night before the wedding, so a meal this close to the big day becomes impractical.

If guests have travelled a great distance, they may be tired and not able to stay up for a sit down meal.

A more formal affair can add to your budget.

 

 

More Relaxed Get Together

On this side of the Atlantic, many families would arrange a get together where both sides of the families can meet in a more relaxed environment and it generally takes place in advance of the wedding.

 

Pros

There’s less pressure on everyone if you go for a more laid back feel to the event, such as drinks in your home or local pub or a meal in a restaurant.

You’ve more choice about the sort of event you choose, when it’s laid back – a daytime BBQ, a picnic, an evening in a local restaurant, drop in drinks in your home, etc.

It won’t take a huge chunk out of your budget.

Often the two families spend the night before the wedding in different locations, so having the event more in advance will mean everyone can comfortably get together.

 

Cons

If you’re arranging it in the weeks before the wedding, not all members of the family who may live abroad for example will be available to attend and as such it might negate the whole idea of the event.

You may be quite busy in the weeks leading up to the wedding and the idea of organising a get together like this could be too much to have on your plate.

Without a more formal sit down arrangement where you can control who sits where, people might mot mingle as well and stick to their own families, which again is the opposite of what you want to achieve.

 

Get Granny in the Bridal Party

When it comes to weddings these days, the idea of keeping to tradition or in with convention is thankfully on the wane. Today couples are going for weddings that reflect them as individuals and their families. They are no longer bound by having to get married in churches, or even indoors!

Different venues, faiths and arrangements are opening up whole new worlds for weddings and truly nothing is out of reach when it comes to your wedding dreams.

And one trend that’s really caught my eye in recent years is to have you grandmother serve as your bridesmaid or flower girl! It’s a truly heart-warming move that’s becoming more and more popular.

If you’d like to chat about this or any other aspect of your wedding day plans, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

 

Bridesmaid

The online world went into a frenzy recently when stories surfaced of brides asking their grandmothers who were in their 80s or even 90s to be their grandmothers. It’s not only captured people’s imagination, but it also was as if a lightbulb collectively went off in many a brides head! Often we are very close to our grandmothers and if we’re lucky enough to have them around when we do walk down the aisle, then it makes perfect sense to get them involved. Before you go off gung-ho to ask though, do make sure it’s something your grandmother would be comfortable with. Otherwise think about creating a special role for her (see below)

 

 

Flower Girl

The role of bridesmaid can be a little full-on for some grandmothers, so if she is not keen to be a bona-fide bridesmaid or you already have a full complement of bridesmaids but still want your granny to be in the mix, then why not ask her to be a flower girl? If you’re lucky enough to have two grandmothers who are willing, then they not have them both walk down the aisle with some bespoke baskets and petals.

 

Create a Role

Weddings can sometimes involve politics especially when it comes to choosing bridesmaids, groomsmen, and flowers girls. So if you’ve already got these positions filled, but you still want to have your grandmother involved, then why not create a special role just for her? Why not have her lead the procession down the aisle? She would walk first, then the flower girls, then the bridesmaids, followed by the bride! In fact, it would be a wonderful way to have the matriarch of the family kick things off.

 

Why Not Get Grandad Involved?

There’s no rule that says getting involved in the bridal party is just for the grannies! Why not have grandad serve as an usher or groomsman on the big day. Or why not have him and granny serve as de-facto flower girls either?

 

Image via Pinterest

Cute Ideas for Flower Girls and Page Boys

There’s nothing cuter than having flower girls and page boys in your wedding ceremony, especially if they are indeed your own children or nieces/nephews or other relatives. It gives the proceedings a very special feel and for the children, it’s a wonderful memory they can look back on. For the couple, it’s also incredibly fun to help kit them out in mini formal wear and to try and make their ‘big’ entrance as memorable as possible.

Do bear in mind though, depending on the child’s age and demeanour, they can get stage fright. Indeed, it can be nerve-wracking for your average adult to walk down the aisle, so remember that the little ones may need some encouragement before they do their thing and be prepared for the fact that no matter how much you may have rehearsed and talked about it, they may decide to back out at the last minute. Generally speaking though, most children really enjoy the role and the further they get along the aisle, the bigger their smile.

If you’d like to chat about any aspect of your wedding day planning or décor, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

 

Flower Girls
When it comes to flower girls, generally it’s all about the girly cuteness. All the fun of finding a suitable dress, shoes and as much sweet accessories as they’ll let you add in! Think fairy wings, lots of tulle, flower crowns and more. A piece of jewellery like a small bangle or necklace is a great little thank you gift for them to look back on too! But of course, it’s all about the entrance and here’s some ideas to help make that entrance as perfect as possible for them.

 

Making an Entrance
Petal Baskets
The traditional petal basket is a wonderful idea and allows your little helpers to spread some petals as they walk up the aisle.
petal

Signs
These make for fantastic pictures and you can find everything from romantic to funny wording to suit your style, just be sure to have a sign that’s a suitable size for the child as you don’t want them feeling overwhelmed.
signs-fg

 

Big Balloons
What child doesn’t love a balloon? And letting them carry a specially made big wedding balloon down the aisle should appeal to both girls and boys.
balloons

 

Bubbles
If your church of venue is not keen on the idea of petals, then bubbles are a great alternative. It will also focus the mind of the child as they walk down the aisle.
bubbles2

 

Page Boys
These days, the sheer variety of smart attire for page boys is staggering and indeed it has become just as much fun to put together an outfit for the dapper boys as it is for the girls. Think mini waistcoats, bow ties, sunglasses, hats and a cool mix of smart and casual. Personalised cufflinks would make a lovely gift which they can look back on in years to come. Again the entrance is all important and there’s plenty of ways to make it as fun as possible for these little dudes.

 

Making an Entrance
Ring Security
This is such a genius idea and one most little boys will love. The idea is you make them essentially ‘ring security’ as they walk down the aisle with the rings. Look out for cute signs, police style badges and sunglasses to complete the look. Of course it is a very serious jobs to mind the rings, but you can always provide them with dummy rings and let the best man take care of the real deal.
ring-security

 

Superhero
Most boys will have a favourite superhero, and if you aren’t too fussed on formal attire, why not let him walk down the aisle dressed up as his favourite hero? Or add some hero embellishments to his outfit, such as superhero cufflinks or buttonholes?
superhero

 

Signs and Flags
Signs and flags are a universal addition for both page boys and flower girls. Take it to the next level have a small cart which the page boy can wheel the flower girls down the aisle in, complete with cute signage on the back.
signs-pb

 

Four Legged Friend
If you’re planning to include your four legged friend in the procession as well, then why not let the page boy or flower girl be in charge of leading your canine companion down the aisle? The combination of cuteness will be hard to match!
dogs

 

Images Via Pinterest 

Groomsman Gifts

It can often be the bridesmaids who get most of the attention when it comes to tokens of thanks, but them groomsmen and best man are just as much a part of the wedding day as the ladies and indeed if it’s groom marrying groom, there’s even more groomsmen to think about.

It’s a lovely gesture to give your best man and groomsmen just something small to say thank you for all their help and support in the run up to your big day, which you may have been planning for months or indeed years. Also don’t forget these people tend to be your closest friends and family so you’ve shared a lot over the years and this is the perfect time to think about a really thoughtful gift, they’ll really appreciate.

If you’d like to chat about this or any aspect of your wedding day décor or planning, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Jewellery
Nothing says special like jewellery and you don’t have to spend a fortune to pick up some really thoughtful pieces that will mean a great deal to your best man and groomsmen. Think about watches, antique style pocket watches, cufflinks, tie clips or even money clips or pens.
jewellery

 

Personalised
Personalising your gift is a wonderful idea. It means each time he uses it, he’ll hopefully think of the wedding day and all the fun he had in the run up and on the day itself. Thankfully these days practically anything can be personalised, so don’t limit yourself, but some nice suggestions are; hipflasks, toolboxes, leather toiletry bags with initials, wallets with each man’s name, the wedding date or initials on them.
personalised

 

Accessories
If you and your groomsmen are a dapper group, then definitely think about investing in some really smart accessories for the big day. Think socks, boxers, bowties and handkerchiefs. Also why not consider some designer shades to match, retro style braces, flat caps or even shoes? And if they can wear them again after the wedding then it’s an even bigger bonus!
accessories

 

Funny Gifts
Finally remember to have some fun with these gifts too and reflect all the great times you’ve had together and your common interests, so if could mean superhero, movie or sport style cufflinks, funny printed t-shirts, mini hangover kits in personalised boxes or even special glasses with some of their favourite tipple packaged in a survival box. The list is endless.
funny gifts

 

Images via Pinterest

Choosing Bridesmaids Dresses

There can be quite a few things on a busy bride’s to-do list outside of the immediate wedding plans themselves. Choosing the dress of your dreams is of course right up there on top, but after you’ve found the gown, you need to start thinking about the attire for the rest of the bridal party!

Finding dresses for your bridesmaids is one of those tasks that can sometimes cause a bit of friction and headaches, especially when you have bridesmaids of different ages, figures or heights to contend with, as well as different personalities and tastes. It’s important to try and balance their feelings with your overall wishes for how you want them to look and fit into your wedding day décor. It can be a fine line at times to find a dress that your bridesmaids like and feel comfortable in, as well as being one you are happy with and you may find yourself dreading the shopping trip instead of looking forward to it. But don’t panic, with a few simple steps choosing your bridesmaids dresses can become a doddle, rather than a chore.

If you’d like to chat to me about this or any other aspect of your wedding day décor and planning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Make it Fun!
If you have a feeling that the shopping trip for the bridesmaid’s dresses may be tinged with friction, why not try and make it a bit of a fun outing. Organise a nice lunch or prosecco stop midway through the day and make it as social and laid back as possible.
make it fun

 

The Colour
Choosing the colour is probably the first thing you should think about for bridesmaids dresses. Consider how the colour will fit into your wedding theme or palette, but also consider how your chosen colour will work with your bridesmaids. For example, you may desperately want a vivid yellow or green, but if one of your bridesmaids has a pale complexion it’s going to likely wash her out and that won’t make her feel comfortable or indeed look good in your wedding photos. If you’ve got different complexions and hair colours to contend with then try and go for colours that are universally flattering such as dusky pinks, greys, sand and of course black.
colour

 

Multiway Dresses
One handy way to get around different body shapes is to look for identical dresses that have multiway fits. So for example the dress style and colour are the same, but the top part allows it to be worn as a halter neck, off the shoulder, strapless or with straps, etc. That way you can keep everyone happy, including yourself!
multiway

 

Different Dresses Same Colour
This is not a look all brides want, but if you have a variety of ages and body types, considering differing dresses should be a real option. While many brides prefer uniformity for the photos, different dresses can look really well too. For example you can keep things looking more in step if you decide to keep to one colour palette, say dusky pink, but allow the bridesmaids to choose different styles and dresses within that colour palette, that way they’ll be comfortable and you still get the one colour for your theme.
different dresses

 

Mismatched Dresses
Similar to having different dresses, but one step further. Mismatched dresses don’t even have to be the same colour or hem length. Instead the idea is you allow each of your bridesmaids to have different styles and colours of dress. Keeping them the same hem length will add some visual, uniformity but’s not a must.
mismatched

 

Comfort and Weather
Finally don’t forget to consider the time of year you’re getting married and the location! While you may desperately want a shorter length for your bridesmaid’s dresses, if you’re tying the knot in winter it may not be practical or comfortable for the ladies. Equally if you’re getting married in sunnier climes, then long gowns in heavy material will not be a runner, unless you want the sweaty Betty look!
comfort

 

 

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Alternative Top Table Arrangements

Seating plans can provoke a sense of dread in a bride or groom to be. While it’s often obvious which groups of guests should sit where, there can be some problems and the top table is not immune from these issues either. Some parents may be separated, divorced or remarried, some may be on good terms, and some may not. Some couples’ parents may have passed away and they may wish to have grandparents present at the top table, while some couples may have children and would like them at the top table too. There are a staggering number of possibilities to consider and it’s very much individual to the couple.

But the important thing is not to panic. It’s understandable that in the middle of the wedding planning melee, the top table seating plan can give you the shivers, but there are always options. Remember you don’t have to stick to a traditional long table and seating arrangement for the top table. There are lots of great alternatives and no one arrangement is better than the other.

As an award winning wedding planner, I’ve organised lots of non-traditional top tables to suit every couple’s needs. If you’d like to get in touch about this or any aspect of your wedding planning or décor, please email me.

 

Sweetheart Table
Kitsch and cute, a sweetheart table is essentially a table where the newly married couple sit apart at their own table, facing the rest of the guests. It can be a little much for those who don’t want to feel like they are ‘on show,’ but there are other advantages. It allows you to spend more time with your new husband or wife and allows the bridal party to be seated at other tables giving you scope to move people around more easily as you’re not leaving anyone off the top table. Also consider having a sweetheart table where the newly married couple sit with their kids at their own special table.
sweetheart

 

Round Top Table
The classic top table tends to be a long rectangular one facing the rest of the guests, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Think about having a round top table as it is perfect for maximising socialising, plus there’s no real middle in this style of table so you can again move people around more freely without anyone left feeling like they’ve been left out in the cold.
round

 

Bridal Party Only
If family issues are proving to be a problem with parents, stepparents and partners, then a great solution is to have just the newly married couple, along with their bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen at the top table. This way you can seat the parents and/or stepparents at other tables in the room or even ask them to ‘host’ these tables in a special VIP role.
bridal party only

 

Long Table
Having long tables is great when you have large numbers, rustic style themes or you want to make the most of the space in you venue. They are also great if you aren’t keen on a traditional top table, because everyone is sitting equally and no noses will be out of joint. Plus to make it even more relaxed, don’t have any names on the seats and allow people to sit there they wish.
long

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