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Wedding Planning 101 - How to Create Your Guest List

Wedding Planning Advice, Bridal Party, VideosRachel WaringComment

HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR WEDDING GUEST LIST

Deciding who to invite to your wedding is one of the hardest parts of planning, and it’s definitely something that I hear my clients struggling with a lot. There are so many things to think about when writing your guest list, like your budget, venue capacity and often family politics (the trickiest one right?!).

Luckily I’m here to help you out. In this next part of the Wedding Planning 101 series, I’ll be sharing my top tips for planning and managing your guest list so that you can keep everyone organised right up until the big day.

If you haven’t read the post about setting your wedding priorities yet, I would definitely encourage you to do that first, because that will definitely help you with your guest list writing. Once you’ve done that, watch the video below or read the highlights to start your wedding guest list in the most organised way possible.

WHO TO INVITE TO YOUR WEDDING?

Being clear on your own personal wedding priorities will help you answer the question of who to invite to your wedding, but [SPOILER ALERT] I would say the short answer is: whoever you want.

The long answer though, depends on a few factors:

  • What style of wedding are you hoping to have?

  • How many people can your venue hold?

  • What’s your budget? This post will help you get to that figure.

  • Where is your wedding? Is it somewhere that’s easy to get to for most of your potential guests?

OBLIGATION WEDDING INVITES

One of the most awkward things about planning a wedding is feeling obligated to invite certain people that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to invite. This can be a really frustrating situation to be in, and the way that I always suggest dealing with it is to choose the path of least resistance.

Which scenario is going to cause you the least stress? Are you the type of person that will feel angry on your wedding day if you’ve felt forced to invite a certain person? Will the person in question cause you stress by being there on the day? In this case, don’t invite them.

Or on the flip-side, will you feel guilty on the day if this person isn’t there? Are they important to someone in your family - especially if that family member happens to be contributing to the wedding? Would it just be easier to invite them because it causes less family arguments and awkwardness? Sometimes it’s worth stretching your guest list a little bit to avoid causing you unnecessary agro.

Whichever way you decide to go, remember that everything to do with your wedding is always your decision first and foremost, and you should do what’s right for you.

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free wedding guest list template

Now’s the time to actually organise your guest list, and I have an amazing freebie to help you do that. My free downloadable wedding guest database is the perfect place to house all of the important information about your guests, including:

  • Their names (obviously)

  • Their addresses - important for sending out your save the dates and invitations, and will save you time hunting these down twice.

  • Whether you’ve sent their invitation out yet

  • If they’ve RSVPd

  • Dietary requirements

  • Gifts received - this is super helpful for when you open all of your wedding presents, you can note down what each person gifted you so you can personalise your thank you notes - GAME CHANGER.

  • Any other notes…. This can be where you note down any specific roles people are playing in the wedding, eg. bridal party, readings, musicians….

DON’T FEEL PRESSURED WITH YOUR GUEST LIST

The final thing to say about your guest list, is just try not to feel too much pressure around the process. As long as you always communicate with people in the most honest and kind way possible, then you should get through it with minimal drama.

I hope this was helpful, and don’t forget to download your free guest database below to help you with your people planning.

Wedding Planning 101 - How to Pick a Wedding Venue

Wedding Planning Advice, Wedding Styling Tips, VideosRachel WaringComment
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A handy checklist to help you find your dream wedding venue

Finding the right wedding venue for you should be tip top of your list of priorities in your wedding planning. But it can be hard work… There are so many amazing venues out there in different price points - how do you choose?

The next instalment of my Wedding Planning 101 series is here to help you do just that; with my handy checklist of questions to ask your potential venues you’ll be well equipped to make this important wedmin decision.

Watch the video, or read the highlights below to learn how to hunt down your ideal wedding venue, and what to ask them to get the most out of your venue visits.

I’ve made a handy free checklist for you to download and take with you on your venue hunting trips, so you can print that out for each venue and compare notes. Sign up for that for free here.

how to pick the right wedding venue for you

The first step to finding the right venue for you is to ask yourself some important questions. If you haven’t read part one of Wedding Planning 101 yet, Setting Your Wedding Priorities, or part two, Setting Your Wedding Budget, then I would highly suggest hopping over to read those first, because that will give you the best head start and really help you make this big decision.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF about your wedding:

  • Location - where do you want to get married?

  • How many guests are you inviting?

  • What’s your budget? Part two of the series will help you with this.

  • What style of wedding are you hoping to have? What atmosphere do you want to create? Complete the tasks in part three of the series on choosing your wedding theme to help you answer this question.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR POTENTIAL WEDDING VENUES

It’s really important to visit your potential wedding venues and ask lots of questions. You can download my free venue checklist here, and print one off for each venue to make sure you don’t forget anything. Then you can compare your options side by side to make sure your wedding venue is ticking the right boxes for you.

LOGISTICS. What’s included in your venue hire cost?

Different venues have different packages, so it’s important to check which of these things are included in your hire cost, and what needs to be hired in separately.

  • Tableware: crockery, linens, cutlery.

  • Glassware: wine glasses, champagne toast, reception drinks.

  • Staff: Bar staff, venue coordinator, clean up team, waiting staff.

  • Furniture

  • Sound System

  • In house suppliers: Caterers, florist, venue dressing… etc.

RULES & REGULATIONS

It’s important to check with your venue on any rules and regulations they have for the use of their space. There’s nothing worse than making exciting plans for your big day and then finding out that the venue has a restriction in place that won’t allow you to do it. So some things to consider are:

  • Fire regulations - do they have any restrictions on candles or open flame? For example, if you’ve got your heart set on a bonfire in the evening then you’ll need to check this is possible.

  • Alcohol - some venues will allow you to bring your own alcohol in and some won’t, and some may charge corkage per bottle.

  • Confetti - are you allowed to use it? Does it need to be biodegradable?

  • Are they licensed for marriages? Or will you need to have a legal ceremony before to sign the papers?

DOES IT FIT YOUR AESTHETIC?

Go back to the exercise in part three of the series where you chose your wedding theme, and ask yourself if this venue fits within the type of wedding you want to have. Does it help you create the right mood and atmosphere, or would you be fighting against it?

  • Lighting - do they have nice atmospheric lighting for the evening, or is this something you need to hire in?

  • Does the decor fit your chosen style?

  • Think about a wet weather plan. If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, make sure there is a rainy day option that you like the look of just as much.

  • What’s your gut feeling when you walk in to the space. Does it feel like “you”?

Extra things to think about:

  • Accommodation options: does the venue have places for your guests to stay, or is it near to convenient accommodation options if not?

  • Transport - is there enough parking at the venue, or will you need to organise additional transport to get your guests there?

  • Flow between rooms. Where do your guests wait while they’re waiting to sit down for dinner?

  • Photo opportunities - including an option if it’s raining.

Once you’ve found a venue that you’re really interested in, I would definitely recommend visiting more than once, and try to go at different times of the day. Visit in the evening to see what the atmosphere is like when the sun goes down, try and visit when the weather isn’t so good to see what their wet weather options are like. This will help you prepare for every eventuality, and make sure you’re making a totally informed decision.

I hope this helps you on your venue search - don’t forget to download your free wedding venue checklist to help you compare your choices, you can sign up for instant access to that below.

Wedding Planning 101 - How to Design a Wedding that Suits Your Personality

Wedding Planning Advice, Wedding Styling Tips, Wedding Themes, Wedding DIYsBethComment
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How to design a wedding that’s totally you

Does the thought of a wedding theme make you cringe? Having a theme to your wedding doesn’t have to be cheesy, you can make it your own and use it as a helpful tool when picking out your wedding decor.

This is part three of my Wedding Planning 101 series - if you haven’t already, make sure you’ve checked out how to set your budget and where to start first.

Once you’ve learned how to be a budgeting queen, you’re ready to pick your theme. Either watch my nifty video below, or follow along and read the highlights. Happy Planning!


ANSWER ALL YOUR BIG QUESTIONS

You probably wouldn’t want to plan a winter wonderland wedding in June, so it’s best to get these things decided first, so you can plan productively.

These are some important things to consider before you can start to think about your wedding theme:

  • Where do you want to get married? In the countryside, in the city? A destination wedding?

  • What’s your budget?

  • What kind of venue would you like?

  • What’s your timeframe?

  • What season would you like it to be?

  • How many guests do you imagine being there?

All of these things affect the theme that’s likely to work best for your wedding, so once these are answered, you should start to see your vision and desired theme come to life.

LEARN FROM OTHER WEDDINGS

Although it can sound slightly judgemental at first thought, looking at other people’s weddings you’ve been to is a great start when thinking about your own. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to decor, but this is definitely a good way to see for yourself, in person, what you think works and what you think you’d have done differently.

To do this you should:

  • Think about all the weddings you’ve been to and what you liked (and perhaps even more importantly, disliked) about each one.

  • Have a read of some real wedding stories online and in magazines. Pay attention to the full story and not just the pictures. What is it about the vibe of that particular wedding that you resonate with?

Once you’ve done this, think about your favourite elements you have noted down from both sections and see if there’s any common ground. Are they all outside? Do they all have holographic accents? Were they all small and intimate weddings? Note down into your free guide any ideas or concepts that you see appearing again and again.

Visual inspiration gathering

My favourite part of this whole process is next, visual inspiration gathering. This step sounds just as fun as it is, look around for things that inspire you, regardless of price or practicality and just go wild!

If you’re struggling for places to gather your inspiration I suggest:

  • Pinterest (the most obvious choice). For this particular step I recommend making a “secret” board and going on a pinning spree. I suggest sticking with a 10 minute maximum on this, just so you don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t just stick to weddings either, anything goes here, as long as something about the image captures your imagination.

  • Books and Magazines - looking in real life printed media can be a nice break from your computer screen.

  • Look in your own house and wardrobe, are there any colours and textures that you go back to again and again? This can be a really great hack to getting to know your tastes as a couple.

  • Go window shopping - what colours are you drawn to time and time again? You can even visit DIY stores, fabric shops and places like IKEA (my personal happy place) for inspiration. This is also a great way to make sure your wedding is following the trends, should that be something that takes your fancy.

Make a mood board

This process can be a little tricky, especially if you find decision making difficult like me. The aim is to go through all your material that you gathered in the last step and pick only your very very favourite pieces. I’d recommend having between 10 and 20 pieces in total, although there’s leeway, the more specific you can be at this stage, the better.

Once you’ve chosen your final pieces, note down what they have in common and start to put together your mood board. Some of my tips for making a great mood board are:

  • Take it off of Pinterest and onto real paper. I recommend A3 size or bigger to really get your imagination going.

  • If you don’t want to cut up your treasured wedding magazines, photocopy/scan the bits you want to use. This means you can always donate them to someone else after the big day so they are not wasted.

  • Look in unexpected places. Paint chips, wallpaper samples, fabric scraps, anything that inspires you, pop it on there. Different textures really help a mood board communicate atmosphere.

Choose your wedding keywords

Your wedding keywords will help you a huge amount while you plan the big day. These are the words that you can refer back to when people ask what your wedding is going to be like. The more thoughtful and selective you are with your wedding keywords the more they will help you to find ideas, decorations, stationery and even the perfect suppliers for your wedding!

To find your wedding keywords I’d suggest you:

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes, look at your mood board and write down as many words as you can to describe what you see. Eg. Holographic, mustard yellow and millennial pink

  • Once the time limit is up, look through your list and choose the three words that resonate with you most in terms of your dream wedding. If you find choosing just three really hard, work backwards and cross out the ones that you don’t want first.

  • PRO TIP: when you think you have your three words, type them into search on Pinterest with the word wedding (eg. Holographic, mustard yellow, millennial pink wedding). If what comes up looks like your dream wedding then you are on the right track! If not, go back to your list and try again.

If you’ve made it to the end of these steps, you should now have the whole wedding theme package: a mood board, a colour pallet and the right keywords to help you on your journey in planning your dream wedding. Don’t forget to sign up for your free 5 steps to an extraordinary wedding guide below, and for bonus points, I’d love to hear what your three keywords are! Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram :) I can’t wait to hear about your wedding themes.

How to Create a Wedding Budget - The Full Spending Breakdown

Videos, Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
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HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING BUDGET LIKE A PRO

Does the word “budget” bring you out in a cold sweat? Creating a wedding budget doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think, and if you do it in the beginning then it’s actually a huge stress-buster while your planning the big day.

This is part two of my Wedding Planning 101 series - if you haven’t read part one all about setting your wedding priorities then I would pop over here and read that first to get the most out of this advice.

If you’ve already done that - YAY, we’re ready to start the next phase. Watch the video below or read the highlights, and good luck budgeting babes.

WHY SET A BUDGET FOR YOUR WEDDING?

A lot of couples skip the actual budget planning step because they think if they just constantly try to save money along the way then they’ll be fine. But I tend to disagree with this common belief, and here are the reasons why I think it’s a great idea to make a budget breakdown first:

  • The most obvious reason is that it helps you save money on your wedding.

  • Planning a budget in advance also helps you pace your spending throughout your engagement, so that you’re not dropping all the cash right at the end (which can be quite a shock to the system let me tell ya).

  • Setting your budget early also helps you set the tone for your wedding. It helps you make decisions about the kind of wedding you and your partner are hoping for.

  • Planning a budget means no nasty surprises later on, so you can go about your wedding plans with much less worry and stress.

So now, on to the steps for planning a wedding budget like a pro:

Look at your money picture

Sit down and have a good look into your financial situation. Look at all your existing savings, calculate potential savings, think about how much you want to put away each month and create a realistic savings plan. Have conversations with any of your family who might want to contribute, and try and settle on concrete numbers with them. This can be a really awkward conversation, but having it now will save way more awkwardness later on, and it helps you know what to plan for and what to expect.

Set your wedding priorities

If you still haven’t watched the first video in the series then now is the time to do that, and fill out your wedding priorities checklist. This step really helps you work out what you want from your wedding together as a couple, so don’t skip it.

start a wedding budget spreadsheet

Spreadsheet nerds, this one’s for you. It goes without saying, but if you’re going to plan a budget you’ll need a place to keep a record of it, somewhere you can update as you go along. I have a free budget planning spreadsheet you can download here, so that’s half the work done for you.

PRIORITISE YOUR SPENDING

Go back to your wedding priorities checklist, and put those big important things in first. This ensures that you’re creating a budget for the wedding YOU want to have, and not just responding to outside pressure. Then once all those things are plotted in, then work the rest of the stuff around them.

Do Your Research and Get Real Quotes

It’s no good just guessing, because that won’t give you a realistic picture of how much your wedding will cost. Don’t be afraid to chat to the suppliers you’re interested in, do your research, ask for quotes and compare them. This helps you plan out your budget in a realistic way instead of stabbing in the dark.

SET A MONTHLY WEDDING CHECK-IN

Put a date in your diary every month to check in with each other over your budget sheet, fill in any spending you’ve done, or any updated quotes you have. These monthly check-ins are really useful for keeping you organised and on track with your to-do list as well, so it’s a win-win.

MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Finally, make your wedding budget work for you. Don’t give in to family or societal pressure. Don’t compare your wedding to other weddings on the internet, and don’t feel any shame or guilt around your personal money story. Everyone’s financial situation and priorities are different, so celebrate that and do what you want works for you ALWAYS, then as long as you’re happy you can never go wrong.

Wedding Planning 101 - Where to Start?

Videos, Wedding Planning Advice, Married Life, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
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NO ONE TEACHES YOU THIS ABOUT WEDDING PLANNING…

Did you just get engaged and you’re already feeling overwhelmed? Well firstly CONGRATULATIONS, and secondly I promise you’re not alone. The number one struggle I hear from couples I work with is they don’t know where to start with their wedding planning. There’s so much to remember and so many decisions to make, how do you go about tackling this massive life project that no one teaches you how to plan?

Well today I’ve got you covered, in this first part of my Wedding Planning 101 series, I’ll teach you my failsafe first step that will help supercharge your wedmin hours. This exercise will get you and your partner on the exact same page, and you’ll have a crystal clear idea of what your priorities are so you can hit the rest of your planning with laser focus. It also makes it even more FUN.

Watch the video for the full lowdown (it’s bite sized five minutes long), or read below for the highlights.

START THE CONVERSATION

It sounds simple, but your wedding planning needs to start with proper, honest conversation between the two of you. Notice how I said the TWO of you, not you and everyone else you know. There will be time to include your friends and family later, but this first planning chat needs to be a date night kinda thing you know? Keep everyone else’s opinions out of it for now.

LIST YOUR WEDDING PRIORITIES

The best place to start with your big wedding chat, is to each list out your individual priorities when it comes to the big day. Be prepared for some of these to be the same, and some of them to be different. For example, my husband is all about the logistics, so to him, the flow of the day was super important. He didn’t want anyone to be bored waiting around for food. But my main priority was the visual aesthetic and atmosphere (obvs), so we had to make some compromises along the way to make sure both of our needs were met.

download your free priorities checklist

To help you structure this conversation and keep you on track, I made you a free wedding priorities checklist that you can download and fill out for yourselves. It includes some prompts to get you started, because I know it can be hard to think of things under pressure.

Some examples of things you might list as priorities might be: live music, food, being able to invite loads of friends, entertainment throughout the day, an absolutely killer wedding dress…. you get the idea.

Ask yourselves the big questions

When do you want to get married? How long do you want your engagement to be? What season are you imagining it to be? What general atmosphere do you want to create? Again, use your free checklist as a guide, but be totally honest here about your dreams for your wedding.

COMBINE YOUR LISTS + RANK YOUR PRIORITIES

This is the fun bit. Take all your priorities you’ve written down, and each rank them in order of how important they are to you.

Then compare your lists. Where do they match up? Where are the differences? This is the time to chat it out and compromise if you need to, but having everything listed in order of importance to each of you will really help you get on the same page, and create a vision for your day together as a team - which is how every marriage should start don’t you think?

RECAP: WHY START THIS WAY?

  • Having a frank, structured conversation early on in your wedding planning will really help you set expectations for the months to come.

  • A clear view of what your priorities are will make decision making 10 times easier, because you can always refer back to your list as it relates to each decision. Does it match up with your priorities? Yes? Great. No? Cut it.

  • It helps avoid arguments. I know it’s not nice to think about, but wedding planning can actually put quite a strain on your relationship if you don’t communicate and stay in the zone as a team. This foundation will help you do this, and keep you pals throughout the process.

  • It helps you communicate your ideas to other people in your life who might be helping out with the wedding. Everyone has that family member who tries to help but doesn’t really “get” your vision. The more clear you are on your wish-list, the more effective the help of others will be to you.

  • BUDGETING. Your new priorities checklist will massively help you with the next stage, which is setting your budget. I’ll be walking you through that step in the next part of this series.

Are you ready? Have fun with it, and don’t forget to download your free priorities checklist below to help you along the way.

How to Make a Holographic Photo Booth Backdrop for Your Wedding

Wedding DIYs, Wedding Styling Tips, Videos, Wedding ThemesRachel WaringComment
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A photo booth’s always a winner at a wedding, right? If you’re looking for a way to spruce up a blank corner in your venue and entertain your guests, then this holographic backdrop idea is for you. Using fancy iridescent cellophane, a simple backdrop stand and some holographic card this budget friendly DIY will definitely be a talking point on your big day. Watch the video tutorial below to see how we did it:

DIY HOLOGRAPHIC PHOTO BOOTH

You will need:

  • A backdrop stand - or even a clothes rail would work.

  • Holographic cellophane (at least 15m)

  • Clear tape and double sided tape

  • Holographic card

  • A craft knife, or a Cricut machine

  • Photo booth props

  • A box to keep your props in

Step one: Gather your props

If you are the lucky owner of a Cricut machine, you could design and make your own props - or I can make some for you. Spoiler alert, the props in the video will be available to buy in the shop soon.

Don’t forget to grab a pretty box to display all your props in - lining it with holographic cellophane will help to bring the whole thing together.

Step two: cut some geometric shapes

Cut some large triangles and other geometric shapes from the holographic card using a craft knife and cutting mat, or with a Cricut machine. These work best if they are a range of different sizes and shapes, depending on how big your photo booth backdrop is going to be.

STEP THREE: SET UP YOUR BACKDROP

The best thing to do is to find a suitable place in your venue and set the backdrop up in situ rather than setting it up before hand and moving it around. We recommend a nice sheltered area without too much wind (ideally indoors) - otherwise you will have a holographic sail on your hands!

Set up your backdrop stand first and adjust it to fit your space. Then wrap the holographic cellophane around the stand, once around the front and once around the back, in sections until the full stand is covered. Tape into place with the clear tape.

STEP FOUR: ADD YOUR SHAPES

Use double sided tape to add your geometric shapes to the top of the backdrop, framing the edges.

STEP FIVE: Strike a pose

Grab a friend and some props, and you’re good to go. Bonus points if you have your own wedding hashtag, so that after the day you can relive those silly shots.

Did you like this video tutorial? If so, we’d love it if you’d share with your friends, and don’t forget to subscribe over on YouTube for more wedding DIYs.

Blank Canvas Weddings - with Courtney, MD of Blank Canvas Venues

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
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If you know me, you’ll know Blank Canvas Wedding venues are my favourite. Which is why I couldn’t wait to chat with Courtney of Blank Canvas Venues and drill him with all my questions about working with unconventional wedding venues.

Courtney started Blank Canvas with a vision to convert disused industrial space into events venues. With a background in real estate and property development he began approaching landlords with proposals to generate income from their empty spaces.

Blank Canvas quickly built a reputation for itself among landlords and as the portfolio grew so did the variety of events it could cater for.

Fast forward several years and Courtney has built a portfolio of over 15 venues and a team of experts covering everything from event management to plumbing. Blank Canvas’s vast portfolio includes venues of all shapes and sizes, including disused power stations, churches, warehouses and some VIP spaces. The portfolio and his team's experience mean Blank Canvas can deliver any kind of event, from fashion launches to weddings.

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Tell us about your venues. What kind of spaces do you have on offer?

We currently have 13 venues with capacities ranging from 75 - 800 but we're adding to our portfolio all the time. Our venues are all blank canvases, many with an industrial feel, so the bare bones of our buildings need to be something really special. We want people's jaws to drop when they walk into one of our spaces as they realise its potential.

What are the benefits of hiring a Blank Canvas venue over a more traditional venue in your opinion? 

We find with many traditional venues the list of what you can't do is longer than the list of what you can do. We are the Yes people!! Your wedding day is obviously one of the most important days of your life and with our venues your wedding can be whatever you want it to be.


How would a couple go about choosing the best Blank Canvas venue for them? 

Browse the website, then speak to a member of our team. They know our spaces inside out and they’re a terrifically creative bunch of individuals. They will know what questions to ask you to help guide you to your perfectly-matched venue.

 

Any tips for planning a wedding in an unconventional space? 

Think logistics. When couples walk into a space and fall in love with it, it’s all too easy to forget to ask the questions that really matter. Is there a noise curfew and can it be extended if desired? How well connected is the venue in terms of public transport? Are there any power or water supply limitations? But that said, by far and away the most important thing is to make sure you've got the right catering partner. Thankfully we've built up a network of some of the best in the business, so you can be sure the food and drink will exceed your guests’ expectations.

What's the most exciting wedding you've seen in one of your venues? 

We hosted a summer wedding Canvas One this year. With a reasonably small budget the couple transformed the courtyard using simple furnishings and wild foliage, which worked so well with the industrial backdrop. It was testament to what you can do without huge resources and a little creativity.

What do you love most about working with blank canvas spaces? 

It's when the penny drops for a couple that they can pretty much do anything they want with the space. Second to that is the moment the venue is ready for the big day and they have realised their vision. It's such a humbling experience to know that our venues have been an integral part of that. 

What's one thing that couples always forget to source for their blank canvas venue wedding? 

Fridges and chill bins! Ensure there are enough fridges/chill bins for the drinks as no-one likes a warm white wine!

Final parting words of wisdom? 

It’s the little things that make a wedding memorable. Get on Pinterest and do loads of research for details that fit your theme and will show your friends and family how much you appreciate them celebrating with you. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune but will make a big difference to the overall look and feel of your day.

Thanks Courtney for sharing your wedding venue wisdom with us! If you’re on the hunt for your own wedding venue, I have another blog post full of tips for working with a blank canvas venue, and of course don’t forget to check out Blank Canvas - you might find your dream space.

10 Fun Traditions to Start with Your Partner

Married LifeBethComment
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So, you’re married now, that’s a thing, and you’re open to a whole new world of opportunities for you and your partner to explore. Why not start by creating some super fun traditions? The best part of creating traditions with your partner is that they are personal and unique to you, and things you develop over time. But if you are looking for a bit of inspiration to start you off, here’s my top 10 ideas for traditions to start in your new marriage. 

RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE EVERY YEAR

Although this might be super cheesy to some of you, we can all enjoy a little cheese in our life now and again. This super fun, romantic tradition basically involves you and your partner going back to the place of your first date each anniversary. This doesn’t have to mean re-creating the entire first date start to finish, and nor does it have to be the exact same location, have fun with it. Say you’re first date was at an Italian restaurant, each anniversary you could go to a different Italian restaurant. 

Collect Christmas Tree Ornaments

Although not completely relevant in September, I’m already embracing the Autumn lifestyle, meaning Christmas is nearly round the corner. Your first Christmas together is bound to be special, but why not make a fun tradition to add to the excitement? This, again, can be adapted to suit whichever holidays you celebrate and how you decorate for them, but why not make a habit of choosing a decoration together every year? It’s the perfect way to build your collection together, but also in an affordable yet romantic way. It will also be hilarious to look make on some of your questionable decor choices in years to come.

regular Movie date Night

Strapped for cash after your big day? Or just want to stay in and relax after a busy week? Having a movie night once a month (or even once a week) is the perfect tradition to start with your partner, especially since the invention of Netflix. Just grab some popcorn and you’re ready to go. Just make sure you decide on the movie in advance to avoid wasting several hours deciding (we’ve all been there).

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Leave Paper Notes for Each Other

There’s nothing nicer than small tokens of appreciation from your significant other. Leaving notes around for each other is the perfect way to do this without breaking the bank. Ideas for where to put these could be in with their lunch they take to work, their car, or even in their pocket. The more unexpected the placement the better.

Share Your Hobbies

Say you and your partner are both obsessed with reading, why not both buy each other a book you think they’d really enjoy. This is a super fun way to try something different as well as see how well you know each other. This is completely universal depending on your hobbies, you could buy each other an obscure snack if you’re both foodies, or a video game if you’re both really into gaming. The possibilities are endless.

Big Treat Money Jar

For the more practical of us (I definitely fall into this category) why not put aside a certain amount of money a month into a jar and then at the end of the year use the money you’ve collected to do something you’ve always wanted to do. This could be a trip to Paris, or to visit a particular landmark, where you choose depends completely on you as a couple, and how much you decide to put away each month.

date night ideas with your partner.jpg

Pamper Evenings

As much as they may (or may not) try to hide it, everyone loves and needs a pamper evening evening now and again. As you’ll have read from my previous blog posts about all things beauty, I love everything about it. Grab a few face masks or hair masks (or make them if you’re feeling ambitious), put on some hilarious spa music and relax. This is not only a great way to spend time together, but it will also be super relaxing and treat your skin at the same time, what’s not to love?

Eat at least one meal a day together

Modern day lives can be really hectic, especially if you’re both working different schedules. The best way to work around this is to make a conscious effort to find time together. A great idea for this is to eat at least one meal a day together, even if you’re eating breakfast while your partner, on the night shift, is eating their dinner. This also means the washing up will only have to be done once, win, win.

Have a Games Night

This one will especially appeal to you if you have a competitive streak, especially against your partner. Why not get your whole family involved, this would be especially adorable if you have kids you can include. This one is super versatile too, you could play board games, video games, apps, or even make it educational if you’re including younger family members, or enjoy quizzes yourself. To add an extra touch, why not offer a prize/ forfeit for the loser?

fun traditions to start with your partner.jpg

Go on Walks together

This is the perfect Sunday morning tradition, whether you live in the middle of the countryside or in the middle of a crowded city, going on a walk together is super romantic. Personally, I find either late night walks, or early morning walks the most calming and overall enjoyable, but pick a time most suited to you as a couple. Why not bring your dog(s) along with you, or grab some food on the way and make it into an afternoon out with a picnic. The possibilities are endless with this one.

Do you have any traditions I didn't mention? Comment them below and keep the discussion going. Or you can follow us on Pinterest for even more inspiration for living your best married life. 

Stylish Autumn Wedding Ideas

Wedding Themes, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
Stylish Autumn Wedding Ideas.jpg

Can I admit something? I like Autumn way better than summer. So Autumn weddings naturally are kinda my favourites. But they can fall victim to clichéd decor ideas sometimes (scattered dried leaves down the aisle anyone?). That's why today as we approach the very best season, I thought I'd share some ideas for a stylish Autumn wedding. 

 Dried flowers and Pampas grass love. Photo by  miesh photography  found via  Green Wedding Shoes

Dried flowers and Pampas grass love. Photo by miesh photography found via Green Wedding Shoes

Try dried flowers and grasses

Pampas grass is a huge trend in wedding floristry right now, and I'm a big fan. It brings the perfect mix of late summer, early Autumn, harvest boho vibes that anyone would want at their wedding right? Dried flowers and grasses have the benefit of a gorgeous muted tone, which suits an Autumn / Fall theme perfectly. Also bonus points - you get to keep all your flowers afterwards because they last. 

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Copper paper buttonholes

Accents of copper suit an autumnal wedding down to the ground, and these metallic copper/rose gold paper buttonholes are the perfect unique detail. Simple and stylish looking with an industrial edge, these handmade buttonholes look particularly amazing with a tweed suit. You can get yours in the shop here

 A stylish and classy autumn wedding. Image by  Samuel Docker , found via  Rock My Wedding  

A stylish and classy autumn wedding. Image by Samuel Docker, found via Rock My Wedding 

Seasonal fruit as wedding cake decor

Seasonal fruit like figs and berries give everyone those cosy Autumn feels, so why not adorn the top of your cake with them? Better yet, include them as part of your wedding buffet and pile rustic platters high with seasonal fruit and veg - this almost doubles up as decor too (until your guests demolish it all). 

  Wood slice and moss place cards , personalised with your guests names, available in the shop.

Wood slice and moss place cards, personalised with your guests names, available in the shop.

Woodland Wedding Vibes

Woodland weddings were made for Autumn, and whether or not you've bagged an actual forest for your venue, you can bring a little of the outside in with these wood slice and moss place cards. Personalised with your guests names, they get to keep a little bit of wedding day atmosphere to take home with them - so they'll always remember your big day (awwwww). 

 Hot chocolate bars are always a winner at an Autumn wedding.  Image via.  

Hot chocolate bars are always a winner at an Autumn wedding. Image via. 

A hot chocolate bar

If you saw my post on DIY wedding stations, you'll know that I'm a  big fan of pop-up *anything* bars at weddings. I love how they can get your guests talking to each other, and where better to get to know one another than around some steaming hot chocolates with marshmallows. If you can think of a more cosy wedding idea then I would love to know (also if you are a fan of the hygge trend, you'll love this hygge wedding ideas blog post).

 Painted pumpkins add a touch of sophistication to an Autumn trend.  Image via

Painted pumpkins add a touch of sophistication to an Autumn trend. Image via

painted Pumpkins

So I know I said I was anti-cliché, but there are ways to include pumpkins in your wedding without being cheesy. Spray paint them in mixed metallics and cream colours to bring a classy touch to an Autumn staple. Spray painted pumpkins can be used as table decor, or even just dotted around your venue to bring a little seasonal charm into your big day. 

I hope these ideas help you in your quest for a stylish nod to Autumn in your wedding. Do you have any other Autumnal wedding ideas to share with me? Let me know in the comments. 

Marble and Rose Wedding Ideas

Business, Videos, Styled ShootsBethComment
MARBLE AND ROSE GOLD .jpg

Hi wedding pals, you're in for a real treat this week courtesy of our marble and rose gold collection (which has been super popular recently). Marble and rose gold pieces are the perfect addition to a modern wedding theme, especially with our snazzy geometric design detailing. We've even created a fancy video for you to see each piece individually and visualise how they'd look on your big day!

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marble invitation 5.jpg
table plan

 

 

Not quite your style? Check out our guide to The Holographic Trend

How to Marble Paper for Wedding Decor

Wedding DIYsRachel WaringComment

Are you a DIY wedding QUEEN? If so, this marbled paper tutorial by the clever clogs at FTD is just for you. Perfect for wedding stationery, gifts, cards and decorations, marbling paper is also really fun to make - win win. You could even use this alongside our bridesmaids proposal box tutorial to jazz up the gift tag, or for bonus wedding memories, set up a marbled paper station at your hen party and teach your bridesmaids how to do it too. You will not only impress everyone with your skills, but also more hands make lighter work for you (and what else is a bride squad for right?!).

how to marble paper materials

How to marble papeR

Materials:

  • Baking sheet

  • Shaving cream (must be foam not gel)

  • Watercolours and acrylic paint

  • Cardstock

  • Paint brush

  • Dropper

  • Scraper (paint scraper, ruler or any flat edge)

Step 1: Fill the baking sheet with shaving cream.

how to marble paper step 1

Step 2: Smooth out the surface of the shaving cream.

how to marble paper step 2

Step 3: Add in two to three colours with a dropper.

how to marble paper step 3

Step 4: Swirl the colors in a figure 8 pattern.

how to marble paper step 4

Step 5: Lightly press the cardstock into the shaving cream.

how to marble paper step 5

Step 6: Remove and scrape off the extra shaving cream.

how to marble paper step 6

Step 7: Let dry and use for wedding decor

how to marble paper final
how to marble paper inspiration

5 Tips For Buying Your Wedding Makeup

Bridal Beauty, Bridal PartyBethComment
5 TIPS for buying your wedding makeup.jpg

Ready to go makeup shopping for your wedding, but feeling paralysed with too many decisions? How do you know what colours or formulas are right for you and your skin type? Never fear, Beth is back again today to share some of her bridal beauty wisdom with you, which should help you complete your wedding makeup shopping list with ease. 

If you're an avid reader of the blog, you'll have seen my tips for natural bridal makeup on a budget, if not you should definitely check it out. What I didn't mention in that post, because it would have been far too long if I did, was how to pick the best products for you when you go wedding makeup shopping. That's what I'm here to do today, so you're welcome.

1. How to pick your perfect Eyebrow shade

If you're anything like me, your makeup just doesn't feel complete without a gorgeous strong brow. However, there's a difference between a strong brow and one that looks slightly over the top, which I've definitely been guilty of in the past. To avoid this, live by this simple rule: 'eyebrows should be two shades lighter than dark hair and two shades darker than light hair.' But hey, if you like a dramatic look, go for whichever you like the best, after all, makeup is art!

2. How to find the right Foundation shade

Whenever you go into a shop and look for a foundation, your first instinct is to gravitate towards the testers, which is great. Where most people go wrong is by testing the foundation colour on their hand or wrist. This is pretty much the WORST place to test your foundation, as your hands get completely different exposure to the sun than your face does. Instead, dab a tiny amount of product onto your jawline, that way you can test that the foundation matches both your face and neck. 

 

3. How to find the best Foundation fORMULA

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So you're shopping for foundation and think that you've found the perfect one, great! Before you buy, make sure to take a sample and test it out and make sure it doesn't oxidise before hand, to cut out extra expense, and avoid an orange face on your big day. If you're buying from a fancy shop, they may even give you a tester in a container so you can try the foundation out for a few days (Debenhams is the Queen of samples.)  

 

4. How to find the best EYESHADOW SHADE for you

makeup for brown eyes

To make your eyes pop on your big day, depending on your eye colour, there are certain eyeshadow colours that are a must to include in your look. 

  • Brown eyes - Any eyeshadow shades that are purple, or have purple/blue undertones are perfect to make your eyes pop. Bronze shades are also an option, but the effect is slightly less noticeable than when using the purple. 
  • Blue eyes - Any yellow based gold or bronze eyeshadow shades are going to make your eyes look vibrant and even more beautiful. 
  • Hazel/green eyes - Anything with a red undertone is the perfect addition to a look for people who hazel or green eyes. To make this wearable for your wedding day, try a warm toned pink or orange shade.
  • Grey eyes - Icy blue shades are perfect to compliment this unique eye colour, as well as hints of silver or white.

 

If these eyeshadow looks are a bit too dramatic to fit with your desired look for your big day, try adding them into the inner corner of your eye for a tiny pop of colour, or a bright waterline eyeliner.

 

5. tRY A MAKEOVER FROM A PROFESSIONAL

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If you're completely baffled by all of the different makeup you're being faced with, I'd definitely recommend talking to one of the makeup artists in store and telling them about your desired look. They will help you find the products that will suit you the best, and show you how to create the look yourself. This is a great alternative to paying for a makeup artist to do your makeup on the day, but just remember to take a voice recording or video when the artist is explaining how to use the products, for future reference. Boots or Mac are definitely the best places to head if this is something you're looking to do, depending on your budget. 

Thanks Beth for your sharing your beauty knowledge with us again. If you liked this post, we'd love it if you could share it with your friends, that's the best way to let us know what you'd like to see more of on the blog. 

8 Binge Worthy Wedding YouTube Channels

Wedding Planning Advice, VideosRachel WaringComment
 Ready for our countdown of the best, must subscribe wedding related YouTube channels?

Ready for our countdown of the best, must subscribe wedding related YouTube channels?

Engaged and looking for as much wedding inspiration (or wedspo) as you can get your hands on? I know how you feel because I was the SAME (still am because we all know I love weddings). That's why I thought I would help you out today and give you my list of the best wedding related YouTube channels - I've done the hunting for you friends, so you can just sit back and binge-watch to your hearts content. So without further ado, here's my list of the best wedding related channels on YouTube. 

BRIDES 

If you are a sucker for a proposal video, Brides on YouTube is for you! They have a whole collection of tear jerkers, along with wedding tips, real wedding inspiration, marriage advice from married couples, and beauty tips. This channel is a must have in your sub box for all things Wedding, especially because their bite size videos are easy to watch, even with a busy wedding planning schedule.

 Image via their amazing   'Love Without Boarders'   series 

Image via their amazing 'Love Without Boarders' series 

Bride De Force

Created by sisters Hannah and Fleur, Bride De Force is a treasure trove of wedding inspiration, DIY tutorials, styling tips and real wedding videos. The channel seems to be on a hiatus at the moment, but that doesn't stop you bingeing their back catalogue for all the juicy wedding tips. Their 'best of Pinterest' videos are a goldmine for ideas, and their super chatty and friendly format makes for easy viewing. 

Bespoke bride

These lovely ladies pride themselves on really fun daily videos such as DIY'S, how to's and styling videos. Each one is, again, super short, so easy to watch, yet super super informative (they have great background music too.) This channel in particular is great if you're looking for some general wedding inspo, as the content is so varied, that you'll definitely find some inspiration from Bespoke Bride

 Image via  this blog post

Image via this blog post

The SORRY GIRLS

Although not strictly a wedding channel, (don't hate me) The Sorry Girls is full of useful DIY content that can be adapted for use in your wedding. They do have content specifically about weddings though, but some of my favourite videos are their dollar store challenges, because who doesn't love a bargain? These girls are super down to earth and funny too, so they're perfect for binge watching. 

 Image via  this video

Image via this video

sophie hannah richardson

This colourful haired beauty has recently got married, and her wedding content is some of THE best. Sophie Hannah's wedding day tips is one of my favourite videos, and I especially enjoy her vlogs on a weekly basis too. She also quoted us as one of her favourite Instagram accounts on her blog recently, making her even more of a babe.

 Image via   this blog post    Images by   Jess Soper

Image via this blog post  Images by Jess Soper

PEN WEDDINGS

This channel is the literal Queen of beautifully edited masterpieces, and each one is unique to the wedding they're showing. Pen Weddings feature weddings with all different kinds of themes, locations and general atmospheres, so they're great for helping you pick the kind of day you want to create. They're also super heart warming and lovely. Definitely worth a watch.

 Image by   Pen Weddings     via

Rachel emma studio

Yes, that's right, us! We have a Youtube channel (Rachel Emma Studio) with weekly content just for you lovely lot. Not only do we have wedding content such as how to make a bridesmaid's proposal box, but we have beauty tips too. We've also recently branched out into weekly vlogging (slightly daunting, but we're loving it) so you can check out the weekly running in the studio, you might even see your order being made. 

best wedding channels on YouTube.jpg

I hope that gives you plenty of inspiration for your days of being engaged, if you have any more suggestions for us then leave a comment below, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly vlogs and plenty of wedding inspo. 

DIY Pre-Wedding Hair Masks

Bridal Beauty, Bridal Party, Wedding DIYs, VideosBethComment
natural pre-wedding HAIR MASKS.jpg

Whether your hair is already wedding ready, or if you think it needs a little bit of help, these three super affordable hair masks will be a great addition to your wedding prep. They're also super quick and easy to make, trust me, I know how time consuming wedding planning can be, I've got you. 


Coconut oil hair mask

  • Mix together two tablespoons of coconut oil with a tablespoon of honey and mix together. The end result should be a syrup-like texture.
  • Apply generously root to tip on towel dried hair. 
  • Leave on the hair for up to an hour, and wash out with shampoo thoroughly.
  • Condition and style the hair as usual. 
  • This mask is to be used once a week for the best results. 


Lemon juICE hair mask

  • Squeeze a large lemon into a bowl and add a splash of apple cider vinegar (not too much, or this can really dry out the hair).
  • Start by adding one tablespoon of honey and mixing it in.
  • Gradually add up to 4 tablespoons of honey into the mixture, until the texture is syrup like - a hair mask that is too runny won't stay on your hair. 
  • Wait 20 minutes and then wash out your hair with a generous lather of shampoo.
  • Condition and style the hair as usual.
  • This mask can be used once every two weeks for the best results.


Conditioner hair mask

  • The cheapest way to get a moisture boost to your hair is to use a cheap conditioner all over your hair.
  • For best results, leave this overnight (but make sure to use a shower cap or towel so you don't ruin your pillow).
  • Wash out in the morning using shampoo (I'd recommend washing it twice).
  • Condition (again, yes) and style as normal.
  • This mask can be used once a week for the best results.

 

And that's that - some lovely natural (and cheap!) ways to care for your hair and get it in tip top shape before your wedding day. Enjoy your pampering evenings... 

What to Pack in your Wedding Day Bag

Bridal Beauty, Bridal PartyBethComment
What to pack in your wedding bag.jpg

Beth's back again this week with some more super organised wedding tips for you. Wondering what you should pack in your wedding bag as your survival kit for the big day? Read on friends, I bet there's some here that you hadn't thought of yet... 

Not sure what to pack in your wedding handbag? If you're anything like me, then you'll want to feel prepared for every eventuality on your big day, so I'm here to help. Here's my tips to create the perfect Wedding survival kit, with everything you could ever need to keep looking your tip top best. I've even ordered them into handy categories, so you can prioritise depending on your wedding venue, season and bag size. I'm great, I know. 

 Our favourite option for wedding clutches are  Suede & Co  - they are so gorgeous and handmade, you can even have them monogrammed. If you like the matching paper flower posies you can find those  here. 

Our favourite option for wedding clutches are Suede & Co - they are so gorgeous and handmade, you can even have them monogrammed. If you like the matching paper flower posies you can find those here. 

Wedding Bag Necessities

  • Plasters. One of the most important pieces of your survival kit, even if you've opted for a flat shoe. New shoes can be a right pain, (and who has time to wear them in amidst planning a wedding?) Plus taking your shoes off can be a nightmare if you have a floor length dress that can easily get dirty. So trust me on this one pals, remember your plasters. 
  • Paracetamol is another absolute must to avoid shoe pain throughout the day, these might also be useful for the day after your wedding, if you partied a little too hard (we've all been there.)
  • Perfume Samples are a great way of smelling great throughout the day without having to carry a huge bottle around, or trying to hide it somewhere in the venue. Most of the time, these can be picked up for free from cosmetic shops, but you can buy larger samples that are really inexpensive online. Just make sure all of your samples are of the same fragrance. 

WEDDING Makeup Necessities

  • Lip colour. Although you'll have already followed my 5 Hacks for Natural Bridal Makeup, there are some extra things you can carry to touch up. The most important of these being Lip Colour. I always recommend to either use your own lip colour when getting your makeup done, or buying the colour off your artist, so you can touch up easily throughout the day. This is especially vital if you are having a large meal, or you're wearing a particularly bold lip colour.
  • Blotting Sheets To keep your skin matte all day, blotting Sheets are very handy. They're compact (around the size of a debit card), can be used on all skin tones and don't leave you looking powdery. All they do is remove the excess oil, and leave you looking amazing. Alternatively, if you have a dry skin, you can get highlight sheets, that will glow up the skin throughout the day. 
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WEDDING Hair necessities

  • Hair Pins. If you've prepared your hair for your wedding using my Haircare Dos and Don'ts  you'll be all set for the day, without having to do too much maintenance. However, if you've decided to go for an up-do, then having some spare hair pins in your bag is a great idea. A handy storage tip for these would be to secure them together using a tiny hair elastic, no one wants hair pins all over the bottom of their bag.
  • Hair Spray. For any hair-do that needs to stay in place all day, hair spray is a must. You can buy teeny tiny little bottles that fit in your bag, and are extremely inexpensive, win win. A great tip for hairspray is to spray your hair pins before you use them, wait until they feel tacky and then use them in the hair. It makes them hold the hair in place for way longer. 

Extra things to keep on hand

  • Spare Shoes. So, if you have a larger Wedding bag, or some of the options above aren't relevant to you, and you have some extra bag space, a great idea is to have some spare shoes. Okay, hear me out, those foldable ballet flats are a literal LIFESAVER when it comes to sore feet, you can get them personalised too, so would be a great addition to your Bridesmaids proposal box.
  • Tissues are an added extra that would come in handy, there's definitely going to be someone tearing up during the day. 
  •  A Compact mirror is also not a bad idea, as you can discreetly check your hair and makeup is holding up, without having to dash off to the bathroom every time. It's also a sneaky way to check there's no food in your teeth.
 More beautiful metallic leather clutches from  Suede & Co  - fun fact, Rachel had a Suede & Co bag for her own wedding. 

More beautiful metallic leather clutches from Suede & Co - fun fact, Rachel had a Suede & Co bag for her own wedding. 

I really hope this helps you pack your wedding survival kit, and that it serves you well during your wedding day. Now it's your turn, what would you pack in your wedding bag? Let us know in the comments. 

Small Workspace Inspiration - How I Keep My Studio Organised

Videos, BusinessRachelComment
Workspace inspiration.jpg

I have had my fair share of different workspaces. Kitchen tables, co-working desks, top of the stairs hideaways, full spare room studios, and of course my old favourite - the living room floor. Through all of these different working environments I've definitely learned a few things about keeping my supplies organised (even if I'm not naturally one of the neatest of people). Today I thought I'd share a bit of that process with you, so you can see where I work and get a bit of workspace inspo for yourself. 

The mad rush before a styled shoot can definitely take it's toll on my usually nicely organised studio and packing room, as you can see from this video. I definitely find it so much nicer to work in a neat space, and during a busy wedding season, we need to know where everything is quickly so we can keep up the pace of orders that you lovely lot have been ordering recently. The trouble is that I'm also a very messy worker, so it is quite the conundrum. Luckily I have lots of organised storage space, so that helps keep things a bit more manageable. 

SMALL WORKSPACE ORGANISATION TIPS:

- Keep the things that you use regularly within easy reach, and then use storage boxes to organise anything else. 

- Make sure everything has a place where it usually lives. An obvious one, but one that often gets forgotten. When things have a home, they're less likely to end up all over the place.

- Organise things in categories. Keep similar things together and you'll always remember where things are. 

- Clear storage bins are a life saver. You can see everything you need at a glance without having to go through everything and make even more of a mess. 

- Create a habit of tidying at the same time every day so that you can keep on top of everything. This is definitely some advice that I need to follow more! 

- Make your workspace inspiring. Put pictures up, choose fancy storage boxes, get a fun chair - if your environment is inspiring to you then it will motivate you to keep it looking its best. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my workspace, if you'd like to see more of these behind the scenes type posts then let me know in the comments :) 

8 Tips for Surviving your Wedding Day as an Introvert

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
How to survive your wedding as an introvert.jpg

If you're an introvert like me, you might be thinking about being centre of attention for a whole day at your wedding and feeling a twinge of dread. It's so exciting to have everyone you love all in one room, but they're all going to be looking at YOU - arghhhhh! 

Never fear my fellow inward pals, I've got your back with this fool proof guide to surviving your wedding day as an introvert. 

1. Consider having a smaller wedding. 

If the idea of a room full of hundreds of people just really isn't your bag, then don't feel pressured to have a big wedding. Smaller, more intimate weddings have some huge plus points - you can spend more money per head for one, meaning you could really pull the stops out on an amazing experience for each guest.

2. Choose guests that lift you up.

For our wedding, we knew that we wanted to invite lots of friends - so that meant there was less room for the distant relatives that we had some outside pressure to invite. Make a rule - if you haven't seen or spoken to them in over a year, they don't get an invite. Seems harsh, but if you are prone to social anxiety it's made a whole lot easier if you limit the guest list to people you REALLY want to be there. 

Shy persons guide to weddings.jpeg

3. Wear something that makes you feel like you. 

If that's a big white wedding dress, great. If it's a sparkly trouser suit, amazing! If it's jeans and converse, go for it. Standing up in front of everyone feels a lot easier if you're wearing something you feel brilliantly "you" in. 

4. Build in some introvert time throughout the day.

If you are an introvert, you get your energy from being on your own or in very small groups, so build in opportunities to recharge your batteries throughout the day. Make sure you schedule in 15 minutes here or there, to share a glass of bubbly with your partner and soak it all in - you'll be able to keep going for longer that way. 

5. Have a practice/engagement shoot with your photographer.

I know I know, having your photo taken isn't exactly a shy persons dream, but trust me, a practice session with your photographer before your wedding will make you feel so much more at ease. You'll be able to get to know them so you're more comfortable around the camera, and they'll be able to give you tips to make you feel and look more relaxed. 

weddings and social anxiety.jpeg

6. Do the legal ceremony on your own. 

If the ceremony is the bit that's making you feel stressed beyond belief, then why not skip it, or at least modify it. You can get married just the two of you and two witnesses, and then on the day either write your own more chilled ceremony, or skip it completely and go straight to celebrating - it's your marriage and you get to decide how to start it. 

7. Consider a First Look

If it's that moment of walking down the aisle that fills you with a sense of impending doom, then why not have a first look? You can share that intimate moment with your partner instead of in front of loads of people, and then everything feels less pressured.

8. Make your wedding suit your personality 

Such a biggie, and probably my most important tip. If the whole day feels like you, then you won't feel so self conscious. Also, if you create a day that really reflects you both and your love story, you'll be so excited on the day and feel so at home that your nerves should fall away. Try to be present, remember that everyone on the day loves you, and remember what it's all about - you marrying your best friend.
 

If you'd like some help to make your wedding suit you, I have the best free resource for you! My 5 Step Guide to an Extraordinary Wedding is totally free, and takes you through the first steps you should take to make your wedding ooze personality. Get the guide here. 

DIY Bridesmaids Proposal Box

Bridal Party, VideosRachel WaringComment
Bridesmaid proposal DIY.jpg

"Will you be my bridesmaid?" is a question not to be taken lightly. There's actually quite a lot asked of the bridal party these days, so when you pop the question to your pals why not make them feel super special while you're at it? 

This DIY is perfect if you want to pull out all the stops and turn your bridesmaids proposal into a lovely surprise gift and love note all in one? You'll also win some major brownie points ready for the time you ask them to try on a million dresses, or you need an emergency ribbon shopping buddy (it happens). 

YOU WILL NEED: 

- A small box with a bit of depth to it (around 3" or so)

- Box filling

- Small gifts like nail varnish, face masks etc. 

- Luggage Tags

- A bridesmaid proposal card 

- Nice pens or brush lettering tools

- Scissors

- Ribbon

- Paper flower corsage (optional, but a lovely finishing touch).

Bridesmaids proposal box DIY.JPG

STEP ONE: Write your notes

Using your luggage tags, write out your proposal in sections (Love Actually note card style). You'll be stringing your luggage tags together on to the ribbon, so as you gal pals pull the ribbon the proposal is revealed gradually. 

Watch the video for a quick tutorial on brush lettering these, but if that's not your thing you can just write it out in normal pen, I won't judge. 

Once you've written them, string them all on to your ribbon and tie a knot in the end so they don't fall off. Then don't forget to write your final love note on the main proposal card too. 

STEP TWO: Fill the box

Bulk out the bottom of the box with the filling (I used a holographic foil curtain which I cut up into pieces). Then fill the box with little personal gifts like nail varnishes, face masks, candles, photos, gin etc. Make sure the gifts suit the person you're asking - this DIY could be adapted to asking anyone in the bridal party, and we're also obviously huge proponents of mixed gender bridal gangs too. The sky's the limit with the proposal box friends, the sky is the limit. 

STEP THREE: FINISHING TOUCHES

Once you've filled the box and covered the contents over with a bit more box filling to increase the suspense even further, close it all up and finish with a personalised tag and a ribbon. 

For ultimate fancy pants status, why not tie a paper flower corsage around it? Your bridesmaids will be able to wear them on the day, and it will be a nice little reminder of the moment you popped the question. 

What do you think, would your bride squad approve? What would you put in your proposal box? 

What happens when you hire a wedding designer?

Wedding Planning Advice, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
 Photo by  Rebecca Emily

Photo by Rebecca Emily

Do you feel like your bridal brain is bursting at the seams with information about different wedding suppliers? There are wedding planners, stylists, designers and consultants, and that's just the tip of the iceberg - how do you know what they do and which one you need? 

As a wedding designer, I know sometimes it's hard to know what to expect from our services, because every wedding is different (as they should be) and often our work is completely bespoke. So today I thought I'd take you through my process as a wedding designer, step by step, so you know exactly what to expect when you hire me. 

 Photo by  Rebecca Emily

Photo by Rebecca Emily

STEP ONE - THE WEDDING QUESTIONNAIRE 

You've decided that you're interested in my work (awww thanks!) so you made it on to my design services page. On that page, you find a snazzy questionnaire, and who doesn't love a survey - it takes you back to your cosmo girl days. 

You fill out the questionnaire with all of your hopes and dreams for your wedding, including any of the details you might like me to design and make for you. There's even some exciting options like an on the day styling service - have someone else set everything up on the big morning while you sip champagne with your bridesmaids? YES PLEASE! 

STEP TWO - THE CONSULTATION

In the questionnaire of dreams, you have the option to book a free consultation with me to chat all about your wedding in detail. If you are local (Derbyshire, UK) then you can come and visit us in the studio for some bucks fizz, or if you are further afield we can talk on the phone or over Skype. Don't let the geography bother you though, we work on weddings all over the world.

During your consultation we go over any specific ideas you have, and I come up with design ideas to fit your big day. We chat prices up front, because I don't like cost surprises (only nice surprises allowed around here!). 

 Photo by  Rebecca Emily

Photo by Rebecca Emily

STEP THREE - THE QUOTE

You leave your consultation full of wedding glee, and I come up with your bespoke quote based on all of your amazing ideas. I send the quote over to you, and you get to pick and choose the exact things you want to move forward with. It's like choosing options off a super fun wedding menu, and you only pay for the services you actually want, instead of paying a blanket fee. 

STEP FOUR - THE WORK BEGINS

Work for me that is, not for you. I squirrel away behind the scenes making, sourcing and sprucing, to get all of your wedding details ready for you. You sit back and enjoy being engaged, knowing that everything is taken care of, and you feel super clever to have saved yourself loads of shopping and DIY nightmares. 

 Photo by Jason Williams

Photo by Jason Williams

STEP FIVE - YOUR WEDDING DAY

Today's the day! If you opted for my on the day styling service, I'm there up a ladder at your venue (my natural habitat) setting everything up. If not, you've already had your exciting wedding parcel arrive in the post in plenty of time - so you (or your army of family helpers) set everything up at your leisure.

THE AFTER PARTY

Your wedding day is over (cry!) but your guests won't stop talking about it. Everything was so beautiful, and so "YOU" - they couldn't have imagined a day more suited to you both and your cool sense of style. You jet off on your honeymoon with zero wedding regrets, and feel safe in the knowledge that you definitely won at weddings. 

 Photo by  Rebecca Emily

Photo by Rebecca Emily


Pretty great right? If that sounds like fun to you, you can start off your journey and fill in the questionnaire here

Haircare Dos and Don'ts Before Your Wedding

Bridal BeautyBethComment
wedding hair care.jpg

Beth's back today with another dose of wedding beauty wisdom - this time she's teaching us all about some dos and don'ts for wedding hair care. If your hair is looking a bit tired and in need of some TLC in the lead up to your wedding, this post is for you! I've definitely learned some tips I'll be adding into my own routine. 

Haircare products can be difficult to navigate when there's hundreds promising to work wonders, at the best of times. But during your wedding, it's just a pain! Whether your hair is on tip top form ready for your wedding, or you'd like a boost, I've picked the most helpful do's and don'ts for you to take a look at. 

Do cut your hair every 6 weeks.

In the run up to your wedding, cutting your hair every 6 weeks is the best way to keep split ends at bay, as well as keeping it at your preferred length of course. I'd recommend doing this in 6 months leading up to your wedding, but this can be altered depending on your budget and preference. 

Don't wash your hair every day.

Okay, I get it, there's nothing better than freshly washed hair, but washing it too often can strip the hair of natural oils that it needs to grow and be really strong. Plus, if your hair's natural oils are washed away each day, this will cause your hair to produce more, so on the odd days you don't wash it every day, you'll notice a lot of oil that isn't normally there! This is especially important if you have dyed hair or naturally dry hair.

Do only use heat tools on your hair a maximum of 3 times a week.

This is super important if you want silky looking hair, and you should adopt this into your daily life, not just in the run up to your wedding. This has been proven to lessen split ends, as well as helping your hair to grow faster. I know this can be tricky, but taking healthier steps really does make a difference. If your wedding is just around the corner, or 2 years away, I challenge you to start letting your hair dry naturally from now until your big day, and I promise you will see a huge difference. Use a hair oil to tame any frizz after your hair is dry.

Don't use clarifying shampoo as your main shampoo.

Don't get me wrong, these shampoos are amazing once a week to deep cleanse your hair and get rid of all the products you've used. However, this product is again guilty of stripping the natural oils from your hair, even if you use it once every three days. I've been guilty of using these a little too often in the past, and as a result my hair felt like straw! Please, just don't do it. 

Do use only helpful products.

That might sound a little confusing, but take a look at all your haircare products, how many of them actually do what they say they do? Do you even know what they're all for? Me neither! Using too many products on your hair can clog up the follicle, especially nearer to the root, and cause greasy hair. Instead, stick to a maximum of 5 products (excluding your conditioner and shampoo).

The staple products to invest in are:

Other than these products, anything else you need for your hair, you can make yourself for a much more affordable price, and with less of the chemicals, than those already on the high street. We have a video coming up soon to help you with this, so keep your eyes on our YouTube Channel

Don't use dry shampoo.

A huge no-no building up to any special occasion is using anything that's going to dull the natural shine of your hair. Aerosol dry shampoo's are the main culprit of this, as well as being bad for the environment. My alternative is to use a tiny amount of baby powder, and massage it into your scalp. Lush also do an amazing dry shampoo that comes loose rather than in an aerosol.  These are also way less drying, and more natural ways to get that quick fix.

hair care blog pic.jpeg

Do wash your hair with cold water.

There's nothing worse than dying your hair a fab bright colour and then it fading after a few washes. The best way to keep the colour vibrant is to wash it in cold water. However, this isn't great as a long term hack, as you need warm water to ensure your hair is washed properly. But this would be great if you had your hair dyed a few days before your wedding, and you wanted to keep the freshly dyed awesomeness. This is especially useful for all my pastel queens out there! 

Don't wash your hair the day of your wedding.

As nice as freshly washed hair is, it's a nightmare to work with. This is because your hair is free of oils, which would naturally weigh your hair down and make it hold styles more easily, but without, it's more fluffy and unpredictable. Don't worry, your hair won't be oily, it will just have a little more natural texture to work with, without having to use lots and lots of products to achieve it. 

Do try a silk pillowcase if you're prone to split ends.

This will create less friction as you turn in your sleep, which will then stop the damage to your hair. These pillowcases are also much better for your skin too, so if you're looking to splurge a little, then this is a great way to look after your hair even when you're asleep.

 

Thanks Beth! Great tips for general life, not just for weddings, don't you think? I wish all of you your very best hair days this week.