Rachel Emma Studio | Wedding Decorations, Stationery and Gifts

Wedding Styling, Paper Goods, Party Supplies

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. 

 

10 Alternative Bridesmaid Bouquet Ideas

Bridal Party, Wedding Styling TipsBethComment
Alternative bridesmaids bouquets.jpg

There are so many different options when it comes down to choosing your Bridesmaids bouquets, it can be really daunting. For those of us who like something a little different though, it can be almost impossible, especially if you have a specific vision in mind, but stereotypical roses and peonies just don’t fit the mould. I’ve narrowed down my favourite Bridesmaid bouquet alternatives for you and I’ve even split them up into handy categories to help you decide. 

holo bouquet.jpg

Holographic Bouquet

Probably the most fun item in our shop, this holographic bouquet option is really unique. Perfect if you’re having a modern wedding with lots of sparkly iridescent goodness, this would be a great way to include a (somewhat) subtle sparkle to your big day if your theme doesn’t really allow for it elsewhere. My favourite thing about this bouquet (and any of our bouquets for that matter) is that they’re forever flowers, so they can be easily reused after your wedding as a home decor piece, to always keep you reminded of your wedding day/ that time you were a bridesmaid.

Bridal bouquet
Alternative bridesmaid boquet
Wedding flowers

Paper flowers

These paper bouquets are, once again, from the shop and each can be customised to fit with your theme. They’re a great alternative to fresh flowers as they’re extremely durable, which is great if you have younger bridesmaids, and you don’t have to worry about keeping them alive pre-wedding, which is always handy. The colourful paper flowers (first picture) are super vibrant, so are perfect for summer weddings. Our copper flowers (second picture) are very popular and bang on trend, and we have matching buttonholes. Finally our blush pink peonies (third picture) are a newer design to the shop, and are perfect for weddings with more of a muted tonal vibe. To find out more about how we can design some custom flowers to fit your theme, check out our design services page.

copper wedding
corsages

Corsages

Again made out of durable crepe paper, our corsages are the a great alternative to bridesmaid bouquets, as they’re hassle free and you’re definitely not going to misplace them. This can be a godsend if you have younger, adventurous, bridesmaids, and also means your gals can lend a hand manoeuvring your dress down the aisle without having a bouquet to worry about. The corsages are super comfortable too, as it’s fastened on to your wrist with a super silky ribbon. We offer a copper corsage (first picture) for a metallic edge to your bridesmaids' attire, or a blush pink corsage (second picture), complete with greenery. Both of which can also be customised.

bridesmaid wand

Wands

If you’re having younger bridesmaids or flower girls, another adorable alternative to a bouquet is a wand. We have a particularly jazzy holographic star wand in our shop, but if you’d prefer something a little more subtle, we can make you one in any colour you’d like, just get in touch.

flower girl basket.jpg

Flower Girl Basket

Sticking with a younger bridesmaid, if you’d prefer to be slightly more traditional (you never know) then you’d love these gorgeous flower girl baskets from Bubble and Berry on Etsy, they even come with the flowers! Such a bargain. This would be a lovely idea for a summer wedding.

pearl bouquet.jpg

Peal Bouquet

If you’re having a more classic look for your wedding, this pearl bouquet from Duck Barn Florals on Etsy would be perfect for you. I also love how the pearls look exactly like baby's breath flowers. Again, with all forever flowers, these are also environmentally friendly and generally cost effective, as you can use them as a home decor piece after your wedding, or even repurpose them as someone’s ‘something borrowed’.

wooden bouquet.jpg

Wooden Bouquet

For something completely unique, this wood and faux leather bouquet from Beaubuttons on Etsy is great, they also come in lots of different sizes, so bridesmaids of different ages could have a suitable bouquet, which I love. I can definitely see this bouquet being featured in a rustic wedding, or an outdoor wedding, as the wood is the perfect way to include nature in every aspect of your big day.

wreath.jpg

Wreaths

A huge upcoming trend is bridesmaid wreaths. These wreaths from Lotus Floral Art on Etsy are definitely a statement piece for your bridesmaids, but also look really elegant, and are easily held while walking behind you down the aisle. These are also made with dried flowers, so can last for a few years if you correctly care for them, which is definitely an added bonus. The best thing about Etsy is how many different designs you can find, so definitely shop around and find what best suits your budget and theme.

pom pom bouquet.jpg

Pom Pom Bouquet

These pom pom bouquets from Sheep Farm Felt are one of my personal favourites because I love how cute and delicate they look. They’re also completely custom, which is amazing, because who doesn’t want to be able to have exactly what they want? Personally, I think these would go great in a really colourful wedding if you chose some bright yellow, blue, green, red and orange stems. Me being the pastel lover I am, would also love some of these in a grey, mint and white combination. Love a versatile product!

clay bouquet.jpg

Clay Bouquet

These gorgeous polymer clay bouquets from Flowerskartasheva are definitely another pretty impressive alternative to fresh flowers. They last a very long time too! I’d definitely only suggest these flowers for an indoor wedding though, unless you’re a risk taker, or certain it won’t rain. Polymer clay doesn’t react well to water, and you definitely don’t want your flowers to melt into a gloopy mess on your wedding day! That aside, the clay creates a beautiful finish to the flowers, and definitely isn’t something you’ll see at many other weddings.

Have some more ideas for alternatives to bridesmaid bouquets? Comment them below, I’d love to hear your ideas.

DIY Wedding Manicure Hacks on a Budget

Bridal BeautyBethComment
DIY wedding manicure on a budget.jpg

As well as being a social media QUEEN, Beth (my new team member) is also a total beauty pro. SRSLY, I've learned so much from her already. And she always has the best nails - so today I asked her to share her top tips with you for getting a perfect DIY wedding manicure on a budget. There are some total bargains in here, and some great advice on nail care, so enjoy!

Have you decided on your wedding nails yet? Manicures can get expensive, especially if you want all the trimmings (which of course we do). I have tried and tested lost of different nail products just for you, to help you get the perfect DIY manicure for your wedding. Here are my favourites and how to use them...

Nail Care

Wedding Manicure
wedding manicure
nail polish 4 copy.jpg

1. Makeup Gallery Cuticle Oil

2. Makeup Gallery Nail Hardener

3. Cuticle Pusher (I, again, got mine from Pound Land, but it's not available on the website, but this amazon alternative is pretty much identical.

4. Nail File (sadly not the same that's on mine, but the product functions the same - try your local Pound Land store to see what they have in stock)

The first step to beautiful nails is to take care of them! Although this is slightly time consuming, the outcome is definitely worth it. So here's what to do: apply a generous amount of cuticle oil around the cuticle of your nail and on the nail surface each day (I do this before bed for optimum results). Believe it or not, I've found the best cuticle oil is the one from Poundland (see picture 1), but an even cheaper alternative is to use coconut oil, which is also amazing. 

The second step, which is especially important if you have brittle nails, is to use a nail hardener. This will make it super easy for you to grow your nails long and strong, without worrying about them snapping. I'd advise to only use this once a month, just to make sure your nails don't get too hard, otherwise that will also make them snap easily. It's a happy medium you're after. My favourite product for this is again from Poundland - what a bargain! 

The third step is cuticle care, which can be painful if done wrong, so please be careful, and avoid cuticle nippers - they're the reason cuticle care gets a bad rap. Instead, I prefer to use a cuticle pusher to gently remove any excess cuticle, which will make your manicure last way longer, as well as making them generally look neater. I'd also suggest a good slather of cuticle oil before doing any cuticle work, just to make it easier to remove/tidy.

The fourth and last step of nail care is to file your nails. Before we even start this segment, I need to stress the importance of only using a nail file on the edges of your nails - never buff your nails with a file. If you do this, your nails will become really brittle and un-do all the work we've just done! Instead, file the tip of the nail gently and only one way, so not to disrupt the grain of the nail, which will then lead to breakage. 

Top and Base Coats

Nail polish 11jpg

5. Revlon Ultimate Shine Top Coat

6. Maybelline Gel Effect Top Coat

7. Collection Matte Top Coat

8. Boots Base Coat  (Available in Boots Stores only)

Just like I stressed the importance of priming your face before makeup in my natural beauty blog post, priming your nails is super important. This will stop your nails turning yellow, as well as making your manicure last twice as long! My favourite is Boots' own brand base coat, because it's super thin and dries really quickly. This can be hard to find though, so a dupe for this would be Barry M's base coat.

Top coats are also super important, not only do they leave your nails glossy and smooth, but they add an extra layer of protection and make your manicure last longer. One of my favourite tricks for a long lasting manicure is to add a new layer of top coat every few days, I've managed to make my nail polish last up to two weeks by doing this, so definitely worth a try. My favourite picks are featured in the 5th picture. 

Another really fun top coat option would be a matte top coat, which is bang on trend, and generally just a really cool effect. I especially like making glitter polishes matte, as it gives such a unique look. Be careful with matt polishes though, they do tend to take a little while to dry in comparison with 'normal' top coats, so make sure to leave them for a full 20 minutes.

Most of all, avoid two in one top and base coats AT ALL COSTS, these are such a waste of money (in my opinion, if they work for you then that's great). 

Colour Polishes

bridal beauty
bridesmaids nails
Nail polish 9 copy.jpg
Nail polish 14 copy.jpg

9. Shade Pink Sherbet - Pound Land

10. Seventeen - Shade White Lady

11. Shade Bambino Blue - Pound Land (in store only)

12. Shade Lavender Cream - Pound Land 

13. Shade Mint Milkshake - Pound Land (in stores only)

14. Shade Pink Soda 8 - Pound Land (in stores only)

15.  Rimmel - Shade Green Dragon

16. Maybelline - I Love This Sweater

17. Shade Latte - Pound Land

18. W7 - Shade Matte Sludge

19.  Shade Lunar Haze - Collection (in stores only)

On to nail polish colours (yay). There are so many different types and textures of coloured nail polish, so I've included a huge selection for you. So first, a classic french manicure is perfect for a more traditional wedding, my favourite products for creating this look are listed above. However, for you brides to be that prefer something a little more daring, here are some other fun options for you...

Pastel colours are perfect for weddings, you can even match them to your bouquet or buttonholes. My favourite pastel colours are once again from Poundland, and yes, they are super cheap, but they're also really pigmented and apply really smoothly, they're definitely one of my holy grail products, I own every single colour they have to offer. Rimmel also have a gorgeous mint green which is linked above.

Nude colours are great if you're having a super minimalistic or rustic wedding, as they create the 'barely there' effect. Of course you could also create this with a simple clear coat, but nude colours create an overall more polished (no pun intended) look. There are so many different nude shades on the market, so definitely to in store to see which best matches your skin tone. My favourites that match me are featured in the links above.

Matte polishes are, again, great to create a unique look on your wedding day. If you'd prefer just one bottle rather than having to buy a matte top coat too, then w7's matte collection is fabulous, Barry M also have a great selection of Matte colours.

Iridescent barely there colours such as Collection's Lunar haze are great for creating a more natural look. These can be worn on the nail with just a base coat to create a sheer effect, or over the top of a similar shade to create an iridescent sheen (I do this a lot, and it looks amazing).

Glitter Polishes

nail polish 8 copy.jpg

20. W7 - Shade Multi Dazzle

21. Essence - Shade Crashed The Party?!

22. Shade Silver Treasure 34 - Pound Land (in stores only)

23. W7 - Shade Cosmic Mauve

24. Rimmel - Shade Disco Diva

25. Rimmel - Shade Disco Ball

Everyone loves glitter, and this is the perfect, way to include glitter in your big day without being over the top. These glitter polishes vary in price, but are all really affordable. Each one can either be worn over a coloured polish as a finishing touch or by itself for a subtle sparkle. If you want to wear just the glitter polish, but don't want a sheer coverage, try using a latex free makeup sponge and applying the polish to the sponge and then dab it onto your nail. The sponge will absorb the liquid part of the polish, leaving you with just the glitter, that you can build up to create your desired look. Make sure to use a thick topcoat if you're using this technique, otherwise the glitter will flake off your nail really easily. 

Extras

 http://www.stonesgotstyle.com/2013/11/

http://www.stonesgotstyle.com/2013/11/

26. Liquid Latex

27. Elegant Touch Nail Polish Drying Spray

If you find painting your nails tricky, I have the perfect solution for you - liquid latex. Paint a small barrier around your nail with the liquid latex and let it dry completely. Then, paint your nails as normal (I recommend no more than 3 strokes of the brush, otherwise the polish will go thinner in some places and thicker in others). As soon as you've painted your nails, peel the liquid latex barrier off, while the nails are still wet, and you will reveal perfectly neat nail polish. It can take a few attempts at getting the liquid latex right up to the edge of the nail, so keep practising, and check out some youtube tutorials on the best methods. 

So, now your nails are wet, but you're a busy person and have stuff to do. I have a solution. Nail drying sprays are great as a quick fix if you've done your nails in a rush, or always smudge them, no matter how hard you try not to. However, these sprays only dry the very top layer of your polish, so make sure you're still careful not to smudge them. This definitely isn't a trick to do just before you put your dress on!

Follow these tips and create gorgeous wedding nails that last all day and make everyone wonder which salon you went to. If you have any questions, be sure to comment below and I'll do my best to answer them for you. 

6 Unique and Fun Wedding Food Ideas

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
Fun and quirky wedding food ideas.jpg

Let's be honest, we all have a love/hate relationship with wedding food. Sometimes it can be really really good, and sometimes people just get it wrong. Hours and hours waiting around at your table just to be served the tiniest portion of dry chicken? No THANKS. While there are obviously lots of ways to get a traditional sit down wedding breakfast right, today I'm sharing some fun alternatives for you for a more chilled wedding vibe. 

 Pizza oven weddings are the best!  Image via.

Pizza oven weddings are the best! Image via.

PIZZA OVEN

Who doesn't love pizza? A pizza oven is a great novelty talking point at a wedding, and it's a very low maintenance option too - no cutlery needed am-I-RIIIGHT?! Unless you're one of those weird people that eats pizza with cutlery, and if so I don't know what to say to you. 

 Homemade barbecue sauce is a must for a garden wedding right? Image via.

Homemade barbecue sauce is a must for a garden wedding right? Image via.

A wedding Barbecue 

A BBQ can be a great, low cost option for a wedding, and brings a fun summer vibe along with it. Some points to consider: don't forget your veggie friends; be sure to get plenty of sides and salads to make it interesting; and get plenty of biodegradable plates and cutlery to avoid plastic waste. My advice would be not to DIY this, as tempting as it might be. Bring in a professional BBQ caterer to take care of it all for you - it might cost a bit more money, but you'll be glad of it when they take away all the mess with them at the end. 

 Food trucks will make you super popular with your wedding guests -  image via

Food trucks will make you super popular with your wedding guests - image via

Food Trucks 

Nothing brings a festival vibe to your wedding quite like a food truck. You could have proper pies, fish and chips, ice cream, pulled pork (if you want to be super hipster), or my how about my personal favourite, halloumi fries?! There are so many great street food options to choose from, and the best thing is that your guests can go up and grab their food whenever they want, which gets rid of that hungry waiting time all together. 

 

 Who doesn't love a potluck?  image via.

Who doesn't love a potluck? image via.

A potluck wedding

For those not familiar with the mighty potluck, it basically means that everyone brings a dish and adds it to the wedding buffet. This can be a controversial option, because some people don't like the idea of asking their guests to bring their own food to a wedding, but if you are on a tight budget it can be an amazing money saver. I also think it's really fun, because people can get quite competitive with their culinary skills and you get to compare amateur chefs. One thing to watch out for though is that you don't get loads of the same thing, you'll need to get a spreadsheet going and get people to give you an idea of what they're bringing in advance. 

 Picnics are a great idea for relaxed outdoor weddings -  image via. 

Picnics are a great idea for relaxed outdoor weddings - image via. 

A BIG PICNIC

A picnic can be a lovely option, especially if you want to bring a bit more of a relaxed vibe to your big day. Picnics are also super pretty to look at, which is a bonus for your wedding decor! Some top picnic tips: warn your guests before hand in your invitations so that they can plan their outfits accordingly, and be sure to include plenty of chairs for people who don't want to/can't sit on the floor (i.e Granny). 

 A homemade burger bar?! Yes please! -  image via.  

A homemade burger bar?! Yes please! - image via. 

DIY FOOD STATIONS

Food stations are a huge trend in weddings this year, and I can see why, there are so many fun possibilities! Build a burger, pimp your prosecco, taco stands, cocktail mixing.... there are plenty of ways to get this trend into your wedding - the most successful ideas include some sort of DIY element to get your guests involved and break the ice. We recently published a blog post with some inspiration on DIY stations for your wedding, so if you're looking for more inspo then look no further! 

 

What do you think, have I convinced you on any of these? Did I miss any out? For more fun ideas, tips and inspiration, why not join my mailing list - that's where I keep all my best pals up to date with my latest wedding goss. 

How to Include the Holographic Trend in your Wedding

Wedding Themes, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
holographic wedding ideas.jpg

It's no secret that holographic weddings are my fave, but it can be a pesky trend to get right. That's why I thought I'd share some ideas today for ways to get some of that HOLO LIFE into your big day. 

holographic wedding decor.jpg

TASSEL GARLANDS

Everyone loves a tassel garland right?! You can pick these up all over Etsy, like this one from Party Pieces Co in a beautiful iridescent rainbow of colours. My favourite places to use a tassel garland are things like drinks carts, cake/dessert areas, or even as part of a wedding arch. 

flower girl holographic.jpg

Wedding Wands

If you have tiny flower girls, these star wands are a way cooler option than flowers (am I riiighhhtt?) - just imagine them waving them around while they walk down the aisle, you'll be the most popular betrothed couple ever. These are available in our shop, and you can choose the option of cake topper or wand. And hey there's no rules, if you want to use these for your grown-up bridesmaids too, I won't judge!

 

Glitter station wedding.jpg

GLITTER STATION

We talked about our love of glitter stations in our last post, and they are yet again relevant here (when are they not?). The best way to get holographic vibes all over your wedding is to get your guests covered in it. Bespoke Bride has a great DIY to make your own glitter station here.

 

holographic shoes wedding.jpg

SHOES

I mean..... these shoes!! If you prefer to be a bit more subtle with your trends, then a pop of holo shoe under your dress is perfect. 

 

Not+Another+Pantone+Colour+of+The+Year+Ultra+Violet+Wedding+Shoot.jpeg

CAKE TOPPERS

Our holographic leaves cake topper is a solid favourite, but how about the iridescent arrow? This newbie was first seen in The Un-Wedding's UV Wedding Shoot (which I highly recommend you peruse, the photos by Jason Williams are so dreamy.) The arrow is not available on the website yet, but it's coming soooooon. 

 

holographic save the date 6.jpg

WEDDING STATIONERY

My secret fave, the holographic Save the Dates are the best surprise in an envelope for your guests. They are simple and to the point, perfect for the minimalist with a bit of sass. How much more detail do you need anyway when they are so shiny? Get your own set personalised here

 

So what do you think? Would you try out some holo love in your big day? I hope so! 

DIY Ideas for Pop-up Stations at Your Wedding

Wedding Styling TipsBethComment
DIY wedding bars.jpg

Wedding decorations can be tricky, especially if you have a very particular theme to stick to (we’ve all been there!) One of my favourite decorative, yet practical and very fun, ideas is to make a pop-up station for your wedding. These are so versatile and lovely, so you’ll definitely be able to find something to suit your theme and budget. Here are a few of my favourites to give you some inspiration for your very own DIY pop-up station.

 

Pop-up wedding confetti bar station

Confetti Bar

Arguably the most practical in this list, these are a lovely idea to add some colour to your wedding, as well as being extremely handy if your guests have forgotten to bring their own. This is also particularly useful if you only want a certain colour or texture of confetti in your wedding, or your venue only allows biodegradable confetti. Personally, I also really enjoy the social element of this station, as guests who may not know each other can bond while filling their own confetti cone. We have a blog post on how to create a confetti bar, as well as a video, so definitely check those out too.

 

 Image via  Rock My Wedding

Image via Rock My Wedding

Pimp Your Prosecco Bar

 A wedding wouldn’t be complete without the embarrassing speeches and toasts, why not make your alcohol of choice customisable too? This obviously isn’t limited to prosecco (although it is definitely a fab option). One of the most fun parts about having a DIY prosecco bar, is you can stay on theme by picking glasses, paper straws or cocktail stirrers in your preferred colours or patterns. Different cordials are great to add to your prosecco (we’ve also heard a dash of gin is great).  

 

glitter mermaid pop-up wedding bar station

Glitter Bar

If you love glitter, which I’m pretty certain you do if you’re reading this, then you’ll love the DIY glitter bar. This is the perfect opportunity to socialise with your guests and have a lot of fun while doing so. Who doesn’t want to see their Granddad sporting full Coachella-eqsue glitter design? This idea is fully customisable with types and colours of glitter to fit with your theme, so it’s a really way to decorate, and all while being budget friendly. What’s not to love?

 

 Image via food heaven mag

Image via food heaven mag

Doughnut Bar

A huge wedding trend recently is to have these majestic looking doughnut bars in their wedding. This is perfect decoration for a wedding, as your guests can nibble on the doughnuts as and when they get peckish! The doughnuts themselves can also be easily DIY’ed by buying plain ones, and decorating them using colourful icing to match your wedding theme. If you’re feeling particularly brave, and don’t mind a bit of mess, why not let your guests decorate their own using tubes of icing? Either way, this is a yummy way to decorate your wedding.

 

Pop-up popcorn wedding bar station

Popcorn Bar

Everyone loves a sweet treat, this DIY station takes full advantage of that, with a twist on the classic pick and mix bar (which could also be a great option for your wedding). This is a fully customisable option for a station at your wedding, as you can have lots of different toppings for your guests to choose from, and have custom boxes created to match your theme. A great way to create these custom popcorn boxes is to use these templates from Etsy. 

If you would like custom signs for your DIY pop-up wedding stations, head to our shop and we can make one especially for you.

 

5 Hacks for Natural Bridal Makeup on a Budget

Bridal BeautyBeth1 Comment

Makeup shopping can be daunting at the best of times, with endless powders and sprays promising to work miracles, but choosing your wedding makeup seems almost impossible. You  need it to be long lasting, budget friendly, look good in your wedding photographs, and be suited to your skin tone and skin type. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, my brand new team member Beth is a super fancy expert on all things beauty, so I’ve asked her to start a bridal beauty series here on the blog. Don’t say we don’t spoil you!

For the first part in her beauty series, she’s created 5 budget friendly hacks to create the perfect natural bridal makeup look.

1. Prime your face to create the perfect base

A primer is essential if you want your makeup to last through your wedding. There are loads of different types of primers, but the most common (and most effective in my opinion) are sprays, creams and gels. Your choice in primer is completely up to personal preference, but a spray or cream definitely works better for a dry skin type, whereas a gel or silicone based primer is best used to minimise the appearance of pores. Here are my favourites to keep your makeup looking beautiful all day:

 

bridal makeup.png

Barry M Flawless Hydro Fix Primer Water - Putting the ridiculously long name aside, this primer is easy to use, it’s as simple as spritzing all over your face and letting it dry. This particular primer is extremely hydrating, so it’s great for dry skin, but for those with oily skin, this can still be used, just skip moisturizer and go straight to the priming stage.

 

Budget Weddings.jpg

Maybelline SuperStay Primer - This is a silicone based primer, so works great for filling in the appearance of large pores. The slightly watery gel texture makes application with a brush or sponge quick and simple. Alternatively, you could use your hands, but this might be a little more messy. It’s extremely long lasting, and doesn’t crease throughout the day, so it’s perfect for dancing the night away at your wedding. Due to the gel texture, this primer is geared towards a normal/combination skin type, but could work for all skin types.

 

hacks for makeup.jpg

Rimmel Match Perfection Fix & Perfect Primer -  This is one of my favourite budget primers, without a doubt. It applies like a moisturiser and creates a smooth base for foundation, as well as lasting all day and keeping oily skin at bay. I find this is great in the summer too, as it helps to stop my makeup melting off my face.

2. Glow with the help of highlighter

A major part of natural makeup is having a healthy glow, especially on your wedding day. Highlighter is an extremely versatile product, and can create an extremely dramatic, or extremely subtle effect. Highlighters come in a stick, powder, cream or liquid format, and it’s completely down to personal preference, although creams and sticks tend to be the most natural. My top picks for budget friendly highlighters are:

 

natural makeup.jpeg

Natural Collection Highlighter Stick - This highlighter stick is really creamy and glides on to the skin easily, as well as blending really nicely. They offer three shades, so there’s something to suit all skin tones and the coverage is definitely buildable. Application is a breeze too, just glide the stick over your cheekbones, tip of the nose, brow bone and tip of the chin, then gently tap with your fingers until you’re happy.

 

makeup hacks.jpg

Revolution Strobe Highlighter - If you’re after an extremely subtle highlighter, with more of a glow than a shimmer, then this is perfect for you. They also offer an array of shades to suit your preference. You can add some setting spray onto your brush and apply this product wet too, if you’d prefer a slightly more dramatic look, so it’s definitely versatile.

 

Makeup on a budget.jpg

MUA Strobe and Glow Highlight Kit - This kit is pretty unique, it has both a cream and a powder highlighter included, which can be used separately for a more natural appearance, or use the cream first and top it up with the powder, to create a more dramatic look. The texture is more shimmery than glowy, but looks beautiful when it catches the light. There are two shades available, but both shades would work on every skin tone.

3. Loose setting powder for a natural finish

Instead of using a pressed powder on your wedding day, opt for a loose setting powder, which gives you the matte finish of a pressed powder, but without the danger of your makeup looking cakey. It’s important to stay away from any loose powder that is white, instead of a light pink, as these powders have a tendency to flash back in photographs, which you definitely don’t want on your wedding day. Here’s a few of my favourite loose powders that don’t have flashback:

 

natural bride.jpg

Rimmel London Match Perfection Silky Loose Powder - Due to the pink tone of this powder, and its sheer nature, it’s suitable for all skin types, as it doesn’t add pigment to the face, it just sets the product already on there. The pink shade also means there won’t be any flashback in your wedding photographs. It’s good for all skin types as it doesn’t cling to dry patches, but keeps oil at bay.

 

natural bridal makeup.jpeg

No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder - This powder, unlike the rest, is available in 4 shades, so it should suit the majority of skin tones, and will add some pigment onto the skin. The powder is also finely milled, so can be applied with a brush or a sponge, depending on what you prefer. Overall, the powder is long lasting, so you won’t need to touch-up very often either, making it the perfect choice for your wedding.

 

natural makeup hacks.jpg

ARTDECO Fixing Powder Box - This powder, again, has a light pink colour, so it’s perfect for all skin tones, and won’t produce flashback in your wedding photographs. It’s also a dupe for Laura Mercier’s translucent setting powder, and is half the price, so this really is a great powder.

4. Set your face makeup with setting spray

Setting spray is the final step to ensure your makeup lasts all day, plus the majority of setting sprays add a gorgeous glowy appearance to the skin, so what’s not to love? If you have dry skin, you could use a setting spray instead of using lots of heavy powder to set the skin, or if you wanted a really natural finish in general. The best setting sprays to use if you’re on a tight budget are:

 

Budget Bridal Makeup.png

Technic Setting Spray - As the name suggests, this setting spray is pretty simple, it sets the face without leaving a matte or glowy appearance to the skin, so your skin will look extremely natural. The product is also 100% vegan, which is amazing! If you didn’t think this product could get any better, it does, it also has a subtle, yet lovely, scent. The spray itself comes out in a fine mist too, so your makeup won’t get ruined as the spray is applied, which is always good!

 

Wedding Hacks.jpg

W7 Setting Spray - This spray is the happy medium between a matte setting spray, and a glowy setting spray. This means it’s perfect for all skin types!  It comes out in a fine mist, so your makeup remains intact, and dries it almost instantly.

 

Natural wedding makeup.jpg

Revolution Pro Supreme Hold Finishing Spray - Once again, this spray produces a fine mist that won’t disrupt your makeup underneath. Once the spray is applied, the powder will blend into the foundation, leaving your skin looking flawless and set for the entire day. This spray is also a dupe for Mac’s Fix Plus setting spray, which is double the price.

 

5. White eyeliner to make the eyes look bigger

A really useful hack when creating a natural makeup look, is to use a white pencil eyeliner on the waterline, rather than using a black pencil, which can make the eyes appear smaller. This is specifically useful for bridal looks, as the white eyeliner will compliment a more neutral shimmery eyeshadow look perfectly. This hack is mainly for the waterline, but feel free to experiment with the lash line and tightline to create your preferred look. My favourite eyeliners to create this look with are:

 

weddings

MUA Intense Colour Eyeliner - This eyeliner has an extremely smooth application, without tugging on the waterline, and the pigment easily transfers from the pencil. The pencil is extremely pigmented, and long lasting, so very few touch ups will be needed, which is essential on your wedding day. A unique point to this pencil, is that there is a sharpener in the lid, making the occasional touch up even easier.

 

wedding makeup

Rimmel Soft Khol Eye Pencil - This eyeliner pencil is really pigmented, and lasts all day without smudging or running. The application is mess free and quick, as the pencil is really creamy and smooth.

 

budget wedding makeup

Barry M Khol Pencil - Once again, this pencil is extremely long lasting and creamy to apply, without making a mess. You also get a lot of product for the price, and the thin pencil allows for a precise application, as well as being able to be kept with you on your big day, as it can easily fit into a clutch bag, or one of your bridesmaids can look after it for you.

 

So good right?! I’m definitely normally a straight to foundation girl and then get annoyed when it all slips off my face, so I’ll totally be checking some of these products out for myself - thanks Beth! If you have any questions or requests for future posts in the beauty series just leave us a comment/wave at us on instagram.

10 Tips to Make your Wedding More Ethical

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel Waring1 Comment
Tips for an ethical wedding.jpg

If you're reading this, I'm pretty sure you’re a big hearted soul who cares about the world and your impact on it. You try to live as ethically as you can, so why shouldn’t your wedding reflect those lovely values of yours? 

There are loads of ways to bring a bit of conscience into your wedding, and most of them end up saving you some money and faff too - extra bonus! 

photo-1512607746014-99e087010b23.jpeg


1. Check your suppliers for ethical standards. 

The best way you can make sure you have an ethical wedding is to work with ethical suppliers. In your checklist of questions you ask suppliers, male a point of asking them about their process and sustainability policy. For example, do they make everything in house with sustainable materials? Do they treat their staff well? Do they make a bigger impact in the world by pairing with causes they believe in? These are all ways to give back while hiring someone for your wedding. 


2. Ditch the plastic crap - buy stuff you’ll want to keep. 

We’ve all seen those tiny plastic champagne bottle bubbles as favours.... do you really need them? Aside from the fact they look naff, most of them will end up in landfill - along with all those disposable cameras that seemed like such a fun idea at the time. My advice? If you want favours for your table, skip the extra stuff you’re adding just for the sake of it, and instead go for thoughtful things people will actually want to keep. This goes for anything else you buy for the wedding, try to think about where it will end up afterwards, if the answer is “in the bin” try and give it some more thought. 

Wild_Fawn_Jewellery_IMG_6859.jpg

3. Go for ethical jewellery 

There are some amazing designers that use fair trade and recycled gold and silver in their jewellery. Going for ethical jewellery means you know that everyone involved in making it has been treated fairly - what’s not to like? Wild Fawn has some beautiful designs, especially if you like a delicate minimalistic style for your jewellery. 

4. Upcycle as much as possible 

Think about ways you can buy things second hand, whether that’s going for a vintage wedding dress, or scouring boot sales for furniture to decorate your wedding tipi. The bonus of this is you’ll get a really cool eclectic look for your wedding, and save money too - win win!  

5. Support small local businesses 

Your wedding is the perfect opportunity to support local small businesses. Your business means the world to small biz owners, and buy buying something local you are helping them live their dream! Buying local also means you know that there are no horrible sweatshops involved, and everyone who had a hand in your lovely wedding thing has been treated like they should be. 

6. Choose an ethical venue. 

Be sure to ask plenty of questions on your venue visits. What's their sustainability policy? Do they recycle? Do they work with ethical suppliers? Working with a venue that's focused on sustainability is one of the most important first steps in having an ethical wedding. 

pink menu 1.jpg

7. Is your stationery sustainable? 

Check with your stationery designer if they use FSC-certified paper, which means it's approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. Making sure your supplies are FSC-certified means you can have beautiful invitations with confidence that the paper is not damaging our forests in the process. Pssst, the paper I use is always FSC certified. 

8. Donations to charity instead of gifts or favours 

Do you have a cause you're passionate about supporting? Why not ask for donations to charity in place of your wedding gifts, or you can even substitute favours for a small donation on behalf of your guests. Don't forget to leave a little card on the tables though letting them know - it spreads warm and fuzzies, AND raises more awareness for your charity in the process. 

nathan-dumlao-297911-unsplash.jpg

9. Hire furniture instead of buying 

Anything you can hire instead of buying is always a great shout. Logistically it helps you not be left with piles of stuff that may end up in a skip, and it can also save you money too!

10. Make your food veggie /vegan  

This can be a touchy subject in some families, but especially if you are veggie/vegan yourself, it makes perfect sense to bring those values into your entire wedding, not just an option. Think of it as a chance to allow your meat preferring guests to try something new, or if not, use caterers that supply organic, ethically sourced meat. Another great idea is to donate your leftovers through apps like Olio, so nothing goes to waste. 

Did you like these tips? I hope this gives you some ideas, but there are loads more ways to be ethical and sustainable while also having the best time ever on your big day! My best advice is just to stay informed, ask questions of your suppliers and most importantly stay true to your values. That's pretty good advice for life anyway right? 
 

Tips for Attending a Wedding Fair

Wedding Planning Advice, Events + FairsRachel Waring1 Comment
Tips for attending wedding fairs

As wedding season is officially upon us, lots of you might be attending wedding fairs in your local area to get ideas and suppliers for your big day. There are definitely ways to get the most out of your visit to a wedding fair, and there are also some mistakes to avoid, so today I'm sharing my six best tips with you so you can get the most out of your trip. 

1. Look up the exhibitors before you go

Most good wedding fairs will have a directory of exhibitors on their website. Make sure you check this out before you go, so you know who to look out for on your way round!

2. Go with ideas

The more specific you are about what you are looking for, the more likely you are to find it. While it is also good to keep an open mind incase you find something you would never thought of before, having a rough idea of the kind of suppliers you want to find will help you fight overwhelm on the day. 

3. Don't take ALL of the leaflets 

Wedding fairs can be a little bit of a paper overload, and you might find leaflets being handed to you at every turn. What's the point in accepting leaflets that you are only going to throw in the bin because you're not interested in them? My tip is to be selective about the leaflets you take - this helps you manage your options when you get home, and also saves paper - win win. 

4. Chat with the suppliers you like the look of

Don't be shy! I know that wedding fairs can sometimes get a bad rep because people feel pressured by pushy/salesy vendors, but the good ones aren't like that. Most good suppliers just love weddings and people, so feel free to chat to them and ask questions, they are not out there to swindle you. 

5. Leave your email address

If you really like the look of a supplier, join their mailing list so they can follow up with you afterwards. This is the best way to make sure you get to work with the people you like, and often they might have deals for people they met on the day.

6. When you get back....

On the same evening, go through all of the leaflets, business cards and pictures you took, and write notes on anything you liked the look of or ideas you had. Also remember to follow the suppliers you liked on social media, because believe me if you leave this task until later you will most likely forget all about them! 

I hope this was useful, if you are off to a wedding fair anytime soon then have fun, and don't forget to grab a cocktail while you're there - you're celebrating after all. 

Amethyst Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Styling TipsRachel Waring1 Comment
Amethyst.jpg

from top left: 1// 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

I'm not gonna lie, I have always been a fan of crystals. I love them around the house, in jewellery, and I think I especially love them as part of a lovely wedding theme! Amethyst and other crystals are a big trend in 2018, and are a big YES in my book. 

There are so many ways to bring a bit of amethyst goodness into your wedding design, whether it's using dusty lilac hues for your bridesmaids dresses, or using the actual crystals as part of your table decor. If you are an amethyst fan like I am, I've put together some ideas for how you can incorporate this trend into your own wedding. 

ac677f06af0edbb8c9e4f555eecf439d.jpg

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES 

Bridesmaids dresses can be a great way to incorporate your wedding colours into the day, especially if you go for a few different shades so it's not too overwhelming. I love the gorgeous amethyst inspired tones in these bridesmaids dresses, paired with the floaty fabric - total winners. 

b135afd9f9f062419909cff73c881c37.jpg
Cocktail amethyst.jpg

Themed cocktails

Cocktails are always fun (obvs) but they are extra fun if you tie them into your wedding theme. Why not give your cocktails appropriate names? Bonus points that it makes them sound extra fancy. Your guests remember little details like that, and it really helps to bring the whole wedding together cohesively. If you'd like details like this geode shaped cocktail menu made for your wedding, you might want to have a look at my styling services - I can design something similar for you!

445856da52b9bb83b48de42d5654385e.jpg

GEODE CAKES

I am OBSESSED with geode cakes! Clever cake makers are turning crystallised sugar into these works of art, and not only are they beautiful and modern looking, they would be perfect for an amethyst themed wedding. I especially love this design with the edible gold detailing, too perfect to eat right??

6cfec87630fa2e597ddb5766e3a5f50d.jpg
dd9786c595e3b102a61a8403795e2198.jpg

TABLESCAPES

Your tablescape is the best place to bring your theme to life at a wedding in some ways, because it's often where your guests will be spending a good portion of the day sitting on one place where they can really soak up the atmosphere you've made for them. Bring in those dusty purple hues again, and you can even add real crystal details like geode place cards to finish it all off. 

 

What are your thoughts on an amethyst wedding theme? Are you convinced? 

8 Apps to Make Wedding Planning Easier

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel Waring1 Comment
Best wedding planning apps.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I love a good life hack. I am all about finding ways to make wedding planning easier, less stressful, and more organised, so hopefully this round up of super handy wedding planning apps will appeal to you as much as it did to me! I am seriously kicking myself that I didn’t find some of these while planning our wedding. But I’m passing on the time saving to you instead - you’re welcome!

best wedding planning apps.jpg

1. Pinterest

I almost didn’t include good old Pinterest because it almost seems too obvious, but then I thought - what if someone out there isn’t using it, and therefore isn’t experiencing its brilliance?? So here we are. Pinterest is probably the number one resource for wedding inspiration. You can set up your own wedding pin board, invite your partner, bridal party or family to it (if you want), and use it as your online hub for your wedding inspo. I even use Pinterest as a search engine even over Google, because the results tend to be higher quality and more relevant to me. It comes with a set of challenges: comparison and inspiration fatigue being some of them, but really you can’t beat Pinterest for the ability to find amazing ideas and collect them all in one place.

Cost: Free

TOP TIP: Read my blog post on how to avoid pinterest fatigue to really maximise your use of the app.

2. Trello

I can’t imagine my life without Trello. Well I can, but in that imagined life I am much less organised! Trello is a task management app, which can be utilised amazingly to plan your wedding. You can write and organise lists, set due dates, add attachments, and generally use it to keep track of all of your wedding related tasks.

Cost: Free

TOP TIP: I love Trello so much that I even made a video that shows you how to use it for wedding planning, which you can watch here.

apps to make wedding planning easier.jpg

3. Postable

Does collecting all of your guests addresses for their invitations fill you with absolute dread? Postable is the answer for you! This amazing free app acts as an online address book. You get a custom link which you send by email to your guests, they then click through and add their details, and that’s it. You can even export the addresses to excel, so if you love a good spreadsheet then that’s an extra win for you.

Cost: Free

4. Top Table Planner

One of the most stressful and down right annoying tasks while planning your wedding is arranging the seating plan. With all the politics involved in where people are going to sit, there is inevitably a lot of swapping and changing involved, it’s like a big game of human tetris! Top Table Planner is a great drag and drop tool, which helps you to visualise your seating plan and rearrange to your heart’s content. It is slightly pricey for the full version at approx $20, but you can use the free trial if you don’t need to save the plan - which is great for just planning it out.

Cost $20 (approx £14) but with a free no sign-up trial.

8 best wedding planning apps.jpg

5. Wedpics

A super easy way to collect all of your guests photos from your big day in one place. Gone are the days of having to individually chase everyone up for photos when you get back from honeymoon - with Wedpics, you can direct your guests to download the free app, and they can even add their pictures to it on the day while they’re waiting for their meal. You can also now add videos - which is an exciting development and a great way to experience the day again through your guests eyes.

Cost: Free (with premium upgrades available)

6. Etsy

The number one handmade marketplace, Etsy is a one-stop shop for everything you need for a beautiful wedding. From personalised favours, gifts for your bridesmaids, to even wedding dresses (fun fact, I got my wedding dress from Etsy!) - the range really is limitless. Also, bonus points for supporting handmade businesses, and helping creative people live their dreams - isn’t that a lovely feeling?

Cost: Free

apps for wedding planning.jpg

7. Appy Couple

This app seems to top all of the wedding app charts. The ultimate hub for all of your wedding planning needs, Appy Couple allows you to create a wedding website for your guests, collect RSVPs, manage timelines, collect your photos and loads more. You can keep all of your information handy in one place, and your guests can even book their travel through the app! It’s not cheap, but this is one of those ones that I WISH had been available when I was engaged, it really looks like the bee’s knees of planning apps.

Cost: £45

8. Pantone Studio

Colour pallets are one of the first things people think about when planning a wedding - especially as there are increasingly less weddings with just one colour as a theme (thank goodness!). This app by colour masters Pantone allows you to test out colour pallets, extract colour matches from photos on your phone, and find complementary colours - all very useful tools when you are designing the look of your wedding.

TOP TIP: if you are still deciding on your wedding theme, I have the PERFECT blog post for you - there’s a workbook and everything.

apps to plan your wedding.jpg

I hope that was useful for you happy couples out there! Don’t forget, I have a host of my own handy planning resources to help you with wedding overwhelm, and they are all completely FREE. You can sign up for the instant downloads here.

Nailing Hen Do Planning – Top Tips from Away With The Girls

Bridal Party, Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
How to plan a hen do.jpg

Planning a hen can be a little daunting, as well as ridiculously exciting! Are you in the midst of hen planning overwhelm? I’ve spoken with Away With The Girls founder Paige, who has kindly shared her top tips to make sure the hen party is perfect for your best bride-to-be pal. I'm planning a hen myself this year, so I'm definitely pocketing some of these tips! 


Away With The Girls know how to plan hen parties. We know what women want and throw
them a hen party to remember! It certainly seems that the expectation of a hen party has
evolved over the last few years – we expect and want MORE! It’s about saying goodbye to L
plates and matching school girl outfits… and HELLO to sophistication and being different!
Here are our top tips to planning that awesome hen party! Planning is key, so follow these
tips and tricks and thank us later.

away with the girls_friends.jpg


Think about the bride

At the end of the day, this hen party is for her! Everything should be planned with the bride-
to-be in mind. What type of character is she? Ensure activities/locations compliment her
personality. What are her favourite sweets/drinks – these small touches are lovely personal
gestures to highlight through the hen party. Tailor the location, activities, and accessories to
her personal taste. Ask her if she has a loose idea on when she’d like to have her hen party,
and what she previously has liked/disliked about other hen parties she’s been on. This will
be really useful insight that will help you get on the right track from the beginning.

Save The Date – Easy Scheduling

So you’ve made your Bride Squad guest list, and are thinking ‘wow… that’s a lot of
people…this is going to be tricky’. Fear not! There are so many tools to help you pin
everyone down to communicate on one of the most important things: the date! We’d
recommend Doodle for finding out everyone’s availability. Simply create suggested date
options, and Doodle will send this polling calendar that can be sent to the group for
feedback. It’s visually easy to see which dates received the most votes, and therefore how
many people can/can’t attend. 

Once that’s done, head over to Facebook to create a hen group, or even a WhatsApp group
so you can easily send messages/give updates to the group as and when you need to! Trust
us – it’s so much easier than sending individual messages to everyone.

away with the girls_dates.jpg

Budget Brigade

Deciding on a budget at the earliest opportunity is always a wise idea. Be realistic! The
reality is if you want to go abroad for a hen weekend, it’s always going to be more expensive
than having a day hen party in the city for example. Consider what is more important for the
bride... Having a hen party abroad, or making sure as many people as possible can attend?
Once that’s decided, you want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to pay you
their instalments. Aside from online banking being super easy these days, there’s also some
great apps out there that make it even easier – hooray! PayM is a great app that allows you
to pay someone by providing the contact’s name and mobile phone number. The app has
partnered with 15 UK banks so the chances are everyone can use it.
If you’re hen party is abroad and you are dealing with foreign suppliers for activities, always
ask from the get go what their payment method is. If it’s bank transfer for example, take
into account there will be overseas transfer fees, so make sure you include that in your per
person charge so you’re not left with the bill!

away with the girls_diary.jpg

It’s in the detail

Microsoft Excel will probably become your new best friend. Use spreadsheets to keep track
of locations you have in mind and even important pieces of information such as guests’
dietary requirements. Tab the hell out that excel spreadsheet girl! If you’re relying on taxis,
save the local taxi numbers to your phone so you don’t have to worry about that on the day.
You can even take a guestbook to the hen party and ask everyone to write a special
message so the bride-to- be can enjoy reading through everyone’s messages after the event.

Final Countdown

Two weeks before the big event, spread the word to the group reminding them of times,
locations, etc. If there’s anything they need to bring, this is a good time to remind them. For
example, it may be that you’re doing an active activity so need to bring trainers, or you may
be going to a pool party and want everyone to wear black. Now is the time to spread the
word on those details!

away with the girls_planning.jpg

Break the Ice

It’s often the case that the entire hen party group won’t know everyone already, so it’s a
fantastic idea to kickstart the hen party with an ice breaker activity! You can do this in many
ways…. Ask everyone at the start to write down their best memory of themselves and the
bride-to- be (you can get cute cards on websites like Etsy) and this allows everyone to share their story and introduce themselves. Stories will often be hilarious, and probably happened
when they had one or two G&Ts, so it will no doubt get people giggling and be a great
conversation-starter!

Enjoy, Don’t Stress

Lastly, and most importantly… enjoy! It’s so important you also enjoy the hen party that
you’ve planned for the bride-to- be. Let your hair down, and don’t worry – all your planning
will have paid off. You may have found yourself becoming Monica Geller throughout the
planning process – which is totally acceptable – but by the time the hen party arrives, make
sure you relax and celebrate the results of your hard work! Create memories and capture
the moment with pictures/videos so you can reminisce with everyone after the event. It’s a
lovely way to round off the event and thank people for coming!

 

To find out more about Away With The Girls, visit our website or follow us on Instagram and Facebook @awaywiththegirls

What to Include in Your Wedding Invitations (The No-Fluff Guide)

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel Waring1 Comment
What to include in your wedding invitations.jpg

If you hadn't already guessed, I’m not really the formal type, and neither are my wedding stationery designs. A lot of the information out there on what to put on your wedding stationery is all about “etiquette”, and I don’t know about you but I find traditions and etiquette in weddings a tiny bit eye-roll worthy. Do what you like I say, as long as you make sure you have the info you need to get your guests to your wedding. So that’s what this guide is for, a no-fluff guide to your wedding stationery, so you can choose what’s right for you.


Things to think about before you start:

  • What style would you like your invitations to be in? Be sure to look at the stationery designers past work as that can often be a good starting place for your own custom design.

  • How formal would you like the invitations to be? Are you a “cordially invited” or a “YAY WE’RE GETTING MARRIED” type of couple? This is an important thing to decide right from the off because it will affect the tone of your entire stationery suite.

  • How many individual cards will you need? Would you like a simple one and done kind of invite? Or a full set with details, gifts and info cards? If you have a wedding website that’s a great way to free up some real estate on your paper invites.

  • How will you be collecting your RSVPs? This can be done paperlessly through a wedding website or by email, or you can go for the route of having RSVP cards with return envelopes. Completely up to you and your budget!

marble invitation 7.jpg

And now, here are some of the things typically included in your wedding invitations:

MAIN INVITATION CARD:

This is the who, the what and the where - the essential details, and can include:

  • Your names (obviously)

  • The date of the big day

  • The time your guests will be expected to arrive for your ceremony

  • Your parents names (if they are hosting or you want to go down the traditional route)

  • The ceremony location

  • The reception location (if different)

  • “Carriages” or a less formal way of saying finishing time.

EXTRA INFO CARDS:

You can have as many of these as you need to get any of other information across to your guests. Do keep in mind though that the more extra information cards you have the more your invitations will cost. Things that can be included on an extra info card:

  • Directions to the venue

  • Accommodation

  • Gift list

  • Whether or not children are invited

  • Dress code (this is only really needed if you have a dress code that’s out of the ordinary for weddings - eg. do they need wellies??)

  • Local taxi numbers

  • Wedding website address

  • Anything else you feel like it’s important for your guests to know beforehand

RSVP CARDS

If you are collecting RSVPs by post, you’ll need a seperate RSVP card with a matching envelope for your guests to send back to you. Things often included on RSVP cards are:

  • A space for the names of your guests

  • Check boxes to say either yes or no (or a more fun way of phrasing those!)

  • Dietary requirements

  • Song requests (these are becoming more and more popular!)

  • The return address for them to send it back to you

  • A RSVP by date

Constellation wedding.jpg

Of course, everybody's weddings are different (as they should be!) so you should feel free to add/eliminate anything you want in your invitations. Your wedding stationery is the first glimpse your guests will get of your day, so make sure that the wording and style of your invitations reflect the tone that you hope to have on your day. It’s always weirdly jarring if a fun-loving casual couple uses super fancy wording on their invitations…. Just be yourself, don’t worry about traditions and as always YOU DO YOU pals - your guests will love you for it!

Not Another Ultra Violet Wedding Shoot - with THE-UNWEDDING

Wedding Themes, Styled ShootsRachel Waring1 Comment
 Photography by Jason Williams for THE UN-WEDDING

Photography by Jason Williams for THE UN-WEDDING

 Photography by Jason Williams for THE UN-WEDDING 

Photography by Jason Williams for THE UN-WEDDING 

Earlier this month I had the absolute pleasure of working on this insanely amazing shoot with an all star cast of fellow suppliers of THE-UNWEDDING Book of Love Directory. This week the shoot went live and you NEED to see it. 

The theme took Pantone's {slightly underwhelming} colour of the year Ultra Violet, and much like Melissa's well-loved upside-down heart logo, turned it on its head. To see the full shoot (which you simply must!) head over to THE-UNWEDDING and you can see the photos in all their glory there!

Also if you love a peek behind the scenes (I know I do...) then watch this video when you are done. 

 Photography by Jason Williams for THE UN-WEDDING

Photography by Jason Williams for THE UN-WEDDING

Full shoot can be found here on THE UN-WEDDING

Supplier Babes: 

Concept: Melissa Woods

Coordination & Styling: Ellie Kime

Photographer: Jason Williams Photography

Table styling, Props and Bouquet: Rachel Emma Studio

Hair, Makeup & Hair Accessories : Knot Your Average Bride

Bride's outfits: Poppy Dover

Bridesmaids: Maids To Measure

Cake: The Sparkling Spatula

Giant NeonsVowed & Amazed

Meringue Kisses Favours: Meringue Girls

Jewelry: Bloody Mary Metal

Venue: West Resevoir Centre

Models: BAME

9 Ways to Make Yourself Miserable While Wedding Planning (and how to avoid them)

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
9 WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF MISERABLE.jpg

A lot of messages to couples out there in the wedding industry make planning a wedding sound like an amazing magical time full of rainbows, engagement parties and smiling shopping trips - best days of your life right?! And where that may well be true, there will also most likely be a few hiccups (ahem, tears in my case) along the way. The important thing is not to be surprised when things aren't always so rosy, and make steps to manage your mindset, workload and stress levels.

There are a few common things that trip happy couples up time and time again. From engaging in family politics, to taking on way too much DIY, these pitfalls can really derail you and make wedding planning a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Because I am all about less stress and overwhelm, I've laid out some of the most common wedding planning thought traps here in the hopes that this will help you avoid them. So without further ado, here are 9 ways to make yourself miserable while wedding planning (and how to avoid them). 

Wedding planning tips.jpeg

1. Try to please everyone. 

The number one difficulty most couples face when planning their wedding is family politics. You'll be surprised the number of people who have strong opinions as soon as weddings are involved. It's YOUR wedding, and you'll need to make peace with the fact that not everyone will be happy with every decision you make, unless you want a day that's all about everyone else and not about you. You don't have to keep every single person happy, but what's important is the way you handle yourself during those difficult conversations.
There will always be someone who wished they were there for your "real" ceremony, or who will raise an eyebrow at your choice of flowers. It's especially difficult when family members are footing some (or all) of the bill, and this might mean that a few more compromises have to be made. The bottom line is you need to do what's right for you, and if you are always kind and respectful whilst standing firm in your decisions, your relationships will stay in tact and hopefully clashing opinions won't be too stressful.

2. Compare your wedding to everyone else's (and the whole of the internet).

It's so easy to get caught up in comparison when planning your wedding. Pinterest is a fantastic tool for ideas, but it can cause unrealistic expectations which result in disappointment. But comparison is the thief of joy my friends! Everyone gets married in different circumstances and with different resources at their disposal, so comparing your wedding to others is just a recipe for big day blues. Stay in your own lane, and prioritise the things that make you happy. 

3. Don't compromise with your partner.

So remember when I said you don't have to please everyone in your wedding planning? That doesn't count for partners. You're in this together, 50/50 split - don't go leaving them out. Even if they seem like they're not at all interested, your wedding should be about your relationship and life as a couple, and this might mean you have to compromise on a few things for a day that reflects BOTH of you. 

Common wedding planning problems.jpeg

4. Have unrealistic expectations.

BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE are my least favourite words used in the wedding industry. I'm serious. The amount of pressure this puts on your wedding day is unreal. Of course, I'm not saying that it won't be your best day ever, but go into it expecting that it definitely will be and you will risk feeling deflated. That pressure is overwhelming and can get in the way of you being present on the day. You might find yourself thinking "is this the best day of my life?" all day instead of just enjoying it. 
It's like when you go on a night out that you hadn't planned and end up having an amazing time, vs when you go out on New Years Eve. Think about it. 

5. Don't ask for help.

Trying to do it all yourself is a one way ticket to stress-town. Hire who you can and delegate the rest. Trust me, I know from experience that while you are running around trying to do everything, you're missing the important moments that you should be soaking in. 

6. Spend more than you can afford.

Managing a budget is hard, especially when you don't set out a proper plan before hand. Everything costs more than you expect, and extra things always pop up towards the end so you really don't want to be worrying about bankruptcy the week before your wedding. 
On this note, I've made a handy budget planning spreadsheet for you to download if you want to set yourself off on the right foot. 

wedding planning advice.jpeg

7. Expect your wedding to be everyone else's number one priority.

Ooof this is a tricky one. While all of your guests are no doubt over the moon excited for you, it's really important to remember that they have their own lives and their own priorities. Attending a wedding can be expensive, both financially and in time - especially if you are in the bridal party. If you expect too much of people then you are setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment. Be gracious and appreciative at all times and you can't go wrong. 

8. Leave it all until the last minute.

So easily done, but also so easily avoided. Did you see my latest video on organising your wedding planning through trello? If you follow the steps on there then you will not need to worry about this point, you will be the most chill and organised engaged couple ever. 

9. Expect nothing to go wrong.

And on top of this, expect to love every second of wedding planning. Confession: this was my personal downfall. If/when things get stressful while you are planning your wedding, it's ok not to enjoy it. I know that sounds obvious, but it can be easy to slip into feelings of guilt if you are not 100% enjoying every day of being engaged. It's a huge project, with basically everyone you know getting involved and sharing their opinion. It's ok if you don't breeze through it like a beautiful graceful swan having the time of your life. I just wanted to make sure you knew that. 


 

A Most Curious Wedding Fair 2018

Events + Fairs, VideosRachel WaringComment
Most Curious Wedding Fair 2018.jpg

I had the total pleasure of helping out the Most Curious Wedding Fair babes this month, and while I was at the show I met so many lovely fellow wedding suppliers! I thought I would do a little video tour of the fair, so if you couldn't make it down then you can ease your FOMO slightly and take a peek at all of the crazy amazing exhibitors. 

How to Stay Organised While Planning Your Wedding

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
how to stay organised while planning your wedding.jpg

Wedding planning can be overwhelming, so it's important to stay organised! Today I'm teaching you how to use my favourite free web based app Trello to help you plan your wedding. Watch the video below, and if you'd like to copy the board I use in the tutorial as a template I've made it available for you for free so you don't have to start again on your own. You can grab that here

WHAT IS TRELLO?

Trello is an organisation and collaboration tool that allows you to plan out your thoughts, ideas and to-do lists in "boards". In this video I'll teach you the basics of trello and how to use it to organise every aspect of your wedding so you have everything in one place and nothing will get forgotten.

By the way, I'm not affiliated with Trello in any way, I just LOVE the app so much, I use it every day for my business and also used it to plan my own wedding! 

WHY USE TRELLO? 

- There are so many components to planning a wedding, it's very easy to forget things or leave them until the last minute, which can be costly (last minute things are always expensive!). Trello helps to keep everything in one place and you can also add deadlines to things! Perfect if you need that little reminder sometimes. 

- Trello is a web based app and easiest to use on your computer, but as long as you have your phone and an internet connection, you can get on to your trello boards from anywhere. This means you can refer back to it on the go - on your shopping trips, when you're visiting your venue etc.. 

- You can assign tasks to different people! Perfect for delegating to your partner or family members ;)

- It's fun! Have you noticed I'm a serious geek about this kind of stuff...? 

Links mentioned in the video: 

- Create an account with trello.

- Grab your free copy of my template wedding planning board. (Remember to MAKE A COPY of this board to your own account so that you can use it to put your own details in).

- More trello tutorials