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

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment

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). 

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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. 

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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. 

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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
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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
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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 sign up for that here


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! 


- 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.

- Sign up for a free copy of my template wedding planning board.

- More trello tutorials 

The Best Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas

Bridal PartyRachel WaringComment
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How would you pop the question to your girl squad? "Proposing" to your bridesmaids can be one of the most special (and emosh!) moments in your wedding planning rollercoaster. 

Having all of your best pals around you on your wedding day is such a lovely feeling, but it's also a big ask. You'll be expecting them to chat weddings with you a LOT, go shopping with you, listen to you complain about family politics, hold your dress while you pee, the list is a mile long. So it's only right that you pop this question in a way that makes them feel as special as they are to you. Here are some ideas to help. 


This is a super easy thing to achieve and such a cute idea! You can buy printable personalised labels on Etsy, and then stick them on to the fizz or other beverage of your choice. Include a pretty paper straw and ribbon as an extra bonus, and of course don't forget to toast your new bride squad. 

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There's a donut pun for every occasion right?! A little personalised box with a sweet treat of your choice in it makes a great bridesmaid proposal gift. These donut boxes are available on Etsy by My Soapgrams. Bonus points if you add edible confetti!


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Including a little keepsake with your proposal is a lovely idea, especially if it's something they can all wear to the wedding! These clever little cards with matching bracelets are by Petal and Paperie and are available on Etsy - I love the little illustrated diamond that turns the circle into an engagement ring - so cute. 




As a big fan of candles myself, this one gets my vote. I love practical gifts that can be used, and a personalised candle is another really easy but effective idea to make your bridesmaid proposal extra special. Again you can purchase a printable personalised label, and just stick it on to the candle of your choice - winner! 


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Sometimes you just can't go wrong with a simple card. These blush and gold foil cards are available in my shop, you can just send me the names of your pals and I will personalise them for you. These could also be the perfect add on to any of these other ideas if you'd like to write them a little love note to go with their gift. 


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A personalised bridesmaids box is probably one of the more time consuming ideas on this list, but they really are lovely. You can buy small hampers of goodies pre-made, or you could DIY it. Include little treats like bath bombs, nail varnish for the big day, face masks, chocolates, gin (gin is always a good idea) and be sure to add some personal elements too like some small printed photographs of you together and a handwritten note. 


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If you're not the heartfelt type and big serious questions make you cringe, then you can always be lighthearted with your proposal. Etsy is a treasure trove for the silly / punny card, and this one is particularly excellent from Patterson Paper. 


I hope this helps you on your bridesmaid quest! Want to know how I asked my gals? Spoiler alert, I went for the box.... But I'll be making a video soon to show you how to make your own. 

Common Concerns About Hiring a Wedding Stylist

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
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It's very understandable to have concerns when you're hiring anyone, but especially when it's for your wedding. There are so many choices and things to remember, it's only natural to worry if you are making the right decision.

You might have wondered whether hiring a wedding stylist is the right choice for you, so I've laid out the most common concerns I often hear, and hopefully some helpful advice to help you decide. 

Concern 1: I don't really understand what a wedding stylist does!

Although wedding stylists are becoming increasingly popular to have on your bridal squad, a lot of people still don’t know what exactly we do! Why would you want to hire a wedding stylist? What’s the difference between a wedding stylist and a wedding planner? I’ve actually written a whole blog post on this topic, but in a nutshell a wedding stylist is a trained professional, usually with a background in design, that will help you with all VISUAL aspects of your wedding. From the initial concept, to the details like stationery and decorations, to making sure that you have a wedding that reflects you as individuals, I like to think of my role as a wedding bestie that can support you in the design of your wedding from start to finish, or as much as you need.

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Concern 2: We can't afford it.

I hear you, weddings are crazy expensive, and if you are trying to have a wedding on a small budget then hiring a wedding stylist is probably the last thing on your mind. However it's a common misconception that stylists are only reserved for huge super fancy weddings. I know this might sound a bit "yeah right", but hiring a wedding stylist can actually save you money in the long term.

Think about it, this is most likely your first wedding, but wedding stylists have done it all before. They know all the best tricks and have all the budget stretching knowhow to help you design the most beautiful wedding possible within your budget. The upfront investment of hiring a wedding stylist totally pays for itself with all the money and time (and not to mention stress) you'll save throughout your whole wedding planning journey. 

It's really important to me that my services are accessible, which is why I start off with a simple inspiration starter session. This alone can be enough to set your wedding planning off to a great start and can really help save you time and money along the line. Then if you do decide you want to continue working together, I price everything else in an itemised list, so you can pick and choose the items you want to suit your budget.


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Concern 3: I'm a DIY Bride.

As a past DIY bride myself, I totally understand this way of thinking. It's your big day that you have been dreaming about for years, and you want to have a hand in making every little detail. While this can be great, it also can be a recipe for stress and overwhelm.

I am definitely PRO DIY weddings, a huge part of the fun is hunting around for bargains and getting crafty with your bridesmaids, and I love working alongside creative brides to help make their dreams a reality. But trust me, and this is a tough love alert, if you take on every single thing yourself your wedding planning can turn into a total nightmare (unless you have unlimited time and money).

People often don't value their own time enough - you don’t get to be engaged for long in your life, and think of all the fun memories you could be making in the time you save by hiring a wedding stylist. Do you want to spend the night before your wedding drinking bubbly with your guests, knowing everything is ready and prepared for the morning? Or do you want to be up until 2am crying about table plans? 

Hiring a wedding stylist doesn't mean you won't get to do any fun creative projects for your wedding, it just means that you'll have a willing helper and guide that will make the process a whole lot easier. 


Concern 4: I have family and friends that I can delegate things to.

Working as a team with your family can be really fun in the run up to your wedding. But there are lots of things that come into play when delegating to family members that a lot of people don’t think about.

For example, if you give all the jobs to your friends and family then they are not as free to enjoy and revel in this exciting time with you. No one wants to be a cause of stress to their family, and delegating too much can cause guilt on your side or even resentment to start building up on their side.

Also, your family and friends are most likely not trained wedding professionals, so their level of skill and taste may not match up to exactly what you were hoping. We’ve all had those awkward moments when you get a gift you hate from your great aunty… imagine that but with your wedding details! No fun at all.

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Concern 5: I have no idea what theme I would want or what I would ask a stylist for.

This is a totally fine, if not great position to be in when hiring a wedding stylist. A good wedding stylist will be able to talk to you about your relationship and personalities, and come up with ideas and themes that will suit you perfectly.

Think of it like personal fashion styling. Some people find it very difficult to know what kind of outfits and colours suit them, but a personal stylist will be able to pick out clothes that flatter them and bring out their personality. A wedding stylist has similar skills, but for weddings. It’s all about you guys, and the details of your life that make you special.

Concern 6: I don't want someone else to design my wedding for me - I have my own ideas.

A good wedding stylist will NEVER make design decisions without working closely with you first. When I work with couples, I always start by chatting with you and getting to know your tastes, personalities and individual love story.

If you have really specific ideas already, great! That just gives me more to work with. A wedding stylist is there to make YOUR wedding design dreams a reality, not to force their own ideas on to you. This is your wedding, I had mine already.

Concern 7: I don't care what my wedding looks like AT ALL.

Ok, this one is the only one I can’t really argue with. If you really have no interest at all in what your wedding looks like then you probably don’t need a wedding stylist. And hey, no shade from me, I respect that and admire your chilled attitude!


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I hope that helps clear a few things up. If you'd like to hear more about the styling services I have to offer you can find out more here.

If you are still on the fence, please feel free to drop me an email and we can chat about whether my styling services are right for you. Believe me I would never want to work with someone that I thought wouldn't need, want or love my services. I like praise way too much for that and I HATE disappointing people, it's my least favourite thing ever. So if I feel like you wouldn't benefit from hiring me I will let you know. Pinky Promise.

Styled Shoot - A Celestial Wedding Theme

Wedding Themes, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment

It's no secret that celestial weddings are my jam at the moment. That's why I'm so excited to share this video with you full of sparkly cosmic wedding ideas. 

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Table Runners 

- The cosmic pattern navy runners are available to hire and make the perfect base to build up a celestial table display.

- I used a mix of foliage for the greenery runner: eucalyptus, ferns, monstera leaves and some others. Greenery is a great way to complement a celestial theme because it doesn't distract too much from the sparkly details - plus it can work out a lot cheaper than flowers! 

Table Decor

- Mixed glass bottles and candlesticks are always great for adding some interest and texture to a table. I have lots of these glass bottles and candlesticks in a mix of colours available to hire, feel free to drop me a message about availability

- Are you a fan of that crescent moon table name display? Me too! I have some similar available here if your tables are numbered, but I can also make some custom ones with your own table names too. 

- The constellation pattern place cards are a staple for a celestial wedding - you can find them here. 

Other Details

- The table plan is again dressed with some simple greenery and displayed on a grey backing board which you can pick up at your local art supply shop. Silver table plan cards are a custom design to match the place cards, and you can contact me if you'd like some of your own. 

- The starburst cake topper is a brand new design which will be available to buy soon! If you'd like to be one of the first to get your hands on one then pop me an email. 

- Copper and greenery buttonholes can be found here. 

I hope this sparks lots of celestial wedding ideas for you! Want more personalised advice for your own wedding theme? If you'd like to chat to me about styling your wedding, then hop over to my services page to find out more. 

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Footage by Homer Todiwala of https://www.mrtodiwala.com/

The Coolest Wedding Venues in Derbyshire

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
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Are you on the hunt for a wedding venue? Yay how exciting! It can be a super overwhelming process with so many options, so I thought I would lend a hand by sharing some of my very favourite venues with you.

As I’m sure you know by now, this is a no cookie-cutter wedding zone! So with that in mind, the venues I’ll be sharing all have something a bit different about them - whether it’s beautiful industrial architecture or a sweet blank canvas deal where you can really make it your own.

I’m starting off with my list of super cool Derbyshire wedding venues…

 Image by Rosie Kelly 

Image by Rosie Kelly 


This beautiful industrial style venue is one of the most exciting on the list because it’s BRAND NEW. So new that if you were to book your 2018 wedding with them you would be among the first couples to get married there. Set in the outskirts of the beautiful market town of Wirksworth, Haarlem Mill has the perfect balance of urban styling in a country setting. Concrete floors, exposed brickwork and beams, gorgeous windows and soon to be two floors of industrial beauty - this venue is one to put on your visit list for sure. 

 Image by  Rosie Kelly  

Image by Rosie Kelly 

Key Features:

  • Gorgeous converted mill, industrial aesthetic

  • Two floors (with the next phase opening in June 2018)

  • Beautiful surroundings in lovely market town of Wirksworth

  • Bar and catering, and a talented list of recommended suppliers.

  • Soon to be licensed for ceremonies. 

Location: Wirksworth, Derbyshire

Guests: Up to 150

Accommodation? No - but lots of great options nearby in Wirksworth

Licensed Ceremonies? From June 2018



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Run by the talented planning and styling team Honeysuckle and Castle, The Riding School at Calke Abbey is a breathtaking space, with high ceilings, perfect brickwork and beams to boot. Situated in Ticknall in over 600 acres of Derbyshire countryside, this grade 1 listed building has all of the charm of a country manor but with a cool edge.

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Key Features:

  • High vaulted ceilings with rustic beams

  • Exposed brickwork

  • White drapes to section off space

  • In house exclusive catering

Location: Ticknall, Derbyshire

Guests: Up to 240

Accommodation? Yes

Licensed for ceremonies? Yes



 Image by  Ian Daisley  - you can see more of this wedding in my styling portfolio soon! 

Image by Ian Daisley - you can see more of this wedding in my styling portfolio soon! 


Confession: The word “hall” in a venue title can sometimes put me off, because I have a preconceived notion that "country hall" weddings can be super grand and impersonal. But Yeldersley Hall has none of that. It has all of the best bits about being a “Hall” but still has a really lovely family feel to it. The best part of this venue is the on-site accommodation. The bridal suite is upstairs, with a gorgeous spiral staircase leading down to the courtyard and other cottage style properties all on the same grounds. It amounts to the feeling of a mini wedding holiday, and that’s a winner in my book.


Key Features:

  • Beautiful grounds with a walled garden

  • Marquee reception

  • Very convenient accommodation, has the feeling of taking the whole place over for the wedding.

  • Victorian style greenhouse (amazing for pictures)

Location: Yeldersley (near Ashbourne) Derbyshire

Guests: 80

Accommodation? Yes

Licensed for Ceremonies? Yes



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I couldn’t do a roundup of the coolest Derbyshire venues and miss out West Mill could I? Established in 2014, and set on the banks of the river Derwent, The West Mill is the bee’s knees in industrial chic. It’s a restored mill, with an impressive exterior and a gorgeous interior, with barrel vaulted ceilings and of course those ever popular exposed brick walls - the perfect canvas for decorating.

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Key Features:

  • Industrial aesthetic

  • On site catering company with a fab menu to choose from

  • No corkage venue

  • Accommodation nearby in the Mill House.

Location: Darley Abbey, Derbyshire

Guests: 160

Accommodation: Yes

Licensed for ceremonies? Yes





If you are looking for a rustic farm venue, Lower Damgate Farm is a really great choice. A total blank canvas nestled in the peak district countryside, with ponies, goats and alpacas - I’m sold! A big plus point of the farm is that you can take it over for three days, with plenty of accommodation for your guests, it’s perfect for a wedding with a mini festival feel.


Key Features:

  • Fully blank canvas deal, you have free rein to do whatever you like with the space.

  • Great accommodation on site

  • Farm with cute animals!

  • 20 acres of gardens and grounds

  • Hot tub in the bridal suite

Location: Ilam, Derbyshire

Guests: 60-140

Accommodation? Yes

Licensed for ceremonies? No





If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, but you still want to combine that with your legal ceremony - Masson Farm could be the perfect solution! Their beautiful Swallow Barn is licensed for ceremonies, but has space for your guests to sit on the lawn outside, so you can have the best of both worlds. Plus, you get the beautiful backdrop of the Matlock hilltops too - what’s not to like?

 Image by  Samuel Docker

Key Features:

  • The ceremony space is a serious winner

  • Gorgeous countryside setting

  • Space outside for an outdoor marquee or tipi hire

  • Organic farm with a carbon-neutral ethos.

  • Located by the top of the Heights of Abraham, so you could arrive to your wedding by cable car!

Location: Matlock

Guests: 100

Accommodation: Yes

Licensed for Ceremonies: Yes



I hope that helps you get started on your Derbyshire venue hunt. My best advice for choosing your wedding venue is to set your priorities before you start looking, and list them in order of preference. Depending on your budget, it’s likely that you may have to compromise somewhere, so it’s always good to know which features are up for debate and which things aren’t.

Most importantly, give yourself time and assess lots of options. Go and visit venues and make sure you love them in real life, ask questions, take pictures and notes. Your venue is probably the most important choice you'll make during your wedding planning, so enjoy it and keep an open mind, you might find a perfect match that you never thought of before.

Good luck pals!

How to Make a Mood Board for Your Wedding

Wedding Planning Advice, Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
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MOOD BOARDS! My fave! Today I'm teaching you how to make your very own for your wedding. Watch the video for the full tutorial, or read the highlights below. 

Whenever I start designing a wedding, I always make a mood board first and they are really useful for wedding planning in lots of ways. They help you decide on what you like and what your tastes are - which will help you on your wedding shopping trips. They help to bring everything together in a cohesive theme, as well as being perfect for communicating with your suppliers. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain something in words, but a mood board will show other people the vibe you want instantly.


Collect everything that you are visually drawn to in one place. Don’t think about budgets or practicalities at this stage, just look around for things that inspire you. You don’t have to just stick to weddings, anything goes as long as something about the colours, tones or textures spark your imagination. You can always edit later. This helps tame any perfectionist tendencies and helps you discover things about your own taste.

Some great places to collect visual inspiration are:

  • Pinterest is the most obvious choice. What I would do is make a “secret” board and go on a 10 minute pinning spree. You can always edit the board and make it public later.

  • 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.

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



Now’s the time to go back over your mountain of inspiration materials and be selective. Take it off Pinterest and onto real paper - I recommend A3 size or bigger to give you enough space. Weed out your very favourite pieces. What do they have in common?

Notice if any themes are popping up again and again. This is a great way to choose a theme for your wedding!


  • Start with your main images and lay them out on the paper - don’t stick anything down yet!

  • Then pick out your colour pieces like paint chips and swatches and arrange them on the board.

  • Add some texture with fabrics, ribbons and even dried flowers or foliage if they complement your theme.

  • Once everything is arranged you can go back and stick everything down. You can use glue, washi tape - or I like to use double sided tape runners because I am lazy and don’t like waiting.

Now that your mood board is finished you can put it up somewhere. That’s why I like to make a real one instead of just Pinterest, because being able to look at your inspiration images often will help you stay on track and keep everything cohesive in your wedding planning.

If you still feel like you are nowhere near being able to decide on your wedding theme, then don’t worry - I can help! I wrote this blog post on how to decide on your wedding theme, and there's a free step by step workbook to help you get ideas. 

6 Hygge Ideas for Winter Weddings

Wedding ThemesRachel WaringComment
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I'm having a moment with winter weddings, and with the continuing popularity of the concept of Hygge (that scandinavian celebration of all things cosy and snuggly) it looks like the rest of the world is on board too. 

There are so many ways to bring hygge into your winter wedding day, here are just a few ideas.

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1. S'more Wedding Favours 

I'm in love with these S'more Love wedding favour kits by Custom Maed. S'mores aren't so much of a thing here in the UK, but we can toast a good marshmallow! Bonus points if you have an open fire at your venue for a group toasting session. 

2. cosy bridal outfits

There's no reason to freeze on your wedding day! My favourite thing to wear on any day is a snuggly jumper and big wooly socks, so why not carry that over into your wedding outfit? This shoot featured on Mr & Mrs Unique is so perfect, I highly recommend clicking through to see the rest of it!

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3. a Sparkler send off

What's more cosy and wintery than sparklers? Hand them out as favours and then gather your guests in a group for a beautiful moment later in the evening (not to mention a perfect photo opportunity - like in this beautiful wedding). These sparkler printables will help you with the favour bit. 

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4. night sky details 

Winter weddings are the perfect backdrop for starry night themed decorations. These personalised constellation place cards are one of my very favourite designs, and can be ordered here. 

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5. hot chocolate bar

This idea alone is enough to sell me on a winter wedding! Set up a warming hot chocolate bar, complete with artisan marshmallows and toppings - your guests will thank you for it. Or of course you could always trade the hot chocolate for mulled wine! 

6. Don't forget the candles

Candlelight is essential for setting a cosy atmosphere at your winter wedding. This post by wedding sparrow has some gorgeous inspiration. Find places in your venue where you can group lots of candles together for the ultimate hygge glow. 


If you'd like to see some more winter wedding inspiration, come and follow me on pinterest! 

Wedding Stylist or Wedding Planner - What's the Difference?

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
 Ever wondered what the difference is between a wedding planner and a wedding stylist? This post outlines the main points.

Ever wondered what the difference is between a wedding planner and a wedding stylist? This post outlines the main points.

The roles of stylists and planners in the wedding industry have shifted a lot in the last five to ten years. They used to be thought of as an extravagance only useful for super fancy weddings - think Franck in Father of the Bride (although who wouldn’t want to hire him?!). But fast forward to 2018 and couples with all sorts of weddings and budgets in mind are utilising the skills of stylists and planners. This is great news for the industry because it means more creative weddings with more variety!

There are so many different terms to cover this area in weddings. Planners, stylists, designers, coordinators…. But what’s the difference and which one is right for you? There are a lot of overlaps between these roles, and of course every supplier is slightly different. Hopefully this post will help shed some light on the subject and help you to decide which one (if any) will be the right choice for your wedding.

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What does a Wedding Stylist do?

A wedding stylist is all about the visuals and the atmosphere of your wedding. Their job is to dream big with you and help you realise a beautiful and cohesively designed day that celebrates you as a couple. Your wedding stylist is in charge of all the aesthetics, and takes the workload off you in the making of all the details. Some examples of things that a stylist can do for you are:

  • Creating a cohesive and original design concept for you based on your ideas and personalities as a couple

  • Suggesting and curating suppliers that compliment your theme.

  • Making and sourcing props and decorations

  • Remembering and designing all the details, from place cards to cake toppers.

  • Keeping you on budget, and often saving you money as they know all of the best tricks

  • Helping set up the visual elements on the morning of the wedding, and making sure everything lives up to your plans.

what is a wedding stylist?.jpg

What does a Wedding Planner do?

A wedding planner is all about the logistics of your wedding. Think about them as really clever project managers - your wedding planner is basically the chief of all of your wedmin - from the booking the catering to setting out the seating plan. The list of things that wedding planners cover is huge, but it includes things like:

  • Helping you choose a venue

  • Booking suppliers for you

  • Looking after your budget

  • Working with caterers to develop a menu

  • Making sure everything is completed and booked for the day

  • Communicating with suppliers and organising logistics for the day

  • Leading a team to set up and manage the day itself.


What does a Wedding Coordinator do?

A wedding coordinator has a lot of crossover elements with both planners and stylists, but is usually onboard for a much shorter time frame. A coordinator will usually work with a couple from about a month before the wedding, and their main role is to make sure everything comes together on the day itself and that it all runs smoothly. Both planners and stylists usually incorporate some coordination into their service packages.

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There are of course lots of crossovers between these different job titles. Some wedding planners do a bit of styling, some stylists do a bit of planning, and stylists and planners often do a bit of coordinating. That’s why it’s really important to research the suppliers that you’re interested to make sure you go for the right option for you. If you’d like to have a look at how I can help you with your wedding, you can read all about my styling services here. Spoiler alert I'm on the aesthetics team ;) 

Tropical Wedding Inspiration

Wedding ThemesRachel WaringComment

Image sources from top left: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9  

Ok, I know tropical weddings have been a trend for a while, but let's be honest, we all still love that pairing of greenery and neon brights, am I right? There are so many ways to capture a tropical theme in your wedding decor beyond the golden pineapple and 2018 will see tropicana take on an acid bright twist. 

A tropical wedding theme can look great in a lot of places, but my favourite setting for style is in urban / industrial venues. I love the juxtaposition of lush greenery and bright colours in amongst harsh greys and brick. Old warehouse + giant jungle leaves + a neon sign? Winner in my book! 

 We all know I'm a big fan of a DIY pop-up bar, this jungle popcorn stand is a must for a tropical wedding. 

We all know I'm a big fan of a DIY pop-up bar, this jungle popcorn stand is a must for a tropical wedding. 

 You can buy these  tropical neon invitations  in my shop - the monstera leaf RSVP card is my fave. 

You can buy these tropical neon invitations in my shop - the monstera leaf RSVP card is my fave. 

 Hot pink and green are a match made in heaven in this  menu card!  

Hot pink and green are a match made in heaven in this menu card! 

  Monstera leaf place cards , but of the paper variety - no wilting for these bad boys. 

Monstera leaf place cards, but of the paper variety - no wilting for these bad boys. 

So what's your verdict? Are you all flamingo-d out? If you are a tropicana fan for the long haul, check out the tropical collection in my shop for some more inspo for your big day. 

How to Make a Confetti Bar for your Wedding

Wedding Styling TipsRachel WaringComment
Pop-up confetti bar.jpg

Pop-up bars are always a huge hit with wedding guests, and I can see why. What's not to like? They're pretty, they add an interactive element into your day for your guests, and they are a great talking point. You can make a pop-up bar for all sorts of things: popcorn, sweets, cocktails, or my personal favourite: CONFETTI. 

Want to learn how to make your own confetti bar? Watch the video for the full styling tutorial, or read below for the highlights.

You will need

- Some jars, bowls and containers - I’m using these fun clear plastic sweet jars that you can pick up on eBay. 
- Scoops (think pick and mix style) 
- Squares of coloured paper roughly 5"x5"
- Decorations to fit your wedding theme
- Lots of confetti! (obvs)

1. Choose your confettI

I used a mixture of bought confetti and some I made myself. One important thing to check is whether your venue has any restrictions on confetti (like does it need to be biodegradable?)

There’s lots of ways to make your own confetti: 

- Hand cut some tissue paper with fringing scissors, or use an electric shredder.
- Use punches to make bigger shapes.
- Or you can also add in things like sequins and foil.

One of my favourite places to buy confetti is The Sugar Stop Co. on Etsy

2. Make some confetti cones

Paper confetti cones are really easy to make, you just cut some 5"x5" squares of coloured paper, add a bit of double sided tape, then roll them into cones along the diagonal. 

3. Assemble and decorate your confetti bar

The best part about this is that you can match your confetti bar to your wedding theme. Some good things to include are: 

- A backdrop
- A sparkly tablecloth
- A sign
- Paper Honeycomb balls

If you'd like some more personalised styling advice for your wedding, check out my inspiration starter sessions! We can chat all about your wedding ideas and I can help you bring them together in a cohesive theme that will make the rest of your planning a total breeze.

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10 Tips for Planning a Wedding in a Blank Canvas Venue

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel Waring
tips for a blank canvas venue wedding.jpg

Blank canvas wedding venues have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and for good reason! Whether it’s an industrial mill, a woodland wonderland, a barn or an abandoned warehouse, the term “blank canvas” covers all those fabulous venues that act as an empty shell to house your wedding in, giving you complete creative freedom. 
While having total control of your venue is a massive plus - it can be overwhelming and there’s a lot more work involved than getting married in a hotel for example. But don’t worry, unconventional venues are my specialty and I’m here to help! 

1. Think about why you want a blank canvas venue. 

Is it because you are up for a project? You have a big vision for what you’d like your wedding to be and you love the idea of having total freedom to do whatever you want? Or have you just fallen in love with the gorgeous textured walls of that industrial mill? Either is fine, but your answer will inform whether you actually want a fully blank canvas venue or an unconventional venue that's already set up for weddings - which brings me to my next tip...

2. Do your venue research.

If you want the atmosphere of an unusual venue but the amount of work involved puts you off, there are loads of amazing unconventional venues that are set up specifically for weddings. You may have to sacrifice some control over things (for example some venues have preferred caterers etc.) and it might come at a higher starting cost, but if you'd rather have a simpler planning experience then these venues can be a really great option. 

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Image by Katie Harmsworth via Nouba

3. Don’t try and do everything yourself!

Take this from a girl who knows, weddings are a LOT of work, especially in a blank canvas venue. The more you can delegate, the less stressful it will be for you and ultimately it will save you disappointment on your wedding day. The ideal way to combat this is by hiring a wedding stylist that specialises in unconventional venues (hi that’s me!) because they can take your ideas and help you turn them into reality in a practical way that will work in the space you have. 

4. Plan your budget wisely.

Sometimes a blank canvas venue can seem like a really affordable option, and they often are, but don’t forget to factor in hidden costs that are usually included in other venues. Things like marquee hire, table ware, furniture and even toilets may all need to be hired and paid for separately, so definitely don’t just look at the cost of the base venue hire. I have a free budget planning spreadsheet to help you with this if you need a starting point. 

5. Find out what’s included.

Think about ALL the different aspects you’ll need to make your wedding a success. For example, if you’re hiring a teepee in a field, will you need to hire a power generator, or does your venue supply one? What about parking, kitchen facilities for your caterers, a bar, lighting? A pro tip from me is to do an imaginary walk through of your day from start to finish, and think of all of the logistics based things that will need to be in place to make everything happen. 


image by Kate Ignatowski via Style Me Pretty.

6. Ask the right questions.

Be sure to visit your venue ahead of time and ask lots of questions so that you are on the same page in terms of what's expected, and any rules/restrictions they may have. It's hard to remember all of these things on the spot, so remember to take a list with you so you don't forget anything. 

7. Where are you doing your legal bit?

If you are in the UK there are some pretty specific restrictions on where you can get legally married. If your venue is licensed, great! But a lot of blank canvas venues aren't, so you will need to consider where you are having your legal marriage ceremony if you want it to count in the eyes of the law. A lot of people go for the option of having a small legal ceremony a few days before, and then a bigger, more personal "blessing" ceremony on the actual wedding day. Another bonus of this is that you have much more freedom in what you can choose to include in your non-legal ceremony. 

8. Find clever and cost effective ways to transform the space.

Decorating a blank canvas venue can be costly if you don't plan ahead. Think about the features of the venue and how you can make the most of them with your decorations. If this sounds overwhelming to you, this is something I can help you with!

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9. Plan your set-up well. 

There's nothing worse than buying your perfect set of hanging paper flowers and then finding out on the day that there's no ladder at the venue to set them up with. Setting up a wedding can take longer than you think, so planning for every eventuality will help avoid unnecessary hiccups. 

10. Make the most of it!

Blank canvas venues offer an amazing opportunity to do something different for your big day and really make it your own. So do it your way; be bold, be brave, and dare to dream up a wedding that you and your guests will still be talking about on your ruby wedding anniversary. 

Don't forget to sign up for your free wedding budget spreadsheet to help you to start your wedding planning off on the right foot:

5 Wedding Trend Predictions for 2018

Wedding ThemesRachel Waring
Wedding Trends 2018.jpg

I love this time of year because it's full of predictions and looking ahead into the year to come, and this of course includes wedding trends! 

A lot of the trends seen in 2017 will still be going strong throughout 2018. Greenery isn't going anywhere just yet, and that's good news in my book! But there are a few twists in store, so I thought I'd share some of my own predictions and favourites in the world of wedding themes. 

As always, take these trend ideas with a pinch of salt. It's your wedding, and I'm not about to promote any sort of cookie-cutting! It's just a bit of fun really to see what's popular, and often trends can really spark your imagination - you can take them or leave them. Whether you take stock in current trends or not, I would always encourage you to put your own spin on styling ideas to create a day that's unique to you. With that being said, let's get into it!


neon and greenery wedding.jpg

Image sources from top left: 1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8//9//

We saw this idea coming into play in 2017, and it looks to be sticking around in a big way next year. Neon signs are huge in weddings right now, and they are a really cool edgy addition to your wedding decor. Greenery is the perfect backdrop to make these neon details really pop. Think big overgrown green walls, huge leaves and ferns to also bring in that tropical vibe that's also still going strong. 

How to work this trend:

Commission your own personalised neon sign to use as your ceremony backdrop instead of a wedding arch (you can get LED versions that are much cheaper than real neon) OR hire one from a company like Bag and Bones


Celestial wedding theme

Image sources from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

My personal favourite. This super romantic trend inspired by the night sky is set to be even bigger in 2018. Cosmic details, navy and metallic colour schemes, constellations, even celestial inspired jewellery and hair pieces; if it's astronomic, it's big news. There's also something a little art deco about this theme, and that's only another plus I think. 

How to work this trend: 

Go for starry details like these constellation place cards to add a bit of the night sky into your wedding table decor. 

constellation place cards .jpg


millennial pink wedding

Image sources from top left: 1 //2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Wedding trends usually take inspiration from interiors and fashion, and since it's been all pink everywhere in 2017, we're set to see a lot more of this muted dusty tone in weddings next year. I for one can't get enough of it, so it's a YAY from me. It's particularly successful in urban settings so that it takes on a bit of an edge instead of being too sickly sweet. 


Go for pink on pink in your wedding stationery, paired with simple modern fonts for that cool edge. 

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Image sources from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

This ones for the flower lovers, next year looks to be full of dark jewell tones, aubergines, maroons and blacks paired with rich textures like velvet. This opulent trend is not for the faint of heart, and the weddings that make the most of it will really go all out. But if pulled off right, it looks like this might be one of the most beautiful trends of 2018. 

How to work this trend:

Ask your florist to use jewell and berry tones with plenty of dark greenery, and also go for more flowing, overgrown arrangements rather than anything overly styled.


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Image Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Mermaid vibes are here to stay in fashion and interiors, and that means they will become more present in weddings too! Probably seen most appearing on stationery, holographic details are the ultimate in cool. There are so many ways to use this, from little shimmery touches to going all out with holographic fringe curtains and even bridal accessories. I personally hope this one sticks around for the forseeable future. 

How to work this trend:

Your save the dates are the first glimpse into your wedding style that your guests will see, so how about starting with a bang with these Holographic Save the Dates? 

holographic save the date.jpg

So what do you think about these upcoming trends? Anything from 2017 that you're glad is sticking around? Or what about things you'll be glad to see the back of? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram

Want to keep up with the trends I'm crushing on? Come and follow me on pinterest, I'm there pretty much every day geeking out about weddings. 

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Theme

Wedding Planning Advice, Wedding ThemesRachel WaringComment
 A snazzy guide to help you design a wedding that's all about YOU.  Click to download your work book .

A snazzy guide to help you design a wedding that's all about YOU. Click to download your work book.

Is your wedding pinterest board confused?

If you are recently engaged, you might be already scouring the internet for big day inspiration and trying to pin down a theme. Now just a disclaimer about the word "theme" before we start....

Themes can get a bad reputation in the wedding industry sometimes, because the word invokes thoughts of super match-y match-y cookie cutter weddings with no personality, or novelty weddings that are basically a bit cringe. You might be put off by the word “theme” because it sounds a bit restrictive, or maybe even makes you think of a kids party.

I totally get it, you are complex people and don’t want your wedding to be put in a neat little box. But it doesn’t have to be like that. A theme is just the setting for telling your love story. It sets the tone and atmosphere for your day, and will go a long way to creating the vibe that you’d like your wedding to have.

If chosen well, your wedding theme can be your North Star in the planning process; keeping you from decision paralysis, overwhelm and silly last minute splurges. Choosing a wedding theme can actually save you time, stress and money.

Wedding cake topper

Ok now the disclaimer's out of the way, let's get into it...

Choosing a theme or style for your wedding can be hard work. Your theme is the foundation for all your ideas, it’s the basis of the experience of your guests and will ultimately affect how they remember the day. Having too many ideas can result in a completely directionless wedding where nothing looks as good as it could. Not having enough ideas makes finding accessories, stationery, decorations really difficult because there is TOO MUCH CHOICE. The good news is, I'm here to help you and I am a massive geek about this stuff. 


If you’re ready to find your perfect wedding theme then I have the steps for you all laid out here. I’ve also made a free workbook for you, so you can download that and use it to record your notes and ideas while you work through each step.


 Bride to be? These steps will help you plan your perfect wedding theme. 

Bride to be? These steps will help you plan your perfect wedding theme. 


There 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 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. You probably wouldn’t want to plan a winter wonderland wedding in June, so it’s best to get these things decided first. This would be a great time to read my post on the first steps to take when you’re engaged if you haven’t already ;)

 Personalised cake topper to reflect the theme of your wedding day.

Personalised cake topper to reflect the theme of your wedding day.


There’s a lot you can learn from other people’s weddings, especially ones you have been to as a guest. It’s the perfect way to see how things work in real life practice, and also the reaction that they get from guests. To make the most of the lessons you can learn from other people’s weddings:

  • 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?

What do all of these weddings have in common? For example, are they all outside? Do they all have industrial elements? They were all fun and like a huge party? Use your workbook to note down any details that come up again and again.

 Top tips on gathering wedding inspiration and making mood boards. Original photo by Jenna Kutcher.

Top tips on gathering wedding inspiration and making mood boards. Original photo by Jenna Kutcher.


Here comes the fun bit. Collect everything that you are visually drawn to in one place. You have my full permission to go wild at this point. Don’t think about budgets or practicalities for this stage, just look around for things that inspire you. Some great places to collect visual inspiration are:

  • Pinterest (the most obvious choice). For this particular step I recommend making a “secret” board and going on a 10 minute pinning spree. Don’t just stick to weddings, anything goes, as long as something about the image captures your imagination. I find this helps tame any perfectionist tendencies. You can always edit the board and make it public later.
  • 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.
 How to make a wedding mood board. 

How to make a wedding mood board. 


Now is the time to go back over your mountain of inspiration materials and be selective. Weed out your very very favourite pieces. What do they have in common?

A few tips for a great mood board:

  • 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.
 how to choose your wedding colour palette - image sources  1  /  2  /  3  /  4

how to choose your wedding colour palette - image sources 1 / 2 / 3 / 4


Your wedding keywords will help you a huge amount while you plan the big day. These are the words that you can always refer back to when people ask what your wedding is going to be like or what your theme is going to be. 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:

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes, look at your moodboard and write down as many words as you can to describe what you see. Eg. Bright, fun, colourful, monochrome, etc..

  • 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. Bright, fun, relaxed 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.

Tropical Wedding Stationery low res.jpg

If you’ve made it to the end of these steps, YAY! Great work! 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 download your free workbook, 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.

Four lessons I learned about wedding planning with anxiety

Wedding Planning AdviceRachel WaringComment
 Wedding planning with anxiety.

I’ve had this post in my head for a long time waiting to get out, but I've been a bit scared to write it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved our wedding day, and I love being married even more, but there were definitely things about the day and the planning process that I didn't enjoy. That has been really difficult for me to admit as someone whose work revolves around weddings, but I think it’s important to share both the good and bad because if that helps one of you that’s struggling with the same issues then that will be worth it.

Here are four lessons that I learnt the hard way during our wedding planning process, that will hopefully help you if you are finding things difficult:

1. It’s ok if you really didn’t enjoy wedding planning.

This is something that I felt a LOT of shame and guilt over. I love planning and styling details for other people’s weddings and it’s something that comes really naturally to me, I really feel like I have the best job ever. So of course planning my own wedding is something that I always looked forward to, and when we got engaged I couldn’t wait to get started. However it quickly became clear that planning our own wedding was going to be a completely different ball game.

I have always lived with anxiety, which has come in peaks and troughs throughout my life. With all of the decisions to make, family opinions, and the thought of being centre of attention for the day, planning our wedding was definitely a peak in my anxiety. I spent pretty much the whole time feeling panicked, and then on top of that I felt an extreme amount of guilt that I wasn’t “making the most” of being engaged. I was obsessed with the thought that I would only get to be engaged once and only have one wedding day, and I thought I was wasting it by feeling anxious and not enjoying it. This is a catch 22 situation, the more anxious I felt the more guilt I felt, and the more guilt I felt the more anxious I felt. The guilt lasted for months after the wedding, and if I’m truthful still comes up in waves occasionally (but I’m a lot better at dealing with it now).

What I’d like to say to my past panicky self and to any of you that share these feelings is that it’s ok. It’s ok not to enjoy planning your wedding, it’s even ok not to enjoy your wedding! It doesn’t make you a bad bride, groom, husband or wife and it especially does not make you a bad person. Wedding planning is not a breeze for everyone, and I just want you to know that you’re not alone, you are not a failure if you don’t feel happy and excited about it all the time.

Rachel and Jake 023.jpg

2. Don’t focus on it being the best day of your life.

This was the killer for me. I don’t know why, but I really held onto this idea with such a tight grip. I think part of the problem is that weddings are talked about in the media with such hype and not much of the negative aspects are shared, which is part of my motivation to write this post. Also because I think and talk about weddings every day for my job, I was so saturated with the industry and my own expectations that I put an insane amount of pressure on the day being PERFECT. People say that comparison is the thief of joy, well perfectionism is its partner in crime.

I think if we weren’t all so fixated on having the best day of our lives on our wedding day, then we might have more of a chance of it being so. I had an amazing day at our wedding, and I know our guests did too, but I definitely caught myself a few times thinking “I need to appreciate this more, is this the best day of my life??” which totally took me out of the moment. It’s also nice to think that we have a lot of other “best days” to look forward to in our lives, and it’s not all down hill from the wedding day.

This of course is not to throw any shade at anyone who genuinely had the best day of their lives on their wedding day, I love that! But I think trying to force the feeling is a problem a lot of brides in particular face.

3. Wedding blues are real, but not always in the way that you expect.

I fully anticipated wedding blues. I thought I would be so sad that the day was over and that I’d want to do it all again. I know this is true for many couples, but for us we had blues of a different kind. We had a very low budget DIY wedding, and took on almost all of the work ourselves, so we were super relieved when it was all over and we could enjoy being married.

In the days after our wedding we were both really happy and giddy that the whole thing had gone so well and now we could rest, but as time went on it was like I’d forgotten all the good parts of the day and started to have feelings of disappointment. This was of course met with more guilt. How could I be so happy to be married but feel disappointed with our wedding? I felt ungrateful and pretty ashamed honestly. I realise now that this is a very normal feeling, and it’s just another form of wedding blues that’s spoken about less often!

Luckily these disappointed feelings mostly faded away, especially after we edited our wedding video and I could remember how great the day actually was (there’s a case for investing in a videographer!). I think the important thing to admit is that sometimes there are parts of weddings that are a disappointment, and that’s ok. I just want to encourage you that if you are feeling any form of disappointment after your wedding then you are normal and it’s nothing to be ashamed about.

Rachel and Jake 300.jpg

4. Being married really does feel different to being engaged.

I couldn’t imagine feeling any different once we were married, but I can say one year on that it does - in a good way! It’s obvious that I love weddings, but I’ve always had some reservations about marriage as an institution. I obviously believe in marriage (otherwise why would I get married), but I don’t like that people who choose not to get married, or people that are happily single are pressured with the ideology that marriage is the pinnacle of existence. For us getting married was always more about celebrating with our family and friends rather than the legal title. That being said I love being married way more than I expected to. I love wearing my wedding ring, I love calling Jake my husband and it genuinely does feel like we are more of a team than ever.

I hope that this post hasn’t come across too negatively. Part of the reason for waiting this long to share my feelings about this is that I wanted to feel like I could share a bit of hope for people feeling the same way, and there were points where I wasn’t sure if I would get to that place. I love working with couples to create their dream weddings, but I also feel like it’s important to cover the whole story. I’d like to be a source of pretty wedding inspiration for all of you brides (and grooms) to be, but also a source of support too when things don’t feel so rosy. Plus, I know that when you are able to deal with the difficult emotions around wedding planning it makes the fun stuff like picking out all the details a much happier experience.

Thank you lovelies for reading. If this has struck a chord with any of you, please feel free to share in the comments below, or over on instagram @rachelemmastudio - let’s get talking about these issues so they are not so scary to share.

One Year Ago - Our Wedding!

Rachel WaringComment
Rachel and Jake 304.jpg

Today is our one year anniversary and I can’t believe it! I haven’t really shared much of our wedding on the blog, and this is definitely the first time I’ve shared our video (above), so I thought today would be a good day to do it. I have to admit, I've been a bit apprehensive about sharing our wedding. I think because I design wedding details as a job I felt quite a lot of pressure around ours, like I felt that my design work on our wedding was going to be judged more than it usually is for some reason. I’m so embarrassed to even type that, because with a year of hindsight I understand that our wedding wasn’t a business opportunity. IT WAS OUR WEDDING. And the important thing is that we are even happier together now than we were a year ago.

Let me just say friends, planning your own wedding is SO completely different from working on them for other people, and it’s certainly no joke to be doing those two things simultaneously on a tiny budget while also paying rent in London. Although we both loved our wedding, there were definitely parts of the whole process that I didn’t get on so well with. I have a blog post coming up next week that goes into this a little bit more, because I think that it’s important to tell the whole story and not just the rosy details. However, it is our anniversary so I think rosy details are more appropriate for today ;)


We had a big party on a tiny budget at our DIY village hall wedding with one hundred lovely guests. Our top priority for the day was to have lots of our friends there and for it to feel relaxed and fun (also most importantly, no chair covers allowed). We also wanted the whole day to be at the same venue rather than traveling around, so we went for Ashover Village Hall in the beautiful Derbyshire peak district - a blank canvas venue which gave us a lot of flexibility and freedom.

We had homemade cocktails, lawn games, an ice-cream cart and a brass band that I organised as a surprise for Jake. We also hired a hashtag printer from Something Hired, which gave our guests the opportunity to print their instagram photos from the day in polaroid style instant prints to take home. This went down a storm and it was so fun to see all the prints afterwards! A few funny things went wrong, like our taxi getting lost and not turning up, meaning that we had to pile into the bridesmaids cars and drive ourselves to the venue arriving very glamorously 20 minutes late. But overall we definitely achieved the relaxed and fun vibe that we were going for and it really did feel like a big party.


Our ceremony was actually one of the things we were most proud of. Our venue wasn’t licenced, so we got legally married two weeks before with just two witnesses (my sister-in-law and brother-in-law) in the most low key way possible. Our legal “wedding day” actually accidentally turned out to be one of the best days ever, because we were then taken on a surprise picnic and played outside all day with prosecco.

For our “real” wedding day, we wrote the whole ceremony and vows ourselves and asked a few of our closest friends to conduct different parts of it for us, rather than going down the route of an official celebrant. While this was a challenge and not for the faint hearted, we absolutely loved it and were so pleased with our decision. It meant that we could do the whole thing our way and tailor the ceremony so that it suited us and our relationship. 

There were a few things about traditional ceremonies that we weren’t comfortable with so we left them out and replaced them with things that we like. We opted for walking down the aisle together instead of me being given away, which I loved because it kept me calm and it felt like we were entering this together as a team. My Maid of Honour read an extract from a lecture by philosopher Alan Watts and our friends wrote a poem for us that one of them read as part of the ceremony too. We were very lucky to have our talented friend Barry make our wedding rings, so we thought it was only fitting that he conduct the rings part of the ceremony which was really lovely.

The only downside about the ceremony was that we had planned for it to be outside in the fields behind the hall, but sadly it rained at that point in the day so poor Jake had to rush inside with all the chairs and made a makeshift ceremony room where everyone was squished inside cosily. I would be totally lying if I said I wasn’t gutted about this, anyone that says that you don’t notice if it rains on your wedding day clearly didn’t have their heart set on a beautiful outdoor ceremony. But we knew the risk, we do live in England, and the ceremony was still a really special part of the day.  


Obviously the decor was one of the most important parts of the day for me, and we took on an absolute mammoth of a DIY project. We went for an eclectic whimsical feel with wildflowers, fairy lights, and over 4.5km of ribbon that we made into a ceiling canopy in the main hall. Seeing the ribbons go up on the Friday setting up day was one of my favourite moments, they were such a good way to transform a village hall space. We also made a light wall on the stage by draping some voile fabric in front of fairy lights - a classic trick and one of my favourites. You might be able to recognise some of the other details like the gold place cards and signs from the shop - this was their maiden voyage!


Probably the most time consuming DIY project was all of the paper flowers I made into bouquets and flower crowns for myself and the bridesmaids. There were over a hundred paper flowers in total so they took weeks to make, but I was so pleased with them in the end, I love how colourful they were and the bridesmaids looked so beautiful! Plus I love that I’ve been able to keep my bouquet, it’s still as good as new.

We had real flowers for the centrepieces which we bought wholesale from Triangle Nursery and Jake’s mum arranged them the day before. I can’t recommend Triangle Nursery enough, they were so brilliant with sharing advice for what flowers to order and the right quantities, and it was a really affordable way to have lots of real flowers on a budget. It was also a fun activity to unpack and condition the flowers when they arrived a few days before, it really made the house feel like wedding HQ. If anyone is interested in the process of doing your own flowers and the flower conditioning process then I can do a blog post on that soon.


So slightly weird confession time, at the beginning of the wedding planning process I really wasn’t overly fussed on the dress. I am more of a details girl, so I was too busy planning the invitations and decorations to think about what I was going to be wearing. I did go dress shopping, but I didn’t find anything that I liked and it did slightly pain me to spend so much money on something I would only wear once. This is not to diminish the work of bridal designers, the reason wedding dresses cost that much is because they are absolutely worth it due to the skill and time that’s involved - I just knew that I wouldn’t really feel like “me” in a super fancy dress.

Surprisingly the dress I ended up wearing was one of my favourite things about the wedding! It was actually separates. I bought the skirt from Wardrobe by Dulcinea on Etsy and I was so pleased with it. It’s very lightly hand dip-dyed in pink and it was so comfortable to wear - it really was the perfect find! I then spent months and months searching for the right top to go with it, and in the end found the sparkly pink one in topshop and loved it so much. I had six beautiful best friends as bridesmaids, and they looked stunning in their mismatched blush dresses from ASOS, which complemented the pink in my dress so nicely. I wore metallic copper shoes and my bag was custom designed by Dee from Suede and Co, to match my custom earrings made by Melodie from SlinkyLinks. It was so lovely to be wearing pieces by such talented handmade artists and friends on my wedding day.


Photographer: Simon Revill Photography 

Prop Hire and Hashtag Printer (photo printing): Something Hired 

Videographer: Homer Todiwala 

Venue: Ashover Village Hall 

Wholesale Flowers: Triangle Nursery 

Paper Flowers, Decor and Details: Rachel Emma Studio (obvs!) 

So that was our wedding! If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading. If there's anything that you’d like to hear a bit more about or any hear advice on just let me know either on instagram or in the comments below :)

Wildflower Wedding Inspiration

 Modern ideas for a wild flower wedding. 

Modern ideas for a wild flower wedding. 

Images from top left: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 //

I love a wildflower theme. The carefree whimsical feel, mix of colours and loose floral arrangements make a perfect setting for a relaxed and beautiful wedding. Pairing a bright wildflower colour scheme with bright white backdrops really gives this popular trend of the last few years a contemporary edge. The best thing about wildflowers too is that they can be a great budget option, as they lend themselves really well to DIY floral arrangements 

 Wildflowers in Copper bud vases, which you can buy here at  SlinkyHome .

Wildflowers in Copper bud vases, which you can buy here at SlinkyHome.

 Personalised packs of wildflower seeds make perfect wedding favours. 

Personalised packs of wildflower seeds make perfect wedding favours. 

 Use single wildflowers for beautiful flat lay displays or signs. 

Use single wildflowers for beautiful flat lay displays or signs. 

 Hand drawn wildflower  save the dates . 

Hand drawn wildflower save the dates

 I make bespoke  paper flower bouquets , like this wildflower bunch for bridesmaids. 

I make bespoke paper flower bouquets, like this wildflower bunch for bridesmaids. 

 Gold foil and wildflowers are best friends when it comes to wedding invitations.

Gold foil and wildflowers are best friends when it comes to wedding invitations.

 Hand illustrated wildflower table numbers with rose gold foil detailing. 

Hand illustrated wildflower table numbers with rose gold foil detailing. 

Marble and Rose Gold Wedding Inspiration

Wedding ThemesRachelComment
 Marble and copper wedding theme.

Marble and copper wedding theme.

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

Marble and rose gold are a match made in heaven, the perfect blend of pretty and modern, which makes them a perfect pairing for a wedding theme. With complementing greys and blush pinks, this trend shouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon. My favourite way to style this look is to use a marble finish in unexpected places; have you seen marble cakes?! I can never imagine getting bored of them. 

 Marble and Rose Gold Place Settings.

Marble and Rose Gold Place Settings.

 Marble and Copper Table Plan Display.

Marble and Copper Table Plan Display.

 Marble and Rose Gold Wedding Stationery.

Marble and Rose Gold Wedding Stationery.

 Marble and rose gold menu card.

Marble and rose gold menu card.

 Marble and rose gold table numbers. 

Marble and rose gold table numbers. 

Bright Pastel Wedding Inspiration


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

Confession: I wasn't a huge fan of the pastel wedding trend over the last few years - when weddings tended to look like the set of the Great British Bake-Off. Don't get me wrong, I think a muted pallet can look beautiful in a scheme, but I think pastels specifically are best used in saturated ice-cream tones. Bright pastels are perfect for a playful handmade wedding, think seaside town or village hall, with big props and ribbons galore!

 These mint feather buttonholes are available in my  shop here . 

These mint feather buttonholes are available in my shop here

What do you think of pastels? Over? Or a forever wedding staple?