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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.

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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.

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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 ;)

THE DAY:

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. 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.

THE CEREMONY:

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.  

THE DECOR:

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!

THE FLOWERS:

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.

THE DRESS:

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.

SUPPLIERS AT A GLANCE: 

Photographer: Simon Revill Photography 

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

Rachel
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

Rachel

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? 

Woodland Wedding Inspiration

Rachel

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

Woodland weddings have been huge on the scene for a couple of years now, and there's no signs of the trend dying down any time soon. Although here in the UK you can't legally get married outside at the moment, lots of couples are increasingly opting for non-legal "blessing" ceremonies and dealing with the legal bit at another time. This has opened up so many possibilities for choice of outdoor venue, and forests are a beautiful option. 

Even if you don't want to go so far as to have your ceremony outside, you can always bring a little of the outdoors in with some of these woodland styling ideas...

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Having your own woodland wedding? You can find some of these decorations for sale in my shop.

Pink on Pink Wedding Inspiration

Rachel

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

Pink has been huge in weddings over the last few years and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere! Blush was the pink of choice in 2016, with 2017 moving more towards dusty rose tones, but my personal favourite is the layering of lots of different shades - pink on pink! Why be subtle and understated when you can go all out? 

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Has this week's theme convinced you to let a little more pink into your big day? I hope so! 

Next week's theme is Woodland, so don't forget to follow along on instagram @rachelemmastudio to see the daily posts and behind the scenes. 

Celestial Wedding Inspiration

Rachel

I LOVE this theme! Taking inspiration from the night sky and astronomy, a celestial wedding theme can work wonders in many settings. With deep navy tones lifted by metallics and blush pinks, you can create a romantic atmosphere which would work perfectly whether your wedding is on a long summer day or a cold winter night. 

I'm so attached to the new products I've created this week for the 100 Days of Wedding Styling project that I'm going to add them to the shop as a new collection, which will be available to buy next week. The glittery starry backdrop is probably my favourite set-up of the project so far... What do you think? 

Time to start work on next weeks theme, which will be "Pink on Pink" - so up my street. Don't forget to follow along with the daily project posts on instagram @rachelemmastudio

Neon and Greenery Wedding Inspiration

Rachel

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

It's pretty well established that greenery is set to continue as a leading trend in weddings throughout 2017, but recently I've been noticing a fun twist on this theme in wedding styling. A splash of neon really gives the greenery trend an exciting edge, especially when it's pink! Neon signs are super desirable, but can be quite pricey, so in my first week of 100 Days of Wedding Styling I shared a few ideas on how to make the most of this trend without breaking the bank. 

I think my favourite from this week is the invitation suite... that pink foil envelope liner! The next theme I've chosen for week 2 is "Celestial", so be sure to follow along on Instagram to see the daily styling posts. 

100 Days of Wedding Styling

Rachel

The 100 Day Project is starting tomorrow, and I'm excited to announce that I'll be taking part again this year! The 100 Day Project is a daily creativity challenge started by Elle Luna and the idea is that you choose an action and repeat it every day for 100 days, and share the results on instagram. 

Last year I did 100 days of paper flowers, which you can find on instagram under the hashtag #100daysofpaperfloristry. I find the format of the challenge so fun, and it really helps me get out of my making routine and get fresh inspiration.

This year my project will be 100 Days of Wedding Styling! Each week I'll pick a theme and create styling ideas around it every day. I'll be sharing my mood boards and styling shots each week on the blog as well as on Instagram. My first theme is neon + greenery and I'm so excited about the ideas I have already! 

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

Keep an eye on my Instagram @rachelemmastudio and the hashtag #100daysofweddingstyling to stay up to date with the project, I can't wait to share lots of lovely styling tips along the way. 

Brand New for Mother's Day

Rachel

Mother's Day is less than two weeks away, so I have some brand new things to help you show her how much you care. 

My personal favourite is the single paper peony wrapped in brown paper, and you can even personalise the message on the little gold foil tag! 

These newbies are available on Etsy now, so pop over and snap yours up now so you can feel smug about how organised you are :) 

5 Reasons to Choose Paper Flowers for Your Wedding.

Rachel

Paper flowers have been gaining in popularity in the last few years in wedding design, but what is it that makes them so appealing? I’ve put together a list of reasons you might consider choosing paper over fresh flowers for your wedding day, just in case you are on the fence.

1.   Paper flowers last a lifetime. The week of your wedding can be a busy (and stressful) time, so anything that can be sorted ahead of time is a bonus. Fresh flower arrangements for obvious reasons are usually one of the last things to physically come together for your wedding, so this can be quite unnerving, particularly if you are going down a DIY route. With paper flowers, you can have your buttonholes, bouquets and even centrepieces made up and ready to go months in advance, and they will still look perfect on your big day. You can also keep them for years to come as a beautiful reminder of your special day.

2.   Whatever you want, whatever the season. Have your heart set on peonies but you’re a few months out from peony season? Paper flowers can solve this for you, and you don’t have to be a slave to the seasons and availability of flowers to choose your favourites for your wedding day.

3.   Allergies. If hay fever is your nemesis in summer time then these blooms will not add to your sneezing woes.

4.   An alternative style. Maybe you’d like something from your floral designs that’s impossible with real flowers. For example, bringing a touch of metallic into your buttonholes, or having roses made from the text of your wedding vows. You can even have your favourite flowers blown up to an oversize scale to really make an impact in your decorations.

5.   Inject some of your personality into the day. Imagine being able to have lyrics from your song woven into the petals of your bouquet, or words from your favourite book in the buttonholes. How about flowers made from maps of the places you’ve been together? All of these personal touches become possible when you use paper in your floristry designs.

Hope this helps if you have been puzzling about fresh vs paper flowers for your big day! You could always do what I did and have the best of both worlds with a mixture of the two ;)

 

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

RachelComment

Valentine's Day is fast approaching... Don't have your super romantic gesture sorted yet? I've got you covered ;) here's a little round-up of some things in the shop that would make perfect v-day (OR Galentine's Day) gifts: 

Cards: I Like Best of All, Moon of my Life, Can I Keep You? 

Prints: City of Stars La La Land Print, Always Harry Potter Print, Personalised Initial Book Pages.

Gifts: Harry Potter Paper Rose, Personalised Wood Slice Plaque

My personal fav is my brand new La La Land inspired print design with rose gold foil. I can't give you Ryan Gosling, but I can give you a little tribute {insert heart eye emoji}. 

Engaged? Start Here...

Rachel
PINNABLE IMAGE WEDDING STARTER.jpg

6 steps to avoid pinterest fatigue when starting to plan your wedding.

If you are recently engaged, hooray and congratulations! As well as excitement, you are probably feeling overwhelmed with where to start your planning process, and an insatiable urge to go wild on pinterest searching for the perfect wedding design details. This is where I lovingly say HOLD UP a second! There are some big things to think about first, and once you have those in place it is so much easier to plan the rest of the wedding with clarity and intention.  

1.   Stop and enjoy being engaged for a bit. This sounds counter intuitive, but it’s so important and quite often a missed step. It’s very tempting as soon as you get engaged to start planning the big day immediately, especially because as soon as you break the happy news you will be flooded with questions from your loved ones. This can be a recipe for early overwhelm, so it’s really important to chill on the immediate planning, even for a day or the evening, just to let your engagement sink in and bask in happiness together.

 

2.   Set a budget. The first conversation you have should be the hardest. Get realistic and honest about the money you are willing to spend and where it’s coming from. This includes talking to relatives openly about if they would like to contribute, if that is a route you would like to go down. Your budget affects every single aspect of your day, so it’s important to be clear about your intentions from the start. I’ve created a wedding budget starter sheet to help you with your wedding money woes, which you can download here.

Beautiful photo by Studio Something, from Jadey and Tim's wedding featuring my mint feather buttonholes.

Beautiful photo by Studio Something, from Jadey and Tim's wedding featuring my mint feather buttonholes.

3.  Think about the mood/tone you’d like your wedding to have. How would you like your guests to feel on the day? What would you like the atmosphere to be like? This is less about setting a colour scheme and more thinking about your personality as a couple and the tone you’d like your wedding to have. A good exercise to do is to imagine what you’d like your guests to be saying the morning after your wedding.

4.  Set a date, but keep it flexible if you can until you find your venue. Think about the time of year you’d like to get married, and how this affects your budget and the atmosphere of your wedding. For example winter weddings can be up to half price on some venue hires, leaving room for spending on other fun stuff.

Photo credit: Simon Revill Photography

5.  Create a rough guest list and choose your wedding party. Go back to your answers on the mood/tone of the wedding and you’ll quickly realise that the size of your guest list will determine the style of wedding you can afford on your budget.

6.  Choose a location and start looking for venues. It’s really tempting to go crazy on pinterest before you’ve found your venue, but finding your ideal venue first really helps the other details fall into place. A countryside wedding will suit very different styles to a beach or city wedding for example, and knowing your ideal location first is a must if you want to narrow down your design ideas. 

I hope this helps you avoid pinterest fatigue in the first stages of wedding planning. It can be really overwhelming, but by taking these steps first you will set yourself up for a more focused and less stressful experience. Don’t forget to download your free budget planning starter sheet, and happy planning! 

Paper Buttonholes and Moss Bros

RachelComment

If you follow me on Instagram you may remember I was working on a big order of buttonholes just before Christmas, and I'm so excited to finally announce their destination. I've been working with the lovely people at Moss Bros, and my copper paper buttonholes will soon be spotted in their S/S hire window displays across the UK! I also created some bespoke designs for their 2017 Hire Collection lookbook, which you can see more of on the Moss Bros website.

These designs will be available in the shop as part of my S/S collection, but if you'd like to order some for your wedding before they launch just drop me an email and I can advise on early-bird availability. 

Pop over to the Moss Bros website to see the whole lookbook, and if you go into a store near you, see if you can spot my little buttonholes out in the wild :) 

Wedding Biz Stories - Something Hired

Rachel Waring
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I love hearing the stories behind other businesses, especially fellow wedding professionals. Something Hired is a new business that offers event hire throughout the UK, which is designed specifically for people planning smaller handmade events - my favourite kind! Today Gavin from Something Hired is sharing some of his insights and experiences, both from a business perspective and from his own wedding, which sparked a new chapter for him in the wedding industry. 

1.      A bit of background, how did you get to where you are, what were the beginnings of your business? 

In 2014 I planned my own wedding, long story short during the planning I quickly realised that it was very difficult to hire all the things I required without going to a number of suppliers. Why wasn’t there a single company who could supply the things people needed to anywhere throughout the country? After discussing it with my colleague we decided to do something about this and Something Hired was born, with the aim of saving people money, time and reducing stress by supplying beautiful things for special occasions!

2.      How did your own wedding planning process go? 

My wife is from Guadeloupe which is a French island in the Caribbean, (if you have watched death in paradise on the BBC, that’s it!) so I wanted to have an event that would resonate with her family. This included Caribbean food and plenty of rum punch! I also wanted to keep things informal and fun so we built a little Caribbean beach bar and had some outside games to keep everyone entertained. Everything went superbly, our guests had a great day and although by the standards of many peoples weddings ours was low key for us it was perfect.   

3.      Your favourite thing about weddings?

I think although the emphasis is on the bride for a wedding day, the best thing for me is the guests. It is impossible to please everyone, but a day that flows well and isn’t to dogmatic in adhering to every tradition and process is a day that everyone will enjoy and remember.

4.      What are your best wedding planning tips? 

I think retrospectively the two big things I encountered was pulling the physical things together with actually sourcing the items needed, this was so hard that we have since started a company to deal with this! The next problem was dealing with all the little things that need your time and attention on the day, if I could go back I would employ a wedding planner who offers on the day assistance. I am very good at organising and delegating but doing it on your wedding day robs you of the time you want to be spending enjoying the day.

5.      Any funny stories / wedding disasters you have encountered?

I am sworn to secrecy I'm afraid! 

6.      Explain a bit about the services you offer, your ethos as a company. 

We offer a good selection of high quality product. From the necessary, such as Cutlery, crockery and glassware, to the more exciting things like bars, lighting and even instagram printers. Have a look at our website and see our range!
We built the company so that we could help people just like myself, so we keep everything simple, we deliver throughout the whole UK, we keep our product quality and our prices realistic. Also our website is a jump forward because you can see exactly how much things are going to cost including delivery without calling or emailing (although we are always happy to discuss anything should you wish). We have very low minimum orders and sensible payment and booking terms…. We are unique!

Having worked with many hire companies in the past, I can say that Something Hired really does have a personal touch that makes the whole process a lot easier and more enjoyable. So much so that we're working with them for our own wedding! Thanks for sharing some of your wedding wisdom with us Gavin.

YAY New Website!

Rachel Waring

Welcome to my sparkly new website!! Now that everything is up and running here again, I can't wait to share all of the content that has been waiting in the wings while I was refurbishing. 

I transferred my whole post archive from the old blog, so everything is still here, just in a more cohesive package. 

If you haven't yet, do take a little snoop around. If you are new here, the best places to start are my ABOUT page and my DESIGN SERVICES

So pleased to have you here :) 

DIY Glitter Notebook Set

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Hello hello, long time no see! I have been busy with my other life as a set designer recently, and I'm trying to figure out a better way of scheduling my time so I can fit Etsy work and blogging back in more solidly... So to kick off some more regular posting for Autumn, here is a fun little DIY, a super quick glittery stationery fix.



To make this set of glittery notebooks, all you need is some A5 glitter paper (I got mine in a pack from Hobbycraft), some plain paper, a laminator (optional) and a sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine you can hand sew these just as easily. 


To start with, I laminated my glitter paper in A5 laminator pouches - just to make a protective layer for the notebooks, and to stop glitter going everywhere when I use them. If you don't mind a bit of glitter spillage in your life, you can skip this step. I then trimmed plain paper to size, 4-6 sheets of A4 is best. 


Once your pages are together, you can just run the centre spine through a sewing machine to bind them together. Start slowly to check the thickness is ok for your needle, and make sure that you change your needle afterwards as it will have been blunted a bit by the paper. Tip: I keep a special needle aside for sewing paper with so I don't ruin my other needles. 

These are so quick, and the results are great - they would make such a cute present for a friend as a little set. 

x Rachel 

From Our Wedding Pinboard

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1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

I'm starting a new feature today which is a little overdue... Obviously since becoming engaged I have been pinteresting like no tomorrow, collecting inspiration images for our wedding. All of our ideas a very broad at the moment, I'm reluctant to settle on a theme just yet... But I thought I would share a few of my recent favourites from our pinterest board here, so we can all bask in the pretty wedding loveliness. 

These images conveniently happen to be from some of my favourite wedding blogs, which I am now even more obsessed with: 

// Rock n Roll Bride (of course, my absolute fav - has anyone been getting the new magazine? So great!!) 

// Festival Brides - has great advice for outdoor weddings

// Love My Dress - so many beautiful and touching stories, as well as amazing images. 

// Whimsical Wonderland Weddings - I particularly love the village hall wedding linked above! So cute, and along the vibe we will probably be going for...

Do you have any favourite wedding blogs you recommend? 

x Rachel 

A little look into my Studio...

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When we moved house in September, I finally gained a home studio – and it is the best. Every place I’ve lived previously has been taken over with my designer mess – with all my supplies stacked in boxes in cupboards and work having to take place on the living room floor. As I’m sure anyone who has a combination work/living place will know, it can be a bit chaotic. I was finding it really hard to be productive, and the lines between work time and down time were completely blurred – I often used to just work until it was time to go to bed. I’ve been ready to move into a studio space for what seems like forever, and it feels so great to finally have my own space! So I thought I’d share a little tour with you, to show how I use my studio in a normal working day. Also, you can play spot the cat!




I have two desks – this one by the window is my main desk for both admin and making jobs. It’s from Ikea, and it is height adjustable so I can also use it as a standing desk – which is so handy for things like fabric cutting. The grey worktop is also great for a neutral background for photos – so if you've seen my instagram that explains a lot of my photos. This is also where Ceci the cat likes to hang out all day people watching.





On the opposite side is my sewing table, with my shiny new sewing machine – the Singer One - which I am loving. I use the three clipboards to display my weekly schedule, my goal lists, and also any inspiration images from projects I’m working on. The shelving unit holds all of my non-fiction/craft books, magazines (mostly Mollie Makes) and stacks and stacks of wood slices that I use in my shop. Also a little storage favourite is my cake-stand turned washi tape holder.



The room divider/storage unit is my favourite. All the supplies I need are organised and easy to reach, which cuts down the dead time between tasks where usually I would have had to search around for things all over the house.


Having a studio in my house has completely revolutionised my work life! Even though it is quite small, having a whole room as a separate work place is amazing – both practically and psychologically. Getting ready in the morning, then popping into the studio with a cup of coffee really helps me to focus and get into work-mode. When it’s time to finish for the day, I can leave the craft mess behind me and shut the door. I love it.

So that's it! I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my studio.

x Rachel