Sakurako Shimizu: Custom made wedding bands with waveform of couple’s own voices. “I Do” Ring offers a unique opportunity to own a timeless representation of your partner’s voice. Any words can be recorded to make a ring. Available in platinum, 18K white/yellow gold, and silver. 100% recycled gold and precious metals are used for the rings.
After the initial excitement of being engaged wears off you may find you suddenly feel incredibly daunted at the task ahead, planning your wedding. Few of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford a wedding planner but thankfully there are many websites and magazines that can help.
When planning your wedding day you will have many things to consider, from venue to stationery, from cake to flowers, never mind your dress, hair or shoes! Perhaps you are lucky enough to know the theme or colour scheme you want for that special day but most brides are bombarded with choice and can often choose several ideas before choosing a theme.
Over the coming months you will spend hours leafing through wedding magazines or searching for specific suppliers on the internet. As well as a collection of magazines there may also be brochures or even photos of ideas you have seen when out. Planning a wedding is like being an interior designer putting together a mood board for a particular room, creating a style that reflects the people living there but encompassing current trends.
When I am planning a party I like to collect ideas in a journal or folder so that I can keep thoughts for themes in one place. I may tear out a picture from a magazine, noting the supplier’s website or telephone number. Thankfully due to camera phones I can always take a picture when I am out, if I see something that sparks an idea for a theme or just for reference to help me find or make a similar idea.
By being organised from the start you can plan a truly fantastic day, without employing a wedding planner. Surprisingly you will find that suddenly people around you are wonderful resources, everybody seems to know a great florist, or cake designer, or stationery designer or even a shoemaker…well maybe a shoemaker is a little more difficult to find, but I will try for a future post!
We are in the height of Summer here in the UK and I know some of you are lucky enough to have year round sunshine. I am fortunate to live near to the beach and cannot think of a better theme for a party. Think of the fun you could have decorating the venue and choosing beach inspired treasures to incorporate into your day, like the fab cake topper above from Lollipop Workshop.
Choosing a theme for your wedding is probably the most difficult thing about planning your celebration. Perhaps you have a little gem of an idea but are not quite sure how to bring it to fruition or maybe you have chosen the most fantastic colour for your bridesmaids gowns and want to use this as the starting point. Maybe you just love starfish and want to use this as the starting point, like these gorgeous hair accessories from Dreams by the Sea.
Living near the sea or holding your wedding on the beach is the perfect opportunity to have a beach themed party. Maybe you will use bright orchids as the focal point for a tropical beach theme. The gorgeous pink orchid hair clips above from Blue Lovebirds would be a perfect accessory for the bride or bridesmaids hair, made from silk they definitely would not wilt on the day.
Another beach theme is a little more rustic and would be ideal if you are a fan of the shabby chic trend that is currently very popular. Napkins could be sewn in Cath Kidston ‘Boat‘ fabric, boat or fish shape chocolate favors could be made using a chocolate mould and the wooden fishes above, from Giddy Kipper, would make great decorations perhaps tied to the back of a chair or even in place of namecards for place settings.
By choosing a beach theme you are not limited to a particular colour or design, as you can see the beach really does inspire different ideas.
The last time I was in New Orleans, it was Mardi Gras. Was it a sleepless series of hoopla and parties for me? Nope—I was 12 and with my grandparents. I remember the atmosphere of the town, but I’m pretty sure I was asleep by 9pm at the latest. Oh but those beignets, mmmm. So in the spirit of all things New Orleans (especially because of the awesome new series on HBO—Treme) today we Shop Local NOLA aka New Orleans.
The Back Porch Shoppe is run by Darline and her husband and guess where their “studio” is? Their backporch. Duh. And Darline is also a certified clogging instructor—I had nooo idea what that was, so I looked it up. Clogging is a folk dance with roots in African American, European, and traditional Cherokee dance. Pretty cool. It’s basically representing the earliest of our ancestors here in the United States. Darline and her husband make each piece in their shop by hand, from cutting the wood, to sanding, and then painting the designs and pattern. Darline has another shop as well. You can find ephemera like hardware, buttons, old bottles, lace, etc. All good stuff when you lie to repurpose or remake things yourself.
My other brush with New Orleans culture was when I planned a wedding for a cute couple from there. The had won a wedding from Martha Stewart Weddings in Puerto Rico. One of the things they wanted to include in the party was a Second Line dance. So of course, we needed umbrellas. And just like Liz, the maker of these umbrellas, we also used them to keep the guests shaded. I love the idea of walking through the streets with one of these fantastic creations. It serves a really important purpose, too, because we all need to stay out of the hot sun as the weather gets warmer. Liz’s work is also available in person, at Lost & Found at 323 Chartres St. in the French Quarter (504) 595-6745.
I have a little girl with unruly hair, so I am always on the hunt for cute hair clips. I wouldn’t describe these clips from Etsy seller FunkyHairClips as cute, they’re way cooler than that. I also love how she explains her story of starting her handmade business, she says that she was an English major, and if history were a band she’d be a groupie. So here designs are a reflection of that love of the old, and she gets inspiration from the streets of New Orleans and the eclectic blend of the old and the new. She says, “my true love is New Orleans–the hot tropic climate, the madness of Mardi Gras, the saturation of color, even the sprawling gothic voodoo creepiness of the “Cities of the Dead”. Give me my aging madness–floods, disasters and all! And that about says it all, don’t you think?
Flowers are a vital part of any celebration, adding colour and texture or perhaps even as a dramatic flourish. The emerald city inspired bouquet above from Idotakeu would certainly add drama to your outfit. Many brides choose neutral colours to compliment their dress, such as cream roses which were popularised by the Victorians as a wedding flower, as they became fascinated with the meaning of different blooms. The wedding rose is said to represent true love.
However some brides choose a brighter bouquet and use this colour throughout their designs for their wedding festivities. A fabulous example can be seen above in the brooch bouquet created by Lionsgate Designs Beautiful flower garlands are draped around the shoulders of the bride and groom by their mothers in Thailand whilst they are at the altar, adding plenty of colour from the start of the wedding celebrations.
Perhaps you will choose a dramatic orange colour to accent your theme, picking marigolds to feature in your bouquet or even choosing these fabulous orange flower shoe clips from Chloe & Maddie, as seen above. Marigolds were dipped in rosewater and carried by brides in Tudor England. The brides would then eat the marigolds as they were considered as an aphrodisiac. I would not suggest that modern brides follow this tradition!
A Christmas wedding would perhaps take advantage of the abundance of ivy available, especially as the Ancient Greeks considered ivy to be a symbol of their never ending love for their spouses. Mixing ivy with cranberry coloured flowers would be a great combination for a winter wedding, like the garland worn in the flower girls hair above from The Red Magnolia .
Herbs can also be used in your wedding flowers as they were by the Ancient Roman brides as a symbol of fertility and to scare off evil spirits. The headdress above from Stitches and Scribbles is reminiscent of the olive headbands worn by Roman emperors. Artemisia is a bitter herb and is used in bouquets by brides in the Middle East as it’s bitterness is considered to help the couple through bitter times as well as sweeter times.
The best known tradition of wedding bouquets is of course the bride tossing her bouquet as she departs from the festivities. This originated from the Victorian Age when the bride would throw her bouquet to a friend to ward off evil spirits, keeping her safe and bringing her luck. In more modern times this tradition has come to mean that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next to marry! Yet I would be loathe to toss away the beautiful bouquet created by Hair Bows Wonderworld, featured above.