Love Heart Feature // Hazaar of London

I first met the ladies from Hazaar of London at a preview event for the National Wedding Show in London, and I was instantly smitten by their enchantingly feminine and unique creations. Their concept of offering two different dress styles within the same gown was something which I’d never come across before, and their passion for innovation really drew me in.

Hazaar of London was founded back in 2004 by London College of Fashion graduates and friends, Isoline Hickman and Rachel Farrimond. Isoline and Rachel’s experience with and love of modern and historical dressmaking and design provided a strong foundation for the creation of classically beautiful pieces which are firmly rooted within, and inspired by, the modern day bride. Hazaar of London dresses truly push the boundaries of contemporary bridal wear and what it can offer today’s brides, and my goodness are they beautiful!

In my opinion adaptable wedding dresses are the future. These days brides are very concerned with being able to enjoy their evening celebrations just as much as the formal marriage ceremony itself, perhaps even more so! And while the romantic flowing gown complete with a long train is still what most brides dream of, they tend not to be practical when it comes to ripping up the dance floor later in the day! Enter Hazaar of London with the most perfectly elegant and brilliant solution involving the addition or removal of a long skirt with a shorter dress.

Hazaar of London currently have two breath taking collections of wedding dresses, the ‘Rose’ collection and the ‘Grace’ collection, which can be viewed over at their super cute website. It is very difficult for me to choose a favourite collection; however the ‘Violet’ dress and ‘Violet’ skirt from their ‘Rose’ collection combine to make a dress which is almost too beautiful for this world. Take a look for yourself and see which fusions speak to you. You can also visit the ‘stockists’ page on their website to find out which boutiques stock Hazaar of London dresses.

Hazaar of London are about to launch their new collection of stunning dresses which is called ‘House of Hazaar’, and has been specially developed for brides who would like to wear one dress for the entirety of their wedding day, rather than removing the skirt section for the evening….

Here are the Hazaar of London ladies, Rachel and Issy, to explain this exciting new line…

‘We’re always designing, as we’re constantly inspired by a new fabric or detailing we’ve discovered. Some of these designs just felt like they needed to be a single piece gown. We can always make a House of Hazaar collection adaptable, and make adaptable gowns into one piece; we’re pretty playful in our approach to design. The sky’s the limit!’

Hazaar of London brides can go from ceremony to dance floor and surprise her guests with a change of look, or stay in her perfect gown throughout the entire day and evening. Either way, every Hazaar gown goes through the same journey, starting with careful design, and finishing with Isoline and Rachel adding final details themselves. Every care is taken to create the perfect wedding gown for each and every bride.

--Lottie ♥

 

// Get in touch //

Website // www.hazaaroflondon.com

Twitter // www.twitter.com/HazaarofLondon

Facebook // www.facebook.com/Hazaar-of-London

Inspiration // Wedding Tablescapes

Images: Meg Perotti {via Indulgy} // Ozzy Garcia

As a modern bride or groom it is highly likely that you will have spent many an evening and weekend dreaming up the design for your wedding breakfast tables. I know I did! I have to admit to hours spent on wedding blogs, Pinterest and Google gathering inspiration, and even longer spells sat at my desk with a pencil in hand, attempting to sketch out plans for our venue decoration team to follow. I agonised over my tables. I was determined that everything would be perfect right down to the smallest details like the type of ribbon wrapped around the jars, or the particular shade of the roses in the arrangements. But you know what; every single second was worth it when I saw the finished results for the first time, and that is a feeling that I want you to experience as well!

Images: Diana Daley {via Burnetts Boards} // Anika London {via Wedding Chicks} // Carmen Santorelli {via Style Me Pretty}

These days wedding table designs are often known as a ‘tablescapes’, a term which I just adore! You can of course hire a design house to create your tablescape for you if you’re short on time or not very creative, however I truly believe that beautifying your tables yourself is the best way of adding a personal touch to your wedding day.

Table decorations are one of the areas which will have the biggest impact on how your guests rate your wedding, as they will be spending a large chunk of the day sitting at these tables enjoying your wedding breakfast and listening to the speeches. With this in mind you will need to make sure that the items you place on your tables fit perfectly with your overall concept, that they are attractive and interesting to look at, but that they don’t commandeer too much of the table space. Leaving your guests with very little room to enjoy their meal is something which you should avoid at all costs. It is always sensible to ask your venue for exact table dimensions and to keep them in mind while planning your tablescape. If in doubt leave it out, and give your guests an extra bit of room.

Images: KT Merry {via Style Me Pretty} // Paula Bartosiewicz {via Burnetts Boards} // Paige Jones {via 100 Layer Cake} // Clayton Austin {via Green Wedding Shoes}

Not sure where to begin? Well, sit down and think about your colour scheme first. Try your best to have all of your chosen colours represented in your tablescape, whether in the form of flowers, candles, glass, wood, crockery, table linen or table stationary. This should get your plans moving in the right direction from the very beginning.

Including mismatched items of different heights within your tablescape will add depth and interest. For my own wedding I used mismatched glass jars, bottles, vases and tea light holders for a rustic apothecary look, and they looked amazing! Search for such items in charity shops and markets, you just never know what you will find!

Images: Jen Fariello {via Style Me Pretty} // Shannon Elizabeth Photography {via Elizabeth Anne Designs}

Make each table slightly different, but make sure that they all come together as a whole. Whether you are using a small number of long tables, or a large number of round tables it is easy to make each table just a little different from the last. Doing this will add an extra spark of interest to your setup, and will have your guests eager to view their neighbours tables as well as their own.

Consider the height of your decorations. Would you like to create something low to the table which your guests can talk over, or something high which will sit above their eye line? In my opinion these are your only two options because while mid-height arrangements look lovely, they can block your guests’ view of each other. The wedding breakfast is all about your guests getting to know each other a bit more, which will not happen if they physically can’t see each other as conversation will be restricted.

Images: Ruffled // Maghan Sadler {via 100 Layer Cake} // Amy Wallen Photography {via Ruffled} // Jasmine Star {via Green Wedding Shoes}

Keep your budget in mind at all time when planning your tablescape. If you are on a budget then stick to the ‘less is more’ adage. If you commit yourself to intricate table decorations and tons of expensive flowers you may well find that you’re required to dip into money which has been set aside for another purpose. However, if you have a large budget for decorations then you really can create something which will wow your guests and keep them talking about your beautiful wedding for years to come.

Oh, and don’t forget about your little wedding guests! If children are included on your guest list then make sure you cater for them buy including something within the tablescape which they will enjoy. I’m talking here about little toys, bubbles, glow sticks, snow globes and the like.

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // Top Table Planner

Today on the Lace & Love Hearts blog I have something truly unique to share with you! Planning your own wedding is an exciting, emotional and ultimately satisfying affair; however there are certain points during the process where you will want to tear your hair out. One of those occasions (perhaps the number one occasion!) is when it comes to creating the seating plan for your wedding breakfast. But don’t fret, because Top Table Planner has the answer!

Simple, easy to use and affordable, the Top Table Planner gadget is an excellent tool which has provided assistance with planning thousands of events all over the globe, from intimate corporate occasions to big family weddings and banquets. The first version of the tool launched in 2007 and since then it has undergone various updates and improvements which have transformed it into a highly polished and widely employed gadget, perfect for organising your wedding breakfast tables.

Some of the most useful features of the Top Table Planner tool include the ability to drag and drop guests and tables, to import guest lists from Word and Excel, to choose different table sizes and shapes, to indicate meal choices, to add gift tables and dance floors to your plan and to name your tables. Yes, it’s really that good!

The Top Table Planner tool was created and is maintained by a small family team with an excellent reputation for timely and attentive customer service, which is just what every bride groom needs! Adam and his wife Miranda created the software after experiencing the trials and tribulations of creating their own wedding seating plan. In my opinion all of the best wedding related brands are created by bride and grooms to be or newlyweds, as they have first-hand experience of the issues and problems which their product or service is designed to remedy.

The Top Table Planner tool has received a great deal of very well deserved praise from the likes of former Dragon, Theo Paphitis and Gold Group executive, Jacqueline Gold. Oh, and it has appeared in Brides magazine as one of their top 75 websites for wedding planning. High praise indeed!

I used the Top Table Planner tool in the planning of my own wedding breakfast and found that this task, which I had been dreading, was in fact extremely simple and involved no stress what so ever. All of my guests where seated appropriately, the tables were arranged beautifully and we allowed plenty of room to display the cake. If only all aspects of planning a wedding came with such a fantastically helpful tool!

--Lottie ♥

 

Get in touch

Website // www.toptableplanner.com

Twitter // @TopTablePlanner

Facebook // www.facebook.com/toptableplanner

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/toptableplanner

Inspiration // Wedding Favours

Images: Love Made Visible {via Eco Brides} // Etsy.com

I think it’s about time that I created a post dedicated to one of the most charming aspects of planning your wedding, the creation of heart-felt favours for your wedding guests!

Below you will find tons of ideas for funky, cost effective, eco-friendly and unique wedding favours to wow your guests with. When it comes to your wedding favours you really don’t need to bust the budget by handing out expensive gifts. Something small, heartfelt and even handmade will impress your guests and show them that, despite having a wedding to organise, you still had time to put something charming together especially for them…

Images: Stacey Hedman {via Ruffled} // Matrimonio in Villa // Cosmos

Beautifully scented homemade soaps are a lovely way to thank your guests for helping you to celebrate your special day. Perhaps you could create a rose scented soap for women, cedar scented for men and fruity scented for the little ones? Adding dried flowers, dried herbs and glitter will really make your soap into something special!

Images: Etsy.com // The Lane // Homemade Serenity // The Sweetest Occasion

Another great way of giving your guests something which smells gorgeous is to make or buy scented candles. Three lightly scented beeswax candles in colours which match your concept can be tied together using twine and a name tag, and handed out to your guests as a simple, eco-friendly and romantic favour.

Images: Shannen Natasha {via 100 Layer Cake} // Blue Rose Photography {via Style Me Pretty} // Taryn Rahl Photography {via Beloved Weddings} // Etsy.com

Have you ever thought of giving your guests a living favour? A plant or tree will continue to grow long after your wedding has taken place, and every time your guests care for it, they will remember what a fantastic time you all had together. Flower seeds are also a wonderful favour as they allow your guests to take them home, plant them, and watch them grow, while all the time reminiscing about your big day.

Images: This Love of Yours... {via 100 Layer Cake} // One Fab Day // Peaches & Mint {via Belle & Chic} // Pinterest // Pinterest

How about something sweet and yummy? Personally, I adore the idea of creating edible favours as they are so inextricably linked to weddings these days. If cupcakes, macarons and cake pops aren’t your thing, how about jars full of something delicious and homemade? This type of favour work particularly well at an autumn or winter wedding when you can fill them with preserves, chutneys and jams. I’m also very keen on giving jars of liquid sunshine (aka. honey!) during the balmy days of summer. Further ideas for edible favours include tea, home-brewed alcohol, flavoured oils, seasoned salt, mini jars of sweets and coffee beans.

Images: Rustic Wedding Chic // Etsy.com // Austin Warnock Photography {via Southern Weddings} // Pinterest

The most eco-friendly wedding favour has got to be something which your guests can take home for their garden wildlife to enjoy. Packets of bird seed and seed cakes are so easy to make and children and adults alike love placing them on the bird table or garden wall, running back into the house, and watching to see if anyone pops by to enjoy them.

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // The Perfect Afternoon with Zouch & Lamare

Image: Photography by Krishanthi

As my loyal readership will no doubt be aware, I love being spoilt! So when the opportunity to spend ‘The Perfect Afternoon’ with luxury wedding planners, Zouch & Lamare, was brought to my attention, I jumped at the chance!

The event was to be held in an atmospheric and sophisticated wine cellar in Central London, and would be conducted by the cellar’s passionate and extremely well acquainted CEO and founder, Moez Seraly. Together with his team at The Perfect Cellar, Moez introduces his clients to wines from some of the most prestigious boutique and artisan winemakers from around the world, whilst maintaining a strong interest in providing his clients with excellent value for money.

Images: Photography by Krishanthi

The Perfect Afternoon is a twist on the traditional afternoon tea, substituting tea with fine wine and champagne which has been expertly paired by the knowledgeable sommeliers at The Perfect Cellar. This experience has been tailored for anyone with an interest in learning more about wine, and is ideal for brides and grooms who are ready to choose their wedding day wines.

Images: Photography by Krishanthi

During our perfect afternoon we had the opportunity to sample some of the most splendid wines I have ever tasted, and to discuss how to correctly compliment and increase the enjoyment of a meal by pairing it with the correct type of wine. We sampled six delicious wines while Moez talked us through their origin and pedigree, and explained to us how different wines could affect (whether positively or negatively) the tasty treats we were enjoying.

Images: Photography by Krishanthi

The entire experience was exquisite, and made all the better by the expert hosting skills of Zouch & Lamare. The cellar was decorated beautifully with floral arrangements by Wildabout Flowers (based on white and red wine), elegant place settings and complimentary table stationery. Photography by Krishanthi and Urban Cinematography captured the event perfectly.

Images: Photography by Krishanthi

I fully intend on treating a group of close friends to The Perfect Afternoon in the near future, perhaps during the festive season so we can choose our Christmas wines!

--Lottie ♥

Image: Photography by Krishanthi

About Zouch & Lamare:

Zouch & Lamare offer bespoke planning services for luxury weddings and events with elegance and personal style. Founded by Mimi Zouch and Liesl Lamare, the company brings a fresh and exciting approach to weddings.

Their wedding planning services are tailored specifically to reflect the couple and their vision for their wedding day. They work closely with the couple and their budget to design and coordinate a fun, memorable and entirely bespoke wedding.

The Perfect Afternoon from Urban Cinematography on Vimeo.

 

// Get in touch //

Zouch & Lamare

Website // www.zouchandlamare.com

Twitter // @ZouchandLamare

Facebook // www.facebook.com/ZouchandLamare

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/zouchandlamare

The Perfect Cellar

Website // www.theperfectcellar.com

Twitter // @PerfectCellar

Facebook // www.facebook.com/PerfectCellar

Love Heart Feature // Little Stringers Invites

Today on the Lace & Love Hearts blog I am featuring my interview with the lovely Sophie Webber from Little Stringers Invites.

Sophie graduated from the Loughborough University in 2007 with a degree in illustration, and began working in-house and as a freelance designer within the advertising, publishing and editorial fields. Sophie now runs her own contemporary stationery company whose whimsically beautiful designs are aimed at the modern couple looking to create something a little different for their wedding stationery.

The Lace & Love Hearts blog: Hi Sophie, welcome to the featured suppliers section of the Lace & Love Hearts blog. So what makes Little Stringers Invites stand out from the crowd of stationery suppliers available to the modern bride and groom?

Little Stringers Invites: I LOVE weddings and everything about them. I live and breathe design, which is why Little Stringers Invites focuses on contemporary, design-led wedding stationery aimed at the modern couple. I have been working as an illustrator for over 6 years so have a great deal of experience in the design industry, which allows me to adapt my style to suit the needs of my clients and their wedding. I like to think originality makes Little Stringers Invites different, using influences from current design and wedding trends, keeping things fresh with a creative modern edge. All design ranges are completely customisable to suit my client’s desired wording and colour scheme, which is all included in the price. I love the creativity my job brings, getting to know my clients and hearing all about their wedding plans. I enjoy working with couples who are looking to create something different and to help turn their ideas into reality.

L&LH: What first inspired you to create your gorgeous invitation designs?

LSI: I have always worked as a designer and my main job used to be designing greetings cards, gift wrap and other stationery and gift products. I had designed a few wedding stationery ranges for friends and I really enjoyed it. After receiving some great positive feedback about my designs, I decided to take it further. After getting married myself, I realised there was a lack of fresh and modern wedding stationery in the market and I couldn’t wait to share my passion for modern stationery design with couples looking for something unique, and so I set up Little Stringers Invites. Last year I launched the brand new website and spent time meeting lots of wedding industry suppliers and spreading the word about the new site. I am very excited about the future and what we have planned, including launching new design ranges and hopefully meeting more new and exciting couples!

L&LH: Do you offer a bespoke service alongside your set designs?

LSI: Absolutely. If there isn’t something suitable in the set design ranges, I also offer a bespoke design service where I work closely together with couples to create something truly unique and personal for their special day, to reflect their style, personalities and what their wedding is all about. I love fresh and quirky ideas!

L&LH: Where are you based?

I work from my design studio currently based in Bedfordshire, but supply and work with couples all over the globe. The nature of the work allows me to work with you wherever you are and you will always receive a prompt response and my individual attention.

L&LH: Explain the process that you go through with brides and grooms regarding the creation of bespoke designs?

LSI: The process begins with an initial consultation. The aim is to build a picture of the wedding, their ideas and style and their life as a couple. It is useful for couples to have a rough idea of their stationery needs, rough quantities and an idea of budget. We can discuss ideas and consider all elements that may be required. Once I have an idea about what they are looking for in terms of design, I will put together an estimate for their wedding collection and an idea of timescale. I will then work up a few design concepts, providing a mood board of ideas if necessary. I also ask for a document with their desired wording on. After detailed feedback, I will work up the final digital design proof for all desired elements. Once these final proofs are reviewed I will ask them to approve a final draft and their bespoke stationery will be sent to print and then safely delivered to them! For more information on bespoke invitations, please click here.

L&LH: How far ahead of the big day should brides and grooms approach you for stationery?

LSI: If couples are looking at the set design ranges available online, then I like to allow a total of 6 weeks which allows time for amendments plus plenty of time for printing and delivery. When it comes to the bespoke option I like to allow a few weeks extra on top of this, for time to discuss ideas and work up their bespoke collection.

L&LH: What should my readers do if they would like to find out more about your creations and to see some examples?

LSI: Readers should head to the website to find out more and if they have any questions at all please get in touch and email me at info@littlestringersinvites.com. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for the latest original and quirky wedding ideas, as well as other influences from the design industry. Also keep an eye out on there for the latest news, designs and offers from Little Stringers Invites!

 

// Get in touch //

Website // www.littlestringersinvites.com

Twitter // @littlestringers

Facebook // www.facebook.com/littlestringers

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/littlestringers

Planning your Drinks Reception

Images: Laura Murray Photography {via A Vintage Affair} // Love Maegan

Most couples choose to have their drinks reception take place after the wedding ceremony and before the wedding breakfast to give their guests a chance to mingle. This also gives the photographer some time to take traditional group shots, and to whisk the bride and groom away for a while without leaving the guests feeling abandoned. The form which your drinks reception will take is completely up to you, and will depend on your individual taste, the time of year, the weather and the size of your guest list. As well as providing a source of much needed nourishment prior to the wedding breakfast, it is also a good idea to serve canapés so that your guests do not have to drink alcohol on an empty tummy.

Images: Pinterest // White Loft Studio {via Style Me Pretty} // Pinterest

While it is common to host a drinks reception where waiters serve your guests, you could also provide refreshments in a more laid back fashion by setting up a table of drinks and nibbles so that your guests can help themselves. As I said above, the style of your drinks reception will depend on how formal or informal the rest of your day will be, so take a look at your concept and come up with something that fits seamlessly. Just be sure to time your drinks reception well so that your photographer has enough time to work with you, but not so long that your guests start to get a bit tired of standing around. Request that your venue provides some couches or tables and chairs, especially if you have very young or elderly people on your guest list. You also need to request that non-alcohol drinks are served during the drinks reception so that children, designated drivers and non-drinkers have something to enjoy. A delicious fruity punch or elegant virgin cocktails are always good options which will be enjoyed by everyone.

Images: Julie Kay Kelly Photography {via Wedding Chicks} // Etsy.com

While I whole heartedly suggest that you host a drinks reception inside for an autumn or winter wedding, spring or summer brides and grooms always have the option of hosting their drinks reception outside in the sunshine. If your venue has a stunning courtyard, beautiful gardens or a stretch of manicured lawn, then a garden party themed drinks reception would be ideal! You could even treat your guests to vintage champagne cocktails, cupcakes presented on tiered stands and lawn games such as croquet, bowls, horseshoes, an ice cream van or even a bouncy castle! Moving your musical entertainment out into the garden can be wonderful also, and will mean that your guests can sip champagne as your pianist or band serenades them in the sunshine.

Images: Ruffled Blog // Yummy Mummy Kitchen // Pinterest

Now, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade here but I need to include a couple of points for your consideration before you set your heart on an outside drinks reception. The first point is the biggie; the wonderfully unpredictable British weather. If you do decide to opt for an outside drinks reception then you really need to have a contingency plan in place in the shape of a marquee or an alternative room within your chosen venue. It is highly likely that the venue wedding planners or events team will have come across this issue already, so they should be ready to offer an alternative if it looks like a wash out. Plan to have the venue staff poised to move everything indoors at a moment’s notice, or arrange to have a marquee erected over at least part of your chosen drinks reception location. The second issue involves high heeled shoes. Weddings are the place to show off your favourite shoes, and many women love to totter around in sky high heels, which do not tend to do well on soft ground. If you arrange for your drinks reception to take place on a stretch of grass it’s always wise to install some kind of flooring to prevent heels sinking into the ground, and to stop the lawn from being damaged. A particularly cute idea which I came across recently is to provide flip flops so that ladies in gorgeous heels can swap them while they enjoy the gardens.

Images: Jose Villa {via Brides} // Pinterest

This may not have crossed your mind but you also need to be prepared for very hot weather if you’re having your drinks reception, or any other part of your day, taking place outside. Make sure that cooling non-alcoholic drinks such as old fashioned lemonade and iced tea are served alongside your alcoholic beverages, and keep a couple of bottles of high factor sun cream on hand to protect young and fair skin.

--Lottie ♥

How to Host your Wedding Reception at Home

Images: Laura Murray Photography {via Ruffled} // Catie Bartlett {via Style Me Pretty}

Hosting your evening celebration at home is becoming increasingly popular as brides and grooms search for innovative ways of saving money on their weddings whilst maintaining quality, style and beauty. At home receptions are highly personal, intimate and relaxed affairs, as long as you have the time and space to pull them off, they can be a delightful experience. If you have a small guest list then you’re fine, but if you would like to invite everyone you’ve ever known then you need to consider if your home will be big enough to accommodate everyone. If you’re lucky enough to have a large house or a very spacious garden, or if a close friend or family member does, then you’re probably going to be ok. If you live on a farm then an at home reception will be perfect!

Images: First Mate Photo Co. {via Style Me Pretty} // Elisa Bricker {via Plum Pretty Sugar}

As you can imagine there are quite a few issues to consider when planning this type of event and the term ‘labour of love’ comes to mind whenever I think of at home wedding receptions. Without the assistance of a venue’s experienced and well-connected event or wedding planning team, all of the planning and coordination tasks will fall to you, your groom and your near and dear. This can seem like a heavy burden but with some very careful planning, some serious effort on your part, and my advice you can plan a gorgeous and highly personal wedding reception right in your back yard!

Decoration and facilities:

Perhaps the very best thing about having your wedding reception at home is the ultimate flexibility you have with regards to decoration. Venues are sometimes a little strict regarding what you can and cannot do in terms of decoration and flowers for your wedding, but at home the only limitations are your imagination and your budget! That being said, don’t go too over the top as you may end up spending the money you would have saved by hosting your wedding at home!

Personally I believe that the best way of hosting an at home wedding reception is to restrict it to the garden. If you have enough space I urge you to consider hiring a heated marquee, large tent or Indian canopy to keep your guests warm and dry as you simply cannot rely on the British weather to behave itself. The company who hires out the marquee to you will be able to advise you on the best way to go about keeping your guests warm and comfortable, even after sunset when it becomes chilly.

Providing your guests with toilet facilities is another important issue which must be addressed. These days you don’t need to subject your guests to festival-style plastic loos, as you can now hire luxury portable loos which come complete with chrome fittings, wooden interiors and running water. Before you book a company to provide loos just make sure that they will also supply an attendant to maintain them throughout the evening.

Images: Dylan & Sara Photography {via Green Wedding Shoes} // Feather & Stone {via Elizabeth Anne Designs} // Aaron Young Photography {via Hostess With The Mostess}

Transport:

Organising transport for your guests to and from your home is essential as I’m sure your neighbours will not appreciate their driveways being blocked by other people’s cars. Obviously if you live on a country estate or farm you don’t need to worry about this, however most people would do well to organise for a coach or pretty vintage bus to collect their guests from their houses and to transport them to your home. If your guests live in quite a few different areas, consider asking them to collect themselves at a small number of pre-arranged locations where the coach can pick them up. Don’t forget to also include plenty of taxi numbers with your wedding invitations and in a pile at your reception so that your guests can get home.

If you have a few people coming from far away and need to find spaces for their cars you could always ask your friendly neighbours if it’s possible for those people to park on their drive ways. You will be surprised how many people will say yes when they find out it’s for your wedding!

Catering:

Catering an at home wedding reception can be a little tricky, especially if you have a small kitchen with very little room to manoeuvre. There are two main options here which you may like to consider. The first is to request that your guests bring something homemade and yummy along with them and lay the food out on large tables for everyone to share buffet-style. This is great if you have a cold room, larder or a large fridge to store the food in until it’s ready to serve, but not so great if you’re really pushed for space.  The second option is to hire a mobile catering company who will take care of everything for you in their own portable kitchen. Obviously this second option will be more expensive; however it will be far less stressful as the catering company will take care of everything from the cooking of the food to the washing up!

Images: Gina Cristine Weddings // Liz Caruana Weddings {via One Wed}

The neighbours:

Holding your wedding reception at home is accessible to anyone so long as they have enough room and facilities to keep their guests entertained, warm and comfortable. Perhaps the biggest concern related to at home receptions is the noise and how the neighbours will react. If you can’t invite your closest neighbours due to space concerns (or if you simply don’t know or like them), then be courteous and pop a note through their door a week or two before the wedding letting them know what is going to happen. Very few people will have an issue with a bit of noise if it’s for a good cause, and if they do object kindly suggest that they pop over for a cup of tea and a chat so that you can allay their fears and concerns. If someone is just being awkward for the sake of it they probably won’t even turn up for a chat, in which case you can consider their objection nullified. 

A word on pets:

It’s so lovely to be able to include your much loved pets in your wedding day celebrations! However, you need to bear in mind that dogs and cats can often become distressed if they see a lots of strangers milling around their previously quiet home. Add to this the noise created by merry people, blaring music, and the often overenthusiastic affection shown by little children, and you can have one stressed out pooch or kitty cat on your hands. The best way to deal with this is to provide your pets with an ‘escape zone’ where they can hide when it all gets too much. This could be as simple as a cardboard box lay on its side and containing a few soft pillows, their bedding, some toys and some fresh water. Be sure to leave the room dark, close the curtains and keep the door slightly open so your pets can come and go as they please. Encourage your guests not to enter that room and ask any children in attendance to be gentle and quiet whenever your pet decide to make an appearance.

Remember not to leave small children alone with a dog or cat. Even if you trust your animals completely it’s best to keep a watchful eye on them just in case.

Images: Pinterest // Jose Villa {via Style Me Pretty} // Milk Photography {via Style Me Pretty}

The big clean up:

Once your big day is over you will be left with more than happy memories and a hangover if you’ve chosen to host your wedding reception at home! I suggest that you consider hiring a professional cleaning company to deal with the mess the next morning, especially if you’re due to fly off on your honeymoon. Being faced with a massive cleaning mission is not what I would consider to be a romantic start to your life as a married couple. Do feel free to delegate the supervision of the clean-up to a trusted family member.

--Lottie ♥

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