Advice // What You Need to Know About Wedding Ceremony Music

Image: Justin Marantz {via Style Me Pretty}

Music has the ability to transport us away from our immediate surroundings to a different time and place. It is almost as though the songs which mean a great deal to us are imbued with magical powers! Just as the smell of your favourite childhood dish cooking or a loved one’s perfume can kindle strong emotions; special songs can lift the heart and heighten the senses. I suppose that is why music plays such an important part in the average wedding day setup.

There are many ways in which your favourite music can be incorporated into your wedding day; you could walk down the aisle to the song that was playing when you met, you could have your favourite artist playing softly in the background during your wedding breakfast, and your band or DJ could be charged with a bespoke playlist including songs which stir up special memories. The options are many, so it is important to sit down with your fiancé to discuss your ideas.

Image: Tec Petaja {via Style Me Pretty}

As I cannot advise you on what type of music is right for you as a couple, the advice below is more of a practical look at wedding music which deals with the ceremony only. I have chosen to highlight the ceremony as this is the section of the day I get asked about most with regards to music choices and restrictions.

The music which will be played during your wedding ceremony will differ depending on whether you have chosen to have a religious or a non-religious ceremony. Certain restrictions exist for both options, so be sure to discuss your ceremony music ideas with your minister or registrar.

Image Howell Photography {via Bridal Musings}

Religious ceremonies:

If you have opted for a wedding ceremony which will take place in a church, you will need to speak with the minister who will be conducting your marriage to find out specific details regarding the type and amount of music which will be required for your ceremony. Different churches have different traditions and rules, so your minister should be the first port of call before you set your heart on something which may not be appropriate. Generally you will need to decide on the following…

  • Prelude music, to be played while guests enter the church
  • A processional song, which will be played as the bridal party enters the church
  • Three hymns to be sung during the service
  • Incidental music, to be played while you are signing the register
  • Recessional music, to be played while you and your groom leave the church as husband and wife

Popular choices for music during a church wedding include solo artists, organists and church choirs. I really do think that a traditional church choir is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world, and I urge you to utilise your church’s own choir during your ceremony, particularly if they have an angelic sounding children’s choir! A church choir will lead your guests during your chosen hymns, and they can sing alone while you sign the register. Most churches also have an organist who can provide a very traditional atmosphere for your ceremony. Organists are a goldmine of information with regards to choosing which hymns to include, so be sure to meet with your church’s own organist early on in the decision making process! You should also check the level of proficiency of the organist so that you can make an informed decision about the pieces you want them to play.

Regarding hymns it is important that you try to choose songs which are well known and easy to sing so that your guests are able to keep up. You should also discuss your favourite hymns with your fiancé to see if there are any pieces which you both adore. These pieces must be included in your ceremony as the sound of your friends and family giving voice to your favourite hymns can be a very inspiring and emotional experience.

Image: Colin Cowie Weddings

Non-religious ceremonies:

As I mentioned above it is very important that you discuss any ideas you have regarding ceremony music with your registrar or celebrant. You need to make sure that you have the correct amount of songs chosen and that all of them are appropriate for a non-religious ceremony. You may also like to have a conversation with your venue’s wedding planners or events team to be completely sure that you know what is required as some venues has restrictions on the genres of music they will play. Most non-religious ceremonies require the following…

  • Prelude music to be played while guests enter the ceremony room
  • A processional piece, which will be played as the bridal party enters the ceremony room
  • Three incidental pieces to be played while you are signing the register
  • And finally a recessional piece which will be played while you and your groom leave the ceremony room as husband and wife

Popular options for non-religious ceremony music include hiring a pianist, a solo artist or a string quartet to play live during the ceremony, or if you’re on a tight budget you could simply use a good quality CD player or iPod speaker dock to play your own music. If you do decide to use a gadget of some descriptions to play your music, just make sure that all of our equipment is in good working order. If you have your heart set on live music then I always suggest requesting that venue staff have a CD player or iPod dock as a backup in case the musician fails to arrive.

I know I’ve mentioned this above, but I want to make the point again. If you are to have a civil ceremony then you must be careful not to choose pieces which have any religious connotations. Double check with your registrar if you’re unsure as registrars are bound by law to interrupt your ceremony if you play a piece of music which isn’t appropriate.

--Lottie ♥

What Lottie Loves this Week // My New Facebook Page

This week I am loving my brand new Facebook page, dedicated to the Lace & Love Hearts blog! After much deliberating and a bit of reluctance I have finally decided to embrace Facebook in much the same way as I have Twitter. Facebook provides such a fantastic platform for conversation with brides and grooms who are looking for a bit of straightforward planning advice, inspiration and easy access to reliable suppliers, it really would be silly not to get involved!

Right now I am just getting to grips with how a Facebook page works, however I can already feel an obsessive relationship coming on! Here’s to hoping that via Facebook I can assist lots of DIY couples in the creation of their big day, just as I have via Twitter.

It would be lovely to connect with all of my wonderful readers on my new Facebook page, so please don’t be shy and click ‘like’.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far despite the tail end of ex-hurricane Gonzalo giving us a bit of a battering!

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // Aurus London

Image: The Love Hunters

A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to visit Aurus London’s Farringdon showroom to view their beautiful collection of engagement, wedding and eternity rings for the very first time. I was welcomed to their showroom by Kerri and Jake before Kerri took me through some of their vast collection of gorgeous sparkly creations.

Aurus London are dedicated to making the process of buying wedding rings as easy and affordable as possible, even if you are looking for something completely bespoke or unusual. This approach to wedding rings is so refreshing, especially when most central London jewellers are inflating their prices way beyond the budgets of the average couple.

I must say that I was very impressed with the sheer number of ring styles available within this specialist collection, and the level of beautiful craftsmanship shown in every single ring is clear to see. The Aurus London collection includes over fifteen hundred styles, making it the largest in the UK, and every single rings is fully customisable.

I simply had to draw your attention to this amazing jeweller and their new concept of providing brides and grooms with high quality wedding rings that will fit easily within their budgets.

Image: The Love Hunters

The Lace & Love Hearts blog: Kerri, I would like to welcome Aurus London to the Featured Suppliers section of the Lace & Love Hearts blog. This is well overdue! Could you provide my readers with an introduction to the company?

AL: Aurus London has had a showroom in London for about two years now, and we have a close relationship with the most prestigious manufacturers in the world who have worked within the wedding ring industry for decades.  We are London's only specialist diamond, wedding, and eternity ring showroom and we are home to over 1,500 different ring styles.  We offer our range in the most precious metals and individuals can alter styles and designs to make a one of a kind bespoke ring. Anything you can imagine we will be able to create!

L&LH: Where do you source your rings and how do you ensure quality?

AL: We source our rings from manufacturers worldwide and each ring is made to measure, ensuring a perfect fit.  As each ring is made to order, all of our rings are individually handcrafted and inspected once we receive them at our showroom ensuring the highest quality service for our brides and grooms to be.

Image: The Love Hunters

L&LH: Alongside your lovely collection of rings, do you offer a bespoke service?

AL: Couples can take any of the model rings from our collection and tweak it to make the ring unique whether by changing the finish, adding a groove to a plain band or altering the ring's setting. We encourage couples to use their creativity to select a ring which matches their tastes and personality, creating a truly one of a kind ring. There is also a growing trend for shaped wedding bands, and as we make our rings from scratch we ensure for the wedding ring to sit flush against the engagement ring. Additionally, all of our wedding rings can be engraved both inside and outside, we offer a unique engraving service whereby couples can choose different fonts. We have engraved everything from dragons, to the words "The dream team" and half hearts on the outside edges of rings.

L&LH: If a bride and groom visit the Aurus London showroom with no idea of what they want, how do you go about inspiring and assisting them?

AL:  We try to make all of our couples feel welcome within our showroom and start off by offering coffee, wine or water just to make them feel relaxed.  Selecting rings is a very special moment for couples, but it can also be a very daunting process, especially when they have no idea what they want. To help narrow the search, I try to get a sense of their personalities and what type of lifestyles they have. For women, I tend to encourage matching the engagement ring in both style and metal.  These are just recommendations which provides a solid starting point which I can then narrow done with the bride. It is fascinating to see how engaging men are becoming with the ring selection process and are moving away from traditional plain bands and towards customised rings.

Image: The Love Hunters

L&LH: How far in advance of their wedding should a bride and groom approach you for their rings?

AL: Couples should start thinking about wedding rings as soon as they start to think about budgets, which is why we recommend browsing online not only for styles but to get an idea of prices. All of our rings take around 4 - 5 weeks to make from scratch.  However, as we have such a big range, we encourage couples to come to us within 6 months to a year beforehand and tick wedding rings off the to do list as soon as possible.

L&LH: Are you happy to conduct consultations with customers who pop into the showroom, or would you prefer to book appointments beforehand?

AL: We welcome all customers to our showroom with or without an appointment though we recommend booking a slot as we like to get to know the couples and their individual personalities which can be brought out within their wedding ring styles. We are constantly busy with bookings and brides dropping off their engagement rings to have it polished and cleaned free of charge so it will look dazzling on their wedding photos; hence why booking an appointment will mean we can focus all our energy on the couple and answer any questions they may have.

Image: The Love Hunters

L&LH: How can my readers find out more about Aurus London and your collection before visiting the showroom?

AL: Majority of the collection is on our Aurus London website. I usually ask couples who book an appointment to have a browse on our website before their appointment to identify specific styles they like and let me know beforehand so I can have those styles ready for when they come into the showroom.


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Love Heart Feature // Suzanne Neville’s Novello Collection for 2015

Suzanne Neville the UK’s biggest selling British made bridal designer launch their new 2015 Collection

The 2015 ‘Novello’ collection was first shown at Her Majesty’s Tower of London in an exclusive runway show attended by press and buyers from all over the world earlier this year.

Dresses: Phoenix, Novello, Apollo & Ballet

Modern clean lines work in harmony with clever construction, in ultimate luxury fabrics with gowns such as the satin bias cut ‘Chelsea’ and the effortlessly chic ‘Brompton’. The detail is in the cut and the design, with fabrics sourced to complement the fall of the gown in true Suzanne Neville style. Other highlights include gowns such as ‘Grosvenor’ with its classic silk organza skirt and contrasting French lace long sleeved bodice.

Dresses: Savoy, Chelsea & Lexington

Suzanne Neville is known for creating elegant fashion forward gowns with a real wow factor. Every couture gown is beautifully hand cut and individually made in London, overseen by Suzanne herself. Frequently requested for red carpet events and television shows, the incredibly flattering dresses are always in demand.

Dresses: Fitzrovia, Grosvenor & Dominion

This bridal and evening wear brand has grown over the past two decades to incorporate three luxury Suzanne Neville boutiques and over fifty independent bridal retailers worldwide.


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Advice // Choosing Flowers for Your Wedding Day

Image: Kay English Photography {via Style Me Pretty}

In my opinion, flowers exist not only for the reproduction of plant life, but also, and quite simply, to make us happy. We give flowers to people when they need cheering up or when we wish to mark a special occasion, we bring them into our homes to add a bit of life and colour to our surroundings, and we nurture them in our gardens for their beauty and scent. Floral arrangements, accessories and embellishments stand out in the memory and make the whole experience of getting married a real celebration of life, of abundance, and of beauty. There’s nothing quite like an arrangement of exquisite blooms to calm the mood, lift the spirits and to make you feel that this particular occasion is really very special indeed. In short, flowers make us feel good!

Images: Lauren Fair Photography {via Ruffled} // Peaches & Mint Fine Art Photography {via Burnetts Boards}

It’s hardly a surprise therefore that flowers play a large part in the vast majority of weddings in the UK and that they are an element upon which we are happy to blow the budget. Getting your wedding flowers right is absolutely essential, as it is with any large expense on your budget spreadsheet! In times past the flowers and herbs included in the bride’s bouquet were thought to have magical powers and the ability to protect the bride from evil spirits. However, these days we tend to choose our flowers according to what we find attractive and what will work well with our concept. That being said, there has been a recent resurgence in brides being interested in the folkloric attributes of some of our most popular flowers. A bit of research online or a conversation with an experienced florist will provide you with information on exactly what each flower symbolises.

Images: Vue Photography {via Ruffled} // Kay English Photography {via Style Me Pretty} // Mint Photography {via Burnetts Boards}

Many brides and grooms will feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the flowers for their wedding. Unless one or both of you are experienced gardeners or have an existing passion for flowers, you will probably need to spend some time discussing what you both do and do not like. This conversation will often set you on the right track, however if you simply have no idea what kind of flowers you would like to include within your concept, grab a pen and paper and answer the following question…

  • Do either of you have a favourite flower?
  • Does a particular flower remind you of a special event in your life?
  • What flowers do you believe would go well with your concept? This will definitely change over the next few months as you meet with your florist and discuss your ideas, however it’s good to commit some ideas to paper
  • What flowers appeared at your mothers’ own weddings? Perhaps you would like to include some elements from their bouquets in your own.
  • Research the meanings of flowers and see if any of them speak to you
  • If you’re really struggling for ideas then take a trip to a garden centre or even arrange a day out at your local botanical gardens to gather inspiration
  • What season are you getting married in? Keep in mind that some flowers will not be available to winter brides and grooms

Images: Apryl Ann Photography {via 100 Layer Cake} // Lauren Fair Photography {via Ruffled} // Lauren Whyte Photography {via Wedding Chicks}

Once you have a collection of flower names, you will want to turn those names into a source of inspiration, both for yourself and for your wedding florist. The best ways of collecting images of flowers together is to start a mini scrap book, to create mood boards and to start a dedicated board on Pinterest. Just remember to take your scrap book and mood boards along with you when you meet potential florists.

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // Ganache Macaron: Halloween & the Day of the Dead

Last week I finally treated myself to a trip to the Ganache Macaron bakery to have a look behind the scenes. I’ve been a huge fan of Ganache Macaron’s deliciously sinful creations since I was introduced to them at a Central London wedding fair, and from the moment I tasted their peanut butter and jam macaron I was hooked!

My visit to their bakery was delightful and the smell was quite simply incredible! I got the chance to see how the super talented Ganache Macaron bakers turn brightly coloured macaron mix into perfectly formed macarons using some very impressive looking kit, and I was able to watch as founding director Audrey hand decorated a huge skull macaron for their latest installation. It was such a treat!

Now, over to Ganache Macaron for more on their latest installation and their new Halloween-inspired macaron flavours…

The Ganache Macaron team have been preparing for autumn. Firstly, our second large bespoke project is now complete and on display at Wahaca in Covent Garden. Secondly, our new range of flavours for autumn has been confirmed and is available for purchase via the Ganache Macaron website.

Ganache Macaron has teamed up with Katherine Burke, a talented, young designer, to build an incredible, edible creation inspired by the Day of the Dead. Carefully constructed and covered in an array of handmade elements, including a plethora of handmade macarons, the sculpture pays tribute to the joyous and spiritual Day of the Dead celebrations.

The Day of the Dead, also known as El Día de Los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and parts of Central America, from the 31st of October to 2nd of November. It is a vibrant and colourful celebration involving public processions and frivolities, as well as altars that demonstrate love, remembrance and the welcoming back of souls.

For their piece, Ganache Macaron and Katherine have created their own take on one of the holiday’s delicacies, Sugar Skulls, in the form of hand decorated and personalised macarons covered in colourful skull designs.

The team has even taken on the massive feat of creating a skull shaped macaron, larger than an adult human head, along with over 300 other macarons to be part of the display. The piece also features handmade skulls including the lady of the dead herself, La Catrina, whose role in the Day of the Dead dates back to Aztec traditions. The entire piece measures 220cm tall and 130cm in width.

Along with their bespoke piece, Ganache Macaron will also be launching a new range of unique flavours for Halloween and the Day of the Dead; including their irresistible Hazelnut, Chai Tea, Caramel Popcorn, Banoffee Pie, Chocolate & Popping Candy and Chocolate & Chilli flavours.

Each recipe was created from scratch by Ganache Macaron head chefs, Audrey Cadostin and Paul Regan in their London-based bakery.  These fun flavours will be available to purchase through the Ganache Macaron website, in their classic versions as well as with Day of the Dead skull designs.

For more information on the Ganache Macaron Halloween Flavour Range or the Day of the Dead piece, please visit the Ganache Macaron website.


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The Chosen Vintage & Bespoke Wedding Fair Prize Draw

Bringing a fresh stance to the average wedding fair. An event that showcases unique, bespoke and vintage British Heritage design for your big day.

London: 19th October 2014|Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street|London

The Chosen Vintage & Bespoke Wedding Fair will return this autumn on Sunday October 19th at the Islington Assembly Hall in London!

The Chosen Vintage & Bespoke Wedding Fair places a great deal of importance on celebrating local designers,  crafters and vintage-inspired talent that will help make planning your big day as fun as it should be. This really is a one stop shop for all of your vintage wedding needs, and will provide you with access to some of the UK’s best and brightest talent and industry experts. The level of talent and the sheer beauty of the products on display is guaranteed to make you go weak at the knees!

Over the past two years the Chosen Vintage & Bespoke Wedding Fair has been growing steadily and has been been graced by some of the industry's most talented designers, makers and vintage aficionados. Amidst their fifty show exhibitors are some of London’s favourite and most cherished suppliers, including Emmy Shoes, Faith Caton Barber and Hazaar of London. This autumn they are so happy to be launching Lorie X's new collection of bridal gowns alongside collections from upcoming lingerie companies Pompadou Lingerie and Fellow Dreamers. It is set to be an amazing experience for brides and exhibitors alike!

This autumn The Chosen Vintage & Boutique Wedding Fair are running an exciting prize draw for brides who purchase their tickets in advance via the Chosen website. At present the prize collection includes a bridal bouquet courtesy of Miss Victoria’s Floral Emporium, a wedding guide book, a bespoke flower crown courtesy of Ladybird Flowers, discount vouchers for wedding photography and a free engagement session, along with some lovely little bridal pampering treats!

In order to be entered into the prize draw, tickets must be pre-bought online and anyone booking online will also reserve a lovely goodie bag for the bride to be! For more information on the Chosen Vintage & Bespoke Wedding Fair, please visit their website.

Finally, I must give a special shout out to some of my favourite suppliers who will be exhibiting at the fair this Sunday! Brides, really must check out the following suppliers…

  • Curious Fair – for inspired wedding & event styling
  • Emmy London – for exquisitely beautiful wedding shoes
  • Hazaar of London – for gorgeous adaptable & one-piece wedding gowns
  • The Storyhouse – for beautiful bespoke wedding stationery
  • Rosie Weisencrantz – for enchanting bridal jewellery
  • Pompadour Couture Lingerie – for luxury bridal lingerie, garters & nightwear
  • Lorie X – for feminine & fluid bridal gowns featuring hand inked & photographic prints
  • Mimosa Caterers – for delicious wedding catering


Chosen wedding fair from LoveStorage Studio on Vimeo.


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