What Lottie Loves This Week // Winter Brides in Cardigans

Images: Haley Sheffield {via Ruffled} // Wren Photography {via The Bridal Detective} // Honey and the Moon Photography {via One Fab Day} // Lauren Fair Photography {via Ruffled}

This week I am loving winter brides and their cardigans! I just think they are so adorable, and what better way of keeping the chilly winter air off your bare shoulders and arms then by popping a brightly coloured cardigan over your pristine white dress. Too cute!

Including a soft and fluffy cardigan within your wedding ensemble not only provides you with the opportunity to add interest and texture to your outfit, it also gives you the option of brightening your look a little by incorporating a colour from your wedding day palette. White or pastel shades also work well if you’re looking to keep everything a little more elegant and traditional.

As well as being uber-chic, wearing a cardigan with your dress will also keep you cosy as you travel from the hotel or your home to your church or venue. This could be particularly useful if you are to be married in a beautiful, but draft old church or stately home. Plus, cardigans are so easy to remove that you could quickly slip it off at almost any time and hand it to your maid of honour for safe keeping. Can you tell I’m a fan yet!

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // Sound Generation

Today’s Love Heart Feature is dedicated to Sound Generation, a company which provides artists for weddings and events throughout the UK. Below you will find information on what Sound Generation can offer you in terms of musical accompaniments to your big day, including details of the wide range of artists they currently work with. 

The team at Sound Generation have also been kind enough to provide insider tips for couples who are a little unsure as to the specifics of booking an artist for their wedding, including advice on placing music correctly into your running order, current trends, and important issues to be aware of…

So, over to the Sound Generation team!

 

Music is hugely important on your wedding day. It’s proven (by scientists, no less) to be one of the most powerful ways of evoking emotions and memories, reminding you of all the wonderful moments you’ve shared with your partner. 

Music is also a fantastic way of setting the mood. Try to encourage a range of emotions on your wedding day. Guests should feel moved, happy, and of course - it goes without saying - so ecstatic that they’ll lose all inhibitions and bust their best moves on the dance floor!

Most couples will refer to ‘their song’, which will almost certainly feature on their big day, but there may also be a song that you first danced to together, a song that was a big hit the year you met, a song you both find hilariously funny etc. It’s a good idea to write a list of all those songs you want to feature, well ahead of your wedding day.

Where music can feature:

Marriage ceremony - this is one of the most emotional parts of the days. Whilst traditionally couples would opt for classical music, couples are now often choosing more contemporary songs to accompany the procession and recessional. Artists such as Adele and John Legend are popular.

Drinks reception - post-ceremony everyone will be socialising and no doubt talking about the bride’s dress, so you should select an act that’s just going to create a bit of ambience. Guests won’t really want to be entertained yet as they’ll be too distracted.

Wedding breakfast again, this is a time when guests will be chatting and later, listening to those all-important speeches, so as with the drinks reception you want to choose something that’s not too intrusive.

Evening celebration - this is when the party really gets going so you want a band or a great DJ that’s going to get everyone up on their feet and that can really work the room. For bands, a five-piece is generally recommended, although if budget is an issue, a four-piece works well, or even a three-piece if the vocalist also plays an instrument. Bear in mind, the more musicians you have, the bigger the impact.

 

Current trends:

Music to fit your theme – most weddings have a theme and couples increasingly want their music selection to fit that theme. For example you might decide on a vintage-style wedding, in which case a jazz trio or a vintage vocal group would work very well.  

Mini music festival – creating a festival vibe is very popular at the moment. Book a selection of varied acts for a real festival experience. Go for independent artists as opposed to ‘wedding bands’ for an authentic feel.

Element of surprise  a lot of couples want to book an act that puts a twist on instantly recognisable songs. For example a blues band performing a Rihanna track, or a classical string quartet performing a Jay Z tune. It’s totally unexpected and creates that ‘wow’ factor.  

Top tips:

Consider your guests (I know, it should be all about you!) – generally wedding guests will cross several generations so bear that in mind when you’re selecting what songs you want the band to perform. Try to choose a range of music that spans several eras so that you can be sure everyone has a great time.

If you’re on a tight budget – if you’re working to a budget then prioritise the evening band/DJ and see what’s left for anything else. The evening music should be the highlight, as it’s most often what guests remember most (providing they don’t knock back too many glasses of bubbly!) A lot of acts can also provide a laptop DJ set as well as a live band set, so you might not need to book both. You can also look at cutting back on the number of musicians to rein in costs e.g. a harpist or classical duo instead of a string quartet.

CD’s as favours – often acts have released albums & CD’s. Why not give your guests a copy as a unique wedding favour.

Things to be aware of:

Power supply – usually acts will have their own PA equipment, so all they will need is somewhere to plug in.

Catering for the musicians - musicians will often be on site for several hours so will need a hot meal and soft drinks to ensure they have the energy to get your party started!

Set up/set down - musicians will need time to set up and set down, typically around 60 minutes. This will be included in your fees, but if the time onsite runs over a surcharge will sometimes be applied.

Special requests - if you have any special requests for the band, make sure you provide them in plenty of time. Also bear in mind some of your requests might not work given the band you choose.

 

Who we are:

Sound Generation provide outstanding musicians, bands and DJ’s for weddings, events and venues across London and the UK. We offer wedding couples a bespoke and friendly service with an emphasis on stylish, professional and contemporary acts. Our musicians have performed alongside the likes of Beyonce, Tony Bennett, Ed Sheeran, and Rihanna so you can be sure you’re getting the best in the business. 

 

// Get in touch //

www.soundgeneration.co.uk // Twitter // Facebook // YouTube

Love Heart Feature // Phillipa Lepley Partners with Fashion Illustrator Jane Hartley

A marriage of British artisans sees couture wedding dress designer Phillipa Lepley partner with esteemed fashion illustrator Jane Hartley giving brides an exclusive gift of a personalised sketch drawn during their final fitting.

Throughout the month of November bride who order a couture Phillipa Lepley dress are able to book Jane Hartley on a complimentary basis to attend their final fitting to capture them in their completed gown before the big day.

These sketches can be kept as a one-of-a-kind keepsake, gifted to family and friends or used for thank you cards. Brides are also able to discuss further ideas with Jane, who also attends weddings capturing the day through her sketches.

Celebrating her 25th anniversary this year, Phillipa Lepley is recognised globally for creating bespoke dresses of distinction with uncompromising quality. Phillipa uses the most luxurious fabrics, exquisite embellishments and outstanding body minimising corsetry that has been finessed to leading levels over the years. Her artisanal talent and bespoke creations are mirrored by the delicate illustrations of Jane Hartley who is known for her fluid drawings that reflect a fresh view of the fashion world both past and present.

With a realm of experience between the two artists and a shared passion for detailed embroidery, Phillipa Lepley and Jane Hartley together capture the individual beauty of each bride. Each work of art, be it a couture wedding dress or a unique depiction of the bride, shares a timeless quality which will be treasured as an exclusive gift to Phillipa Lepley couture brides.

 

// Get in touch //

www.phillipalepley.com // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram // 

www.jane-hartley.com // Twitter

Advice // Designing your Wedding Invitations

Image: Pat Furey Photography {via Green Wedding Shoes}

Invitations serve not only as a way to spread the news about your wedding and to request the presence of your dear and dear,  they also serve as an introduction to your wedding’s style and tone. It is great to give your guests a sneak peak of your big day by reflecting your plans for your wedding day in these important pieces of stationery. Think about the colours you will be using in your decorations, the types of blooms in your floral arrangements, and the materials in your wedding dress. Draw inspiration from this! If you like a bit of sparkle, then research embellishments that will fit with your theme. If you are a fan of calligraphy, then buy a kit and get practicing, or locate a reputable artist.

When I use the term ‘invitations’ in the following post I am referring not only to the piece of card or paper which invites your guests to your wedding, I am also referring to the RSVP card, and additional information card (such as accommodation options and a map), and the envelopes. So to reiterate, a standard wedding invitation may include the following…

  • Invitation card carrying all essential information
  • RSVP card including space for any dietary requirements/allergies
  • RSVP envelope (always addresses, sometimes carrying a stamp)
  • Additional information card (directions, accommodation info, a map and taxi numbers)
  • Envelope carrying the names of the guests who are invited and a stamp

Images: Salutations // Calligraphy Store {via English Wedding} // Design Mill & Co // Intimate Weddings

Invitation card:

The invitation card is the most important document from the above list as it includes all of the relevant information concerning the names of the bride and groom, date, time and location of the wedding, as well as which part of the day the guest is invited to. The invitation should be the first thing you design, and every other piece of stationery at your wedding should be designed using elements from it, in order to tie the day together seamlessly.

If you would like to state the dress code, do so on the invitation itself by saying ‘formal’, ‘black tie’, ‘cocktail attire’ or ‘casual’.

RSVP card and envelope:

The RSVP needs to be large enough to include space for your guests to tell you if they are or are not able to attend (‘accept with pleasure’ or ‘decline with regret’), as well as space to jot down any dietary requirements and allergies. It’s a good idea to include an envelope carrying the address of the person who will be processing the RSVPs, but it’s up to you whether you’re willing to take on the extra cost of including a stamp. Personally I feel that it’s expensive enough to send invitations, and if someone can’t be bothered to buy a stamp to RSVP, they probably shouldn’t be taking up a space at your wedding!

Additional information card:

You may like to provide your guests with additional information in the form of detailed directions, an annotated map, the particulars of nearby hotels, and local taxi company numbers. This is particularly important if your chosen venue is a little way away from where most of your guests live.

Your additional information card could also carry details of the childcare company you have employed to care for your little wedding guests.

Envelope:

Your wedding invitation envelope needs to be large enough to accommodate the rest of your invitation without splitting or scuffing the edges of the paper. Depending on which form you chose your envelopes will either include the full names of the guest(s) to whom the invitation is addressed, or it will simply carry their title(s). Be sure to check and double check the spelling of everyone’s names and addresses before posting.

Image: Ashley Sawtelle {via Wedding Chicks} // Pinterest // Smitten On Paper

A word on postage:

While it’s lovely to create and send invitations with embellishments, folded elements and wax seals you need to be aware of the current post office thickness and weight restrictions for posting envelopes. At the time of writing a small letter must be less than 5mm in thickness, weigh less than 100g and have dimensions no larger than 240 x 165mm. If you’re thinking of having extravagant invitations you need to be prepared to be bumped into the large letter or even small package category which will add a significant amount to your stationery budget. Consider swapping proud decorations and seals for flat decorations and foiling, and keep the thickness of the card to a minimum.

--Lottie ♥

What Lottie Loves This Week // Hanging Glass Bubbles

Images: Colin Cowie Weddings // Lisa Lefringhouse {via Junebug Weddings} // Apertura {via Style Me Pretty}

This week I am loving those very cute hanging glass bubbles that you may have spotted on wedding blogs, Pinterest and in wedding magazines over the past couple of months. If you aren’t sure what I’m referring to, take a closer look at the images above. Aren’t they sweet!

Perhaps it’s the fact that the festive season is drawing closer (attracting me towards anything bauble shaped!), or perhaps I’ve just been taken by the sheer beauty and simplicity of these bubbles… I just think they are perfection.

These little bubbles are very budget friendly too, selling for between £1 and £5 depending on where you look, and most feature a small window on one side through which you can place small decorations, plants, tea lights or even macarons or mini cupcake!

They can be hung from ceiling lights, floral arrangements, tree branches or your wishing tree.

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // The Charlotte Mills Look Book

Take a look at this stunning new series of images from Charlotte Mills’ debut look book. The pretty images show off the beautiful, elegant, fun and romantic designs Charlotte is fast becoming known for. Each style featuring the signature love heart design which Charlotte works in to each of her shoe creations.

All styles are also hand finished with a silver sixpence in the left shoe and the leather sole is embossed with the phrase “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in her Shoe.” 

Charlotte has incorporated each of these traditions in to every pair of her shoes. The Sixpence is also the Something Old, the Something New is the shoe, the Something Blue is detailed on the insock and beautiful packaging. Not forgetting the Something Borrowed of course, which is inside the shoebox. Brides love this old tradition and this detailing is unique to Charlotte Mills Bridal shoes.

Since launching in April 2014 the brand has gone from strength to strength. Charlotte now has sixteen stockists all over the UK, and from January 2015 her shoes will also be available in the US. To top off a fantastic first season Charlotte is delighted to have been shortlisted as Best Bridal Newcomer in the 2014 Perfect Wedding Awards.

Charlotte says about her new look book images - ‘Hopefully these images give a real feel of what the Charlotte Mills Brand is all about, I hope brides will fall in love with the designs and want to wear them again and again after their wedding day.’

 

// Contributors //

Photography // Jonny Draper + Sarah Sadler

Shoes // Charlotte Mills

Dresses // Love Bridal Boutique

Accessories // Pompadour Couture Lingerie + Tulle and Candy Floss

Makeup // Sonara Parker

Advice // Catering your Wedding

Image: Kate Nielen

As your wedding will probably be taking place over the course of a whole day, you need to ensure that your guests are treated to some yummy and refreshing fare at regular intervals. Food is about celebration after all! We cook complicated and time-consuming dishes when we have something to be thankful for or when we wish to mark a special occasion. Think about Christmas, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, new babies and graduations. These occasions usually revolve around the family sitting down together to enjoy a meal and a glass of champagne. Your wedding should adhere to this tradition of ‘breaking bread’ together, and your menu needs to reflect the importance of this extraordinary occasion.

Images: Weddbook // Intimate Weddings} // Flickr

In-house vs outside catering companies:

Perhaps the first issue which needs to be cleared up regarding catering your wedding is whether you are obliged to use your venue’s in-house catering team, or whether you are permitted to bring in an outside supplier to cater your wedding. This issue should have been mentioned while you were still in the venue viewing stage, but if you’re a little unsure, this is the time to look in detail at your catering plans with your venue. Larger and more exclusive venues tend to insist that brides and grooms use their in-house catering team, however smaller and more relaxed venues such as converted barns and farms tend to allow brides and grooms to book their own caterers if they wish. You also need to be clear on whether you can buy in your own alcohol, and whether the venue will then slap a huge corkage fee on top. A quick chat with the venue’s wedding planning or events team will provide answers to your questions, so pick up the phone and give them a quick call.

As I mentioned above some wedding venues will have a policy which states that brides and grooms must use the in-house catering team for their event, and this is usually non-negotiable. Our venue had such a policy so we knew from the very beginning that we would be unable to source our own caterers. Luckily our venue was well known for the high quality of its menu! The chances are that using the venue’s catering team will be the smoothest option as they will be well versed in catering a wedding with a similar size guest list to yours, they will feel completely at home with the kitchen equipment.

While using the in-house team was perfect for us, many couples prefer to have total control over exactly what is served to their guests. If you’re lucky enough to have booked a venue which is flexible in this regard then you need to weigh up the pros and cons of both options. Sit down with your fiancé and do the maths so that you can compare how much the in-house catering will cost compared to an outside supplier. Keep all of your notes safely in your wedding planning folder so that everything is recorded for future reference.

Images: Colin Cowie Weddings // Pinterest // Pinterest

Budget friendly tips:

Whether you decide to hire a catering company or to use your venue’s in-house team, you may be shocked at just how much it costs to cater a wedding, especially if you have a large guest list or have your heart set on something really special. However, there are a few tricks which you can use in order to keep the cost down. Follow the tips below and you’re guaranteed to secure at least a small saving…

  • Try to stay as flexible as you can with regards to dishes as your catering company will be able to make suggestions for keeping the cost down by using slightly different ingredients, or more seasonal produce. If a particular product is difficult to source at your time of year it’s highly likely that it will also be expensive! Eating seasonally and locally is not only cheaper it’s also far more earth-friendly
  • Consider the dishes which are suggested by the catering company itself as they are likely to have a great deal of experience in preparing these dishes. As we all know - practice makes perfect!
  • Try to keep it as simple as you can. Complicated dishes with lots of exotic ingredients will cost far more than fresh and simple dishes
  • Serve your wedding cake for dessert, thereby cutting out the need to pay for another course. This may not be possible if you are obliged to use an in-house catering team, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • Serve sparkling wine instead of champagne! We did this at our wedding and I don’t think anyone noticed. I know it’s a bit cheeky but most people cannot tell the difference between the two if you go for a good quality sparkling wine. You may even be able to source a lovely local wine
  • More guests equals more catering costs, so keep that guest list as small as you can if you’re worried about your budget
  • Make sure you find out at this stage whether waiting staff, cutlery and crockery will be included in your quote to avoid nasty surprises

Images: Colin Cowie Weddings // Judy Pak Photography {via Style Me Pretty} // Graze Wedding Catering {via Lane}

Purchasing alcohol:

If you decide to buy your alcohol from an outside source you will need to spend a bit of time searching for a reputable high quality supplier who is fairly local to your wedding venue. Rather than being attracted by the promise that the merchant will buy back any wine which you don’t use, negotiate a better price for the bottles in the first instance. You will probably end up paying less for the wine overall and you’ll be left with a few bottles to enjoy as newlyweds! Also, don’t be tempted to book a supplier without first tasting the wine for yourself. All of the best wine retailers will offer you the opportunity to attend a wine tasting during which you can ask questions concerning how to pair wines to your menu. Relax, enjoy the process and discuss your opinions at length with your fiancé before signing on the dotted line.

--Lottie ♥

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