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.

 

// Get in touch //

Website // www.ganache-macaron.co.uk

Twitter // @GanacheMacaron

Facebook // www.facebook.com/GanacheMacaron

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/ganachemacaron

Instagram // ganachemacaron

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.

 

//Get in touch//

Website // www.chosenwedding.com

Twitter // @chosenwedding

Facebook // www.facebook.com/ChosenWeddingFair

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/chosenwedding

Love Heart Exclusive // The Buns & Roses Autumn Shoot

I’m very excited about today’s Love Heart Exclusive and I’m sure you lovely lot will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it! The subject of this feature is a gorgeous wedding cake and flower design company, Buns and Roses.

As well as having a fantastic name, Buns and Roses specialise in beautifully designed and delicious celebration cakes, as well as breath-taking floral arrangements. The images included within today’s interview feature are from their latest shoot, and I’m sure you will agree that they are delightful! I’m a big fan of using the warmth of autumnal hues to add a splash of colour to a wedding, and there’s something beautiful and whimsical about these images. On with the interview!

The Lace & Love Hearts blog: Lisa and Katie, welcome to the featured suppliers section of the Lace & Love Hearts blog. Thank you so much for giving me an exclusive look at your latest shoot and for sharing your story with my readers. Tell me, what inspired you to create Buns and Roses?

Buns and Roses: We first joked about creating Buns and Roses.  We were friends through our baby sons; Lisa already had a celebration cake company, and Katie was flower arranging for family and friends’ weddings and occasions.  We both love all things weddings, so we came up with the idea of joining forces.  Once the idea was in our heads, it started to make perfect sense, especially when we came up with the name ‘Buns and Roses’ – there was no going back then!

L&LH: I love the idea of two friends who are specialist in their own areas working together. Does this make for a wonderfully creative and inspiring atmosphere?

B&R: Absolutely!  We are both so enthusiastic about the ideas each other has.  We don’t have the exact same tastes, but we do have complimentary styles.  Because we are such close friends, we know each other’s style really well and both know what the other will love.  So we are constantly showing each other ideas and inspiration.  Pinterest is fab for that – Lisa always knows when Katie is up early as the ‘pins’ start coming through her phone!

L&LH: Where are you based and how far are you prepared to travel?

B&R:  We are based in Cambridgeshire and are happy to travel around East Anglia (and beyond if the bride really wants us!)

L&LH: Please explain the process for the design and creation of a wedding cake and floral arrangements?

B&R's Katie – For me, the design process starts with the bride – her colours, her theme.  Does she want something bold and striking, or soft and romantic?  Would structured or loose-formed suit her day?  Then look at what flowers are best to use for the style, which work best together.  There are so many factors to consider – the height of the arrangements, what containers to use, the shape of the bride’s dress, is she having a veil … I love collecting all the flowers from the wholesalers and looking over the colours in my workshop.  You can really start to envisage the finished product!

B&R's Lisa: The design of the wedding cake again starts with the bride and groom. Their colour themes, wedding style and personal taste is the obvious place to start. Once this has been discussed I find sketching out the idea can help make it easier to envisage what is required. Apart from the design aspect the other important issue to address with the cake is of course the flavours! Traditional vanilla and fruit cake layers are still the most popular, but we are also getting some more usual requests for flavours which I love creating…and of course tasting!

L&LH: Many couples just do not know what they want in terms of a cake and flowers. How do you go about inspiring them to come up with their own ideas?

B&R:   Although many couples come to us not knowing what they want, they actually do have an idea of what they like by eliminating what they don’t like.  Even a bride who doesn’t have a clue what she wants for her wedding, often has a clear idea of what she doesn’t want!  A few probing questions will often point you in the right direction.  Social media (Pinterest in particular) is so helpful to couples planning their wedding.  It makes it so much easier for them to visualise the ideas you are suggesting!  Quite often, the brides will have a flower they particularly like, or one that sentimental to a family member.  This is a helpful starter point for the flower ideas, and you can build around that flower.

For the cake aspect, by discussing the style of wedding it makes it a lot easier to try and gauge the type of cake that would work best with the couple’s style. By asking what type of ideas they have for things like colours and even the venue can really help influence the cake design.

L&LH: How far ahead of their wedding day should a bride and groom approach you?

B&R:  As with all wedding suppliers, the summer months get booked up pretty early.  We would generally advise couples contact us at least a year before their wedding date.  Because we are specialists in weddings and occasions, we like to focus on one wedding per date rather than double book.  However, brides should check if we are available, even if they have under a year to go.  We know not all couples have such a long engagement (Katie planned her wedding in 7 months!)

L&LH: The idea that busy brides and grooms can come to you for both their cake and their flowers is fantastic. How should my readers go about finding more information on what you do?

B&R:  Thank you!  Being able to come to a single supplier for both cake and flowers has really appealed to couples.  As well as the obvious practical benefits, having two such key style elements for your wedding from the same team means they can tie in together beautifully (if the bride so wishes!)  Please have a look at our website or Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.  Lots of options!

 

// Get in touch //

Website // www.buns-and-roses.co.uk

Twitter // @bunsandroses

Facebook // www.facebook.com/bunsandrosesweddings

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/Bunsandroses

Instagram // bunsandrosesweddings

Inspiration // Wedding Cakes

Image: AndySeo Photography {via Style Me Pretty}

The most important element in your entire wedding day menu is your wedding cake. Other than the bridal gown your cake will be the creation that your guests simple cannot wait to see! The fact that the cake is so important to the overall look of a wedding day has led to many brides and grooms feeling pressured to come up with something completely unique and utterly breath-taking, as well as delicious. This need for perfection, and the time and effort it takes to achieve perfection has meant that the average couple are spending a large percentage of their overall catering budget on this one item. With this in mind, it is so important that your wedding cake is placed at the centre of your day, and that it is enjoyed to the fullest extent.

Images: Catie Barlett Photography {via Style Me Pretty} // Amanda Wilcher Photography {via Style Me Pretty} // Pinterest

It is true that you simply cannot have a big party without a lovely slice of cake, and your wedding day should be the biggest party of your entire life! The form which your wedding cake takes is totally up to you so treat your cake as your licence to be truly creative and to extend your wedding concept ideas into the realms of the sweet and naughty. Whether you fancy a traditional tiered creation made from boozy fruit cake, or a modern twist such as an ombre ‘naked cake’ made from light and fluffy vanilla sponge, or even a savoury alternative, you will find plenty of ideas and inspiration on wedding blogs, in bridal magazines, on Pinterest and by chatting to talented and enthusiastic cake makers.

Images: Jennifer Oliphant Photography {via Polka Dot Bride} // Moco-Choco // Call Me Cupcake // The Kitchen McCabe // Red on Blonde Photography {via Love My Dress}

Alternative cake flavours:

I must admit that I’m not a great fan of traditional fruit cake, despite the fact that I love the taste of the raw mixture and the smell of it while it’s cooking! I much prefer sweeter cake flavours such as white chocolate and champagne, red velvet, and vanilla bean. If you are like me (not a fan!) then perhaps you should consider looking into some of the alternatives to fruit cake. Have a chat with your potential cake makers and see what kind of cake flavours they can offer you, and make sure that you have a taste!

Images: Caught The Light {via Snippet & Ink} // Tealily Photography {via Ruffled} // Chaz Cruz {via Rock N Roll Bride}

Meringues, macarons, croquembouche…

While the traditional tiered cake is still the most popular type of wedding cake, an increasing percentage of couples are opting for something a little different. I’ve seen so many gorgeous creations which look perfect as part of a wedding day despite them being a little on the unusual side! Some of the most original and mouth-watering examples included a delectable meringue tower, a huge collection of multi-coloured and glitter-covered macarons, a croquembouche which apparently defied gravity, a glazed bundt cake covered in real flowers, and a stack of chewy and gooey brownies. The list goes on and on and includes some of the most delicious-looking concepts I’ve ever seen, all of which would make an excellent alternative if you’re looking for something a little more unique to wow your guests with.

Images: Pinterest // Amy Caroline Photography {via Bridal Musings} // EK Studios {via Colin Cowie Weddings} // Alicia Pyne Photography {via Style Me Pretty}

Budget friendly cakes:

As I mentioned above wedding cakes are expensive and you may find that you need to figure out a way to save money on this particular expenditure in order for it to come in under your budget.  There are two main ways of doing this and the one you choose will depend on whether your cake needs to stand up to a large venue, or whether you can get away with a smaller cake. If you need to display a large cake then the easiest way of saving money is to add a tier or two of ‘fake cake’ in the form of foam shapes covered in the same icing and decoration as the other tiers. If you’re getting married in very grand and imposing surroundings then you will need to go all out on your cake, however there’s no point in paying for a seven tiered cake if you’ve only got one hundred guests present at your wedding. Adding a few fake cake tiers will make for a very dramatic display which will cost far less than if the tiers were actually made from cake.

Alternatively you could save money by having a small cake decorated ornately which will be on display for your guests to see and for you to cut, while having a second large and plain cake created by your cake maker which is not for display. The large cake can be kept in the kitchen at your venue and sliced up when the time comes for it to be handed out to your guests. If you love this idea but you’re worried that your small cake will be lost against the rest of your decoration then discuss the option of adding pillars or separators to your cake with your cake maker. Placing separators between the tiers of your cake will add height and drama without adding cost.

Images: Lissa Alexandra Photography {via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings} // Jose Villa Photography {via Style Me Pretty} // Neil Redfern Photography {via Love Wed Bliss} // Greyeye Photography {via Rock N Roll Bride}

Savoury options:

But what if wedding cake just isn’t your thing? Well don’t worry because there are so many wonderful alternatives out there just waiting to be discovered by cake-phobic brides and grooms! Some of the most popular alternatives to wedding cakes come in the shape of cheese towers decorated with figs, grapes and flowers, ornamental fruit platters arranged beautifully on tiered bases, and pie towers made from a myriad of savoury pies. Pork pies seem to be the favourite for weddings, but any type of pie would do the trick. I even saw a smoked salmon and cream cheese creation once which blew my mind as it looked exactly like a tiered wedding cake until you were really close up. Get your thinking cap on and you’re sure to come up with something both unique and yummy.

--Lottie ♥

Love Heart Feature // The Alphabet Lounge

Image: Samuel Docker Photography

The Alphabet Lounge creates large decorative letters for homes, events and of course, for weddings. Our creations make a real statement, are eye-catching and add an extra something special to the setup of a wedding day. We can make any letters that the bride and groom would like in order to complement their wedding theme and style, and we have a selection of over forty images which can be printed onto our letters. You can view our design images over at our website on the ‘gallery of designs’ page, and we update our gallery with new designs on a regular basis.

Images: Rebecca Douglas Photography

We make all letters seventy five centimetres high as standard, but we can also make them bigger or smaller depending on the space available and the preferences of the bride and groom. Alongside our letters we offer large hearts, stars and arrows which can be used to add drama, a sense of magic and to draw the attention of the wedding guests towards a certain area or object. We also make sequin covered letters, hearts, stars and arrow as part of our bespoke service. Couples can choose any coloured sequin, which are then hand applied to the letters or shapes by hand. These creations truly are a wonderful addition to any theme and will add a bit of sparkle and glitz to the day. Imagine them hanging behind the top table or behind the cake table to jazz up a wall space, and don’t forget to hang your letters or shapes in your home afterwards as a memento of your special day!

Image: Rebecca Douglas Photography

We have also made hearts for hen weekends and these make for a heartfelt and unique gift from the maid of honour or bridesmaids to the bride, as she will be able to re-use the heart again as part of her wedding day setup. 

All of our letters and shapes come with hanging rings and pretty ribbon to hang them with, so you will have everything you need all in one place. 

Images: Rebecca Douglas Photography

We are always delighted to hear new ideas so welcome any bespoke letter creation requests! Please get in touch using the following address jo@thealphabetlounge.com.
 

 

// Get in touch //

Website // www.thealphabetlounge.com

Twitter // @thealphalounge

Facebook // www.facebook.com/thealphabetlounge

Pinterest // www.pinterest.com/thealphalounge

Advice // Planning your Wedding Breakfast

Image: Wedding Chicks

The wedding breakfast will be the culinary heart of your big day and will provide everyone with the opportunity to sit down together to share a beautiful meal and some excellent conversation. Your wedding breakfast should match the tone of your drinks reception so that your day contains some continuity, however it should feel a little more formal so that your guests understand that this is the main event!

 Traditionally the wedding breakfast would begin with a receiving line which is where the bride, groom, the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents and other members of the wedding party are given the opportunity to personally greet and thank everyone in attendance. The receiving line would then be followed by the meal itself, the father of the bride’s speech, the groom’s speech and the best man’s speech. Alternatively, the speeches can take place before the meal if you have any very nervous speakers!

Images: Pinterest // Claire Cox Photography

Unless you’ve decided to book a marquee or backyard wedding, almost all wedding breakfasts will take place inside your venue, usually in the largest and most ornately decorated room. They tend to involve a minimum of a three course meal and a choice of wine which is served to your guests by the venue’s or your catering company’s waiting staff. I’ve got to say that a formal sit down meal is my favourite way of enjoying a wedding breakfast. It is a true celebration of such an important event, and I just love to see the bride, groom and their guests being spoilt with a delicious menu and some fine wine. If you do opt for this type of wedding breakfast you need to bear in mind that whatever you serve, someone will decide that they don’t like it. Try not to worry too much about this because it’s almost impossible to please everyone, and try to minimise any upturned noses by including a dietary requirements card in your invitations to be returned with the RSVPs.

Images: Pinterest // Wedding Ideas Magazine

While formal sit down meals are lovely for marking this special occasion, I have seen tons of creative ideas for relaxed and alternative wedding breakfasts including British classics such as fish and chips, pie and mash and a hog roast. Again, it all depends on your theme. If you’ve gone for a festival-style wedding then serving individual pies with buttery mash and gravy would fit perfectly, and serving this type of food can sometimes save you a lot of money. And who doesn’t enjoy pie and mash anyway!

Images: Colin Cowie Weddings // Rock n Roll Bride

If you’re on a really tight budget then why not get involved in the obsession with afternoon tea and serve gorgeous little homemade finger sandwiches, cakes and scones with cups of tea and glasses of champagne? If you’re venue will allow it you could ask your guests to contribute baked goods and have the venue staff stack them, along with slices of your wedding cake, on tiered cake stands. A well designed and constructed dessert display really can double as décor and will finish off your reception room perfectly.

Image: Pinterest

A fantastic way of saving money on your wedding breakfast is to serve your wedding cake for dessert. All too often the wedding cake doesn’t get enough attention and some of your guests may be so full of wonderful food by the end of the wedding breakfast that they just can’t manage a slice of cake. This is a real shame as so much creative inspiration, hard work and money goes into producing a wedding cake, so it really deserves to be centre stage on the day. Obviously if you want to serve the cake during the wedding breakfast it will need to be cut a little earlier that is traditional. I would suggest that you cut the cake following the receiving line so that the venue staff have time to slice it up in the kitchen before serving it for dessert.

Finally, if you would like to say grace before your wedding breakfast then make sure you inform your venue of this in plenty of time. If the religious official who conducted your wedding will be present at your wedding breakfast, then it is customary for them to say grace. If you will not have an official present, then the task of saying grace would fall to whomever you choose.

--Lottie ♥

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