Advice // Sharing the Wedding Planning Load

Images: Gabe Aceves {Style Me Pretty}

Planning a wedding is something which you just can’t do all on your own; no matter how passionate and organised a person you may be. And anyway, where’s the fun in such a solitary existence? A wedding really is a family event and it’s something which belongs to everyone who’s name appears on the guest list, and rightly so. While the bride and groom are the most important people at the wedding, your family and close friends will also be excited about the big day, and will have a vested interest in making sure that it runs as smoothly as possible, and is a worthy celebration of the love you two share.

Don't do it all yourself:

My advice to newly engaged couples is always to share the load; don’t try to do everything on your own as this will only cause a meltdown, and you may end up leaving your near and dear feeling a bit left out. Your parents, maid of honour, best man, bridesmaids and other female or male friends and family members will be so keen to assist you with your plans, and will have so many wonderful ideas for making your day truly unique. Utilise this creative force and reap the benefits! If you’re not sure where to begin regarding assigning tasks to your loved ones it’s always best to organise a get-together at your home, or in a relaxed location where you can talk freely. Request that everyone who is interested in helping out could bring with them some ideas of what they would like to take responsibility for. It is then very important that you meet with your ‘team’ on a regular basis to check on their progress, and don’t be afraid to gently nudge them in a different direction if you’re not sure about the way their plans are going.

Don't forget about the Mr:

It’s also very important not to leave your fiancé out of the wedding planning process if he expresses an interest in helping out. Some men aren’t really very involved when it comes to styling and theming a wedding, while others will want to dive straight in! If you’re hubby-to-be is keen on taking a few tasks off your hands then ask him to search for attire for himself and his groomsmen, to research honeymoon destinations, to track down a band or DJ and to book wedding day transportation for you and your guests. These tasks are a little more ‘manly’, so he should feel happy and confident in completing them.

Dealing with overenthusiastic friends/relatives:

I will finish this post with a little bit of advice for handling overenthusiastic or overbearing friends or relatives. Occasionally a bride and groom will have to deal with someone who has gotten a little bossy when it comes to planning the wedding, and there are many reasons why this may become an issue. Most of the time the offending individual will be so consumed by ‘wedding fever’ that they go a little over the top and try to take over if they feel that you’re not doing a good enough job. This type of behaviour is most common when the bride and groom are very young, or when one of your parents or guardians is particularly protective. The best way of dealing with this is to politely but firmly say that all final decisions are to be made between yourself and your fiancé. You cannot allow anyone to force you into a decision which you don’t feel comfortable with, but remember that this enthusiasm is coming from the heart…most of the time! Communication is key here, as is handling all conversations politely and maturely. Never argue with your parents, in-laws or friends about your wedding as it will only serve to create a negative atmosphere around a very positive event.

--Lottie ♥

Advice // Choosing the Perfect Photography Style for your Wedding

Image: Mango Studios {via Ruffled}

Modern weddings are expensive and there’s really no way of getting away from that. Unless you have your heart set on an extremely intimate affair, it’s highly likely that you will spend between fifteen thousands and twenty thousand pounds on this most important of days. Even if you do opt for a small wedding you will pay the same price for your flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and a photographer as a bride and groom who are organising a big event. One of the most expensive and also one of the most essential aspects of your big day setup will be your photographer. When your wedding has taken place you will be left with the most wonderful memories of the day, but you will also need a collection of stunning images to help you remember the specifics of those special moments during the years to come.

As a bride or groom you will be extremely busy on the day of your wedding and as a result you are guaranteed to miss out on certain sections of the day. The purpose of a wedding photographer is not only to create a record of your wedding for you to treasure for the rest of your life, it is also to capture moments, emotions and expressions which you would otherwise miss. No bride and groom can be everywhere at once after all! Think about the moments during your running order where you will be absent from the room; times such as before you enter the ceremony room, before you are announced into your wedding breakfast and any points when you decide to touch up your hair and makeup. It is very likely that sweet moments will happen between your guests during these absences, and that’s something you can’t afford to miss.

You have one shot at getting the perfect photographer for your wedding, and if you get it wrong there’s no way back. Recording your wedding is a one-time opportunity and if it isn’t done exactly as you want then it can be incredibly disappointing. I don’t mean to scare you, but you must take your time over this decision, do your research and meet with at least three photographers before signing on the dotted line. Wedding photography is one of the areas where you should go for the most expensive photographer that you can afford without destroying your budget.

Take a look below for an outline of the most popular and most beautiful styles of wedding photography…

Images: Vine & Lights Photography // Ian Weldon


Traditional wedding photography is still the most popular style in the UK, however an increasing percentage of young brides and grooms are beginning to move away from this style in favour of something a little more contemporary. Traditional wedding photos are easy to identify as they are highly posed, and as a result they require a great deal of assistance and hands on intervention from the photographer in order to get them right.

Traditional wedding photographers often work to a schedule and will leave once the time frame you agreed upon before the wedding has been achieved. Working to a schedule often means that traditional wedding photographers work very fast and will bring at least one assistant with them to arrange people for group shots. They may also require you to appoint either the best man or the maid of honour as a second assistant who will call out names and collect people together for family shots. It is highly advisable to pick someone for this job who is familiar with your friends and family so that the process can run smoothly and be completed quickly.

An increasing number of people are looking at traditional wedding photography as outdated; however the older members of your family will almost certainly want a formal group shot for their mantelpiece. Personally I think that a good mixture of contemporary photos and more traditional photos is ideal as this will keep everyone happy!

Images: Source unknown // Pinterest // Ian Weldon

Documentary photography

My favourite style of wedding photography is documentary photography. Documentary wedding photography (or ‘reportage’ photography if you prefer) is a style which will appeal to couples who are interested in creating a truthful and poignant collection of images which really represent the atmosphere and emotion of their big day. Traditional wedding photography often fails to capture the happiness and enjoyment of the newlyweds and their guests, however documentary wedding photography is ideal for brides and grooms who want to look back on their photos and remember what an incredibly fun and moving day they had. Documentary photography does what the title says; it documents your big day from start to finish!

Documentary photography is conducted in a very hands-off way and the resulting images are both candid and natural. A good documentary photographer will often melt into the background so much that the bride and groom forget they are there. Not a great deal of posing is required for this style of photography and as a result the bride, groom and their guests are free to enjoy the wedding day without interruption.

Images: Erich  McVey {via Magnolia Rouge} // Alicia Swedenborg {via Pretty Chic Blog}


Editorial photography is characterised by the resulting images which are highly fashionable and aspirational. Basically this is the type of image you will find on wedding blogs, bridal magazines and wedding planning books. Editorial images are always perfectly lit, beautifully composed and crystal clear so that they look amazing when reproduced. As it is quite a specialist area most brides and grooms do not search for this type of photographer, however I think they are really missing out! As well as appearing in blogs, book and magazines I believe that editorial wedding photography is something which many brides and groom would feel attracted to if only they knew more about it. Everyone wants to believe that their wedding would look amazing on the pages of the glossy bridal magazines, and with a few editorial style photos in your album, that dream can be realised.

Images: Matt Shumate Photography {via Wedding Chicks} // Ian Weldon

Photo booths

While photo booths are not strictly a style of wedding photography, I thought I’d include a bit of information regarding this trend. Now, some of you will no doubt be turning your nose up at the idea of hiring a photo booth for your wedding; don’t be so quick to dismiss it as amazing amounts of fun can be had! Once the champagne is flowing your guests will love the opportunity to grab a silly prop (much as a moustache or some fairy wings!) and pile into a photo booth for some fun and frivolous shots.

I will be honest here and tell you that hiring photo booths is not cheap and can be an extra expense which you simply cannot afford. If you’re faced with the option of spending more money on your photographer, or scrimping a bit to hire the booth then forgo the booth and get the most expensive photographer that your budget will allow. However, if you’re in the enviable position of having a bit of spare cash lying around, then a photo booth could provide you with an enjoyable focus for your younger guests, or those who are young at heart.

--Lottie ♥

Advice // Charming Wedding Traditions

Image: Elizabeth Messina Photography {via Love Wed Bliss}

While researching and planning a wedding you will uncover a fair few traditions which can be incorporated into the running order of your big day. While some traditions are rather unusual (such as throwing peas at the newlyweds and jumping over a broom!), some are so ingrained within our vision of the perfect wedding that we don’t spend any time researching when and where the tradition originated. Well, I’ve done the hard work for you! Take a look below to find out a bit of background on our favourite wedding traditions…

Wedding rings:

The tradition of exchanging wedding rings as part of your marriage ceremony is so popular and widely followed that many of us believe that a ring-less ceremony just wouldn’t be complete. But where did this lovely tradition of sealing your marriage with a symbol of unity and infinity come from? Well, some believe that rings were first given as a love token by the ancient Egyptians around 4800 years ago, however these rings were made from braided reeds and did not last forever, as our gold bands do today. Eventually the Egyptians began to craft their rings out of bone, leather and ivory and, as it is often considered today, the quality of the material from which the ring was made was a direct statement of the wealth of the giver.

The Romans were next in adopting the tradition of giving rings; however their rings tended to represent ownership rather than love and devotion. A Roman man would offer the women he wished to marry a ring, and if she accepted and agreed to be his wife she would then be his property. Roman rings were often made of metal and were rather more robust looking than modern wedding rings. The Romans (rather romantically) believed that a vein called the ‘vein of love’ ran straight from the ring finger to the heart. Modern medical knowledge has proven that this is of course rubbish, however it’s a sweet idea and I like to pretend it’s true.

The next stage of the evolution of the wedding ring happened when the Christians adopted the use of a ring during wedding ceremonies. These rings tended to be rather ornately decorated with important symbols and engravings, and it wasn’t until around the 13th Century when wedding rings started to become simpler and to look similar to the bands we wear today.

The kiss:

In Ancient Rome a kiss symbolised the legal sealing of a contract, and by extension we now kiss at the end of the marriage ceremony to ‘seal the deal’. When the bride and groom kiss it marks the point in their lives where they are moving from being single into a new stage where they will be bonded together as a married couple.

I love this tradition and think it’s so romantic to have a little kiss on the lips once you’ve said your vows…

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Silver Sixpence in her Shoe:

The next five traditional items come from the Old English verse ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe’. No one is quite sure where this phrase first appeared, however it’s clear that it cannot claim its origins any further back than the 17th Century as this is when the silver sixpence was first minted. I love this verse and the tradition which has grown up around it is all about weaving good luck and a happy marriage for the bride and her groom.

Most often it is the responsibility of the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom and the maid of honour to arrange for the ‘four somethings’ and the silver sixpence to be presented to the bride on the morning of her wedding, however you could always arrange to procure these items yourself. Having a quick chat with your mother or maid of honour is always a good idea to make sure that someone is taking responsibility for collecting these gifts for you to wear or carry with you down the aisle.

The veil:

As with many of our modern wedding rituals, the tradition of wearing a bridal veil originated in Ancient Rome where women would cover their hair and face so that they could be ‘un-veiled’ to their husband during the marriage ceremony. Throughout history the veil has been used as a status symbol which indicated that the woman wearing the veil as a noble woman, and of course veils are used for religious and cultural purposes to this day. It is also thought that during the 19th Century the veil became a symbol of purity and modesty as it represented the long and flowing hair of a young and virginal maiden.

The bridal bouquet:

The bridal bouquet is inextricably linked to fertility and beauty, and in that order. In times past the bridal bouquet was created as a way of demonstrating the fertility of the bride, which was of great importance to her would be husband. Bouquets were also designed to look attractive by incorporating beautiful blooms and even some magical herbs to protect the bride by warding off evil spirits! These days we choose the flowers in our bouquet primarily according to what they look like, rather than for their ability to keep us safe from nasty ghouls. That being said, it is becoming increasingly popular to choose some of your blooms according to their folkloric attributes, and we have been doing this for some time already, whether consciously or subconsciously! The number one floral element in many bouquets is the rose which is the archetypal flower of love and affection.

So why do brides toss their bouquets at their female guests I hear you ask? Well the answer to this is really rather amusing! The origin of this tradition comes from medieval times when bridal gowns did not cost nearly as much as they do today. After the wedding ceremony the single women present at the wedding would chase the bride and try to tear pieces of the gown off her to keep as a good luck and fertility charm! As time passed and more effort and money was put into the creation of bridal gowns, many brides started to toss other items into the crowd to prevent female guests from trying to tear at the gown. These items included the garter and the bouquet. I can just imagine a medieval bride chucking her bouquet over her shoulder and running as fast as she can in the opposite direct to escape the mob. Poor thing!

The garter:

The garter is another old tradition whose roots we cannot accurately identify, although it is thought that the garter represents good luck and good fortune for the new couple. As I mentioned above the garter was another item which the bride would toss into the crowd in order to keep them away from her dress, however it soon became necessary for the groom to remove his bride’s garter to prevent over-enthusiastic male guests from attempting to remove it from her person themselves!

--Lottie ♥

Advice // Should I Have a Boudoir Photo-shoot?

Image: Belle Boudoir

A boudoir photo-shoot is a style of photography which often takes place in luxurious surroundings and is carried out with the intension of capturing the subject in the most flattering and beautiful way possible. Boudoir shoots can be soft, innocent and intimate or they can be risqué and sexy. It all depends on the personal preferences of the lady being photographed. In recent years the UK has seen a surge in the popularity of pre-wedding boudoir shoots, and it is this subject which I will be writing about today.

Why have a boudoir shoot:

Most brides book a boudoir shoot for two reasons; either as a gift to be presented to their groom on the night before their wedding, or as a way of documenting just how fantastic they look as they enter the next chapter of their lives. Or perhaps it is for both of these reasons, as it was for me. I booked my shoot because I want to be able to look at my photos before I present them to my fiancé, and to feel a surge of confidence in how I look. And we all know that an extra shot of confidence is essential for any bride as she approaches her big day!

So, do I advise all brides to have a boudoir photo-shoot before their wedding takes place? Well yes I do actually, and I do so wholeheartedly! It really doesn’t matter what size or shape you are; a boudoir photo-shoot will ramp up your confidence levels ahead of your wedding, and receiving a book full of images of you looking gorgeous is sure to impress your groom! But I have one small note of caution to add before we move on; if you have some body issues (who doesn’t?!) then I suggest that you plan a romantic and understated shoot, rather than a shoot which involves a great deal of nudity. A simple sheer night gown will hide a multitude of ‘issues’, and sometimes seeing less is more sexy than having everything on show! For super confident ladies I still suggest that you take a slightly less revealing outfit so that you can warm up to taking it all off for the final photos. Oh, and white, ivory or pale pastel lingerie always looks best for a bridal boudoir shoot.

Choose your photographer & venue carefully:

If you feel happy with the prospect, it’s a good idea to ask your wedding photographer if they have done a boudoir shoot before, and if they would be happy to do one for you. By hiring your wedding photographer to carry out your boudoir shoot you will have the opportunity to get comfortable with them taking your photo before your big day arrives, and they will learn how to properly capture you in order to make you look your best. However, I totally understand that some women may feel a little unsure about having their wedding photographer as their boudoir photographer, but remember that your photographer is a professional, and will most likely have seen it all before! My advice is to look at all of the options open to you. When I was researching my own boudoir shoot I spoke to four photographers in total before deciding to book my wedding photographer, as it’s important to find out what’s available and what is a reasonable price for this service.

Once you’ve booked your photographer it’s time to locate a suitable venue to act as the backdrop to your photos. If you’re on a budget you could always opt to have the photos taken at home in your bedroom or living room, or even your garden! Booking a venue can be a little tricky sometimes as you will only need to use your chosen room for half a day. Some venues will provide you with a room at a reduced price, while others will want the full amount, so be prepared to ring quite a few venues before you receive a decent quote. I was lucky in this regard because my photographer sorted all of this out for me, and there’s a chance that yours will do the same. All you need to do is ask!

Whether you choose to book your wedding photographer or a photographer who specialises in boudoir shoots, you really shouldn’t worry about how to pose for your shots. Your photographer will have done this all before and will able to advise and position you in such a way that the resulting photos capture your best bits. I would say however, that boudoir shoots are by their very nature quite revealing, so be prepared to feel quite exposed. While I haven’t been through this process myself yet, I have it on good authority that after the first few moments it all gets very easy, and your inner goddess will shine through.

Lottie's top tips:

As you can imagine it’s very important that you prepare for the shoot as much as possible in order for you to get the most out of it. Take a look below for my advice on preparing for a boudoir photo-shoot…

  • Start a fitness regime at least two months before your shoot so that you feel more confident when the day arrives. Improving your body will also make you feel and look even more beautiful on your wedding day, so it’s a win-win situation really.
  • If you’ve chosen to have a boudoir shoot where you will be showing a lot of flesh it’s important that your body is polished to perfection. Start using a good quality and gentle exfoliator on your face and body at least four weeks before the shoot to give you a healthy glow, and don’t forget to moisturise! On the day of the shoot make sure that your skin is properly quenched so that it looks soft and glowing in your photos.
  • You will also want glossy hair for the shoot so start using an intensive conditioning treatment as soon as you have booked your shoot to get your hair looking gorgeous. You may also want to visit your hairdresser to make sure your locks are perfect, but don’t have a cut or colour done for at least a week leading up to your shoot. Your hair will need time to relax.
  • As with any type of photo-shoot it is necessary for you to apply a little more makeup than you usually would do due to the lights which your photographer will be using. Practice your look a few times before the day, and ask your maid of honour to give her opinion on what works and what doesn’t. For my shoot I will also be wearing false lashes for added drama, and if you like this idea I strongly suggest that you practice applying them. They can be very tricky! If you’re worried about your makeup or hair then you could always have both professionally done on the morning before your shoot. Perhaps you could use the hairstylist and makeup artist that you’ve booked for your wedding?
  • Choose your clothing, lingerie and accessories carefully. Don’t be tempted to go for very complicated lingerie which is covered in ruffles, feathers and crystals as this will probably be lost in the photos. Keep it simple and ensure that every item you intend to wear for your photos fits you perfectly to avoid lumps and bumps! If you’re going for a classy and understated look then include a sheer robe or night gown to wear over your lingerie, perhaps with lace detailing as a nod to your upcoming nuptials. You may also like to include a few wedding accessories such as your jewellery, garter, veil and bridal shoes.

Once your shoot has taken place you will want to have a book created which contains the best of the images taken on the day. Most photographers will offer to create an album for you; however you could opt to create your own as this may save you money. Whatever you choose you need to have the album created in plenty of time so that it’s ready to be presented to your groom on the night before your wedding.

Best of luck with your shoot!

--Lottie ♥


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