Thursday, 30 June 2011

I Love... Glassine Bags

As you've probably noticed by now, I like wrapping things up - I like the sense of anticipation, I like the happy thoughts of opening something special and I like the feeling that simply taking a little extra  time over presentation can turn something relatively plain into something quite fabulous. It's about putting in a little extra effort for a big reward with just a little extra cost.

And, I have to say that little glassine bags have been one of my favourite things for weddings for a long time. These simple semi-opaque waxy bags are just brilliant - they hint at the fabulousness within and they allow you to wrap almost anything without hours of fiddling around measuring & cutting paper and messing around with tape. These little bags are wedding DIY heaven - effective, economical and oh-so adaptable. So, today you have my total permission to call me a bag lady and I hope to convert you to the joys of bag worship too...

Above - how utterly cute are these ceremony programs complete with a glassine bag of paper disc confetti attached to the front? So simple, so effective and so unexpected - perfect DIY. Love this. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - these larger bags have been decorated with fabulous Japanese Washi Tape and you can pop anything inside them - invitation packs, ceremony programs, menus... This is such a quick and easy way of bringing plain bags to life. Image - I Do It Yourself

Above - ooooh, lanterns! These beautifully coloured glassine bags have been wrapped around bulbs on a string of lights and strung from trees. This will look just wonderfully at night with the soft pinky light floating down. I'd love to be dancing with someone I love under those... Image - Martha Stewart

Above - the practical side of me loves this and the pretty side of me loves these too so - win! These glassine bags have been sewn shut with a quirky zig-zag stitch and the confetti inside won't be dropped and it can't drift away either. You could use this look for favour bags too which would be fabulous! Image - Martha Stewart

Above - these bags have just been snipped across the top with deckle edged scissors to give a different look and simply decorated with a sticker. You could use a stamp or other embellishment - whatever fits with your theme will work here. Image - Pash Weddings

Above - I just love love LOVE these. To start with, how much do you just want to tuck into those incredibly delectable looking macarons and secondly, how sweetly simple are those favour bags? Just tuck a macaron into a glassine bag and seal with the pretty pastel sticker. I actually need to find an excuse to do this, just because I want to. Image - Shauna Younge

Above - another cute look where the bags have been sealed with a ribbon bow. Fold the top of the bag over, punch a hole and tie your ribbon through it. Please also note here how the ends of the ribbons are cute on the diagonal to stop fraying - I can't tell you how much this attention to detail pleases me. I know, it's almost wrong to be picky but hey, it's my job...! Image - Twig & Thistle on Etsy

Above - perfect for pack-you-own favours! Glassine bags are stacked in a wooden box, just waiting to be filled with yummy treats and sealed with a sticker. I love the idea of favours as a bit of a communal activity and this works wonderfully. Image - via Wedding Bee

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

In The Mood - Vintage French Inspiration

I have a real soft spot for France. I've had lovely holidays staying with my Aunt in the Loire Valley, I've wandered along the Seine with my Mum, I've skied in the French Alps, I've sat outside cafes in the Pas de Calais, I've walked through vineyards, bought baguettes, lost wonderfully at boules to locals, eaten my bodyweight in cheese and I've wandered along the sea front at Cannes whilst pregnant with my son (who was quite close to arriving on the Eurostar!). Some of my favourite books and films are set in France and there's just something magical about the whole French vibe for me.

So today's post is all about taking a little bit of vintage French inspiration for your wedding. I have to say that I totally adore this look and I've fallen a little bit more in love with France right here...

Above - ooooh, how totally gorgeous is this dessert buffet? Macarons, meringues, delicate pies topped with creme Chantilly and the sweetest little bon bons. The platters have a gorgeous French lace look and French lace has been used to decorate the cake name cards. Image - Andrew Arthur

Above - another great look, this time with a real rustic feel. This burlap table runner has been printed with French details (in an appropriate font) and it also doubles up as a table number too. Love this. Image - Art Essen

Above - such beautiful vintage inspired stationery. I totally adore the fonts, the colours and the whole vibe of these gorgeous invitations. Fab attention to detail creates a really striking look. Image - Bird & Banner

Above - lavender sachets with a distinctly French feel for favours, all tied with beautiful cafe au lait coloured ribbon and the Eiffel Tower print on the bags is a cute touch too. Image - Feminine Living

Above - love these vintage French postcards table numbers. The great thing about these is that you buy the digital file and so can print & use them as you wish for your wedding (smaller versions for seating cards for example) Image - KF Collection on Etsy

Above - I really like this simple but oh-so effective look. Gorgeously rouge red flowers, French bread in vintage tins and pretty glass and flatware. Everything comes together absolutely perfectly but it's so simple, totally fabulous. Image - Meg Perotti

Above - let's be honest, if you're having a French theme, you can't avoid serving some deliciously oozing and gloriously gooey cheese! The rustic, natural look of this table is just great. Love the bread, the chutney and the fruit - this would be perfect during the evening. Image - Michael & Anna Costa

Above - another heavenly dessert buffet and here, it's the colours that just really appeal - the pinks, the shabby whites and blues with the metal pitcher full of fabulous flowers. Another tres chic look. Image - via Pacific Weddings

Above - ooooh, sooooo pretty! I just love this printed invitation - the design, the colours, it's really beautiful and more than a little oh la la! Image - Sweet Cookie on Etsy

Above - oui, oui, oui! As someone who can't function without her tea in the morning, this really appeals. Love the idea of an 'heure du the' - so elegant and unexpected. J'adore... Image - via Ruffled

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Delicious Details - Stationery Bundles

I really like bundles of things - bundles make things look abundant, everything's kept together and wrapping things up, even a tiny bit, makes whatever's inside the bundle look like a gift. I love cutlery bundles (great at relaxed place settings as they do away with the endless rows of knives, forks and spoons around a plate) and I really love stationery bundles. With so much more going in the average invitation envelope now, bundling is not only a practical way of making sure that a) no-one loses anything and b) the package comes out of the envelope in the order you intended because, let's face it, you probably wanted people to see the invitation first, not the envelope for the reply card!

So today's post is all about beautiful bundles of oh-so sweet stationery because, as we know, it's all in the detail...

Above - these stationery bundles are all the better for the wrap of wrapping paper around them and the raffia tie. This would definitely give you a sense of the vibrant celebration that's coming and peeling back that pretty paper would be really rather fabulous. Image - Betsy White

Above - I love the criss-cross, kiss shape wrapping of this bundle and I love the mix of fabrics - thread and vintage ribbon combine perfectly. Image - Coral Pheasant

Above - regular readers will know my love of stripy twine so this pretty package immediately caught my eye. Love the cute 'tying the knot' tag which will look great on a parcel style pack. Image - Luna & Chloe Weddings

Above - love this collage showing lots of bundle styles with fabric, ribbon, twine and tissue paper. This illustrates perfectly that there are so many ways of bundling your stationery that it works with every style. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - the rustic string around this invitation pack give it a really unfussy look and I really like the coloured tag with the white ink - I have a real 'thing' for that right now! Image - Oh So Beautiful Paper

Above -  now this is a great mix of style, printed invitations, graphics, a wood card and a kraft and string wrap holding everything together. Again, that criss cross string looks great and keeps the bundle flat and supported. Image - via 4 My Brides

Monday, 27 June 2011

I Love... Fingerprint Details

The saying goes that 'once someone touches your heart, the fingerprints last forever' and I certainly believe that's true. Fingerprints are, like relationships, totally unique so I think they're rather fabulous for wedding details and they're particularly excellent for wedding DIY - let's face it, we all have the most important part of any fingerprint project with us all the time anyway!

So it's all about getting creative with where you make your mark - stationery, decorations, favours, jewellery and guest books are all possibles and of course, you can use combination of colours for inks and papers that suit your plans. I hope you like some of these details and that they leave a little mark on you too...

Above - love this ring marked forever with the fingerprint of your partner. You can add fingerprints too all kinds of other items too from keyrings to cufflinks so there's plenty of scope for added individuality. Image - Camille Hempel

Above - I love these invitations complete with thumbprints of the bride and groom and the print details are carried through onto the other cards within the pack too. That bold typeface and lack of embellishments works so well here too, love it. Image - via Flickr

Above - I so so love the thumbprint guest 'books' - everyone leaves their print and signs their name to form a big tree on a canvas. If you're going to do this, have lots of wipes to hand so no-one gets inky fingers all over their best outfits! Image - Leigh Miller

Above - great labels for favour boxes here with two fingerprints combining to form a perfect heart. How apt! I love the ribbon bands with the labels on the top and you can pop anything you like in the boxes. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - more hearts here and you could copy this look with printed hearts on pebble paperweight favours or on seating cards, place cards, menus and more. This is a great way to add personality to standard designs. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - now this has to be the cutest sign to sit alongside a thumbprint signing tree! You could continue the leaf theme with other details too (place markers etc) Image - The Sweetest Occasion

Above - here's a close up of the signing tree. I love how the bride and groom birds are in a difefrent colour and the bird's little tiara is uber sweet. I also think the initials 'carved' into the trunk of the tree are a great finishing touch too. Image - Blue de Toi on Etsy

Sunday, 26 June 2011

I Love... Lace Wrapped Details

I do like lace - so delicate, so feminine and so perfect for weddings. Lace is a great addition to so many details and wrapping a length of lace around any number of things just looks fabulous. The light still filters through, it looks amazingly special and it's a super quick way of adding wow factor. Of course you can buy lace for the more every day items and perhaps hunt out some vintage lace for the extra special details. How about using lace from your Mum's wedding dress to wrap around your bouquet?

So before you start getting carried away, measure your lace carefully before you cut (especially if it's vintage!) and remember that a few dots of double sided tape will keep things in place without icky glue oozing through the fabric. But here's a few ideas for you so you can love the lace too...

Above - so simple and so effective - candle holders with a lace wrap around them look really rather magical, delicate and that bit more special than plain old glass. Image - Davis Photographers

Above - a wrap of lace around plain stationery again takes it to another level and is a brilliant idea if you're printing your own invitations. A fab shortcut to easy, effective and economical gorgeousness. Image - Invitation House

Above - a tiny wrap of lace around the stem of a buttonhole looks fab and would mirror a lace wrapped bouquet perfectly. This is also a great look for girlie corsages too. Image - Jackie Wonders

Above - now I'm not totally sure if I like this lace wrapped tree but I wanted to include it to show there's really no limit of what you can wrap if you open your mind! Image - Jose Villa

Above - love these centrepieces with the lace wrapped containers. Such a cool way to improve the simplest (and cheapest!) holders and turn them into something rather amazing. Image - Jose Villa

Above - a wrap of lace around napkins looks amazing but here's a thing - these wraps aren't lace. Oh no, they're lace look print outs so even cheaper and even easier to co-ordinate as you can alter the colours to suit your scheme. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - a length of lace stuck across a simple favour looks brilliant here and it's going to be a more cost effective way of adding oomph to plain favors than other impressive packaging ideas.  Image - Martha Stewart

Above - I love this and just wanted to show you that lace wraps look great around almost anything, from bottles to tin cans. Lace really is fab. Image - The Nichols Studio

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Delicious Details - Fabric Wrapped Favours

I'm really loving favours that are wrapped in fabric at the moment - I think it's the combination of the colours and the patterns that are possible, the softness of the finished look and the fact that something wrapped in fabric is just that bit more special and luxurious that something wrapped in paper. Fabric by the metre can work out relatively economical and as you can wrap it straight around whatever you're giving as favours, you don't need boxes, bags or anything else!

Cutting fabric with pinking shears can cut down on fraying and the need to hem or edge and sealing the packages with a knot of a length of ribbon keeps everything quick and easy. Fabric is also easy to work around oddly shaped gifts or on more regular shaped items, a simple band around the centre also looks fab. But enough of all that, here are some ideas...

Above - now how special does this beautiful fabric make a simple cookie look? The bright colour is great on that place setting and the presentation makes a really gorgeous treat out of an inexpensive favour.  Check out my super simple cookie recipe and put these two ideas together... Image - Favor Craver

Above - I've always liked different ways of presenting favours other than just having them at place settings and I think the slight bribe of a big pile of gorgeous gifts on a guest book table is a great reason to make everyone stop by and leave a message when they can collect their favour at the same time! Here, these little packs of sweets are just wrapped in co-ordinating fabrics with thank you tags attached to their ribbon closures. Image - Favor Craver

Above - love these simple boxes tied with mismatched fabrics. This would bring a really vibrant look to a favour table or at place settings. It's a great idea if you want to make use of 'end of line' bargains when you're buying your fabrics as you don't need everything to match! Image - Handmade Weddings

Above - bottles are always tricky to wrap and let's face it, everyone knows what's inside the package but that's not reason not to make the package itself pretty. This is way ahead of just sticking the bottle in a bag or a boring old bow on the bottle and just hoping for the best! Image - Martha Stewart

Above - again, a fabric wrapping makes a bar of chocolate look brilliant and these packages with their name tags double up as fab place markers too. I've said before that I love that stripy butcher's twine and there are more ideas for using that in last month's Butcher's Twine featureImage - My Wedding

Above - soaps are always sweet wedding favours - easy to buy in bulk at any supermarket and relatively inexpensive. Wrap them in fabric with a tag and ribbon tie Image - Real Simple

Above - Image - Smart Bride Boutique

Friday, 24 June 2011

How To... Get Hitched Without Glitches

The prospect of wedding day hitches are enough to keep many brides awake at night (and particularly the night before the big day!).  You’ve spent months or years planning everything, you’re going to have all your friends and family around you and you’ve probably spent a reasonable amount of your hard earned money on the day as well so the thought that something could go wrong is unbearable to say the least.  But, unlike some embarrassing dancing by your Dad, hitches don’t have to be a part of your wedding day and, if you follow this guide, you can easily get hitched without the hitches.

Don’t keep secrets – As the old line goes, it’s good to talk and this is certainly true of anything relating to your wedding.  If you’re slightly worried about a guest or there’s a family situation that’s concerning you, speak to someone about it so that they can keep an eye on things during the day.  If you’ve changed the seating plan since you handed a copy to the venue, tell them so there’s no awful moment when your Aunt discovers there’s not a place set for her.  You can’t look at your guest book after the wedding and be upset that only four guests signed if you’ve not asked anyone to circulate it for you.  Remember that although things you’ve spent months working on are obvious to you, they’re not necessarily obvious to everyone else so don’t be shy and get talking about your wedding!

Think through the day – A great way to banish those hitches before they happen is to sit and think through everything that will be happening on the day and you can be sure you’ve got everything covered.  If you’re having a wedding day co-ordinator, your meeting with them is a great prompt for many things but if you’re not, set aside some time to work through the sequence of events.  What time will things be happening?  Who needs to be there at that moment?  What will be needed? How long will it take?  What happens next?  As obsessive as this might sound, it’s unbelievably useful.  You’ll either feel very smug that you’ve got everything covered already or you’ll be able to resolve things that aren’t before they develop into full blown hitches.

Confirm and then confirm again – Everyone’s wedding nightmare is that a supplier won’t turn up on the day.  To reassure you, in almost one hundred weddings that I’ve worked on, that’s never happened.  Wedding suppliers are, on the whole, incredibly proud and professional people who would never dream of letting their clients down - I’ve personally worked when I’ve had tonsillitis!  But, I know that me telling you this might not be enough so don’t feel bad about confirming and re-confirming bookings with suppliers in the weeks before you wedding.  Ask them when they expect to arrive and when they’ll be leaving so you’re not panicking because the photographer isn’t with you at 9am when they’ve always planned to arrive at 10am.  Be sure the florist has the correct address for delivery of bouquets and buttonholes so you don’t have to worry.  It’s a good idea to get mobile phone contact numbers for all suppliers as office numbers aren’t much use on the day, especially if you need to check with someone who’s driving to you.

Who’s your point of contact? – The best thing you can do to avoid wedding day hitches becoming a problem for you is to designate a point of contact.  This should be someone who knows everything that you want from the day and everything that needs to be done to make sure that you’re wedding is everything you want.  For a lot of couples, this is now their wedding day co-ordinator because putting this responsibility onto a family member can be a lot of pressure but there’s no reason why an unflappable friend can’t be this person for you.  They are the person that suppliers and the venue should come to if there are any slight issues.  Do you want to be confirming which tables need highchairs or where the presents should be put when you should be enjoying every moment?  Do you want the band asking about their meals, parking spaces, changing facilities or plug sockets when there’s champagne to sip?  No, I’m sure you don’t so get a point of contact and make sure people go to them.

Paperwork is precious – Keeping your wedding related paperwork is absolutely essential to avoid hitches.  You need to know what’s been said to suppliers or agreed with venues so there can be no ‘discussions’ at a later date.  If something is resolved on the telephone, put it in writing (a quick e-mail will do) so that there’s a written record of the conversation – this is particularly important if you’re making a change to an arrangement or someone is promising to do some extra for you or there’s an alteration to a cost.  Noting everything and retaining everything is a great way to dodge those hitches.

Emergency! – There’s always much talk about a bridal ‘emergency kit’ and it’s a good idea to have a few items with you.  If I had to pick three things for every bride, I would say baby wipes, double sided body tape (more commonly referred to as ‘tit tape’!) and paracetamol.  Baby wipes are great for removing any little marks on dresses or shoes as well as for freshening yourself up if you feel the need.  Body tape can be used to ‘stick’ your dress to you if it starts slipping, shoe straps to feet, bouquet ribbon to flowers or literally anything to anything (I’ve re-fixed diamante to shoes with this tape!) and paracetamol is great if the combination of a long day, lack of sleep/food and too much emotion and alcohol gets to you.  These are also items that it’s unlikely your venue will have – they will have a mini sewing kit, pens, matches and quite a few of the items that you see listed.  Of course, if you’ve booked a wedding day co-ordinator, they will come armed with everything a bride could ever need, from rescue remedy and plasters to spare pens, Kirby grips, blu-tak, chalk and even umbrellas!

Forgetful?  Forget it! – A good list can mean the end of many common wedding day hitches but a list is only of use if you use it!  That may sound incredibly simple but it’s amazing how many brides make endless lists of everything that they need to pack to take with them then don’t check things off when the time comes and realise too late that they don’t have any clothes for the next day!  As you pack things, be it clothes, accessories or decorations, tick them off on your list and read through it before you assume you’ve got everything.  If you’re packing bigger boxes to transport place cards, favours, children’s packs, candles and other decorations to the venue, tape a list to the top of the box noting everything that’s inside so you can see at a glance that you’ve got everything.  A well used list = a hitch free day.

Accepting graciously – Unfortunately, sometimes things do go wrong, however well you’ve planned.  The heavens might open at the exact moment that you were hoping to sip champagne in your venue’s glorious gardens or your three year old flowergirl might protest very vocally against being in the photos.  These things happen and if they do, and there’s really nothing that can be done to remedy hitches that are totally out of your control, just try to accept them.  Being a gracious bride means that your guests are unlikely to even notice a little hitch but ranting or sulking will ruin the day for everyone.

The rather fabulous images in this feature are by the wonderful Dorset Wedding Photographer - Courtenay Photographic. Have a look at his site, it's a bit great -

Thursday, 23 June 2011

In The Mood - School Days Inspiration

At this time of year, I seem to spend quite a lot of my time at my son's school. There are sports days, cricket matches, swimming galas, summer concerts, trips and then tomorrow, we have Speech Day - an excuse to all get dressed up and head into school for a morning of open classrooms, music and prize giving. I love school events - I love watching my son and the other children all getting involved, I love how much they love their school, I really love catching up with the other parents and chatting over tea and cake (of yes, we get tea and cake at all events which is a bit of a bribe but never mind!) and it's always a great way to spend a couple of hours, however crazy my diary is.

And that's why today's post is in honour of all our school days - a perfect theme for school sweethearts, teachers or even if your venue is a school by day and fabulous wedding venue by weekend (like the rather splendid Hampton Court House for example). So sit down, be quiet and behave yourselves otherwise I'll be sending a letter home about you...

Above - love this cute little badges. You might not have been a prefect at school but you can certainly be in with the in crowd on your wedding day. These are also great to give out when you ask friends to be involved with the day too. Image - Cox and Cox

Above - if you're working the school theme, then sneaky notes and love hearts complete with your initials drawn inside are not just encouraged, they're almost essential. Perfect if you've never really wanted to grow up! Image - Kate Triano

Above - how fab is the report card stationery? Here, it's written out as a menu but it would work fabulously for a ceremony program or an invitation too. And I'm sure it's going to be A+ for everyone who sends their RSVP back on time... Image - Kate Triano

Above - sweet school tables with apples, books, pencils and a test. The great thing about school themes are that you don't need lots of complicated or expensive accessories. How about an exercise book instead of an expensive guest book? Or packed lunches instead of a huge dinner? Image - Lotus Events

Above - great seating card idea for a school theme wedding. An apple with a simple numbered sticker sits on a card with the guest's name printed on. Lots of these lined up a on a desk would be fabulous! Image - Martha Stewart

Above - a school theme arrangement needs primary colours and flowers that look like those you drew when you were a child. Sat on a little pile of books, this looks great. Image - Martha Stewart

Above - more primary colours, books and a cute chalkboard sign with an equally sweet table name idea. Chemistry is definitely what you want at a wedding (possibly without the dodgy safety goggles and weird smells however). Another great addition to this look would be school style chairs and bare wood tables, desk style. Image - The Knot

Above - a great school style wedding sign. Simple, effective and guaranteed to get guests smiling from the moment they arrive. Image - The Knot

Above - how wonderful is this 'Save The Date'? Personalised pencils, badges and a little note. I absolutely love this - the colours, the thought and the look is just great. I'd love all the guests turning up wearing those badges as if they're all part of the coolest school club ever! Image - via Oncewed