planner

Review of Busy B wedding planner

I love wedding planning and I love stationery (who doesn’t?) so I was super pleased to get my hands on a Busy B wedding planner.  This hard back, spiral bound planner has everything you need to get started on making your dream wedding a reality.

Take a look at our video review of the planner. You can get your hands on your own copy at www.busy.co.uk and Vintage Chic Wedding Fair blog readers can get 15% off their first order by quoting  BB15 on their order.

 

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Real wedding! Tea party-tastic

 

As much as we like themed photo shoot, you just can’t beat a real wedding.  Seeing another bride and groom’s big day is the perfect inspiration for anyone who is engaged as you get to see exactly how someone did it in the real world.

 

Today’s blog features a wedding photographed by Charlie Flounders  and we think you’ll agree that this Mad Hatter’s Tea Party themed event is not only very pretty, but also very personal to the couple.

 

Charlie explains:

 

This was such a lovely relaxed, cheeky and fun wedding to be involved in.

 

The Bride (Amy) was warm and relaxed throughout, despite the fact she must have put a HUGE amount of work into the look and feel of the day.

 

The wedding was in September and the whole day was at the exclusive use farm venue Wethele Manor Farm in Warwickshire.

 

The ceremony was outdoors, and the reception in the large marquee they have out back.

 

Amy had handmade all of the décor. This included: bunting, loads of gorgeous pastel tissue paper pom poms of all sizes, eat me and drink me tags for centerpieces and table décor/favours, signs, card collection “suitcase”, memory dictionary, sweet cart decor…. The list goes on!

 

Amy also handmade her own button bouqet, and 2 for the bridesmaids, and collected all of the crockery from local vintage shops and markets.  Since the wedding she has setup a business making all of these things for others and renting out her vintage crockery to other couples (Vintage n Vows)

 

They had a buffet wedding breakfast all sourced from M&S pre order service and a hog roast in the evening provided by the venue.

 

Her gorgeous dress was from Proposals bridal studio in Coventry.

 

Sparklers finished the evening, but not for all guests as most were very enthusiastically tearing up the dance floor by then.

 

Amy specifically asked me for vintage feel sepia finished photos to match with the theme of the wedding.

 

Enjoy!

www.charlieflounders.com

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Champagne is always a good idea, or is it?

Food and drink form a big part of your wedding day so it’s worth thinking about what you’d like to offer your guests while making sure this fits in with your budget.

Lots of couples have a clear idea of their menu food choices, but selecting the liquid refreshments can be more difficult, especially as the costs can vary massively.

What most people do want are some bubbles, but should you be picking prosecco, choosing champagne or selecting something completely different?

 

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Christopher Walkey, founder of Glass of Bubbly magazine, advises;

“Consider how to wow your guests at your wedding with bubbly that is not only from Champagne. There is a wide and interesting choice out there and some are just on your doorstep.

“I have attended many a fine wedding, where budgets are rarely an issue and guest lists are prestigious and glamorous. Yes, Champagne takes the limelight and the more recognised the label, for the majority, the more delighted the guests will be. I do urge people to though look at other fine sparkling wines out there, especially to study English Sparkling Wine where there is a fantastic and growing choice on offer.

“English bubbly is made in the same way as Champagne and importantly, in recent years, has been receiving awards above its across the channel rival. At weddings Champagne is the most popular, but also consider other sparkling wines such as Cava and Franciacorta plus English sparkling wines.

“A great touch is to go to your local English wine yard, which I am sure there will be one closer than you think, and surprise your guests by serving local fizz! If you are looking at some English Sparkling Wine recommendations, then take a look online at Exton Park Vineyard and Fox & Fox.”

Your venue or caterers should offer you a wine tasting session so take advantage of this and you can be sure you will be happy on the big day, plus of course you get to enjoy a few free drinkies.

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Bridal picks for 2017

With the start of a new year everyone is thinking about which wedding trends will continue this year, and none more so than bridal trends.
Lynette Turner from Boho Bride gives us her thoughts on this year’s predicted fashions:
“It looks to me looks like festival vintage weddings are still going to be popular. Short wedding dresses and separates, such a lace bolero jackets, will all feature.
“Generally brides are steering away from the uniform look and wanting to add their own individuality to their gowns with bespoke accessories that reflects their personalities. Lace is still big along with silk chiffon skirts for a more floaty romantic look.”
Boho Bride offer a bespoke design service and hope to launch a seperates collection this year to allow brides to mix and match tops, bodices and skirt details.
Ivory & Co,  one of their designers has also just created a separates collection. 
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Ivory and Co.
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 Ivory and Co.

 

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Starry night styled shoot

Gold continues to be one of the key trends for weddings as we step into 2017 so I’m delighted to share this styled shoot with you from Nancy Poller of Good Egg Stationery.
Joined by photographer Laura Buoy and a collection of super talented suppliers, Nancy has created a dreamy and dazzling vintage styled shoot.
Nancy comments: “I’m so excited to share our styled shoot with you. Earlier this month a group of fabulous wedding suppliers got together with photographer Laura Buoy at the unique Elmore Court, Gloucestershire, to create a glittering starry night-themed evening look.

“The Gillyflower at Elmore Court with its modern feel and stunning lightshower installation lent itself perfectly for our shoot. We wanted to inspire couples looking for a glamorous winter evening celebration that they could dance under the stars with an original twist.

“Navy and gold were the central colour palette for our main sweetheart tablescape with strong emphasis on metallic gold accents. Glistening gold china wrapped with twinkle lights, shimmering linen mixed with soft ruffles, jewel-toned natural British-grown flowers and a vintage shop gave an ethereal tea-party vibe for our starry wonderland.

“The dresses were created by Rebecca Elizabeth Occasionwear of Stafford, who specialise in vintage gowns reminiscent of bygone eras, designed, made and finished by hand with fine fabrics, French lace and a sprinkling of crystals and pearls.”

 

Venue – Elmore Court –  Gloucestershire

Photography – Laura Grace Photography

Shoot styling – M Style

Dresses – Rebecca Elizabeth Occasionwear

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Stationery – Good Egg Stationery

Cake – The Vanilla Pod Bakery

Flowers – Bride and Bloom

Sweet shop – Emily’s Best Travelling Sweet Shop

Hair and makeup – Sarah Russell MUA

Accessories – Hey Jules

Vintage china – Delight Vintage Tea Set Hire

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Our top hen party spa picks

The hen party  has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but the type of hen parties that brides opt for changes over time.  More and more hens now are choosing an altogether more relaxed and pampered option rather than the traditional big night out, especially as more women choose to get married later in life.

So if you’re after a relaxing get together before the big day, then a spa could be the perfect choice. We’ve selected our tip midlands picks for you.

Well-known Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire is, in our opinion, a stunning destination spa.

There are many beautiful lounges for your group to sit and relax over a coffee or glass of wine.  Use of their facilities including the multi-million pound Thermal Spa, which houses a series of different heat and water experiences is included in the price of every package.  There’s also an abundance of chill-out rooms and beautiful gardens and terraces to be enjoyed when the weather is good.  And Ragdale’s extensive menu of treatments offers your hens a huge choice.

You can all join in with one of Ragdale’s fun dance or exercise classes – Hula Hooping or Ballet Toning will get you and the girls giggling.  And for the perfect end to a lovely relaxing day, treat yourselves to Champagne and canapés.

We love – Ragdale Hall has the perfect accommodation for a group.  The Lodge is a country cottage that sits separately to the main building.  With four twin/double bedrooms, it’s the perfect pad for your lively hens and you won’t need to worry about disturbing Ragdale’s other guests.

And for your hens, Ragdale is currently offering a 5 spa days for the price of 4 deal (This offer is subject to change and depends on availability.)

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Next in our top spa picks for hens is Hoar Cross Hall in Staffordshire.

Set in 50 acres of quintessential English countryside, Hoar Cross Hall Spa Hotel is a Grade II listed stately home retreat that pairs period style with modern luxury and attentive service.

Far from imposing strict rules, regulations and regimes, the focus at Hoar Cross hall is on balancing the body and mind, restoring a sense of calm and promoting a general feeling of well being.

An extensive refurbishment programme is currently underway. The newly decorated public areas , including the stunning long gallery bar and library, scream hotel chic, while the spa’s features include a 26-meter salt water vitality pool, hydrotherapy pool with jet blowers and the nordic heat and ice Suite, with an Aspen wood sauna, steam rooms and ice temple.

We love – The option of booking a suite with a private hot tub so the celebrations can continue once dinner is over.

 

 

Last but by no means least is Elan Spa at Mallory Court in Leamington Spa. This hasn’t actually even opened yet (due spring 2017) but we have such confidence in Mallory Court and the Eden Hotel Group that it’s sure to be a great choice.

The Elan Spa is the perfect destination for you and your hens to pamper and unwind before the big day.

They offer a great mini spa package which includes full use of the spa facilities for three hours including a 25 minute ESPA treatment of your choice each and a glass of Champagne. Prices start from £75 and book 10 or more and the bride goes free.

Residential packages include accommodation, a 25 minute ESPA treatment, three course dinner menu in the Brasserie, full English breakfast, use of spa facilities up until checkout, car parking and VAT.  Packages start from £199.00 per person

We love – The fact that we will have a dedicated spa right here in South Warwickshire. Can’t wait.

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Vintage chic wedding fair. Photo by Michelle Hardy.

Get the most from wedding fairs

Vintage chic wedding fair. Photo by Michelle Hardy.
Vintage chic wedding fair. Photo by Michelle Hardy.

 

Planning a wedding is confusing enough, so when it comes to wedding fairs, it’s important that they make your life easier rather than even harder.  So here are our top tips on how you can get the most from any wedding fairs that you choose to visit.

  1.  Choose your crew. Who would you like to take with you to the fair? Are you looking for an all girls day out or are you hoping your groom may join you? Which ever you choose is of course fine but it’s worth thinking about what you want from the day and what your groom or friends may get out of it.  If you are hoping to look at specific exhibitors who you think you would like to make a booking with on the day, then it could be worth taking your groom as any decisions can be made there and then.  Or if you are in the early planning stages and would like a few friends’ input on your initial ideas, then friends and bridesmaids are a good choice.
  2. Choose your venue.  Most hotels and wedding venues hold wedding fairs. Visiting the wedding fair at your own venue can be a good chance to see the venue again, probably with some rooms set up, and meet the venue’s preferred suppliers.  Some venue run fairs may be limited to these preferred suppliers so this could limit your choice of suppliers. However it could mean you can book all your suppliers in one go if you are happy to go with the venue’s recommendations. If you’re after the widest range of suppliers possible then choose a privately run fair.
  3. Choose your style.  If you are having a particular theme or style for your wedding such as vintage, festival or quirky then look for a fair that targets this market specifically. This will mean that all the exhibitors offer they type of style and service you are looking for.  Even if you don’t have a particular theme then try and get a feel for your chosen fair from past fairs’ photos.  This will help you achieve a good fit.
  4. Fashion shows.  Decide whether you would like to see a catwalk show as part of the fair, as not all wedding fairs run one. If you already have your dress then this may not be a consideration, but if you are still searching for the one then there is no better way to view dresses than on real people. Plus you get chance to look at the dress close up and chat to the boutiques after the show.
  5. Take your cheque book/credit . Even if you don’t plan on making any bookings on the day of the fair, you never know what you will find so it’s worth being prepared. Many exhibitors offer excellent discounts for bookings made at the fair so you can really save some pennies.
  6. Pre-register or buy tickets in advance.  You may be tempted to leave it until the day of the fair but by doing it in advance you can save time on the day and avoid any queues.  Plus you won’t risk missing out on any freebies offered, such as a goody bag, as these are usually limited and can run out for people who haven’t pre-booked.
  7. Remember to relax and enjoy the day (you can do this by taking advantage of any free fizz offered by the fair).
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It’s official, we’re the best!

Wow what a week we’ve had, not only have we launched this super pretty new website, but we also won an award!
I’m extremely proud that we were chosen as the best regional wedding exhibition for the West Midlands at the English Wedding Awards 2016. We had a great night at the impressive awards ceremony in Manchester and it was lovely to be surrounded by so many talented wedding suppliers who were all so deserving of their awards.
I can’t really express how much this means to me, but what I can say is that it wouldn’t have been possible without all our fabulous exhibitors who work so hard on their stalls to make our fairs amazing. I’d also like to thank all my friends and family who help so much.
The black tie ceremony was hosted by the director of Highstreet Models, Rachelle Perez with guests from across the wedding sector who attended to support the industry which makes our wedding days the best they can be.
In addition, the event gives a worthwhile opportunity to generate funds for the official charity partner, Make A Wish Foundation UK and £634 was raised, granting magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.
The West Midlands winners were as follows, well done to you all and hopefully see you again at next year’s event!
The West Midlands Groomswear Supplier of the Year went to Peter Posh
The West Midlands Cake Designer Of The Year went to The Red Cake Company
The West Midlands Photographer of the Year went to Gemma Williams Photography
The West Midlands Caterer of the Year went to ASJ Catering & Events
The West Midlands Stationary Supplier of the Year went to Echo Of Eden
The West Midlands Transport Provider of the Year went to Special Wedding Car Hire
The West Midlands Wedding Entertainer of the Year went to The Cover Ups
The West Midlands Florist of the Year went to Jenny Fleur
The West Midlands Wedding Planner of the Year went to Harmony Weddings
The West Midlands Event Decorator of the Year went to Truly Scrumptious Weddings
The West Midlands Wedding Venue of the Year went to Dunwood Hall Staffordshire
The West Midlands Romantic Wedding Venue of the Year went to Somerford Hall
The West Midlands Videographer of the Year went to David Boynton Photography Studios
The West Midlands Wedding Accessories Supplier of the Year went to The Dressing
Rooms Bridal
The West Midlands Local Wedding Exhibition of the Year went to Vintage Chic Wedding Fair
The West Midlands Hair & Make Up Specialist of the Year went to Bridal Hair & Beauty by Amy
The West Midlands Wedding Boutique of the Year went to Isaac Charles Bridal House
The West Midlands Jeweller of the Year went to TH Baker

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Beyond the Veil: A Brief History Of Wedding Fashion

For today’s blog, we are going to pass you over to Beth (aka Madame B) Paton of Madame B’s Boutique

As an avid vintage collector and fashion history nerd, I love to see how fashions have changed and evolved over time. When it comes to wedding fashion, certain things have stayed constant (floral motifs, lace, variations on every possible shade of white and ivory). However, there are still trends that come and go. I’ve been taking a milliner’s look at the evolution of wedding headwear, and this is what I’ve found…

1920s

 

1920s: Wedding dresses were of a looser, simpler cut than in previous decades, but veils and headpieces were very elaborate. Crowns of wax or silk flowers were very popular. These were often combined with juliet cap veils that fitted close to the head, embellished with plenty of lace and embroidery. This also suited the newly fashionable bobbed hairstyles.

1930s

Attibute to BiblioArchibes/LibraryArchives

1930s: This era of romance and Hollywood glamour favoured long, bias cut gowns in silk, satin and lace. Cathedral length veils with long trains were created to match (think Maria von Trapp in the Sound of Music). Wide brimmed hats with shallow crowns, lavishly trimmed with feathers and flowers, were also a popular choice.

1940s

 

1940s: Wartime brought fabric rationing, so wedding outfits had to be less extravagant. Women in the services often wore their uniforms, while others patched up their Sunday best for their weddings. The finishing touch was a small perching hat, subtly trimmed with ribbon or a few feathers.

1950s

 

 

1950s: Rationing ended and the fashion industry celebrated by creating the New Look; dresses with nipped in waists and long, full skirts augmented with layers of petticoats. Longer, fuller veils with plenty of lace and embellishment were created to match. This decade also saw the rise of the blusher and birdcage veils, which covered the face. These could either be attached to a longer veil or to a chic pillbox hat.

1960s
Attribute to Jennifer Silverman

1960s: As hemlines grew shorter, veils were also shortened. Volume replaced length, with shoulder length veils in multiple layers of tulle, billowing outwards from an embellished hairband or comb. This paired well with the big, beehive hairstyles that were in fashion. Pillbox hats with birdcage veils were also still a popular choice.

 

1970s

Attribute to Muffinn

1970s: The romantic, hippie aesthetic had a strong influence on wedding fashion in this decade. Dresses and veils were long and flowing, and nostalgic details such as the juliet cap became popular again. Rustic, pastoral themes were in style, and veils were often paired with crowns of fresh flowers.

1980s

Attribute to Ion Chibzii

1980s: The decade of excess saw a return of the voluminous veil to match the big, bouffant hairstyles of the day. Heavy embellishment was also popular, with lace, pearls and anything sparkly. Elaborate crowns of silk or fresh flowers were used to add colour and volume.

 

Today, we’re very lucky to be able to pick and choose our favourite styles from any of these decades. Here are a few of my own takes on vintage wedding styles:

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If you would like more helpful information on planning a vintage wedding, check out my free e-book!

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Follow Madame B’s Boutique: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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Say hello to Madam B’s Boutique at our fair on Sunday 11th September 2016:

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Six of the best – Short Wedding Dresses

If you’re planning a vintage wedding then a short wedding dress is a sure fire way of creating the right look.  A short dress instantly says Audrey Hepburn, 1950s, understated glamour.

Even if your theme isn’t vintage, there are numerous reasons to go knee length, tea length or even mini!

By rejecting the traditional full length gown you’re making it clear to everyone that you’re doing this wedding your way.

A short dress is also a great choice for a wedding abroad (easier to pack and no worries when stepping through the sand and sea for your beach front nuptials).

And of course we can’t forgot cost.  Short dresses can be much more budget friendly, leaving funds left over to spend on other important aspects of the day.

Here are six of our favourite short dresses:

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Louise Bentley dress, from Boho Bride
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Bobbi Dazzler by Kitty & Dulcie
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Posy by LouLou, from Boho Bride
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Hopelessly devoted by Kitty & Dulcie.
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Bespoke dress by Stella Liliana, Photo Rob McColl
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Bespoke dress by Stella Liliana