sugalily stationery…

July 31, 2011

Years ago I worked on the PR for a small start-up stationery company, Sugalily. Nowadays they are still going strong producing beautiful, quirky and bespoke hand finished stationery for parties and weddings as well as greetings cards. The House of Sugalily is headed up by Abbey Warner, a Derby and London based designer who is inspired by all things retro and vintage. The wedding side of the business, sweetly named ‘Borrowed & Blue’ specialises in both ‘off the peg’ and bespoke designs and each range includes everything from save the date to order of service, menu, seating plan and thank you cards.

Each range is so unique with pretty finishing touches like pearls and ribbons and the text and colour schemes can be personalised which all adds an extra special charm to your wedding. A personal favourite is the Liberty collection, a vintage postcard style of stationery in pastel pinks and blues or the Matilda collection which takes its inspiration from vintage playing cards with a focus on a monochrome colour scheme and typography. To see more of the range click here.

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under an italian sky…

July 30, 2011

images courtesy of martha stewart weddings, elizabeth anne designs and the wedding vine

I thought it was appropriate to do a little post on Italy seen as though the wedding is taking place there next year. There are so many inspiring choices of weddings in Italy from rolling countryside, beach or lakeside affairs or ultra chic city ceremonies. A particular favourite style of mine is a rustic, romantic and rural wedding that chooses a colour scheme similar to that of the countryside, generally in a palette of green and white. I particularly love the little Italian touches in these weddings such as the mini bottles of Limoncello, a traditional Italian lemon liqueur with a personalised message from the bride and groom or the bottles of olive oil especially if chosen from a local olive oil factory. The bride is yet to settle on a style but either way with a setting as breathtaking and romantic as Italy you could simply light up the venue with fairy lights and set the tables with clean white linens and a few simple flowers and it would still be breathtaking.

fantasy cakes…

July 29, 2011

images courtesy of maisie fantaisie

One of Britain’s favourite bridal magazines, Perfect Wedding is currently holding their yearly awards. Here categories like best bridal designer, best groomswear, best wedding venue, best wedding photographer and many more are voted for by the Perfect Wedding readers. The shortlist has already been decided but there is still time to vote for your favorite in each category here

One of the shortlisted companies in the Best Wedding Cake Design that I personally love is Maisie Fantaisie. Considered one of London’s premier designers of couture cakes, her cakes are nothing short of breathtaking. The owner behind the brand Maisie Fantaisie is May Clee-Cadman who set up her business in 2003 with a background in art and design. Her cakes come highly recommended by venues like The Dorchester, The Ritz, Claridges and The Berkeley and are the perfect choice for a wedding whether its a traditional or contemporary style you are after. Choose from delicious cake flavours like the popular vanilla bean, carrot, chocolate or orange zest as well as the traditional fruit cake which can then be filled with a choice of decadent buttercream fillings or fruit preserves. An interesting twist on the popular cupcake towers are the individual mini wedding cakes with a small top tier cake which still allows the couple to indulge in the tradition of cutting the wedding cake.

The recently married Prince and Princess of Monaco spent a few nights of their honeymoon at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, a short drive from central Durban on the eastern coast of South Africa. For years this historic hotel, built in 1869, with its iconic lighthouse was relegated as tired, old seaside hotel which despite its history was more than a little bit tacky. However after an extensive re-build it re-opened in 2009 and is now considered to be one of the places to stay in Durban.

Retaining its colonial charm,  this elegant mediterranean style hotel with stunning views of the Indian ocean is perfect for a romantic wedding or relaxing honeymoon. Weddings can be held in the beautiful gardens or the Pearl Room with views of the ocean while honeymooners can stay in one of the charming 86 rooms or luxurious suites. It’s the perfect place to relax, with a choice of infinity pool or why not sun yourself on the beach or enjoy a pampering session at the new world class spa.  

images courtesy of athomerome.blogspot.com 

In addition to being lucky enough to be a bridesmaid, I’m also lucky enough to be an Italian bridesmaid as the wedding is being held there next year. The bridal party recently visited Italy (more on this to follow) and while wandering through the cobbled streets of Sulmona, a small Italian village in Abruzzo we came across row after row of shops selling confetti flowers. Confetti flowers or confetti bomboniera is a traditional Italian wedding favour which is essentially sugared almonds or chocolate filled candy wrapped in brightly coloured cellophane which are then fashioned into daisies, butterflies, ladybugs and many other flowers. These cute and quirky candies make brilliant wedding favours especially if you are having a spring or summer wedding. These are available in a wide range of colours including brights like pink or orange or pastel colours like lilac and yellow. In keeping with tradition the flowers contain five almonds that form the petals each representing a wish for health, wealth, long life, fertility and happiness.

For any bride planning a wedding, one of the best places to start for inspiration is the National Wedding Show. While you may initially be put off by the sheer size of the show, it is definitely worth the trip. Hosted at the Earl’s Court exhibition centre from the 30th September to 2nd October and at the Birmingham NEC from the 7-9th October you will find over 300 wedding exhibitors waiting to inspire you for your wedding. From stationery to venues, wedding dresses, flowers and everything else in between; you will have the opportunity to talk to bridal industry experts and come away brimming with ideas. It is considered a must visit place and with tickets on sale now we’ll be heading down there to stock up on loads ideas for the wedding.

a bride’s best friend

July 26, 2011

When you think of the name Vera Wang words like dreamy, elegant and feminine come to mind. In the bridal industry no-one is quite as synonymous with weddings as Vera Wang but unfortunately many women’s budgets won’t stretch far enough to owning one of her stunning creations. However for the price of an air ticket (and the dress) there is now a way for brides to own a piece of Vera Wang.

Last year Vera Wang created her first exclusive collection for American bridal retailer David’s Bridal – White by Vera Wang.  White by Vera Wang came about after she wanted to make her bridal designs more accessible to women and now for fall 2011 she has added to the collection to include bridesmaid dresses and shoes. The dresses retain all the essential elements that make a Vera Wang dress so special but at a fraction of the price. A personal favourite is the one shouldered fit and flare gown or the v-neck a-line gown with hand appliqued lace but as I’m not a bride to be I quite fancy the look of some of the bridesmaid dresses instead so perhaps I’ll point my friend in this direction…