Colour Theme

Butterfly Blossom From Olivia Samuel
Butterfly Blossom From Olivia Samuel

Well I have to admit I’m biased when it comes to the Butterfly Blossom design as it is one of our ranges at Olivia Samuel, but for me it defines the quintesstial English garden, making it perfect for a spring or summer wedding.

Now vintage is a word that is banded about alot (especially in the wedding industry) but I’m happy to call it just good old fashioned!  Why?  Because it reminds me of my grandparents garden when I was little.  The powder blue background of this design is the same blue as the hydrangea bush which sat next to their front door, that signalled summer was here when it bloomed.

We chose a delicate font for the text (which is gold foiled onto the card) so that it would compliment the pattern rather than overpower it and have printed onto a shimmer board to keep that lovely old fashioned romantic look.  Swarovski crystals have been used to highlight the butterflies as even my nan liked a little bit of sparkle, and a pretty cream bow (optional) adds that feminine touch.

Butterfly Blossom wedding invitations cost £3.50 each, with quantity discounts starting at quantities of 50 or more.

Flag and Bunting Store

Ok, you’ve been planning your wedding for the last couple of years and had everything booked, sorted and organised, then along come William & Kate announcing their wedding day as Friday 29th April.  Does this mean your day will be overshadowed by their celebrations?  Absolutely not, and if you can’t beat them, join them.  Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to bring out your patriotic side by hanging up the bunting and planning a right royal knees up of your very own, and it doesn’t need to cost a royal mint!

Flag and Bunting Store

 Of course bunting is a must, choose from this red,white and blue bunting, which come in various lengths starting at 8.6m for £10.50 from Flag and Bunting Store, or go all out with this union jack bunting also from the Flag and Bunting Store which also comes in varying lengths starting with 6m for £7.99.  The same company also sell pack of 12 hand held flags which would be perfect to hand out to your guests so that they can wave about to celebrate after the ceremony rather than throwing confetti.

Flag and Bunting Store
For your bridesmaids, rather than asking them to don Gerri Halliwell style union jack dresses, try royal blue and red dresses so that they can wear the colour that suits them, and then accessorise them in the contrasting colour shoes, jewellery and flowers for a bold, striking look against your white dress.  Debenhams have a great range of bridesmaid, prom and evening dresses that are available in red and blue to keep the look coordinated. 
Debenhams
Debenhams
Choose favour boxes like these from Confetti and other reception stationery in bold reds and blues that will compliment white tablewear, using alternating blue and red ribbon on white chair cover  will also give a dramatic effect to your reception.
Confetti

Using red, white and blue floral dispalys for the  reception tables can be difficult as blue flowers tend to be light blue, although deep blue delphiniums are a good choice if they are in season otherwise they could be pricey.   Artificially dying white roses or lilies is also an option but again this can be pricey, s0 unless you have the royal budget then another use striking blue vases with red and white flowers to achieve the royal look.

Daisy Wedding Theme

If you are planning a Spring wedding then a fresh daisy theme is perfect and these daintiest of flowers can look great on a reception table.  Daisies remind me of rolling fields, young love, free spirit, summer festivals and the great outdoors. Marquee or outdoor humanist weddings suit the daisy look perfectly and if you are looking for a hippyish 70’s vibe with a carefree feel then some of these ideas may help create the mood. 

A.  A bit of DIY is required to make these brown daisy pillow favour boxes.  You will find everything you need at Go Wedding Favours.  There is a wide variety of different shapes and sizes and the daisy decoration is added afterwards.

B.  These beautiful Daisy Votive Candles from Marks and Spencer are £5 each and would look beautiful on the reception table.  Replacing the tea lights with some scented ones can add some extra ambience.  Make sure you test them out first however as you don’t want to overpower your guests with a sickly floral scent.

C.  Also from M&S are these lovely artificial flower daisy jugs which I think look great for a less staged table setting perfectly in keeping with a hazy summers day theme.  Real gerbra daisies or large wild daisies would probably look better and would look great in a mish mash of different jugs collected from charity shops. 

D.  These gorgeous hand crafted daisy place cards from Olivia Samuel are heavenly.  They have a twisted wire stem and come as part of a coordinating set of Daisy stationery which for the table includes favour boxes, napkin rings, and menus.  They currently have a bundle offer which gets you a 20% discount if you order three items from the range.

E.  This gorgeous free standing menu is part of the Vintage collection from Picture Palace which features a delicate daisylike flower made from Austrian Silk lace.  An unusual alternative to the traditional folded menu.

F.  These personalised wildflower seed kits from Chloe Beck feature a large eco friendly paper daisy flower on the packet.  The personalised label is available in a variety of colours to match your colour scheme.  A great unusual choice of favour and one that your guests can remember your wedding by come Spring and Summer.

G.  These tiny daisy table decorations are designed to be scattered on your tables.  They are laser cut from mirrored acrylic so will really catch the light.  A central cut away swirl at the centre adds a contemporary flourish.  Get them in packs of 40 from the Handcrafted Card Company.

H.  Caesars Wedding Favours have a whole section on daisy themed wedding accessories.   Featured above are their “He Loves me Daisy Seed Tins” and Daisy Watering Cans.  Click here to see these and all the other products.

I.  Sumona Italian Daisy Sweet Favours.  Not your obvious look white and yellow centred but perfect if you are looking to introduce some candy colours to brighten up your tables.  Candyfavourboutique offer these petal sugared sweets which are handmade in Sulmona, Italy.  They are wrapped in fine coloured tulle or tinted cellophane and secured to a stiff wire stem and decorated.  If you looking for the more traditional white daisy look you will find a similar sweet creation from Go Wedding Favours.  These daisies have a large 7cm head made from real Italian chocolate dragees with a crispy shell.  With their long 32cm stem they look stunning draped across a dinner plate or table napkin.

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Diamond wedding rings come in all shapes and sizes and different materials.  white gold, yellow gold, 9 carat, 18 carat, platinum, single stone, multi stone.  What it usually comes down to is much bling there is in the middle.  We have picked 5 of the best 1/2 (0.5) carat gold diamond rings.  The 0.5 carat refers to the total amount of diamond here but remember the bigger the stones the higher up the price scale you tend to go.  A single 0.5 carat diamond solitaire ring will usually be more than double that of a similar style cluster of diamonds totalling 0.5 carat.  The good news for the grrom to be or the bridal couple is that solitaires are traditionally used for the engagement ring.  So, for a diamond wedding ring a cluster or channel of diamonds is the usual style which helps reign in the budget a little.

1.  Ladies’ 18ct white gold half carat diamond wedding ring from Ernest Jones

1/2 Carat Diamonds - White Gold
1/2 Carat Diamonds - White Gold

This 18ct white gold from Ernest Jones is set with two lines of sparkling diamonds totalling 0.5 carat

Price : £699 from Ernest Jones

2. Triple diamond (o.5 carat total) 18ct White Gold from Platinium Diamonds

Platinum Diamonds triple diamond
Platinum Diamonds triple diamond

This 18ct white gold from Platinum Diamonds is set with 3 diamonds totalling 0.5 carat

Price : £999 from Platinum Diamonds

3.  Platinum channel set Diamond Wedding Ring from Blue Nile

Blue Nile Channel Set Platinum Diamond Wedding Ring
Blue Nile Channel Set Platinum Diamond Wedding Ring

This diamond wedding ring is gorgeous but attacts a heavier price tag because the dimaonds are set in Platinum rather than gold. 

Price : Approx £1250 from Blue Nile

4.  18ct Yellow Gold – 1/2 Carat Diamond channel set Diamond Wedding Ring from Goldsmiths

0.5 Carat Yellow Gold Diamond Ring
0.5 Carat Yellow Gold Diamond Ring

0.5 Princess cut diamonds in an 18ct yellow gold ring from Goldsmiths.  Also available in White Gold.

Price : £1,199 from Goldsmiths

5.  Unusual diamond wedding ring from Diamond Manufacturers

Yellow Gold 0.5 carat diamond wedding ring
Yellow Gold 0.5 carat diamond wedding ring

This unusual design features 1/2 carat of diamonds set around a yellow gold smooth edged ring.

Price : £499 from Diamond Manufacturers

Monsoon

A teal colour theme for a wedding works really well at  evoking a tropical theme if mixed with other hot colours such as oranges, yellows bright pinks and reds, but it can work equally well for a simple yet striking colour theme if coordinated with white or ivory.  This Daphne Dress from Monsoon is perfect if you are going abroad to get married and taking a bridesmaid or two as it will travel well since the skirt is ruffled so won’t show any creases.  It has a fully boned bodice and detachable straps as well as the silk satin tie being detachable which makes it versatile if you have bridesmaids of different shapes and sizes.  The Daphne dress costs £150 from Monsoon which isn’t cheap but of course a style like this can be worn again and again.

Confetti

Chocolate brown and ivory can look indulgent and sophisticated but floral arrangements for the reception tables can be a little difficult to achieve without spending alot of money, so these chocolate brown, fabric topiary trees from Confetti at £10 each would be a perfect way to add instant impact.  The petals in the base and the ribbon trim on the pot are not included so if you are having a brown and orange or coral, or brown and pink theme then you can use those colours to keep your colour scheme.  Confetti also have a great range of other reception items such as these glitter butterflies that would look fabulous on glass stems, napkins, placecards, favour boxes and one or two scattered on the topiary decorations themselves.  They come in packs of 24 for £11.99 so you could buy a few packs to achieve a simple yet stunning look.

Confetti

Dessy

The boatneck or bateau neckline has long been favoured by women with an instinctive sense of style, think Jackie Onasis and Audrey Hepburn and this After Six bridesmaid dress from Dessy is a perfect example of how to look feminine, sexy and demure all at the same time.  This style works well for those with a defined collarbone as it follows the neckline and those with narrow shoulders.  The bodice of the dress is sleeveless matte satin with a pleat detail at the waist and simple bow.  The pleating at the waist is perfect for boyish body shapes as it takes attention away from the bust area and gives an illusion of curves with the pleats fanning upwards.  The skirt is full length nu-georgette and is shaped upwards at the waist which will help to give an illusion of height for shorter bodies.  The overall column style of this dress is perfect for petite, slim body shapes as it highlights a slim figure whilst giving shape and curves where needed.  Both the bodice and the skirt are available in a wide variety of colours which you can choose from on the Dessy website which has a nifty colour swatch gadget that will change the colour on the screen for you to see how well the colour will coordinate.  The After Six dress is £124.50.

Chocoholics

These pink daisy favour bags from Chocoholics are brilliant for a pretty, girly pink reception theme and a great price too at £1.50 including two milk chocolate truffles.  Not only do they serve as your favours for the female guests, but they will help to create a funky pink theme for your reception tables at the same time.  The differing shades of pink from pretty pastel pink to hot fushia pink means they will fit with country garden themes to funky retro themes.  The celebrations range on the Chocoholics website has been arranged into a handy colour themed search so that you can choose your colour theme to cut down on your search time, and if you can’t find what you want then there is the option to design your own giftbox with plenty of options for ribbon colurs and decorations.

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Save the Date Cards
Free Save the Date Cards from Bride and Groom Direct

There is no such thing as a free lunch ? Is there ? I am always sceptical of these kind of offers. Free personalised stationery reminds me very much of the Vista Print deals that often accompany other purchases such as Amazon shipments etc which promise 50 free business cards or similar.  The quality is usually the biggest let down but if its free then there is nothing really to complain about.  For my wedding however I would’nt want to compromise on quality and the great thing about this deal is that there really is no catch.  It is being offered by perhaps the biggest wedding publishers in the UK, CCA Occasions, under their direct sales brand Bride and Groom Direct.  I guess, the biggest incentive for them is the hope after getting your free Save the Dates you will return to them to order the bulk of the rest of the wedding stationery in the future.

There is one small catch and that is that you only get 20 free save the date cards. For many couples this is enough because most close friends and family will soon get to hear of the big day quickly anyway and will have firmly pencilled the date in on their calendars. It would have been nice to have the option to order more at the same time which you can do but you have to order them as a separate order line forcing you to personalise both items separately. This may not be such a bad thing because you may wish to personalise the 20 free Save the Date and cards with a slightly different message.  The quality of the cards is excellent.  A fresh white vellum board with the words “Save the Date” in heavy deboss at the top and your personalised text in black beneath. 

For the free Save the dates visit Bride and Groom Direct.  If you wish to order more of the same then look out for the Elegance range for the same chargeable product.

Woolworths
Woolworths

We got our local new Woolworths store just a couple of months before they went into administration, and like everyone else, I was gutted.  But thankfully now they are online and supplying just about all your party needs with all sorts of themes including Mexican, Hawaiin, Wild West and of course James Bond.  So if your intending to have a James Bond theme for your wedding, make Woolworths your first stop.  These cut outs cost £29.99 and would look great at the reception entrance, or you could have the male version outside the men’s loos and the female version outside the ladies.

Woolworths
Woolworths

Keep the theme completely black and white for a dramatic effect with silver flashes throughout for added touches of glamour.  This is one time I would advocate the use of balloons for wedding reception decoration, use lots of shiny black balloons with a few silver foil ones dotted about.

Woolworths
Woolworths

Personally I love the idea of a James Bond theme for a wedding with all those men in black tie, just keep an eye on your bridesmaids though ‘cos we all know that any man looks good in black tie!