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Ask anybody in the wedding industry what the most important element of your big day should be and you’ll probably get a different answer each time. HOWEVER, there’s one supplier that everyone will agree should be a top priority: your photographer.

You see, SO much of your wedding day is about the here and now. It’s the atmosphere, the emotion and the feeling. A lot of elements at your wedding are designed to be enjoyed for that one day. So once the band have finished their final song and your guests have had their last sip of champagne, what’s actually left from your day?

Well, of course, there’s the INCREDIBLE memories that you’ll hold onto forever. But, when it comes to tangible items that you can cherish, the most important thing is your wedding photos.

Photography is such a diverse industry and an incredibly personal choice. A small amount of research and you’ll quickly discover how many options there are when choosing your wedding photographer.

Your photographer should be one of the first suppliers you book after securing your wedding date. So, to help you on your way, here are five questions to ask when choosing your wedding photographer.

Do you like their photography style?

Let’s start with the most important consideration – do you like the style of their work? Each photographer will have their own unique way of editing their images. Whilst you might really appreciate what they do, you need to make sure that their style is exactly what you’re looking for from the photos of your day.

One easy way to do this is to look through your recently liked photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Generally, the majority of things you like/pin are in the photography style you gravitate towards most. In other words, don’t choose a photographer who specialises in abstract photography if you have a Pinterest board full of fine art shots.

Photographers spend years honing their skills to establish a style that works for them. It’s important that you fully understand and appreciate their craft before you book them for your wedding day.

How much do they cost?

Wedding budgets are hugely important and they should definitely be carefully considered with every supplier that you book. Bear in mind, however, that the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. 

Request quotes from your favourite photographers and, if the price is more than you were hoping to pay, spend some time looking into why this might be. Perhaps the price of one package includes an album, whereas another photographer charges for these separately. Perhaps the photographer you are considering shoots film – a much more expensive medium than digital photography. An experienced photographer will happily chat you through a breakdown of their fee.

Ultimately, your wedding photographs are one of the few elements of your day that will truly last a lifetime, so it is always worth investing in a photographer who will capture your day perfectly. If you do spend more than you were hoping to on your photographer, your wedding planner will be able to recommend other areas to save money on and keep your budget firmly on track.

Do you get on well with your photographer?

Your photographer plays an incredibly intimate role in your day overall, so it is imperative that you get on well with them. From when you’re getting ready in the morning until your first dance in the evening, your photographer will witness every excited smile, emotional tear and nervous laugh. Therefore, make sure that you are fully comfortable spending the day with them.

Before you wedding, arrange to meet with your photographer and ask them any questions you have about the way they work. Although the quality of their work is a key factor, it is also so important that you get on well. They will feel more like a trusted friend by the end of your wedding day!

Have you seen a full album of their work?

It’s impossible for photographers to share a full wedding day album on social media. The reality is, the images you’ve been swooning over on Instagram will be just a small handful of the full galleries that they create for their couples. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to see a full album from a real wedding they have photographed. This way, you can make sure that they capture all of the elements that are most important to you.

Each photographer will work differently – some may focus on group shots and images of your guests whilst others will be more detail orientated or especially focused on portraits. A full album will give you a better impression of their work overall and help establish the images that are most important to you.

What exactly is included when you book them?

Every photographer will have different services that they offer so take some time to consider exactly what is included and what additional services matter most to you and your fiancé.

Firstly, establish how many hours their coverage includes and check that this will allow them to capture every important moment within your day. Additional services could include anything from an engagement shoot (a great option if you are nervous about getting in front of the camera), a beautiful album of your favourite prints or a second photographer to capture even more of your wedding day. All of these are wonderful add-ons, so be sure to take some time to chat with your photographer about whether they are right for you and your wedding.

Overall, I can’t shout loudly enough about the important role your photographer plays on your wedding day. There are SO many different wedding photographers out there, so make sure that you find somebody who perfectly suits what you are looking for.

All of the images used in this post are from real weddings and editorial shoots that I have planned and styled as part of my Rachel Dalton Weddings portfolio. I have worked with the photographers credited personally, and I can vouch that they are all incredibly talented at what they do. If you are looking for a UK wedding photographer, why not check them out?

February 18, 2020

Wedding Ceremony | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

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I am SO happy to be sharing this beautiful marquee wedding with you today!

From the moment I met Caroline and Ben, I felt so welcomed into their beautiful family and I still smile when I think back to their stunning wedding day.

These two chose to marry at Caroline’s parent’s family home in The New Forest which, coincidentally, was just 15 minutes away from where I grew up. Their private home was the perfect setting for their Hampshire marquee wedding and, on a beautifully sunny day last September, Caz & Ben said ‘I Do’ surrounded by their loved ones.

Timeless, elegant and classic was the name of the game when it came to styling this gorgeous wedding – with heavenly white and green florals, accents of blue and an abundance of candlelight. And from the homemade honey favours to the movie-themed table names (a nod to the couple’s background in production) there were personal touches aplenty.

Caz and Ben threw the rule book out the window and had a bride’s best man, a groom’s best woman and a speech from the bride that will be sure to go down in history. It’s safe to say this fun-filled, heartfelt wedding is truly memorable.

Caroline and Ben, thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with your beautiful day. Getting to know you and your families has been a pleasure!

Happy scrolling!

THANK YOU TO THE INCREDIBLE TEAM THAT MADE THIS DAY POSSIBLE:

Wedding Planner: Rachel Dalton Weddings / Marquee: Inside Outside / Photographer: William Bazlinton for Linus Moran Photography / Videographer: Chapter & Verse / Florist: Martha and the Meadow / Caterer: Ginger Catering / Band: The Capricorns / Wedding Dress: Halfpenny London / Makeup: Heidi Read Makeup / Wedding Cake: The Diamond Baker

You can read more about my wedding planning services on the Rachel Dalton Weddings website.

February 7, 2020

Halfpenny London Wedding Dress

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There’s no denying that your honeymoon should be the trip of a lifetime.

For some, that means sipping cocktails on a beach and doing a whole lot of relaxing. If, however, you are looking to do something a little more adventurous on your honeymoon – this post is for you.

From hiking in Iceland to bungee jumping in New Zealand, you’ll find plenty of honeymoon inspiration in this post that the adventurers among you will LOVE. So keep on reading and get ready to kick off married life in the most exciting way possible!

South Africa

South Africa has to be one of the most diverse destinations to spend your honeymoon. Whether you’re looking in the bustling city of Cape Town, the wine regions of the Western Cape or even thinking of going on safari – there is something for everyone in this beautiful country. 

In Cape Town itself, you’ll find hiking opportunities aplenty – with Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak all standing proudly over the city. Along the coast, you’ll also find the opportunity to go on boat rides or (for the adrenaline junkies out there) even go cage diving with sharks! 

And a trip to South Africa wouldn’t be complete without a safari. If time and budget allows, it’s well worth a visit to Kruger National Park to see the big five but, if you’re looking for something closer to Cape Town, you’ll find plenty of safari opportunities nearby.

Allow a couple of weeks to immerse yourself in all that South Africa has to offer. With incredible food, stunning views and all the adventure you could ask for – you’ll be kicking off married life in the best way possible.

Italy

For a honeymoon destination a little bit closer to home, there are plenty of adventure-filled countries in Europe to explore. And it’s safe to say that Italy has a little something for everyone.

With its mountainous landscapes, Italy perfectly lends itself to activities such as hiking, cycling and quad biking. You can even take a hot air balloon ride to experience a stunning birds eye view of Tuscany!

If you’re after a more laid-back day of adventure, why not take in the scenery AND the local produce with a wine tasting tour or a truffle-foraging excursion?

Trust me, after all this activity you’ll have earned that bowl of pasta!

New Zealand

The ultimate adventure destination and a spot that remains firmly on my bucket list! New Zealand is a hub for adrenaline junkies and it’s no surprise why.

With bungee jumping, canyon swinging and skydiving on offer (and so much more!) you’ll be kicking off married life in the most exhilarating way possible. Couple this with incredible scenery and diverse landscapes and it’s no surprise so many people fall in love with NZ.

You’ll find plenty of gorgeous accommodation options available in New Zealand or, if you’re looking for a real adventure, why not rent a camper van and make a road trip of your honeymoon?

Iceland

If you’re looking for somewhere completely different to spend your honeymoon, look no further than Iceland. With waterfalls, volcanoes, natural hot springs and plenty of breathtaking landscapes, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice when it comes to #JustMarried photo opportunities.

For the adventurers among you, I’d recommend staying outside of Reykjavik and exploring some of the lesser-known areas of the Iceland. Go in the right season and you might even catch the northern lights!

If you have a couple of weeks to spend there and you’re looking for a real adventure, take a road trip around the Route 1 ring road. It’s one on my bucket list, for sure!

To help you plan your trip, have a read of my Top Tips for Travelling to Iceland and my Ultimate Four Day Itinerary.

If you’re currently planning an adventure-filled honeymoon, I hope you found this post useful!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more travel inspiration. For help and support with planning your wedding, visit the Rachel Dalton Weddings website.

February 4, 2020

Safari Cape Town

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In all of my years working in the wedding industry, there’s one topic that I am by FAR most commonly asked about. That’s right, today we’re talking bridesmaid dresses.

I get it, girls! Finding bridesmaid dresses in the UK is tough.

First you’ve got the style. And when you’ve got a bunch of your besties that are varying sizes and shapes (maybe someone’s even got a bump to accommodate!) it’s difficult to find a style that will suit everyone.

Then there’s the colour. Does it match your colour scheme for the day? Does it suit all of the girls?

As well as all of these factors, there’s the price to consider. The cost of bridesmaid dresses can vary hugely and it’s a lot for you or your bridesmaids to spend on a dress they’ll likely wear once.

Girls, I HEAR YA! And I’m hear to help you with today’s post.

Nowadays, bridesmaid dress stockists are listening to us and making it easier than ever to get hold of beautiful gowns. With most online stores offering speedy delivery (and often free returns) it’s super convenient to order your girls their dresses and exchange them for an alternative size or style if it’s not quite right.

In this post you’ll find a HUGE selection of designers, ranging from high street to designer and everything in between. So gather your girls together, grab a cuppa (or better still, a glass of bubbles) and get stuck in!

ASOS

ASOS quickly became one of the go-to places to look for bridesmaid dresses in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. With vast collections including petite, plus size, maternity and tall, they make it easier than ever to ensure that all of your girls are catered for.

TH & TH

TH&TH are a relatively new, British company that design elegant, contemporary bridesmaid dresses which can be shipped worldwide. Although their collection is fairly concise, you will find something to please even the pickiest of bridesmaids and their easy to view colour options make these perfect for your girls to mix and match.

Watters

Watters are bridal designers who also have a gorgeous range of beautiful quality bridesmaid dresses. Ranging from contemporary to classic and everything in between, you can guarantee that you’ll find something all your girls adore. Watters bridesmaid dresses are available only from retailers.

Debenhams

Debenhams have been a go-to destination for bridesmaid dresses in the UK for years, with a wide variety of brands and styles available at affordable price points, and speedy delivery options if you’re running last minute!

Dessy

The Dessy Group have paved the way for bridesmaid dresses for years and, with exclusive collections from the likes of Jenny Packham, it’s a great port of call to show your bridesmaids a wide selection of styles. Dessy gowns are available exclusively from stockists, which can be found on their website.

Next

I was so pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of bridesmaid dresses available online with Next. Featuring extensive collections from Lispy, Oasis and many other brands, you’ll be sure to find something you and your girls love.

Rewritten

Perfect for the modern bride, Rewritten are British designers specialising in contemporary bridesmaid dresses that are designed to be worn again and again. With a selection of super-chic dresses, jumpsuits and separates in an array of colours, these will be loved by both your bridesmaids AND the planet. Win, win!

Monsoon

Monsoon have an great selection of beautifully classic bridesmaid dresses, many of which are available in-store as well as online. Specialising in embellished, beaded gowns at affordable price points – your girls will love them just as much as you do!

Chi Chi London

Chi Chi London is an online retailer that specialise in fashion-forward styles at affordable prices. With free shipping and returns on orders over £100, this is a great option if you are wanting your bridesmaids to try on a couple of styles before deciding on ‘the one’.

Jenny Yoo

Elegant yet contemporary, Jenny Yoo have a stunning collection of bridesmaid dresses. From light chiffons to statement velvet gowns, their fabric range is incredible and you’ll find something to suit every member of your bride squad! Some styles are available online, with their full collection available from their retailers.

Jarlo

If Jarlo aren’t already on your bridesmaid dress radar – they probably should be! Offering a gorgeous selection of stylish bridesmaid dresses available with speedy, worldwide delivery, you’ll feel spoilt for choice once you start browsing the gowns they have available.

Maids To Measure

Maids to Measure bridesmaid dresses are available both online and from retailers in the UK. Their designs are beautifully ethereal and feature a range of different styles and colours to suit all of your girls.

And a few top tips for finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses:

  1. Be open to your girls’ ideas… Remember, it’s them who have to actually wear it! Of course, you must also LOVE the gown they go for, but making sure your girls feel comfortable should be a priority.
  2. Consider Mixing & Matching… Mix & Match bridesmaid dresses are no new concept, so you’ll find TONNES of inspo on how to pull this off. Stick to matching tones that suit the rest of the wedding, and let your ‘maids choose a style that reflects them.
  3. Find your dress first… It’s important that you match your bridesmaid dresses to your dress, NOT the other way around.
  4. Fit is everything… Regardless of whether you spend £60 or £600 on a bridesmaid dress, it’s SO important that the fit is spot on. Visit a seamstress roughly 8 weeks before the wedding (just remember your bridesmaid shoes!) and make sure that the bodice fits perfectly and the hem is the perfect length.
  5. Give them a steam the day before… Make sure the gowns are all good to go the night before the wedding to avoid any last-minute panic on the day. Your wedding planner will be able to help you steam your dresses if you’re nervous to do this yourself!

For more information on my wedding planning services, visit the Rachel Dalton Weddings website.

Follow The Ivory Book on Instagram for more wedding inspiration.

January 31, 2020

Bridesmaid Bouquet | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

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Goodmorning, lovelies! And a very happy Sunday to you all! I am interrupting your weekend to shout about our Pylewell Park editorial shoot which has just been published on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings! *Squeals!*

This modern bridal inspiration is the perfect example of what can happen when a team of suppliers flex their creative muscles a little. With a bridal cape, forest green accents and an abundance of pampas grass, we all completely embraced doing something a little bit different and, I hope you’ll agree, the finished product is spectacular!

Pylewell Park provided the perfect setting for this shoot, with it’s magnificent country house backdrop, forest surroundings and modern marquee. The setup is striking, fun and unique and it was a joy to create it with such a talented team.

Our bridal look epitomises the modern bride who is looking for something different, but still undeniably elegant. The statement bridal cape and gorgeously dramatic green gown provide two contrasting, modern bridal looks.

Grab yourself a cuppa and immerse yourself in ALL the bridal inspo!

Huge credit to an amazing team:

Wedding Planner: Rachel Dalton Weddings / Venue: Pylewell Park / Photographer: Samantha Davis Photography / Wedding Dress: Willowby by Watters from Ava Louise Bridal / Cape: Cupid Blue Bridal / Green Dress: Kimberley Stone Design / Florist: Clair Lythgoe / Venue Stylist: Fundoo Weddings / Makeup: Tara Sanger Makeup / Hair: Jeni Worsfold Hairstylist / Cake: Fancie Buns / Model: Sara at BMA Models / Tableware: Crystal Hire / Stationery: Lou Paper

January 26, 2020

Bridal Cape

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I’m diving straight back into wedding content today so, if you’re newly engaged, this is a post you won’t want to miss!

Before we get into it, make sure you’ve caught up on my recent wedding planning posts, which you’ll find here and here. For more wedding content, you can also follow Rachel Dalton Weddings on Instagram for daily planning inspiration.

OK, onto today’s post and the next task on our planning agenda: guest lists. This is one of the first things that should be on your to-do list BUT one that’s often easier said than done.

Trust me when I say I UNDERSTAND what a tricky task this can be. In this post you’ll find some helpful tips to help you write a guest list that’s perfect for your big day.

How To Write a Wedding Guest List | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

There’s No Right or Wrong

As with many elements of wedding planning, when it comes to guest lists, there’s not a one size fits all approach. Your guest list could have 2, 20 or 200 names on it – the most important thing is that it’s you and your fiancé’s choice.

When you first get engaged, take a moment to visualise your day together before you start discussing your guest list. Are you both wanting a big, traditional day, or do you envisage an intimate, laid back affair? Maybe you’d prefer to do things just the two of you! Establish your wedding style and what you are both comfortable with, then work from there.

Dealing with Family Opinions

Sometimes it can feel like everyone and their dog has an opinion on who to invite to your wedding. The important thing is not to feel pressured by your parents/friends/very-distant-and-probably-not-invited uncle and stick to your gut.

Remind your family that, as grateful as you are for their input, your wedding day choices are ultimately up to you and your fiancé. If a family member is contributing financially towards your wedding, it’s sometimes courteous to include a few of their guest list suggestions – however don’t feel forced to let this influence your day.

To Plus One, or not to Plus One

The parameters for plus one’s are entirely up to you. Typically, you would include a plus one on the invitation if a guest is married or in a long-term relationship. Pippa Middleton famously enforced a ‘no bling, no bring’ policy at her 2017 wedding – whereby guests were asked to fly solo unless they were married or engaged. This is always an option if you’re looking to keep numbers down!

Ultimately, I’d make a call on plus one’s based on how well you know the guest and their partner, and how long the couple have been together. If you’ve got a few single friends, pop them together on the same table. I guarantee they’ll all be having far too much fun to notice they’re lacking a plus one!

How To Write a Wedding Guest List | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

Room for Little Ones?

I’m afraid this is another one that you’ll have to decide for yourself HOWEVER I can give you a few pros and cons to having children at your wedding. On the one hand, kids are adorable. Let’s face it, there’s nothing sweeter than a well-behaved flower girl following in awe as the bride is walking down the aisle. And don’t even get me started on the cute photo opportunities!

With that being said, children are unpredictable. A wedding day isn’t the most kid-friendly environment, so bear in mind that clumsiness and tiredness may come into play (we’ve all attended a ceremony with a crying baby, haven’t we!). If you do decide to invite children to your wedding, I would always recommend having a nanny on hand to entertain the children throughout the day – and make the day far more enjoyable for their parents!

Consider Having a Reserve Guest List

If your guest numbers are getting out of hand, consider drawing up an ‘overflow’ list of guests that you would like to invite if any guests decline your invitation. I’d always recommend this to massively over-inviting in the hope that some guests can’t make it!

Navigating an overflow list can be tricky. Make sure that you don’t send invitations in a way that will offend any guests – you don’t want anybody to know they’re on the ‘B’ list! The best way to do this is by including the same groups of friends on the same lists.

Draw the Line Somewhere

Remember that, when it comes to your guest list, you have to draw the line somewhere. Sometimes it’s easiest to give a blanket rule for where to draw that line (e.g. ‘family up to first cousins’ or ‘uni friends but not work friends’) but don’t feel like you need to apply a rule – or make this the same for both sides of your family.

The most important thing is that you invite all of the people who matter most to you and your fiancé. And once you’ve settled on a guest list, you can enjoy all of the fun things that wedding planning has to offer!

For more wedding planning advice, get in touch via the Rachel Dalton Weddings website.

January 22, 2020

How To Write a Wedding Guest List | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

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If your left hand is looking significantly sparklier than it was a few weeks ago – CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you are enjoying every moment of your engagement so far.

I expect you’re looking to get started with planning your day (I don’t blame you!) so over the next few months I’ll be sharing some handy articles that will help guide you through your wedding plans.

Kicking things off, we’re talking all things venue!

Searching for your venue is one of the first tasks that you should tackle on your to do list and one of the most important elements to your special day. So to help, I’ve put together a few tips for finding your perfect wedding venue.

Four Seasons Hampshire | Tips For Finding Your Wedding Venue | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

If You’re Hiring a Planner, Enlist Their Help First

If you’re thinking about hiring a wedding planner, enlist their support before you get too far with your venue search. A wedding planner can save you SO much valuable time and effort when looking for your venue as they will have a far deeper knowledge of locations that match your brief than any google search! What’s more, they’ll be able to make practical suggestions during your site visit to help you visualise your day.

As a wedding planner, I love this part of the planning process. We are spoiled with some really beautiful wedding venues in the UK and, when you find the perfect place to say ‘I Do’ it can really help the rest of the wedding fall into place. If you are looking for support from a UK wedding planner, get in touch with me through the Rachel Dalton Weddings website – I would love to hear from you!

Decide on a Location

This really can make one of the biggest impacts on where to focus your venue search. Sit down with your fiancé and decide where geographically you would like to host your wedding. Consider things such as how far your guests will be travelling (and whether there are any important family members that aren’t able to travel) as well as whether there is a location you’d like to marry in for sentimental reasons.

Once you have a location narrowed down – for example a Cotswolds Wedding – avoid extending your search further afield (you’ll just confuse yourselves!).

Write Your Guest List

Before you look at any venues, have a draft of your guest list so that you can get an idea of numbers for your wedding. Every venue has a maximum capacity so deciding how many guests to invite will instantly narrow down a shortlist.

Budget, Budget, Budget

If you haven’t already, get that budget spreadsheet going! This is also a good time to sit down together and establish your priorities for the day, as these factors will likely get the biggest allocation of your budget.

Your costings for a lot of your wedding day will fall into place once you have confirmed your venue BUT it is vital that you have an overall budget breakdown before you start your search. You don’t want to blow your whole budget on your venue!

Choose the Style of Your Day (and Venue!)

Pinning fingers at the ready! Before you shortlist any venues, envisage the style of your day, and therefore the style of venues you are going to be looking at. If you’ve always dreamt of a traditional affair at a country house, don’t waste your time looking around industrial warehouse venues.

Take some time to look on Pinterest, Instagram and wedding blogs to get some ideas for the style you are drawn to. Keep this in mind and try to visualise your day as a whole whilst you are doing your venue research.

Four Seasons Hampshire Wedding | Tips For Finding Your Wedding Venue | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

Set a Wedding Date

If you can have some flexibility when it comes to your wedding date – wonderful! It’s great to have a few options in mind when you are enquiring with venues.

On saying that, it’s important to consider the year, season and even day of the week that you would like to get married on. All of these factors can come in to play when looking at venue prices and availability.

Decide What Type of Ceremony You Would Like

If you have your heart set on a religious ceremony, you will need to consider this when you are choosing where to host your wedding as you will need a separate venue for your reception. If you are looking to have a civil ceremony, speak to each venue and check which of their rooms have a licence.

Nowadays, there is much more freedom when it comes to wedding ceremonies, blessings, and saying ‘I Do’ in a way that suits you. Be sure to do your research – and enlist the help of a wedding planner if you need any guidance.

Establish Whether You’ll Need Accommodation Onsite / Nearby

These days, it’s almost inevitable that some of your guests will have to travel for your wedding. If this is the case for a large portion of your guests, I’d suggest having a look at the accommodation available at (or nearby) the venues you shortlist.

It’s also worth noting – if you’re making a weekend of your wedding and extending the celebrations over a couple of days, make sure that you have accommodation options available for you and your guests.

Decide How Much Freedom You’d Like

Different venues will have different processes when it comes to preferred suppliers. Often, they’ll ask that you choose from an approved approved list for caterers, production teams and sometimes more! If this is the case, check that the recommended suppliers align with the budget and style of your day. I’d also suggest asking each venue about their rules on alcohol, and whether they charge a corkage fee.

If you’re looking for more freedom, it may be best to choose a venue without a preferred suppliers list OR if you’d like to completely take the reins, why not go for a marquee wedding?

If you are looking for guidance and support with the planning of your big day, get in touch to have a chat about how I am able to help!

For more wedding related content, follow Rachel Dalton Weddings on Instagram

For lifestyle content (and a bit of everything else!) follow The Ivory Book on Instagram

Images taken by Kristine Herman Photography at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

January 11, 2020

Four Seasons Hampshire Wedding | Tips For Finding Your Wedding Venue | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

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Welcome to the my very first post of 2020! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and if you got engaged over the festive season then HUGE congratulations to you and a very warm welcome to the world of wedding planning!

If you have landed on this post because you are looking for a wedding planner, head over to the Rachel Dalton Weddings website where you will find a little bit more about me and the services that I offer. I am a UK wedding planner specialising in timeless, luxury weddings and it would be my pleasure to help you plan your celebration.

Ok, shameless plug finished. Let’s delve into the post!

I completely understand that the weeks after you get engaged can feel overwhelming. You want to celebrate, but you also want to start planning (and your friend-who’s-getting-married-after-you-but-has-EVERYTHING-organised-already is badgering you to get suppliers booked!). So here’s the things you need to do as soon as you get engaged.

Wedding Bouquet | The Ivory Book | Rachel Dalton Weddings

1. Celebrate!

First things first, take some time to celebrate with your new fiancé! There’s no pressure to get planning the moment that you get engaged. Spend some time in your newly-engaged happy bubble, tell your loved ones the happy news and, if you’re having one, host an engagement party to extend the celebrations!

2. Hire a Wedding Planner

I might sound biased here, but if your budget allows for it then hiring an independent wedding planner will give you invaluable support throughout your engagement, and especially during the early stages of wedding planning. From venue sourcing and supplier recommendations to styling advice and management of the logistics of your day – an experienced planner will offer reliable guidance and save you time, money and hassle further down the line. Your wedding planner will prove to be a constant support in the lead up to your day, so make sure you choose somebody that you trust and connect with.

3. Set a Budget

The budget for your wedding is one of the most important factors to consider, especially when you begin to book your first few suppliers. Money is never an easy topic of discussion, but it is absolutely vital that you have ‘the chat’ early on so that you and your fiancé are both on the same page when it comes to what you are budgeting for the wedding. If you are receiving contributions for the wedding from any parents/family members, it’s also important that you include them when you are agreeing on a budget. Your wedding planner will be able to create a detailed budget breakdown to constantly refer back to and update throughout the planning process.

4. Get Inspired

This is the really fun part! Whether you’ve been Pinning table setups for years or you have no idea how you visualise your day looking, it’s always a good idea to do some research into the design elements that you are drawn to. Pinterest, Instagram and blogs are great for this – but you can find inspiration anywhere! From your initial likes and dislikes, you can then begin to form a cohesive style for your day that suits the wedding you are having.

5. Write Out your Guest List

Guest numbers can have a huge impact on your day – this needs to be considered for your budget, your venue and factored into most decisions for the day, so it’s vital that you settle on a guest list as soon as you can. Remember, your guest list is ultimately you and your fiancé’s decision, so try not to let other people’s opinions sway who you decide to invite. You have to draw the line somewhere, so don’t be afraid to take people off the list if the total numbers are getting too high!

6. Take Out Wedding Insurance

I’m going to write a whole separate post about this, as I feel that there is a lot of confusion when it comes to exactly what wedding insurance is for, but it’s such an important step and one that you should do soon after you get engaged. Make sure that you take out the correct level of insurance for your wedding – it can cover all sorts should something go wrong. You should never need it BUT if you do, you will be grateful to have it.

7. Set a Wedding Date

Most people can have a degree of flexibility when it comes to choosing a wedding date – which will be helpful when it comes to deciding on a venue. You should, however, have a chat early on about the month (or at the very least, the year!) in which you would like to get married. Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of a winter wedding, maybe you’d like a longer engagement to allow you to save for your dream wedding. These are all things to consider when choosing the right wedding date!

8. Begin the Venue Search

Before you begin your venue search, sit down together and create a list of your ‘must haves’ for your wedding venue. It’s very rare that you can find a venue that ticks every box and you may need to compromise on a few of the factors which are less of a priority to find the perfect location. Again, hiring a wedding planner can really help with this step, as they will be able to shortlist the venues that best suit your criteria – saving you valuable time.

9. Schedule Regular Catch-Up Meetings with your Fiancé

Finally, remember that planning your wedding should be a team effort and it’s important to set aside designated time to catch up on how your plans are going. Your wedding day should be the perfect reflection of the two of you as a couple, so consider each other’s opinions when you are piecing together your special day.

If you’ve just got engaged and you are looking for some support, get in touch to discuss how I am able to help.

Images by Kristine Herman Photography

What To Do When You Get Engaged | The Ivory Book | Rachel Dalton Weddings

January 3, 2020

Engagement Ring in Box | The Ivory Book | Rachel Dalton Weddings

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I am so excited to be sharing this incredibly special Syon Park wedding with you today!

On a gloriously sunny day this June, Ashley and Dan celebrated their love in an incredible London wedding venue. And with some of the bride’s family travelling all the way from Bermuda, Ashley and Dan’s loved ones really did come from far and wide to celebrate with them.

Their heartfelt and personalised ceremony in Syon House perfectly epitomised Ashley, Dan and their two beautiful daughters.

The Great Conservatory of Syon Park provided a show-stopping space for the couple’s evening reception. I’m not often lost for words (ha!) but this orangery venue truly blew me away the first time I stepped inside.

When it came to styling, Ashley and Dan chose a classic colour palette and an abundance of heavenly florals. The end result was nothing short of breathtaking!

So many personal touches were subtly woven into their day – from the Dior perfume favours that the ladies received to the obligatory shot of coffee Patrón for Ashley’s hen’s in the speeches. And when the wedding of a professional footballer falls on the date of the Champion’s League Final, we stopped at nothing to make sure that we could live-stream the match for Dan and his teammates. A Rachel Dalton Weddings first, for sure!

This beautiful day holds special memories for me for so many reasons and I am so happy to be sharing it with you. Thank you, Ashley and Dan, for trusting me with your wedding plans and welcoming me into your celebration.

Enjoy!

Sophia Webster Wedding Shoes | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Groom Suit | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Sophia Webster Shoes | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Bride | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Bride Bag | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Syon House | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Ashley & Dan | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Ceremony | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Wedding Ceremony | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
London Wedding | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Syon House | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Just Married | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Bride and Bridesmaids | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Groom and Groomsmen | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Elegant Wedding | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Luxury Wedding | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Syon Park Conservatory | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Luxury Wedding Cake | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Luxury UK Wedding Planner | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Wedding Inspiration | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Orangery Wedding | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Personalised Dancefloor | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
The Great Conservatory | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

Thank you to the incredible team that made this day possible!

Wedding Planner: Rachel Dalton Weddings / Venue: Syon Park / Photographer: Liza Edgington Photography / Videographer: Songbird Wedding Videos / Catering: Richmond Caterers / Flowers: Jennifer Poynter Flowers / Cake: Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design / Bridal Gown: Suzanne Neville from The Wedding Club / Hair: Chloe Molly / Makeup: Emma Devine / Production: Cinemattag Productions / Yes Events / Dance Floor: VNV Live Events / DJ: DJ Charles / Magician: Magic by Alfie / Acoustic Duo: Soul to Soul Acoustic / Photo Booth: The Proper Booth / Stationery: Silk Beau

You can read more about my wedding planning services on the Rachel Dalton Weddings website.

Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

November 8, 2019

Orangery Wedding | Syon Park Wedding | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

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Nothing quite compares to the feeling you get when you achieve something that you’ve dreamt of since you were about fifteen. Nothing, except the feeling when it happens for the second time. In the same year.

That’s exactly what occurred when I had the opportunity to attend New York Bridal Fashion Week once again with Anna Bridal for the Berta F/W 2020 runway show.

A million thank yous still wouldn’t be enough to express the gratitude I felt to be taken on this trip. It was such an honour to attend the show, which firmly remains the highlight of every NYBFW season, alongside buyers and press from across the globe.

This season, Berta (literally) went above and beyond where any bridal designer has gone before by hosting the show on the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Centre. And I couldn’t think of a more apt location for a design house that, season after season, is always thinking one step ahead.

Staying true to the iconic style of Berta, the Napoli collection features innovative fabrics, intricate embroideries and mesmerising beadwork that could only be synonymous with the Berta brand.

Once again, I left the show feeling enchanted and awe-inspired – so much so that I couldn’t not share some of the pictures I took from the runway. Have a scroll and, whether you’re a bride-to-be or not, I’m sure that you too will fall head over heels for the collection.

Beaded Wedding Dress Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Ballgown Wedding Dress Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Boho Wedding Dress Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Statement Wedding Dress | Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Long Sleeve Berta Wedding Dress | Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings
Low Back Wedding Dress Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

The Muse by BERTA collection is available NOW at Anna Bridal Couture.

You can read my post about last season’s Berta catwalk show here.

Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

October 31, 2019

Berta 2020 Collection Berta Bridal Catwalk | The Ivory Book by Rachel Dalton Weddings

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