Bridal styling is something I could talk about all day and with a background in bridal wear, I am always keeping an eye our for what brides will be wearing over the forthcoming year. I was so excited to take a look back at what brides have been loving style-wise throughout 2018, and forecast my predictions for 2019.
From trouser suits to texture, this post is packed full of bridal style inspiration for the next 12 months so make yourself comfortable and get stuck in!
Who wears the trousers? Well… whoever wants to really! Trouser suits ruled the runway this year, with the likes of Suzanne Neville, Ines Di Santo and Rime Arodaky adding tailored two-pieces to their 2019 collections. When it comes to rocking a bridal suit, go for strong tailoring, subtle details and, of course, some epic shoes to show off!
Blush pink got a romantic makeover this year, with our very own Princess Eugenie opting for a stunning rose-toned Zac Posen gown for her second wedding dress, and both Mandy Moore and Malin Akerman giving blush pink an ethereal vibe for their laid back weddings. From sand and champagne to the perfect powder pink, there’s a hue to suit every skin tone and I’m predicting that it will be the colour for 2019 brides.
More so than ever, we all have a duty to be kinder to the environment and it’s a mantra that many couples are applying to their wedding day too. To support this when it comes to your wedding attire, opt for designers who use ethically sourced fabrics and sustainable manufacturing methods and let your bridesmaids and groomsmen choose outfits that they will actually wear again.
Sparkle has been around in the wedding world forever but this season it’s had a lesson in subtlety and the effect is truly beautiful. Think twinkly fabrics, fully sequinned gowns and delicately beaded dresses that shimmer in the light as oppose to being in your face with bling. Not ready for sparkle on your dress? Go for a beaded hairpiece to give a nod to the trend in your outfit.
This post wouldn’t be complete without giving a mention to the royal weddings we’ve had this year and the influence they are bound to have on the bridal trends we see over the next 12 months. With Meghan Markle shunning lace in favour of two completely plain wedding dresses, I think we’ll be seeing a huge rise in the number of brides opting for classic and simplistic gowns that are all about the cut and silhouette of the dress (weren’t we all obsessed with that halterneck second dress!).
Meghan Markle wears (L-R) Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy and Stella McCartney
Whether they’re neat and small or organic and oversized, bows are making a huge statement right now and they’re more fashion-forward than ever. Personally, my favourite way to style this trend is by going for a gown that is clean cut and simple at the front with a dramatic half tied bow at the back.
Take the plunge and go for a gown with a plunging V neckline, a shape that is perfectly feminine and super flattering (especially on a smaller bust). Fit is everything with a daring neckline like this, make sure that you have a trusted seamstress on hand to alter your dress and make you completely comfortable on your wedding day – and remember to pack some fashion tape just in case!
3D flowers, feathers, pique fabrics and geometric lace – unique textures are everywhere in the bridal world at the moment! Playing around with the texture of your gown is such a fun and modern way to create a one of a kind bridal look. Designers such as Berta have been leading the way with this trend for the past few years, however I think 2019 will be the year that we see many more bridal designers get a little more experimental with their fabrics and I am so on board!
Another important royal wedding moment this year has been the significance of using your veil (or lack of!) to make a huge statement on your wedding day. The 16 foot veil worn by Meghan, featuring embroidered flowers from all 53 countries of the commonwealth, was a breathtaking sight to see walking down the aisle of St Georges Chapel and I imagine many brides will be emulating Meghan’s style with a dramatic long veil. Princess Eugenie, on the other hand, opted not to wear a veil at all for her wedding in order to show off the scar on her back from an operation she had as a child – a equally poignant statement about celebrating your scars which I hope inspires many brides to be.
(L-R) Meghan Markle wearing Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy and Princess Eugenie wearing Peter Pilotto
I am so excited to be sharing the first instalment in my ‘How To Style’ series, which will explore different ways to style current themes into your wedding day – and what better topic to kick things off with than the recently announced 2019 Pantone Colour of the Year: Living Coral.
Vibrant, lively and playful, Living Coral is described as ‘symbolising our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits’, which makes it the perfect tone for couples who are looking to inject some fun into their big day! From bright pinks and corals to soft, peach-toned oranges, a pop of coral paired with muted blushes, an abundance of greenery, or even dark navy can make a real impact at your wedding.
Whether you opt for a less is more approach or go full on flamboyant with this lively hue, Living Coral is a colour I am well and truly on board with. Keep scrolling to get inspired!
A pop of coral will add such a fun element to your bridal look- consider incorporating some coral florals into your bridal bouquet or a hairpiece, or why not go bold and wear coral shoes underneath your dress? When it comes to beauty, I’d go for soft peach tones and a fresh, dewy complexion as a subtle nod to the theme.
Think relaxed, natural and organic when styling coral into your tablescape. Foliage-packed, loosely arranged centrepieces with bright coral florals such as peonies and roses will make a real statement. With such a bold centrepiece, keep your tableware neutral and classic and perhaps use your menus or place names to add a little extra colour!
If you’re wanting to wow your guests with your coral colour palette, don’t be afraid to go BIG with your decor. I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that, in my opinion, flowers are the best way to inject colour into your day, so I’d suggest being bold with a vibrant floral arch or installation and pairing this with muted colours in your signage and furniture.
Where better to involve coral into your wedding than behind the bar? Ask your mixologist to create a vibrant coral cocktail for your drinks reception – a guaranteed way to please your guests! Elsewhere in your big day, use coral-toned styling props to capture the smaller details such as your stationery and rings.
For more ideas and image credits, visit my How To Style… Living Coral Pinterest board.
There are some moments where I have to pinch myself to believe that I am lucky enough to be given such incredible opportunities and on Wednesday evening, as I found myself walking up to Kensington Palace for the Historic Royal Palaces Wedding Showcase, I experienced that very feeling.
I was kindly invited, alongside some other incredible wedding suppliers from across the country, to attend the evening of festivities – and what a magical night it was!
We arrived at the palace and were greeted with a glass of Cattier Champagne (supplied by Boutique Brands) and the opportunity to explore some of the incredible rooms inside. We then moved through to the King’s Gallery for a talk about royal wedding style over the past 200 years from Harper’s Bazaar’s Executive Fashion and Jewellery Director, Kim Parker. This breathtaking room has recently become licensed for weddings, so you could be the very first couple to marry here!
The Kensington Palace Pavilion, which provides the perfect blank canvas for evening receptions and parties, was transformed into a floral haven by Hayford and Rhodes alongside production from Wise Productions, furniture from Great Hire and our evening’s entertainment from Sternberg Clarke. The evening’s beautiful stationery was created by Anaya and their incredible new collection was on display for us to preview throughout the night.
Blue Strawberry, one HRP’s fabulous recommended caterers, set up four food tasting stations around the room. With delicious options such as scallop ceviche on the menu, all paired with a perfectly complimenting wine, we were well and truly spoilt. Later on in the evening, a series of mouthwatering miniature desserts were served in amongst the floral installation – can you think of a more exciting way of being served dessert?!
The evening was rounded off with a spectacular catwalk show courtesy of The Wedding Gallery. Beautiful designs by the likes of Inbal Dror, J Andretta, Reem Acra, Suzanne Neville and Valentini were showcased against the epic floral display, alongside groomswear by designers such as Thom Sweeney and S.J Soane. (more…)
Your wedding dress is, of course, the star of your bridal look – but once you’ve decided on what you’ll be wearing, don’t forget to take some time to consider the shoes you go for on your wedding day.
Whether you’re going for something classic or having a bit more fun with your footwear, it’s so important that you invest your money wisely. I’ve rounded up some of our most loved designer shoe brands, to have a look at how they fare when it comes to bridal.
When it comes to wedding shoes, Jimmy Choo undoubtedly lead the way. With a vast, dedicated bridal collection not only for the bride, but also bridesmaids, mother of the bride, your groom and honeymoon shoes, it’s easy to see why so many people say I Do In Choo.
Jimmy Choo have several classic, iconic styles now, and with so many colours to choose from, you’ll be sure to wear them again and again. Their bridal collection is the perfect combination of the classics that we know and love, and some one of a kind beauties that even the most style conscious bride will adore (and did you catch their dreamy Cinderella collection?!).
My favourite touch about Jimmy Choo has to be the Made-To-Order option that they offer, which allows you to completely personalise your wedding shoes. With an array of styles, colours, fabrics and finishes available and the opportunity to finish your shoes with initials or your wedding date, Choo enable to you create a completely bespoke pair of wedding shoes.
Louboutin probably have the most varied bridal collection out there- ranging from stunning embellished designs to classic nude heels that you’ll be sure to wear after the wedding. Venture into their full collection and you’ll be even more spoilt for choice!
Let’s be honest, there’s something so iconic about the peep of a red sole underneath a wedding dress and a pair of Louboutins definitely lend themselves to some seriously stunning wedding photos. They also have a gorgeous collection of men’s shoes, so why not treat your groom to a matching pair?
Christian Louboutin famously expressed that he designs shoes to look beautiful rather than feel comfortable, something to consider when deciding on your wedding shoes. That being said, they also have a selection of beautiful bridal flats, so you don’t have to compromise on your red soles just because you want to dance the night away!
The Aquazzura bridal collection offers the perfect designer shoes for the alternative, modern bride. There’s so much to love in the collection- from show-stopping embellishment to the most gorgeous lace bootie-style heels.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Aquazzura can’t do classic, however; with the most stunning collection of strappy, metallic sandals, they’ll also be the first thing you pack in your honeymoon suitcase!
Aquazzura is the perfect designer for some one-of-a-kind wedding shoes. There are some real beauties in there that just scream modern bridal and with a certain royal somebody showing a particular love of this designer, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more and more brides opting for Aquazzura over the coming year.
Manolo Blahnik shoes are the epitome of classic sophistication and their wedding collection definitely lives up to that.
As a self-confessed Sex and the City addict, I can’t pretend it wasn’t the iconic Hangisi shoes that first drew me to this designer, but with so many colours, styles and fabrics now available, there’s no denying why so many brides now opt for these stunning shoes on their day.
The Manolo Blahnik bridal range isn’t huge, but venture into the full collection and you will find some equally beautiful designs. And be sure to check out the super stylish options they have on offer for your groom too!
Valentino haven’t got a dedicated wedding collection, but their Rockstud shoes have become so synonymous with bridal that I just had to include them in this post.
The Rockstud collection is so vast, with a huge selection of colours, styles and heel heights, so you will be sure to find something you love and will continue to wear long after your wedding day.
When it comes to shoes, Valentino certainly stick to what they know and do well. The rest of their collection isn’t typically as bridal, but having created such an iconic shoe with the Rockstud, you can’t blame them, and I would definitely recommend checking them out when considering designer wedding shoes.
Sophia Webster shoes are quite simply the definition of fun fashion! Their iconic angel wing heels are truly works of art and a beautiful option for a magical, fairytale wedding. They even have a matching pair for flower girls!
If that’s not quite your style, they also have an amazing range of flats, sandals and pumps in their main collection, all beautifully wearable but with a signature Sophia Webster twist.
Oh, and their ‘wifey for lifey’ slogan sandals simply HAVE to make it into your honeymoon wardrobe!
The world of Wedding Gift Lists has changed massively over the years. Long gone are the days where it was up to your great aunt to choose the toaster that would sit proudly in your kitchen for years to come; nowadays, couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to asking guests to contribute something towards the start of their married life.
Choosing which route to go down with your wedding gift list can feel exhausting, so I’ve rounded up the most popular options below.
Traditionally, homeware was hugely welcomed as a wedding gift because a marriage would often signify the bride and groom buying their first home together. Now of course, couples often live together long before they marry, but that shouldn’t rule out asking your guests to invest in some quality homeware for your marital home. This will also always remain a firm favourite with your older generation of wedding guests, who will be delighted to see you bring out your tea set every time they come to visit.
For traditional wedding gift registry, John Lewis remain a front runner and with a huge selection of brands to choose from, and the option to buy in store, online and by phone, it’s not hard to see why. Other great online registry options include Next, Amazon and Etsy – or why not register on more than one site to give your guests the option to choose?
Gift cards and vouchers can be a wonderful option if you are wanting to be gifted homeware, but want the freedom to choose your items after the wedding. I also think this is a great alternative for couples who know that buying their dream home is in the pipeline, but don’t quite have the storage or need for the wedding gifts right now.
Again, John Lewis is a personal favourite of mine for gift cards – I think it encourages the couple to treat themselves to something which they perhaps otherwise wouldn’t. Another wonderful option is Ikea vouchers, which will always prove to be a favourite for first time homeowners.
Asking for cash as a wedding gift is a particularly sticky subject and it was actually a discussion with my partner about this very topic which prompted me to write this blog post!
Personally, I find deciding on a monetary amount to give as a gift one of the most uncomfortable situations of being a wedding guest. I would much rather know what my money was being spent on. However, there is no denying that this is the most convenient method of gifting and with many couples opting to put the cash towards their honeymoon or the deposit for their first house, it would be ignorant of me to deny how helpful it can be.
If you are opting to ask for cash donations on your wedding day, consider using an online cash fund gift list (such as Prezola or The Wedding Shop). It is also always a nice touch to allocate the cash each guest has gifted you to something special, for example a romantic dinner for two on your honeymoon or the KitchenAid mixer you’ve always had your heart set on. This way you can give your guests a personal thank you for their gift and they can rest easy knowing that their cash went towards a purposeful present.
Gifting money towards your honeymoon is increasingly becoming one of the most popular wedding present options and with many websites dedicated to just this, it is now easier than ever to set up.
With websites such as Buy Our Honeymoon, you can get inspired by their sample itineraries and create an entirely bespoke gift list which includes things like flight upgrades, day trips or a bottle of champagne during your trip. Your guests pay directly to you, so it is up to you how and when you book your honeymoon and which provider you book with.
If you are planning a honeymoon using Virgin, another great option is the Virgin Holidays Gift List. This enables you to plan your perfect Virgin Holidays honeymoon and share a link with your guests which will allow them to pay off an amount towards your holiday.
When you take into account the cost of a wedding, it is understandable why many people often like to use wedding gifting as a time to give back. It is also a lovely opportunity to honour a charity that has a personal significance to you or your family.
Charity donations can be included as an option on your wedding gift list – see my point below to learn more about including several gift options in once place. Alternatively, Oxfam offers the chance to create a charitable gift list with items such as safe water, education and livestock, so your guests can directly see difference their contribution is making.
This option gives you the most freedom with your gift list, and remains a personal favourite of mine. Dedicated gift list websites such as Prezola and The Wedding Shop not only have a huge selection of homeware gifts to choose from, but you can also incorporate honeymoon funds, experiences, cash contributions and charity donations.
This enables you and your partner to create an entirely bespoke gift list with the things you truly want and gives your guests plenty of options when choosing your wedding gift.
It’s no secret that wedding dresses are one of my biggest loves in this industry. Having worked in a luxury bridal boutique, I have a real love not only of designer bridal wear, but most importantly quality gowns that look and feel amazing.
I truly feel that every bride deserves to feel incredible on her wedding day, irrespective of budget, which is why I am so delighted at the vast selection of options now available on the high street. Today I am rounding up some of my favourite wedding dresses, all of which are from high street stores. I hope it inspires you if you are at the start of your hunt for the perfect gown!
When it comes to hiring a wedding planner, there are many questions that couples are suddenly faced with. Do we really need the extra help? Is it something we can afford? What can they offer us that we can’t do ourselves?
As wedding planner myself, I am always keen to debunk the myths and talk openly about the real value in hiring a planner. Here are 6 reasons why I might just be able to help you.
We all lead busy lives, but from my experience things often all seem to happen at once in the run up to your wedding. I once had a bride who moved house, got a promotion at work AND got married all in the space of a few weeks!
Weddings take, on average, between 200-300 hours to plan, so hiring a wedding planner to take on the bulk of your wedding plans will save you and your fiancé valuable time, leaving you to relax and enjoy your engagement!
The chances are your wedding planner will have spent years building up a trusted network of suppliers to recommend to their couples. When you choose your wedding planner, you gain access not only to them, but to their contacts too.
Your wedding planner also wants your wedding day to run as smoothly as possible, so they will only suggest to you suppliers that they know will work hard to give you a perfect day.
The run up to your wedding day shouldn’t be stressful. By hiring a wedding planner, you can hand any of the stressful elements of wedding planning over to them – and still enjoy all of the fun parts of planning!
What’s more, by having a wedding planner coordinate your wedding day itself, you can relax knowing that your suppliers are organised, any room turnarounds are under control, your guests are happy and all of the other aspects to your day are being managed.
Your fiancé / bridesmaid / random guy in the dentist’s waiting room probably LOVES chatting all things wedding with you… just not all of the time! It’s easy to get caught up in everything wedding related during your engagement, but it’s so important that you don’t allow it to completely consume your relationships.
It is quite literally your wedding planner’s job to be available to support you with anything you need during the run up to the big day, so you can always rely on them to be there for any questions, wobbles or advice.
Wedding planners are often overlooked as an expensive luxury, but they could actually end up SAVING you money.
One of the most pivotal parts of our role is managing your budget, and checking that you’re not spending more than you need to or buying something that isn’t necessary for your day. Also consider your wedding planner’s relationships with their recommended suppliers, and trust them to negotiate the best possible price that they can on your behalf – it’s never guaranteed, but it’s certainly more likely than you asking on your own.
Yes, hiring a wedding planner is an added cost, but consider the value that they could give you in return.
When it comes to design, wedding planners love to flex their creative muscles and come up with something innovative and extraordinary. However, they also know what’s attainable (and what won’t blow your budget).
Thanks to the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, it’s easy to get carried away when brainstorming ideas for the design of your wedding, but you can rely on your wedding planner to hone in on what you are really looking for, and make it work for your style, venue and budget. Sure, the floral canopy, hoop installation and tree centrepieces might all look great individually, but all together? Perhaps not.
Images by Charlotte Bryer Ash Photography