header-for-bridal-diariesThis week we meet A Whole Lot of Lovely couple Carla & Nicholas, in their beautiful wedding amongst the snowdrops at Hodsock Priory. There are so many gorgeous details in this wedding I can’t wait to share with you! Read on to hear their story….

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So Carla, tell me, how did you and your new husband meet?
We met on holiday in Spain.

And tell us a little bit about your engagement…
It was a bank holiday weekend, we both got home from work and we were going camping with friends for the weekend. We were up and down to the loft getting the camping gear organised. Nick said he was going to empty his car boot (to make room for the camping equipment) so he bought his golf clubs into the house from the car. He was faffing around with his golf bag for ages, I wondered what he was doing! Time was ticking on and we hadn’t organised any supper, Nick put a pizza in the oven, I put my pjs on and we sat on the sofa (surrounded by camping gear!)

Nick asked me to check the pizza, my answer “you wanted the pizza, you check the pizza” after he asked a few more times, I stomped into the kitchen. There was a shiny engagement ring sitting on the hob I screamed and ran up and down the kitchen through to the living room. I then calmed (a little), Nick said say something then……..I screamed, he said, “will you marry me”, I said, “yes”! We ate cold pizza and drank champagne! Low key, but a total surprise. I never wanted it to be a public thing, so it was perfect, I was very shocked, which is what he wanted!

How did you initially feel about planning your wedding?
Very excited! Slightly overwhelmed, but most definitely excited, every girl has dreamed of planning their big day and I was about to get my chance!

So what did you do first?
On the night I got engaged I called my sister and my best friend, rather than saying, I just got engaged, I said “will you be my bridesmaid” there was a lot of screaming! I remember my sister was on holiday in Turkey and the telephone reception was poor, so I had to ask her about three times!

The first proper planning we did was to go to a wedding fayre. The week after we got engaged the big wedding fayre was on at Ice Sheffield, so my best friend, Laura, drove up from Kent for the day and the three of us (Nick, Laura and I) went to the wedding fayre, we got lots of ideas and that’s where we first saw the band we wanted!

What was important for you both?
Having fun, making it personal and wanting everyone to feel relaxed. It’s a bit of a cliché but we wanted our wedding to feel like our wedding and not just any wedding. We didn’t worry about what others thought we should do, or should invite, it was our day, our way and we loved it. We both have lots of amazing friends and great families and we just wanted to have a good time with everyone. We have a lot to thank our friends and family for, with the long distance relationship at the start, it wouldn’t have been possible without them, so we wanted to say thank you and to all have a great time. The other thing we were both agreed on was wanting live music, so we picked a band that also did a secret waiters singing section after dessert, which was a BIG HIT!

Did you have a particular theme / colour scheme that ran through your day?
We didn’t have one colour, but the themes were dusky pink, lace and tweed.

That sounds gorgeous! What made you choose those themes?
We wanted an English country type theme.

So tell us, how did you implement this into your day?
Nick had a tweed suit made for him. I originally wanted a light coral/peach colour for the bridesmaid dresses, but the dresses we liked didn’t come in that colour, they came in the dusky pink though so we went with that! They also had a lacey overlay to tie in with my dress. Our mum’s dresses also had a lacey type overlay too. I got the soft coral into the flowers though, with the dusky pink. I also had buttons and a hessian tie around the bouquet to add to the classic English vintagey feel.

Hodsock-Landscape

Tell us more about your beautiful venue! 
Hodsock Priory, is famous for its snowdrops, we went for a walk there in the snow drops about 2 years before our wedding. At that time I was working in London, so the distance and the stress of our jobs was making us unhappy! It was whilst sitting in the snowdrops that we made plans for me to try and leave London, to get a job up north and to try and make the north our permanent home. I felt a sense of calm and release and I hoped then that one day I could come back and celebrate our wedding there. I picked up a wedding brochure that day and snuk it in my hand bag. When Nick popped the question about 18 months later, I got it out of the drawer and said, “I’ve picked the venue”. Eager!
We checked out some other venues before booking, but for me, nowhere came close. It is such a pretty place and somewhere I will always associate with our big decision making time!

Who made up your wedding party?
I had three adult bridesmaids; my sister Gemma, she is a couple of years older than me and the best big sister I could have wished for, my best friend Laura, we lived opposite each other since she was born 6 months old and we have done everything together, I couldn’t have imagined doing it without her, Nick’s sister Louise, she is a year younger than me and we get on really well. My flower girl was Elodie-Rose who is 4, she is our friends’ daughter, who I have always been very very fond of, she is a little star.

We had two best men, Nick’s two best friends, Michael and Richard, he couldn’t have chosen just one of them, so he decided to have two best men, and no ushers.

We need to know about that gorgeous dress and your accessories!
My dress was Pronovia fantastica, in ivory, it was strapless with lacey detail at the top and had many ruffles on the bottom! My shoes were cream and gold by irregular choice. My veil was borrowed from sister. My tiara, earrings and necklace were from glitzy secrets and bracelet was designed and made by Lucy with Diamonds. I loved all of my things! My hair and makeup girls were also so key in making my morning perfect. I would definitely recommend Kirsty & Sarah from Ikizler!

What flowers did you choose?
My flowers were done by Flowers by Kay, they were soft pinks, peaches and creams. The flowers included David Austin Roses which are beautiful. They were tied with hessian and had buttons within the bouquet. The men each had a white Yorkshire Rose in memory of Nick’s dad and as a symbol of how we love Yorkshire!

Tell us about your wedding stationery…
We chose A Whole Lot of Lovely! I had luggage tag style save the dates which I loved! I then had folding invitiations with inserts for guests to return with their menu choices. It was a brown vintage theme, with swirls of peach/dusky pink to tie in with the overall theme.

Who did your speeches on the day?
They were traditional - father of the bride, groom and bestmen. They all did really well, my dad isn’t a public speaker and he did great I was very proud. Nicholas said some lovely things too. The bestmen did great, they were actually really nice and didn’t embarrass us, which was a relief!

Carla-and-Nick-Snowdrops-Landscape

What did you decide for Photography or Videography?
Our photographers were our family, they did an amazing job, they made us feel relaxed and they got some great pictures. Our videographer was Picture House Wedding Films, from Wakefield, we absolutely love our wedding video.

Did you have transport on the day?
I finished getting ready at the venue, so I travelled there part ready in my brother in laws car, he trimmed it up with ribbons which was lovely. Nick was meant to arrive in a helicopter, but it was very windy so that got cancelled – he was pretty disappointed about that!

Did you need to book a caterer? 
Yes, we used Gail Dandy, she was fantastic - we got to pick our own menu and we were able to give our guests a choice at each course.

You mentioned that Entertainment was important for you both – tell us a bit more!
We had a band, the English Country Gentleman and a DJ at night. We also had a secret waiter singing section after dessert which was fantastic. They got everyone up on their feet waving their napkins and dancing!

What were your special touches?
I tried to make lots of little things to make it personal. I designed our table centre pieces which were trees decorated with fairy lights, pearls and flowers, with a picture of everyone on that table hung on the tree. I made our table plan, which was a large frame with a photo of every guest, it said “find your face to find your place”. A Whole Lot of Lovely created the signs. Guests found their faces (which were all funny photos) then opened their envelope to find out where they were sitting. I also made the table place names, which were scrabble racks with everyone’s name in scrabble squares. I’m a bit pick and mix fan so we had a pick and mix table! Our cake was a bit different too, we both love cheesecake so we had half the cake sponge and half was mini cheesecakes.

It was such a beautiful venue – how did the weather treat you on the day?
Good, for February! It was windy, so Nick’s helicopter was cancelled, but it was blue skies and crisp, could have been much worse. Some thought we were mad for having a winter wedding, but we wanted it in the snowdrop season.

Your day sounds amazing Carla! Tell us how you got on against your budget?
We blew the budget! But it was worth every penny!

What are your final pearls of wisdom for brides and grooms out their getting ready for their big day?
Enjoy it, from the moment you get that ring on your finger, to the moment you get back from honeymoon, it’s all amazing, make a scrap book of your planning process, the planning is all part of the fun. Involve your willing friends and family in the planning, sharing the excitement is all part of it. On the big day, enjoy it, take time to think about how you feel and to take it all in, as it passes in a flash!

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Thanks to Carla and Nick for sharing a little bit about their day with A Whole Lot of Lovely. This lovely couple will be back very soon with their Top Tips For Planning an Amazing day – subscribe to my updates in the sign up form below to ensure you don’t miss out!

If you’re A Whole Lot of Lovely Bride or Bride to be and would like to feature on the blog, just drop me an email to enquiries@awholelotoflovely.com. I hope you’ve enjoyed this real wedding feature, if you have please share it using the buttons below with your friends, and leave a comment!

Friday Love

It’s almost the weekend – have you had a good week?

Here at A Whole Lot of Lovely I’ve been busy working on a couple of bespoke designs for brides to be. I’ve also been cooking up some fresh new fun for all if my followers on social media, so watch this space and remember to sign up for my updates so you don’t miss out! You can sign up here.

And in case you’re loving Friday as much as me, here’s a little Friday Love picture that you can share on your own social media… just hit the share buttons below!

Happy Friday!

Emma
Designer, Owner and Lover of All Things Lovelyimage

2 Reasons This Weekend Is Special…

This weekend is special. Not just because it’s the weekend (although that always gives me cause to celebrate!) – it’s a special weekend for me for two very important reasons.

Firstly, Sunday is my wedding anniversary, and this year me and my hubby Darren will be celebrating two years of ‘Mr&Mrs–ness’. I don’t know where that time went, but I like to think it’s flown because we’ve been having so much fun… it certainly feels that way. So I wanted to take the opportunity to wish my Mr lots of love on this special weekend. I can’t wait to share more about things in my life through the blog this year, but I’m saving all the juicy bits for another day, as today I’ve got something else to talk about….

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It’s the second reason I wanted to tell you more about… this weekend is special because it marks A Whole Lot of Lovely’s first birthday! That’s right, one whole year!

**bring out the cake!!!!**

Well what an adventure it has been! For those of you who’ve been with me from the start, you’ll remember I chose to launch my website and business on the anniversary of my own wedding. You can go right back to my first blog post here if you want to reminisce.

I won’t lie, the first year in business has been hard graft… it’s particularly hard when you’ve got a full time job too that takes up a lot of your time. Despite some long hours over the past year building the foundation of my little empire, I am so glad I took the leap to create something of my own.

My first year in business has taught me so much, and continues to do so. I’ve made new friends, learnt tough lessons, bamboozled my mind with new software and website skills, and I’ve really stepped outside my comfort zone and taken risks to build my little business to where it is today.

One of my favourite bits though has been getting the opportunity to help and work with such amazing people. I’ve helped lots of people create something really special for one of the biggest days of their lives or for a really special celebration. I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure to work with each and every one of you <3.

But I haven’t just enjoyed creating things for people who’ve ordered from me. When I started A Whole Lot of Lovely, I wanted it to be for everyone. That’s why a lot of what I post on my Facebook page isn’t just about me and my business – it’s there for you. To brighten your day, inspire you, put a smile on your face – I like to share a little bit of lovely from all walks of life.

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If you’re reading this, I want you to know that all of that is for you. You see, you don’t have to have bought a product from me to be my customer. Of course one day I hope you’ll stop by and buy something from A Whole Lot of Lovely, but I get real pleasure from being able to inspire everyone who reads my blog and engaged with the business on Facebook. Your comments, your likes, when you share something I post… it all means you’ve found some value in it, and that makes me feel… well, really chuffed… so please don’t stop! :-)

So what’s in store for the next year I hear you ask? Well I am really excited about what’s round the corner. At the minute I am working with some truly inspiring people to help build more free quality content for you to get stuck into. Expect to see lots more inspiring stories, tips from real people who have been exactly where you are, more pretty image inspiration and of course plenty more new designs and products to capture your imagination and treat those you love.

As a HUGE thankyou for all your support over the last year, I have two treats for you lovely lot…

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Firstly as a birthday celebration A Whole Lot of Lovely is offering 15% off all stationery orders placed between 17th and 31st of March 2014, for anyone signing up to my A Whole Lot of Lovely email updates. Just use the Code BIRTHDAY when you place your order and sign up for updates using this link.

Secondly, over on A Whole Lot of Lovely’s facebook page I am running a competition to win a fabulous £100 voucher to spend on wedding or celebration stationery – head over to my facebook page to find out more, the closing date is 31st March 2014.

If you’re interested in either of my ‘birthday treats’ get involved – you don’t have to be planning a wedding, all designs on the site can be tweaked for birthdays, anniversary celebrations, christenings, hen parties, baby showers… you name it, we can work it out!

If you know someone who’d benefit from this, don’t forget to share this with them using the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post.

All that’s left to say is a massive THANK YOU once again and a big “cheers!” to another year of A Whole Lot of Lovely!

Now let’s have a little champagne cocktail to celebrate! ;-)

Emma – Owner, Designer (& lover of all things pretty)
xox

{Image Credits: Cake via Pinterest; Invitations via A Whole Lot of Lovely; Champagne Cocktails via Pinterest}

Colour Crush – Radiant Orchid & Orange

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{Image Credits: Feather Image; 1st Table Setting; 2nd Table Setting; Orchid Cocktails; Vogue Fan Image; Tulle Skirt; Bright Bouquet Wedding Stationery; Radiant Orchid Cake; Button Hole; French Macarons }

Today’s colour crush combines two of the biggest colours of 2014 to give you a beautiful bright palette of pretty.

Pantone’s colour of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid, which is regal and romantic in the same breath. Add accents of orange which last week swept the Autumn/Winter 2014 catwalks in London Fashion Week, and you come up with a colour palette that’s both romantic yet vibrant, sophisticated and striking.

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What’s even more fabulous is that this wonderful cocktail of colour is at the heart of my current Bright Bouquet Collection. Give your guests a taste of your beautiful wedding colours through stunning personalised save the dates and invitations. Complement your special day itself with matching stationery including menu’s, placecards, seating plans and favour tags. Pop over to the full collection here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s colour crush… leave me your comments below.

Like this cocktail of colour? Hit the like and share buttons below and share the love!

Until the next time… much love!

Emma xox

Bringing Personality into your Planning

 

Emma Case Photography 1

Hi and welcome to this weeks instalment of Lovely Planning Top Tips! I’ve designed this series to help my readers and clients plan a truly meaningful celebration with lots of personality and memory making quality. To give you some fab planning tips I’ll be drawing from my experience in helping my clients pull personality and the real ‘them’ into their celebration stationery.

Last week on the blog we looked at the seven questions to think about before you start the planning process.  If you didn’t catch it, have a read here, as your answers to the questions will help you with the next step of our planning.

This week we’re looking at the next steps and how to come up with a unique wedding concept that is all about you. Feel free to replace wedding with ‘baby shower’ or ‘hen party’ or ‘birthday party’ as each of the planning top tips I’ve created for you can be translated into planning any special celebration. Yep – you can thank me later!

If you want to plan a really personal celebration, read on to join me and take the next step on our planning journey…

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So you’ve thought about the vision for your special celebration – the what’s, the where, the when, the who and the why (it’s all here if you still need a read!). Next up is time to start focusing on the concept of your celebration itself.

So what do I mean by concept? I mean the ideas that bind all those finer details of your day together. I always try and get a feeling for my customer’s wedding concept when I start working with them. We explore what’s important to them right at the beginning, and when I work that way with a client, the end result really wows their guests, and gives meaning to their special day.

When planning a wedding, you’ll probably get lots of people asking you all about it, and some of them will be bound to ask about the T word… what your ‘theme’ is. A theme is a style choice that runs through each aspect of your day. It can be a colour or a particular look. I’m here to tell you… don’t worry about a ‘theme’! By jumping in and choosing details and a theme without creating a concept that is personal to you, you can end up with a disconnect between your celebration style, and you. Ultimately, you could really miss a trick in making something memorable for you and your guests. But you don’t need to make that boo boo, because you know now! Before you get involved in looking into the wealth of ideas and details out there and choosing a ‘theme’, I’m suggesting you revisit some of your answers to your seven questions from last week, and then follow the little brainstorming plan below, to create your own very personal concept.

1. Recap what you’ve decided so far. First things first, have a read of your seven answers from last week. You have an idea from those seven questions the type of celebration you are looking at planning.

2. It’s all about the emotion. The next thing for us to elaborate on is the first ‘what’ from last week – what feelings and emotion did you want your celebration to have? How do you want it to make your guests feel? As you think of these answers, write these words down.

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3. What’s your style? If you want to make this celebration personal it needs to reflect your own style. So what is your music taste; your fashion taste; the style of your home… or the style you’d like it to be? What are your personalities like? If you’re not sure, ask your friends and family to help you – what is their perception? What words do they come up with? Don’t panic if as a couple you like different things… dig down deep to unearth any common style interests, and make a note of pertinent words that describe all of these things.

4. It’s all about your relationship. If you’re planning a wedding, it makes sense that you focus on what is important in your relationship too. Maybe you have shared interests or hobbies? You may prefer to think more generally about shared memories or things that mean something to both of you or remind you of your relationship. Again, as you’re thinking of these things, write them down.

5. Word Perfect. Turning all of these elements into your big concept can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. All of the words you have written down give you a list of things you either want your wedding to be, or that you can incorporate into your day to make it all about you. First of all, have any words come up more than once? Highlight these, as these will be important to your concept. Brainstorm the words you have and make sure you understand what they mean. Different people can have different ideas so check the standard understanding with a thesaurus. You want to be confident if you ask for a ‘chic’ cake at your bakery, they have the same interpretation of word.

6. Perfect your Concept. At the end of your brainstorming, look to come up with several common words / special things to you, that encapsulate the concept of what you’re looking for, for your big day.

These things are all about you, and all about how you want your guests to feel. Yep, that’s right, you’ve gone and done it and created yourself a wedding concept! (Big pat on the back time me thinks – you definitely deserve a little glass of vino in celebration!) Stick with me because next week’s Top Tips will move onto looking at the best ways of sourcing inspiration and ideas for your special day based around your wedding concept. Don’t forget to drop by to check it out!

Don’t forget to pin your keepsake card onto your planning Pinterest board, or cut it out and keep it in your wedding planning book. You can just click on the Pin button below and choose the keepsake card photo.

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I’d love to hear whether you found this weeks tips useful… leave a comment below or drop me an email to let me know how this has helped you in your planning. Or perhaps you have a question? I’m all ears…

-Emma xoxo

{Image Credits: all photography images by Emma Case Photography - thank you to the lovely Emma & Pete for allowing me to share some of their beautiful wedding photography with you in this post. Check out their wonderful work over on their website.}

 

Lots of Lovely Best Bits – w/c 26.08.13

Morning lovely readers! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. I’m pleased to share this weeks round up of best bits from across the blogosphere and social media world.

This week there are several beautiful real wedding features from some of my favourite blogs including Ratpack and Under the Stars inspired pretty, and some beautiful bright bold colours in Birmingham’s Fazeley Studios. Home Style and celebration DIY tutorials with a fab easy up do, DIY sequin placemats and crimp bead bracelets. This weeks planning and advice comes from none other than your very own A Whole Lot of Lovely, but also features a great article of styling your bridesmaids with their bouquets… some super pretty blooms in that particular shoot.

So I’ll stop rambling and let you get on to explore all the lovely from this week for yourself… enjoy!

-Emma