A little bit of doughnut love…

Doughnut-LoveIn the spirit of never letting a national day of celebration go unrecognised (particularly where the subject of celebration is one of my favourite naughty treats), today’s inspiration board is all about the Doughnut.

Friday 6th June was officially National Doughnut Day, and what a better excuse to share some gorgeous Doughnut Lovely with you all. Over the past six months I’ve seen more and more wedding couples celebrating with this tasty treat. Not only can a doughnut make a tasty favour at a wedding, couples have been celebrating with a Doughnut tower instead of a traditional wedding cake. Various colours and toppings can make a show stopping alternative to a dessert table, and I love love love the idea of using them as a place card holders – just stick a flag type place card in the top! You can even take inspiration from the lovely idea from shopsweetthings in the inspiration board above and have a go at these DIY ombre thankyou doughnut boxes for your maids and groomsmen!

As usual I’ve captured you some pretty doughnut images for your inspiration board today – all the images are pinned onto my Wedding :: Doughnut Love boards. If you follow my links to the original image sources you’ll see a few of them take you to recipes and DIY projects that will make your mouth water! I’m loving the idea of the Moroccan Doughnuts!

Whether you’re planning a wedding or you just appreciate a tasty treat, be sure to take some time this weekend to celebrate Friday’s National Doughnut Day in style!

Emma xoxo

Image Credits – all via Pinterest (click the links to take you to the image source):
From top left clockwise: Doughnuts in a Bell Jar, Doughnut Favours, Doughnut Thankyou, Hibiscus Doughnut Glaze, Moroccan Sugared Doughnuts, Doughnut Wedding Tower With Ribbons, Pastel Iced Doughnuts, Wedding Doughnut Tower With Flowers, Hazelnut Doughnut Stack, Doughnut Table Setting, Rustic Doughnut Tower.

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….


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 clichĂ© 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.


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!


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!


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!

Lots of Lovely Planning Tips – Part One


At the very heart of A Whole Lot of Lovely is the idea of creating something meaningful to you, and something special for the people you care about.

So in these series of posts I want to share with you some little pearls of wisdom on how you can plan your special day in a way that will be meaningful to you, wow your guests and help create special memories that will dance on long after your party has ended!

Every day in my work I make memories and create something special for my clients. In this series of posts I will let you delve into the little secrets I use in my work that you can use when planning to create the same end result – something meaningful, unique and totally you.

Whilst this series refers often to planning a wedding, Lovely Planning Tips applies to planning any special occasion. So read on to begin your planning journey


The first rule of planning anything is to ask yourself a few little questions to make it easy to start off your thought process. Humour me, and let’s play make believe. Let’s pretend we’re on one of those murder mystery evenings (stay with me on this one!) You would want to ask and work out the answers to five basic questions

What? Who? When? Where? and Why?

Ok, so let’s forget Professor Plum in the study with the candlestick, and step away from my rather random murder mystery analogy, and turn this in to something tangible about making something meaningful for you.

Before I start work for a client, I try to understand what is behind those five W’s. It helps me get to know them – understand who they are, what they like and guides the direction I take with their design process. To plan your celebration I’d suggest you do the same. Below are 7 key questions, to have a think about before you start planning your celebration…


1. What – What Kind of Wedding / Celebration do you want?

Ask yourself what kind of celebration you would like. What feeling would you like it to have? Are you looking for a formal affair, something with grandeur or is your preference something more relaxed and informal? Would you want a big party knees up, or is a laid back, relaxed celebration more your style? How do you want the day / evening to make you feel? How would you like your guests to feel? By considering this right at the start, it will give you a point to work from in your planning and most importantly it will ensure that your starting point is from a place that is totally YOU.

2. What – What is your Budget?

Ok, so this is the second what and it’s a biggy. It is really important that you set yourself a realistic budget and stick to it, you don’t want to get into debt to be able to hold your celebrations. Given the importance of this topic, we’ll explore it in more detail in a separate post. For today, it’s enough to know you need to consider how much you have to spend before you start the planning process. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to wow your guests and create lasting memories. A thoughtfully planned celebration will give you just that regardless of budget.

3. What – What is Important To You?

A third what… the last one I promise! By thinking about what is important to you, you stamp your personality all over your celebration. There’s no better way of making it so YOU. By deciding what is important you will find it easier to prioritise. Think about which elements of your celebration will have the most importance. If music is a big part of your life then entertainment might be a big part of your day. If you love your food the catering and food options would be a key area for you. Make a list of every element of your celebration (you can find a list here from my Pinterest Boards) and number each area in order of importance to you – cross out anything that you’re not interested in at all. This will allow you to prioritise your planning (and your budget) and keep you on track over the coming weeks.


4. When – When Would You Like to Get Married or Hold Your Event?

Thinking about when to hold your wedding or event, will help your planning process. First think about the seasons, and the time of year you’d like to choose. Which season might lend itself to the type of celebration you had imagined in your ‘What’? It could be that there is a particular time of year you love or that holds special meaning for you -think anniversaries, birthdays, if you’re getting married – the day you met.

There might also be particular dates you want to avoid
 make sure you are aware of public and religious holidays, and consider the price impact of choosing specific dates such as New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day.

Be realistic as often with larger celebrations, your budget may dictate the timing you choose. Consider how long it will take to save the money you will need. If you are working to a tight budget, consider the day of your event too – lots of venues offer cheaper prices for off peak days and off peak times of the year.


Be mindful of what feeling you wanted to give your guests – does what you’ve decided do that? If you were planning on a big knees up and you know your family love a party, it might not be the best idea to hold your special day mid week when people will have to work the following day
 think about your guests whilst keeping in mind your own preferences. By keeping in mind the ‘What’ through each of these stages you’ll keep on track and maximise the experience for your guests.


5. Who – Who Would You Want to Invite?

Yes, yes, yes, I did say that these were the questions to ask before you start planning
 however drawing up a preliminary guest list early on will help you through the planning process. You need to know roughly how many guests you would like to attend each part of your celebrations, as this will dictate other choices you need to make later. There is no point having your heart set on a venue which can’t hold the number of guests you will need to invite on the day.

To make creating your guest list easy, break your guests down into family, friends from school, friends from university, workmates, and most importantly think about who you want to share your special celebrations with. You will be paying for these people, so only invite people you are happy spending money on. Consider whether you would like children as part of your celebrations. Think about whether you would like to invite your single friends and family to bring a ‘plus one’. This can sometimes be an area people are unsure about – if you’re unsure have a read of this great post from Project Wedding ‘Should I Invite Plus-Ones’.

When thinking about your ‘who’, if you’re getting married it can also be a good time to consider who you might want in the wedding party – who will be your best men, bridesmaids and ushers?

Getting an idea of your guest list early on will allow you to make informed decisions that will allow you to create something special.


6. Where – Where Would You Ideally Like to Do This?


You’ve got your whats, your when and your who, so now for the where
 where geographically do you want to hold your celebrations? Would you like it to be where you live now, or maybe you want to have it where you grew up, or close to your family? Do you want your celebrations in this country or abroad? If you a considering whether to marry abroad there is a great article on Barefoot Bride called ‘Is it For You?’ - have a read.

If your event is a wedding, did you see yourself marrying in a church or in a civil ceremony? Remember to think back to your answers in WHAT – make sure your location choices fit with that.

7. Why – Why Are You Doing This?

If I could offer one piece of advice throughout planning a special celebration, it would on this point alone. Keep focused on why you are celebrating – keep that at the heart of your planning process. With every decision you make, dilemma you encounter or awkward guest you deal with, remember what the end game is and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. At the end of it all, it’s not what the party is like… its what the celebration is for. Keep that at the heart of your planning and doing, and you will create something truly memorable and special.

*      *      *

You know what? You’ve done it! If you weren’t sure where to start to plan a special celebration, by answering those key questions, you’ve just made your first steps on your planning journey …and you just thought you were reading my blog! ;-)

The best thing is by thinking in this way at the very beginning of our journey, you are on the road to making your celebration personal to you. If it’s personal to you, it’s memorable to your guests, and by considering how you want them to feel, you’re well on the road to creating something meaningful and special for them to share.

Next week we’ll be looking more at how to bring personality and meaning into your celebration planning. But for this week I’ll leave you with your Lovely Planning Top Tips keepsake card, that you can Pin onto your Pinterest Boards using the Pinterest button below (or print out and keep if you prefer to keep it old school).


I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on today’s post – leave a comment and let me know whether this has helped, and which areas of planning you’d like more pearls of wisdom around.

Emma xoxo

{ Image Credits: All photographs featured in this post are from the wonderful photographers at Photo Love Photography - a big thank you to them for allowing me to share some of their stunning wedding photography with you in today’s blog post! }