Saturday, 3 March 2012

A Disney Princess

I'm not gonna lie, when I was 10, I wanted to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She had brown hair, was fiercely strong and independent, could sing beautifully and made a prince fall in love with her (okay, so he was a 'Beast' at the time, but it all worked out in the end didn't it?). Maybe that's why, when Alfred Angelo launched their Disney wedding dress collection in July of last year, I was 100%, head over heels, in love.

My standout favourites from the first collection were by far 'Belle' and 'Snow White'. The Belle dress has all the romantic charm of the original, but luckily, isn't yellow! I love love love the sparkling detail on the bodice, the detachable tulle shrug and the floaty feminine skirt. It's an incredibly flattering and beautiful dress that would make any bride feel like a princess (just maybe don't refer to your husband to be as the beast....).

While I never dreamed of being Snow White as a 10 year old, after seeing Alfred Angelo's amazing take on the sleeping princess's dress, I dreamed of being her at the age of 27. The lace bodice beautifully embellished with sparkling organza apple blossoms that trail their way down the perfectly full net skirt meant one at first sight. *Sigh* This is the dress that I couldn't stop myself from repeatedly pulling out at the dress shop. It's even more beautiful in person and with a price tag under £1000 it's too good to be true.

Somehow, unbeknownst to me, I missed the launch of Alfred Angelo's second Disney collection. I stumbled on the new range last week which now means that there are 16 princess inspired dresses to choose from, and even better, all new 'Disney Blossoms' and 'Disney Maidens' ranges for those oh so sweet flower girls and your lovely bridesmaids. The Bridesmaids collection is pushing it a bit in referencing Disney, but the Blossoms range is divine.

They have mini Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella dresses that could make any girls Disney Princess dreams come true. They are a bit pricey compared to the likes of Monsoon and John Lewis, but you can see why. They have all the attention to detail and beautiful embellishment of a wedding dress - but just on a smaller scale.

In terms of the new Bridal Disney collection, I'm not sure that any of the new lines capture my heart the way the original Belle and Snow White did. It feels like they've gone a bit away from the princess silhouette that charmed me so much the first time around. I do like the new version of Belle, but I'm not sure if I like it as much as the original. At least they've kept all of the original collection and have just used the 8 new lines to add to it (phew).

Have a look for yourselves and let me know what you think...

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Calling all Real Life Brides

Whenever I'm reading through another wedding blogger's page, or flicking through the pages of a glossy wedding magazine, I'm always drawn to the real life weddings. It's probably real life weddings where I've picked up the most on the little details that I want to have and implement on my own big day.

I've had the lovely opportunity to share with you Anton and Vicky's beautiful real life wedding, but am calling on any recently wed brides to help me grow this uber important part of my blog. If you've just been lucky enough to have your own amazing wedding day, and want to help me share it with the world of weddings, then please email me at

And just to remind you of the loveliness that was Anton and Vicky's wedding day, here are a few of my favourite photo's:

Thanks for reading,

Washed Away with Delight

I know it's a bit cringe worthy, but the title of this post was my feeble attempt at a bit of wordplay on the word 'Monsoon'.* They've launched a new bridal collection and after seeing it in the flesh last weekend, and subsequently almost drooling right there on the shop floor, I had to share. While I've already bought my dress (the second love of my life after my husband to be), Monsoon's new collection seriously made me contemplate an evening wardrobe change. With prices on dresses ranging from as little as £150 to £300 it's hard to find a reason not to buy.

It's a shame the website pictures don't really do the pieces much justice. Had I not actually seen these in real life, I probably wouldn't have thought twice about Monsoon as a credible Bridal retailer. I've put the pics up anyway so that you can get an idea of what they have to offer, but would definitely recommend heading to your nearest store.

The Niagara dress below is gorgeous. At £280 it's glamorous and elegant. Again, it's hard to see in the picture but it has loads of sparkling detailing on the angular ruching. I love the femininity of the ruffle sleeves and the fact that it's a wedding dress that actually has sleeves in the fist place!

The Byron dress below at £220 made me think one thing...Pippa. The simplicity of the shape and the flattering cowl neck at the front must've been inspired by last years most talked about maid of honour. I love the completely unnecessary but lovely button detailing down the back and the short but sweet train. The model on the website it about half a foot too tall for this dress so it doesn't look right, but on the right person (especially if you have a Pippa-like figure) it would be beautiful.

While the Owku dress below at £150 is a bit of a stretch in terms of a wedding dress, I think it's the perfect rehearsal dinner/night before look. They have a few different options of this sort of style and you can bet I'll be wearing one of them at my rehearsal. 

I can never have enough shoes and these little beauty's are part of the reason why. At £65 to £70 I think I can justify them as a honeymoon purchase to my husband to be (hope he's not reading this!)...or at the very least to go with the Owku dress on the night before.

Monsoon also do some exquisite flower girl dresses. Like the rest of their range they're meticulously detailed and somehow very affordable. At £46 to £55 for the three options below you're literally paying half of what you would pay in one of the big department stores. Again, the pictures don't do the detailing justice - they are absolutely gorgeous in real life.

 And the icing on the cake:

To top off their amazing new range Monsoon currently have a competition to win £1000 towards your wedding. All you need to give them is your name and email address so entry is easy peasy. Website below: 

Thanks for reading,

*Apologies for any wrinkles caused by pulling a face


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Lovely Other Dinosaur

In a few days time, I need to have bottomed out all the little details of my wedding ceremony with my lovely husband to be for our meeting with the registrar. As civil ceremonies are notoriously short and sweet, we've decided to have a couple of readings to add a bit of 'us' to the ceremony and fill out the time (we also still need to choose our ceremony music, but as I'm not that keen on the A-team theme it's back to the drawing board for my husband to be on that one...).

One of my all time favourite readings is 'A Lovely Love Story' by Edward Monkton. Yes, a wedding reading by the same guy that writes about the Zen Dog (He knows not where he's going, For the Ocean will decide -  it's not the's the glory of the ride) or the Pig of Happiness (he is so happy) seems strange, but it's such a lovely story and brings tears to my eyes everytime I read it. I love it so much and couldn't help but share it with you, so please enjoy:

A Lovely Love Story - By Edward Monkton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice.
Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.
I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur.
She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.
But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?
But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur.
She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?
I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.
I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur.
For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides,
I am not unkeen on shopping either.
Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place.

For more brilliant thoughts and Poems by the genius that is Edward Monkton, check out his website. *Might be worth making it a favourite as it's just that good.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Minor Obsession...

Somewhere along my wedding planning path I discovered the online shop at I'm not gonna lie, it was love at first sight. With everything from confetti to candelabras they have a plethora of wedding and wedding related delights all on fairly regular 20% off promotions. It's like being at the wedding show, but from the comfort of your own living room, (and quite often in my case, in my pyjama's with a cup of tea in hand...).

Over the past year I've ordered from them more times than I can count and have always been more than pleased with my lovely purchases. I've eyed up the absolutely gorgeous Vera Wang pieces, splurged on a cake stand with sweet little heart cut out details and stocked up on gold and ivory confetti hearts which made their way into my invitation envelopes (and subsequently spilled onto the floors and then tread throughout the homes of my invitees...oops!). The below are just a few of my faves from their comprehensive offer.  

I definitely have a thing for candelabras. They're such a classic, elegant and timeless table centre and look so beautiful with flowers either in the centre (like the one above) or trailing down and around the base.

They offer both DIY as well as beautifully, professionally printed stationary. The floral scroll on these is so feminine and romantic and I love that you can have your choice of such a wide range of colours.

 I love the idea of putting disposable cameras on the tables for guests to take their own fun pictures of the day and evening - especially when the cameras themselves are this pretty!

Seriously love the birdcages and they have a plethora of choice. This is my fave. They look amazing as either table pieces or scattered around the venue. I think I'll have some outside in the evening with big pillar candles lit inside.

This is the lovely little cake stand I bought. It'll be displayed on my sweets table and I'm going to weave gold ribbon through the cut out hearts on the day to add a bit of colour and load it with french fancies, mini battenbergs and the like. Yummy and pretty! What's not to like!?

They also have some fab inspiration pages. The below are a couple of my all time faves (I obviously have something for the girly, romantic look!):

The best bit about their inspiration pages is that they list all products used to create them below so it's so easy to get the look. Love love love :)

One last note, if you like something from their website, definitely wait until it's on promotion. I don't think I've ever bought anything at less than 20% off so it's definitely worth the wait!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (but I'll try and keep it under 700)

For me, one of the most important suppliers, and probably the one that I spent the most time researching, chatting to and contemplating on, was my photographer. When the wedding day itself draws to a close, with the cake reduced to crumbs, the dance floor well and truly boogied out and the happy couple officially together forever, what remains of one of the most important days of your life are the photos. They're the one bit of the day that you'll be able to share with your children, grandchildren and anyone else who didn't have the joy of sharing in the actual day with you (or whoever you can convince to sit down through an hour long reminiscing session - and yes, I will be that Bride).

Having a self confessed un-photogenic husband to be, who'd rather be pretty much anywhere than in front of a camera, I was more then a bit worried about what faces he'd pull in front of a professional photographer.  We're lucky enough to have gone with a photographer that includes an engagement shoot in her package. Quite a few wedding photographers offer pre-wedding shoots these days which give the bride and groom a chance to get used to being in front of the camera and to see what works (and what doesn't!!) before it's go time on the big day. So if like me, you have a groom who prefers to take pictures rather then be in them, then pre-wedding photo's are the way forward.

Being a fan of groupon (who can say no to saving 65% on go-carting, horseback riding and pottery painting!!) I'd spotted quite regular photo-shoot deals popping up from local photographers. At £25 for an hour shoot, 5 photo's on disc and a print of your fave shot, much to my husband to be's dismay, I couldn't say no to the chance of some pre-pre-wedding photo's.

Once I'd convinced my husband to be that multiple photo shoots were the best way to get over his lack of photogenicy (pretty sure I just made that word up, but I like it so it's staying), we were good to go. On the day of the shoot we arrived at the studio and surprisingly, for all my self confidence in my own 'in front of the camera' skills, once actually in a room with a photographer, I was the one who felt like a fish out of water. Being in front of a professional photographer for an extended period of time is nothing like posing for a friend on a night out or a holiday. Out of the couple of hundred or so pictures taken that day we were quite easily able to narrow the ones we liked down to less than 10 - and that's not due to the lack of skill from the photographer himself. We both pulled some definite faces in quite a few of the pics, and just looked a bit uncomfortable in others. However, saying that, even within just that one shoot you could see in our faces, posture and manner that as the hour turned to minutes we became more relaxed and enjoyed ourselves - and that's when the great photo's came through.

Moral of the story and my own honest advice, is to prepare for wedding photo's. Brides try on loads of dresses to find 'the one' and then have numerous fittings to make sure it fits just right, couples pour over sample menu's and then have tasting days to choose their first meal as husband and wife, and the bridal party will even have hair and make-up trials so that everything looks just right on the day. Yes, choosing the right photographer is a massive part of getting the perfect photo's, but being prepared and comfortable in front of the camera is just as important. 

Thanks for reading,