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Posts Tagged ‘weddings’

Alternative wedding readings (no Corinthians, promise) – Part II

In Readings on July 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Beginning with something light, here’s the infamous song from The Wedding Singer. An immensely practical and domesticated avowal of love and good intentions…

I wanna Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer

I wanna make you smile
whenever you’re sad
carry you around when your arthritis is bad
all I wanna do, is grow old with you

I’ll get you medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
So, it could be so nice growing old with you,….

I’ll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Need you
Feed you
Even let you hold the remote control.

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink
Oh I could be the man that grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you.

Next up, the ravings of a lunatic/ the words of a man who truly understands the power of love. This could be the one for you, if you’re not too worried about following the learnings of a man who spent the last couple of years of his life swaying between furiously painting or being furiously crazy before topping himself.

Rest from Work (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh in his St Remy days

Rest from Work (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh in his St Remy days

Letters of Vincent van Gogh

It may well seem to you that the sun is shining more brightly and that everything has taken on a new charm. That, at any rate, is the inevitable consequence of true love, I believe, and it is a wonderful thing. And I also believe that those who hold that no one thinks clearly when in love are wrong, for it is at just that time that one thinks very clearly indeed and is more energetic than one was before. And love is something eternal, it may change in aspect but not in essence. And there is the same difference between someone who is in love and what he was like before as there is between a lamp that is lit and one that is not. The lamp was there all the time and it was a good lamp, but now it is giving light as well and that is its true function. And one has more peace of mind about many things and so is more likely to do better work . . .

For a bit of seventeenth century poetry, try Abraham Cowley...

For a bit of seventeenth century poetry, try Abraham Cowley...

And now for something a little more old-fashioned…

Abraham Cowley

Go bid the needle: his dear north forsake;
to which with trembling reverence, it doth bend.
Go bid the stones: a journey upwards make.
Go bid the ambitious flames: no more to ascend.
And, when these false to their own motions prove,
Then shall I cease, thee alone to love.

You, who men’s fortunes in their faces read;
to find out mine, look not, alas, on me;
but mark her face and all the features heed;
for only there is writ my destiny.
Or, if stars show it, gaze not on the skies;
but study the astrology of her eyes.

If thou find there kind and propitious rays,
what Mars and Saturn threaten, I’ll not fear.
Per chance the fate of mortal man
is writ in heaven, but O, my heaven is here.
What can men learn from stars they scarce can see.
Two great lights rule the world;
and her two, me.



A wedding cake made of cheese?

In cake on July 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm
A wedding cake with a difference

A wedding cake with a difference

Say no to the  white icing hegemony. Reject the conservativism of the sponge. Turn your back on marzipan.  Have a cake cutting ceremony without cake…

Bring on The Cake of Cheeses.

With a cake of cheeses you can have the drama of tiers without the associated overload of sugar.

The Haldon cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed - £199

The Haldon cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed - £199

Decorate your cake of cheese with flowers, ivy, fresh figs, cake toppers or even cherry tomatoes. You can go to town on decoration, because a cake of cheese could never be seen as twee.

Go  for black and white cheese reels for ultimate drama.

Go for black and white cheese reels for ultimate drama.

Plan on needing about a kilogram of cheese per 10 guests. It seems to work out at £20 for 10 guests, from looking at cakes from The House of Cheese, Fine Cheese and The Cheese Shed.

Decorate in olives and other cheese-friendly edibles.

Decorate in olives, grapes and other cheese-friendly edibles.

Five rounds of cheese looks pretty impressive. Start with something harder and less expensive for the base – like a nice Cheddar. Stick mainly to harder cheeses if you want to avoid a squished, stinky cheese mound. Then have soft goat’s cheese at the top.

Mix up your Wensleydales with your camemberts for lots of texture

Mix up your Wensleydales with your Camemberts for interesting textures

Then all you need are some crackers and a selection of chutneys and you’re ready to go.

You could even source local cheeses if you want to lower your carbon wedding footprint, like this lady.

And the best bit of all – you get to use the gag

“You may now cut the cheese…”

Mismatched: the most recession-friendly wedding theme

In Themes, Uncategorized on May 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm
Love the mismatch. Reject the matchy matchy.

Love the mismatch. Reject the matchy matchy.

It’s one of life’s great answered questions. How come most women before getting engaged are fans of many contrasting and clashing colours in their lives, and then moments after The Proposal go all matchy-matchy? Before The Proposal they were happy with wearing co-ordinating separates, painting accent colours on their walls and not owning a single twin set, and then suddenly After The Proposal everything must must match. Weird, but unquestionably true.

Matchy-matchy weddings, where the chair bows must match the favours, the save the date cards and the mother-of-the-bride’s corsage are both stressful and expensive. Luckily, with a mismatched theme to your wedding, all these problems seem to melt away. Here’s how to do it:

1. Mismatch the bridal party. This means they can just wear an outfit of their own with zero cost to you.

Bridesmaids wearing their own dresse

2. Mix up your outfit. Having a white dress doesn’t mean you also have to have all your accessories in white. Avoid forking out for accessories you’ll only ever wear once by jazzing up your outfit with bright accessories.

This bride has take mismatching to a whole new level

This bride has taken mismatching to a whole new level

3. Mismatch your flowers. Who said every table has to have the same flowers? OK, some people do, but you don’t have to. And if you’re DIYing it, it means you have much more freedom with the flowers you get.

4. Mismatch your table settings. A different table cloth for every table. Yay.

tea-party-table-country-living mismatched wedding

5. Mismatch your husband. Not really. However, you could post-rationalise your mismatched theme by claiming that you already have the perfect match. Aah.

If you liked this post you may also like:

Rainbow: the cunning new theme for the cash-strapped

Another theme for the flat broke: country vintage

Make it ethical

April is the cruellest month, if you’re a bride.

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Themes on April 15, 2009 at 8:19 pm
Parasols instead of bouquets? Practical and pretty? It cannot be.

Parasols instead of bouquets? Practical and pretty? It cannot be.

To misquote T. S. Eliot, April is the cruellest month, if you’re getting married and banking on good weather. It could be baking, freezing, rainy or snowing.

However, you can turn the truculent weather to your advantage if you like…

Opt for pretty umbrellas instead of bouquets. They’re cute, far cheaper, can double as a gift for your bridesmaids and will protect delicate dresses from all the elements. Plus, you and your bridesmaids can spend the day twirling them in a coy and demure fashion. Signature Bella do some beautiful pagoda umbrellas.

by Bella Signature

by Bella Signature

Wedding brolly from Brollies Galore £11.70

Wedding brolly from Brollies Galore £11.7

Don’t forget your wellies if you’re going anywhere near lawns. Damp toes just aren’t very in keeping with a perfect wedding.

A bride with wet feet is a miserable bride.

A bride with wet feet is a miserable bride.

Invest in a cover-up. It’s a royal waste when brides spend a fortune on a dress, only to spend half the day covered up in a cheap cover-up.

Invest in a cover-up

Invest in a cover-up

Go for ranunculus or anemones. They are not only in season, but they’re the sort of flowers that can turn dried up goats into wobbly-lipped slushpiles of romance.

Courtesy of Design Sponge

Courtesy of Design Sponge

June wedding? Roll out the peonies.

In Flowers, invitations, Stationery on April 6, 2009 at 5:39 am
The peony is the classic wedding flower: indulgent, romantic and terribly thirsty

The peony is the classic wedding flower: indulgent, romantic and terribly thirsty

Peonies are sensitive souls, flowering for 4-6 weeks between May and July. However June is their big moment, so if you’re planning for June nuptials the peony is within your grasp. Yay. In fact, what with global warming and the early onset of Spring, peonies could even work for an April or May wedding. Double yay. Post-a-rose is already advertising the arrival of its peony season, starting mid April. Triple yay.

Post a rose's pink peony & green alcimilla robustica bouquet

Post a rose's pink peony & green alcimilla robustica bouquet

Indeed, June is a good bet for an environmentally-friendly wedding, as you can source home-grown English peonies and avoid flying out hothouse flowers. The rest of the year you might be better settling with David Austin St Cecilia roses, which are basically like longer-lasting, counterfeit peonies and can be sourced from the UK.

David Austen St Cecilia rose - the counterfeit peony

David Austin St Cecilia rose - the counterfeit peony

If you’re full of beans or bridal ambition, you could even grown your own. Or not, because that would, on second thoughts, be a ridiculous and highly stressful plan.

Which peony?

Sarah Bernhardt, Sarah Bernhardt and maybe a couple of stems of Sarah Bernhardt? All the florists advise using this one as it’s big, pink and fluffy, just like your dreams. And it’s perfick for cutting.

Sarah Bernhardt peonies - the ideal peony for cutting

Sarah Bernhardt peonies - the ideal peony for cutting

Peonies come in reds, pinks and whites

Peonies come in all the romantic hues - red, pink and white

Making it all about the peony

For the clever bride, you can think backwards and make your wedding iconography all about the peony. Then everyone will assume you have terribly joined-up thinking, not that you’re just retro-fitting the flower that happens to be in season into your wedding.

Luckily the peony seems to be the motif du jour amongst the trendy bridal magazines.

The classic peony invitation - by Papeterie

The classic peony invitation - by Papeterie

And if you want to go matchy-matchy mad, you could even have peony stamps.

Personalisable peony stamps from Zazzle

Personalisable peony stamps from Zazzle

The green bridal bouquet

In Flowers on March 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm
All-green, textural bouquet with herbs, cockscomb, and mums

All-green, textural bouquet with herbs, cockscomb, and mums

If lavish expense is not going to be a feature of your bridal bouquet, then you need something else to draw the eye. What could this key feature be, that would stop everyone noticing how utterly inexpensive your bouquet is?
Well, how about a green bouquet…

1. Green as in eco – Seasonal, locally grown flowers are environmentally friendly and far cheaper than their hothouse cousins.

2. Green as in foliage – This is a marvellous double-fingered rejection of the classic wedding obsession with petals. And, sexy foliage is far cheaper than any sort of bud.
green-bridal-bouquet-foliage-only-leaves- bouquets-weddings

3. Green as in the colour – The colour, if not the quality of flowers, will encourage amazed gasps.

Green bridal bouquet - fern - weddings - flowers - foliage - no flowers

4. Green as in a herbs – Waft your way down the aisle with a bunch of rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme. If you believe the old wives’ tales, rosemary is the herb of remembrance, sage indicates long life, good heath, and domestic sweetness and Sweet marjoram spells goodwill. Here‘s what all the herbs signify.

Herbal bridal bouquet

Herbal bridal bouquet with lavender, rosemary, mint, and basil

Herbs make smellicious boutonnieres for your ushers

Herbs make smellicious boutonnieres for your ushers

5. Green chrysanthemums to some are funereal. Poppycock. These bouncy pompoms of limey lusciousness are clearly harbingers of positivity and happiness.

 green chrysanthemums

green chrysanthemums

The Totally Cheapest Ever Bridal Bouquets: Part 2

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 23, 2009 at 11:41 am

After the enthusiasm for The Totally Cheapest Bridal Bouquets Ever, it seems time to release Part 2. Ladies, put those floral worries aside, here’s some alternatives to the classic bridal bouquet:

1. The dried flower bouquet – it’ll never wilt and you can put it together yourself weeks before. Imagine the aroma of lavender wafting down the aisle.

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

2. The origami bouquet – if you are blessed with endless patience, this could be a route for you.

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

3. The Wire Bouquet – This one’s more for the rock chick bride. Make it barbed wire if you’re really alternative.

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

4. The Etsy bouquet – there’s always an alternative version of a bouquet on Etsy, which is an online marketplace for independent designers. Try The Storque for recent creations.

$105 for 24 silk roses, each with real branches

5. Balloons as your bouquet. Flower girls with miniature balloons? Whats not to like?

A bouquet of balloons

A bouquet of balloons

6. A fan. Blushing brides with fans are sexy, it’s a science fact.

7. Peacock feathers. A single one, or a fan of them.

Making a splash with confetti

In Confetti, Decoration, DIY on February 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Confetti shouldn’t cost a thing. It is simply daft to spend any money on something that is literally going to be tossed on the floor. Some people release doves, or blow trumpets. Okaaay. Here’s some confetti ideas that are as cheap as they should be:

1. Rice. The classic option. I’d say long grain easy cook is a winner.

2. Hole punch confetti.

Simply hole punch a lot of coloured card

Simply hole punch a lot of coloured card

3. Dried petals, stolen over a number of weeks from your local park. For kleptomaniac Londoners, Victoria Park has a marvellous rose garden.

4. Bubbles. Also, very eco. Just make sure they wont stain your dress.

5. Lavender rice.

6. Brightly coloured popcorn. Sweet, not salty. Again, be warned about staining your gown.

7. Birdseed. Very eco (ahem, cheap).

8. The big balloon release. Very grand, very un-eco.

9. White feathers. No need to add tar.

Or, blow the confetti budget on.... ostrich feathers

Or, blow the confetti budget on.... ostrich feathers

10. Leaves. Not sure about this one.

Headpieces, crazy woman veils and things to wear in your hair

In Decoration, Dresses on February 17, 2009 at 11:00 am
To wear a veil or not to wear a veil, that is today’s question. There’s something just a little crazy about a young woman draping herself in netting. However, on one’s wedding day a small dose of crazy can a good thing. Wear a small birdcage veil on your face, and no one will notice that your dress pulls slightly under the arms; adorn your hair with a silk flower and the plainest of dresses will seem glamorous. Here’s a selection of affordable headpieces to turn you into the star of your own wedding drama:
1. The fabric flower. Elegant, and reusable as a corsage/ brooch.
Ivory organza flower £85 from Million Design

Ivory organza flower £85 from Million Design

2. A vintage wax blossom headband. Here’s a secret. I don’t actually want to tell you about this because I’d quite like one for my own wedding, and I wouldn’t want them to sell out. However, I saw some cryingly wonderful ones at Annie’s Vintage, on Camden Passage, Islington, London at the weekend. £48 a pop.

This one isn't from Annie's Vintage, but it's similar

This one isn't from Annie's Vintage, but it's similar

3. The birdcage veil – easy to DIY if you’re getting your hair put up. Also, not quite as OTT as the full scale veil

4. Crazy feathers for the crazy bride within.

Feather headband for just 35 of your American dollars on Etsy

Feather headband for just 35 of your American dollars on Etsy

5. Diamante clips. A profusion of these can make you look a million dollars.

A fiver from Accessorize

Pick these babies up for a fiver at Accessorize

Amazing wedding photography without the price tag

In DIY, Photography, Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 at 11:34 am

Here’s how to make your wedding photographs achingly beautiful on the cheap:

1. Rope in friends for an hour each. Nominate friends to take photos for different sections of the day. That way no one gets lumbered with all the responsibility, and they’re likely to concentrate for their section.

2. Make everyone jump. In every photo. All day. Even the elderly. Smiling is passe, jumping is very 2009. Do it, you know it makes sense.

Jump to it

Jump to it

3. Find a photography student to hire for the day. There’s a good chance they’ll be more talented than your average wedding photographer.

4. Disposable cameras are a handy addition, but not really something to be totally relied on.

5. Polaroid cameras are far better, though a bit pricier.



6. Get a photobooth. Or, make your own Helmut Newton style self portrait machine.

Hire a photo booth

Hire a photo booth

7. DIY super 8. Get a friend to do a super 8 film for you. It’s pretty easy to operate if you’re doing daytime filming, and even the most amateur operator can create a sense of wobbly nostalgia.

Super 8 films

Super 8 films

8. Sod it and get a decent photographer. Someone told me the one thing they regretted in their wedding was not getting a photographer, because all you’re left with are the memories.