Deco Disco: a 1920s style wedding inspiration shoot

Even though my own wedding has been and gone, my love for the styling of weddings and all that goes into making each and every one unique still remains. So much so that when Jenny from local wedding and event styling company Bellabooandbeau asked me if I’d be interested in helping her to style an upcoming shoot she was working on in association with a handful of equally talented and enthusiastic local wedding suppliers, I literally bit her arm off.

Shoots are long. Shoots are tiring. Sometimes you’ll spend more time waiting than working. Back in the day where I worked on fashion shoots in London I’d regularly pull a 13 hour shift, come home, sleep for 4 hours then be back in the studio. But I never cared, because when you see what comes out at the end of a shoot it’s always, always worth the hard work that went into it, even if it’s just for that one incredible shot.

The Bell in Ticehurst provided the perfect backdrop to complement the eclectic mix of ideas this shoot set out to capture – think rustic wooden banqueting tables; bright, colour popping flowers; neon accents; gold glitter (HELL YES); and 1920s glamour. And there were a few subtly places stags thrown in there, just for good measure. And you know what? It totally worked. It was, without doubt, one of the best and most interesting shoots I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on – I met some amazing people, all of whom are astoundingly talented, to the point where if I could do my wedding all over again? Well, this would be it…

Cake table, cutting the cake and cake close up

bride and groom with bouquet close up

deco disco behind the scenes details

rustic banqueting table

The Bell, Ticehurst. Wedding breakfast table.

Neon tableplan. Pink, orange and yellow flowers.

If you want to see the shoot in all it’s post-edited glory (there’s a phone box. And a snow machine) then head over to  Whimsical Wonderland Weddings – which, FYI, is a great source of inspiration for any of you who are planning a wedding. Or people like me, who now just stalk weddings.

Massive thank you to Jenny for inviting me along for the day – I loved every minute! And for those that are wondering where you can track down the rest of the suppliers for the shoot, here they are:

Location: The Bell, Ticehurst
Hair, Make up and coordination of the shoot – Blush Makeup by Lucy Oldham
Styling Bellaboo and Beau
Dresses & accessories Froufrou Bridal Boutique
Flowers 
Joanne Truby Floral Design
Cakes: Vintage Rose Cupcakes
Photography – Rebecca Douglas Photography
Models –  Emma Mason and Gavin Jones

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Christmas home inspiration

Yep, I said it – the C word. To be honest, I’m not even sorry – I’ve been itching to talk about Christmas since approximately September, mainly because with no wedding left to plan and not a whole let else going on it’s pretty much all I have.

Every year I like to decorate the house slightly differently to the year before; partly the fault of Pinterest, but mostly because I’m a marketers dream and each year I’ll just keep wasting money on buying things that are covered in glitter or polka dots or have tiny little bells attached to them. Even if I’ve already got 7 of them in the loft somewhere (good luck to us when we move one day).

However, this year it seems there is WAY more choice than ever before and I’m a little bit stuck on which direction to go in. Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to…

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Images sources from top to bottom: M&S; Next; Home Sense; House of Fraser; Sainsburys; House of Fraser

Bouquets: to keep or to throw?

That is the question. There was never any doubt in my mind as to what I would do with mine, though. And whilst I’m all for tradition – in fact, our wedding adhered to a lot of the most classic traditions, despite my initial protestations when I started planning – I knew as soon as I started thinking about the flowers that throwing my bouquet was one tradition that wouldn’t happen.

The question that plagued me now, however, was what exactly do I do with it? At first, I was simply going to dry it. Perhaps after that it would have gone in a vase and put on display somewhere but a) the thought of watching all the colour drain from the flowers as they dried was a bit depressing, b) I’m clumsy; there wasn’t a hope in hell that bouquet would last in all its glory forever and c) it would be novel at first, but over time it would gather dust and I knew I’d just end up chucking it away in one of my OCD cleaning fits. And if that was going to happen then I might as well throw it on my wedding day and let someone else worry about what to do with it next.

Then I thought about having it framed. This appealed to me mostly because my bouquet would stay in tact – the thought of it being taken apart upset me almost as much as throwing it (yeah, I need to get over it, I know). But this also had drawbacks – naturally, in order to keep the bouquet in all its glory the frames have to be quite deep and bulky. And while that would be great if we lived in Buckingham Palace and had all the space in the world, the fact is we don’t. Space is precious in our tiny house, and the walls are already full to the brim. I did think that maybe I could do this and keep the frame in storage until we move (to Buckingham Palace), but then what’s the point in that? Especially when it costs A LOT to have this done – and so price, along with space, became the deciding factor against that option.

But if I wasn’t going to dry it and I wasn’t going to have it framed, did I even have any other options?

And that’s when I stumbled across the ULTIMATE option. It was perfect – the price was reasonable, it wouldn’t take up much – if any – space in our house, and most importantly the flowers would be preserved in all their glory: a paperweight. As soon as I found the Flower Preservation Workshop I emailed in straight away with a barrage of questions and to my surprise, I got an instant reply. On a SATURDAY. Now that’s dedication. Instantly impressed, and knowing I didn’t have to commit to anything financially until I sent the bouquet off after the wedding, I filled out a booking form and that was that. Done.

Of all the many things I woke up excited for on the morning of my wedding, seeing my bouquet for the first time was near the top. It was just one of those moments I knew I wouldn’t forget. And I was right.

flowercollage

Images copyright of Ashdown Wedding Photography

I LOVED my bouquet. Everything about it was perfect. I won’t lie though – a bouquet that’s actually bigger than your head is totally awkward to carry around for the whole day, and it did get bashed about a fair bit. But still, I don’t regret a thing about it.

The Monday after the wedding, my Mum was assigned the task of sending it off to the Flower Preservation Workshop for them to start their magic (we assumed we’d be on honeymoon at this point. We weren’t. That’s another story). I was told I’d have to wait around 8 weeks for the whole process to come together, and throughout this time the communication was fantastic – I was notified at every stage about what was happening and the ETA of the finished article. And when it finally came back, it did not disappoint…

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I can’t thank the girls at the FPW enough for what they did (not a sponsored post, FYI – I paid in full for my paperweight – I’m just genuinely happy with it), and it instantly brought back the memories of seeing my bouquet for the very first time. And that’s what it’s all about for me. I just wanted a keepsake of my day that was something a bit different and, other than my dress and our photos, this is something that I will treasure forever.

Vaseline Spray & Go

vaseline

For someone who is religious (*slightly obsessed*) about moisturising her face twice a day, I’m ashamed to say I completely neglect my body. Unless I’m tanning or, on the rare occasion I’ve actually spent any length of time in the sun, moisturising my body just seems like a hassle.

Until now, that is. Enter Vaseline Spray & Go – aka the lazy person’s ultimate alternative to body butter. I’m not going to even bother explaining how it works – you stand (naked, obvs), you spray, you go. It’s THAT simple. And it works. My sandpaper shins are actually shiny after just one use. It takes about 30 seconds to sink in, with a bit of gentle rubbing, but this is definitely the way forward if you don’t want to spend a billion hours post-shower or bath drying yourself/rubbing cream everywhere/waiting around to dry AGAIN when you could be watching Eastenders.

My only advice? Stand on a towel/bathmat when applying to avoid the near concussion I almost got after spraying it enthusiastically all over the tiled floor in my bathroom. Ouch.

Autumn Essentials

With weddings and work taking over this summer, I gave little thought to anything else – much less my wardrobe or home interiors. And even though we’re thinking about moving house in the new year, with so much more free time now the wedding is over my mind is brimming with ideas about how to make our house cosy this winter.

I struggle year after year with my autumn wardrobe, but this year I’m pleased to see an injection of pastel pinks, plums and dove greys making an impact on fashion and interior design.

This year I’m mostly lusting after these beauties…

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1. The ULTIMATE blush pink coat. For years I have searched for this coat – YEARS, I tell you – and finally I’ve found it. And of all the places? Primark. Yep, they’ve come up trumps again, and for £35 this is a complete bargain. It’s the perfect cut, the perfect colour, the perfect price AND IT WILL BE MINE.

2. Limited Collection Lipstick Wanderlust in Pink Shine, M&S, £5.00. The only disappointing thing about this lipstick is the fact that it wasn’t on the shelves before my wedding. I spent 3 times this amount on a little Chanel number, and nice as you are and everything Chanel, you do not cover your products in tiny little stags. And I need tiny little stags in my life.

3. The token sparkly cushion. No sofa/armchair/chaise is complete without one of these, and knowing Matalan (where it’s from), it will be a bargain price. This isn’t in store until December, so I’ll be eagerly awaiting its arrival.

4. The same goes for this glorious throw. Another Matalan beauty, this throw is the perfect colour and looks like it’ll be the softest thing ever. Sold.

5. Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, £62.00. Pricey, yes, but sometimes when it comes to skincare you get what you pay for. I was fortunate enough to be sent some of these to sample before my wedding and I have to say I was dubious – having oily skin I wasn’t exactly sure I should be adding MORE oil on top, but after doing some research (and, to be honest, just being impatient) I gave them a go. And they really did work. Weirdly, the oil in the capsules seemed to clear the natural oils in my skin – I know, I have no idea how that works either, but it did. Suffice to say, these are far beyond what I would normally pay for any moisturiser or skin serum, so I probably won’t purchase them again, but I would recommend them to anyone who wants to splash out. In fact, ALL Elemis products are worth the money if you have it.