When it comes to a wedding, whether you're the bride or a guest, the million-dollar question for everyone is: what am I going to wear? For the bride and groom, as they are the stars of the show, it's likely that they have at least an idea of what their big-day look will be like. But for the rest of the wedding party, where do you begin? First and foremost, the venue and theme of the day are paramount. A long flowing gown for bridesmaids will look out of place in a field for a tipi wedding; similarly, the mother- of-the-bride in a tropical print, summer dress may stand out against a stately home wedding venue with a Bridgerton-inspired theme. Secondly, the weather, we British folk like to moan about it and rightly so, because how many sunny days do we have each year? The season and the inclement weather will dictate not only the attire, the colour palette – no one wears pastel yellow in winter! – but also your accessory choice; boleros, jackets and wraps will be your cosy friend for winter 'I dos'. With this in mind, we've put together a feature focusing on seasonal trends, so you can look the part no matter the time of year.
Michelle Tinsley from Lily Francis Bridal tells us when you should start looking for your wedding dress.
"As a rule, we tend to advise brides-to-be to start looking for their wedding dress 12-18 months before the big day. I know this seems like a long timeframe to some people, but 12-18 months will allow plenty of time as: You can book appointments in multiple stores, as you may not find your dress in the first shop you visit. Delivery for some designers can take up to 20 weeks.
"The internet is a great source for looking at different dress styles and getting an idea of what you like. However, it's always a good idea to go into your first appointment with an open mind; so many women are surprised at what does and doesn't suit them."
Katrice and James met through her cousin. “That was back in 2013, so we've been together for 10 years now,” says Katrice. “He asked me to be his girlfriend on April Fool's Day, so many people, including myself, thought he was joking but clearly not!”
Seven years into their relationship, James popped the question. “We had moved in together earlier that year, and after the first lockdown, he organised a trip to Athens, Greece, which is somewhere that I've always wanted to go,” shares the bride. “James wanted to visit a mountain with amazing views, so we trekked to the top, and once we got there, James got down on one knee with the whole of Athens behind us. I thought he might propose but didn't want to get my hopes up just in case.”
"Firstly, is your dog right for the job? Some dogs require more training than others to prepare them for your big day, this could mean months of planned training, so book early and plan well in advance of your big day.
"Decide how you would like your dog to be involved in your big day. This could be walking down the aisle to deliver your rings, joining you at the drinks reception, or just simply for the photographs.
"It might be that you can't have your dog at your wedding but you would like to have he/she visit you or be nearby for your evenings or down time days. This could mean booking a licenced 'Home-from-home' boarding service with pet taxi provisions. This would mean your best friend would get a great holiday and be at hand to provide your much needed support when you require it."
Kevin and Samantha first met through work and were attracted to each other's shared sense of humour. Kevin popped the question in style at The Savoy, London in the foyer of the hotel which was festively decorated for Christmas.
The happy couple set the date, 10th September, 2022 with Mid Norfolk Railway Station setting the scene and an autumnal theme running throughout the day.
The inspiration for Carrieanne Cook, of Happy Moments Co., was the beautiful city of Cambridge. “As the photographer and shoot coordinator, I wanted to create some outstanding images to support local suppliers within Cambridgeshire and inspire couples to show them what is possible working with the talent on this shoot,” shares Carrieanne. “The afternoon shoot at Mill Farm come together later on with inspiration from the Mill Farm team as their land provides you with the space to be creative. As the photographer, I wanted to not shy away from cold nights drawing in earlier in the winter, and instead create some images with flash photography to show the more romantic Christmassy and fun NYE-vibes you can use to create a unique wedding reception and intimate celebration during the winter months.” Enjoy!
Clare Warren from Clare Warren Calligraphy tells us about her company: "I create bespoke stationery and signage for your wedding day in unique, handwritten calligraphy. After a rewarding career managing the visual team of a well-known department store, I found real joy in learning and perfecting the art of calligraphy. I started Clare Warren Calligraphy in 2019, and it's grown into a full-time business. I'm at my happiest with a pen in my hand and a vision in my head, and I've been so lucky to help so many couples with such an intimate part of their most memorable day.
"Beauty is in the details, and my most popular product is by far the smallest: place cards. These tiny finishing touches don't just tell your guests where to sit, they show them how important they are with their own name lovingly written by hand on premium quality card. Most of them make their way home with the guests as an extra keepsake, and when they're matched with a stunning table plan, they can really bring your décor together."
West Barsham Estate in North Norfolk, is an ideal holiday retreat for friends or families pre- or post-wedding! Enveloped by vast Norfolk skies, 2,500 acres of farmland and just a few miles inland from the county's popular coastline, the remote and beautiful retreat is now offering travellers a special place to stay and explore. Extensively and comprehensively decorated by renowned interior designer Flora Soames, Barsham Barns now comprise six luxury self-catering barns sleeping from four to 14, while Meadow House – the former dower house – sleeps up to 14. Ideal as a couple's getaway or for week-long parties with friends and family, the elegantly decorated barns are also dog-friendly, so no member of the family need be left behind. When taken together, the estate can host up to 66 guests, providing the perfect venue for a magical Norfolk wedding, paired with a ceremony at one of the charming local parish churches.
Lucy and Teejay met while working together and hit it off straightaway becoming great friends. After 18 months the pair started dating, visiting restaurants, and exploring Norfolk on dog walks. “We went out to lots of different places and even ice skating!” recalls Lucy. “We both supported each other in each other's interests. Horses are a big part of my life and Teejay fully supports me with achieving any goals and vice versa. We both have a great sense of humour and are always having a laugh, which I believe was the start of everything! I think because we built up a great friendship at the beginning when it evolved in to a relationship everything just fell into place.”
Fast forward to Saturday 12th December 2020 when Lucy was surprised with a festive proposal. “As I went into the living room, pinned to the fireplace were four stockings asking me the big question: Will You Marry Me?” shares Lucy. “When I turned around Teejay was on one knee. I was so shocked!”
Although neutral colour palettes will always be a main stay when it comes to wedding décor and styling, it's classic and elegant, there are plenty of opportunities to bring in colour and texture for those that want the wow factor. Think: floral designs, textiles, furniture, motifs, and patterns – the brighter and bolder the better!
If you didn't already know, Pantone's Colour of the Year is Viva Magenta; it's vibrant, it's fun and looks incredible mixed with other colours, complementing weddings at any time of year. This shade works radiantly as an accessory or as part of a colour palette.
When it comes to texture elements couples are now mixing and matching different styles of décor to create a unique look that reflects their personality. So, if you're a boho bride who loves vintage glamour explore how you can combine these looks to create your overall aesthetic. Think: macrame and pampas grass combined with coloured glass and gold-plated cutlery.