By Stacey-Marie | May 27th, 2011 | No Comments

Are you struggling to find a different yet sophisticated hen celebration, well here’s a great idea! A Mad Hatter’s Couture Party!

Recently I was lucky enough to attend one of Katherine Elizabeth’s Mad Hatter Couture Parties, alongside fellow wedding planners and bloggers. It was a great way to spend an evening, surrounded by eye catching gems, dreamy feathers and luxurious trimmings, all ready for us to get our hands on and get creative with!

Mad Hatter Couture Party Trimmings

As we were served glasses of pink bubbles and canapés by the attentive staff at Portal, Katherine Elizabeth gave us an introduction to millinery and set us off in the right direction with some tips on how to manipulate the feathers, how to gather our components and to stitch our designs together. Then it was down to us to get designing and making our fascinators!

Mad Hatter Couture Party Venue

Throughout the evening we had Katherine Elizabeth and her team at hand to help us with any tricky sewing and remind us of the tricks of the trade.

Mad Hatter Couture Party Teaching

As you can see the final results were vibrant and varied! Each fascinator was very unique! What great fun to make them part of your evening outfits! Or maybe some of the hens will want to keep them to wear at your wedding!

Mad Hatter Couture Party Fascinators

Katherine Elizabeth Millinery Mad Hatter Couture parties are a fabulous way to spend a few hours with a group of friends. The parties start at £38 per person including materials and small trimmings. Should you wish to upgrade to more luxurious fabrics and trimmings to create a more high-end couture piece, this would cost £55 per person.  If you want your stylish hen party to have a more Alice in Wonderland feel to it, then a vintage tea set, sandwiches, cakes and sparkling wine can be provided for an additional cost. If you’re heading out for cocktails afterwards, then why not have a Benefit makeup artist come and make you all look and feel special too!  The parties can take place at the Katherine Elizabeth studio, a wine bar or even at your home.

Mad Hatter Couture Party Katherine Elizabeth

Katherine Elizabeth is an award winning designer, whose clients include Dita Von Teese and Lily Allen. All of their hats are hand-crafted to ensure the highest standard, using sumptuous fabrics adorned by swarovski crystals, delicate beading or the lightest of feathers. Most of the fabrics are recycled through vintage products and great attention is paid to sourcing ethically. Browse their elegant and fashion-forward hat and fascinator collections and you’ll soon fall in love! Katherine Elizabeth and her team were also very friendly and helpful, which always makes a difference!

These beautiful photos were taken by Fanni Williams of Fubumedia, who is both lovely and talented!

Thank you to Helen of Helen Carter Weddings for organising a superb evening!



By Stacey-Marie | May 25th, 2011 | One Comment

Yesterday one of those emails popped into my inbox that you know is going to create great distraction… Not On The Highstreet (NOTHS) have relaunched their wedding department! A website filled with wonderful goodies for styling your wedding! Not only that, but you can have your wedding gift list with NOTHS too!

Not On The Highstreet Weddings

Browsing a NOTHS catalogue or their website is great for wedding inspiration, as inspiration can come from all sorts of places. NOTHS supports a large community of independent designers and manufacturers, which means there are always lots of beautifully crafted and quirky treats to get the imagination flowing (and also the credit card wobbling)! I love that they promote all things British which are of excellent quality, originality and style.

Here are just a few wedding styling ideas…

Jazz up your wedding venue gardens with a hearts and bells garland:

Hearts and Bells Garland

These fragrant French boudoir candles would add that finishing touch to the Ladies toilets (often an area forgotten):

French Candles

Tie these little plantable wildflower hearts to napkins, chairs or wine glasses and they can double up as eco-friendly place names and favours:

Eco Friendly Plantable Hearts

Point your guests in the right direction with these beautiful signs:

Directional Signs

Have your wedding ‘motto’ to be “Live well, laugh often, love much” with these cute hearts to remind your guests:

Live Love Laugh Hearts

Light up a warm summer’s evening with these funky solar powered lanterns:

Solar Powered Lanterns

Peg place names to glasses or napkins or peg table plan cards to ribbon or a birdcage with these beautiful fabric covered heart pegs by Francesca and Florence:

Fabric Heart Pegs

As you can see I was distracted just a little! There are so many lovely little ideas which can help you with your wedding styling: it makes it difficult to choose!

Enjoy styling your wedding!


Banner Image: “And they lived happily ever after” wooden sign

By Stacey-Marie | May 22nd, 2011 | No Comments

With the summer months upon us and with a bit of decent English weather, we start to think about having some delicious and typically English picnics.

You could consider having a picnic as part of your wedding day, one way you could do this is by having a pre-wedding picnic. If you are having a wedding ceremony later in the day, you could invite your guests (maybe a smaller group) to join you in a park local to where you are holding your wedding for some pre-wedding nibbles and giggles. Of course, you would have to not be shy of seeing your groom before saying “I do” and you’d have to have your timings pretty tight so that you didn’t run out of getting ready time.

I have heard of this happening at a wedding recently and I think it is a wonderful idea. The guests took their own picnic hampers along with them and it was an opportunity for them to mingle and get to meet new faces ahead of the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom enjoyed some relaxing time out in the sunshine getting to chat with their nearest and dearest before heading off to get ready for their wedding ceremony. A lovely way to settle their nerves and for the guests to break the ice.

Ladies and hampers

After the picnic, guests and bride and groom head off to get ready. They then reconvene for the ceremony a couple of hours later, which is then followed by a meal and evening reception. By having the picnic at lunch time, you don’t have the need for canapés during your drinks reception. With the ceremony being later on in the day you can then have the wedding breakfast at dinner time, which also means you won’t necessarily need to provide an evening buffet or nibbles. Aside from the budget saving benefits, you have added another dimension to your wedding day which guests will remember and it has also helped them to socialise at your wedding reception.

Alternatively, if you aren’t so keen on seeing each other before heading down the aisle on your wedding day, then why not have a picnic as your wedding breakfast!

Would this be something you would consider or have you experienced this before?

Banner Image: Flour Advisory Bureau
Ladies and hampers: Christian Cruz Photography

By Stacey-Marie | April 11th, 2011 | 3 Comments

Following on from my previous two posts from the photo shoot of Janet Mohapi-Banks’ cake collection showing wonderful wedding cakes and trends and the styling, here are some top tips to help you with selecting your wedding cake designer, the design itself and considerations for your wedding cake on your wedding day!

Selecting and meeting with wedding cake designers

Make sure you that you taste the cake before you commission a cake designer to make your wedding cake. The cake should taste as good as it looks, after all cake is for eating!

Janet Mohapi-Banks

When you meet with cake designers it is useful to take along with you a mood board or some pictures of flowers you are having, a sample of your wedding stationery and even swatches of your wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses so that the cake designer can see the look, colour and design you are trying to achieve. Some of these items may also provide some inspiration for the cake design.

Stacey-Marie Chalk

Bridesmaid Dresses

Choose your wedding cake designer because you appreciate their style and cake making skills, but make sure that YOUR style is present in the cake too. The cake is a centre-piece for your day so it should be something that YOU love.

Janet Mohapi-Banks

Deciding on your wedding cake design

Try to incorporate the colours, patterns, themes or “feeling” of your wedding day into the cake design, This will ensure the cake is truly ‘the icing on the cake’ of your wedding. Pun very much intended!

Janet Mohapi-Banks

Wedding Dress

The inspiration for cakes usually comes from elements of the wedding day. Stationery design, flowers or the dress design can all be incorporated into the cake design. It is also good to know the venue decor, especially if it is striking, as the cake design should fit with the room it will be displayed in.

Janet Mohapi-Banks


Wedding Cake

Show your florist your wedding cake design as this will enable your florist to provide flowers to complement the cake design rather than conflict, that’s if fresh flowers are required at all for your cake!

Stacey-Marie Chalk

Your wedding cake on your wedding day

When choosing a wedding photographer look through their portfolio, do they take the trouble to capture all the little details? For example if you want to ensure that you have colourful detailed shots of your wedding cake then a photographer that specialises in black and white photojournalistic photography might not be right for you.

Juliet McKee

Forget-Me-Not Close Up

Your cake table at your wedding can be an opportunity for you to create a personalised area, for example you could have some photos of loved ones or some silhouettes of yourselves and create a colourful dramatic dessert and sweet table with your cake as the centre-piece. Or keep it simple and let your wedding cake stand alone and present itself proudly to your guests as a statement piece!

Stacey-Marie Chalk

If you are having fresh flowers accompany your wedding cake and if they are being placed on top of the cake, make sure that they aren’t wet as this could make any coloured icing run

Janet Mohapi-Banks

Addison Close Up

Thank you to Janet of Janet Mophapi-Banks Sculptural Cake Design for your top tips and your cakes and thank you to Juliet of Sugar and Spice Photography for your top tip and your beautiful images.


By Stacey-Marie | April 5th, 2011 | 2 Comments

After last Tuesday’s post finding out about apple of my eye design and wedding stationery trends for 2011, take a read below for some top tips on selecting your wedding stationery supplier, how to make the most of your stationery budget, how to deal with last minute table plan changes and a bit about the different types of printing you will come across.

What are your top tips for a couple selecting a wedding stationery supplier?

First and foremost they should establish their budget. Most stationers publish their prices on their websites, so couples should take advantage of this when selecting designs they like. Once a budget is established and the couple know what items they want they should get hold of samples from a few different stationers for designs they love that fall within their budget.

During this process they should get their first ‘feel’ of the stationers – How quickly was their initial enquiry responded to? How did the response from the stationer make them feel? (i.e. like their business mattered to the stationer or whether they were just another customer in a big sea of customers). How quickly the samples arrived, the quality of the samples.

I think gut instinct is critical. The relationship between a stationer and clients can last up to a year depending on which items the couple require and how far in advance of the wedding the couple involve the stationer. A good stationer should inspire confidence that the client’s requirements are in a safe pair of hands.

How should a couple deal with last minute changes to their table plan and place cards?

Always order a few extra place cards! When it comes to table plans, I offer a service whereby I provide printed inserts for table plans to match the rest of the wedding stationery theme. By adopting the method of having these individual inserts it is really easy to make last minute changes by simply reprinting the table insert with the required changes. I have also had brides order table plan inserts with different name options depending on different guest scenarios. This is a great idea on the occasions where guest issues haven’t been resolved till quite late in the day.

“Flourish” Table Plan Insert Card

flourish table plan insert

What are your top tips for making the most of a stationery budget?

Ascertain whether there is anyone creative in your nearest and dearest. Find someone who has beautiful handwriting who can address your envelopes, write your invites and write your place cards. If you are on a tight budget this can save you money on extra printing costs or a calligrapher.

Go for table plan inserts and source your own frame and mountboard to save hundreds on a table plan.

Avoid pocketfolds, bows and brooches and go for elegant, and simple yet beautiful design.

Go for a few menus per table rather than one per person if the budget is tight. Also, rather than one per person, opt for one Order of Service per couple plus enough for lone guests to have one each.

Most importantly, START EARLY – if a stationer is finding they have to squeeze an order in late in the day it may incur extra costs for extra labour required out of normal hours, extra delivery charges for rushing material orders/ delivery to clients etc.

What are the main types of printing and the key differences?

Digital/laser/inkjet printing For small scale wedding stationery orders, digital methods of printing are well suited to the run sizes required. Artwork created on the computer is sent to and printed by a digital press, laser or inkjet printer. This is a high quality and cost effective solution really that is perfect for wedding stationery.

Thermography produces raised printing similar in appearance to engraving but using a different process. In thermography, a special powder is added to the ink printed on the paper. The printed piece is heated and the powder and ink mixture dries to form a raised effect on the paper. A lovely finish is created but this method is quite costly.

In Letterpress printing, ink is applied to the raised portions of a metal or hard plastic plate which is then pressed on the paper. It is a specialised and expensive form of printing and can be considered an art form in itself.

Offset lithography is the most commonly used commercial printing process however the small runs required in wedding stationery orders rule it out as an option for most weddings.

Thank you so much to Shelley for taking the time to provide some useful wedding stationery tips!


Images: Courtesy of apple of my eye design