Exmouth Market in London

Happy Monday everyone, but where did that come from? I swear I closed my eyes on Friday night and it’s already Monday, but having a bank holiday to look forward to this weekend is really exciting. I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind week both workwise and personal-wise, but there are always things that make me smile so here is everything that I was loving last week!

London

I was back in London this week for work, which was really exciting in itself as I got to be briefed on some amazing projects coming up. My parents were in London too, so when I finished work, I walked down to Exmouth market to meet my mum for a drink which is about 10 minutes away from my office, and from there we went for dinner with my Dad at Charlotte Street Hotel, which was delicious. I really do love London and discovering new areas every time I go.

Move GB

This week my collaboration with Move GB started, which meant that I was free to try some classes that I usually wouldn’t get the chance to. I tried out Boxfit on Friday evening and Yoga on Saturday and although both were completely out of my comfort zone, they were so fun and I’m glad I went to them.

Britney Concert

My friends from work and I booked tickets to see Britney back in January and this Saturday it was finally time. It was her Vegas ‘Piece of Me’ tour and it was incredible. I’ve loved Britney all through my life, and we were all able to reminisce about the good times to her classic songs. Pitbull supported too and reignited my love of his music.

Visiting Our Chapel

As we’re getting married in a chapel, one of the prerequisites is that we have to attend 10 services before our wedding day and this Sunday we went to our second service. It was really lovely to meet the lady who will be performing it on the day and she gave us some ideas of what we can do decor-wise that we hadn’t thought about. I can’t believe how fast the wedding is coming round, but I’m getting excited!

Bridesmaid Dresses

On the theme of weddings, this weekend I started to have a look at dresses online with my maid of honour and bridesmaid. I’m not 100% sure how it’s going to work getting them and altering them as my MOH lives in Australia at the moment, but it was exciting to see whats out there and what styles are available.

Aldi

I had a bit of time to kill on Sunday so I decided to go to Aldi to pick up a few bits for the week. The one near us is always super busy, but I decided to brave it on a Sunday as I really wanted to try some of their special buy range, and ended up coming out with a quiche, vegetarian pies, hummus and a lot of other random stuff, but our fridge has never looked so full!

Yara

Jordan and I are huge fans of Lebanese food and decided to treat ourselves to our favourite restaurant, Yara on Sunday evening as it felt like we hadn’t been out together for a while. We shared some mezze starters and the food was amazing, as always. That type of cuisine is inspiring our wedding menu too!

Exciting Brand Collaborations

This week I’ve had a couple of really exciting emails land in my inbox and I can’t wait to share the results with you in the next coming weeks. It’s been a bit of a struggle the last couple of weeks getting blog posts together and scheduled, but I’m hoping to have more time to focus on the future soon and the exciting things I have planned for Eleanor Graceful – watch this space!

What were you loving this week?

picture of microphone from a wedding band

All of the weddings I’ve been to in the past have had some form of live music, but I never really knew what I wanted when it came to planning my own wedding. There are so many different options out there from a band, to a string quartet or a DJ with a saxophone player – the list goes on – and it’s difficult to know what the crowd will like. Also, as music is such a huge part of my life, it would have to be something that blew me away.

A wedding band is something I wasn’t sure I particularly wanted for the big day next year and it’s something we didn’t really budget for, thinking that a DJ or an iPod playlist would do the trick, but the more people I talk to about this decision say that we HAVE to have a wedding band, so I’ve been on the hunt to find one that won’t break the bank but will also play the songs that are special to us and our guests.

As I used to work for an events company, I had an idea of how much a good band would cost, and although some people would rather spend the money elsewhere, there is something about the atmosphere that a live band bring to the table that cannot be rivalled.

There are loads of agencies out there who will do the hard work for you and put together a proposal based on your music tastes, budget and where you are in the country, and they’ll always be flexible with what they can offer. Or if you would rather do it yourself, you can search through their catalogue of acts and compare the ones that take your fancy.

One of the websites I found that was quick and easy to use was Alive Network where all you need to do is put in your event type, location and the date and you can even hear the band playing live. They make it easy for you to hire every kind of live entertainment imaginable from all over the UK, which is pretty handy when you’re planning your wedding and have no idea what you’re after. This can range from comedians in Edinburgh and amazing wedding bands in Kent to classical musicians in Dorset and circus performers in Brighton – they literally have something for everyone and every budget.

The thing with weddings as well is that everything gets booked up so far in advance, especially if you are getting married during ‘the season’ (April to September) so if you are looking for live music, I would suggest getting it sorted as soon as possible. The good thing about Alive Network is that they only show you the artists that are available for your date and the total price (excluding VAT) so you can easily see whether it will fit within your budget.

At the moment we’re trying to whittle our list down to 2 or 3 that we really like and then we’ll get the opinion of some family and friends to help us make the final decision. I definitely want someone who will let us give recommendations as our invitation will ask our guests for a song they want played – I always think this is a nice way of getting people involved, and when their song comes on, they always have a smile on their face.

If you’re looking for a wedding band or live entertainment for another type of event then I would definitely recommend giving Alive Network a go as there will definitely be something for you.

What do you think about live music at weddings?

This post was sponsored by Alive Network. All views are my own.

Wedding season is here and in full swing! The time of year where sun-loving couples tie the knot and jet off in search of even more sunny weather on their honeymoons. With your wedding being one of the most important and exciting days of your life, you plan everything down to the last detail. The main factor for many brides is looking the part. Is your dress perfect? Will your hair and makeup last all day and evening? Will you feel comfortable all day long? It makes sense to consider these things and to look after yourself. After all, you’ll be the centre of attention for a whole day. 

When it comes to being on trend when walking down the aisle, there’s a lot to think about. You can’t have a perfect wedding dress without flawless hair and makeup, and you definitely need the right inspiration. Think about icons like Meghan Markle and Pippa Middleton; despite being naturally beautiful women, they’re always on trend, and even more so on their wedding days! But how do they do it? The trick is to know yourselves and your body, and what you can do to highlight all your best bits for maximum impact.  

Let’s start with the obvious. The showstopper – your wedding dress! 

This year’s trends seem to be all about the sparkle. Wedding dresses with a glittery feel are in, and when accompanied by those shimmering nails and eyelids, heads will be sure to turn. Two-piece wedding dresses have also made an appearance, ensuring the beautiful brides of the world can feel comfortable and glamorous all in one, and comfortable in their own skin. 

Now, each woman deserves to look and feel her best, but how can you ensure you keep to this year’s trends as well as bearing in mind your body shape? There is a solution! Having the right dress alterations for your dress or suit can keep you feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin, as well as being as fashionable as they come. It’s best to leave your amendments until as late as possible so you get the best possible fit, but make sure you give your chosen tailor enough time to alter your outfit before the big day. 

So, you’ve planned your outfit and any amendments to it well in advance. What else do you need to focus on? Surprisingly, wedding hairstyle trends for this Summer are in abundance and are simply beautiful. No matter your hair length or colour, you can find a simple style to complement your dress. 

A top trend this year is the ‘perfectly imperfect’ do. From loose, textured updos to chic, low buns, you can give your hair a natural yet luxurious impression. For brides with longer hair, a neat, natural look can be applied with big, plump ponytails, complete with a bit of sparkle or ribbon matched with your chosen bridal outfit.  

When planning your makeup options for your big day, some people prefer to go as natural as possible, whereas others want to make a striking impact. However, recent Royal Weddings have proved that bigger is not always better, and a natural style (freckles and all) can be just as beautiful. Highlighting facial features such as eyes and eyebrows can do all the work, so you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your makeup as the night goes on. 

A bride doesn’t just have to rely on her appearance to wow the crowd, and these days, it’s getting more and more popular to have a wedding theme. This summer’s trends range from the enchanted and magical forest wedding to the rustic and metallic theme. Creating a stunning environment is crucial to setting the scene and getting both you and your visitors in the wedding spirit. Matching your theme to your dress and overall look can be a beautiful touch. 

You’ve heard the saying ‘less is more’, and this seems to apply to beauty trends this year. With soft colours and natural hair and makeup styles, it makes us appreciate our inner beauties and force us to flaunt these confidently. 

It’s never too early to fill your brain with what’s hot in the world of weddings. If you’re planning to get married one day, or you’re recently engaged and looking for a little inspiration, it makes sense to get ahead and see what the upcoming trends are each year. Starting a Pinterest board or following your favourite wedding brands around the web and on social media can give you a plethora of ideas to play around with. Hopefully, you’ll be able to create the ultimate wedding experience for you and your significant other! 

Do you have any tips for summer brides?

There are a lot of aspects of your wedding where it’s a good idea to follow people’s advice and do things in a traditional way. I won’t lie, trying to find my own personal wedding style has been tough, and this has impacted other decisions to do with the big day such as flowers, colours and decorations. I had some help from Goldsmiths as well and found that my style is a mixture of timeless and modern and when looking at the mood boards, all the decisions we have made so far do fit within this, including the colours we have gone for and the makeup and hair that I’ve been looking at.

If you really want a wedding that stands out and provides you and your guests with amazing memories that you’ll cherish forever, then you need to find a way to set it apart whilst still being true to yourself and your taste. This means that one of the first things that you need to start thinking about when planning a wedding is what kind of style you’re going for.

Never forget though that your wedding day is a really true statement of you and your partner’s love and your style will come out in everything you have decided for your wedding. With that in mind, here are some ways in which you can start figuring out exactly what kind of style your wedding needs.

What are your passions?

A wedding should be something that reflects the personalities of you and your partner, and there’s no better way to do that than by channelling the things that you’re passionate about. There are multiple levels that you could take this idea to from having subtle nods to a book that you both love to having the entire wedding themed after your favourite TV show to everything in between. The key is to think about what really expresses who you and your partner are and how you can incorporate that into the style of your wedding.

What aesthetics do you like?

Everyone has their own style and aesthetic preferences, and you’re never going to have a wedding that you really like if you’re building it all around something that you’re not that invested in. Think about the styles that you and your partner like, what kinds of influences you take in your own styles.

When choosing things like wedding fashion jewellery, your own personal style is crucial to helping you find something you really love. If you can fit your aesthetic into your wedding as much as possible, it’s going to look that much more beautiful and represent you.

What kind of budget are you working with?

Budget is a huge factor in weddings, and as soon as you use the ‘w’ word, the price shoots up. After all, solid crystal glasses and hanging chandeliers are always going to be more of a strain on your wallet than handmade centrepieces and a smaller, more intimate venue.

However, there are always things that you can do to work around a limited budget so don’t let discourage you from going after the wedding that you really want. There are plenty of ways to be thrifty and cut back on certain things in order to get the most out of your budget. We’re currently looking at making our own centrepieces by borrowing things from friends and picking things up here and there, and we saved money by sending a save the date out by email.

Pinterest will be your best friend if you are looking to be a bit crafty for the big day, and this is where I’ve f0und loads of inspiration that matches my personal style, and even though we’ve used bits from different themes throughout, I feel as though this represents our relationship more than sticking to just one.

Weddings are 100% personal to you and your partner and whatever you chose, it will be the best day of your life so don’t lose sight of that.

What would your personal wedding style be?

One of the questions I get asked most about our engagement is where did I say yes? And to be honest, it’s at the top of my list whenever anyone pops the question.

Was it in a restaurant, at home while enjoying a romantic home cooked meal together, was it at the top of a mountain after you both hiked up it for hours? Was it a surprise? Did you have an inkling? Or is your other half not great at keeping secrets?

Once your partner has got down on one knee as well and you’ve finally come to terms with it, who are the first people you want to tell? For us, we got engaged abroad and wanted to tell people face to face so waited until the end of our trip. For us, this was really nice as it allowed us to have time with just the two of us knowing about our engagement and it made it our own little secret for a couple of days which was lovely.

When we did get round to telling our family and friends about the good news, we weren’t sure how to go about it, but we did what felt natural to us. As there aren’t many customs on telling your nearest and dearest in the UK, we felt as though we owed it to these people to tell them face to face, and also keep it off social media for a few days. 

First The Closest

Some weddings have hundreds of guests, others just have a few dozens. Regardless of how many can actually make it to your wedding, you first need to contact those that mean the most to you. We decided to tell our closest family and friends face to face to see their reactions and because we wanted them to know how excited we were too. 

If you can’t get to people or they do not live in the same country, maybe give them a call or FaceTime so you can tell them as close to in real life as possible. Take it from me that they’ll want to know every detail – how the proposal went down, did you suspect anything and how you’re feeling. Showing human contact too means you really care about them and want them to know something very personal.

Tell your web

In today’s modern world, the way we get most of our information is via social media.  After you have spoken to all your loved ones and incredibly close friends, it’s time to tell the web of your friends. These people might be work colleagues you often hang out with after working hours, they might be people from your school or just friends that are a little more distant.

Here you can make it publicly known on your social media so you don’t have to contact everyone individually which saves a lot of time and effort when you want to start actually planning the wedding and getting on with the fun stuff about being a bride. We decided to wait until our anniversary (which was about 2 weeks after getting engaged) to tell the internet-world the good news. 

Make It Official

After you have shed a few tears of happiness and had a heart to heart with all your loved ones, now you can get to writing down the list of who you want to come to your wedding. It’s going to be a little difficult if you haven’t chosen your venue and location yet, so I would definitely get that booked first and foremost. Plus looking around venues is one of the most fun parts.

Once you do have a list, the invitation should be a mark of the theme or type of wedding you’re intending to have. Paper Themes have some great examples of the kind of invitation you may want. They’re formal and professional, yet they also are artistic enough to have unique designs and styles to suit every type of wedding. For something elegant yet subtle, the Regal Beauty wedding invitation with its gold foil motif and cream colour would fit the bill. You can also transcribe your own initials in the centre of the invitation to personalize it a bit. For something bold and subdued, the Royal Swirls invitation would be great. It’s a luxury pearl board and has a midnight coloured background with copper foil writing. It’s more of the classic style of the wedding if that’s what you prefer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this wedding post and its given you some food for thought if you are newly engaged. And if you are, congratulations! xx

How did you tell your loved ones?