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  1. Wedding Dress Alterations

    If you've bought your dress from a wedding dress retailer, and even if it's been made to order, chances are that you might need some form of alterations before you're able to walk in it comfortably down the aisle. But, before you book yourself an appointment with a dressmaker, here are a few things you need to do, just to be sure:

    Firstly, buy your wedding shoes. Whether or not the hem of the dress needs taking up really depends on the height of your heels. Things get a little tricky if you are thinking of killer heels for part of the day and flat shoes (or removing your shoes altogether) in the evening. When you do remove the heels, your dress will drop to the floor and will need lifting up to walk and possibly to dance too. This may be a little price to pay for comfort, as fitting the hem to a flat shoe length is a no-go if you intend to wear heels when walking down the aisle and taking the official photos.

    Secondly, make a decision on your underwear. If your bust needs a bit of filling up with a push-up bra, or if your waistline needs a bit of re-shaping with shapewear, make sure you get these bad boys and try them on with your dress - the need for alterations on the bust or waist area may disappear completely. Or vice versa. Underwear shopping for your wedding dress is actually quite a challenging task, especially if you do want to wear a bra, and have a fairly low back or backless dress. Ideally you want to be able to wear the bra under the dress to make a decision, but most of us think that we can't bring a wedding dress into the underwear shop. Can you? Perhaps a call to the shop prior to your visit may help solve this dilemna.

    Thirdly, consider whether you are likely to fluctuate in size between now and the wedding date. If you are dieting for example, and think that you may lose more weight, it might be worth waiting a little bit longer before booking yourself in.

    If, after considering all three points above, you put on your beautiful dress and find it too long or gapey in some places, then it's time to give a call to your dressmaker. Many will need several weeks before being able to complete the work, especially if your wedding happens in the peak seasons (spring and summer), so allow yourself plenty of time. In doubt, especially regarding point 3 above, give them a ring in advance to ask for their lead times. Most will be able to tell you if and when they can accommodate you and when might be the best time to visit them.

    And for your visit, don't forget your underwear (especially bra if you are wearing one) and your shoes!

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    Blue Lily Magnolia alterations: for wedding dresses, bridesmaids, and other formal occasion alterations for clients in the Nantwich and surrounding Cheshire areas.

  2. If you are getting married in 2018, 2019 and beyond, have you chosen your colours yet, or are you struggling to decide? Or are you curious what other brides have chosen, or what the industry is predicting? Read on to find out more about 2018 and be inspired!

    First off, let's start with the colour experts, Pantone.

    Pantone colour of the year 2018 ultra violetpantone colour of the year 2018 wedding

    Pantone's colour of the year for 2018 is Ultra Violet 18-3838. "Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own." Pantone's own words lend themselves seamlessly to the idea of a marriage, the union of two leading to the limitless possibilities for the future.

    And here, from Hanami Dream (which creates and collates wedding inspiration) and Perfect Wedding Guide (online guide for planners and brides), some examples of how this gorgeous colour can be integrated in your wedding:

    Hanami dream mood board ultra violet pantone 2018Perfect wedding guide ultra violet 2018

    pantone spring 2018-min

    But Pantone also has other predictions for 2018, and this is what the spring/summer range looks like, with loads of beautiful bright colours for the arrival of the blooms and warmer weather. According to Pantone, "The Spring 2018 palette encourages a sense of fun and playful release. With an air of complexity and distinctiveness, we find ourselves in a sanctuary of color that is ideal for some more unique and dramatic color mixing."

    This spring colour prediction is intended for the fashion industry, but then it inevitably weaves its way into other industries as a source of inspiration. Wedding specialists end up creating their own mood boards based on how they've been inspired.

    Here are some examples from Bride Story for Business, the online wedding directory and marketplace, who have created three colour boards on the theme of Tropical Weddings for spring 2018. Plums and Berries are mostly warm red-based colours, with the 2018 colour of the year Ultra Violet added in. Birds of Paradise is an explosion of the bright, vibrant and dashing, taking inspiration from exotic birds. Blushing Sunset is a softer and more subtle palette for a more romantic feel, still pulling in a little bit of a purple violet shade.

    plums and berries wedding colour paletteBirds of paradise, tropical wedding palette, spring 2018Blushing sunset colour palette, spring 2018

    And next, are three more examples from Magnet Street (provider of personalised wedding stationery amongst other things) for the summer of 2018 - I have picked only 3 stories from their 8 colour themes for the season, so check out their page highlighted above to see the other 5 and also for the other forthcoming seasons. Shine is based on sage green, with bits of rose, ivory and gold. The Rosy colour palette is based on a mauve rose, with peach, burgundy and metallic grey. The Oasis theme is a brighter palette, with a cheery lime green, and smaller accents of neutrals.

    shine colour palette, Magnet Street colour prediction summer 2018 Rosy colour palette, wedding trend, summer 2018, Magnet Streetoasis colour palette, Magnet Street, summer 2018

    What about autumn / winter for 2018/2019? Does purple appear in? Are the colours more toned down?

    At custom stationery makers Shutterfly, the autumn colours are orange-based, with orange reds, caramels, gold, mango, peach, cream, orangey autumn leaves colours, and accents of purple (of course), yellow and teal.  

    brightcolourful wedding colours Shutterfly autumn 2018

    Winter colours at Shutterfly are cooler, with lots of purple (in line with Pantone's colour of the year), hints of blues, pinks and berries.

    winter 2018 colour trend, shutterfly, metallicswinter 2018 shutterfly bright

    At the Bridal Consultant (specialists in destination weddings), the winter 2018 colours are deep and rich, navy and marsala, olive and black, plum and grey.

    bridal consultant wedding colours for winter 2018

    Whether deeper, lighter, pinker, bluer, many of the colour mood boards shown above have a little purple influence. Ultra Violet may be colour of the year for Pantone, but, truth to be said, purple has always been a favourite for brides for many years. Ranging from lilac to deep aubergine, and for British couples, the famous Cadbury purple - purple turns up regularly as chosen wedding colours.

    Here's a little snapshot of real brides' wedding colours for 2018 and onwards. This word cloud was created out of responses from a Facebook post, and shows actual colour choices, as opposed to predicted colours. Purple is prominent (including Cadbury's, lilac, mauve, eggplant, royal, dark), as are many shades of blues (baby, aqua, electric, cobalt, navy, pastel, royal, sky, dusty) and shades of pink (baby, blush, dusty, fuschia, pastel, rose, vintage, watermelon, hot).

    wedding colours brides 2018 2019

    At the end of the day, whatever the colour predictions or colour trend, and no matter how much Pinterest and blogs can influence you, the colour theme for a wedding is very much a personal choice. And importantly, hopefully an agreed joint choice!

    Hope you enjoyed this blog, and do share with us your own wedding colours.

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    With the exception of the Word Cloud, sources and Images from: Pantone, Hanami Dream, Bride Story for Business, Perfect Wedding Guide, Shutterfly, Bridal Consultant and Magnet Street. All links in the Blog text above. Do visit them for more images and inspiration on colour.

    Blue Lily Magnolia makes bespoke and unique accessories for special occasions, including for brides, bridesmaids, grooms and groomsmen. If you would like to create a one of a kind piece for your wedding in the colour of your choice, get in touch for a friendly discussion. 

  3. Melanie bridal photoshoot at Zilker Botanical Garden

    When Melanie had her bridal photoshoot at the Zilker Botanical Garden, groom Daniel was around, also taking photos from different angles to that of the wedding photographer. The results - the way a groom sees his new bride - were so beautiful that the couple agreed to share them with us. 

    The pictures were taken in the Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden within Zilker. One of the key features of the garden is the Togetsu-kyo bridge ("Bridge to Walk Over the Moon"), which has been positioned such that when the moon is high, it follows you across the bridge as a reflection on the water. "The idea is that as you gaze at the reflection of the moon on the water's surface, ultimate universal beauty will be revealed to you". Melanie has always reflected that as they were dating, Daniel had a way in making her feel beautiful in photos through the random snaps he would be taking every so often. 

    Togetsu Kyo Bridge Zilker Botanical Garden Vietnamese wedding outfit

    traditional Vietnamese wedding dress bride

    melanie red1-minWith a Vietnamese cultural heritage, the bride had two outfits for the wedding and photoshoot - an ivory wedding dress and a red traditional Vietnamese outfit, complete with the matching headgear. In Vietnamese tradition, red is believed to bring good luck to a newly married couple, so it is generally a predominant colour in weddings and the colour of choice for brides. 

    The traditional dress - an Ao Dai - is very much the dress to wear for any formal Vietnamese occasion. Typically, the Ao Dai is a closely fitted long silk tunic, with high collar, split on the sides from the waist down, and worn with loose trousers. The modern versions are often dresses worn with an under skirt or culottes. Here Melanie's version has a lace overlay on the bodice and is worn with contrasting yellow trousers, widened at the bottom to give the impression of a skirt. 

    The accompanying red headgear, called a Khan Dong or a Vietnamese turban, is normally worn by the bride to complement the dress. It is also worn during festivals and on other formal occasions, both by men and women. Although it looks like a hat, it is technically a bit more like a headband, made with a large number of fabric strips laid over each other as rings, and beautifully hand embellished. The higher the number of fabric rings, the wider the headgear, and of course, the more difficult the turban is to make. An interesting overview of the process and tradition of wearing the Vietnamese turban can be seen here

    Parvani Vida dress with skinny ivory beltbridal photoshoot with Parvani Vida dress and Blue Lily Magnolia belt

    daniel mullins photography wedding necklace

    I hope that you enjoyed this little introduction to traditional Vietnamese wedding attire, and the beautiful photographs by Daniel Mullins. To see more of Daniel's work on landscape photography, check out his Instagram profile here

    Thank you to Daniel and Melanie for sharing their photos. To read more about their rustic ranch Texan wedding with a bit of French, Vietnamese and Moroccan elements, have a look at our blog post here