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  1. This month, I have been experimenting with making small flowers from shirting and tie fabrics for men's lapel pins. And I must say that I am loving the look. Far from being too much for everyday wear, I think that a small simple flower on a pin or even a small brooch, really lifts up a jacket or suit. To me, it says, "Spring is here, and I am loving it", "I love a little flash of colour", "A gentleman does appreciate flowers, you know" and "I want to make you smile". And many other things too. 
    With a bit of trial and error and of course some mistakes along the way, this photo sums up what I think works best as far as boutonnieres, lapel pins or men's brooches are concerned. So, whether you are considering to have lapel flowers on your wedding day, or simply everyday, to bring a little bit of colour and texture in your outfit, don't hesitate! 
    lapel pins for grooms and groomsmen
  2. flower girl headbandWhether the little ones are yours or those of close friends and family, having them to be fully included in the proceedings will always be rather special but can seem a bit daunting to some. Tiny flower girls, little ring bearers, or simply small witnesses can be a little unpredictable, so here are some tips on how make the best it it without too much stress or too big a dent in the wedding funds! 

    Talk it Through 

    When a little person has a key role, it sounds obvious, but many forget to talk about it with the right mind set - that it is something special to look forward to, that mummy and daddy will be very proud if everything goes to plan, that he/she will play a very important role, etc. They should of course know what is expected of them (whether it is just sitting pretty for photos or walking down the aisle). A verbal story or pretend play with little figurines or similar items are great for explaining it all, as are books with weddings scenes. 

    Manage the Pressure 

    Which all depends on the child's character and abilities. If little one is too young to understand instructions, let alone follow, don't count on him/her to be able to be able to carry the rings, have a back up plan, e.g. an older bridesmaid who can help. If your child is shy, walking down the aisle on his or her own is very stressful, so have someone else hold hands and practise a lot. Or allow them to carry a favourite teddy. 

    Make Sure it's not all Go Go Go on the Day

    A tired baby or toddler (or even bigger kids) are more likely to lead to melt down, so make sure that there is enough quiet time, or relaxing time - as well as a suitable place to wind down, have a cuddle, read a book, etc. Have a little bag of snacks and a drink ready too, because hungry tots are no fun too, and food is nearly always late at big dos!

    Think of Entertainment

    It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive if your budget doesn't allow: entertaining the kids can be as simple as having  a few balloons, crayons and paper, some simple games, or if you have quite a few little ones to entertain, a cordoned off area with borrowed garden toys. 

    The Logistics 

    This can be a bit complicated if you don't give it a litte thought in advance. Make sure the venue has what you need for little ones - changing facilities, high chairs, children menu, etc. You might be surprised how many places lack some basic facilities. If that's the case, then just plan ahead and bring your own stuff, such as a proper changing mat, booster chair, or tubs of food. 

    Clothing and Accessories

    Nothing more frustrating that buying expensive clothes and accessories and have the kids throw them at the wall because they don't like them. Unfortunately, this very often happens, whether as a way of expressing their independence (and being fed up of just been told to do this and that), or simply because what you bought is uncomfortable, clumsy, itchy, etc. As an accessories designer, my advice to parents is to never get something too expensive, to allow them to choose before purchasing whenever possible, and to try to get them to wear and try in advance, with a lot of emphasis on how  much fun it is. Books showing a character in a pretty dress, with the type of accessories you want them to wear etc., are always useful as they can be used to point out the pretty dress, the bow tie, the bouquet, etc. Have a back up plan, if there is a melt down on the day about getting dressed up! 

    Praise Good Behaviour

    Finally, when you see good behaviour, don't forget lots of praise to keep them going. Little ones are proud when they feel that they have achieved something, so show them that you approve! 

  3. This weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the wedding show at Tatton Park. A beautiful venue, with some great suppliers, and here are my thoughts of the event, and my favourite stands. 

    Show Overview

    The show was great, lots to see - many dress and groomswear suppliers, music suppliers, venues, food, classic cars, flowers, make-up, accessories, venue dressing, planners, and of course plenty of photographers. There are always a lot of photographers in most wedding shows, so it's great to have a look at diffent styles. Likewise, there are always plenty of dress suppliers at a show, and this was no exception. Great to browse dress styles if you are still undecided. The show was also great to find a bespoke dress designer that reflects your style - there were quite a few of them.

    However, for those who went there to try dresses on, only a handful of wedding dress suppliers had changing facilities, so for most of them, it was a display and network opportunity. I found that there was enough for me to look around (around 135 exhibitor stands), as personally I don't like to have to browse for hours, but my husband, who accompanied me with his critical eye, thought it was rather small. But that's because he's comparing with the large shows in Birmingham and London.  

    Wedding Dresses and Accessories Trends

    Wedding Dresses At Tatton ParkPerhaps because I am currently very inspired by vintage, I found quite a few vintage style dresses - 1920's styles, 1950's short full skirts, and lots of vintage inspired jewellery and accessories. This wasn't a vintage show, but the 'new' stuff was quite influenced by old styles. And there was even a fabulous vintage jewellery supplier exhibiting with gorgeous 1920's statement pieces.  

    The two piece dress was also quite popular. This is a fairly new thing, but I'm definitely seeing more and more of mock-two-pieces (a one piece dress that looks like a top and skirt), actual two pieces, crop top with a full skirt, or dress with a short top layered on top.

    White has disappeared completely from the scenes now, and even ivory is now being replaced with its darker cousins - shades of cafe latte, very light coffee, light old gold, gold, and dark vintage ivory. Beading is rife! There was lots and lots of it, in many different shades of coffee, gold and silver. Just a couple of examples are shown in the stand on the left. Matching the vintage and darker tones, there were also lots of golden hair accessories, with a vintage look.  

    Food and Venue

    In terms of cakes, another gone thing seems to be the classic fruit cake. Now it is lush salted caramel instead. Or a cheese three tiered cake. Both totally yum, depending on whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savoury. 

    And the venue decorations! Phew, I didn't see a lot of minimalists there.  Full on, decadent, bursting with quirky decorations, table and venues were definitely 'dressed' for a party. Small decorations were only accompanied by large displays (have a look at the snowy scene of orchids and hydrangeas by Red Floral Architecture below to show what I mean). And large displays were accompanied by even larger, fuller displays!  Definitely lots to take in, and get ideas from. 

     Flower display Venue dressing

    My favourite find of the day though, was menswear bespoke designer Richard Smith. How fabulous is this jacket and waistcoat set?!! That was worth the muddy walk through the fields over the rainy weekend, and the risk of our car being stuck in the mud and having to be pulled out. 

    bespoke suit Richard Smith