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Village Fashion

Day of your dreams…

Posted on January 20 2009 at 2:31:40 0 comments

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An engaging selection of local wedding ideas & suppliers…

Blackwell travel consultant Jane Ward offers hints and tips on enjoying the perfect honeymoon, at home or abroad…

According to a recent travel industry survey, some 20 per cent of couples from the UK choose to marry abroad.  With the spiralling costs of a wedding at home – the average spend being approximately £20,000 compared to £6,000 for tying the knot abroad – it’s hardly surprising.

The choice is endless, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Far East. New destinations this year include Zanzibar, Costa Rica, Aruba, Nevis and the Cook Islands. Many countries have cut the amount of red tape involved, particularly the reduction of residency requirements.

If you are looking for something different to the traditional white wedding, how about getting married whilst flying over the Grand Canyon, or at the top of the Empire State building? You could get hitched in a hot air balloon, at a game reserve, a plantation or a historical site… or choose an Elvis-themed ceremony!

Honeymoon destinations don’t have to be limited to simply relaxing on a pristine beach soaking up the sun. Trends show that many couples like a more adventurous honeymoon, perhaps a twin centre, combining the beach with some city sightseeing.

Some prefer an action-packed holiday featuring extreme sports and adventures, horse riding, cycling or 4x4 explorations. Or how about a safari, staying in tented camps with luxury outdoor bathrooms, enjoying bush breakfasts and dinners under the stars?

When booking your honeymoon, always check what the weather will be like at your chosen destination – if you arrive at your water bungalow and it’s the rainy season, you probably won’t be very happy.

For advice, suggestions and prices contact Jane on 0121 445 3605.

Although brides and grooms can choose their honeymoon destination according to their preferred climate, whether it be wall-to-wall sunshine or a beautiful blanket of snow, those who are getting married here in Blighty know that their wedding-day weather is the one factor they can’t control.

Summer weddings remain the most popular, not just because the season was traditionally seen as the most romantic but because there’s half a chance of decent weather – although this is by no means guaranteed. A friend of mine has chosen a January wedding, partly because she won’t be expecting good weather and therefore won’t be disappointed!

NEC Wedding Show

While a dry, sunny day would be most people’s dream, there are plenty of ways to incorporate less clement weather into your wedding plans. You could create a talking point by equipping the wedding party with special umbrellas, either matching your colour scheme or the clear ‘birdcage’ kind.

There are in fact a number of companies that supply umbrellas specifically for weddings, from large white or ivory golfing umbrellas to personalised designs – plus of course, traditional parasols for romantic brides. Check out ideas at http://www.wedding-umbrellas.co.uk, http://www.brolliesgalore.co.uk and http://www.freestoneinnovations.co.uk, or hire from http://www.hire-a-brolly.co.uk

Taking the rainy-day theme a step further, some bridal parties even opt to wear wellies on route to the church, changing into more traditional shoes once indoors! Eye-catching designs are available at http://www.funky-wellington-boots.co.uk, and you can find special wedding wellies at http://www.marshahall.com and http://www.foreverafter.co.uk

If it’s likely to be chilly, consider adding a complementary cover-up such as a bolero jacket, pashmina or cape. These are all available in a variety of colours, and a winter wedding is the ideal excuse to wear a faux-fur wrap and perhaps a pair of stylish gloves.

If you are going to be wearing a long dress, especially one with a train, check that it has a loop attached so that you can hitch it up easily. If the ground outside the venue is wet or muddy, you could bring along a sheet or piece of carpet to stand on during the photographs.

Decide in advance what you will do if the weather is too bad for photos to be taken outdoors – good photographers will talk through a wet-weather plan with you, and your reception venue is bound to have some attractive indoor locations. However, if you’ve set your heart on photos featuring sunshine, remember that you can always set up a second photo-shoot at a later, sunnier date, giving you an excuse to dress up all over again!

In practical terms, make sure your wedding car has a roof which could be deployed in the event of a shower – in fact, enclosed vehicles are the most sensible option if you want to keep your hairstyle pristine. Obviously, choosing a style that’s easy to maintain and will stay in place all day despite the weather means you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

If your reception is taking place in a marquee, check what sort of floor it will have and whether it can be heated if necessary. If your guests will have to walk on grass or uneven ground between a main building and a marquee, or from a carpark, find out if the venue will provide some sort of matting to avoid ruining everyone’s shoes.

The venue itself is of course one of the key components of your big day, and with more and more places holding a licence for civil ceremonies, there are now a huge number of options available to brides and grooms.

Whether your wedding and reception is taking place at a modern hotel, an historic manor house or your own home, you can have the venue ‘styled’ to suit your individual theme, with a little help from Ambience Venue Styling. The popular company now covers the South Birmingham area, thanks to Barnt Green entrepreneur Rachael Clark who has recently launched the franchise – fulfilling her dream of working with couples to make their day truly unique.

Ambience specialises in a wide variety of all-important finishing touches, such as chair covers (ideal if your venue has chairs that don’t match your colour scheme), table linen, sashes, wedding favours and plants, all tailored to meet each couple’s requirements. Rachael also offers expert advice on choosing colour schemes and room layouts – meaning less stress and hassle for the couple, who can rely on Rachael to create a stunning effect.

“Professional venue styling makes a huge difference to any occasion,” says Rachael. “The best part of my job is seeing the couple’s joy and elation when they see all their finishing touches in place.”

For more info or a free consultation call Rachael on 0800 043 9179.

Couples planning a wedding will be pleased to learn that Wedding World UK – the UK’s only one-stop wedding shop – is about to open in Barnt Green. As well as a huge range of bridal dresses and accessories, men’s suit hire and wedding rings, the company prides itself on offering “every other wedding service imaginable”, with the convenience of being able to plan and purchase all aspects of the big day under one roof. The shop also incorporates Prom World.

Wedding World UK is holding its grand opening on Saturday February 7, when everyone is welcome to pop along and see the array of products and services for themselves. Look out for photos of the event and a full feature in next month’s Village.

If you’re attending a glamorous wedding in the coming months, either as a member of the wedding party or a guest at the reception, you’ll be pleased to learn that Continental Collection in Barnt Green is now offering the debut occasionwear collection by Ian Stuart.

The renowned designer, who has won British Bridalwear Designer of the Year five times running, has launched an exclusive collection that will provide inspiration for mothers of the bride and groom, evening guests or even non-traditional brides themselves.

Customers at Continental Collection can view samples in all colours and in sizes 8–20, as well as browsing a catalogue of designs, while Continental’s own models will be displaying the outfits on the boutique’s website.

The Ian Stuart collection is only available in independent boutiques – Continental Collection is one of just 25 stockists across the UK and the only one in the Midlands. This level of exclusivity will no doubt be appreciated by the many loyal customers who already enjoy the wide variety of top labels available at the Hewell Road shop.

As well as occasionwear, Continental also stocks beautiful gowns for bridesmaids and for school proms, and with more than 20 years’ experience in the fashion business, this established boutique is ideally placed to help you find the perfect outfit and accessories for any occasion.

We are lucky in the local area to have plenty of businesses and services that can provide inspiration for many aspects of a wedding. In Barnt Green, recently-opened menswear boutique Capella offers a wide selection of designer labels and stylish accessories – you’ll find suits for the wedding party, cutting-edge smart-casual for younger male guests and gift ideas for the best man and ushers.

Also in Barnt Green, Oasis creates beautiful floral arrangements, bouquets and corsages for weddings, with a huge choice of colours and varieties available to match your theme. And don’t forget that Oasis offers free local delivery.

Finally, if you’re seeking entertainment for your reception, Cofton Hackett guitarist Stuart Toogood can be hired to play sophisticated background music, including pop standards and songs from the musicals – a delightful way to entertain guests during the photographs, the receiving line, the meal or any time in between. SO


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