Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Outside the Asylum

The main purpose of this blog is to bring you all useful, helpful and relevant information on anything wedding related, and the occasional bit of frivolity or personal bits. Weddings, civil ceremonies and other celebrations take a good deal of planning, time and money, so it's very important that you have exactly the day you want so that you can look back on the whole experience with pleasure and happiness rather than wishing it could have been different.

You may follow a religion and be happy to get married in your regular place of worship, or you may be looking for something a bit different. Some register offices are lovely I'm sure but some are probably rather business like and impersonal and may have a kind of production line feel to them. You might want something a bit more than just a quick register office ceremony but not a full blown religious service, today Rev. Brendan Johnson, an Interfaith Minister, offers some words of help and advice.

Photos, check. Flowers, check. Ceremony…..?

Did you know that you can have a bespoke ceremony, designed to reflect your beliefs, without having to go through the dogma of a service you may not believe in, or the sterility of the Civil wording? I’m a Minister with the One SpiritInterfaith Foundation  and there are nearly 500 of us, and there are lots more Independent Celebrants in the UK. Whilst (at the moment) it is only the Official registrar who can ‘legally’ marry someone, many more couples are finding that they can do the ‘legal bit’ separately, and are opting for a more personalised service (literally!) answers some of the question you might have.

An independent Celebrant is able to work with couples to really work out what they want to say to one another and isn’t limited by one creed or dogma, if you want Hindu Scriptures, Islamic poetry and Bon Jovi, why not? It’s YOUR day! If you want to include any kind of element that you’ve seen elsewhere, you can. Our job is to deliver what you want from a ceremony, so please do consider one of the many Independent Celebrants available. Most couples put a lot of thought into the details of the ceremony, i.e. cakes, flowers, dresses, cars, and so on, but don’t really realise that they can do so much more than just writing a few words of their own to be included in a load of promises to a God they don’t necessarily believe in.

You can see if there’s a Minister near you (and there probably is) by searching here or you can email my wife and I and we’ll be happy to help.
Rev. Brendan Johnson & Rev. Becky Johnson

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Getting Your Groove Back

As regular readers will know, I am a big fan of Twitter. I have been rather snowed under with work recently so have been very quiet there lately but yesterday and today I have my Tweetdeck open so can occasionally catch the odd thread of an interesting conversation or topic whilst tying gorgeous red ribbon on some Orders of Service for Kate and David's wedding this coming Saturday. I have been sent a link by a friend on Twitter to a new blog hop/linky (which is completely new to me) concerned with helping mums to have a personal revival and getting their groove back.

I'm extremely lucky to be able to do what I love and get paid for it - for me it's not about how much money I can earn, it's more about helping others to have beautiful stationery and enabling me to have the lifestyle I want, which is to work from home, being a wife and mother and looking after my mad, sometimes naughty but always loveable LilGuys. Sometimes even my enthusiasm needs a little boost, I need to find my mojo, to get my creative juices flowing again. This can come in various ways, sometimes a walk over the fields with the LGs on a sunny day is enough to boost spirits (a walk on a sunny day and returning home with ALL the LGs in one go sends the spirits soaring into orbit!), sometimes it takes a bit more.

In her blog Kate asks two questions this week:
1. What song would it be best to play a lot while attempting to get your groove  back?
A. For me it's not so much one song in particular, but to make sure the radio's on, LOUD, and to sing along to everything and to dance in a stupid way for the LGs and make myself laugh!

2. What can you do to make your body feel better this week?
A. Even a very short walk of 10-15 minutes will get your blood pumping and even if you only manage to do it once this week it will be better than not at all.

Last week I signed up for a silver jewellery making course. Over the course of the last couple of years I have noticed that there are very few suppliers of embellishments for making stationery, with the result that we all tend to use the same things, albeit in different ways. I have sourced and imported some different sparkly embellishments myself that are not available through the normal suppliers, but I'd like to be able to go even further and create my own designs. So, the course will hopefully give me new technical skills which I'll be able to use to this end, and in the process I'll be making some birthday and Christmas presents. I was quite surprised at how excited I was and how positive I felt after signing up for this course - perhaps I just prevented my mojo from disappearing for a while, I certainly hadn't realised that my groove was in need of recouping! Whatever, I have had a new spring in my step since then and can't wait to complete my current orders so that I can get on with some more designing - especially as I discovered a local supplier of sparkly beads etc., and indulged myself a tiny bit with some lovely new bits and pieces!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

High Society from Tantrums & Tiaras

In July Kelly from Tantrums and Tiaras gave us some valuable words of advice which would apply to anyone in any line of work, not just the lovely sparkly world of weddings. This morning at LG HQ it's drizzly and very definitely Autumn, so in need of something gorgeous and sparkly to cheer the day up I'm very pleased to be able to share with you Kelly's new collection.
Tantrums and Tiaras are delighted to announce the launch of their new collection ‘High Society’ which is perfect to add that grand final touch to your special day’s ensemble. As ever with our pieces the new collection are designed and entirely handmade by Designer/Director Kelly Scully.

Speaking at the recent photo shoot that took place at the beautiful 5 star country setting of ‘The Vineyard’ at Stockcross, Kelly said “following the huge success of our ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ collection creating the ‘High Society’ collection has been amazing.  It is tailored to send brides down the aisle with a touch of Hollywood glamour and class”
‘High Society’ made its premiere recently at ‘The Essential Collection’ but had been flying out of the door even before the launch. Kelly explained ‘No sooner had I created new pieces for the new collection than brides would fall in love with them having seen them during our consultations, I just couldn’t say no. Jaynee and Ellie in particular have been unbelievably popular so far.”
Having started as a hobby following illness in 2005 we have grown into an award winning business, trading online, one to one studio consultations and selling to the trade, stocking a range of retail outlets, including award winning boutiques such as Ellie Sanderson and Creatiques Bridal Couture and many more both nationally and internationally.  

For more beautifully created jewellery for any special occasion, not just weddings, visit Kelly's website, her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Favor Haven

On Saturday we held an End of Summer party for friends at home - aptly named as it would appear! Although it was warm we had at least two downpours which had us abandoning shelter under the gazebo and running for the kitchen, then on Monday we had the mother of all hoolies which had the rain being driven almost horizontally across the fields. So, on Tuesday I very happily settled down in jeans and a very thick jumper to make snowflake themed Christmas cards (which are available through my boutique on Gift Wrapped and Gorgeous). Bizarrely today I'm back in a sundress and the sun has already burnt off the mist so it's going to be a glorious September day!

Our guest blogger today also has winter themes on her mind (so it's not just me!) with suggestions for favors.....

Winter Wedding Favors

It may seem a little too soon to be talking about Winter when the kids have just gone back to school after the summer holidays (what summer do I hear you ask?) but when planning a wedding, we all know that old chestnut about failing to plan is planning to fail so it’s no surprise that Winter Brides are already planning their Reception D├ęcor and a small but important consideration is the Wedding Favours.  Some may view this as a new fad from across ‘The Pond’ but actually it dates from medieval times. Traditionally 5 almonds in a box signifying health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity, modern couples are increasingly looking for something more unusual, pretty and practical to give their guests,  some of whom may have come long distances, possibly crossed continents (and almost certainly spent a small fortune on a new outfit!) to give their love and support on the Special Day.

Favour Haven specialises in affordable Designer Favours for men, women and children.  Stylish, unusual and practical, our Winter Range is particularly gorgeous combining the beauty of crystal and snowflakes to reflect the season. 
Couples are also keen to personalise their Favours and one of the nicest ways is the personalised Seeded Paper Favour Tags; rather than throw them away guests can plant them and watch them grow into wildflowers – it’s a great way to say ‘thank you for being there’ and guests can enjoy them long after winter has fled and the sun has returned.  
Seeded Paper Favor

Many thanks to Deborah, please do visit her website for fabulous favor ideas for any time of the year! You can also find her on Facebook so why not go and support her there too?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Manic Stage Productions

I watch quite a lot of wedding TV (all in the name of research you understand!) and The First Dance seems to attract quite a lot of attention. My parents used to attend regular dinner dances at a time when it was in vogue, and they no doubt had dancing lessons at school which meant that even if they weren't Fred & Ginger they could certainly get by without treading on too many toes! My wedding to Mr LG was a distinctly relaxed affair more in the Country Garden Party vein than formal reception so we didn't have to worry about a First Dance (thankfully for the sake of Mr LG's toes!). If we had gone down the more formal route I would definitely have needed lessons - in fact I suspect that we would have had a surprise choreographed number! Today we hear from a company that can help if, like me, you have two left feet or need a little polish!
Manic Stage Productions will help create magical movements to compliment your choice of music, style and ability. Our friendly, young and enthusiastic team of professional teachers and choreographers will even be happy to teach you in the comfort of your own home. There is no charge for us to meet up to discuss your requirements, so why not give us a call today to arrange your meeting. And don't worry even if you've had no dance experience before we will make your first dance a dance to remember!

Our two videos demonstrate and explain all of the options

Iain and Sarah's First Dance

Visit Manic Stage Productions website for full details, find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Wedding Keepsake Booklets

What happens to all the wedding stationery after the big day? Whilst some guests will collect all the different items and keep them for a while, most probably ends up in the bin fairly quickly. Lil’Guy have recently been producing booklets containing the full marriage ceremony wording plus the Order of the Day, menu and thank you messages from the bride and groom.
22 Page Wedding Keepsake Booklet

Using top quality materials such as Grade A rhinestone buckles and embellishments, genuine Swarovski crystals, gorgeous ribbons and flowers these Keepsake Booklets make a wonderful memento for guests which is far less likely to just be ditched.

The card used in both the budget and bespoke stationery at Lil’Guy is obtained direct from the manufacturer, who use world-renowned mills and the sustainable forests are FSC certificated. The pulp is elementally chlorine free, which essentially means that the bleaching agent is not released into the environment but is continually reused.

The booklets can be supplied boxed or loose for handing out at the church or venue.