100 Ways To Personalise

100 Ways To Personalise Your Wedding by www.beforethebigday.co.uk

Prepare yourselves for 100 incredible hot tips on how to make your wedding stand out from the crowd. Too many weddings are same-y and unoriginal, and this Before the Big Day mega-list is your way to make sure your wedding doesn’t fall into the same trap. It’s a mixture of my ideas and those from the fantastic UKAWP wedding planners, who answered this wedding blogger’s call with a storm of wedding ideas and inspiration. UKAWP promotes professionalism in wedding planning in the UK, so if you’re thinking of hiring a planner, you know where to go to find a good one. There’s tonnes of incredible wedding inspiration in this list, so do share the love and forward it to all your engaged friends. So…. what are you waiting for?…..Scroll on down for a wedding ideas overload!!

{Photo Credit} Jose Villa
♥ Wedding Details  ♥
1. Think about what you love to do together and build that into your day. If you love to read, stack old hardback books on the tables to create mini-stands for your flowers, if you love chocolate {and who doesn’t} how about sending out Willy Wonka inspired ‘gold tickets’ as your wedding invites? {Victoria Gordon, Without A Hitch Wedding Consultancy}
2. Turn the wedding day on its head. Instead of starting the day with the ceremony, have it in the evening before dinner. This way you get to greet all your guests, and you’ll feel much more relaxed as you walk down the aisle. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
3. Put together ‘welcome packs’ for out of town guests, giving information on the area together with a little gift. {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}
4. If your guests will have to walk from the ceremony to the reception,  consider providing them each with a single coloured helium filled  balloon that matches your colour scheme. The vision of dozens of  balloons all ‘walking’ their way through a country lane or a town centre  (great way to make sure your guests don’t get lost!) is fantastic and  makes for great photos. Once all of your guests have arrived at the  reception, you could have someone ready to arrange them into two rows  for you to walk through and as you reach each guest, they release the  balloon into the sky, again fantastic for your photo album! {Ruth  Hunter, Finesse Planning}

{Photo Credit} Jonathan Ong
5. Set up a craft area where guests can make something to take home (e.g. a brooch or bow tie). {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}
6. Choose a signature cocktail and give it a memorable name. {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}
7. If you’re having a Christmas wedding, ask each of your guests to bring a bauble for a Christmas tree. You’ll use them on your tree every year, and it’ll be a fantastic annual reminder of your wedding. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
8. Consider alternatives to the traditional wedding car. Many of my brides this summer have opted to walk to the venue when staying locally in the town. For those not so keen to risk the great British weather, I have had brides arrive in an array of vehicles from vintage Minis to a brand new Range Rover, thanks to a kind and generous friend/family member who was happy to act as chauffeur. {Claire Davies, Simply Perfection Weddings}

{Photo Credit} Mario Testino
9. Arrange family wedding photos, going back as far as you can, in vintage frames and display them at your ceremony or reception – it will provide a talking point for guests and create a lovely decorative feature. {Nicola Jones, Brighton Wedding Planner}
10. Ask your guests to circle words in a dictionary to remind you of their wedding day. Then ask them to write a message on a bookmark to explain why they picked each word. You’ll always need a dictionary in your home, and you’ll cherish this one forever. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
11. Rather than getting your guests to sign a traditional guest book, you could get them all to sign some pottery such as a large platter. This will give you a lovely and unusual keepsake of your day which you can display in your home afterwards. {Kerry at Snap Dragon Weddings}
12. Tuck handwritten notes into the napkins for your guests – write about your favourite memory together or simply tell them what they mean to you. {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}

13. What is your favourite book or film? Could it work as the basis of a wedding theme? I’ve seen fantastic weddings themed around the film ‘Up’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’. We themed our wedding around The Secret Garden. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
14. Instead of a traditional guest book, you could leave a card and pen at everyone’s place setting, with each one having a different sentence to complete such as, love is…, top tips for a happy marriage, or asking them to jot down a favourite memory of you both. {Melanie, Cranberry Blue Weddings}
15. Include your pets in your big day, either in person {doggy ring bearer?}, or as a motif on your menus? You could give dog-shaped chocolate wedding favours, or name your wedding tables after your pets. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Jose Villa
♥ Wedding Favours ♥
16. Create personalised fortune tellers for each guest. Instead of telling fortunes, write them up with fun questions about you as a couple. Then on the back, print the menu. DIY tutorial here. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
17. Get school-style name tape printed with your names and the date of your wedding. Then wrap up all your favours and bouquets with it! {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
18. As an alternative to favours {which can become costly as the guest list rises}, donate to a charity which is close to your heart. Charities will often send pin badges and cards for each guest explaining that money has been donated in replacement of a favour. {Claire Davies, Simply Perfection Weddings}
19. Personalised button badges and old-fashioned 3D glasses make great favours, and fantastic photo props too! {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
20. Ask your florist to design the table centres with multiple mini vases which guests can then take away with them at the end of the night, so they double up as favours and a lovely memento of your wedding day. {Stacey-Marie Chalk, Cherry Topped}

{Photo Credit} Marianne Taylor Photography
21. If the two of you love cooking, then why not create a little pamphlet of your favourite recipes, as a wedding favour. Or a list of your favourite restaurants? You could add little notes like ‘This is where X proposed’. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
22. Only invest in favours if you really love them. Guests will only remember the truly great ideas. To save money, how about having a hen night at home making favours such as home-made jam, flapjacks or chocolate truffles? You can save money and have fun with your favourite ladies at the same time! {Kim Price at Roseberry Weddings}
23. Give your guests fancy-dress favours. Stick-on moustaches and silly glasses will raise a laugh, and get your guests talking to each other. {Georgia Tolley, Before the  Big Day Wedding Blog}
24. Make your favours – bake cookies, make jam or brew up lemonade, and  bottle it with personalised labels. {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}

{Photo Credit} via Ritzy Bee
25. Horse shoe wedding favours represent how lucky you feel to have found each other, and every guest goes home a little luckier. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
26. If you can’t get going without a cup of coffee in the morning, give each guest a mug containing a little bag of your favourite grind. This works for tea too. Ikea sells mugs for about a £1 each. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
♥ Wedding Decorations 
27. Decorate your venue with hundreds of paper lanterns. They’re cheap and cheerful, and you can always sell them on after your wedding. If you tie in tiny LED lights, they’ll even glow after dark. Friends of mine bought all of theirs from here. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
28. If you’re getting married on a farm or in the countryside, use straw bales as seats. If you cover them with old tablecloths, it’ll fit in with a vintage-themed wedding.  {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Nikole Ramsay   29. Using unusual containers for flowers, such as old fashioned bottles, jugs and glass jars, can add a lovely kitsch look and can be picked up for a bargain at charity shops or boot sales. {Victoria Gordon, Without A Hitch Wedding Consultancy}
30. Bright table cloths can make a real splash at your wedding reception. Choose a colour to contrast with the flowers and napkins. {Georgia Tolley, Before the   Big Day Wedding Blog}
31. Use fruit instead of flowers to decorate your wedding tables. Paper bags filled with cherries, or baskets filled with apples make a fantastic display, and your guests can either eat them, or take them home as favours. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Jose Villa
32. Children’s blackboards are a great way to communicate with your guests. Write little messages like ‘Love is Sweet’ or ‘All You Need is Love’. You could also use a large one for the menu. {Georgia Tolley, Before the  Big Day Wedding Blog}
33. Have you considered getting married at night? You could say your vows by candlelight, and then lead your guests in for an evening reception. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
34. Paper is a great way to decorate your wedding venue. Not only is it  cheap, but it’s incredibly versatile. DIY your bunting, pompoms, and  streamers. For tutorials, search the wedding blogs. {Georgia Tolley, Before the  Big Day Wedding Blog}

35. Christmas weddings can allow couples to be more creative with décor  and centre pieces by using Christmas decorations in the shops and  incorporating these into the day. Often with winter weddings, couples  can spend less on flowers and maximise the offerings already in place in  the venue. {Claire Davies, Simply Perfection Weddings}
36. Use ribbon or lace to decorate your ceremony and reception. Wrap ribbon around candles and napkins, or use it to decorate the aisle and canapés trays, etc. {Erikia Unbehaun, Flutterby Events}
♥ Wedding Flowers 
37. Instead  of carrying a bouquet, ask your florist to make you a crown of flowers.  It’ll give your wedding a pagan feel. Bridesmaids could be given  corsages instead of bouquets in another twist on the norm.  {Georgia  Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Caught the Light
38. Make use of your mother or grandmother’s jewellery by pinning it to your bouquet. It’ll make your posy so much more personal, dress it up and act as your something borrowed. {Isabel at Isabel Smith Wedding Design}
39. Instead of the usual fresh cut flowers, how about using herbs or unusual pot plants to make a nice arrangement. Guests can then take parts of your display home with them at the end of the day. {Victoria Gordon, Without A Hitch Wedding Consultancy}
40. Make your bouquet personal to you by choosing a flower that has a special meaning. {Melanie, Cranberry Blue Weddings}

{Photo Credit} Martin Hambleton
. If you’re worried that your wedding flower budget is getting out of control, keep things simple by just picking one cheap bloom. Clouds of carnations or baby’s breath look just as beautiful as more expensive mixed bouquets of roses and peonies. {Georgia Tolley, Before the  Big Day Wedding Blog}
42. Choose flowers that are in season to keep the cost down. If you have plenty of time and some garden space available you could even think about growing some English country garden style flowers yourself. Not only would they look lovely, but the garden would then be a fantastic reminder of your wedding day too. {Kerry at Snap Dragon Weddings}
43. What about an alternative wedding bouquet? I’ve seen them made from butterflies, buttons, paper, flowers created from coca-cola drinks cans, lollipops and more…. {Victoria Gordon, Without A Hitch Wedding Consultancy}
44. Try to be clever with the decoration pieces that you are using for the wedding to maximise their use. Can the flowers be moved from the church and repositioned? Are there vases that could be used for the bridesmaids bouquets in the wedding breakfast room?  {Caroline Hale, Pomp and Ceremony Planning}
♥ Wedding Venues 
45. If your wedding is going to span the whole day, your guests will appreciate a separate space to the revelry, where they can relax for a while. Personalise this area by having a screen showing you and your partner’s favourite romantic movies. {Isabel at Isabel Smith Wedding Design}

{Photo Credit} Caught the Light
Choose an unusual venue for your wedding – from steam trains to aquariums, there’s a world of choice out there for something completely different. Or you could hold your reception in a stylish restaurant for a sophisticated and unusual wedding celebration. {Nicola Jones, Brighton Wedding Planner}
47. Consider a weekday or Sunday wedding. Venues often offer lower rates for these days and it may just enable you to afford that perfect venue that was previously just out of budget! Dont worry so much about people taking a day off work, those who love you will do it in a heartbeat. {Kim Price at Roseberry Weddings}
48. If you’re worried about having to invite large amounts of family members, choose to have a destination wedding. It’ll immediately bring down the guest list to only your nearest and dearest.  {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
49. Hire your local village hall for a vintage, old-school feel. Dress the room with family and friend or you cut costs even further and go outdoors…providing blankets for people to sit on and have a wedding picnic. {Jane, Planned for Perfection}
50. For a truly unique wedding, the best setting is a dry hire venue – one where you literally just rent the four walls. You can then fill it with things you have chosen yourself – right down to the cutlery, meaning your day will be a true reflection of you and totally different to every other wedding. This type of wedding takes a lot more organisation and shopping around, especially if you are on a tight budget, but is well worth the effort. {Isabel at Isabel Smith Wedding Design}
51. Consider making yours a winter wedding. Venues and suppliers often offer lower rates for off-peak weddings. Not only will you save money across a lot of areas, but you’re more likely to get a higher turn-out for your celebrations, when you’re not competing with the rush of summer weddings and holidays. {Kim Price at Roseberry Weddings}

{Photo Credit} Laura Babb
♥ Wedding Entertainment 
52. If you need a performer or an artist, why not call upon your local drama academy or art school. They will be much cheaper and they will so appreciate the opportunity. {Rachyeta Singh, RS Wedding Consultants}
53. If you want to have some unique touches at your wedding, allocate some money in your budget for it. There are a lot of things you could have, but do you really need a chocolate fountain, ice cream tricycle, caricaturist, magician, candy bar, fireworks and a photo booth? Just pick one! {Caroline Gould, Endless Love Wedding Planners}
54. To help break the ice at dinner, why not have your Best Man host a quiz about you both? Each table would work together as a team, and you could offer a prize for the winner. {Melanie, Cranberry Blue Weddings & Ruth Hunter, Finesse Planning}
55. Make the arrival of the wedding cake an event, by asking your caterers to turn down the lights and bring it in decorated with indoor fireworks. At our wedding, we even asked the DJ to play ‘Eye of the Tiger’! {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Martin Hambleton 56. Set up a guest booth with personalised props and/or boards for your guests to write messages to you on. {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}
57. Instead of a DJ, get all your guests to choose 3 or 4 ‘floor fillers’ that they love and collate them into an iPod playlist. That way you can have purely music you love, and know everyone will enjoy. {Rachyeta Singh, RS Wedding Consultants & Nicola Jones, Brighton Wedding Planner}
58. To help introduce guests to one another and add an element of cheeky fun, write a short but funny ‘one liner’ about each guest on the back of their place card. People will then ask what their ‘one liner’ means and it works brilliantly at breaking the ice. Alternatively, if you have a group of friends on one table, they’ll all understand the little jokes and it really gets the atmosphere going. {Ruth Hunter, Finesse Planning}
♥ Wedding Food 
59. Maximise your wedding cake by incorporating this into your wedding breakfast and serve as dessert. If your venue is happy to allow this, you can save considerably per head. In addition to this, you  could also ask the venue to ‘dress’ the plates so the cake is served with fresh berries and cream at a fraction of the standard dessert price. Cupcakes also work well for this option too! {Claire Davies, Simply Perfection Weddings}

{Photo Credit} Nikole Ramsay 60. Consider having your speeches during your drinks reception when the champagne or prosecco is flowing, this has the double benefit of helping your wedding party to relax for the rest of the day, and means that you can save on an additional glass of bubbly during your wedding breakfast. {Stacey-Marie Chalk, Cherry Topped}
61. Rather than having a traditional wedding cake you could decide to serve chocolates and your favourite drink as a night cap later on in the evening. You could also set up a tasting bar for guests to sample different varieties. {Melanie, Cranberry Blue Weddings}
62. Dessert tables are a hugely popular trend right now. If your budget  won’t stretch to having yours professionally catered, why not ask 4 or 5  friends who are handy in the kitchen to bake some goodies as your  wedding present. You can then put your own DIY decoration skills to use  to create a stunning – and much more personal – display. {Isabel at Isabel Smith Wedding Design}
63. Cocktails are actually cheaper than straight champagne. So choose a Bellini as your signature cocktail, and mix it with prosecco. No one will ever know the difference. {Georgia Tolley, Before the   Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Jose Villa
64. What’s your favourite late-night snack? Serve it at midnight to all your guests. Hello mini-pots of Haagen Daas!
65. Instead of having a traditional wedding cake, why not ask your guests to take part in a Cakey Bakey! Each guest can bring any type of cake, the more extravagant the better, and the bride and groom will judge the cakes on the day. They can then hand out awards/rosettes during the speeches and have different categories. The winning cake is then used as their cutting cake! {Ruth Hunter, Finesse Planning}
66. Food and beverage is a large percentage of your wedding budget, so if you’re struggling to cut down on guest numbers then why not have a later ceremony followed by an elegant black tie affair with cocktails, canapés and bowl food instead of a 3 course sit down meal. {Stacey-Marie Chalk, Cherry Topped}
67. Keep it seasonal – from food to flowers, this will reduce your costs and ensure your wedding is in keeping with the weather and time of year. Hold a BBQ in the summer and have an open fire with marshmallows in the winter to make the most of your day. {Nicola Jones, Brighton Wedding Planner}
68. Instead of a dessert or sweet table, you could have a fun DIY station to decorate your own cupcakes. There could be a variety of different and more usual flavours with a selection of icings and toppings.{Melanie, Cranberry Blue Weddings}
♥ Wedding Ceremony Ideas 
69. As part of your wedding ceremony, seal love letters and a bottle of wine in a box. You could even hammer it closed! The idea is that if you’re having trouble in your marriage in the future, you can open it up and be reminded of what brought you together. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
70. Write your own vows, keeping it relevant to your life together. {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}

{Photo Credit} via The Loveliest Day
71. If you’ve got page boys, give them flags saying ‘Here Comes the Bride’, and encourage them to walk down the aisle ahead of you and your father. It’ll get everyone smiling, and take the focus off you a bit.  {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
72. Not everyone gets married in a church, but you might want to create your own ‘alter’ as a focus for the wedding ceremony. There are tonnes of ways of doing this, from hanging multicoloured ribbons, or crepe paper, a gorgeous piece of fabric, or lots of paper pompoms. I’ve even seen it with birdcages and lanterns hanging from a tree. Anything to create a focal point. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
73. If you’re not working down a traditional aisle, why not create a circular, snail-shaped one. That way all your guests get a good look at you as you walk down the aisle, and you’ll say your vows in the centre of all your friends and family. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
74. Create a fun and unique ceremony procession. Walk down the aisle to one of your modern favourites then mix up the running order a bit so guests are left surprised and stunned! {Erikia Unbehaun, Flutterby Events & Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}
75. If you already have children try to involve them in the ceremony. Many celebrants can adapt your wedding ceremony to include a blessing for you all becoming a family as well as the marriage. You may find that they will include this in the price too! {Caroline Gould, Endless Love Wedding Planners}

{Photo Credit} Martin Hambleton

♥ Wedding Stationery 
76. I love seeing personal touches at weddings so how about making your own  invitations and hand writing them? The hand written word is very rare  nowadays and your guests would really appreciate the personal touch -  and you might even save some money in the process! {Caroline Gould, Endless Love Wedding Planners}
77. Have an engagement shoot and use the photos for your ‘Save the Date’ cards and/or table numbers {Suzie Prout, RSVP Wedding}
78. Toss out traditional save-the-dates and create a home made video with information on your upcoming wedding. Send a DVD to each prospective guest. {Erikia Unbehaun, Flutterby Events}
79. Your wedding stationery sets the tone of the day, but unique creations are rarely economical. You could look at creating a ‘wedsite’ instead – a totally personalised wedding website which allows you to send your invitations, track your RSVPs and gift list as well as keep guests informed of the travel and accommodation details. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get extra environmental kudos for going green! {Isabel at Isabel Smith Wedding Design}

{Photo Credit} Stone Crandall Photography
80. Think outside the box for how you print your wedding stationery. Why use paper, when you could use plywood, fabric or even balloons {the invitation appears as you blow up the balloon}. Some of my favourite Save the Dates have come printed on tea-towels and magnets. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
♥ Wedding Budgeting Tips 
81. Budget! Budget! Budget! Budgeting may be the least fun, and most difficult part of planning to face, but budgeting early and honestly will mean you steer clear of exposing yourself to ideas you can’t afford. Establishing a sound budget that reflects what is most important to you as a couple will ensure you get the most out of every penny you spend! {Kim Price at Roseberry Weddings}
82. Let your guests send you packing with honeymoney. Honeymoon gift list sites can be a smart way to have guests contribute to  your honeymoon fun. This can save you money on what could be a very  pricey trip, but you can also personalise your web page and have your  guests contribute to different parts of your trip, making this more  unique. {Aimee at Aimee Dunne}

{Photo Credit} Jose Villa 83. It’s the personal touches that can make a wedding unique, so why not think about a workshop activity for your hen do. You could have a fantastic afternoon learning how to arrange flowers or make stationery and then put your new skills to good use for your wedding. {Kerry at Snap Dragon Weddings}
84. Hire a planner! Most brides think that they cost the earth, but we save  you time, money and stress as well as working with you to make your  wedding day unique and ensure that it’s about what you want rather than  what your family think you should have! {Jane, Planned for Perfection}
85. Beg, borrow or steal (ok maybe not steal!). Bridesmaids and friends may have already been married and may have anything from a veil or tiara, to something more unusual or unique that you could ask to use on your day. {Aimee at Aimee Dunne}
86. Hire Don’t Buy. It’s possible to hire beautiful pieces to create unique and quirky decorations, for much less money that it would cost if you bought them yourself. Vintage china looks great for a relaxed tea party theme. {Caroline Hale, Pomp and Ceremony Planning}

{Photo Credit} First Light Wedding Photography
87. Search online for the cheapest suppliers. We found tissue paper for our DIY pompoms for a fraction of the price on eBay, and large round white balloons for much less too. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
88. Use your friends’ talents. Think about any skills your friends might have, from being creative and crafty, having beautiful handwriting, floristry skills, or handy with make-up; you could put these skills to  good use you save on otherwise expensive suppliers. This also adds a unique and personal touch to your day. {Aimee at Aimee Dunne}
89. If your church ceremony is followed by another wedding, discuss with the bride whether it is possible to share flower costs and rental for other props etc. {Rachyeta Singh, RS Wedding Consultants}
90. Instead of buying expensive thank you gifts for parents, attendants and so on you could buy some lovely food and wine and host a dinner party to thank them instead. {Kerry at Snap Dragon Weddings}

91. Think about food miles. Ask your caterers to use only local ingredients from local suppliers when creating your menu. You will find that sourcing food locally cuts down on the food miles and ultimately cuts down the cost. {Caroline Gould, Endless Love Wedding Planners}

{Photo Credit} Rebekah Westover Photography
♥ Ideas for the Groom & Ushers 
92. Don’t just match the ushers ties, buy them matching socks. It makes for fantastic pictures. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
93. Sew a message into the inside of your husband’s jacket. He won’t see it till he’s getting ready, and it’ll be a lovely way to get a message to him before you walk down the aisle. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
94. Write on the soles of your husband’s shoes. If you’re having a church service, when he kneels down for the blessing, the congregation will be able to see your message. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
95. Don’t forget to remind your ushers to decorate your going-away car. Tin cans and an old boot are traditional, but ribbons and pom poms are the new fashion. You’ll need a Just Married sign too. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

{Photo Credit} Amy Carroll Photography
♥ Wedding Dress & Accessories 
96. Don’t buy ‘wedding’ shoes.  There are lots of companies that supply  shoes specifically for weddings.  Why not choose a pair from the high  street? They’ll be less expensive and you could choose a unique colour  to match your theme.  Who says your shoes have to match your  dress?! {Caroline Gould, Endless Love Wedding Planners}
97. Don’t buy a wedding dress. If you’re looking for a really simple  gown, then you might just find a white dress for a fraction of the  price. Remember the word ‘wedding’ often adds 15% to the price. Also,  consider buying your wedding dress second-hand, or from a sample sale.  There’s plenty of websites out there, just google ‘second hand wedding  dresses’. Get in touch with your favourite designer and ask them when  they host their sample sale, or wait until just after Christmas when  everyone reduces their prices. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}
98. Line your wedding shoes with a pattern that fits in with your wedding day. Or stick lucky pennies to the soles. {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

99. If you’re a creative bride (or have creative friends!) consider buying your dress ‘off the peg’ and customising it yourself.  Adding a few special touches can make your dress unique without breaking the budget. {Caroline Gould, Endless Love Wedding Planners}
100. Challenge the norm by wearing a non-white wedding dress. Soft blush and pastel shades are in fashion this season, and there’s a suggestion soft patterns might be in trend for 2014!  Go on, I dare you! {Georgia Tolley, Before the Big Day Wedding Blog}

Cleopatra Stationery


So, if you loved our blog on how to be a Cleopatra bride, we think you would LOVE our wedding stationery!

henna Invitation Standup card & envelope wedding stationery design

henna Invitation Wallet & envelope wedding stationery design









This is our HENNA range, and it is perfect for the Cleopatra trend. Queen Cleopatra was a devoted user of natural henna and make-up powders, creating the entrancing look she has become known for, and the ethnic design of the graphic is truly Egyptian, inspired by hieroglyphics and jewellery of the time.


ribbon4.jpgChoose a co-ordinating ribbon colour to accent your theme and we’ll include it in your stationery design for no extra charge.

We think that the most popular colours for Cleopatra brides are golden hues, sandy colours and pearly creams. In this swatch alone, Orange, Oyster, Ecru and White all have matching tissue papers too! Perfect!


So, what are you waiting for! You’ve got a wedding to plan, and stationery to order!

Ribbon colours shown here, top to bottom:




Cleopatra Bride

It’s no secret in Hollywood that actress, Angelina Jolie, is to play Cleopatra, Egyptian queen of the Nile, in a new film, directed by “Life of Pi” director, Ang Lee. Jolie will be tackling a role that has seen many incarnations and many interpretations: from Shakespeare’s classic “Anthony and Cleopatra” to Elizabeth Taylor’s immortalisation of the role in the 1963 film. Cleopatra is a huge icon to many people and to many sectors of modern life; her influence can be seen in our monarchy today, architecture, fashion, art, music, medicine – to mention but a few.  So we have decided to look at Cleopatra as a wedding influence and a theme. Here’s how we would do it, on our day…

Train hard and get the results you desire



For a Cleopatra bridal feel, you need to go for a dress with detailing; particularly detailing around the neckline. Keep the shape and style of the dress relatively loose-fitting and floaty and you can embellish in your neckline details. This style is perfect for destination weddings, pregnant brides or if you just want to be glam but comfortable! Stick to the colour palette of white/blue/gold.

Team your gorgeous dress (we particularly like Jenny Packham’s ‘Cleopatra’) with a pair of strappy sandals (preferably flat-heeled) and you’re on a roll.

If you’re having a winter wedding, be sure to include a cosy wool shrug or wrap and swap the sandals for warmer pumps!





In almost every interpretation we know of, Cleopatra is depicted as a woman of outstanding natural beauty, of charm and of elegance; she is invariably shown as an elaborate follower of Egyptian fashion and her outfits and make-up reflect the eccentric style of the time. So, long story short: accessorise!

Egyptian make-up of the time was made from forms of henna and clay, so it was actually quite a thick paste, not a look to go for nowadays, but we can certainly draw from it. By picking a shimmer eye-shadow in a azure blue colour, you can emulate the style without going drag! Spread the shadow over your top lip and team with a thick line of liquid kohl eyeliner; use an eyebrow defining pencil to extend the line of your brows and, finally, unless you’ve got very thick eyelashes, add a set of falsies to finish the look. Keep everything else to a natural minimum; let your eye make-up do the work.

Cleopatra has been played by so many women (and men!) over the years that she is a really versatile inspiration; for all shapes, sizes, colours, creeds and types. Here are just a few of the people who have helped shape our view of who Cleopatra might have been and who might help inspire you and your wedding:

"Cleopatra" by J. Gordon Edwards (1917) - Theda Bara

Theda Bara, 1917



In 1917 she was played by Theda Bara. This film version is sadly lost but we do know that at the time it was one of the most elaborate productions ever made, with lavish sets and highly detailed costumes. According to the studio it cost $500,000 (approximately $8.3 million) to make.

The film was loosely based on the plot of William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and was a huge success at the time; however, the Hays Movie Code deemed the film too risqué to be shown due some of Bara’s costumes.

Unfortunately the last two known prints were burnt in the fire at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and only a few fragments survive today.



Claudette Colbert

Claudette Colbert, 1934



Claudette Colbert played Cleopatra in the 1934 Cecil B DeMille film version; unlike the 1917 version, DeMille got away with using more risqué imagery and the film is characterised by its Art Deco look to the extravagant sets and beautiful costumes.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, and was nominated Best Picture, Best Assistant Director, Best Film Editing and Best Sound Recording.





Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra

Vivien Leigh, 1945



Vivien Leigh played Cleopatra in the 1945 British Technicolour version based on the 1901 play by George Bernard Shaw, “Caesar and Cleopatra”.

The film was directed by Gabriel Pascal and was marketed as a romantic comedy. It also started Claude Rains as Caesar.

It is by no means meant to be a historically accurate version, but more of a coming of age story.




Sophia Loren - Two Nights with Cleopatra (1953)

Sophia Loren, 1953



In 1953, Sophia Loren was cast as Cleopatra in the Italian film “Two Nights with Cleopatra”.

The film is a comedy, in which Loren plays both Cleopatra and Nisca, a slave-girl. Nisca takes Cleopatra’s place and is wooed by a bodyguard who mistakenly thinks that she is the Queen.

In this raunchy comic film, Cleopatra is depicted as a man-eating sexual predator who walks all over the men in her life!




Piper Laurie, 1959



In 1959, actress Piper Laurie took on the mantle of Cleopatra for the General Electric Theater series, an American anthology series, famous for giving soon-to-be-stars their first big breaks.

The programme was hosted by then-actor, Ronald Reagan, who Piper had starred alongside in the 1949 film “Louisa”.

This particular production was called ”Caesar and Cleopatra” and was televised on CBS and aired on the CBS radio.





Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra (1963)

Elizabeth Taylor, 1963



Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra in the 1963 film version, which is perhaps the most popular version of any Cleopatra film. It was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starred Rex Harrison and Richard Burton as Caesar and Marc Antony respectfully.

The film cost $44 million ($320 million now) and nearly bankrupted Fox Studios. It’s the third-most costly movie ever produced worldwide.

It won Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume and Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound Mixing.

It also the film earned Elizabeth Taylor a Guinness World Record title for “Most costume changes in a film”; Taylor made 65 costume changes. That record lasted until Evita (1996) which had 85 costume changes for Madonna.


Amanda Barrie, 1964



A year after the Taylor ‘Cleopatra’ was made, the slap-stick spoof ”Carry On Cleo”, the tenth film in the ‘Carry On…’ series was released. This 1964 comedy satire starred Amanda Barrie in the title role alongside regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey et al.

The production has a remarkably lavish feel to it, unlike some of the other Carry On… films, this is because they were able to use costumes and sets originally intended for the ’63 Taylor ’Cleopatra’ film before that production had decided to shift filming over to Rome, re-building sets there.



Janet Suzman, 1972



In 1972, Janet Suzman played the role in Trevor Nunn’s production of Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra” for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and in London.

The theatre critics raved about the production and it then went on to be captured on film in 1974 and is now viewed by some scholars as the definitive portrayal of Cleopatra: magisterial, ardent and seductive.




Leonor-Varela---Cleopatra--C10038721.jpg (385×477)

Leonor Varela, 1999


CLEO ’99

Leonor Varela played Cleopatra in the 1999 TV Mini Series. It starred Timothy Dalton and Billy Zane as Caesar and Marc Antony respectfully. It was directed by Frank Roddan.

Varela’s Cleopatra is very ambitious and politically minded. This version was loosely based on “Memories of Cleopatra” by Margaret George. It is said to be one of the most historically accurate interpretations.





Monica Bellucci as Cleopatra

Monica Bellucci, 2004



Monica Bellucci played Cleopatra in “Asterix and Obelix Meet Cleopatra” in 2004. It was directed by Alain Chabat.

The film is about Astérix and Obélix who go to Egypt to help architect Numérobis who is building a palace for Cleopatra. It also stars Gérard Depardieu. It’s a fun, action/adventure, comedy, that’s great for kids, though it does have a PG rating for language, sensuality and mild violence.


Lyndsey Marshall, 2005



In 2005, Lyndsey Marshall accepted the role of Cleopatra in HBO’s network drama “Rome”.

“Rome” is a British-American historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show’s two seasons premiered in 2005 and 2007, and were later released on DVD. The series is set in the 1st century BC, and the series begins with Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, and the first season concludes with the assassination of Caesar followed by the rise of the first Emperor Augustus.





Kim Cattrall, 2012



In 2012, Kim Cattrall took to the stage at the Chichester Festival Theatre to play the title role in Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra”.

In 1973 Janet Suzman gave an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Cleopatra so infamously stirring that it still lives in many theatre-lovers today. In 2010 Suzman made her return to the play, this time not acting, but directing the production for the Liverpool Playhouse, casting Kim Cattrall, the voracious siren of Sex and the City, as Cleopatra. The production then went on to headline at Chichester in 2012.

Cattrall played Cleopatra blonde, but certainly not dumb!






Other people to play Cleopatra include:

Nikki M. James, Claire Bloom, Genevieve Bujold, Gertrude Elliot, Helen Hayes, Elizabeth Ashley, Aliki Vougiouklaki, Katherine Cornell, Peggy Ashcroft, Carmen Du Sautoy, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Kate Mulgrew, Juliet Stevenson, Kathryn Hunter, Hildegarde Neil, Jane Lapotaire, Lynn Redgrave, Lindsay Lohan, Danielle De Niese, Gina Torres, Heidi Klum, Judi Dench, Pascale Petit, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Thandie Newton, Zerrin Tekindor, Helen Mirren, Susan Strasberg, Cate Blanchett.








“Your Little Ones”

We’ve decided to investigate into the murky waters that are ‘Little Ones’ – children at weddings: bridesmaids, flower-girls, guests and page-boys, we’re here to solve your problems and whisk away your worries.

Flower-girls & Bridesmaids

Having young maids as part of your bridal party will add instant cute-factor to your day but it isn’t always easy to keep the teeny tots happy; you may want them to wear a particular style or behave in a certain way but if they don’t want to, they won’t! So, make it easy on yourself and compromise. Ask your junior girls what kind of thing they would like to wear (after all, they’ve got to wear it, and they won’t be as polite or tactful as your adult bridesmaids might be!) and then incorporate it into your theme; this is easier to do when your theme is already a broad one; picking a colour to tie-in your party is always a good idea.

If you agree a colour palette it becomes really easy to co-ordinate everyone.


This cute bridesmaid is pretty and well co-ordinated because she is wearing the same shade of grey as her older counter-points. She’s got a smaller posy of flowers and her own grey shoes. She looks comfy and cute in her simple dress.

 This little bridesmaids matches Maid of Honour’s outfits because she is wearing a sash made from the same reel of fabric as the Maid’s. Although the dresses are different shapes and styles, they still look co-ordinated and neat.

Keeping little girls happy is an important thing to factor in because they can be really difficult if they think you’ve deliberately brassed them off and ignored their opinion – remember, they are little people, with thoughts of their own! You may have girls that don’t want to wear dresses or don’t fancy your colour scheme. Do not panic, you can co-ordinate their outfit with matching accessories like cardigans/shrugs, shoes, ribbons and sashes; the most important thing is that your bridesmaids are happy and comfortable.

Most younger bridesmaids or flower-girls will not be either happy or comfortable with fascinators, clip-in floral hair-pieces or fancy do’s so if you do want your party to all wear the same flowers, you can have a head-wreath made for your junior members! A flower wreath is easy to take on and off and can be re-arranged with ease if someone small decides to charge around the churchyard doing hand-stands five minutes before the bride’s entrance…

 Page-boys & Ushers

Generally speaking, little boys are usually less hassle to kit out, at least in comparision to little girls! However, there are the odd exceptions! Most lads will be happy to wear some form of trouser and shirt combo, provided they can run around, poking people or hide from kissing relatives behind flower arrangements. It’s them up to you (and them) to decide whether your going to wrestle them into braces/a jacket/a tie/a dickie-bow etc. As with girls, try to keep their opinion in mind – you don’t want a tetchy page-boy reeking havoc at your reception!

A really good way to co-ordinate young page-boys or ushers with the rest of the men in the grooms-party is to use a colour-pop sock. A colour-pop sock is a sock in a bright colour that just about be seen under the bottom hem on the leg of the rolled or short-leg trousers; favourite colour-pops are sunshine yellow, emerald green or baby pink. Socks are a safe bet with men of all ages, including the teeny-tinys, because everyone is used to wearing them and won’t feel uncomfortable on the day.

Keep ‘Em Happy

Wedding days can be very long, tiring affairs for anyone; especially young children. So, make like Prince Harry (who dished out cheap and cheerful Water Snake toys to his brother’s junior bridesmaids) and keep the kids on-side by keeping them entertained.

Children & Food

When choosing your reception food options, remember to consider your little ones; without doubt your grown-up guests will appreciate the olives, smoked salmon fillets and sirloin steaks but your juvie invitees won’t; so don’t waste money trying to force haut-cuisine down their throats. Pick a tasty option that they will actually eat: bangers and mash or fish fingers and chips are always safe bets; if you’re not serving hot meals, provide a kids’ buffet with small sandwiches, crisps and fruit pieces. Avoid meals like spag-bol or tacos and super-stain drinks like Ribena as they can be messy and may well end up all over the children, or worse, the bride!

 Children & Responsibilities

A great way of creating a child-friendly wedding is to give the kids attending responsibilities on the day; choose the obvious flower-girls, young bridesmaids, page boys, young ushers but don’t forget the smaller duties; make the children in charge of: handing out cut cake, giving out Orders of Service,  dishing out favours, ringing the bell to announce the Speeches, handing out confetti etc – be imaginative; giving children a job to do makes them feel important and valued on an special day.

Children & Parents

Once you’ve sent out your invitations, phone round or email the guests who will be bringing their children to the wedding, give them a clear and organised itinerary for the day so that they can work out where to incorporate naps, feeds, changes etc. for their kids, well in advance of the day itself. Let them know where the nearest loos and changing rooms are on-site, and if there is anywhere where sleeping tots can catch some ‘z’s at the venue. This way you’ll have happy kids and equally happy parents.

Children & Speeches

Very young children will not particularly like or understand the speeches made after the wedding breakfast, so, in order to enjoy minimum disruption and maximum ease, create a supervised TV area (near to the main reception room) stocked with a few Disney DVDs, colouring-in things, some soft toys, a few bulky trucks and some girly dolls and simply pop the kids in there after the meal is done. This will keep everyone happy as the children won’t have to sit through lots of  boring blethering and the adults can relax and enjoy the speeches without having to keep eyes in the back of their head. When the Speeches are all wrapped up, collect the kids and dance the night away!

We have Press!!

Thanks very much to all the team at Wedding Venues and Services who have featured our Print design in their article on monochrome designs.


Black and White

On the 2013 catwalk Vera Wang channelled one trend more than any other….

MONOCHROME: Black and White

Ms Wang incorporated either black gloves or a black bodice into almost every single one of her gowns for Spring/ Summer 2014, thus indicating a huge bridal and nuptial trend for 2014.


With the recent GATSBY-mania, enveloping the wedding industry, you might not be surprised by the latest b/w nods but this is different from Gatsby in that we’re ditching the bejewelled style of the elaborate 20′s and 30′s and instead moving towards a 1960′s inspired: Simple and Sassy monochromatic motto.


insignia wedding invitation

Embrace this trend by opting for our gorgeous INSIGNIA stationery range. It’s the perfect timeless wedding stationery style: elegant and with just the right about of traditional formality. The range comes in textured, off-white card with the classic invitation and envelope coming in at a bargain price.

Invitation: Stand-up card & envelope £2.90 (inc vat)

Print: Both sides Size: A6, 148mmx105mm Card: Textured off-white


Here are some more MONOCHROME WEDDING ideas!

monochrome wedding cake

Monochrome three-tiered wedding cake by blovedweddings.com


Monochrome #wedding dress by Vera Wang

Monochrome wedding dress by Vera Wang ’14

Wedding sign idea, ideally for above the bar(s). Really, this is a mantra you should live by, for every party. IMO.

Monochrome wedding reception sign

45 black and white wedding balloons!






So, why not? It’s a nice day for a BLACK AND WHITE WEDDING!


This week, we have decided to share with you some of our favourite finds from one of our favourite websites: the wonderful notonthehighstreet.com – where amongst the vintage, hand-made and refurbed, everything has a story! We hit up the ‘Wedding’ section and shopped ’til we dropped to bring you these wedding wowzers !

We love this personalised directional sign by the lovely people at Jonny’s Sister and we think it would be perfect for couples who are having more rural weddings or receptions – you don’t want your guests getting lost on your big day!
Make your day a landmark; get your very own for just £28


This gorgeous personalised wedding dress coat hanger from Clouds and Currents is the perfect way to remind a bride of the romantic, life-changing day ahead of her on the morning of the wedding. Clouds and Currents also do bridesmaid’s  dress hangers – a lovely gift and keepsake!
To have and to hold for £17.50
Next up, we chose these colourful personalised cushions from The Alphabet Gift Shop; with several designs available these bespoke accessories can stay in your home forever as a touching memento from your wedding day and they’re cosy to cuddle up on!
£36 per personalised cushion.
Wedding favours can be really tricky to get right and they are relatively budget-dependent; so, why not go for these gorgeous personalised badges from Wedding In A Teacup – they can serve as a place-names on your reception tables and your guests can take them home as keepsakes!
And it gets better – these gorgeous personalised badges are only £1.25 each!




We LOVE the Olivia leather brogue wedding shoes by Rachel Simpson – they are the perfect balance of vintage-inspired design and practicality!

Get your hands on a pair for £150
We simply adore this stunning paper flower garland by the incredibly talented people at Lavender Room. Beautiful, simple and really practical – opting for paper floral artwork like this means you can decorate your church or reception early – without having to worry about keeping live flowers fresh.
£12.50 per garland.
If you’re not feeling the ‘shoes and rice’ vibe, why not opt for some quirky confetti like this fabulous button design from Laura Fallulah. ‘Buttons?’ – you say. Not real buttons folks, paper doppelgangers. These vibrant pieces will look absolutely stunning when thrown – and – being paper, they are of course bio-degradable!
£3.50 per pack

True Love Lasts A Life-Time

Stressing out over organising your wedding? Don’t!

True love endures even the most trying of times; true love lasts a life-time.

The Queen and prince Phillip




Are you getting married in a wonderful exotic place!? If so we can create a really special range of stationery especially for you. Just send us your photo from a digital camera by email. Or if you don’t have that perfect photograph why not check out istock.com where you’ll find lots of images from all over the world that we can then print onto your stationery – tailor-made, personal and a one-off.

So, what can you find? Well, it really is simple; you have two options:

1) If you know what you are looking for, use the site search-bar, typing in key words to find a wide choice of images selected by your key-word search.

2) Browse. Use the titled collections to browse through galleries to find the perfect picture!

It’s that easy! …

2014 Parasols

You heard it here first but we have BREAKING NEWS!


One of the biggest wedding trends for 2014 is going to be: THE PARASOL! Yep, that’s right, the parasol is having a huge come-back and is going to be the ‘must have’ item for all weddings for 2014.

Stylish, effortlessly elegant and eternally practical, the parasol is perfect for bakingly hot summer days and for sheltering under in wintery rain storms!

Vintage-inspired parasols were first trend-spotted when they featured prominently in Reem Acra‘s 2014 bridal collection; as the folks of T.O.W.I.E would say, this trend is truly “REEM”!



History of the parasol reaches much further back than that of the umbrella; discovered millennia ago, the parasol finally evolved into it’s modern form around 4000 years ago in ancient Egypt, Assyria and China…

  • The original parasol was made from entirely natural sources (tree leaves, eucalyptus and palm branches), advancement of technology finally enabled creation of parasols with their canopy made from animal skins, cloth, and other materials.


  • Because of their high cost and limited manufacture, parasols of that early age were almost exclusively used by nobility, royalty and clergy, symbolizing wealth and power.


  • Another very important cause of the popularity of parasols was fashion, which often demanded that rulers and nobility carry pale skin that was not tanned by sun (a tradition that survives even until today in Japan, where pale skin is regarded as one of the most important factors of female beauty).


  • During late 1st millennia BC, parasols spread to Greece and Rome where they were used as integral fashion accessories to the wealthy women. By then parasols were made from many exotic materials, they were collapsible and able to withhold rain for a short periods of time.


  • Opening of the trade routes to Asia meant that parasols to reached continental Europe, where renaissance nobility women accepted this new-found tool and made it one of the principal parts of their fashion and culture. They instantly became extremely popular.


  •  By the early years of 20th century, waterproofed umbrellas started gaining more and more popularity in general population, which slowly made high value, elegant parasols outdated. By 1920s, fashion dictated that noble and wealthy women needed to have dark tanned skin, and not pale skin, as a proof of their beach lifestyle.


The bride meticulously painted all these parasols for her girls {Adrienne + Paul's Winter Wonderland Wedding}

Say hello to Adrienne Chagas, the creative winter wonderland bride!

This crafty bride meticulously hand-painted these gorgeous monochrome, black and white parasols for her and her bridesmaids to carry on the day, in place of the traditional wedding bouquets for the bridal party. They look absolutely gorgeous in this photo and they’d be a lovely memento to treasure in years to come.

Just be sure not to pick bridesmaids with really long first names!


I love the idea of paper globes and parasols hanging around for a party.

Parasols don’t have to be just an accessory, why not use these useful umbrellas in your decorating scheme?

1) Hang them from the ceiling to jazz up a plain venue or to give a summery feeling in less clement weather.

2) If you’re having an outside wedding attach them to your seating or simply place a parasol at either end of your aisle rows so that they are handy and accessible for guests who are feeling a little ‘shady’.

3) Use a parasol as a table centre-piece at your reception breakfast. Pick a different coloured parasol for each table and place it in a vase or secured to a bouquet with florist’s wire. Use the arch of the parasol to drape flowers, beads, feathers, bunting etc over the table, adding height and depth to your centre piece.

This is a particularly good trick if your holding your reception in a small venue: the parasol carries the eye upwards, distracting from a immediacy of a small space.


Steal a private moment with your new spouse and hide away behind a parasol! Parasols provide elegance, shade, rain-cover, privacy and style; be sure to  use each and every element that they have to offer.

Remember: they don’t have to be just a bridal accessory either!

1) Keep the little girls in your guest list in the shade by making sure your younger guests have a parasol to hand: you’ll keep them sun-safe and they’ll feel like a princess too!

2) Give your photographer a parasol: you’ll never know when they’d appreciate it – it can be useful to block out bright sunlight glare or to provide an instantly dry roof for vital photos on a dreichy day- and of course, hide and keep expensive equipment safe and dry!




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