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April 2022 / Diary / by Liz Skone James

Fabric Wedding Special: You are Invited

Oh how we’ve missed a good wedding… but, with restrictions finally lifted, 2022 looks set to be the year of the nuptials. If you’re planning your big day, don’t do anything before reading what our experts have to say about pulling off the most stylish wedding party.

Oh So Wild

Wedding planning

Creating timeless memories

In the wise words of Yves Saint Laurent: “Fashions fade, style is eternal”. Wedding planner Rebecca Brennan-Brown tells us she often gets asked how to ensure you don’t look back on your wedding and hate the pictures. “This is an entirely understandable concern, you’re spending a lot of money, so the good memories should last. My Aunty Katie went for the incredibly bold choice of a pink dress with a matching top hat (in the 80s, sleeves ’n’ all). You best believe she hates it now,” she laughs. The wedding industry is full of choice. It’s an industry which is constantly evolving. So how do you ensure your wedding design is timeless in such a fast-paced world? Here are Rebecca’s top tips

01. Timeless to you

I firmly believe that a wedding should reflect who you both are as people, as well as your future life together. You may love something that other people dislike, and that’s OK. If you’re unsure what you like, start by taking a look at your home décor and wardrobe. Do you generally play it safe? If so, you should begin with a reasonably simple wedding design and develop from there. Or perhaps your style is much darker; an autumn wedding might be perfect for you. Don’t feel any pressure to be something you’re not.

02. Avoid trends

Pencil thin eyebrows, leg warmers, blue eyeshadow and coloured tights: all things that were trendy at one point in time, but that now most of us wouldn’t be seen dead sporting! If you do incorporate trends into your wedding, it will be much easier to look back on the pictures and identify the exact year it took place.

Wedding trends are slightly more complicated – often something which starts as a trend hangs around for quite a long time. For example, pampas grass began as a trend but has stuck around and evolved. Because there haven’t been many weddings over the last couple of years, we’re yet to see 2020’s trends fully emerge.

M_J Photos 

03. Use modern twists on tradition

Some classics will always be timeless and traditional, and that’s not something to be scared of. I can guarantee that you’re thinking of a white dress, red roses and a church when I say traditional wedding. Or perhaps a stately home, three-course meal and first dance. Whilst these elements are all very established, adding modern twists gives you the best of both worlds. For example, let’s look at roses – perhaps the most classic wedding flower and incredibly timeless. Reflexed roses (where the petals are flipped outwards) are astonishingly popular at the moment and give this traditional flower a much more contemporary, stylish look. 

You don’t have to choose one or the other when it comes to modern or traditional. You can wear a ball gown in the day and a jumpsuit in the evening. You can get married in a church but have your reception in a warehouse. You can wear something blue and serve street food.

04. Accept that fashion changes

Fashion will always change and develop – in homeware, clothes, weddings… everything. The wedding industry is full of incredibly creative, talented people, who are constantly pushing boundaries and creating new styles. And that means that things will always be evolving.

05. Have a neutral base

Some colourways will never go out of style, and all of them have a neutral base. By neutral, I mean white, grey, cream… Colour palettes like white and green, cream and blush, and grey and white will always be timeless because of their subtlety. They don’t need to shout about how beautiful they are, they are just effortlessly so. 

The more colour you bring in, the more chance you have of it dating your wedding. However, ask yourself if it’s better to have something you love now but might hate later, rather than to have something you will always think is just ‘OK’.

Stories from Eros

06. Do a few things well

There are some things in life that are always going to be timeless. In the wedding world, those items are elegant tableware, flowers, and well-fitting suits. Instead of trying to spread your budget thinly over a lot of areas, pick a few elements and do them well. A quality, heavy napkin will always lift your table and won’t ever go out of fashion. 

Tableware is a great way to bring some of your personality into your wedding. If you love pink, look at perhaps having a chic faded pink water glass. If you’re more of a minimal person, you can reflect that in stylishly simple place cards. 

07. Stick to calligraphy or san serif fonts

A font can be very revealing. Comic sans, I’m looking at you… Swirly, elaborate fonts will often go in and out of fashion, so if you are trying to achieve a timeless but modern look, it’s best to go for san serif fonts. These are the ones without the fancy bits, like Arial and Helvetica. Try to stick to the simple ones, too. Serif fonts are the more complex ones like Times New Roman. 

However, I’m quickly going to contradict everything I’ve just said by declaring that classic calligraphy will never go out of style. It is an art in itself, and will immediately lift an invite, place card, or menu.

08. Finally, remember that it’s your day

You should love your wedding. And if that means in 20 years you look back on the pictures and can tell you got married in 2022, then so be it – you did! If you can reflect on your wedding knowing you loved it at the time and had an incredible day, that’s all that matters. It’s OK to like trends; weddings aren’t permanent. You won’t wear your wedding dress ever again, so if it makes you feel a million dollars for one day, let that be the lasting memory. 

byrbb.com

Wedding food

Taste makers

Yes, the dress is important, but think about the weddings you remember best, we’ll bet that the food plays a bigger role in those memories. So how to make your wedding breakfast one that’s remembered for all the right reasons? First and foremost, choose your suppliers carefully. Caroline Hall of luxury London-based caterer Rocket has over 21 years’ experience creating wedding feasts that wow, she tells us: “Catering is often so much more than providing food and drinks – great caterers offer experience, style, and ideas – not only are they a huge part of the event planning process, but they can really bring your vision to life.” So, what will the most stylish wedding food in 2022 look (and taste) like? Here are the Rocket team’s predictions

01. Interactive and immersive food and drinks

The days of a seated three-course wedding meal may be numbered. At Rocket, we prefer to provide interactive food and drink experiences that allow guests to mingle and chat while nibbling, and we do everything from roaming oyster shuckers to food stalls. Whether it’s a charcuterie stall where a chef is slicing fresh jamon off the bone, or a sushi stall where rolls are being made on the spot, food stalls are a great way to personalise your wedding. 

And don’t forget about the dessert course or late-night snacks – one couple we worked with loved Paris (having become engaged while on holiday there), so we featured spinning towers of macarons and glass drawers filled with petit fours as part of an immersive dessert display. For another foodie couple who love Japanese cuisine and 70s dance music, we created a late-night ‘sushi disco’ food stall, complete with a sushi rolling DJ booth on a raised platform. That’s what you call elevated late night munchies! We love working with couples and finding ways of bringing elements of their personality and relationship history into the experience – with fabulous food at the forefront.

02. Better quality meat served in smaller portions

The popularity of vegan and vegetarian dishes continues to rise, but you don’t have to completely eliminate meat. Rather, people are gravitating toward eating less meat, but ensuring that what they do eat is of higher quality. A great way to do this is by having a vegetarian starter that shows off the best of the season’s produce, followed by a prime cut of meat that’s organic and responsibly sourced. Served with a beautiful array of accompaniments or side dishes, this is just as satisfying and bountiful, but even more delicious and sustainable. 35 per cent of the dishes on our menus are vegetarian, and we work with only the best local suppliers to ensure our menus are as seasonal and sustainable as possible. 

One couple has asked us to source all of the ingredients for their meal within a 30-mile radius of their home. We took a road trip to meet all the local producers and created a menu of minimal mileage, maximum seasonality, and one of the producers is working with us to create a bespoke label for the couple’s favourite English Sparkling wine.

To discover more about Rocket, see rocketfood.com/weddings

Wedding drinks

Talking toasts

What, when and how much – there are so many difficult decisions around reception drinks… and sadly, no right answers. Get the balance right and you’ll have happy guests who are in the mood to celebrate. Dimple Athavia, founder of All Things Drinks has helped many brides and grooms to do just this. These are her top tipple tips

01. BYO

Always start by asking your venue if bringing your own wines is an option. If so, what are the delivery details? Will the venue chill and serve them for you? What about the glasses? How big are they? If the venue doesn’t allow drinks from outside, don’t be shy about asking if you could have a tasting session beforehand to pick the wines you’d like served.

02. Brilliant bubbles 

You can’t go wrong with Champagne, but if your budget doesn’t stretch to that, I find that Prosecco is a good choice. It works well as a reception drink, is perfect for toasting, and goes well with cake, too. There is a lot of bad Prosecco out there, though, so be sure to take the time to taste different varieties. When you find a favourite, reach out to the brand directly and find out who their stockists are, and then work with the stockists to get the best price. 

Generally, a bottle holds five 125ml glasses, but if you’re working with a caterer, find out how big their flute glasses are, as this will make a difference to your overall calculations. And when counting guests, don’t forget to allow extra for photographers or other key service providers. If you do have leftover bubbles after the toasts, think about getting creative and mixing a cocktail like a French 75 or an Aperol Spritz to serve during the evening celebrations. 

03. Perfectly paired

Armed with a little basic pairing knowledge, you don’t need a sommelier’s qualification to serve a well-matched wine with the various courses of your meal. White or rosé complement soups, salads and appetizers, whereas a light red is typically a good option for the main. A Pinot Noir or Gamay is a safe bet because they work well with a wide range of foods. Cheese is one of life’s simple pleasures and will be sure to please a wedding crowd – pair with medium- to heavy-bodied wines such as a Bordeaux, Shiraz or Malbec, which all go well with a variety of cheeses. 

04. Serving style 

A well-stocked bar will always be well received during the evening celebrations. But if you’re having a barbecue or buffet style meal with a rustic outdoor theme, save on bar costs by filling a wheelbarrow with ice and sticking your wines and beers in there to let people help themselves. Remember to uncork the wines first and provide a bottle opener for guests! A good rule of thumb is to allow roughly half a bottle of wine per person. 

05. Keep a clear head

Ensure that you’re catering for every guest by offering a non-alcoholic sparkling wine for the toasts and treating your sober friends and designated drivers to a delicious selection of non-alcoholic Kombucha or alcohol-free beers. 

If your venue is responsible for the bar, find out which alcohol-free options they stock and make sure you taste them! If they’re happy for you to bring your own alternatives along, check if they will charge the same corkage as for the wines, or if you can negotiate a cheaper rate. 

Still confused, let Dimple and the team handle things for you. Simply email cheers@allthingsdrinks.co.uk with a few details about yourself, the venue and how many guests will be attending – they’ll help you select the drinks, pair them with your dinner choices and get the bottles delivered to your venue, all in time for the big day. 

allthingsdrinks.co.uk

Photo by Georgia Watson

Wedding photos

The perfect moment

Ask any newlywed couple and they’ll tell you that after all the months of planning, their day passed in the blink of an eye. But the legacy of the wedding will live on in your photo album, telling the story of the day and allowing you to look back and enjoy even the little moments that you might have missed at the time. “A good wedding photographer will blend into the background and know exactly how to capture every last detail, but everybody has their own shooting style, so it’s important to choose somebody who shares your vision, and who you feel comfortable being around,” says London-based photographer Georgia Watson. She also has these tips for capturing the big day in the best light

01. Set the scene

There’s a reason you booked that particular venue in that specific location. We want to know why it’s important to you; perhaps your roots were laid down there, or perhaps it was where you met. These details will help us to elevate your photographs from mere visual documentation to love story. You and your partner are the lead characters, but we also need to set the scene and capture everything that is important to you.

02. Don’t forget the little details

If you’ve booked your photographer for the morning prep shots, be sure to lay out some things that will serve as a memory of the day – the fragrance you’re wearing, your favourite lipstick, your beautiful bouquet. All these elements will play a significant role in the things you remember when you reflect on your album in years to come. And a good photographer will never miss an opportunity to curate some still life shots.

03. Plan your shots

In my opinion, the candid conversations and moments of laughter make for the most magical pictures, but if you do want formal shots, don’t forget to provide your photographer with a list of any particular groups you may want to shoot. This is a simple one but could potentially be overlooked amongst the hectic planning of a wedding.

04. It’s all about you

Remember that the day is all about you and your partner. Set some time aside during the day for a more intimate session with your photographer. In these moments we want to see you connect – this is where your personalities will shine through, and we want you to feel comfortable in front of the lens. Let us know if you want this to be shot in a particular way – if you’ve seen a beautiful couple shot on Pinterest, we want to see it, too.

Instagram: @georgiawatsonphotography

Wedding Style

Say yes, to the dress

After an unprecedented period where weddings were cancelled, followed immediately by restrictions on how and where they could be held, being able to plan a wedding now feels especially exciting. So, it’s no surprise that brides want to make their outfit even more magical, says bridal designer Kate Halfpenny. We asked her what will be big this year – in a strictly non meringue sense, obviously. Here are her style snippets

01. Puff piece

Three years ago, we made a pair of double-puffed bubble sleeves for Millie Mackintosh in tulle and appliqué French lace, since then the trend for sleeves has grown huge, literally! There are so many options out there – you can choose to have your sleeves as detailed or as plain as you like. We have some epic Mikado sleeves in the collection we launched last year and a gorgeous shrug, which adds additional volume. Detachable sleeves allow you to be traditional if you want to be, while also playing with the drama.

02. Day to night

I’ve always loved the concept of layering an outfit with detachable elements that allow the wearer to transform their look throughout
the day, moving from ceremony through to late night dancing. The great thing about choosing a detachable overskirt is that you can wear it over a beautiful fit-and-flare silhouette and transform from princess to goddess in moments. Have fun with it and people will think you have completely changed your outfit. The pandemic has changed weddings, but no matter how big or small your day is, you can still wear the dress of your dreams and feel amazing. Some brides are opting to have a small ceremony now and then host a bigger party at a later date – and there’s no reason not to wear the same dress for both events. Choose something simple and elegant for the ceremony, then add a dramatic overskirt for the party.

03. Caped crusades

Capes have been popular for a while, and I don’t see the trend going anywhere. Much like detachable sleeves and overskirts, a cape can add magical detail to a simple dress. I think this is especially true if you’re not into wearing a veil, which is becoming more popular.

04. Behind the veil

That said, I’m a big fan of veils, and personally couldn’t imagine not wearing one – for me, it was like my armour. Even though it was sheer it gave me the opportunity to hide a little when I stepped into the church with all eyes on me. Veils can elevate any look and make the simplest of gowns look bridal. They can also make something quite lacy and pretty look more edgy and fashion forward if you choose a 3D appliqué veil, for example. I’d say around 80 per cent of our brides choose to wear one and I’m all for the drama that it brings. When else will you have the opportunity to wear one?

05. Beautiful bows

I’ve always been obsessed with bows, whether that be the oversized graphic detachable ones we launched last September for our Out of this World collection, or a more subtle detail like the back of our Oak dress. Everything comes full circle – big 1980s bows here we come!

06. Sustainable style

Not so much a trend, this is here to stay. Becoming more sustainable is something we’ve been working on for a very long time, taking into consideration everything from choosing to manufacture in the UK, to using all recyclable packaging. We’ve even thought about what happens to the off-cuts from the fabric we use to construct the gowns – everything is repurposed or donated so no fabric ever ends up in landfill. Most importantly, I don’t want you to think about your wedding dress as a single wear item, I want you to think about it as something that you can wear again, or pass down as an heirloom. It should have a journey, like any other precious items of clothing you own.

07. Piece by piece

Leading on from this, the trend for separates is going nowhere. If you have a smaller wedding dress budget, consider investing in separates that will last you a lifetime and can be incorporated into your wardrobe to enjoy again and again. Even big ballgown skirts can be shortened and worn with a cashmere sweater or cute cami on another occasion. The beauty of a two piece is that the choices are virtually unlimited, and you can really pick and choose your top and bottom to create the exact look you desire, turning you into the bride you want to be.

halfpennylondon.com