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What your guests need to know about your wedding and when

Paula McGarry

In recent years, weddings have become complicated events consisting of more than a ceremony and dinner. Sometimes there are pre or post parties and dinners, numerous locations involved and well-timed order of the day that must be followed. What might seem obvious to you could be confusing to your guests. We often get asked questions from customers about what content to put on their information cards for example, so here is everything your guests need to know and at what stage you should tell them.

The Engagement 

Save The Date 

As soon as you have chosen your date, the first thing you should do is send out your Save the Date cards. By getting these out early, your guests will be able to plan around your wedding and won't risk missing it because of other commitments. 

The Lead-up 

The Venue 

After your date is finalised and you have found your dream venue, it is time to send out a full invitation including the address of the ceremony and party and any other details that are relevant. For example, do you want guests to join you for dinner the night before, or stay after the wedding for breakfast or lunch? Some couples are choosing to use bespoke wedding websites that collect RSVP's, food choices and allergies and also make room for providing directions, links to gift registries and accommodation suggestions.

Sending out a full invitation as soon as possible is essential, not only for giving yourself ample time to collect RSVP's but mainly if your wedding is further afield or even abroad.  In this case, your guests will need to make travel arrangements, potentially find child or pet sitters and book time off of work.


Guest Policy 

Make it known from early on whether your invite includes a plus one or just those named on the invitation. Some couples prefer to have child-free weddings altogether, while others opt for a partly child-free event. If you are allowing plus ones or children, clarify when you need the final names and if there are any childcare options, babysitters or child-friendly facilities for your guests to use. 

Dress Code 

Be clear with your guests about the dress code from early-on and be prepared to lend some ideas and further information. For example, a black-tie wedding in the summer might be challenging for guests to plan for, in which case a Pinterest mood board that you can share with them would be invaluable. It is worth considering whether the dress code is affected by the timings of the day, for example, early afternoon weddings might not suit full-gowns in the summer but would in the winter. 

Gift Registry 

Your organised guests will want to arrange your wedding gift in advance and pointing them towards your gift registry is an easy way for them to do this. Some couples are asking guests to donate to a charity instead of a wedding gift, which is a nice touch but something that you might need to remind your guests of during the week of the wedding too. 

Planning and prepping
Menu Options 

If you are choosing a set menu for your wedding, then try and send out the final options to your guests as early as possible. If you can do this, then you are less likely to be confronted with last-minute allergies, the type of wedding admin you don't need just before your big day. Alternatively, if you are opting for a buffet style reception, requesting allergy information will help the venue find some alternatives for the diners who have more robust requirements for example vegans or those with strong nut allergies. 

Travel and accommodation 

A lot of venues couples are getting married in around the UK and abroad, also offer accommodation for guests. If you have already hired the rooms as part of your wedding agreement, then welcome the news to your chosen guests. You might also consider holding a group booking of rooms and offering them to your guests to book if they choose to do so. Either way, keeping everyone informed of the accommodation options will be helpful, as this will enable them to plan accordingly, mainly if they need to arrange childcare, live far away from the venue or are part of the bride or groom party. 

If guests are staying off-site, then it may be helpful to equip them with some local taxi numbers so that they can plan their carriages home, in which case, make sure they also know what time the party stops. 

Last minute reminders... 

Timings 

By the time you reach the week of your wedding, the invites that you sent out might be a distant memory. Confirm schedules with your guests either with a standing board outside the venue or with an email before arrival. Your guests will want to know what time they should arrive for the ceremony as well as timings for drinks receptions and the evening celebrations. If you are arranging en masse transport to take your guests from the service to the evening entertainment, then make this clear too so that guests can plan accordingly and avoid being late and holding up the party. 

Bar policy 

If there is a bar available during the evening, then inform your guests if they can pay by card and cash as some venues might only accept the latter. Likewise, some guests may assume that the wedding is all expenses paid, in which case a gentle reminder they should bring their wallets might not go amiss. 

Social media and photography 

Your friends and family are going to be excited to watch you say 'I do' and will want to capture the moment. Reminding guests about your personal wedding hashtag will mean you can see everything caught on social media in the hazy post-wedding days that follow. Some couples are also asking guests not to use their phones to capture photos and videos during the more intimate moments of the day, so as not to distract from the experience and to give the hired photographers and videographers full autonomy over the memory capturing. 

After the enormous effort of planning for your wedding, reminding your guests of the details will make sure that everything you have worked for goes to plan. We recommend making a list of dates to send out reminders to your guests and luckily for you.

Browse our collections for inspiration of pre wedding day stationery and on-the-day items here.

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Wedding Jewellery fit for a bride

Paula McGarry

Your wedding might be one of the only days in your life when you can be bathed in an array of beautiful lace, delicate diamonds and a tiara fit for a queen. Luckily, bridal jewellery has become increasingly popular and more finely designed in recent years, meeting this sparkle and shine bridal prerogative. This rise in popularity means that it is now possible for brides to find the perfect balance between luxurious sparkle and highstreet glean without having to compromise along the way. Although an excess of choice is better than having limited options, it is worth narrowing down your search based on some of our favoured principles below. 



Make ordered decisions

If there is one thing that you shouldn't do when buying wedding jewellery is buy it before you have chosen your dress. Your wedding dress might be the most critical indicator as to what pieces you should wear on the day. Similarly, your veil is another crucial deciding factor. You might already know if you want to wear one or not, but this decision will also have an impact on what jewellery you should wear. Birdcage style veils look beautiful with jewelled or embellished headpieces; however, long lacey and intricate veils won't be as compatible with a lot of additional detailing around the face. Instead, you might prefer to wear a bracelet or a statement belt or sash around the waist instead. 


Make just the one statement. 

When picking your wedding jewellery, decide which piece should be the statement piece and then ensure that anything you choose after that is understated and demure. You don't want to make a lot of individual statements on your wedding day, you are the statement. Find one thing to compliment that with and then build around that. When you have found your focal item, picking the rest out should become more relaxed and more straightforward. 




Blend 

Planning a wedding and designing a theme and aesthetic requires a lot of effort, thought and dedication. Avoid a magpie mentality and remember to select jewellery that blends in with the broader look. You don't want your jewellery to become the focal point; instead, it should be there to serve you, compliment you and add another dimension to your beauty, not overpower it. For some brides, perhaps those wearing dresses with detailed necklines, this may mean opting for less individual pieces; choosing a simple pair of earrings and an ornate hairpiece instead of a necklace. For other brides, it may mean picking intricate pieces that counter the simplicity of their dresses, for example, brooches, elaborate necklaces or dropped earrings. Whatever it means for you, don't commit to anything until you have seen it on with your dress, shoes and veil. If it isn't adding something special, then you would better off forgoing it altogether. 




Colour Coordinate 

Your wedding and engagement ring may be made of the most beautiful platinum with clear-cut diamonds, but that doesn't mean that your wedding jewellery must necessarily be made of the same. After all, your ring is its own entity. White dresses, it is correct, do suit platinum, silver and pearl jewellery best. However, if your dress is ivory, you can explore alternative colours such as gold, and antique or family heirloom pieces that will compliment the creamy hues of the ivory. Your wedding day isn't necessarily the right time to try something new, stick with shades that you know work with your skin tone and overall style so that you don't risk feeling uncomfortable on the day. It is also wise to avoid fashionable or trendy jewellery that might be at risk of looking cheap or dated when you are flicking through your wedding photos in just a few short years. 




Switch it up 

Remember that you can wear different jewellery for your evening party or reception after the majority of your photos have been taken. Feel free to mix it up, experiment more with different styles or larger pieces that will be free of conflict from your veil. Many brides have their makeup redone for a more dramatic effect or change dresses for the evening reception. It is the perfect excuse to try out two looks that just couldn't choose between. 





Our favourite bridal jewellery designers right now:

Tilly Thomas Lux 

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Owner and designer Sally uses the most exquisite materials to design bespoke pieces of jewellery for brides, taking into account their individual style, personality and budget. From decadent earrings, hairpins and crowns to unique headbands and combs, Tilly Thomas Lux has everything a bride could dream of. Their bespoke service is also perfect for brides that have a distinct vision in mind that needs complete personalisation. 




Bario Neal 

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Unlike many a jewellery brand, Bario Neal has made a strong and determined effort to create an entirely ethical brand void of any harmful mining activity. Their designs are influenced by stories, designed in-house and made with reclaimed precious metals. Bario Neal might be one of the most perfect options for brides looking for colourful gems or bands that veer away from the traditional silver, platinum and pearl. For something extra special you can explore their bespoke and one of a kind ranges that will be just for you, forever. 



Katherine Swaine 

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After designing her own wedding jewellery, Katherine took it one step further by launching her collection for sale online. Her designs are inspired by vintage pieces which evoke a feeling of nostalgia and old glamour for brides to be. If you are looking for your 'something old', then you can take refuge in Katherine's one-off and real vintage pieces. The budget-friendly price tags on this jewellery won't make you baulk if you only wear these items on your wedding day, but the beauty of them might. 



Monica Vinader 

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The wedding collection from Monica Vinader is perfect for classic brides who are intent on not letting the jewellery steal the show. The pieces are timeless and elegant, well balanced and affordable. The subtle designs make this the go-to jewellery brand if you are keen to continue wearing these items at future events. What's more, the collection features many different metals and colours meaning you can find something perfect for you, no matter the style and fabric of your dress. 



Lark & Berry 

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While not cheap, Lark & Berry have set out to create stunning pieces of jewellery without the diamond price tag. They have made it clear that their vision of expense surpasses that of pound notes spent and also includes the vast cost of environmental damage. There is no doubt that Lark & Berry are selling 'fine' jewellery, the only difference is you can have a clean conscience when you wear it. Colours, designs and prices are varied at Lark & Berry which is a good thing for all of us. 

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The Best Flat Shoes for Brides

Paula McGarry

One of our favourite things (after stationery) is admiring the beautiful choices brides make for their head-to-toe look on their wedding day. From ornate veils to delicate lacing on intricately designed dresses, the details are mesmerising. Coincidentally this month, the heat wave in the UK has steered our thoughts towards combining style with comfort and how you can avoid overheating during your ceremony and celebrations. 

Of these thoughts, the one that stood out the most was transitioning from heeled shoes to beautiful flat shoes for your wedding day instead. Wearing flat shoes might sound less indulgent, but with both designer and high-street stores creating stunning styles, you will be hard pressed to not consider some of these brands and styles as a fantastic option. 

 

1.    Jimmy Choo 

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Jimmy Choo has long been a favourite of brides around the world. Their classic, understatedly luxurious designs mean that you can wear your shoes in the days after your weddings without receiving a raised eyebrow from passers-by. They have a range of different sized heels available, but their flat wedding shoes and micro heels are just as enviable. 

Unlike a large number of designers, Jimmy Choo have avoided the one size fits all model by offering a made to order service. You might find this particularly convenient if you are looking for a specific style and colour. 

Opt for the Romy Flat for some understated sparkle (£495) or the Romy Flat in lace (£495)  which is a more delicate version of the same shoe. 

 

2.    Manolo Blahnik 

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If you have had your eye on a pair of iconic Manolo's for some time, then your wedding day might be the perfect excuse to take the plunge. Manolo Blahnik has replicated their famous design in a flat shoe so that you can maximise style and comfort simultaneously. What makes Manolo an even better choice is their variety of open toe, closed toe and micro-heel options. 

Our favourite was the open toe, slip on bridal shoe 'Martamod Bride' (£745). Not only is it intricately put together with Swarovski crystals and silk, but it is also the answer to garden or beach weddings where a combination of heat and unlevelled ground are likely to challenge your poise. 

 

3. Aquazzura 

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If variety is what you need to choose your wedding shoes, then you will not be disappointed at Aquazurra. They have the most extensive selection of flat bridal footwear we have seen from designer brands, each with a distinct wow factor. 

From crystals to floral embellishments and subtle strap details, Aquqazzura has captured the epitome of a luxury flat shoe in their designs. Although the options are predominantly open-toe, they would be perfect for weddings that have guaranteed (or close to it) good weather or an indoor service and reception. 

The Mustique (£640) was one of our favourites. Both eye-catching and comfortable which is a sure win for your wedding. 

 

4. L K Bennett 

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Without a doubt, one of the most exciting wedding collaborations was between L K Bennett and Jenny Packham. The collection hosts both open and closed toe flat shoes as well as micro block heels which are another comfortable competitor to a standard heel. 

Most of the styles are strappy, delicate and feminine. Unlike some other designers and shoes, these look and feel like a wedding shoe. They are unapologetically occasional without the high-end designer price tag. 

The Cari Ivory Satin flats (£245) stole the show for us. The shoe has everything you would want in a higher heel and is dressed up enough to work for day and night at your wedding. 

 

5. French Sole 

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French Sole is perhaps one of the most subtle and practical brands for flat wedding shoes with their bridal offering comprising a range of decorated ballerina pumps. 

One of our favourites in this category is the Henrietta (£120), an ivory lace shoe that will do its utmost best not to distract from your dress while simultaneously keeping you comfortable and able to dance the evening away. 

With a regular refresh of styles and detailing, French Sole is on a revolving mission to produce the next best Bridal flat pump at a reasonable price.  

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