Tutorial: How to Lace A Wedding Dress

Tutorial: How To Lace A Wedding Dress

On the big day when nervous hands are trembling and one too many glasses of fizz have already been consumed, it’s not uncommon for your maids or mum to have a meltdown when it comes to lacing you into your dress. If your dress designer or the ladies from the boutique are on hand then you’re good to go, but if you’re DIYing this part of your day, we’ve got step-by-step instructions for you with photos, thanks to Jo at Joanne Withers Photography.

TOP TIP: Bookmark this page in your phone for easy reference on the day or send a link to your MOH!

Images subject to copyright (c) Joanne Withers Photography. Reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden.

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Don’t Overspend On Bubbly

Don’t Overspend On Bubbly

Once it’s popped it’s paid for

Everyone knows it’s traditional to toast the happy couple with a glass of bubbly but realistically not all your guests will drink it. Once the cork is popped however you’ll be paying for the bottle whether it’s consumed or not so here’s how to save some of your precious budget.

  1. If you’re on a budget, or for that matter even if you’re not, you really don’t need to serve the real thing. A good quality Prosecco or Cava is more than acceptable. Check with the venue which labels they stock and ask for their recommendation. Most venues will offer you drinks packages that include lower cost bubbly options.
  2. You don’t need to order enough for ALL your guests. Calculate for approximately half to two thirds. If you choose the house label your venue should have plenty of extra bottles on standby just in case there’s a bubbly stampede.
  3. The number of people drinking at your wedding will depend on various factors such as whether your guests are staying overnight. No accommodation means plenty of drivers so that should cut your booze bill unless of course you’re laying on taxis to the local hotel.
  4. Boys will be boys and the first thing most guys do is hit the bar. Most (and I have this on very good authority!!) won’t thank you for a fancy cocktail or glass of Pimms so give them what they really want and put some money behind the bar for arrival beers. Be prepared to be toasted with a pint too. It’s all good.
  5. Many guests will decline a glass of bubbly preferring instead to stick with their beer, table wine or soft drink. Where possible ask the venue to open the bottles as required not per head.
  6. If you have paid the venue for a minimum number of bottles and there are several left then they should offer to let you take these home with you.
  7. Don’t be afraid to talk with your venue about drinks. There are minimum spends on most things but depending on your guests there may be better ways of spending that cash. Ask there advice and any options they may be able to offer you.
  8. Order an extra bottle (or more) to toast yourselves on future wedding anniversaries – it’s a nice keepsake to remember your special day.

Image (c)Buckinghams

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Top Table Dreams

Top Table Dreams

Top Table Dreams & Schemes

What happens on the top table, stays on the top table! Well that’s our motto anyway! We’ll let you in on a little secret. You’re allowed to go a little crazy on the top table and hold back on your guest tables if you want to. There is no law that says you must have the same floral arrangements for every table for instance. Spend a little extra on making your own table perfect and cut back on guest tables if you need to. Your guests won’t mind – and to be honest, probably won’t even notice! They’re more interested in what you’re going to feed them the the colour of the napkins!

If you want Champagne but prefer to serve your guests Prosecco – we won’t tell!

Go all out for those beautiful chair embellishments you saw on Instagram but just have enough for the top table and choose a simpler (and yes we mean cheaper) look for your guest chairs. A good quality white chair cover and white sash (please note we said good quality so do shop around) can look just as classy as you need it to. Simple ivory ribbon or fabric weaved through a chiavari chair looks stunning. Speak to a quality experienced stylist who will help you (see our online directory for a great selection of our faves).

Treat your top table separately if you’re on a budget – or even if you’re not! Your top table should really stand out from the rest after all.

REMEMBER – it’s the people in the room that are the most important element of your day. Don’t feel stressed or pressurised to spend more than you feel comfortable spending. No one is judging you on the styling. They already love you or they wouldn’t be there in the first place!


Congratulations if you’re starting 2018 with a sparkler on your finger. We’ve got an exciting year ahead packed with wedding planning tips and inspiration. Followtag and don’t miss a thing! #BWMadvice

#BWMadvice Choose Your Style

#BWMadvice Choose Your Style

#BWMadvice No.4 – Choose Your Style

Choosing a venue means finding a space that works for your guest numbers and your budget but creating your perfect backdrop will be much easier (and in most cases less arduous on your budget) if you pick a venue that already works hand in hand with the style of wedding you’re after.

What do we mean?
Well our rule of thumb is don’t fight the room. If you want a crisp, clean, contemporary style don’t choose a grand stately home. You’ll be fighting for position with the antiques. If on the other hand you’re looking for a classic country house atmosphere then a square soulless conference room off the motorway isn’t going to help you either!

Wherever possible choose a venue that at least meets you halfway.

1. Discuss the look and feel you both want for the day. Hopefully you’ll agree on this but if you do have different opinions you need to separately write down your Top 5 must haves then compare notes and compromise. Marriage is full of compromises so it’s good training for the future!

2. When you’ve got a Top 5 list that you both agree on you should have an idea of the style of wedding you’re both after.

3. Visit as many venues as you can. You’ll start to identify what you like and what you don’t like and be prepared to change your mind several times. You may find a venue inspires you to go in a totally different direction!

4. When you’ve narrowed down your search take a good look at the space. Identify the key features already in place and visualise how you can work with what’s already there.

5. Don’t choose clashing colours that fight the room. Use the focal points and make them work for you. Sympathetically work in your personal touches.

Choose a great florist and/or stylist with a style similar to your own and they will help you create the ambience you’re looking for.

You don’t have to go mad. Very often less is more. Be guided by your space and what’s already in situ.

Above all have fun with it!

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#BWMadvice Guest Budget

#BWMadvice Guest Budget

#BWMadvice No.3 – Your Guest Budget

When you’re at the very beginning of your wedding planning journey you need to agree between you the list of people you want at your wedding. Calculating the number of people is one way to start working out your budget and the amount you’ll have to spend overall. 

Compile a rough list as follows:-

A-list: MUST HAVE family & close friends who you want both at your service and your reception (Remember to add the +1 if you know their spouse/partner.)

B-list: those people who you would ‘wish list’ to be at the service and reception if money allows 

C-list: reserved for evening reception guests only. 

Once you have your list count up the numbers per list, A,B & C and as a whole. 
Remember the number of people at your wedding reception not only affects the cost of food and wine. Consider also: – the price for invitations (just a few or hundreds!)
– arrival drinks
– evening refreshments
– number of wedding favours
– chair covers
– number of centrepieces (most tables seat 8-10 people so divide your list to estimate the number of tables you’ll roughly need)

An extra table of just ten people can add a significant amount to the cost of your reception. 
REMEMBER each guest you invite affects your budget in the long run so select your guest list wisely. If you’re on a budget invite less to the main reception and more to the evening reception. The cost per head is (usually) less per head for evening guests than day guests.

DON’T FORGET – Ask venues for their minimum number for day guests and their maximum number for evening guests and check this number works for your list. 

Congratulations if you’re starting 2018 with a sparkler on your finger. We’ve got an exciting year ahead packed with wedding planning tips and inspiration. Followtag and don’t miss a thing! #BWMadvice