Wedding Inspiration

Monthly Archives: February 2014

A few years ago I attended a Tweet Up in Taunton – what’s a Tweet Up? I hear you ask! Well, it’s a social event for wedding professionals to get together and network. We follow lots of people on Twitter and through ‘conversations’ on the platform you get to know the people you follow and it’s great now and then to put a face to a name and have a proper conversation. Anyway, at the Tweet Up I met lots of lovely people, including the very talented and funny Emma Woodhouse, aka The Wedding Reporter and @Cloggins. You can read about Emma here, how she found her calling in the wedding industry – and for those of you who know your Jane Austin, yes Emma Woodhouse genuinely is her name!

Emma, in her own words: Goes to weddings. Weeps. Writes delicious report about it.

She will create a beautifully descriptive report for the couple to keep as a literary legacy of their big day.

On her blog this week she shares 5 Things Grooms Need To Know About Wedding Reports which I loved so much I wanted to share it with you!

Clare & Gary AE Photography The Wedding Reporter_001

© AE Photography

1. Having your own love story is literally the most romantic gesture in the whole entire world. If you’re not the kind of guy that easily stumbles upon genius ways in which to woo your other half, a wedding report is the antidote to every sweaty-palmed, garage-forecourt-flowers, disappointed-face situation you’ve ever found yourself in.

2. You don’t even have to acknowledge the existence of a wedding reporter. If you’re of a shy disposition and the thought of having a video camera fixed on you all day makes you feel nauseous, then rest assured that you won’t even know we’re there. Unobtrusive and stealth are our middle names (N.B. not legally).

3. Talking of videos, you don’t have to watch yourself or listen to your own voice doing a speech when you’ve got a wedding report. Instead of cringing at your own performance you can revel in reading your role as the hero of the story. We’ll basically make you out to be a rock star.

4. One day, you may have miniature versions of yourself. They are going to laugh at you when you tell them about Walkman stereos and sneer at photos of your frosted tips when you were trying to look like a member of 5ive. What they won’t do, when you hand them your wedding report from all those many moons ago, is have any grounds on which to laugh at your unassailable groom style.

5. A year from now, you are going to have a wedding anniversary. The customary present for this occasion is paper. You know what’s made of paper? A wedding report book. Boom, we just sorted out your first anniversary present for you.

And, for a bonus point, my very own husband turned to me after he’d finished reading what I’d written about our wedding and said, “That’s brilliant. Everything after 8 o’clock was a bit muddy in my brain, but I’m glad to know I had as good a time as I thought I did.”

You can follow Emma on Facebook and Twitter, follow her blog and get the full details on her website.

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.

Vince Lombardi

Book front cover


Have you ever considered making your own wedding cake, or birthday/celebration cakes for others? Whilst it is a bit of a daunting prospect, the sense of satisfaction and achievement when you make something yourself is immense. When Mr Lilguys and I got married in 2008 we were working on a very tight budget so anything that I could make myself I did. Years ago I used to make very rich (and very boozy!) Christmas cakes so I decided to make our wedding cake. The making of the fruit cake was therefore not too daunting for me, however, the decorating of it was! Although it was very simple and I was pleased with the result I really would have liked to have done something a bit more elaborate.

If you’re interested in making and decorating cakes The Art of Sugarcraft from Squires Kitchen school is likely to become your ‘bible’. 25 years in development, this book brings the knowledge and expertise of 20 of the world’s top sugarcraft tutors (with a combined total of over 320 years of teaching) together so that you can learn from the best.

With cake recipes and fillings the book takes you through making everything from cupcakes and cake pops to macaroons, petits fours and croquembouche. It takes you through basic sugarpaste skills, chocolate decorations, animal modelling and caricature figures as well as painting and stencilling techniques, making wired roses and using royal icing to pipe roses and scroll borders, to name just some of the techniques you will find detailed within the 500+ page ‘bible’. There is even a section on taking your interest in making and decorating cakes to a commercial level.

Commercial Baking by Kathy Moore

Preparing Cakes for Decorating by Mark Tilling

What I particularly like is the very easy to follow numbered steps for each project – I’m much less likely to miss a vital step of a recipe or procedure if it’s broken down into clearly numbered steps! There are also good, clear photographs accompanying the text and some great Tutor Tips.

Extended Royal Icing by Ceri DD Griffiths

Hidden Picture Cake by Ann Skipp

Is this a quick and cheap alternative to buying a professionally made wedding cake? No, it’s not. You will want your wedding cake to be remembered for all the right reasons, not for it looking obviously home made! There is a reason why professionals can charge for their work – because they have studied and practiced their craft over many years to give a consistently great look. However, if you have plenty of time, patience and perseverance to practice the techniques in this book you will be able to create something beautiful for your wedding day, whether it be the main wedding cake or hand made favours for your guests to take home.

Chocolate Showpiece step by Mark Tilling

If you’re interested in visiting Europe’s longest-running sugarcraft exhibition at the Farnham Maltings, Surrey which runs from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th March you can get the full details and book your tickets here. The Art of Sugarcraft will be launched at this exhibition and you will be able to get your copy signed by some of the tutors. There will be free demonstrations throughout the weekend as well as a chance to see the wedding cake showroom and competition gallery. But be quick as this event is always a sell-out!

For more information on Squires Kitchen visit their website, follow them  on Facebook and Twitter, and for scrumptious pics of delicious looking cakes and treats head over to their Pinterest page and follow all their boards.

All images courtesy of Squires Kitchen.

The month of May marks the 500th anniversary the granting of the Royal Charter to the Corporation of Trinity House in 1514 and to mark this milestone event in British maritime history, a unique Open Day Invitation is extended 10am – 3pm on Saturday, 17th May to the general public to discover the treasures and artefacts preserved and on display within its five elegant rooms and access areas.   There is no need to contact the House – interested day-visitors can arrive and wander about the House at their leisure and receive information from expert guides stationed throughout.

Trinity House is located on Tower Hill overlooking the historic Tower of London and the picturesque Trinity Square Gardens containing a memorial to merchant navy heroes of two World Wars and the Falklands War.  It is available for private hire on an exclusive use basis and throughout the year is a popular venue for prestigious corporate and social occasions and is licensed for weddings and civil service ceremonies (please visit for more details).


Built in 1794, the history of the House is omnipresent and throughout the building, valuable paintings and antiques bear out the nation’s remarkable nautical heritage. One of its more recent acquisitions is the brass bell from the Royal Yacht Britannia which was decommissioned in 1997.  Trinity House’s connection with seamarks and lighthouses dates from Elizabeth I and the Seamarks Act of 1566 which granted powers to set up “so many beacons,marks and signs for the sea whereby the dangers may be avoided and escaped and ships the better come into their ports without peril.” The first lighthouse was built during the reign of James I by Trinity House at Lowestoft in 1609, and the next 200 years saw a proliferation of light house building around the coast.

In its 200 year history, the building of Trinity House has welcomed royalty, prime ministers and Lords of the Admiralty and is today managed by Deputy Master, Captain Ian McNaught.  Reflecting the on-going patronage of the Crown, the current Master of the Corporation is HRH The Princess Royal, filling a role held in former centuries by, amongst others, the diarist Samuel Pepys, the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Younger and, more recently, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
Helen Keller


One of the biggest reasons marriages end in divorce is because couples fail to ask the big questions before they walk down the aisle. If couples simply spent some time asking each other the questions that really atter, they’d greatly increase their chances of staying together.

The great thing about a “question book” is that it makes it easier to ask those difficult questions and encourages and environment to address them.

But is Michael Webb’s “1000 Questions For Couples” the right book for this?

In short, yes. Most question books ‘beat around the bush’, never really providing the important questions, and others simply don’t have enough questions. On the other hand, Webb has put together the most comprehensive collection of questions, covery every single topic you’d ever want to know about before tying the knot.

It includes tough subjects like money, children & child rearing, career, past and present relationships, religion, morals, convictions & beliefs, personality, and even sex.

But don’t get me wrong, while there are many serious and tough topicsto discus, there are also many lighter yet just as important topics,  including the car and driving, holidays, food and well being, pets and your favourite things.

That’s one thing I really loved aboutthis book. It covered every conceivable topic from the super serious to the light-hearted and fun, making it easy for couples to start with easy questions and build their way up to important ones.

Also, a great bonus is having the ability to have 3 to 5 of the questions delivered by email each day, making everything automatic. You can just go about your day and get new questions to ask your partner without really having to think about it.

In all, there’s nothing really negative I can say about this book. It delivers exactly what is says and covers every question you would ever want to ask your partner.

I highly recommend this book for everyone. NOT just copules who are thinking of getting married but also couples who just want to feel closer together, or people dating who just want more things to talk about.

For all the details click here.

If you would like to preview 33 of the questions contained in this book absolutely FREE please click here.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for this product and as such will receive a commission if you purchase it via this blog or my website. This helps to pay for the running costs of the business and enables me to continue to give you great free content.

On Friday we featured Kate Fearnley’s bridesmaids dresses, so now it’s time to address the subject of well fitting clothes for the boys!

Australian online tailor, InStitchu, announced its expansion into the UK market, with a new office to be located in South London.

Prior to InStitchu’s launch, finding a well fitting suit or shirt at a reasonable cost was virtually impossible. Now there is a way to purchase high quality tailored menswear for the same price as off-the-rack.

By utilising the internet to design a bespoke suit or shirt, men get their tailored garment home delivered, in half the time it would take an ordinary high street tailor, starting at just £199.

They even have a perfect fit guarantee which ensures that any costs for minor alterations are paid for.

Customers can design a garment online and see what it looks like in real time or select from the collection of suits and shirts and have them tailored to their measurements.

Having made big inroads into the Australian tailored suit market in 2013, InStitchu co-founder Robin McGowan said he was keen to see how the Brits would take to the model.

“British men are known for their sartorial style, so we’re confident that are made-to-measure only tailor business will be extremely well received in the UK,” McGowan said.

“We’ve seen over 65,000 designs come out of our online customisation tool here in Australia, with many requests for climate-specific suits, like three-quarter linings. So we’re looking forward to seeing what our English customers will be keen on.”

InStitchu UK will be managed by experienced British entrepreneurs Matthew Hinkley and Elliot Suiter, who first noticed the ease of purchasing a quality, tailored suit on a trip to Asia.

“I wanted to see the same affordable options in the United Kingdom so began researching ways to make this happen. I soon discovered this clever Australian business, which had developed a tool to design, create and purchase a fully tailored suit entirely online,” Suiter said.

“There were a few companies out there who offered similar options, but InStitchu really stood out. I found it much easier than others to use their design tools. They also offered more measurement methods, far better pricing and great customer service.

“I’m quite a skinny guy and I struggle to find any off-the-rack suits to fit me. InStitchu enabled me to get something that was perfect, without paying an arm and a leg. I knew that if the service had been such a success for me, there’d be other guys in the United Kingdom looking for the same thing. Guys here love being their own designers and creating something unique to their own specific style.

“So we got together and made it happen. Now UK men too can enjoy the benefits of shopping with InStitchu.”

For more information, you can visit the InStitchu website or please get in touch to chat with Robin McGowan or Elliot Suiter. You can also follow InStitchu on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you ever been a bridesmaid? I have been, twice. The first time I was about two years old and my mother remembers that I was less concerned about wearing a pretty dress and more about climbing over all the pews in the church to go and sit with my beloved grandfather (very ladylike – NOT!). The second time I was in my early twenties and the dresses were exactly the same for both bridesmaids, luckily we were both of a similar height and size and the dresses suited both of us. However, if you have maids of differing sizes and heights things can get a little tricky to keep everyone happy and feeling comfortable. You don’t want the maids to outshine the bride, but if they’re happy and comfortable they will complement the bride beautifully.

Kate Fearnley bridal is harnessing two trends in one, and taking the bridesmaids’ dress out of its traditional comfort zone.

The Middlesbrough designer offers her iconic dresses in numerous colours and styles, enabling bridesmaids of all shapes and sizes to be catered for, as well as embracing the ‘colour pop’ trend that is rocking the bridal world.

 bridal promo walking maids

“No two bridesmaids are the same” says Kate. “Different shapes, body worries and colourings can provide bridal headaches galore! The trend for having Bridesmaids following a theme, but each feeling comfortable and fabulous is something we have looked to harness in our latest collection, and it’s being snapped up across the world.”

Most of Kate’s dresses can be made in different lengths. They can all be made in any available colour. Tweaks can be made to the backs, the sleeves, and the necklines, to ensure that each bridesmaid is flattered and feels amazing on the big day.

 bridal promo tea at table

“Made to measure is available from our Middlesbrough boutique” continues Kate. “However more and more we are finding brides ordering one standard size too big for their bridesmaids from the internet, and getting them altered at their leisure. We are happy to provide telephone consultations to brides wanting to work in this way, and can suggest sizes based on measurements.”

The dresses are available from the website  and also by appointment can be made to measure at Kate’s Linthorpe Road, Middlesbourgh Boutique (tel 01642 227344).

Kate Fearnley, 37, was established as an independent designer in 2002, and opened her flagship boutique in Middlesbrough, UK, in 2005. In 2009 Kate won the coveted “Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Cosmopolitan magazine. Her styles have been seen on many a celebrity, including: Alexandra Burke, Diana Vickers, The Saturdays, Zoe Salmon, Amelia Lily, Katie Price, Amy Childs and Billie Faiers. In 2012, Kate launched her first concession in Psyche, Middlesbrough, to coincide with her 10th anniversary and their 30th anniversary year.

2011 saw Kate launch her first Bridesmaid collection to industry acclaim, and she has since separated the bridal side of the business, with a dedicated website currently under construction.

bridal promo bride on swing

Visit the website to see all of Kate’s collections, you can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Happiness is an inside job.
William Arthur Ward