Sunday, January 27, 2013

You’ve found the perfect groom. You’ve bought the perfect dress. You’re expecting a perfect wedding. Now all you need is the perfect wedding venue. Having a perfect wedding relies largely on having a perfect venue. That’s why you should treat finding a wedding venue as if you are buying a new house. It is, after all, where you will receive and treat your friends and relatives in probably the most memorable night of your life.

Here are some tips to help you search for that perfect wedding venue.

Trust your instincts. As soon as you arrive in a particular venue you will automatically have a certain feeling towards it. You have to trust your instinct. If you feel a certain positive vibration to the venue then that’s a good start. In the same way, you will know automatically if a certain venue is not right for you and your wedding. This doesn’t mean though that you should not be logical in choosing a wedding venue. It’s the place where you will exchange vows with the man you love so it has to feel right.

Take your time. Don’t ever rush in choosing the perfect wedding venue. A wedding is a very important event so take time to get the venue right. Ideally, you should start looking for a venue at least a year before the wedding date. This would give you enough time to make the right decisions and change the venue in case anything happens.

Consider the size.  The size of the venue is a very important consideration. If the venue is too small, the wedding will loose its intimacy. If it’s too big, it will be cramped and uncomfortable. The size of your wedding will depend of course on the number of your guests. So before looking for a wedding you must at least have a rough idea of how many guests you will be planning to invite. Be as precise as possible. You cannot say that you’re planning to invite from 200 to 500 guests. The 300 person difference would matter a lot in terms of the venue size. You must also leave ample space for the dance area. The more guests you have, the larger space you need to allot for the dance area.

Check the parking space.  One of the complaints of people who have attended weddings is the lack of parking space. Be sure that the wedding venue you will choose has ample space for all of your guests. Parking may be a minor consideration but it can spell the difference between a happy guest and a dissatisfied one.

Know the restrictions of the venue.  Be sure to ask about the restrictions of a wedding venue if there are any. There may be restrictions about noise so you might not be able to employ a band or even a sound system. Some venues have time restrictions while some would allow you to party all night long. There are even venues with decorations restrictions. Check if the wedding venue would allow you to bring your own caterer, florist, decorator, etc because there are venues that have preferred contractors and suppliers.

Draw a layout of your wedding. Have a layout of your wedding. Before choosing a wedding venue, you must already have a layout (either on your mind or drawn into paper) of your wedding. You must know where you want gusts to sit, the reception area, the dining area, etc. Then check if the venue fits your layout.
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Wedding toasts perform an essential role during the wedding celebration.  The wedding toast serves as a link between the formal wedding ceremonies and the less formal atmosphere of the wedding reception.

The wedding toast also allows some members of the family, relatives and closest friends to express their feelings and to wish the couple well.

Having toasts started from the belief that creating some noise, such as ringing a bell, in this case, the clinking of a glass, can cast away evil spirits.

The wedding toast may follow a traditional or a non-traditional order.

In the traditional order, the first toast is the toast to the bride or the toast to the bride and groom.  This is done by the best man, a relative or a friend.  The groom then responds with a message to his bride, the person who made the toast, the couple's parents and a toast to the bridesmaids.

The best will then respond to thank the groom on behalf of the bridesmaids.  At times, if the bride has spoken after the groom, the best man will thank the bridesmaids.

A close friend or relative may then follow with another toast.  After this, the father of the bride thanks the guests on behalf of his wife and himself, and announces that they can begin with the celebration.

The non-traditional toast is done to do something different from the tradition.  The order may be changed to suit the guests and the occasion.

The emcee proposes the first toast for the couple.  The groom then thanks the emcee and the guests and toasts to his bride.  The bride thanks her groom and the guests and proposes a toast to her parents and her in-laws.  At times, a special toast may be done for her in-laws.

The father of the bride thanks the bride for the toast, thanks the guests for attending and announces that the celebration may begin.  At times, the emcee may propose a toast to the bridesmaids, after which the maid of honor may respond with thanks or propose another toast.  The emcee may introduce guests who will propose their toasts, and announce the beginning of the celebration.

Here are some tips when proposing a toast.

* The bride should be served the beverage first, followed by the groom, the maid of honor, the parents and then the best man.

* The toast can be done with a sip of wine, champagne or a non-alcoholic drink except coffee, tea and water.

* If you will propose the first toast, make sure that not only your glass, but also all the other glasses are filled before you start speaking.

* When proposing a toast, raise your glass with your right hand.  The glass should be held in a straight line from the shoulder.

* It is better to compose your own wedding toast.  However, if you cannot write a good one, you can try traditional wedding toast but make sure to personalize it to include your feelings and thoughts about the bride and groom.

* Always remember to end a toast with an invitation to the guests to join you and something that tells them what to say in response.

These are some things that one should remember when proposing a wedding toast.  On the other hand, if you received a toast, you do not raise your glass, stand, nor sip your drink.  You just thank the toasters and although you are not required, you may propose another toast.
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flora and Grace

9/10 3698
Today we are having a little chat with the lovely people at Flora and Grace in Clifton... they provide a range of services and we have seen many a table plan from them at riverstation weddings!

1. Tell us a little about Flora and Grace... what you do?

Flora and Grace is situated in Waterloo Street, Clifton where we have created a unique, bespoke wedding stationery business. Everything is handmade in our studio, situated at the shop where we stock beautiful cards, papers and embellishments to create stunning wedding and reception stationery. 

We aim to give our clients excellent customer service in a very pretty environment where we will look at budget, style of stationery, colours, papers, cards, embellishments, wording and fonts for your wedding.
Bespoke doesn't necessarily mean a large price tag, we have something to suit all budgets. 

We have also just introduced a new ‘of the peg’ range for those clients with shorter timescales.  We don't charge for consultations or design and pride ourselves on a pricing structure that is competitive with any wedding stationery found on the internet.

2. How did you get started?

We had ten years experience organising and delivering exclusive weddings at our stunning Mediterranean venue in Cyprus we decided to leave the sunshine and bring our vast knowledge of weddings back to the UK. Whilst living abroad we set up a stationery business with a view to continuing this when we arrived back in the UK.

3. Your shop is beautiful, how long have you been there?

Flora and Grace is fast approaching it’s first birthday , we opened at the beginning of February 2012.

4. What services do you offer?

At Flora and Grace we offer a free no obligation consultation and design service for wedding and reception stationery.

As well as invitations we make save the date cards, RSVP’s, table plans, place cards, table names and numbers, guest books, menu’s, post boxes and thank you cards. 

Shortly we will be adding personal and social stationery to our collection and a small quirky range of retail stationery items. 

We are also in the process of sourcing some more beautiful crystal, diamante and pearl embellishments to add to the small collection we currently use on our stationery and our heirloom/jewellery bouquets which is also a new product being made in the studio for 2013.

5. What is your most popular service/product?

Our most popular product for 2012 was our pocket fold invitations especially for those clients who needed to put a lot of information into the invitations for their guests.  Our clients love to see and feel the quality of our papers and cards used in their stationery and being able to mix and match colours, cards and try our beautiful embellishments has proved an invaluable part of our excellent customer service.

6. Tell us about yourselves!

We are Alex and Kim a husband and wife team who own Flora and Grace in Clifton where we also live.  

In my previous life I worked for the prestigious Asprey and Garrard the Crown jewellers in London's Mayfair.....this has since reverted back to Asprey London you can find this iconic store on the corner of New Bond Street. 

I had five fabulous years as hospitality manager and VIP chef to the worlds rich and famous but decided to move on to pastures new taking on a new position looking after brides and grooms in our beautiful Mediterranean venue in Cyprus.

Alex had an equally demanding career in London before living abroad working for one of the large multinational companies setting up some of central London’s finest gastropubs/bars awarding him the title of 'Business Manager of the Year'.

Finally, after ten years of living and working in sunny Cyprus we have returned to the UK to be with our family and friends and of course to set up Flora and Grace.

Kim Kim Koniotes
Flora & Grace
0117 974 3421

I think we can all agree that these two are highly qualified for the job... go and visit their beautiful shop as part of your wedding planning and see what they can do for you.

Photo's by Alexander James Wedding Photographer
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Trends for 2013

9/10 3698
Spring/Summer 2013, looks and inspiration


Images 1, 2


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Today we have some advice about wedding day make up from Emily Faith...

I'm a Bridal Make-up artist. I take pride in what I do and the smiles that I create. Every booking I receive feels like a great honour and being there on the morning of someone's wedding feels like you're being let in on a big secret and I get a buzz every single time!
Primarily I offer make-up for the bride, bridesmaid, mother of the bride and anyone else who might need me on the morning of your wedding day. I also offer private or group tutorial sessions to learn how to do your make-up instead of booking someone on the day. If you want to book me for a special occasion, a party, ball or event then I'm available for 1 - 2 hour make-up sessions at your request.  

We asked Emily what she thinks is the most important thing Brides should think about when planning their big day make up...  What make-up would make them feel comfortable. The last thing you want is to go for something that is so far from what you would normally wear that you don't look or feel like yourself. Be honest with your make-up artist, if you feel your trial isn't what you want you MUST tell them. It's their job to make you happy and you're paying them to do this so don't be afraid to speak your mind.   Make sure you discuss how is best to look after your skin in the run up to the wedding.  
A good make-up artist will be able to suggest appropriate products and techniques for having blemish free glowing skin on the day, but fear not if you do have a break out she'll be armed with every tool to hide it!  
The other most important advice I could give is relax. Once the day has arrived and everything is done don't forget to enjoy it.   The morning of your wedding will be full of nerves no doubt but you have an army of people around you to make you look and feel the most special you've ever been so relish it, ideally this will only happen once!!

  Emily also gave us tips for those of you doing your own face...  Practice, practice, practice! Try lots of different looks and always try them in the morning to check that they last all day. Once you've finished the look get someone to take a picture with a flash with a decent camera. The camera has a tendency to bleach the skin and this will tell you if your make-up stands out enough and whether you need a bit more.
Some last pieces of advice...  - Discuss lip colours on your trial and agree on one, I would buy yourself one of the same colour so you can reapply on the day.
- Always make sure you have at least one second opinion at the trial, ensure they're someone you can trust to give you an honest answer.
- Finally talk with your make-up artist as much as you can, make sure she knows plenty about your day so she can build a look that will fit in with your theme but also so you can work out if she is the sort of person you would want at the morning of your wedding day, it's really important to like actually like her!

You can find Emily's contact details here
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I asked for a Guest to Blog on My Wedding Workshop and... Bingo... The lovely Rosie from Bespoke Confetti wrote the below. 

Rosie was one of the exhibitors at riverstation's, Eco Wedding Fair back in November. Her confetti is beautiful and because it's natural with no dyes it doesn't stain and this will make your venue very happy!!

For the love of confetti..........I guess that’s how we started.

Confetti has always had a place at weddings and other celebratory occasions, if the direct question ‘Confetti?’ is posed, most weddings parties would like it to feature in some way on their day.Where once upon a time, it was left to the guests to bring along confetti to throw at the bride and groom to ‘bless them with good luck and fortune’ now, quite often, unless it is part of the planning process, it can now be a pretty hit and miss affair as to whether confetti will make an appearance on your special day, and more importantly, something you and your venue find acceptable.
Confetti has been thrown for centuries, long before it was given the name that we know it by today. Some of the first recorded uses relate to the ‘showering’ of Henry VII with wheat by the locals wishing him ‘good luck’ and welcoming his bride.Wheat continued to be in fashion until the early 1870’s when rice became the ‘shower’ of the day, continuing until the turn of the century, when ‘confetti’ the showering of bonbons at Italian carnivals was adopted by weddings in Britain.Wedding confetti has taken many guises over the last few years, but one thing had become apparent, that not all forms of confetti are acceptable, being labelled as littering, environmentally harmful and difficult to clear.
Here at Bespoke Confetti, we believe we have grown beautiful biodegradable wedding confetti. Our real petal confetti is by no means unique, but we have tried to produce something that has arrived by a truly environmental journey from the field to you and in no way compromises on quality.The flowers are grown as a field crop without the use of pesticides or other chemicals. The petals are handpicked, graded and air dried. They retain their natural colours so are a true real petal confetti in its most natural confetti state. It throws beautifully, will showcase your photographs for years to come, but blow away and biodegrade, leaving no footprint for those that follow.
There are many real petal confetti options to choose from, many are freeze dried and imported, and dyed to give optimum colour choices. Be aware that some of the dyed petals are not colourfast and may cause staining that can be difficult to remove.We cannot compete with the colour range of some of the freeze dried petals on offer, but suggest that if you may like to colour co-ordinate our petal with confetti cones to match your colour choice.
We love our confetti, we love knowing its journey from start to finish, and we are really proud to be able to offer something that we think will make a welcome guest appearance on your very special day, whether it’s used conventional throwing confetti, decoration or other use.
Finally, consider adding a side note on your invitation, requesting ‘real petal confetti’ or that ‘confetti provided’ or in the worst case scenario ‘no confetti allowed’ avoiding any expensive clean up charges.
Please feel free to contact me regarding your confetti
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Marcus and Kelly

9/10 3698
We have a little treat for you today, a real wedding from riverstation from photographer Kevin Belson
Kelly and Marcus got married with us in October and the photos are so beautiful, and the couple were so lovely we begged to share them...

It was a perfect autumn day...

Michele loves Kelly!

The cutest little helpers...

They had such a wide range of portraits... we love them all, the classic and the cool...

The restaurant looks beautiful in this light, when it gets darker earlier you can really appreciate it.

A cake from our very own chefs...

Congratulations to Marcus and Kelly!
Big thanks to Kevin Belson the photographer for sharing.

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