What’s your bridesmaid card style?

Be my bridesmaid cards

We’re loving Be my Bridesmaid cards at the moment, but which one of these designs will you be sending to your girls? We can’t resist the pretty florals and typography details of Cate Darcy’s design (£1.55), but bridesmaids with a sense of humour will get the giggles when they open Vanilla Retro‘s super-cute Ugly Dress card (£2.25). Tell us which one you’d go for in the comments section below!

To DIY or not to DIY: the pros and cons of a handmade wedding

handmade gift tags
Image: The Wedding of my Dreams

After you’ve posted pictures of your ring on every social media channel going and the last of the engagement party Champagne has been drunk, it’s time to get down to the details of who, what, when and HOW THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO THAT?!

We know from experience that it’s easy to get carried away when you’re Pinning all those outdoor table setups (usually shot in the US, or Italy… not the rainy UK) and beautiful handmade invites (usually made by an expert, with just one to make –  not 70!), so we’re here to keep it real and give you the lowdown on what it’s really like to DIY your wedding. Then you can make an informed decision and hopefully avoid unnecessary stress during your wedding planning…

Pros

• Making your own favours, stationery, decorations and even your cake and flower arrangements adds a personal touch. Everything you craft will be made with love, and have a whole lot more meaning than off-the-shelf alternatives.

• You can create the exact look you want, without compromise. Everything can be made in your specific colour scheme.

• You can sometimes save money (see Cons!)

• It can be fun – especially if you involve family and friends. Everyone feels that they’ve contributed to your special day, and therefore more invested in it.

• On the day itself, you get a huge feeling of pride and satisfaction – you achieved ALL this!

Cons

• Making everything is a huge task that will require an awful lot of your time. If you both work full time and have busy social lives, when can you realistically see yourselves fitting it all in?

• DIY isn’t always the cheap option! By the time you’ve factored in the cost of your materials, you can end up spending more than if you’d just bought the items online.

• It can be stressful! If you’re more keen on getting creative than your other half, you’re at risk of some serious arguments over who has stamped more invitations and who has made the most pom poms.

• Don’t forget scale – that homemade favour project you saw in a magazine looks easy, but when you have to make 100 of them, is it realistic?

Our DIY tips

• Be honest with yourself about how creative you really are. If you’re not usually very crafty, making things might take you longer than expected and you might feel disappointed with the finished product.

• Don’t take on too much – choose one or two things to work on yourselves and leave the rest to the experts.

• Ask for help! Play to everyone’s strengths rather than trying to do everything yourself (as super as you are, no one’s that perfect)

• Stick to a strong theme – otherwise you’ll end up with a mishmash of ‘It looked great on Pinterest’ ideas that don’t actually go together.

• Visit your venue with friends/family to work out which areas need styling and how much safe you have on your tables for menus, favours, plates, cutlery, that moss-covered woodland-inspired centrepiece…

• Ask your photographer to take shots of all your ‘details’. This way, you’ll remember all those little things you worked so hard on. Wedding magazines are also more likely to feature you if you have these too (there’s a little insider tip for you!)

Tell us how you’re finding DIY – tweet us @paperbrideblog #todiyornot

Friday I’m in love: Summer sunshine

Beach wedding stationery, Tuppence Collective

Spring still seems a long way off (actually we checked, it’s 49 days, so really long), so we thought we’d brighten your day with this beautiful Chard invitation suite by Tuppence Collective. It makes us think of blue skies and warm beaches.

Chard Suite Promo

The bright colours and bold florals make it the perfect wedding stationery for a glamorous destination wedding, and guests jetting off with you will be able to conjure up your setting as soon as they open them.

Deirdre & Chard Suite Promo

We can’t resist the super-cute “S.W.A.L.K.” stickers on the envelopes, either! An invitation pack costs from £5.20, which includes an A5 invitation, RSVP card, printed envelope and sticker. Admittedly, they aren’t a budget buy, but if you’re only asking a small number of guests to an overseas wedding, they’re a beautiful choice!

Wedding guest lists: our how-to guide

OK, writing your wedding guest list isn’t half as much fun as choosing pretty invites, but you need to get that bad boy sorted before even so much as thinking about save the dates.

It’s tempting to invite everybody you know as soon as you get engaged, but it’s no fun when you then have to go suspiciously silent on the matter after realising that you don’t have the venue (or budget!) for 180 of your closest acquaintances.

The first thing to do is to write down absolutely everybody you can think of to invite (do it in a word doc or in spreadsheet so it’s easy to edit afterwards). I found it handy to work through people in groups – e.g. ‘family’, ‘uni friends’ ‘family friends’ – as it cuts down the chances of missing people out. 

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Beautiful new botanical wedding stationery

Look what has just landed in our inbox – just one of the many reasons we love working in the wedding industry! It’s just too pretty not to share right away… so here it is, hot off the press from talented new designer Harriet at De Winton Paper Co. The Botanicals range costs from £55 for 20 invitations. Check back soon to see more from Harriet (yes, her other ranges are just as lovely!).

Botanical wedding stationery

Top 5 wedding themes for 2015 (and stationery to match!)

Whereas you may have been planning the look and feel of your wedding for months, your guests’ first taste of what your day is all about will be when they receive that all-important invitation through the door. I once received a very lovely but plain invitation to a wedding, so had no idea of the colour scheme. I bought a bright red dress, and turned up to the ceremony to discover that the bridesmaids were all in red too! I spent the whole day being mistaken for a member of the wedding party and got nicknamed ‘The Rogue Bridesmaid’. It didn’t help that my dress was a whole lot shorter than theirs, either! So, whatever your theme or colour scheme, give your guests a heads up with the right stationery. Surprises are great, but giving everyone a few hints means they can dress for the occasion. Here’s our rundown of the top 5 wedding themes for the year ahead and the ideal stationery to set the tone…

1. Rustic woodland
This has been a hugely popular look for the past year and it’s set to stay top of the tree for 2015. Think rich shades, hand-drawn flowers and romantic forest creatures.
The venue: Book a barn venue or a country house with wooded grounds (try Haselbury Mill in Somerset). Or, choose somewhere with the option to camp and say your I dos outdoors, such as Fforest in Wales.
The stationery: We love this Hazy Woodland stationery suite from Hollyhock Lane (from £2). Woodland wedding stationery
2. Sweet celebration
If ‘pretty’ is your thing, this is the theme for you. Combine soft sorbet colours with a sprinkling of confetti for a modern take on romance.
The venue: This girly look will add a soft touch to industrial venues and look great against modern city settings – check out Sheffield’s The Chimney House or London’s MC Motors.
The stationery: The Confetti range by The Lovely Drawer will have your guests swooning in the aisles! (£50 for customisable, printable full set at Etsy). Confetti stationery
3. Music fest
The wedding festival lives on – but who says it has to be Glastonbury-themed? Just don’t forget your VIP pass, or you might not be allowed in…
The venue: Ideal for pubs/clubs, party houses, fields or village halls. Visit the Festival Brides blog for lots of quirky-cool locations.
The stationery: The Oh My Festival of Love range by Whippy Weddings (from £1.20) will set the tone for the party of a lifetime. Oh, and they also do an Oh My Love Rocks range too! Super.
Festival wedding stationery
4. Putting on the glitz Art deco has reigned supreme of late, meaning weddings have got a whole lot more glamorous. Not keen on a strong 1920s theme? Go for a striking black colour scheme with accents of gold and silver.
The venue: Perfect for decadent city hotels, country houses, evening events, winter weddings. We love the Malmaison hotels.
The stationery: These bespoke designs by Kate Ruth Romey (prices on request) have super-chic luxe written all over them. Just gorgeous.
Black gold wedding stationery
5. Moroccan boho Since Poppy Delevingne had her wedding reception in Marrakesh last year, we’ve all gone mad for colourful Moroccan details – think floor cushions, tea glasses and rich shades of teal, fuchsia, purple and coral.
The venue: Bedouin tents, marquees, tipis and outdoor weddings. Check out Arabian Tents for some pretty amazing canvases.
The stationery: Give guests a taste of your exotic nuptials with this brand new Moroccan Patterns invitation from Little Bird Weddings (from £3.25). Moroccan wedding stationery
What theme or colour scheme are you having? We’d love to know (we’re nosy like that). Tweet us @paperbrideblog, using #paperbridethemes (more…)

Cute as a button: Wedding badges

wedding badges; hen do badges

These sweet badges by Sincerely May (£2 each) are perfect hen do accessories – or even to wear ALL THE TIME in the run-up to the big day. Why not have personalised ones designed for your wedding, too – they make great wedding favours or gifts for your wedding party, and would look super-cute colour coordinated with your wedding theme.

Modern calligraphy: handwrite your invites

Yay, it’s Saturday – and almost the end of January! We don’t know about you but we are very much looking forward to some spring sunshine and flowers. Remember them? We need some colour back in our lives!

Anyway, yesterday was National Handwriting Day, so we caught up with Lucy Edmonds from Quill London to get some tips on how to improve our scrawl and find out about their Modern calligraphy workshops, which are proving VERY popular with brides-to-be…
Quill London Calligraphy 2800x2800px
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