Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Wedding Day disasters - and how to cope with them

You've planned everything perfectly, down to the last fleck of confetti.  The dress is altered to perfection, the bridesmaids all know their roles and are happy with them, the vicar has the correct readings and Uncle Fred has promised not to drink until the reception.  Everything is as it should be.  What could possibly go wrong?  As Jessie Wallace found out to her cost this weekend, sometimes you need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Admittedly, discovering that your fiance has has been sending provocative photos of yourself to another woman probably points to fundamental flaws within the relationship rather than anything purtaining to the wedding itself, but Wallace's decision to call off the nuptials just hours before they were due to go ahead had serious repercussions for everyone involved.  Guests already en route to the wedding arrived at the venue in Richmond, south west London, were in for a bit of surprise.  Caterers had to remove thousands of pounds worth of champagne and other goodies and florists had to take down all the decorations.  At least most of them would have been on site and it would have been easy enough for the suppliers to remove their goods again.

It's a different story when you're looking forward to the wedding going ahead and then one of your suppliers lets you down.  Coronation Street star Tupele Dorgu was disappointed when her bridal bouquet turned up on her big day in 2009 and it was not what she wanted.  Instead of getting upset, she simply carried her favourite evening bag down the aisle instead.

Holby City actress Tina Hobley had similar problems on her 2007 wedding day.  She had ordered a teardrop shaped bouquet but when it arrived, it simply didn't match with her wedding look.  Thankfully, ace florist Jamie Aston was able to create her a stunning handtied bouquet so that she didn't go down the aisle empty-handed.

Other things likely to go wrong on the big day include dresses not fitting/seams or hems going, people getting lost or unknown food/drink allergies presenting themselves at the last minute.  The best thing to do is to have someone on hand who is calm, organised and preferably distanced from the wedding party itself so that there is no chance of them being caught up in the frantic energy of the wedding day.  Make their mobile number known to people ahead of time.  Be guided by the professionals - caterers will know best how to deal with food allergies.  Keep important telephone numbers (e.g. the number for the nearest dry cleaner/mender) to hand.

In beautiful, barmy Britain the one thing we know we can never ever rely upon in the weather.  In 2007, during the summer of flooding that washed out large parts of the Cotswolds, South Yorkshire and the West Country, many couples had to deal with terrential downpurs on their big days.  Marquees in muddy fields became the order of the day.  But instead of crying in despair, we Brits did what we do best: we put the kettle on and worked out how to get round it.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Ta Tiara! - What fashion accessories are there for your head

When there's the joy of the dress you're going to wear, it's easy to forget about what you're going to wear on your head.  Yet an appropriate head dress can really make an outfit whole.

Whilst we don't all have the Queen on speed-dial to lend us a bit of bling for the big day like Kate Middleton did (The Cambridge Lover's Knot design by Cartier, above), there are plenty of beautiful yet affordable tiaras around.  Tiaras have grown in popularity in the last fifteen years, especially as the veil's popularity declined.  Tiaras are brilliant because they work with or without veils and they are appropriate at all times of the day. Butler &Wilson have a great range of tiaras to buy online and even more in their South Moulton Street store.

Having been big in the 80s, floral headdresses are starting to make a comeback.  They often make an attractive alternative for brides who want a statement headpiece, but feel that a tiara is too formal for a more casual wedding.  A simple band of roses can look very elegant, but it is all to easy to go over the top with flowers a la Liz Taylor.

Hats are a quirky choice for a bride who wishes to steer clear of traditional.  Top hats to rival that of your grooms gives a delightfully feminist twist on things.  In 'The Parent Trap' with Lindsay Lohan, we see a dress designed by her mother - Natasha Richardson - being modelled by a leggy blue-eyed blonde.  Top hats are as good as heels for adding for height if you lack it naturally.  Alternatively, a wide-brimmed summer hat is great for a relaxed garden party feel, as demonstrated by Jemima Khan.

It's not so good a bringing home the 'bride' feel though.

Of course, there is of course no reason why you should not go nude if that is what works best for you and your outfit, as exemplified by Luisana Lopilato when she married Michael Buble earlier this year.  It's natural, it's simple, and if you've got a great hair do, why ruin it with adornment?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Bye Bye Cosmo - decline of the wedding magazine

It has become known today that the next issue of Cosmo Bride will be the last.  Miranda Eason will steer the ship safely into harbour just one more time.  With the internet and even TV taking over, is there still a place for paper in the modern wedding market?

The first point about Cosmo Bride was that it was a spin off of it's big sister Cosmopolitan.  Spin-Offs rarely do as well as the originals.  ('Joey' vs 'Friends' - need I say more?)  Whilst the content of the spin-off is no better or worse than any of the originals, by simply being a spin-off, they give off the impression of recycling old stuff; of not producing anything original.

Bridal magazines also have to complete with celeb magazines, such Hello! and OK! which go into such depth about celebrity weddings.  They reveal almost as much detail as a wedding magazine would.  Some mags even mention costs!  It's hard for brides to be to dodge the lure of celebrity style.

But perhaps the biggest threat to the printed word comes from the internet.  Wedding blog Love My Dress publishes up to an article a day.  The content is always fresh, relevent and full of photos.  Magazines are published monthly, sometimes bi-monthly, and the material is out of date as soon as it hits the stands.

So what can wedding mags offer that nobody else can?  Well, the staff are pros.  They are stylists, they are florists, they're professionals; they've often got hands-on experience of the wedding industry.  Magazines are the papers you pull apart to put together your mood board.  Paper does not fail when there is a power cut!  A magazine will never run out of battery.

So thank you Miranda Eason (pictured left, above) for looking after Cosmo Bride so well.  You've perhaps been outpaced by technology.  However, the good news is Miranda is also editor of You and Your Wedding magazine.  A magazine may have gone under, but the industry is not dead yet!