25th July 2014

Hello everyone! Are you ready to be dazzled? Today’s wedding is quite simply amazing, the most strikingly colourful affair, an absolute delight in hot pink, vibrant green and shimmering, glittering gold, with the stunning backdrop of a fort on the rugged and beautiful Cornish coastline. An exquisite beaded gown, bright blooms, twinkly sequined ‘LOVE’ words and some pink wellies too! 

Jenny and Emiko’s beautiful wedding celebrations took place in the exquisite Polhawn Fort in Cornwall on the 2nd March 2013. Jenny is the very talented director of Hip Hip Hooray wedding stationery, and designed all the fun and colourful stationery for their own big day.  Emiko is a Design Engineer in the defense sector, rather apt perhaps then to have their reception in a Fort! The couple have created a day that combines their shared love of the sea and the groom’s African heritage. The results make for the most dazzling, eye catching wedding with a super sophisticated, contemporary and glamorous feel, that really conveys them as a couple.

These vibrant images of their wedding have been shared with us today by Benjamin Toms Photography and The Barn Media have captured Jenny and Emiko’s day in this delightful film.

Film Production Copyright (c) 2014, The Barn Media

“Emiko is Nigerian and we wanted to bring a little bit of the colour & vibrancy of West Africa to Cornwall, and as a stationery designer, I really wanted to incorporate an unusual colour scheme (which turned out to be chartreuse green, pink and gold) with striking patterns. The gold & glittery elements were a really nice contrast to the exposed brick of the fort.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Benjamin Toms Photography

West African inspired wedding, colourful wedding, hip hip hooray stationery

“We hired Sama at Utterly Wow for on-the-day co-ordination and she was fabulous. It’s a ‘DIY’ venue with no staff on site, so we definitely couldn’t have done it without Sama.”

West African inspired wedding, colourful wedding, hip hip hooray stationery

Jenny wore cute flat shoes from Debenhams and she cleverly adapted a necklace from Accessorize to create her elegant headband. All other accessories were Jenny’s own and her gorgeous natural looking make up tousled up-do were created by Milly at No. 4.

West African inspired wedding, colourful wedding, hip hip hooray stationery

The venue décor & styling was by Elle at Inspire Hire including the unusual ghost chairs which give the sense of being invisible and uncluttered and allows the table decor to really stand out. In keeping with the influences of the day each guest received West African suya spice blends via Pepper & Stew as favours. The gold sequined ‘LOVE’ sign was by the lovely ladies at Pocketful of Dreams who create the brilliant monthly mood boards here on Love My Dress.

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Jenny and Emiko’s venue was draped with pretty fairy lights, candles, stunning english garden blooms in striking and vibrant pink and greens to compliment the gold decor and african inspired stationery. 

“I designed all the stationery myself which is available on request through our company Hip Hip Hooray; The laser cut round menu & order of the day fans were a big hit, they looked lovely on the gold charger plates, and so many people used them later to keep cool on the dance floor.”

West African inspired wedding, colourful wedding, hip hip hooray stationery

“I’m not going to lie, I don’t know anything about flowers. I had worked with Jenny at Jenny Rose Flowers before on photo shoots, and had always loved what she produced. I chose her as our florist as I knew that with minimal input from me, I could trust her taste and experience impeccably. We loved what she came up with, which complemented the rest of the details perfectly.”

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25th July 2014

For those of you who are permanently on a tight budget, I’m sure you’ll appreciate how pleasurable/painful it is to make a list of things you love without thinking once about how much your wallet is going to suffer. I don’t often indulge myself in this sort of activity because I know once I start it’ll be extremely difficult to rein myself in! Needless to say, I could have filled my quoter of covetable items three times over while I was writing this, but here are my top choices to be going along with….

Even the most simple outfit can be transformed by a good piece of statement jewellery. The Zizi Petalwork necklace from Anthropologie fits the bill perfectly. With just enough sparkle to cross from day to night, this beauty also happens to be in my current colour crush- zingy yellow.

Alex Monroe is one of my favourite jewellery designers. I’m lucky enough to own one of his iconic bumblebee necklaces and I’ve been coveting another piece for years. I would definitely have to go for the Big Daisy ring, an amazingly detailed flower head in a mix of silver and gold. I doubt I would ever take this off once it was on my finger!


Ok so I may need a few of these Cambridge Satchel Company bags! I’d like a classic tan one, a bright red one, but for now I’ll start with a sunny yellow one please. The 13inch Classic Satchel is just the right size to fit all the essentials, plus iPad for days when I work away from home.

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My fail safe choice when it comes to dresses is the nipped-in waist and full shirt of a 50′s midi dress. Mrs Pomeranz is an incredible boutique specialising in this vintage shape, using stunning fabrics and colours. I could take my pick of any of these pretty frocks, but the Anna boatneck dress in powder blue is particularly gorgeous.

LOVE Liberty prints. I have precious little scraps of their tana lawn fabric stashed away in my sewing box which I have promised myself I will turn into a quilt for my daughter one day. For myself I have always wanted a silk scarf. I have more scarves than I do pairs of knickers and I would love to add the Christelle square silk one to my collection. The only problem is that it’s a little too small- I’m a giant shawl kinda girl! Seeing as this is a list of pure self indulgence, I’m going to go wild and have four of them, stitch them together and back them with a luxurious plain silk. Problem solved! I’d be positively drowning in Liberty print, how blissful!

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25th July 2014

Hello everyone, it’s the Pocketful of Dreams girls here – we’re back this morning to bring you our monthly design and styling guide for your inspiration and delight.  With wedding season firmly upon us, the Pocketful of Dreams team is officially on tour at the moment, as we travel around the UK delivering all manner of weddings, from the soft and pretty to the wild and debaucherous.

Today we thought we’d give you a little insight into one of the weddings we currently have in progress and it really is the perfect reading for a sunny Friday morning….we bring you: Eclectic Festival.

A festival wedding really is about so much more than just one day, it’s a chance to really go to town and create a full-on weekend experience that your guests will never forget – ideal for those freespirited and creative couples out there.  Along with those opportunities also comes a lot of additional considerations in the planning and we’ve spoken about festival weddings on Love My Dress before here, providing all sorts of design inspiration and practical tips as to how to set about planning and styling such an event.  This time around though, we wanted to show you how we’re actually creating a true festival celebration this Summer.

Taking place in the beautiful East Sussex countryside, this festival wedding is a real eclectic mix of bohemian inspiration, with a rich jewel-toned palette and a whole host of crazy-fun activities for the guests. As the wedding is yet to take place we’re not giving too much away, but you can follow along on Instagram next week for all the juicy details of this three-day extravaganza. For now we’re giving a little peek into the design behind the weekend and how we have taken the initial inspiration to bring some of the details to life.


Image Credits: 1. The Lane 2. Music Festival Junkies 3. Green Wedding Shoes 4. Ruffled 5. The Lane 6. Nous Decor 7. Home-Therapy 8. Green Wedding Shoes


Our brief was to create ‘a festival wedding like no other’,  a magical experience for the couple and their guests, where for just one weekend reality is suspended and the focus is on fun, laughter and friendship.

So we set about creating a design concept for a garden-party gone crazy, bursting with elements to engage the senses and creating a real wonderland ambience. With a jewel-coloured palette to bring a real richness to the design and provide a cohesive and stylish backdrop to the decor.


Image Credits: 1, 2, 3. Pocketful of Dreams 4, 5.  Peaches Keen  6, 7. Raj Tent Club 8. CEN Wholesale 9. Ikea 10. 11. Pocketful of Dreams 12, 13, 14. Raj Tent Club Continue reading…

24th July 2014

Today, I have a confession to make. When I’m browsing the incredible real weddings here on Love My Dress (which is definitely super important work research no?), I admit to always checking out the shoes that are on show. They can be a subtle compliment to an outfit or a wonderfully bold statement and whatever style they are, I invariably find myself focusing on the footwear. So, you can imagine my excitement when I was introduced to Merle & Morris, designers of truly gorgeous shoes and today, I’m thrilled to share detail of this British bridal brand with you.

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The talented duo behind Merle & Morris, Hazel & Shelley, started the company after years working as footwear buyers and designers. Hazel herself was getting married and just couldn’t find the pretty, fashion forward designs that she would want to wear on her wedding day and beyond. So, having set themselves the goal of designing feminine, vintage-inspired shoes, Merle & Morris was born.

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And oh my goodness, haven’t they surpassed those aims? Taking inspiration from the designs of the 1920s and 1930s, Merle & Morris have added in high-fashion twists and have used gorgeous trims and materials to create shoes that are undeniably special.

merle & morris, wedding shoes, uk wedding shoes, vintage wedding shoes, vintage style wedding shoes

“We wanted to create shoes that women would fall in love with, in the most amazing materials that you won’t find on other bridal designs,” say Hazel & Shelley. “We’ve used the most amazing leathers in finishes such as opal, metallic crackle, two tone snake and beautiful blush silk.”

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24th July 2014

Last week, the BBC published this feature on how to have a wedding on a budget.  Their suggestions included ‘do it in November’ and ‘get help from your friends’, or ‘serve prosecco instead of champagne’.  Maybe not the fresh and inspirational kind of advice readers might have  been hoping for – perhaps the Beeb journalist had taken her eye off the ball to enjoy the glorious sunshine.

The article left me unhappy.  Not because of their money-saving, creativity-lacking suggestions, but this:




The implication being that wedding suppliers will rip you off every time with extortionate fees.  Just because a ‘wedding’ is involved.

I want to put the record straight on the cost of weddings.  I’m not going to rant, or get all righteous about something I feel strongly about.  I want to expose some of the hidden costs that wedding suppliers have to account for when pricing their products and services.  I also want to provide some really honest and truthful feedback from suppliers themselves.  I would like for this feature to be a resource to educate readers to the costs involved when planning a wedding, and to provide sensible tips to keeping these costs manageable and within budget.




This is quite a long post, but well worth taking five to read, so before you push to the ‘TLDR’ file, consider this:

My first and most valuable advice is that you do not need a single ‘wedding’ product to get married. You need a registrar and a registry office and two witnesses.  Any other cost you should actually enjoy adding.  Be pleased to part with some hard earned cash for a celebration. (Emma Meek, Miss Bush Bridal)

It isn’t usually long after we’ve started planning a wedding that the internal dialogue starts niggling away…

Why is my wedding dress so expensive? 
Why does this photographer want over £2,000 just to shoot my wedding for a few hours?
Why is the venue hire so expensive? I shouldn’t have told them it was for a wedding!
Over £500 for wedding flowers? Who are you kidding?!

Weddings can be as expensive or inexpensive as you like, but the view I have always held is that if you want to enhance your planning and wedding day experience by employing professional services, then you must expect to pay a fair and reasonable price for them.

The hours spent on e-mails, the time lingering over meetings, the extras, the travelling, the little things done to make someone’s special day even more special for no extra cost. Suppliers just don’t rock up on the day, do a job and get home by 6pm for an evening with their feet up. They plan, they prepare, they work relentlessly on the job and then they’re tidying up, sorting out, clearing away and finishing everything neatly afterwards.  (Tamryn Lawrence).

As you may or may not already know, Tamryn Lawrence is a member of the Love My Dress team.  She is also founder of The Candid Apple, a wedding PR expert, published author and former multi-award winning wedding planner.  She knows a thing or two about weddings, and she has a healthy and realistic view of the wedding industry.

‘Some wedding industry suppliers do over charge for their services. I’ve been in the industry for over 11 years now and I’ve met a few suppliers that frankly should be paying to attend weddings, not the other way around. Happily, I’ve met hundreds and hundreds more super talented, uber committed and downright fabulous people who work their backsides off going above and beyond for their clients.  If you think working in weddings is an easy gig and a quick way to make big bucks, then come and give it a go.’

Honest, refreshing words.  Now, given the nature of the BBC feature, I’m particularly keen to focus on the subject of wedding photography.   Wedding photography is often the first to get a bad rap by the press for being extortionately priced.  Thing is, most people planning a wedding will not ever have invested in professional photography services before, so in all honesty they’ll be unlikely to fully appreciate the associated costs, skill and expertise involved.



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