Featured Vendor: Luxury Bride Pippa Meets Emma of Love Lily

Our floral series continues this week; we have had floral fashions from Classic Bride Charlie, floral traditions from Vintage Bride Sophie and this week Luxury Bride Pippa talks to Emma of Love Lily in Abergavenny about floral trends, DIY and even the Queen!

What is a wedding without flowers? This is something I was torn over when planning our big day. The men in my life (Mr P, my daddy and brothers) are extremely sensitive to pollen and the thought of my dad with streaming eyes from my bouquet whilst walking me down the aisle or spluttering and suffering through his speech whilst tackling the running nose and tickling throat was not pleasant for him. I toyed with other ideas – button and broach bouquets, balloon decorations but I just couldn’t come to terms with a wedding without flowers. After chatting to the boys, we decided to keep the floral arrangements, clean, simple and stick to blooms with the least pollen possible – roses and hydrangeas. Thankfully this worked for us and the end result created by the amazing, talented Emma of Love Lily in Abergavenny was superb.

Above images from my wedding taken by Maria Farrelly 

I decided to go back to Emma and pick her brains about wedding flowers – who best to let all us ‘Cwtchettes’ into some inside secrets and helpful hints than the award winning master florist herself – and how lucky are we to have such talent here in Wales! Love Lily are a contemporary and creative master florist based in Abergavenny. They have recently expanded to a second large design studio to help cater for the volume of wedding and event floristry. Emma is well known on the Welsh wedding celebrity scene and although we cannot disclose any specifics, we will share some inside pics with you to help inspire. I won’t waffle on any longer so let’s hear from the lady herself…

Emma of Love Lily

Emma of Love Lily

With the growing trend for DIY weddings – why would you advise brides to hire a professional and not just give it a go themselves? Things can very easily go wrong with flowers.  You must have the knowledge of how to care and look after them and believe me when I say catastrophes happen! Knowing what is in season & understanding the quantities required  is not easy and takes years of experience. Many brides underestimate the scale of creating and setting up for the big day. It is a big job and takes a huge amount of time to plan, design and arrange – you need to ensure the flowers are perfect on the day itself – not peaking a day or two before or after! If you are still keen to have ago yourselves we run a flower school and hold different classes throughout the year – we were rated one of the best flower schools in the UK by “Flower Magazine”. The classes will help you gain an insight into how to form bouquets and arrangements, with handy hints and tips and you should gain an understanding of exactly what is involved before making a decision to go down the DIY route or hire a professional.

Love Lily, Abergavenny

Love Lily, Abergavenny

Any advice when booking a florist and planning your arrangements? We ask brides to contact us when they have chosen their dress and bridesmaids dresses as this sets the brief of the wedding and often the colour palette. Every dress has a style and the flowers need to compliment this. Pictures, magazines and Pinterest boards are helpful if the bride has specific ideas but equally this is not important as professionals are here to help with creative ideas.

What is the typical spend per wedding? I would say around £1500 but it could range from £150 – £5000+ depending on the brief. Every wedding can be tailored for budget and style but I would ask brides to be realistic – flowers are not inexpensive.  

What was your most lavish wedding to date? This was a wedding where flowers were very much the brides priority. It consisted of 3 enormous floral arches, elaborate candelabra centrepieces and many large displays including a 1m2 floral heart.

 

What is the most expensive flower? Lily of the Valley. Kate Middleton had a bridal bouquet of these which reportedly cost over £1000. A bouquet would start from £350+ since one small stem has a price-tag of about £4.00 – £5.00 and ideally you would need 150 stems per bouquet!  This is the Queens favourite flower and we have a pic of her holding our bouquet below:

Queen

Her Royal Highness

Have you had any unusual requests? We had a bride who once requested the whole wedding in died blue roses. I generally don’t like working with artificial products but the whole effect was beautiful. Unusual requests are becoming quite normal today as brides have become more creative and daring. We have been asked for flowers to decorate horses, dogs and even a pair of wellies. Wellies What are bridal favourites?

Flowers – Peonies are a firm favourite all year round but you only get them May to beginning of July so bear this in mind when setting your date if this is a priority.

Winter weddings – Roses are always classic, simple & elegant.

Spring weddings – Anemones and bulb flowers like hyacinths, tulips and narcissus.

Summer weddings – Blousy blooms such as sweet peas and peonies.

Autumn weddings – Rustic blackberries and berried foliage.

BOUQUETS – Round hand-tied bouquets are still popular abut there is an increase in popularity of having something slightly softer and slightly trailing. There is a real divide between styles at the moment. The classic, elegant rose look is very popular but also the vintage ‘meadow’  natural look, very organic and not overly styled.

CENTREPIECES – Think about the space in your wedding venue – do you need height to fill the space or would you prefer to keep it low and intimate? Candelabras are always popular although the mish-mash of jam jars and vintage china to give a more rustic look is still holding a strong trend.  You can go anywhere with  these to reflect the theme, style and personality. They can be tailored to budget and prices can start  from as little as £25 each but for a cost effective table centre, I would suggest looking at plants.

VENUE DECORATION – It is really important to empathise with your chosen venue and to work with what you have. Weddings are not just about centrepieces any more  – everything is taken into consideration and they have become more of a “theatrical production”. There is a trend for more staged areas with props such as ladders, dressing tables etc. and it is more exciting than it’s ever been. I love my job as every wedding we work on and have ever produced has been different. A good florist will tailor the day very much for the individual. It is so involved, so in-depth with so many layers to the decoration now that I love to embrace every brief and can be more creative than ever.

What are your thoughts on the floral trends heading into 2015? The trend for blush or muted pastel tones is still going strong but we are seeing more requests for pops of colour with mixed brights. A shade making a huge impact this year is yellow as a stand-alone wedding colour too.

The’ vintage’ look will still be popular but taking this one step further in 2014 with a  romantic and whimsical element – introducing more of an organic, ‘just-picked’  hedgerow look with organically mixed wild bouquets and foliage. Textured bouquets with a feminine softness will still continue into 2014 complimenting the ever popular bridal lace dresses with scented florals such as Lily of the Valley and Sweet Pea.

The Royal wedding of William and Kate bringing the outdoors inside is still having a huge impact on bridal trends. They had 20ft trees lining the aisle of Westminster Abbey and the English country garden feel is still a firm favourite with 2014 brides.

A big thanks to Emma from Love Lily for her help with this post. I hope this gives you some help and inspiration for your big day…happy planning…Pippa x

Unless stated all images in this post are from Love Lily and Facebook.

 

A little bit of Luxury: Bridesmaids Dresses

A few weeks ago, our classic bride, Charlie shared some great Highstreet bridesmaid dresses with you all. Today we have our luxury bride, Pippa here to share her ideas and inspiration for your bridesmaids including some rather gorgeous designer dresses. Over to you Pippa…

So, time to talk all things Bridesmaid. Having only been a bridesmaid once previously at the age of 8, (complete with classic 90s floral puff ball sleeves and satin bows), I really underestimated how much I would rely on my best girls on the big day. All our lovely married brides will understand when I say that weddings really show you who your ‘real’ friends are and my girls did me super proud. They arranged the best hen weekend a girl could have wished for and were such a support on the day itself, fixing makeup, supplying bubbles (as I was always too busy talking or dancing to visit the bar) and just providing lots of fun, giggles and special touches to help make the day everything I hoped it would be…love you always…x

twobirds_maria farrelly two birds maria farrelly 2Photos by the amazing Maria Farrelly Photography

So, for all our Cwtch Bridesmaid’s to be…what are some little extras that can help make your friendships thrive and the big day just that teeny bit more special?

– How about some extra special personal touches on the hen-do…something unique to the bride? Believe me when I say the smallest of things can make such a huge impact and really show thoughtfulness above and beyond the expected naughtiness. What about a photo library of the bride and her hens together over the years? – these create lots of giggles looking back at the fashion faux pas and nights out! Maybe organise a ‘hen book’ full of stories, favourite memories with the bride, poems or drawings from all the hen’s? The classic game of Mr & Mrs is always a winner but why not try a recorded version or even better, use your smart phone for a video version – hearing (and seeing) the groom squirm as he answers the questions is guaranteed to be a huge hit!

– What about giving a thoughtful gesture (that doesn’t have to cost the earth) on the morning of the wedding- maybe a photo book of the hen do or even something as simple as a few words in a card will go a long way…although be sure to give it before the makeup…it’s a really emotional day!

– I know we all take such a long time to get ready girls but leaving the all important hour before you are due at the ceremony to spend with the bride to help get her into her dress, heels, jewellery etc really is a special time…afterall, it’s the last girlie time you will have together before she becomes a ‘Mrs’.

– Just casually asking on the big day if your bride wants anything – a drink? something to eat? She will really appreciate it!

– Not that you’d need a prompt if you’re anything like my girlies, but make sure to start the dancing and socialise. It really means a lot to the bride and groom to see their friends having and creating a good time for themselves and all the other guests.

Now, down to the all important dress…

Bridesmaid dresses have come a long way since the style hangover of the 80s and 90s where giant satin bows, puff ball sleeves and matching headpieces were the height of fashion. There is such a huge selection of beautiful dresses available today that being a bridesmaid doesn’t have to mean forgoing style. If you’re lucky, your bridesmaids may be the type to grin and bear whatever you pop them in (while complaining quietly behind your back) but with all the options available today, and the growing trend for mis-matched bridesmaid dresses, there really is no excuse to inflict psychological torture on your girlfriends! Everyone knows who makes the final dress decision so try to choose something that will earn you rave reviews. Here are a few of my favourite ‘Luxury’ bridesmaid dresses that are bound to avoid any criticism and sunken faces from your maids…

TWO BIRDS

Even though many brides will consider themselves a savvy shopper, it is still exceptionally difficult to pick out one dress in a colour or style to suit all your maids who will have a variety of body frames, skin tones, style and hues that suit – queue the miracle dress! I may be a little biased having chosen this for my bridesmaids, but what’s not to love? One dress with over 15 different ways to wrap and customise – and it really is super easy. Two birds dresses are so heavy and made from such quality material they hang beautifully to suit all shapes and sizes – they are even perfect for a pregnant maid. Mix and match fronts and backs so that all your girls can look different walking down the aisle…and into the evening. two_birds_dress_a two_birds_dresses_2

Check out their website and pinterest page for more fantastic images of real brides mixing colourways and styles…you really can create any look you want!

…and if it couldn’t get any better – there are 4 stockist in Wales…

Mr & Mrs Bridal Boutique, Aberdare.

Laura May, Cardiff.

White Bride, Narberth.

Wedding Belles, Anglesey.

 

Ghost

I think GHOST is another shop perfect for matched or mis-matched maids. Their classic satin floor-length gowns come in a variety colours and necklines. They have a fantastic “dye-to-order” service where you can pick any of the styles in any of the colourways (perfect for mis-matched) and the gorgeous feminine pallet would be ideal for your bevvy of beautiful bridesmaids!

Ghost dresses

Grace, Nicole, Salma, Taylor, Diana, Sylvia

 

Other Ideas

These beauties have caught my eye too (ooo…the choice – can we do it all again Mr P?)

Alice_olivia_Fila_lace_dress1. Alice & Olivia, Fila Lace Dress

Enzoani_f08-a2. Love by ENZOANI, F08 (variety of colourways available)

Enzoani_F12-A3. Love by ENZOANI, F12

Enzoani_D294. Love by ENZOANI, D29 (variety of colourways available) JML_Couture_JIM_Hjelm_occasions 5. JLM Couture, JH5413Day_Birger_et_Mikkelsen6.DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, Sumner wrap-effect silk-satin gownKelsey_rose_151297. Kelsey Rose, 15129 (variety of colourways available)

Kelsey_rose_500188.Kelsey Rose

Kelsey_rose_125329.Kelsey Rose

Kathy_Hilton_sequined-gown10. Kathy Hilton for Mon Cheri, H34054

Dessy_Lela_rose_Bridesmaid_LR18211. Lela Rose, LR182 (variety of colourways available)

Do any of our past Cwtch brides have stories of bridesmaids going that little bit extra? Any ideas you can share? We would love to hear from you…x

A little bit of Luxury: Bridal Bags

 We welcome back our Luxury Bride, Pippa. Hooray! Today she is going to woo us with some beautiful designer bridal bags. 

Luxury_wedding_wales094

Wedding bags – to have and to hold? That is the Question…

If you’re anything like me (shoe and bag crazy) then the question of should I? Do I REALLY need one? didn’t really cross my mind, it of course was an ‘essential’ part of my bridal outfit. Looking back now though I don’t think I used it at all thanks to my very handy bridesmaids so I suppose I have to ask – did I really need one? Your wedding is a perfect excuse to add to your wardrobe with all manner of beautiful items but would your money be better spent elsewhere?

There are a whole range of beautiful bags to choose from at the moment and below are a few of my faves…

Luxury bags luxury bags 2Luxury bags


Luxury bags

and if you fancy something a bit different…

luxury bags 2

1. Anya Hindmarch, Marano Clutch, £450 – a favourite with our gorgeous Duchess of Cambridge!
2. Jimmy Choo, Tube, £625
3. Anya Hindmarch, Valorie, £350
4. Jimmy Choo, Cosma with crystals, £1650
5. Jimmy Choo, Chandra, £750
6. Marchesa, Lily embellished box clutch, £2115
7. Edie Parker, Jean striped pearl effect box clutch, £975
8. Oscar de la Renta, Crown Goa Swarovski crystal embellished clutch, £1360
9. Jenny Packham, Casa silver/gold/crystal £455
10. Alexander McQueen, De Manta clutch, lace print, £325
11. YSL, Ligne Y Clutch, £655
12. Alexander McQueen, Knuckle Duster Clutch, £1345
13. Gina, Imelda, £695
14. Stark, Put a Ring on it python clutch, £1500
15. YSL Monogramme Tassel clutch, £920
16. Sylvia Toledano, Love Swarovski embellished box clutch, £1050
17. YSL, classic monogramme clutch, £695 (Your something Blue?)
18. Lulu Guiness, Lips clutch, £245

If you’re like me, I couldn’t be without my ‘suitcase’ (as Mr P calls it) on a daily basis filled with all my essential (and not so essential) bits. So for my big day I felt I needed the security of having a few items on hand…just incase! Now, I’m not advocating a shoulder slung bag over your beautiful frock (eeek…fashion faux pas) but a simple clutch could just be a saviour should you have a bridal emergency. Obviously, as beautiful as they are, you wouldn’t want to be carrying it down the aisle so you could leave it in the wedding car during the ceremony or maybe rope in a bridesmaid’s partner to help. I popped mine on the top table for the remainder of the evening but equally you could entrust your lovely ladies to help with bag duty.

You will need to cut down from your usual ‘suitcases’ though girls  (I don’t even know what I carry in my bag half the time) so here are a list of items we think would be handy for any bridal ’emergencies’…

1. Mints (NOT chewing gum) – you will be kissing ALOT of people.

2. Lippie – keep your make-up looking fresh from your “I Do” to your photos and well into the evening. Personally I would avoid sticky lipgloss though and I’m sure your groom (and guests) will thank you for it!

3. Hairgrips

4. Safety Pins

5. Concealer

6. Plasters – just incase you haven’t broken in your bridal heels…tut tut!

7. Tissues – a must for the speeches!

 

We’d love to know what all our lovely Cwtch brides think – are you having a bridal bag? If so, what will you be carrying inside?

 

A little bit of Luxury: Designer Bridal Cover-ups

 Our Luxury Bride, Pippa is back! Today she brings us lots of sumptuous inspiration to help keep you warm on your big day. Here are her top picks of designer bridal cover ups and where in Wales you can get your hands on them. Over to you Pippa… 

Pippa&Matt01Image: Maria Farrelly Photography

 

“ On the coldest day, in the coldest place, your love will keep me warm”

                                                                                                                                     Unknown   

 The best thing about the dropping temperature is the chance to pull on something spectacularly stylish to beat the winter chill. With our wonderfully wicked Welsh weather have you thought about the practicalities on your big day?  Looking back I was very lucky with our weather – a few glasses of bubbly teamed with my questionable dance moves were enough to keep me warm until the early hours. But what about all you gorgeous winter brides? Why not complete your bridal ensemble with some of these embellished cover-ups. From lace to feathers, pearls to sequins, add a romantic touch to your fabulous frock with the bonus of keeping you warm on a breezy night.

Exquisite Glamour

cover up a

1. Jenny Packham, Santorini Feather Bridal wrap, £546.00
2. Jenny Packham, Cygnet Feather Shrug, £664.00
3. Temperley Bridal, Joie wrap, £1335.00
4. Sasso Minnelli Bolero (ivory, white, rose and soft grey) £125 available from White Bride, Narberth
5. Sasso Ostrich Boa, £245 available from white Bride, Narberth
6. Sasso, Prague Cape,  £349 available from White Bride, Narbeth
7.Sasso , Alaska Jacket , £435 available from White Bride, Narbeth
8. Monique Lhuillier, Estelle Bolero, POA
9. Nina Ricci, ruffled silk-organza and tulle stole. Was £1870 now £561.00 net-a-porter
10. Lavin, Crystal Brooch Shearling Jacket, £4495, net-a-porter (super extravagant but totally gorgeous!), net-a-porter

Enchanting Vintage

enchanting vintage

1. Etta shrug from Charlotte Balbier, available from Victoria Valentine, Abergavenny, £335
2. Jenny Packham, Elsa embroidered bridal jacket, £820.00
3. Bespoke White Bride Capelet in hand-beaded lace, £455.00 available from White Bride, Narberth
4. Suzanne Neville, Willow long sleeve lace jacket, available from High Society, Cowbridge POA
5. Stephanie Allin, Yasmin Shrug. POA, available from Stephanie Allin, Mumbles
6. Stephanie Allin, mystical coat, POA, available from Stephanie Allin, Mumbles
7. Monique Lhuillier, Minnie Coat, POA
8. Lanvin, Corsage Shrug, £1320, Net-a-porter

 

Classic Chic

Classic Chic

1. Sassi Holford 2014 Signature organza Georgina jacket, available from High Society, Cowbridge, POA
2. Victoria Valentine cap sleeve satin shrug (can be customised in a variety of fabrics to compliment your dress), prices from £185, available from Victoria Valentine, Abergavenny
3. Stephanie Allin, Ballet Wrap, POA, available from Stephanie Allin, Mumbles
4. Stephanie Allin, Bardot Shrug, POA, available from Stephanie Allin, Mumbles
5. Monique Lhuillier, Tatiana Cape, POA
6. Monique Lhullier, Clementine Coat, POA
7. Monique Lhullier, Jackie Jacket, POA
8. Issa, Broderie Anglaise Jacket, £355

 

If you enjoyed this post you will love what’s coming up tomorrow. Pippa is back again! This time with a full write up of her own wedding! We cannot wait to share this :) 

 

 

A Little Bit of Luxury: Shoe Edition

Luxury bride Pippa is here with her first post today, all about the wonderful beauties that are designer shoes. Sparkles, vintage, something blue – you name it, Pippa has you covered :)

luxury

Hello all you gorgeous ‘Cwtchers’. I was so excited to be asked to be your ‘Luxury Bride’ and even more excited to be writing my first post to you all. Not just because I now have a legitimate excuse to stare wantonly at beautiful things all day (all for research purposes of course) but also because it gives me a chance to re-live some of the excitement my (now) husband,  Mr P & I had in the build up to our wedding back in August.

I didn’t have to think long before coming up with an idea for my first ‘touch of luxury’ post. If you are anything like me, when pay day comes around all I can think about is shoe shopping…so where better to start?

When looking for bridal shoes I knew I wanted something special, a touch of designer luxury to step (quite literally) into married life in the most exquisite pair of shoes I own. I had dreamt about having a sneaky glimpse of that gorgeous red sole we all know and love when kneeling at the altar, or maybe tottering down the aisle in the most sparkly glittery heels by Gina or even slipping on some equally fabulous flats courtesy of Ms Seth to dance the night away…just how is a girl to choose?

After much painstaking research (hours of shoe shopping) I opted to say “I do in Choo”! I justified this to Mr P (and myself) by choosing a style I would wear again and again. In fact, I would wear them so often they would become the most reasonable item of clothing in my wardrobe based on cost per wear (£/wear).

Have I worn them since you may ask? Well, that’s beside the point…they’re just so pretty to look at and worth every penny! If you are like me and want to go all out on some fancy footwear, take a peek at these little beauties to see if I can tempt you into a little luxury for your big day…it’s a bride’s prerogative after all!

Can’t see the galleries? If you are reading via email please click the title above to read on the web.

Classic Bride

  1. Aruna Seth, Lynn Heel (as worn by Pippa Middleton at her sister’s Royal wedding)  – £625
  2. Aruna Seth, Cerise Wedge -£750
  3. Harriet Wilde, Marina Daisy – £449
  4. Badgley Mischka, Daryn – $225
  5. Kate Spade, Shalyn Heel – £328
  6. Freya Rose, Della Sky Blossom – £425

Savvy Silver

  1. Aruna Seth, Farfalla Heel Silver Glitter – £625
  2. Gina, Gita – £785
  3. Gina, Rox – £595
  4. Jimmy Choo, Lace – £375
  5. Jimmy Choo, Dempsey – £595
  6. Christian Louboutin, Fifi Strass Suede Burma – £2095

Golden Girl

  1. Harriet Wilde, Bridgette – £375
  2. Badgley Mischka, Davida II – $245
  3. Freya Rose, Ennis  – £395 (a limited edition style so you will need to be quick ladies)
  4. Gina, Quincey – £745
  5. Gina, Tatum – £895
  6. Jimmy Choo, Isabel – £360

Blushing Bride 

(A big bridal trend continuing into 2014 – blush tones) 

  1. Aruna Seth, Candy – £695 (A Cwtch Favourite)
  2. Aruna Seth, Farfalla Rose Satin – £595
  3. Badgley Mischka, Randall – $200
  4. Kate Spade, Copley – $798
  5. Christian Louboutin, So Kate Patent – Currently sold out
  6. Christian Louboutin, Very Richie – £2395 (well a girl can dream)

A Touch of Vintage

  1. Jimmy Choo, Agnes – £375
  2. Emmy, Francesca  – £695 (Victoria Pendleton’s wedding shoes)
  3. Emmy, Elizabeth – £450
  4. Harriet Wilde, Sakura – £450
  5. Badgley Mischka, Doris – $295
  6. Manolo Blahnik, Swan – £840

Something Blue

  1. Aruna Seth, Farfalla Powder Blue – £595
  2. Aruna Seth, Cerise Heel Royal Blue – £755
  3. Badgley Mischka, Buzz – $225
  4. Manolo Blahnik, Hangisi Jewel Satin Pump  – £630 (Carrie, SATC, said “I do” in Manolo’s “Something Blue”)
  5. Kate Spade, Charm – $328
  6. Kate Spade, Grande Bow  – $598 (well it’s ‘Tiffany’ blue!)

Fabulous Flats

  1. Aruna Seth, Liana – £405
  2. Kate Spade, Neisha – $350
  3. Christian Louboutin, Lady Strass – £895
  4. Christian Louiboutin, Gozul Strass – £1995
  5. Gina, Evana – £595
  6. Manolo Blahnik, Hangisi Jewel Satin Flats – £620

Top Tip

If you love high end brands but equally love a bargain, keep an eye out for top designer sample sales which usually take place at the end of the spring & autumn seasons. Gina usually have a fantastic one in Kensington but I have also been equally fortunate to stumble across the odd Jimmy Choo & Jenny Packham sale. It may mean taking a trip to London and sharpening your elbows but it can save you £££’s!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my first post as a Cwtch girl! :)

Love

Pippa x