31st October 2014

Happy Friday everyone – it’s time for another of our monthly inspiration features, designed specifically with Love My Dress® readers in mind.  Here at Pocketful of Dreams, we’ve had a summer of marquee weddings – from beautiful and traditional canvas-pole tents through to rustic stretch tents and contemporary clear frame marquees, we’ve worked with them all in 2014.

A marquee wedding is a great option if you’ve got a larger wedding party or you’re looking for something that offers you a little more creative control…you don’t need to worry about swirly event carpet or decorative elements that clash with your own design vision.  However, the blank canvas they provide can be both a blessing and a curse, as ultimately you’re investing in a big white box and need to consider every little aspect of the space in your styling.  A marquee is also not a “cheap” option as you not only have to build your design from the ground up, you also need to bring in a multitude of other services: generators, lighting, flooring, portaloos and kitchen equipment all need to be hired in. But that’s a post for another day.

What marquees or tents do provide you with is huge creative potential, and at Pocketful of Dreams, those words are music to our ears. So today we thought we would bring you our top tips on how to decorate a marquee like a wedding pro:


Your marquee is your domain for the day so approach the styling as you would when designing your home. Every aspect of the space needs to be considered, starting from the entrance. Do you want to add a warm welcome?  Then maybe provide a rug or different matting to provide a clear entrance point.

Large floral displays or styled set ups flanking the entrance add drama and clearly signpost the way for your guests plus they can double up as a card collection point, because trust us the first things guests want to do is deposit their cards and gifts, then they want a drink.

You could also consider investing in a proper doorway, such as a closing wooden door which not only looks the part but also has the practical advantage of keeping the warmth in, useful if you’re getting married earlier or later in the year.


Image credit: Helen Cawte Photography // Wedding styled by Pocketful of Dreams


You really do have to bring everything in for a tent wedding, and that starts with the flooring.  Coir matting is great for festival or relaxed weddings as they provide a rustic look and have the advantage of covering up a multitude of sins (ideal when you’ve got lots of guest marching through the tent).

If however you want a more refined look then consider carpeting laid down over wooden flooring for a level space and a more elegant aesthetic.  There is a price premium associated with this though, expect to pay about 2.5 times the price for wooden flooring and carpet compared to coir matting.  For a 40×80 foot tent for example, this could be in the region of £2,000.

As a more cost effective alternative, look at event flooring.  This won’t give you a totally rigid flat surface as it follows the contours of the ground, but it does help to level out bumpy grass and provide a more solid footing.  Also, consider the colour of your carpet; ivory is likely to get very dirty, very quickly! Other colour options can really change and enhance the ambience within the space – green offers a rustic and almost grass-like feeling whilst black will make it look very contemporary.


Image Credit: Chris Barber //Wedding designed & styled by Pocketful of Dreams


Marquees  and tents give you lots of height to play with and although you may need to take into consideration sloping roof lines, these high ceilings (up to 21 feet in a traditional pole tent) provide lots of potential for hanging.

Ceiling installations can add instant drama and create that real wow-factor. It doesn’t have to be elaborate either, we’ve strung rows of handmade hessian bunting with neon-dipped ends into a marquee space, which helped to break up the vast whiteness of the marquee linings. We’re also huge fans of hanging florals and foliage in the ceiling spaces as these offer a really whimsical aesthetic. It’s essential to work with florists who not only understand the vision you have for this but also the capabilities to make it happen. We love Euphoric Flowers and can vouch that Simon loves nothing more than climbing up tall ladders, Wildabout are also experts when it comes to installations and we worked with them to create a vast paper lantern installation with strings of hanging orchids for an urban London wedding last year.

The Pulley systems used for lighting and power can make the hanging process much simpler, just make sure you speak to your marquee company in advance so they can advise you on hanging points and weight restrictions and get your florist to co-ordinate plans with them.


Image credit: Helen Cawte Photography  // Wedding styled by Pocketful of Dreams Continue reading…

31st October 2014

Most of the time, I love my super-short hair. However, there are moments (usually when I’m with Annabel at events) when I yearn for long hair that could be styled to vintage perfection. So when Annabel asked me to interview Amanda, the vintage styling genius behind Lipstick & Curls, I was prepared for those desires to bubble to the surface again, particularly when Annabel told me more about this marvelous company.

Lipstick & Curls were my number one choice of hair and makeup stylists to work with when it came to producing my first book, Style Me Vintage Weddings.  We worked closely, alongside a full creative team to create the images for the book and Amanda was out of this world – professional, reliable and really great to work with.  Her encyclopaedic knowledge of the beauty industry over the past 100 years places her in a unique, expert position as a modern day bridal stylist – it always excites me when I learn that a bride whose wedding we’re featuring, had a Lipstick and Curls makeover – her styling is immaculate – plus there are few stylists who can pull of a proper, super glamorous marcel wave – Amanda is one of them.”

Photography Copyright (2014), Joanna Brown

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Images above taken from the 1920′s and 1930′s chapters of Annabel’s book, ‘Style Me Vintage Weddings’
Available on Amazon and in all good book stores

With that glowing endorsement ringing in my ears (and dreams of perfect victory rolls and red lips floating in my head), I set out to find out more about Lipstick & Curls and also to pick up some sneaky hints and tips to share too…

lipstick and curls, wedding hair, wedding makeup, bridal hair, bridal makeup

Tell me a little bit about how Lipstick & Curls and how it came into being?

I was inspired to start my London-based business in 2008 and with 15 years experience as a hair and make up artist my love of the past had always influenced my work. And in short, I just wanted to help make the world a more glamorous place!

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Images above taken from the 1960′s chapter of Annabel’s book, ‘Style Me Vintage Weddings’
Available on Amazon and in all good book stores

What services do you offer?

Our services just keep growing! We get lots of feedback and have put new services in place due to popular demand. We have a wonderful relationship with our business partners and therefore can offer such a wide range of services now that include Vintage Tea and Pampering at Ketttner’s Champagne Bar, vintage photo shoot parties, private tutorials, private parlor hire, Touch up Girls for mobile services at events, bridal styling, hen party packages, fashion and media shoots, festivals and our very popular Lipstick and Curls Training Academy.

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Why did you decide to specialise in vintage?

As an artist I love vintage styles and I never get bored of looking though the archives, seeing styles from decade to decade all influencing each other and there was just so much skill involved. The artists of the past were true masters and I will never get bored of their work! I enjoy recreating the classic styles and I now can mix the modern with the past giving me even more scope to be creative.

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Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Michelle Waspe 
See the full wedding on Love My Dress here

Why do you think the vintage look has so much appeal to brides?

Vintage styling is classic and very tailored and to be honest quite beautiful so this is one day a bride can really live out a starlet fantasy! At Lipstick and Curls we work with a great deal of brides, all with different requirements. Perhaps a bride has purposefully chosen a soft subtle vintage gown and is looking for a stronger image when it comes to hair and make up styling or the opposite. Sometimes, the gown is vintage inspired and they are looking for only a vintage element and a more classic style.

lipstick and curls, wedding hair, wedding makeup, bridal hair, bridal makeup

lipstick and curls, wedding hair, wedding makeup, bridal hair, bridal makeup

Top right image by Taylor and Porter - full wedding on Love My Dress here
Bottom image by MiKi Photography - full wedding on Love My Dress here

What do brides need to keep in mind when booking hair & make-up?

Choosing a vintage hairstyle for your wedding day and to complement your dress is crucial. If you are working with a stylist on this, bring as much visual information as possible to the trial. Have a strong idea of what you wish to create but be flexible as the stylist will work with your natural features and will create a version of the style.

lipstick and curls, wedding hair, wedding makeup, bridal hair, bridal makeup

Images above taken from the 1920′s chapter of Annabel’s book, ‘Style Me Vintage Weddings’
Available on Amazon and in all good book stores Continue reading…

30th October 2014

Good Afternoon All! I’m so enjoying the #ShareTheHonestLove Instagram images today – have you read our post of this morning that introduces you to our special new blog series? I adore a pastel colour scheme don’t you? Throw in a gorgeous stone barn, loads of DIY including a hay bale sofa and you’ve got one very cool wedding. Mortgage advisor Peter and Trainee Solicitor Hollie tied the knot on the 28th of June 2014 in Whiston, South Yorkshire. This is a beautifully crafted wedding with the bride undertaking an array of DIY projects, from the flower girl’s dress to the cake and lots in between. Photographed by Shelley of Diamonds and Doodles, there’s no way you won’t love this wedding.

“I loved the idea of rustic village fête with a touch of pastel vintage glam with an informal, DIY, personal feel to the day. I collected lots of pictures and an overall feel for the day just came together. I gathered glass jars, burlap, lace and doilies straightaway but Pete had to stop me from going overboard!”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Diamonds and Doodles

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We went to a wedding fare at Whiston Manorial Barn and the minute I walked in I feel in love with the 13th Century stone barn.  It had so much character, the chunky wooden beams and stone floors were stunning. We can’t praise Karen and Clare who run the weddings at the barn enough, they helped so much to bring our plans together.”

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mori lee, barn wedding, pastel wedding, vintage glam wedding, diamonds and doodles photography

“Shelley Richmond from Diamonds and Doodles was awesome. I stumbled across her website, just as I was about to give up. I loved the name and knew straightaway that Shelley’s style was perfect for us. We met for a coffee and I was blown away, she is so talented and a true artist. On the day Shelley was a pleasure to have around. Relaxed, warm and friendly, I felt immediately at ease in her company and forget about the camera. We actually ended up really enjoying ourselves even though we are both a bit camera shy.”

mori lee, barn wedding, pastel wedding, vintage glam wedding, diamonds and doodles photography

Continue reading…

30th October 2014

I really hope that you have had chance to read our #ShareTheHonestLove feature of this morning, and if not, please can I encourage you to take just a few moments to read it before, or after watching this beautiful film – it’s so very important.

The feature this morning was written by my friend Laura Caudery of the award winning Surrey wedding venue, Fetcham Park, who are today celebrating 3 years since their official launch and opening.  And I really want to shout about that today .  The way that Laura manages this exceptional wedding venue is hugely inspiring to me.  For me personally, Fetcham Park, represents the very best when it comes to  the client experience and customer service.  Don’t expect any over inflated corkage fees here – that’s not the way Laura does things, and it clashes wildly with Laura’s concept of a ‘wedding venue with a heart’.  Instead, think of a wedding venue with soul, personality and a genuine commitment to creating a beautiful experience for everyone who choose to marry there.  It’s the reason why Kieran and Vinita chose to tie the knot there on 16th August this year.

The film I’m about to share captures the magic of this wedding – it is a simply breathtaking record of life-affirming, heart-warming day full of love, hope and happiness – the most important elements of a wedding that Laura and I are trying to emphasise in this post.  Sit back for the next few minutes and enjoy…

“There is no getting away from the fact that your wedding will be one of the most expensive events of your life. For many couples, this means certain ‘unnecessary expenses’ will have to be forgone. Kieran and I had both always thought photography would be a huge part of our day. We spent a great deal of time finding our perfect photographer and, in Jackson & Co Photography, we found just that. I was always keen on having a film maker capture our day too. No matter how ‘in the moment’ we planned on being I knew there would be certain parts of the day we would miss. As beautiful as we hoped our photos would be, and they really are beautiful, I wanted the beauty of our day to be captured through film. Kieran had never really thought about having a film maker. He had actually put this on his list of ‘unnecessary expenses’.”

Film Production Copyright (c) 2014, Allora Visuals

“This all changed when the wonderful Laura Caudery at Fetcham Park turned our attention to Niki and Ben at Allora Visuals. Laura had seen previous examples of Allora’s work and she was confident they would be the perfect film makers for us. Of course, as with every piece of advice Laura imparted, she was right! Kieran and I immediately set about viewing as many of Allora’s videos as we could and we were instantly in awe of their style. We arranged to meet with Niki one spring evening over coffee and cake. From the very moment we met him we were taken with his calm and warm personality. We felt so comfortable in is presence and had a feeling he was going to create something very special for us.

On our wedding day Niki’s personality was reflected through his work. From the intimate getting ready moments, to our cherished ceremony, the speeches, our first dance and right into the evening, Niki, along with his colleague, Ben, were unassuming and unobtrusive as they set about capturing every single detail. We barely felt their presence all day and as soon as we left for our honeymoon we couldn’t wait to see our wedding video trailer.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Jackson & Co Photography

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“Our trailer arrived in my Inbox one Sunday evening nearly three weeks ago now. The second we clicked to view we were blown away by how incredible it was. As soon as I heard my dad’s voice I started crying. I continued to laugh and cry throughout the entire film. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw myself standing on Fetcham’s staircase just before I walked down; I had no idea there was a camera on me. I adored seeing Kieran’s reaction when he first saw me. I adored hearing the voices of my dad and Kieran during their speeches.”

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“I loved seeing the happiness of our beautiful bridesmaids and mums whilst we were getting ready and hearing their excitement. I loved seeing the happiness and laughter from all of our guests and seeing them dance into the night. I also loved hearing us being announced as ‘Mr and Mrs Brand’ just before we walked outside to our petal toss. Each of these moments is priceless.

Our trailer truly captures the essence of our day; the love, the happiness, the joy and the laughter.

fetcham park, surrey weddings, jackson & co photography, vera wang davids bridal, etsy wedding Continue reading…

30th October 2014

In preparing this feature, it became apparent very quickly how important some context and background to this post would be.  Let me begin by taking you back, briefly, to this little industry soiree I hosted in 2011, where I met my now close friend Laura Caudery for the very first time.  Our friendship hit off immediately and later in the same year, I was guest at the official opening of Fetcham Park, an award winning Surrey wedding venue owned by Laura’s family, and managed by Laura herself. This week, Fetcham Park celebrates it’s 3rd anniversary, and I’m so very delighted for my friend.

Being an avid Instagram follower, last week, Laura launched a new social media hashtag called #ShareTheHonestLove.   She blogged about it here, explaining that she had created the hashtag to encourage those planning a wedding to focus less on all the crazy superficial aspects of wedding planning and more on remembering to celebrate what a wedding day is really all about – the love and emotional values of the day.   I loved the idea instantly so shared details with our readers and posted my own #ShareTheHonestLove images on Instagram here and here.

Today, Laura and I are launching a new regular feature on Love My Dress®; ‘Share The Honest Love’ is designed to encourage you, dear readers, be you a bride, photographer or otherwise, to share your own heart-warming and life-affirming wedding photographs on Instagram and Twitter – images that celebrate real, raw, honest wedding-day love and emotion, and that will inspire our readers to stop stressing too much over all the details.  Details of how to participate in #ShareTheHonestLove are provided at the end of this feature and we really hope that you do participate.  For now, please join me as Laura shares her deeply moving and inspiring story for the very first time with a series of most precious #ShareTheHonestLove photographs.

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, CKP Weddings

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What do you think of when you think of a wedding day? I imagine many people would list the dress, the flowers, the venue. And to be honest, I think I was the same. I lost track of what the day was really all about.

Despite desperately wanting to marry Paul, I let myself get distracted by the brilliant marketing machine that is The Wedding Industry. If I’m being kind on myself I blame the fact that we were trying to organise a lot of things in a very short time. 4 months to organise a wedding, whilst pregnant, in a venue that had never hosted a wedding, whilst I was planning the launch of my own business – the venue itself – meant that it was easy to get sidetracked by the logistics.

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And it’s easily done: learning the art of event planning under the pressure of organising ‘the best day of your life’ can easily take over. Suddenly nights are spent fretting over guest lists, parking arrangements, food choices and colour schemes. However, with a background in marketing and events I was surprised at *just* how easily I was seduced.

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The only time I stopped to really think about our church service was when we met with our vicar, and even then my mind was still focused on the practical arrangements, rather than the emotional significance of what we were actually planning.

share the honest love, #sharethehonestlove, fetcham park, laura caudery

This experience informed so many of the principles that have guided and shaped the launch of our business and set us apart from our competitors. I take my job incredibly seriously, not least because I want to protect a couple from the stress that planning can entail so that they can focus on what really matters: celebrating their love for one another.

The reason I’m so passionate is that despite all my careful preparations, our wedidng day was very nearly a total disaster.  Waking up to heavy snowfall is the last thing a bride wants to see when any kind of travel is involved. My journey to Fetcham Park involved losing half of my bridesmaids, driving on the wrong side of a motorway, running 4 hours late and receiving relentless calls from guests saying that they wouldn’t be able to make it.

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I’d woken up the happiest girl in the world, but by midday I was exhausted, stressed and so very sad. The one thing I couldn’t control was about to ruin all those months of obsessing and detailed planning.

What I realised as we finally neared Fetcham Park however, was that only one thing mattered: marrying Paul. All I wanted was to get to the church and say my vows. I arrived at the house just before 4pm and had changed and was in the church by 4.15pm.

I just desperately wanted to stand next to Paul and promise to spend the rest of my life with him.  As long as the day ended with us as husband and wife, I didn’t care about anything else.

share the honest love, #sharethehonestlove, fetcham park, laura caudery

Time stopped as I walked into the church.  I can remember everything so vividly.  The way he looked at me as I walked down the aisle.  The way he held my gaze as he said his vows.  The way he squeezed my hand as we sung our hymns.  The way he steadied me as I knelt to pray (and get up again…pregnancy isn’t easy in a big dress and high heels!).  The pride I saw in his eyes and  the happiness we both felt in our hearts. The excitement that in just a few short months we’d be meeting the baby he’d so longed for.

Love. Happiness. Hope. And the feeling that we were supported in our married life together by the friends and family that stood by our side in church.  Those are the things I remember from our wedding day.

Yes, Fetcham Park looked beautiful.  Yes, the meal and wines were incredible.  Yes, the party was great.

But the best bit?  The very best bit was our ceremony, because it was just about the two of us.  It was about knowing that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Except tragically that wasn’t to be.  Just a few days after our son’s first birthday, and only a few months after celebrating our first wedding anniversary, Paul suffered a fatal cardiac arrest.  There had been no warnings and at just 32, I found myself a widow and single Mummy to a little boy.

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Continue reading…