Thursday, 30 December 2010

Savoir Weddings trends 2011

Way back when 2010 was still fresh I wrote a post on what I thought would be big in weddings in 2010.

And I thought it about time to compile my list for 2011.

I'm just a wedding planner admittedly, not some kind of wedding guru so these wedding trends for 2011 are just what I think, and I have to admit, what I want to see more of.

2011 is going to be the year of Personalisation. So much so I'm pretty sure I just invented a new word for it.

Since I have been wedding planning the industry and indeed weddings have become more adventurous, fun and well, interesting. 2011 brides are more conscious of their options than ever before and increasing numbers of couples are going for what in the past only the quirky couples did.

Brides are increasingly influenced by the amazing blogs which are showcasing beautiful and personal weddings, more than done justice by the work of some exceptional photographers.

More and more couples are aware they don't have to follow the rules and can have a day that incorporates all that is them. This = personalisation and I reckon 2011 is only going to get more exciting.

Which sort of leads me on to...

Eclectic weddings

A little bit 20s, a little bit 50s? This couple mixed up quaint vintage tea cups with some retro style for an elegant and individual day. Check out photographer Chloe from Caught The Light's blog for more.

I think we're going to see more couples mixing styles, periods and themes to create a truly personal day. It's not going to be about the modern wedding, the shabby chic wedding, the marquee wedding. It's going to be about the mix and match.

The vintage inspired look will develop in 2011. Yes there will still be tea cups, bunting and the like but I don't think it's going to be as themed. I see couples bringing in aspects they like and mixing them up more with more modern trends - a bit of a modern vintage.

Wedding styling has evolved so much in just the past couple of years and judging by the creativity and wants of my clients alone I think we're going to see more and more confidence in the way couples style their wedding. Wedding styling will be less about 'getting the look right' and more about artfully incorporating different styles that the couple likes.

Mixing it up is going to be the way forward.

Colour pops

I've blogged about this before and I think 2011 weddings will definitely be incorporating pops of colour. This 'trend' is versatile and works with all sorts of wedding style from modern to rustic to vintage, hence the reason we'll see more of it.

Bow ties and interesting boutonnieres will reign supreme

2010 saw more grooms embracing the bow tie look. In 2011 I think we'll be seeing more and more grooms exploring their stylish side with quirky boutonnieres.

DIY ain't going nowhere

Brides are going to be getting their craft on just as much if not more than in 2010 like the bride above who made the most incredible bouquet. Maybe it's partly down to budget and the fact doing some things yourself is just cheaper. But it also allows a lot of brides to really explore their own talents and time permitting many really enjoying crafting decorations for their weddings.

DIY flowers

Not that I anticipate florists will become obsolete, just that for budget brides, doing the flowers yourself is a a great way to save money. I think florists will start to offer consultations and sourcing flowers for brides and allow them to pick up and arrange themselves. Especially if the single- bloom-in-bottle sticks around, as this is obviously a lot easier for a flower arranging novice to achieve.

Say goodbye to round tables

One of the first things most clients say to me with regards to the venue is - 'we don't want round tables', or ' we don't want a top table'.

Think the bride and groom sitting at their own 'sweetheart table', a mixture of different size tables and chairs, no seating plan.

All of which makes for a more flexible and relaxed evening and is perfect for complicated family dynamics. Plus it looks interesting in photos and allows for unique table design for each table.

Food will be less fancy

Again this is perfect for the budget savvy bride. Formal 3-4 course wedding breakfasts are going to be even less common than they already are. Buffets, finger food, Mediterrean style table plates - anything that's more sociable and cheaper (less catering staff costs) is going to be popular. Taste is going to reign supreme over formality.


I always recommend serving cocktails to my clients. They are a perfect opportunity to have fun and be creative and they're great if your budget restricts what time you open the bar. You can be much more economical with the alcohol and no one will know!

Dessert tables

Perfect if you've served buffet style food - why not extend it to dessert. Often cheaper than a 'proper' wedding cake, you can serve a variety of sweet treats and it's a great styling opportunity.


People communicate so much online these days and if you're better at your modern technology than me you can create yourself a pretty unique little save the date (or hire someone to do it for you) This concept could work well for invitations as well I think.

Save the Date: Blair and Maggie from Squid and Beard on Vimeo.

On the whole filming notion - I expect we'll see more wedding videography as couples look for this in addition to having a fabulous photographer.

Playing around with the timings and traditions

For example:

- both parents walk the bride down the aisle
- have speeches during a drinks reception not before the wedding breakfast
- cut the cake before the meal
- have the bride give the first toast

We've all been to those weddings where it looks pretty and all but it's very predictable and there's just no surprises.

I'm not saying we'll see tradition disappearing altogether, just that couples will and should play around with the key moments of the wedding reception especially. This is a key way to keep guests entertained and enjoying themselves.

After parties

Many venues have strict kicking out times and whilst for many by 11.30pm they're ready for bed, others want to carry on partying and an after party is the perfect way to do this. At a bar, your house, another carefully selected venue wherever you choose to do this you can guarantee it will be more relaxed and as they're be less family members and more friends present, you can really let your hair down.

The desire to end your wedding when you're ready rather than the venue permits, is definitely part of the appeal of hiring a country house for a weekend or longer and again this is something I'm hearing more of from my clients.

That's it! I'm going to have to stop here or else this is going to turn into the longest post of all time. I'm dying to hear what you think will be big in 2011. And for that matter what do you think we'll be seeing less of?

Monday, 27 December 2010

Full of turkey Monday Medley

So my Monday Medley is pretty late today, but what can I say, I've been eating, drinking and watching television, as I hope you have been.

I am now, however, back in the game (and full to the brim). Henceforth from my position on the sofa I bring you my collection of web delights...

the bride

I can't even begin to say how excited I was to see these particular wedding pics. Suffice to say the bride is a friend whose wedding I couldn't make so I'm delighted to see how gorgeous it all turned out!

This photo is awesome.

Strong, glamorous and fierce. This photo says 'bring it on' to me!

Head over to Anna's blog, Love my Dress and Emma Case Photography to see more.

the chalkboard

Love love love these key chalkboards. They remind me of The Secret Garden, all magical and mysterious. Would work wonderfully with a garden wedding reception. And you can buy them on Etsy. Awesome.

the centrepiece

I like the idea of random objects/ unusual centrepieces (I worked on a wedding with origami animal centrepieces once). And these are pretty awesome.

Found via A Beautiful Mess you can buy these on Etsy too!

the bouquet

Have you ever seen such a beautiful bouquet? This wedding seen over at Style Me Pretty is so adorable. The bride did all the DIY elements herself. Gorgeous and making me long for spring.

the cake topper

It's still pretty hard to find cake toppers that aren't a tad boring or dare I say, tacky. But, I've got to say I adore this one.

Found over at Peonies & Pearls and you can buy on Ebay!

That's it! Hope you're all enjoying this strange time between Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas folks!

This is me signing off for the next few days where I intend to behave much like the baby above ;)

I hope you all have a splendid Christmas, with plenty of presents and general merriment (not to mention copious amounts of food and drink).

See you on the other side.

Josie x

Monday, 20 December 2010

White wedding goodness

Well if you live in the UK chances are you've been experiencing the joys of a proper decent snowfall this weekend. I know it causes major chaos but it really is just so pretty and magical and therefore perfect in theory for a wedding (yes there is much to consider and prepare for with winter weddings) but it's hard to beat the sheer romance of a snow filled wedding. And so has become the focus of this week's Monday Medley. Hope it's all warm and toasty where you are.

the bride

1920 elegance and winter weddings just go hand in hand so well.

Found over at Eliza Claire Photography (this sneek peek looks divine, can't wait to see more).

the dessert table

To be honest fancy schmancy £600 wedding cakes are really my bag and I'm a bit bored of cupcakes. But dessert tables are a little bit more exciting. I like the variety if offers guests and it can be a fun feature to decorate. This colour scheme would suit a winter wedding, no?

the drink

For winter weddings you can't beat a cup of something hot to keep guests happy. Hot chocolate (with or without alcohol), mulled wine/cider, gingerbread lattes, there are plenty of yummy options. And if you've got expert bar staff (not to mention a proper coffee machine) you could do some impressive latte art like the bunny head below.

the treat

Winter macarons with edible gold leaf. *Sigh*

the reindeer

the sparklers

Nothing beats a sparkler send off as you walk back down the aisle as a newly married couple...

Hope you have a wonderful wintry Monday folks. Not long til Christmas now. Are you excited?

Friday, 17 December 2010

How to ensure your wedding reception rocks

The key ingredients to a successful wedding reception

First things first. It's a party. Whether it's fancy and formal or laid back and casual, it's a party. Ok, a party with a big budget and a lot of pressure to be great, but a party nevertheless.

Once you realise this you can break down the key components and ensure your wedding reception kicks ass.

I have thrown many many parties in my time, from Halloween parties to 20s parties to informal gatherings to big-fat-last-all-night-hootennanies. Some of them have been great and others not so much but if there's one good thing that's come of them all is that I know you have to plan a good party. And that definitely applies to your wedding reception too.

I don't mean plan in a Monica from Friends way, I just mean you can't rely on the assumption that as all your favourite people are there, the party will just work. No, in my experience, it needs some careful consideration. But the sort of planning that ls flexible and leaves room for spontaneity and fun.

So, the key ingredients to a successful wedding reception are three fold:

1) Enough, and decent food and drink
2) A comfortable, well lit and well styled space
3) A well thought out sound track

I have said before and definitely will again, wedding guests should be treated like toddlers - they need regular feeding, watering and entertaining. And if you get that right, you'll have a killer wedding party.


Food & Drink

- Feed people small amounts often rather than make them wait for one big wedding breakfast. Definitely don't leave it until 6pm to feed guests if you're ceremony was at 1pm. They will get bored, irritable and some inevitably too drunk by this point.

-Similarly if you're serving a light buffet or tea party early afternoon, don't provide too much food or else no one will be hungry for the main meal that you've spent the most money on.

- Keep guests watered often. If you have to stagger bar opening times because of budget serve mini cocktails or something similar to prevent guests from getting parched and give them something to talk about.

A well styled space

Okay, so firstly you have to work with your wedding venue, not against it. Really look at the space your guests will be eating, dancing, and drinking in. This is the room to concentrate on. From grand halls, to barns to marquees there aren't many spaces that with the right styling, can't be made into the ultimate party space. So look at your wedding reception room. What does it feel like? If it wasn't your wedding how would it make you feel? How can you work with the space to enhance the atmosphere you want your wedding to have? Think about lighting, comfort, warmth, journey to the toilet and out for a cigarette. Try to imagine the 'journey' your wedding guest will go on.

Your wedding soundtrack

Obviously music is very important to me and this is the one area I would obsess on were I getting married. From when the guests arrive, to during dinner, to the after dinner dancing, to the full on party when the oldies have gone home, I would plan nearly every single song.

We've all had those nights out with friends in a bar when the music just isn't quite right. Maybe it's too loud, too cheesy, not cheesy enough, whatever it is, it just kills the vibe. And even though you're out with your best friends, the night just isn't working. Well the same thing happens at a wedding reception. So you have the think carefully - the music you have at your reception should definitely be what you as a couple love - but you also can't turn off your guests. Unless granny loves a bit of dubstep, chances are you should save that until later. But I'd advise really exploring your music options as there's plenty of songs and genres that all generations love.

That's it! What do you think? Any other key aspects to successful party planning?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I would have loved to work with this couple!

I don't tend to feature real weddings at Savoir Weddings much. There are so many awesome blogs that do that, I prefer to leave it to the pros.

But I've had to make an exception for this wedding. I 'met' Angie the bride, through being involved in Hi Fi Weddings weekly mixtape masters and have been reading her blog ever since. And recently she's been posting her wedding pics up, and I just had to feature them here.

For one main reason - Angie and Josh's wedding is a perfect example of a unique, personal and creative wedding - what I'm also banging on about here and to clients.

Yes your wedding should be stylish and yes, (if you want), you should put a lot of effort into making it a brilliant day for you and your guests. But a truly great wedding is one that represents the couple. Not one that would be fabulous on a blog or magazine spread, but one that is a prefect 'fit' for the couple getting married.

And this of course is the challenge. Incorporating ideas and trends into the best day for you whilst keeping in budget and ensuring all your guests are happy is the tricky part. Which brings me back to Angie and Josh. Now whilst I can't say I know them well (in fact I doubt Josh has heard of me!), I can tell this wedding was the perfect wedding for them.

It looks gorgeous, but personal, not like everything was created just to look good. And most importantly, they look so happy.

Take a look for yourself and then head over to Angie's blog one cat per person to find out more about this lovely lady and her big day...

All photos are by the rather talented Tom Schirmacher.

What do you think? Just amazing right?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Birthday time!

It's my 29th today so I shall be taking the WHOLE day off blogging and wedding work. I just love birthdays (not just because of presents and cake) but because for one day of the year you can do exactly what you want!

Have a great day and I'll be back soon (when I'll be one day closer to 30 aaaagggghh)


Monday, 13 December 2010

Blog lovelies for your eyes only

Apologies for the lateness of this week's Monday Medley but my blog took a backseat this weekend what with early birthday celebrations and research for clients to get done.

But I'm back in the game now, so without further ado here's my round up of web lovelies to start the week with.

the couple

Found over at one of my favourite blogs to peruse Green Wedding Shoes

The lace gloves are adorable as is the love tattoo. Click on the photo to see more, the bridesmaids dresses are delightfully mismatched.

the reception

Is there anything more romantic than dining al fresco under the stars (or fairy light stars)? This is a little tricky for UK weddings as the weather is notoriously unpredictable. But if it is at all possible then I think this is a pretty beautiful wedding reception.

the centrepiece

I've always been a fan of mismatched centrepieces, and these copper ones are a nice alternative to the 'shabby chic' look.

the table

The ever changing shape of families and the gradual appreciation for bucking tradition for tradition's sake has led to an increasing number of 'sweetheart tables' at weddings. As in a table just for two. The bride and groom obviously. I have to say I like this for several reasons - it's a little bit different - it avoids complicated top table situations - it allows the bride and groom to talk and actually spend time together on their wedding day (or at least for the meal)!

the drink

Cocktails are a must at weddings as far as I'm concerned. They can be elegant or fun but however you do them they're often a talking point and can look pretty fabulous in photos.

This rose martini is the ultimate romantic drink. Click on the image to find out how to make...

the ring

This Imogen Belfield ring needs no introduction.

Just check this bad boy out.

That's it my dears. I hope your weekend was great and your Monday has been productive and fun!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Some soothing sounds for your ears...

I'm been listening rather obsessively to the insanely mesmerising voice of Dylan Leblanc lately and it spawned my folk/alt country inspired music post for this week's Hi Fi Weddings Mixtape Masters.

I intended to write a lot more about this mixtape but I am truly shattered and ill today and need to concentrate my attentions to my wedding clients. That's the one thing about running your own business, no sick days!

Still from my comfy seat (definitely working from the sofa today) I shall be listening to this mix to hopefully sooth my sore throat...

MusicPlaylistView Profile

I hope you have a splendid weekend my lovelies, what are your plans? I'm heading out for my early birthday dinner tomorrow with all my best girls. Funny how 'refined' birthdays get as we get older!

For more Mixtape Master madness, peep the playlists on these blogs:

Hi-Fi Weddings | Tylre. | Ten Thou Bride | Fashion Under 100 | Jo, Rooting | Craft My Life | another damn life | Fancy Notion | Dead Flowers | Casa De Kaloi | Bunnies’n’Beagles | My San Francisco Budget Wedding | Existing Between Reality and Dreams

Be a Mixtape Master. Email Angie or Ashley to get in on it.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Eco-friendly honeymoons

I decided it was high time I introduced some guest bloggers to my little patch of blog land and I thought it would be good for my clients to get some inspiration from other wedding experts. And so henceforth, I give you Emma from The Honeymoon Project.

In her own words, The Honeymoon Project is written by Emma Gibbs, a travel writer and editor for Rough Guides, the UK’s best-known series of guidebooks for independent travellers. Having recently planned her own honeymoon – a four week road trip around South Africa – Emma set up The Honeymoon Project to help other couples plan their own trips by drawing on her extensive travel knowledge.

So enjoy, but be warned, looking at these photos when it's freezing outside is somewhat challenging.

Eco Friendly Honeymoons

''With global warming an ever growing concern, it's no surprise that an increasing number of couples are looking for more environmentally friendly honeymoons these days. Fortunately more and more environmentally conscious hotels and resorts are now opening up. The most obvious way to be eco-friendly when you travel is not to fly - there's no escaping the fact that air travel isn't exactly great for the environment. But if you've got your heart set on an exotic desitination then you don't have to completely rule it out - tourism is, after all, something that many countries are dependent on. Stay in locally run hotels and resorts (rather than international chains), eat local food, travel overland (rather than take internal flights), and make sure your trip has a positive impact on both the country and the people, and you'll have gone some way to balancing out the fact you flew to get there.

Here's a few of my favourite choices for an eco-friendly honeymoon:

The Scarlet, Cornwall

It's not often that a hotel makes me go, "wow, I have to go there", but The Scarlet isn't really like other hotels in the UK.First there's the beautiful location, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, which affords all of the rooms stunning sea views. Then there's the restaurant, headed by a Michelin starred chef and serving up acclaimed locally sourced and seasonal food. Then there's the spa where you can unwind with yet more outstanding vistas of the sea. But it's the combination of striking modern design and eco-credentials that really makes The Scarlet impressive, and the wood-fired outdoor hot tubs (big enough for two of course), situated on top of the cliffs are probably reason enough to make this your honeymoon destination. Best of all you can get here easily by train (to Bodmin station) and then take an 'eco-taxi' from the station to the hotel. From £180 per night.

Live like a local

One of the best ways of really getting to know a destination is by staying in a self catering house instead of a hotel, not least because it offers a lot of freedom. Though you might not want to cook much (or at all) on your honeymoon, staying in an apartment probably does mean that you'll use local shops than you would otherwise, which is obviously great news for the local economy. One of my favourite places that I've stayed, which can be reached easily from the UK, with minimal or no flying, and would be perfect for a honeymoon is La Estralla, in the stunning Alpujarra mountains in Andalucia, Spain. The start of the show is definitely the sun drenched terrace, which looks out over the village's white washed buildings and the beautiful valley, and which is the perfect place to enjoy a dinner made using local ingredients from the fantastic local shop.

Lapa Rios, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is really leading the way when it comes to eco-friendly places to stay - when you consider just how rich the country is in terms of nature and wildlife. Lapa Rios is one of the county's most celebrated eco-lodges, set in an absolutely gorgeous private nature reserve that runs right up to the sea. There's just sixteen bungalows here - constructed out of wood to perfectly blend with the surroundings - all with balconies from which to really soak up the beautiful position. The lodge is really commited to sustainable tourism, which includes protecting their surrounding 1000 acres of rainforest, conserving energy as much as possible and helping ot educate local kids about he environment. Lots of tours are offered here, allowing you to make the most of it's position - whether exploring the area by kayak, hiking through the rainforest, or enjoying a spot of dolphin watching. From £168 per person per night.''

Oh to be somewhere warm and sunny now! A massive thanks to Emma for this post (she actually sent me more but I'm going to save them for another post), and I'd love her to do a post on budget weddings so please be super nice to her!

What do you think then ladies? I think the self catering in the Alpujarra mountains is where I'd like to be right about now.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Things that have caught my eye of late...

Good morning my lovelies, this is the calm before the storm of a super busy week for me. Why is this time of year always so crazy eh. I imagine your lives are equally as jam packed!

I thought this was a nice way to start this week's Monday Medley...

the thought

the dress

Azzoro (uber chic French fashion house) launches a bridal collection Azurro MariƩe. Okay now this definitely won't be for the brides on a budget but a girl can dream right?

There's going to be 30 dresses featuring both short and long styles and a variety of delicious fabrics.

The totally decadent and divine part is that each dress comes with a personalised label with the bride's name and wedding date AND an illustration of the dress as a souvenir.

All very VIP so far and the treatment you get promised at the London, Paris or Barcelona boutiques sounds wondrous. I wonder if they'll make me a dress in the name of research?

the eyelashes

I have decided after reading this post over at OMG I'M Getting Married that I am going to go and get me some false eyelashes. Quite frankly I am fed up of my pathetic spiky spider legs eyelashes and want some glamour. How amazing would it be to wake up all fluttery eyed and girly!

the bride

This bride's amazing eclectic style is captured rather beautifully by Chloe Browne aka Caught The Light

Just check out the venue, the bridesmaids and the styling. It is epic I tell you.

the photos

I discovered these beauties over at Style Me Pretty. I really like the-looking-into-the-sun effect.

the jewellery

These pieces are just presented so well. Found over at tales of a jUnkaholic, they are part of the new collection by blog owner and all round cool lady Artemis.

That's it! Enjoy your Monday.


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