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Decorate your perfect wedding

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29 Sep 14

Making the most of your guest book

Guest books are a must at wedding receptions. These volumes provide a space for the couple’s friends and family to jot down words of hope and goodwill. While you can always go with the classic set-up: a large, blank book positioned on a table by the venue’s main entrance, how can you give such an ‘institutional’ item special flare?   Something different For starters, keep in mind that guest books don’t have to be books at all. My friend Shoshanna is an artist, so when she got married the planner came up with a great way to give her profession a nod by setting out a large canvas upon which guests could write (or draw!) their messages for the happy couple. That visual theme turned up again at my workmate Henry’s wedding, where I saw an equally original spin on the idea that I found brilliant. Instead of a classic […]

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22 Sep 14

Commemorating a happy couple’s first wedding anniversary

If you thought all the wedding hustle and bustle ended after the ring exchange, joyous kiss and fantastic reception, you were wrong. Marriages are meant to last forever, and as such they come with a mini celebration with each anniversary! Most couples agree that the first year is the most difficult, what with the newlyweds getting used to their new life together; so isn’t that worth special commemoration? Let’s review the sort of gifts that are especially suited to mark the passing of the first 12 months in a married couple’s happy journey. The paper path Partially because everything is just so new, first-year wedding anniversaries are known as ‘paper’ anniversaries. The easiest gesture, of course, is to go the visual route and present the couple with a framed photo collage, an array of pictures from their first year together arranged around the original wedding invitation. Independently from pictures, there […]

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15 Sep 14

Choosing amongst the most popular wedding themes

Last Sunday I was having brunch with my cousin Tanya when she revealed the big news: her boyfriend Kevin had finally popped the question! After the hugs and toasts we got down to serious matters: Tanya’s wedding theme. “Theme?”, she asked. “Is that really necessary?” Yes. The theme is the element that winds through the event and brings it all together, from location to the colour to flowers and food. Grasping the importance of the matter, Tanya was struck dumb but, fortunately, I’ve been to enough weddings to give her a run-through of some of the best themes. Classic chic or natural charm? Who doesn’t love a fairy tale wedding? That classic look is what my friend Lucy went with at her wedding. A refined colour scheme of navy blue, silver and black perfectly played off her full-skirted wedding dress, and the venue, the ballroom in a Victorian hotel, allowed […]

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08 Sep 14

Adding colour to a winter wedding

What a hectic season summer has been! I’ve had every weekend booked with wedding after wedding. It seems as if people don’t get married at any other time of the year! While I love a summertime wedding, I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m personally obsessed with winter weddings. Why do I love weddings that take place when the weather is cooler? Well, besides the practical perks (less competition for venues and vendors) and the endless fashion choices, winter weddings come with one singularly ideal advantage: any colour palette can work. The freedom this selective diversity provides means that you can take the wedding in all sorts of fun directions, ensuring a unique production every single time.   Matching your surroundings In addition to great natural light, winter also implies dramatic natural surroundings, with a mix of colours that appears but once a year. Channel that natural beauty in […]

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01 Sep 14

A pearl themed 30th wedding anniversary

The test of time is a hard one to resist, and for that reason all major wedding anniversaries deserve a special celebration. When I found out that my Aunt Peggy and Uncle Roger would be celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this year, I knew we had to go all out in order to properly commemorate the occasion. Peggy was clear on the venue: the same banquet hall where they held their wedding reception three decades ago; but unsure about the décor. After all, the gaudy 80’s colour scheme they used the first time around was hardly suitable! Fortunately, the anniversary’s traditional symbol, pearls, was ideal for selecting the right colours and look to make this an affair to remember!   Bright and shining Given the 30th anniversary is traditionally known as the ‘Pearl Anniversary’, I knew we had to go with a general colour scheme involving white, grey and silver. […]

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25 Aug 14

How to decorate a barn wedding

What can be more romantic than getting married in a charming, old barn? Barn weddings don’t need to come with a flock-full of complications, and with just a little creativity you can make any old farm space just as delightful as The Ritz. Artful touches can guarantee an affair that will feel original, familiar and elegant all at once.   Country charm I like barn weddings because they’re a perfect example of ‘less is more’ applied to the wedding scene. These grand, functional structures stand out for their beauty, so don’t burden yourself with excessive décor when a minimalist, rustic chic can go a long way. When my design partner Mitsy married in a barn last year she followed this route, letting the building’s natural grace do the work. Taking full advantage of the beautiful, robust architectural elements, she strung lines of hanging lanterns from the beams. When evening fell, […]

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18 Aug 14

Eye-catching winter wedding centrepieces

I’m not sure if it’s the perfect contrast between the outside cold and the inner warmth, the white snow and the stark colours of the bare trees, the crisp air and the soft lighting, but winter weddings seem to lend themselves to a special sort of natural elegance. While the weather enhances that air of solemnity and minimalist chic, the inner ambience is yours to create. One great way to really convey your winter wedding theme is via your table centrepieces, where natural seasonal elements, as well as candles and classic holiday décor can go the distance.   Winter wonderland Bucking the summer wedding trend, my sister Stacy decided to marry in mid-February a few years back, opting for the snowy backdrop despite the frigid weather. While the street temperature was well below zero, I admit that the reception’s cosy ambiance made us forget just how cold it was outside! […]

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11 Aug 14

It’s not over: the thank you notes

Between planning the wedding and actually surviving the event itself, it’s no wonder many couples are exhausted when all is said and done. While you might feel you’ve crossed the finish line once the cake is cut, you’ve still got a final lap ahead of you. Enter the wedding gifts! That blender is fantastic and the candlesticks are divine, but before you can use them you need to acknowledge those who were generous enough to buy them for you. Crack your knuckles and grab a pen; it’s time to write some thank you notes. Most newlyweds can only spend a few minutes greeting each individual during the reception. Thank you notes provide a way to reach out to those who made the effort (often at great financial expense) to set you up for your married life. Keep to your wedding’s colour scheme when selecting stationery and put forth some effort […]

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04 Aug 14

Thoughtful ruby wedding anniversary gifts

If a wedding is worth commemorating with a gift, anniversaries deserve just as much notice, especially when they mark a notably long-lasting marriage. The decade mark deserves an enthusiastic cheer, 20 years demands applause, and 30, nothing short of a standing ovation… But how do you mark a ruby wedding anniversary, love affair that’s stood a 40-year test of time? This is the question I asked myself a few months ago, when my parents marked their 40th anniversary. They are traditionally known as ‘ruby anniversaries’ because of the stone’s eternal inner flame. These celebrations provide the perfect occasion to look back on a love that is truly timeless.   Think ruby red Not everyone makes it to the big 40; indeed, it seems like Aliens star Sigourney Weaver is the only famous person celebrating a ruby anniversary this year. So when the time came, I knew I had to mark […]

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28 Jul 14

The tablecloth: bringing it together

Many brides stress about ceremony details, but I’ve been to enough weddings to be able to tell you that the real point of focus is the reception, mainly because it’s the place where the bridal party and guests spend the bulk of the celebration. Often overlooked, tablecloths can actually have a huge impact on the wedding ceremony. Pick the wrong fabric or colour, and your whole theme can be thrown off-kilter. Meanwhile, if you choose wisely, you may score a miracle and bring the whole event together. Remember your theme At last week’s wedding, the tablecloth, elegant dark-blue cotton with silver lining, perfectly matched the silver-lined dishes on the table and the formal décor of the banquet hall, a high-ceiling, columned, whitewashed ballroom. I asked my friend Anna, the wedding planner, what she took to heart when selecting the tablecloth, and she said it was a process made simpler as […]

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