Monthly Archives: January 2009

Cliveden House and The Metropolitan

It’s been an unusual couple of days here at WBZL. Instead of working hard to ensure wedding guests are having a fabulous time, I’ve been the one enjoying the champagne and canapes.

On Wednesday evening I headed up to Cliveden House in Berkshire. The house is stunningly beautiful, the team wonderfully friendly and to top it all off Cliveden are really flexible when it comes to their weddings, happily moving furniture and doing things slightly differently for each individual celebration. As well as offering ceremonies and receptions for up to 60 guests, Cliveden also offers exclusive use where parties of up to 120 can take over the entire house, bedrooms and all.

Then last night I took a trip to the fabulously contemporary Metropolitan Hotel to sample their new Afternoon De-light; the waist-friendly afternoon tea that hotel are now serving. The food was divine and as a details obsessed individual, I can safely say that The Met’s attention to detail is second to none; no sooner had I stepped through through the door had I been handed a (very delicious) pink cocktail decorated with a pansy head!


After, canapes and cupcakes we headed over to the Hippodrome to see La Clique which was just as hilarious as the first time I was there. If you’re looking for the perfect hen party celebrations, you really can’t got wrong with cupcakes and macaroons at The Metropolitan followed by the La Clique but hurry as the shows only runs until April.

Design Concept: Spring Flowers


With us still being in deepest darkest winter, I’m starting to crave Spring with it’s longer days and delicate flowers. So when I saw these extraordinarily beautiful macaroons over at Cannelle et Vanille I knew it was time for a Spring inspired board which hopefully brings a breath of fresh air your way on this Monday morning!

Photo Credits:
Macaroons: Cannelle et Vanille
Hairstyle, cake and couple: Project Wedding
Narcissus: The Holistic Shop
Favour boxes: Martha Stewart
Invitations: Paper Divas
Lily of the Valley: The Knot
Blossom: Flickr
Shoes: J Crew
Dress: Watters

Royal Mail Smilers

stamps1The Royal Mail have been offering these customised stamps for a while but I’m not quite sure how many people are aware of them. If you haven’t come across them, Royal Mail’s Smilers let you upload a picture to create one-of-a-kind stamps. Perfect for save the dates, invitations and thank you cards.

Putting the stamps together couldn’t be easier. You simply upload a photograph of your choice and then choose the design of the official stamp from a range of 16 designs (I like this Love one best). You then pay and the stamps are delivered within 5 days of your order. Easy peasy!

Price depends on how many you order and whether you opt for 1st or 2nd class delivery but as a guide is generally around 70p per stamp.

It is a shame that you can’t customise the whole thing and are limited to one of 16 designs – I guess it must be to do with it be the ‘Royal’ mail – but nevertheless I think this is a great finishing touch and an unusual surprise for guests.

Readings: i carry your heart with me, e e cummings

zp-film-3-frame-8i carry your heart with me
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

The George In Rye

Just back from a very lovely, restful night away at the beautiful George in Rye, East Sussex. Rye has to be one of the quaintest towns I’ve ever visited and is complete with cobbled streets, town walls, a beach and even a sweet shop just like the one described in ‘The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me’. In fact, the only two branded stores inside the whole of Rye are a Boots and a sadly vacant Woolworths!

The hotel has been given a complete overhaul by owners Katie and Alex and Katie has done a fantastic job of giving the hotel a contemporary twist whilst still remaining faithful to the building’s heritage. The hotel has a stunning ballroom (pictured above) decorated with huge mirrors and exotic bird wallpaper, whilst the food on offer is delicious!

The attention to detail in the bedrooms was also one of my favourite features about the hotel. Each bed has it’s own beautiful quilt and hot water bottle (complete with uber stylish woollen cover) and each bathroom (much to my delight) is kitted out with Aveda products.

If you’re looking for a wedding venue, an idyllic honeymoon destination or even just an antidote to the January blues, The George comes with high recommendations!

Planning Tricks: Photography Timings

Over the last few weeks as I’ve been reviewing 2008 and going over each of our weddings with a fine tooth comb, I’ve been considering the traditional timings of group and portrait photography at weddings. Most couples tend to plan time for these kind of photos during their drinks reception but there are a number of reasons why this doesn’t work perfectly and so I’ve been wondering whether scheduling photography for prior to the ceremony (frequently done in the US) is actually a better alternative.

Very often group and portrait photography is the first thing to overrun at weddings and although keeping to time might sound simple, invariably it is not. Following the ceremony, couples are excited to see their guests and reluctant to leave the party just as it’s getting started whilst guests begin to disperse themselves across the venue.  Ensuring ushers get the right people in the right place at the right time can be a tricky exercise (especially when they don’t know who’s who) and asking a friend to bellow out the names of those needed for each shot is functional but can give your wedding a school-trip meets boot camp feel.

Scheduling photographs for before the ceremony not only means you bypass all of these problems but you also gain some significant benefits:

•    You’re photographed looking your absolute best, sans smudged eyeliner and crumpled buttonholes.
•    You get to spend the entire of your drinks reception chatting to your guests and soaking up the atmosphere rather than watching from afar as all the champagne gets guzzled.
•    Your drinks reception will be more relaxed and enjoyable as you’ll be free from the worry that you need to get those all-important shots before dinner is served.
•    You’ll get better photographs. Not only can you dedicate longer to getting some really creative images, without the pressure of time you’ll be more relaxed so look better and happier in the shots.
•    Your drinks reception needn’t be hours long in order to accommodate a long photo session; you reduce the risk of bored guests and a flat atmosphere.
•    You get the chance to start celebrations early, spending some quality time with your closest friends and family before the ceremony.

The major drawback to scheduling photography prior to the ceremony is that the first time you see each other won’t be as the bride walks down the aisle. However, this needn’t mean loosing the magic of seeing each other for the first time and does in fact have its own advantages. Seeing each other prior to the ceremony means you get the chance to talk to each other, calming your nerves and giving you the chance to really soak up the ‘we’re getting married feeling’ without being distracted by the wedding planning or ceremony proceedings.

Meeting each other before the ceremony needn’t be a negative thing either – you can make it into a really special moment, perhaps meet somewhere really special or get the chance for 5 minutes alone.

So there you have it, my thoughts on the matter. I’d love to hear yours so please drop me a comment!

Photo credit:
Martha Stewart Weddings