Wednesday 29 February 2012

Leap Year Proposals: Mangagement Rings

It's not often that I have a blog post dated the 29th February so today is a special post dedicated to the Leap year, which is a day when women can break with the normal tradition and propose to their guys.

If your man is dragging his heels in the proposal department, now could be your perfect opportunity. If not you may have to hope he gets down on one knee sometime between now and the 29th February 2016. There is lots of debate about whether proposing to a man is a good plan, as many men like to be in control and not feel pressurised into making big decisions.



However if you have already talked about getting married and feel that the time is right in your relationship to commit to each other then why not buy surprise your man a mangagement ring.  Whether you propose or not, the trend for men choosing to wear an engagement ring has been growing steadily and celebrities like Peter Andre and David Beckham wearing large diamond encrusted rings have cemented this trend.

The rise in Civil Partnerships has also helped to create a flourishing market for rings for men that offer more than the traditional plain gold band. The rings shown above are from a range of mangement rings from Bliss Rings. You can check out their full range here.

This Tioro men's engagement ring from H Samuel costs just £89.99 and could be a good option if you are planning to replace the engagement ring with a wedding band after the ceremony.

                                                        Tioro Men's Diamond Engagement Ring - Product number 8226342

Congratulation to anyone who gets engaged today and we'd love you to send us your engagement stories.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair

Clifton Pavilion was alive with chatter and laughter on Sunday as many couples visited the Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair. The early spring sunshine added to the warm and friendly atmosphere inside, as did the smooth sounds of the sublime trio the Tender Trap who performed upstairs.

Models sauntered around the stalls in stunning lace and satin vintage wedding gowns while enthusiastic brides has their hair transformed into vintage styles. There were many different vintage stands to choose from such as stunning wedding jewellery from Bridezillas (below) to delicious cake from Chocolate Delores (shown above).

Organisers Bristol Vintage had a pretty display of china and glassware available for hire and local designer Rachel Goodchild (shown below) was showcasing her vintage wrapping paper, stationery and wedding blogs. Fun knicker making parties for vintage hens were also showcased from Flo-Jo Boutique as seen below.

Award winning local wedding stylist the Little Wedding Helper had brought a vintage bureau, heaving with gorgeous props that she can use to transform your wedding venue. Next to her Fishee Designs Photo Booth who are mobile photo studio, who can provide fabulous vintage props for your guests to pose with.

There were so many fantastic suppliers it's impossible to list them all here, so see our previous post for a full list of those vintage suppliers who attended.

Monday 27 February 2012

Lauren and Daniel: The Wedding Saved By Twitter

Lauren Lane finally became Mrs Welch on Saturday when she married her Fiance Daniel in a wedding that she feared may never happen. The couple had originally booked Keynsham wedding venue, Chewton Place for their big day and paid them just under £4500. Just before Christmas they had the devastating news that Aspire Venues had gone into liquidation taking all of their money with them.

Happily for Lauren and Daniel what seemed like a hopeless situation was saved by the kindness of many generous wedding suppliers, who stepped in with some amazing offers. As one of the suppliers who has been helping Lauren, I spoke to her just before the wedding to ask a few questions about this heart warming story to share with readers of Bristol Wedding News.

Thank you to photographer  Sidney Diongzon for sharing these lovely pictures of Lauren and Daniel on their wedding day.

How did you and Daniel feel when you first heard the news about Aspire going into liquidation?

"Daniel & I were completely devastated when we received the email from Aspire Venues about our wedding at Chewton Place. As it was only 6 weeks away at the time and we had paid the balance it ruined all our plans and our Christmas with our 2 year old son. We had saved all the money for our wedding instead of putting it all on a credit card. If we had got into debt for our wedding we would have been covered by the credit card company. We were so upset that a local company that we trusted had not only stolen our money with not a penny of it being spent on our wedding, but that our parents had also contributed a lot towards it."

Can you briefly explain how has Twitter helped you save the wedding?

"I decided to get our story out there as we didn't want it to happen to other couples so I took to Twitter! I posted a simple 'Please help and RT, Wedding Venue goes bust with 6 weeks to go and our £4.5k' with a link to the Bath Chronicle website that we were featured on.
All my bridesmaids and friends got on the band wagon and started retweeting the message. Before we knew it we had messages from Davina McCall & Dannii Minogue and lots of offers of help."

How are you both feeling about the wedding now?

"We are both extremely excited about our big day. So much has come from such an awful time we can't thank all our helpers enough!"

Lauren and Daniel would like to thank all of these fantastic suppliers have given their time for free, at cost price or offered Lauren and Daniel substantial discounts to allow them to afford their dream wedding. Here's a complete list of suppliers and what they contributed to the wedding.

How 2 I Do Wedding Planning - Supplier Sourcing and Planning Help
Bristol Candy Buffet - Sweets and Labels for Sweet Jars
Sidney Diongzon -Wedding Photography
Paul Van- Wedding Film Maker
Another Little World -Bridal Make Up
Cupcake Cabaret - Cupcakes
Cool Joolz - Wedding Bands
Laurel Designs- Table plan, Favour boxes, Guest Book and Place Names
Charlie & The Cake Factory - fudge favours
A & M Sugarcraft  - Wedding Cake
Hollyrood Florist - Thank you bouquets and Wish Tree Hire
Bravo Singing Waiters - Singing Waiters
Demon Pen Wedding Caricaturist
Magician - Darren Campbell
Jo Gillingham - Bride and Bridesmaids hair
Please support these fantastic suppliers by contacting them regarding your wedding. They are all great examples of those who are in the wedding industry because they love to make couples happy by ensuring that their weddings are all they dreamt of and more.

Lauren said yesterday "A massive thank you to everyone that made our wedding day so special. We had an amazing day"

Photo Credits: Sidney Diongzon

Words by Stephanie Allison, How 2 I Do Wedding Planning

Friday 24 February 2012

West Weddings Show On Sunday

As well as the fantastic Bristol Vintage Show at the zoo this Sunday, there is a also a large wedding show taking place at Ashton Gate. The show is one of the largest in the South West and is arranged by West Weddings, who publish a quarterly wedding magazine for brides in the local area.

The show takes place in the Evening Post and Dolman Exhibition Hall at Bristol City Football Ground, Ashton Gate. It runs from 10.30am - 4pm and entry is free for Bristol City season ticket holders. Alternatively it's £3 per person or £5 per couple and parking is free. There will be two fashion shows at11.30am and 2.30pm where six local wedding retailers will be showing off their collections.

The first 500 brides will receive a free copy of West Weddings magazine and a glass of bubbly. Visit the West Weddings site for more information including directions.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Don't Get Married Without Insurance

Many couples overlook wedding insurance or write it off as an unnecessary expense. However some recent cases of wedding venues going into liquidation have really brought home the importance of having wedding insurance in place and also making sure you have the right insurance for your needs.

Lauren Lane will finally have her dream wedding to her fiance Daniel Welch this Saturday, but only due to the kindness of local suppliers  after she lost £4500 when her first venue Chewton Place (shown below) went into administration.

Lauren did have wedding insurance but the insurance company have still not paid out and she is not sure if they will as she started the policy after already booking and paying for her venue. We will be featuring an interview with Lauren on Monday and images from her big day taken by photographer Sidney Diongzon.


It's important that you have wedding insurance in place before paying any deposits to ensure everything is fully protected. Here's some reasons why you should have insurance.

  • Your venue could suddenly close (as Chewton Place and Hinton Grange)
  • Your venue could flood or have a serious fire (as the River Cottage and Necker Island)
  • A member of the bridal party could suddenly be taken ill or pass away
  • Weather conditions cold mean travel or accessing your venue is impossible
  • Your wedding gifts could be stolen
  • A supplier could let you down meaning paying more for a replacement
Take a look at My Wedding Insurance for more information on protecting your special day

Image: Chewton Place from Wedding Venues.Com

Wednesday 22 February 2012

The Love Actually Experience

Do you remember the bit in Love Actually where Keira Knightley walks down the aisle with her new husband and the Best Man (who is secretly in love with her) arranges for a gospel choir to burst into All You Need Is Love, whilst musicians pop up in the congregation to add a bit of brass accompaniment to the proceedings.

Wouldn't it be great to do something similar at your own wedding? Well now the opportunity is here as Bravo Singing Waiters offer the "Love Actually Experience" where you can have talented singers and dancers perform as you walk down the aisle, sign the register or get them to mingle with guests and then start flash mob style during the drinks reception.

This service costs from £495.00 or you can go for the singing waiter option or even swinging waiters who can sing Rat Pack or Buble style. You can also hire "strictly secret dancers" to mingle on the dance floor before breaking out into a full routine.

If you love this ideas, find out more on the Bravo Singing Waiters website.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair This Sunday

This Sunday sees some of the South Wests top vintage wedding suppliers head to Clifton Pavillion at Bristol Zoo this Sunday to attend the annual Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair.

The fair is organised by Bristol Vintage who specialise in organising vintage events and hiring out gorgeous vintage tableware and props such as original Babycham glasses and pretty china. The organisers say,

"Exhibitors will be displaying original, vintage items as well as vintage inspired pieces.
The Fair will appeal to brides who want a full vintage wedding, and to those who just want something that little bit special."
Many of the great exhibitors have been featured on Bristol Wedding News, such as Bridezillas, The Little Wedding Helper, Chocolate Delores, Flo Jo Boutique, Shellac Sound, The Wilde Bunch and Rachel Goodchild Designs. Lizzie from Chocolate Delores will be handing out samples of her amazing cakes, a reason on it's own to pop along. Here is the full list of suppliers who will be there,

Monday 20 February 2012

Samantha Geen Wedding Stationery

Samantha Geen is a talented new wedding stationery designer based in Bristol. She contacted us recently to share some of her designs and we are delighted to showcase them here and tell you more about Samantha Geen Designs.

Samantha offers a high quality, handmade wedding stationery design service. She trained as a textile designer, and has a wealth of experience in designing prints for the fashion industry, which have sold worldwide.

"All my designs are created through initial hand drawing and painting, and are then digitally processed before being assembled and embellished.  I believe that wedding stationery really sets the theme for your day, and is also a perfect keepsake for your guests, so I ensure that every item is beautifully designed and finished. As all my work is handmade, it is totally unique, and not a mass-produced product, which makes your day all the more special.

I also offer a bespoke service, so if you have a theme in mind, let me know and we can work together to create your perfect day!"

You can find out more about Samantha Geen's products on her website or also you can visit her shop on Etsy or her facebook page.

Friday 17 February 2012

Win £100 of John Lewis Vouchers

Wedding Day Dance UK are running a competition which will see one lucky winner win a £100 John Lewis gift voucher. They provide dance lessons for a couples first dance at their wedding.

To enter visit their website and sign up for their newsletter before the end of February 2012.

The lucky winner will be drawn at random on 1st March 2012. Wedding Day Dance UK have been teaching couples nationwide since 2005.

                                               First dance at wedding

Wedding Dance UK operate a bespoke service, with each dance choreographed uniquely for each couple. All of the 300 Wedding Day Dance UK choreographers have extensive dance and teaching experience, providing a high level of expertise and professionalism to clients.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Royal Wedding Barbie and Ken

To mark the first wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April, Mattel are launching a limited number of Royal Wedding Ken and Barbies made to look exactly like William and Kate, even down to the last detail.

The Duchess of Cambridge doll has a replica of the beautiful dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and her ensemble is completed with a lace edged veil, bouquet and the Halo tiara lent to her by the Queen. Prince William's doll is sporting a replica of his smart red military uniform.

                                 William & Catherine Royal Wedding Gift set dolls

The dolls will be released from the 7th April but can be pre-ordered on Amazon if you have a spare £99.00 and only time will tell if these dolls will become valuable collectors items over the years. Will you be buying any? Comment below and let us know.

Picture Credit: Mattel

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Redwood Hotel and Country Club Open Day

Brook Redwood Hotel and Country Club are hosting an open day on Sunday 4th March 2012 from 11am to 3pm. It's a great opportunity to view their range of rooms available for your Special Day.

                                 Exterior Brook Redwood Hotel and Country Club

Redwood Hotel and Country Club has a choice of 4 rooms to choose from for celebrations and can cater for Civil Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, Wedding Breakfasts & Receptions, Evening Wedding Receptions & Indian Weddings.

The event has free entry as well as complimentary coffee & pastries on arrival. Find out more about the hotel on the website.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone has a romantic day planned with their loved ones. Today is also a day when many proposals occur, so if you get engaged today then massive congrtaulations from Bristol Wedding News.

If you have just got engaged and are starting out planning your wedding, don't forget to visit the planning and inspiration pages for lots of theme ideas, real weddings and venue information. If your man hasn't got down on one knee yet don't forget that the leap year on the 29th February is a fantastic opportunity for the ladies to pop the question.

Just for fun here's a few of our favourite proposals, including one Valentines proposal that didn't go quite as well as the poor guy had hoped (cringe)!

Love this movie proposal...

This Disney proposal is super cheesy, but in a good way...

Uh oh...

Monday 13 February 2012

The Bishop's Palace

The Bishop's Palace has just reopened for the season following some exciting refurbishment works. Situated in the heart of Wells, the 800 year old palace is still the residence of the Bishop of the Diocese of Bath and Wells, as well as being open to the public and available to hire for special events and weddings.

They have 14 acres of stunning gardens and a new cafe and visitor facilities, so it would make a lovely setting for a family day out or romantic valentines day stroll tomorrow.

If you wish to get married at this historic venue, you will have the choice of the 13th Century under croft seating 50-120 guests and use of the Long Gallery, terrace or the Entrance Hall for a drinks reception. You will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to locations for photographs with a moat, drawbridge, beautiful gardens and atmospheric ruins to pick from.


For more information on getting married at the Bishop's Palace, please call Helen Garrett, Assistant Visitor Services Manager on 01749 988111 ext 209. You can also find out more about weddings and download the full wedding brochure here.

Image credits: All images are taken from the Bishops Palace website

Friday 10 February 2012

Pay As You Plan Wedding Planning Workshops

Planning a wedding can be stressful, time consuming and expensive. When you initially get engaged and start looking into planning your wedding, you discover the scale of the task at hand. Some brides to be (and grooms) are born planners and have had a secret wedding file tucked away since they were 13 jammed full of pictures of dresses, flowers and fabric swatches.

For others, with hectic jobs and busy lives, though they are excited about being married the endless research and tiny details of a wedding can get too much and they lose focus and motivation and suddenly find with just a few months to go their to do list is massively overwhelming.


If you feel that you need any support or guidance with simplifying the planning of your wedding, then How 2 I Do's bespoke wedding planning workshops could be your ideal solution. They can be booked individually of you can use them flexibly as and when you need to create your own personal "pay as you plan" package.

The workshops involve you and your partner spending two hours with Bristol Wedding Planner, Steph Allison, who will focus entirely on the areas where you need most support whether it's finding a venue, organising your budget, theme ideas, sourcing suppliers or designing your seating plan. After the workshop, you will receive an email summary of the workshop and a written action plan for your next steps. You will also receive any planning tools or guides relevant to your stage of planning.


If you need more wedding planning help, How 2 I Do also have a range of planning packages and services such as On the Day Coordination, Venue Sourcing, Full Planning and Candy Buffets.

The workshops cost £75.00 per couple and you can find out more about them here

Thursday 9 February 2012

The Classical Songbirds

If you are looking for a way to personalise your wedding ceremony or entertain your guests whilst you sign the register, then you should consider hiring The Classical Songbirds. They are talented singers Jemma Barnes and Terésa Bray, based in Wiltshire and they are available for weddings in the Bristol area.

"Everyone we sing for is left speechless by what it adds to their occasion - something incredibly magical. Our repertoire ranges from the classical Flower Duet through to Eva Cassidy's Songbird - if it's special to you, we’ll sing it."
You can hear a selection of duets here including Pie Jesu, Songbird and the Flower Duet. If you are interested in the beauty of a classical duet on your big day you can visit the ladies website here or contact them by email.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Fabulous Wedding Dresses Under £500

If you do not have a large budget, you may need to find a more affordable option for your wedding dress. A great idea is to buy second hand, but then you are limited to only possibly finding a few dresses in your size.

Find A Dress is a company based in Wiltshire that specialises in affordable quality wedding dresses, costing between £300 and £600. This Tia dress costs £495.00.

This one shoulder Pippa dress is available for £495.00. Take a look at the Find A Dress website for lots more affordable styles.

We also introduced you to Kitty and Dulcie's range of gorgeous affordable dresses back in October. Since then, their pink boxes have been flying out as brides have been taking advantage of their big style and tiny prices. The Pearly Queen, shown below has been a real hit at only £285.00

If you prefer full length, the City Slicker costs just £385. There are five dresses available in their current London Calling collection and you can view and order them on the Kitty and Dulcie website.

Finally don't forget the high street for affordable wedding dresses. Our August article on high street wedding dresses was one of our most popular ever posts. You can read it in full here. Phase Eight has a stunning range of affordable dresses and I really love the Paloma Dress and matching bolero.

Photo Credits: Find A Dress, Kitty and Dulcie and Phase Eight Bridal

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Ask a Bristol Wedding Planner

Bristol Wedding Planner Steph Allison from How 2 I Do Wedding Planner solves your big day dilemmas. Today it's putting the fun into weddings.


How can I make our wedding really fun for the guests as I've been to some recently that were a bit dull in places with lots of hanging around, Anna Marie, Longwell Green


Great question and you're right that there is nothing worse as a guest than hanging around not knowing what's going on. It's important to plan your day from your guests perspective. Make sure that your guests have all of the information they need in advance and have timings for what will happen and when.

Wedding websites are a great way to let guests know all of the useful information like timings, hotel information and taxi numbers. Take a look at the Wedding Blog Designer for lovely bespoke websites.


The next thing is to add some fun for the guests and to fill those pauses while you are having photos taken or waiting for the room to be turned around. I love the Original Wedding Fete Company, who can set up a village fete for all of your guests, complete with coconut shy and fun games. Other fun ideas are ice cream stands, photo booths, candy buffets, live music and close hand magicians.

The last thing is to think of your guests welfare. Really thoughtful touches can make your guests feel  valued like baskets in the loos filled with sun cream, deodorant, plasters, perfume and safety pins. I recently was involved in a wedding where the couple provided a basket of flip flops for female guests to dance the night away in comfort and it was a massive hit.

If you have a wedding planning question, email us or contact How 2 I Do Wedding & Event Planning

Image Credits: The Wedding Blog Designer, The Original Fete Company

Monday 6 February 2012

Wedding VIP Card

There is a new concept arriving for local brides and grooms called the Wedding VIP Card. It has been described as an exclusive club for anyone getting married in Dorset, Somerset & Wiltshire.

Wedding VIP Club have teamed up with premium quality suppliers to offer you special discounts, upgrades and offers in the lead up to your wedding day. Couples can choose from a hand picked selection of wedding retailers who have agreed a unique offer on production of their Wedding VIP Card!


The card costs £49.00 but booking just one supplier through Wedding VIP Card could save you hundreds, so it's well worth the initial outlay. 

Wedding VIP club have already successfully operated in the Bournemouth area, before relocating to the South West. They are currently recruiting more top quality VIP suppliers to joining their growing network. If you are  local wedding supplier, you can learn more about the benefits of joining here.

Paul from Wedding VIP explains the benefits for engaged couples,

  • Access to our password protected members only area where you will find details of all the exciting money saving offers and upgrades.
  • Discounted access to local wedding suppliers and services for the duration of your engagement.
  • A personalised stylish membership card.
  • Monthly newsletter bringing you up to date with wedding trends, latest suppliers & offers.
  • Free invite to our regular events to meet our suppliers.
Find out more about Wedding VIP Club on their website

Friday 3 February 2012

Win £150 of Jacques Vert Vouchers

Jacques Vert specialises in wedding outfits, including occasion dresses and outfits for mother of the bride and mother of the groom. They are currently running a competition to win £150 of vouchers, which would be fantastic for any wedding guest.

It is easy to enter the competition, all you have to do is complete this survey and make sure to include your e-mail address. You will be notified by e-mail if you’ve won £150 of gift vouchers.

You can find Jacques Vert online at


Terms & Conditions:
1. This prize draw is open to all UK residents, aged 18 or over, except employees of Jacques Vert Plc, its agents or anyone professionally connected with this promotion. No third party entries, bulk entries, incomplete entries or entries submitted by agents will be accepted.

2. By entering this prize draw you agree to abide by these terms and conditions and to take part in any publicity associated with or resulting from the draw, including having your name and town/city being made publicly available.

3. The winner will be chosen at random by an independent person from correct entries received by midnight on 29th February 2012. Entries received after the closing date will not be included in the draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email by 7th March 2012. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into concerning this draw.

5. There is a maximum of one prize available in the prize draw and is strictly subject to a maximum of one entry per person.

6. Entries not complying with these terms and conditions will be invalid.

7. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable nor available for re-sale. There is no cash or other alternative prize. The prize-winner must be 18 years of age or older.

8. No purchase is necessary to enter this prize draw.

9. By entering this prize draw you consent to Jacques Vert Plc communicating with you by email from time to time. Any communication will only be to provide information on our products and services.

Promoter’s details: Jacques Vert Plc, 46 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AF

Thursday 2 February 2012

February Dates For Your Diary

There's a few big wedding events on in February including the Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair and the West Weddings fair at Ashton Gate. We will be featuring the Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair later in the month.

Don't forget Valentines Day and check back tomorrow for some more great gift ideas.

Valentines Day: Tuesday 14th February

Portishead Wedding Network Fair: Saturday 25th February 2012, 11am to 4pm, St Peters Church. Church Road North, Portishead BS20 6PS. Fashion Shows: 12noon & 2.30pm
Bristol Vintage Wedding Fair, Sunday 26th February at Clifton Pavillions, Bristol Zoo Gardens

West Weddings Fair, Sunday 26th February at Ashton Gate, 10.30am - 4pm, Bridal Shows: 11.30am and 2.30pm

Wednesday 1 February 2012

3 Heart Wedding favour Ideas

Hearts always signify love and romance so they make perfect wedding favours as well as ideal valentines gifts. I love these cute little heart pins by Jesscica Biscoe. They're made of hand woven Alpaca yarn and 20% of the proceeds go back to support the Women's Weaving Project in Peru where the yarn was made. You can buy these cute hearts for £5.00 and check out lots other knitted accessories in the Yiskah Knits Etsy Shop.

                                     Peru heart

I also love these lavender filled fabric hearts by Heavenly Hearts from Not On The High Street. They can be given as a gift or customised for wedding favours with the guests name on one side and the couples name on the other. They cost £18.00 for five and can be ordered here.


If you haven't looked on Not On The Highstreet yet, you should take a look at their weddings section for lots of gorgeous products. This little mirror by red berry apple would also make a lovely gift and only costs £3.50.

                                     Valentine Handbag Mirror

Photo credits: Jessica Biscoe & Not On The Highstreet

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