Artificial Flowers vs. Fresh Flowers

Five reasons why we love artificial flowers!

By Alina Rotaru

More and more people in search of the best looking event décor are turning to artificial flower arrangements, seeing the value in hiring something long lasting over temperamental perennials. No one can deny the beauty of delicately fresh flowers, but they do come with drawbacks that are worth considering when planning your next big event. Here are 5 reasons why artificial flowers are not a faux-pas, but rather the fresh-thinking approach for a contemporary setting.

1. What you see is what you get.
Unlike real flowers, artificial ones keep their shape whatever the weather. They will not wilt because of temperature variations, or worse yet, die in transit, or during the event. Some people even consider wilted or dying flowers a sign of bad luck and even if you are the rational kind, that is not something desirable after lots of careful event planning.

2. Leave the first aid kit at home!
No need to chase away bees, wasps or any other insects that love real flowers as much as you do. You’ll not need to Photoshop red eyes and runny noses as a result of an allergy or hay fever. Artificial flowers are the safest option if you like roses, peonies, hydrangeas, anemones, chrysanthemums, hyacinths, freesias, daisies (and more!) and you do not want to “Ahchoo!” your way through your event.

3. Your wish is our command – no matter the time of year!
Artificial floral decor can be readily available throughout the year. Dreaming of peonies for your winter wedding? Whatever theme you have in mind and the flowers you’d like, the possibilities to create your perfect setting are endless.

4. Elegant and cost efficient? Absolutely!
The silk artificial versions of real flowers look just like the real thing when you choose the right supplier. Hiring artificial flowers is cost effective as they’re resilient enough to be used a number of times before they need replacing. Why spend £1000’s on fresh flowers to watch them wilt as the day progresses, or to only use them for an hour for your ceremony? And if you would still like some fresh flowers, they go together beautifully, opt for fresh bridal flowers and silk floral venue decoration!

5. Endless creativity.
Artificial flowers are just as dynamic as fresh. They can be used in worry-free centrepieces (set in resin or foam instead of water to avoid accidents if you have a child-friendly event), be used to create a beautiful arch or flower wall and create long-lasting hair pieces, cute wedding favours, buttonholes, corsages, wreaths and even flower-girl accessories that they can then keep as a gift.

So whether it’s a magical fairy tale wedding or a corporate event for your colleagues to remember, artificial flowers could be just the trend that you’re looking for!

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The 21st Century Bride

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We usually understand wedding traditions and rituals before we’ve worked out how to pay a bill or other similarly boring, yet necessary, life skills. Our parents, our parent’s-parents, the media and story books all tell us that there’s a certain way to ‘be wed’. It’s usually a lavish occasion, where the bride is adorned in white, followed around by a gaggle of unfortunate looking bridesmaids before marrying Prince Charming and then the kingdom rejoices forever. Or something like that. Skip to 2017 where modern brides are ditching out-dated trends are on the increase and separating us from the generations of yester-year. We’ve listed 5 ‘I Don’ts’ to help you put your stamp on your own happily ever after…

The Bridal Party – Straight in at number one, we went for the jugular. The thought of no bridesmaids would cause some brides to instantly combust. Without listing all the clichés, we do recognise that sometimes having your girls (and boys) to help you through your special day is completely necessary. The romans invented Bridesmaids to confuse evil spirits and deter them from corrupting the bride. Since then, bridesmaids have become more of a sentimental tradition and we can see why. However, if you’re thinking that this tradition might not be for you, then make your own kind of perfect and be a 21st century bride without a ‘maid.

First Dance – We’ve all seen the new craze to choreograph your first dance with a fancy routine. Then there’s rest of us with two left feet, feeling awkward about shuffling around like you’re at a school disco (circa ’98). Don’t despair! Ditch the dance! Or perhaps make your own kind of tradition and invite all your guests to dance with you!

Speeches – We’ve all been to a wedding where the speeches last forever, literally. You don’t need to include a tiring order of speeches in the exact format as per Debrett’s. It’s your wedding day and you can choose what works best for you and your significant other. Your guests might thank you too.

Programs – Let your guests follow the ceremonial service or the order of the day with a program, sounds logical right? Unfortunately, programs are usually left on seats or made into paper fans/planes/etc without much regard. With each program costing from £1 to £4 you’ll not only save yourself a heap of money, but there’s one less thing to worry about too!

Favours – The wedding favour market has grown exponentially in recent years, with every bride wanting something unique to gift her guests. Favours now range from the traditional sugared almonds to miniature alcoholic drinks. Although it’s a lovely gesture, wedding guests already recognise the great expense that goes into planning a wedding. Save yourself a packet here too, we guarantee nobody will notice anyway!

We’re sure there are lots of other ways to custom make your perfect wedding day without expected traditions! We’d love to hear from other modern brides to find out what you’re planning to do!

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5 Things To Do Before You Start Wedding Planning!

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You’re engaged! Yay! You’ve accepted a romantic proposal, the ring has made a pleasing new addition to your left hand and now you’re fielding constant wedding planning questions from every direction. So you need to start planning a wedding, no big deal right? Then your best friend talks you into going to a wedding fair. It sounded like a good idea but you leave the wedding fair with more questions than answers. What do we need stationery for? How much should we pay for a cake? When do I need to book a photographer? Don’t be daunted. The key to planning is preparation and with our 5 steps you’ll be ready to make those all important decisions like a pro in no time!

1. Get Realistic With Your Budget

Have the all important financial conversation with (delete as appropriate) your significant other, parents, parents in law, bank manager. It’s almost impossible to plan anything without knowing the budget at your disposal and more importantly, if you can afford it. An exclusive castle venue, a royal banquet for everyone you’ve ever met and a diamond tiara could be tempting but remember you need to afford other things too… like rent.

2. Stay Realistic With Your Budget

Divide up your budget to cover all the costs. Allocate a percentage of your budget to each supplier and leave 3%-5% to cover any unexpected costs that creep up such as staff food, pre-wedding beauty treatments and delivery costs.

3. Draft a Rough Guest List

The budget stretches a lot further when you’re only inviting 25 people. You don’t need to be 100% on whether you’ll invite but rough numbers for the most expensive dinner you’ll ever buy will definitely help. It’s also useful to have an idea of the size of your bridal party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc) as you’re expected to pay for their outfits and flowers too.

4. Make Notes!

You don’t necessarily need a pretty planner to plan the perfect wedding but it helps! Keep your admin organised and keep a track of the decisions you make all in one place. It also serves as a memory of planning the biggest day of your life. We’ve found a really useful (and beautiful!) planner that brides love – buy it here.

5. Communicate with your Fiancé/Fiancée

Whether you’re taking the lead or planning it together make sure you have both discussed what you want to achieve. If you have differing visions for what you’d like on your wedding day, be prepared to compromise!

So now you’re armed with a budget and the tools to plan, plan, plan the (wedding) world is your oyster!

 

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Colour of the Year 2017: Greenery

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2017: Greenery

Pantone describes their colour of the year for 2017 as ‘a refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings’.

‘Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of this colour signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate’.

In layman’s terms this colour injects a fresh nature vibe into your theme. Go with white and green for a classic, natural palette or add to bold colours for tropical feels. It’s easy to incorporate this new colour trend into your event design too! Green glassware, increased foliage content in floral design, accents of this shade illustrated in your stationery all work perfectly.

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Theme Guide: Boho Beaut

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It’s no surprise that the boho wedding trend is rocketing in popularity and it’s super easy to recreate this chic wedding style too!

Bohemian, commonly known as boho, can trace its roots right back to 18th century Europe. Originally associated with romani gypsies and French artists, throughout the decades the idea has remained the same, unconformity. There are many adaptations of boho but however it’s translated this iconic style remains effortless with little margin for error.

When exploring boho, we tried to underpin the ultimate image. Loose hair, patterned tunic dresses and miss-matched accessories (think the Olsen sisters, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller) and it’s the same for venue décor too. Think free-flowing fabrics, oriental elements, untraditional patterns and ethnic styles.

For a boho themed ceremony you don’t need to go all out and wed barefoot in the woods! Bring the outside in by working woodland and foliage into your centrepieces. Wild flowers are the obvious choice here but think about combining with more traditional floral options too. Speak to your florist and consider the shape of your arrangements, this is just as important as the flower choices. Opt for loosely tied bouquets and arrangements in a variety of shapes and sizes. Hoop bouquets are a stylist alternative for your bridesmaids to add boho flair, or go flat out unique and create a bridal version.

Mix and match your table items for an interesting tablescape. An Aztec runner with gold votives and vintage goblets is the perfect accompaniment to wildly arranged flowers of many varieties. Don’t be too quick to hide any charming trestle tables under piles of over-starched hotel linens. Go back to basics and make the most of any character items at your disposal. Say no to banqueting chairs covered up with white chair covers and hire chairs instead. Opt for natural crossback, fold up or bistro chairs and leave rustic or decorate with macramé.

Peace.

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Wedding – Home or Away

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As of 2015, one in five British couples are taking their nuptials abroad and we can see why. Just imagine coinciding your wedding day with an exotic Caribbean beach, a plentiful Italian wedding breakfast or a South African safari adventure, the world is your oyster! The opportunity to share your favourite foreign land with your guests could be a wedding they’ll be talking about for years!

Inspired Events takes a look at what’s involved in tying the knot outside the UK.

Money, Money, Money

With the average UK wedding coming in at an eye watering £26,000 we welcome cheaper alternatives that won’t compromise on the overall experience. The average abroad wedding totals just £8,000 – a breath of fresh air in comparison! If you’re paying in a different currency, good exchange rates factor in here and can make a huge impact. Try and monitor this as closely as possible leading up to your payment deadlines.

Say No to Weather Woe

If there’s one day you want the sun to shine it’s on your wedding day! Unfortunately weather in the UK is somewhat unpredictable 365 days a year. We’re not saying that a wedding abroad is a dead cert for perfect wedding weather but your chances of sunshine success are a lot higher. Ensure that you’ve chosen the right season for your preferred location. You might find that it’s cheaper for a Caribbean wedding in November but you might not get great pics in a monsoon!

Trim the Fat

One of the most stress inducing areas of planning a wedding is compiling the guest list. It’s not a task you can delegate to your best friend or your wedding planner, it requires a personal, in depth analysis of all your friendships and relationships which only you can do. When did you see them last? How long have you known them? If you have parents who are contributing financially, they may want to have a say on who is invited too. It’s not uncommon to invite guests to watch your ‘I Do’s’ who you haven’t seen in years. However it’s usually better accepted to hold a more intimate wedding if you’re getting hitched abroad. With the average cost each guest will bear at an abroad wedding being £2,000 (opposed to the UK average figure of £500) there’ll be guests who won’t be able to attend even if they wanted to. If you’re hoping for an intimate affair without the stress of unnecessary guests then a destination wedding might be the best choice for you.

Documentation Drama

So you’ve chosen your destination, booked the venue, bought the dress, wait. Something’s missing! An officiant! Get up-to-date information on what is required to get married in the foreign country of your choice. Every country will have different marriage legalities and a specific schedule for certain documents to be completed, there may also be extra charges for translation services. The gov.uk website has all the information you’ll need to get your paperwork in order. Alternatively you could find a wedding planner who specialises in destination weddings to coordinate the ceremony aspect of your special day.

Cabin Fever

Transporting your wedding dress abroad might seem like it could be a daunting task. We advise against transporting your dress in the hold, keep it with you by taking it as your carry-on luggage in the airplane cabin. Check various airline rules and allowances before you book flights, it could determine who you end up flying with. A good bridal boutique will be able to pack your dress into a box suitable for hand luggage with plenty of tissue to minimise the risk of creases. They’ll also advise how to hang and store your dress when you arrive and what to do in any crease/stain emergencies.

Advanced Logistics

So the travel arrangements of your guests isn’t directly your problem. But if the bridal party is AWOL in the wrong location you might regret not offering to help them book! As long as you’re super organised or have extra planning assistance it should be quite simple to assist your guests. They should be fairly capable of planning a trip but it can’t hurt to make sure everybody books the right location, there are no cancellations or delays and lost baggage is prepared for. Our advice would be to recommend that your guests fly direct where possible. If you do have guests flying indirect suggest they take a cabin bag which contains the basics, including the all-important wedding day outfit!

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Table for Two?

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Table plans. Equally exciting and frustrating as narrowing down your guest list. As families become more sophisticated (we mean dysfunctional) it’s only right that weddings should roll with the punches. Top tables are getting bigger with multiple best men (à la Andy Murray), parents, step-parents, etc. Enter the sweetheart table!

As the name would suggest a sweetheart table is a table for you and your sweetheart! Divorced parents or a family feud might be an unfortunate reason that you choose a sweetheart table over a standard top table but there’s also an incredibly romantic reason you might go for it too. You’ve just put on a beautiful ceremony, given your family and friends front row seats to your nuptials and you’re likely to spend most of the reception chit-chatting with your nearest and dearest – so let’s assume that you might like a bit of semi-private time together. A sweetheart table could be the perfect opportunity for you to have a breather together. Give yourself chance to enjoy each other’s company as newly-weds and catch up on how you think it’s all going!

Don’t assume that your bridal party will be disappointed to find that they’re not sitting up top with you, keep them involved by having your family host different tables of guests. By placing new with familiar is a lovely opportunity for different mixes of guests to get to know each other over dinner, ready for a great party! Whatever you ask of your family and friends they’ll be happy just to be a part of making your wedding day unforgettable.

Keeping it cosy with your table for two doesn’t mean your top table decorations must be downsized too. You don’t need a 10ft long table but don’t arrange a tiny table for 2 for your first meal as Mr and Mrs, we recommend a round or rectangular table to fit 4-6 people. This way you still have a presence in the room but still have plenty of space to place your décor. With only two people to seat you’ll have lots more elbow room and, more importantly, extra room to get creative with flower design, glamourous backdrops and signage (yay!)

For brides on a budget, if your ceremony and reception venues are in the same place you could also consider re-using your ceremony table flowers or flower arch for your sweetheart table too! For couples with bigger budgets you could go all out king and queen style with thrones or perhaps a comfy love seat, perfect for two love birds! For couples who like the best of both worlds there’s the option to combine a round table for two with a couple of rectangle tables either side and viola! You have the intimacy of a table just for the bride and groom but you still have your bridal party on separate tables to the left and right.

Don’t forget that your wedding is about you and your future husband/wife so concentrate on what makes you happy when considering your important on-the-day decisions!

 

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