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Archive for August, 2009

Not all celebrities want the huge weddings with hundreds of other stars in attendance. This weekend Milla Jovovich married her long time partner director Paul Anderson in an intimate affair in the back garden of their home Beverly Hills.

You can see photos of the wedding here

Get the look:

Get Milla Jovovich wedding style

Images: Orchid, rose & lily bouquet from Budget Designer Florals in USA, Long Adria dress with bead detail and split sleeves from Temperley London, Long romantic style hair design from Brides.com.

Dress: Milla walked down the aisle in a full length retro-inspired white gown which she had designed, taking inspiration from the 1960’s & Grecian. For Grecian influenced gowns, try the Lorelei dress wear-again style from Motasem

Flowers: A hand tied white orchid bouquet mixed with roses is a classic bridal design. If you are concerned about the milage, ask your florist to source locally grown, or you may want to consider white flowers that are seasonal to the date of your wedding.

Hair: Milla let her hair loose in an ethereal style, with headband of twisted leaves with a medieval influence. Remember to consider your face shape when choosing your hairstyle, and how it will work with the dress. It was a pity you couldn’t see the detail on Milla’s dress as her hair covered the beaded panels…

To go with their Spanish-style house, Milla & Paul had a latin style occasion with a Spanish flamenco guitarist during the cocktail reception, then a Cuban band afterwards.

However worth the wait, I’m not sure I would have coped with a six year engagement.

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A BBC report last week announced that a watchdog is calling for more protection for shoppers who pay in advance for goods but lose their money when the business collapses. After the collapse of wedding list company Wrapit in August 2008, around 2,000 newlyweds were left without their gifts.

Is there a safe way to have a wedding list when companies are going bust in the current economic climate?
Yes: Dont put all your eggs in one basket! Having a wedding list that allows guests to buy directly from independent retailers rather than all from one company means that you are not going to lose all your gifts in one fell swoop.

The business model for Wrapit meant that guests paid for gifts upfront and Wrapit then ordered them from the suppliers. It took 6 weeks for them to collect all the gifts up after the couples list closed so couples often had an empty home until the gifts were delivered.

Using a list where guests buy from independent stores means gifts can be delivered either to the couple or guest  immediately so there is no credit hanging around waiting for lists to be collated.

The new gift list system from Wedding Notebook, to be launched in Autumn 2009, allows couples to create a list with gifts from anywhere, including websites, independent stores, charity giving and suggested items. It has the convenience of a department store gift count-down system, but with the flexibility of not being tied to one store or small selection of gifts.

It is good to remember that generally,where guests are spending over £100 on a gift, then paying by credit card rather than debit card should mean they will get their money back if anything happens to the company they are buying from.

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motasem_alayaSweet jars filled with colour coordinated threads adorn the shelves in Sabina Ali’s East London studio where she creates her line of evening & cocktail style wedding dresses, Motasem dresses. When we meet, she is preparing for a sample sale where brides-to-be and fashionistas alike will be hoping to snap up a dress which is just as perfect for a bride as for an evening occasion.

After jobs as fashion designer for the high street stores Jigsaw and M&S, Motasem was born in 2005 when Sabina received her fifth comission for a cocktail style wedding dress. Further research showed that brides were looking for dresses priced between £500-1000 and felt that they were lacking choice. The Motasem collection provides a range of dresses that are affordable and are for the glamourous bride rather than the fairytale princess.

Not simply an off-the-peg dress, Motasem dresses can be customised from a template. Brides can choose the length of the dress and add sleeves, add a puddle train and choose the colour of the ribbon detail. Eco conscious brides can also have the dress made in organic silk.

motasem_lotusHow does Motasem contibute to an ethical wedding?
The range is created in ivory silk which is the natural colour, not dyed, so brides can feel comfortable even if they don’t choose the organic option which has no chemical finishes, but can cost 15% more. The dresses are made in the UK and can be worn again as the style is so versatile, rather than hanging it in a wardrobe for years. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing white as a guest at a wedding or evening occasion, then there is the option to dye it after your wedding. The Lotus dress has been designed so there is no stitching on the outside meaning it dyes really well.

The collection is championed by the professional woman aged 28-45 who doesn’t want to look frumpy. The most popular dresses are Cecaelia and Alaya. The perfect way to style the dress is with a vintage hair piece and feather shrug – Chanel with an edge.

Who would you most like to dress?
Natalie Portman. She is gorgeous, but not a girly girl. She is independent and has strong ethical principles. Natalie has recently launched her own vegan shoe collection and wears Beyond Skin shoes in her film ‘V for Vendetta’

What trends do you see growing in weddings?
There is a grown in off-the-peg dresses. In the last 5 years we have seen a development in weddings from church to civil ceremonies, destination weddings, second weddings and older brides plus mixed culture weddings. There are many smaller civil ceremonies and weddings where there is less money available but couples still want the glamour. People want the bridal experience.

More brides are now planning their weddings in their lunch hour as they lead busy professional lives so we will be seeing a growth in online shopping for bridalwaer. Like Natalie Massey did for Net-a-Porter, we will be able to buy designer bridal on the web. Motasem would be perfect for this as the dresses are not structured so dont need endless measuring and re-fitting – just pick your dress size and go! The dresses just take 5 weeks to make from ordering.

What about bridalwear trends?
There is much less strapless and more drapery – using the fabrics to flatter the body in the style of Amanda Wakely. Style is also moving from catwalk to bridal very quickly and picking up inspiration from celebrity weddings. The Alaya dress combines hollywood glamour with catwalk style.

There is a trend for the recessionista – as has been roumoured for SJP’s character in the new Sex and the City film.

What inspires you?
This collection is Grecian and nautical inspired. They are timeless and classsic pieces with a contemporary edge.

What’s next for Motasem?
In her next collection Sabina is planning on adding a bit of sparkle. The range is now stocked in a few stores including Bridal Path &  Berkshire Brides where Motasem hangs alongside lines from Jenny Packham and Amanda Wakely.

Stay tuned for big news that Sabina couldn’t disclose but I could see she was bursting with excitement…

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Vintage wedding ideas are becoming more popular. Why not have a wedding with a tea party theme…

Personally Tea has been part of my heritage as my Dad is a tea taster for a major brand, and my parents are from Yorkshire and drink gallons of the stuff. Between our wedding and reception we held a tea party in the church hall so we could invite a larger number of people. Friends and family brought a plethora of cakes and we were served tea by the Mothers Union.

Vintage Tea Party Wedding IdeasIdeas for a tea themed wedding:

This table setting from Country Living (1) could be easily created with rented tea sets, flowers from the gardens of friends, and a selection of cakes and cucumber sandwiches!

Extend the party by giving your guests tea favours – fair trade of course.  The bags from Fair Trade Teas (2) are a special wedding blend in a silk bag.

Hire vintage sets from the vintage tea company (3) for an elegant picnic or tea party theme.

Tea was introduced into Britain in the 1650’s and since then has played an important part in British tradition and culture. Made fashionable in 1660 by Queen Catherine of Braganza, tea very quickly moved from luxury to staple. Ladies of leisure in Victorian England used ‘afternoon tea’ as a means of filling the gap between luncheon and dinner by inviting friends over, and this soon heralded manufacturers to create elegant designs for the occasion.

Vintage Tea ideas for your wedding gift list

There are some gorgeous tea sets and accessories available that you can add to your gift list:

Ester Coombs creates decorative cake stands (1) from vintage tea cups and saucers and then illustrates them with graphic patterns.

Juliette at Home create scented candles and soaps (2) inspired by the English tea party. We love the rhubarb and custard kitchen candle.

Vintage cake forks can be found on Ebay – for the full tea party experience!

Try more exotic teas such as blooming jasmine from Emeyu teas (3)

Tea cosies (4) can be made from recycled fabrics and yarns to complete the set.

Kaoru designs ceramic tea sets (5)specifically to keep specialist artisans in business. The ceramic industry has been in decline in the UK as manufacturing moves overseas, but these designs keep skilled workers in trade so they can pass their skills to the next generation.

You can easily add any gifts to your wedding list with the new Wedding Notebook gift list service that will be launched soon, so you can create a new home as independent as you are!

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